'The weaker sisters': The first decade of ATV-0 Melbourne and TEN-10 Sydney, 1964-75

Centre for Cultural and Media Policy
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Media International Australia, 2006, 121 (November), pp. 119 - 135
Issue Date:
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This paper presents aspects of an historical analysis of commercial television as a cultural industry by reference to the introduction of the third licences in Sydney and Melbourne. I am looking at the period between 1964 and 1972 and the development of ATV-0 and TEN-10. In the first part of the paper, I examine some aspects of the industry and organizational structures of the time. Since programming flow is the structuring logic of television as a cultural industry, the second part of the paper looks at the programming strategies used by the stations to differentiate them from and allow them to compete with the other commercial stations. I will do this with reference to particular Australian programs scheduled by the stations. My argument is that, for most of the 1960s and into the early 1970s, these stations pursued an essentially defensive strategy attempting to change the stations competitive position within the existing rules. The change to a more offensive strategy with the genesis of Number 96 was what laid the foundation for financial success.
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