1st September 1962

Channel Television took to the air

Guernsey and Jersey got their first local commercial TV station in autumn 1962. Channel Television, which is headquartered in Jersey and has studios in Guernsey on Bulwer Avenue, produces regional output for the Channel Islands, and was one of the last broadcasters to remain independent of ITV.

Opening night

Channel Television’s first night on the air began with a grand opening at 5pm. This was presided over by the Lieutenant-Governor of Jersey, General Sir George Erskine, in the presence of the Director General of the Independent Television Authority and the Bailiffs of both Guernsey and Jersey. This was followed, at 5.10pm, by The Adventures of Robin Hood starring Richard Greene.

The station carried ITV programming from the very earliest days, courtesy of a microwave relay station that was built on Alderney. Through this it received a feed from Westward Television, which at that time was the franchisee for the British south-west. It later took output from TVS (Television South), and then Meridian, as various regional licences changed hands on the mainland.

Changing Channel over the years

Channel has always maintained studios on both Jersey and Guernsey. Upon launch, its Guernsey base was Albion House in St Peter Port, but in 1967 it moved to Market Square; to St George’s Esplanade in 1983; and finally, in 1997, to the building it now shares with the BBC on Bulwer Avenue.

Initially, all broadcasts were black and white, but colour came to the islands on 26 July 1976 when Channel became the last broadcaster on the network to convert. It soon caught up, though, and eventually overtook other independent broadcasters on the ITV network. It was the first to introduce electronic newsgathering tools to its newsroom.

However, it was one of the last independent stations to complete its transition to digital broadcasting. The islands’s analogue transmission signals were finally switched off on 17 November 2010. After that date, the 50,000 households within the region received Freeview for the first time.


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Other events that occured in September

Channel Television took to the air 1st
A Guernseyman cycled to Herm 2nd
Brecqhou was put up for sale 3rd
Renoir arrived on Guernsey to paint 4th
Ship sinks in St Sampson harbour 5th
The melon king died… long live the melon king 6th
Coronavirus returns to Guernsey 7th
HD Ferries makes its last crossing
6th Battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment fought at the Somme 8th
Guernsey number plate sold for £240,000 9th
Guernsey hosted the second Island Games 10th
Major Guernsey employer Tektronix went public 11th
Guernsey was struck by a hurricane 12th
Schoolboys and teacher went missing off Sark 13th
Guernsey holidaymakers head home itching 14th
The title Baron de Saumarez was created 15th
Missing girl, Jetta, was found on Guernsey 16th
Archaeologists found a porpoise grave 17th
An Islander aircraft crashed in Guernsey 18th
Guernsey commando Hubert Nicolle died 19th
Guernsey and Jersey considered merging 20th
Occupation resister Winifred Green was deported 21st
The Devil’s Rock had its opening night 22nd
The Duke of Connaught visited Guernsey 23rd
Former bailiff Daniel de Lisle Brock died 24th
Occupation president Ambrose Sherwill died 25th
Trudy, Guernsey’s biggest ever import, was installed 26th
“Let em starve,” said Churchill 27th
A Guernsey planning dispute headed to Europe 28th
Herm tenant Major Peter Wood died 29th
Spotlight was broadcast for the first time 30th