Television South

From Academic Kids

Missing image
TVS original logo

TVS, or Television South, was the ITV franchise holder in the South of England which replaced its predecessor, Southern Television on the morning of 1 January 1982 (The first show - Bring in the New - was hosted by Khalid Aziz). TVS won the franchise from the Independent Broadcasting Authority in the hardest fought battle of the 1980 franchise round, having faced competition from the incumbent, Southern, and six further consortia. The company chairman was Lord Boston of Faversham, and Anna Home and Michael Rodd were among the well-known personalities associated with the winning bid. Rodd presented networked science programmes for TVS in its early years, notably 'The Real World'.

The company operated until midnight on 31 December 1992, the last show - Goodbye To All That - which was presented by Fred Dinenage and Fern Britton. At midnight, TVS was in turn replaced by Meridian Broadcasting. TVS (and Meridian) had a slightly bigger coverage area than Southern because on the day of its launch the Bluebell Hill and Chatham Town transmitters in north Kent were switched from the London ITV region to the South of England region.

The company operated from two sites: inherited studios in Southampton, and - after a brief interregnum at Southern's old Dover studios - a new facility built in Vinters Park, Maidstone. Like its predecessor the company made many contributions to the network in the areas of children's television, drama and light entertainment.

TVS' regional news magazine programme was called Coast to Coast transmitted at 6pm on weekdays from its studios in Southampton and Maidstone. In the late 1980s there was an opt-out for the north of the Southampton region (the Thames Valley) from Reading, from 1993 this area would gain its own full length regional magazine programme.

In the late 1980s, buoyed by increasing profits, TVS purchased the American media company MTM. However, when TVS's licence to broadcast came up for renewal in 1990, the company was suffering serious financial problems, and it had to bid high to secure an extension to its contract. The bid was deemed excessive and inviable, and the contract was handed to Meridian.

The studios in Southampton were sold to the newcomer. Meanwhile TVS retained the Maidstone site, intending to become an independent programme producer but TVS was bought by American company, Family Channel in early 1993.

Notable programmes produced by TVS include; Catchphrase, Ultra Quiz, Summertime Special and The Ruth Rendell Mysteries (Inspector Wexford). Art Attack, a Children's art show was originally a TVS production and continues to be produced (at the Maidstone Studios) to this day.

External links

British television | Channels | ITV

Scotland: Grampian, Scottish Television, Border | North and Northwest: ABC, Granada
Northeast: Tyne Tees | Yorkshire: Yorkshire | Northern Ireland: UTV | Wales: TWW, WWN, ITSWW, HTV
Midlands: ATV, Central | East: Anglia | London: Rediffusion, ATV, Thames, LWT, Carlton
South: Southern, TVS, Meridian | Southwest: Westward, TSW, Westcountry | Channel Islands: Channel TV

Breakfast: TV-am, GMTV | Teletext: ORACLE, Teletext Ltd | News: ITN

ITA | IBA | ITC | Ofcom
ITV plc | ITV1 | ITV2 | ITV3 | ITV4 | ITV News Channel | Men & Motors | ITV Digital


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