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Encyclopedia > Television South
Television South

TVS Logo, used 1989-1992
Based in Northam, Southampton and Maidstone
Broadcast area South and South East England
Launched 1 January 1982

TVS original logo, used 1982-1987
TVS original logo, used 1982-1987.
Closed 31 December 1992
Replaced Southern Television
Replaced by Meridian Broadcasting
Owned by Self-owned

Television South (TVS) was the broadcasting name associated with the ITV franchise holder in the south and south east of England between 1982 and 1992. The company operated under various names, initially as Television South plc and then following reorganisation in 1989 as TVS Entertainment plc, with its UK broadcasting arm referred to as TVS Television plc. On-air the company was known as TVS, Television South and eventually TVS Television. Image File history File links TVS_Last_logo. ... Northam is a suburb of Southampton in Hampshire. ... Southampton is the largest city[1] on the south coast of England. ... Maidstone is the county town of Kent, England, halfway (30 miles) between the City of London and the English Channel. ... Southern England is a vague term referring to the south of England. ... South East England is one of the nine official regions of England. ... is the 1st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday (link displays the 1982 Gregorian calendar). ... Image File history File links Original logo of Television South. ... December 31 is the 365th day of the year (366th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1992 (MCMXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1992 Gregorian calendar). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Meridian Broadcasting (ITV Meridian) is the holder of the ITV franchise for South and South East England. ... It has been suggested that Channel 3 (UK) be merged into this article or section. ... Southern England is a vague term referring to the south of England. ... South East England is one of the nine official regions of England. ...


Broadcasting commenced in 1982 following takeover of the franchise from Southern Television during the review of franchise holders in 1980. During their 10 year history, TVS produced a number of notable programmes for the ITV network and challenged the monopoly of ITV’s ‘Big Five’ companies in controlling the allocation of primetime networked programming slots, although access was ultimately denied. They ceased broadcasting on 31 December 1992 after they lost the franchise to the present holder Meridian Broadcasting during the review of franchise holders in 1991. The company was sold to International Family Entertainment Inc. (IFE) in 1993. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... December 31 is the 365th day of the year (366th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1992 (MCMXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1992 Gregorian calendar). ... Meridian Broadcasting (ITV Meridian) is the holder of the ITV franchise for South and South East England. ... The International Family Entertainment Inc. ...

Contents

1980 Franchise Review

TVS was formed to apply for the franchise for south and south east of England under the working title of South and South-East Communications Limited, following discussions between James Gatward (a television producer), Bob Southgate (a television executive) and Martin Jackson (a newspaper executive).


The Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) decided to review the franchises in 1980 such that the changeover in franchise holders (where applicable) would occur on 1 January 1982. At the changeover, the IBA had decided to change the area covered from the south to include the south east and included the Bluebell transmitter, associated relays and the main relay at Tunbridge Wells which previously were covered by ITV’s London contractors. The Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) was the regulatory body in the United Kingdom for commercial television (ITV and Channel 4 - cable and satellite television were the responsibility of the Cable Authority) and radio broadcasts. ... is the 1st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday (link displays the 1982 Gregorian calendar). ...


Following submission of their application, TVS were anticipating that they would be forced into a shotgun marriage with Southern Television, but won outright since their plans for a better mix of programmes and greater investment were considered good enough to operate the franchise alone. This was the official line given by the IBA, but it was also considered that the Southern’s non-local ownership and their very conservative nature lead to it being dropped in favour the more interesting proposals made by TVS in their franchise application. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Studio Facilities

Northam, Southampton

Television studios were originally founded in Northam, Southampton by Southern Television when they were awarded the licence to broadcast in the south of England in the 1957. Southampton is the largest city[1] on the south coast of England. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


The studios was originally the Plaza Cinema and were selected for the new venture as the owner, the Rank Organisation, was a large shareholder in the new broadcaster. In 1967, and with the introduction of colour television in 1969, Southern built new studios adjacent to the original development on land reclaimed from the River Itchen. These were the facilities purchased by TVS (and later Meridian). This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The Itchen near Ovington. ... Meridian Broadcasting (ITV Meridian) is the holder of the ITV franchise for South and South East England. ...


The Southampton base was company's corporate headquarters and their primary production and transmission centre. Upon purchase TVS made significant investment, building a further studio to the rear of the existing site.


TVS sold the studios to their successor Meridian in 1992. In 2004 Meridian relocated to new facilities in Whiteley and the Southampton site is awaiting demolition, with the land being used for new housing developments.


Vinter’s Park, Maidstone

The studios to serve the south-eastern section of Television South's transmission area were at Vinters Park near Maidstone in Kent. The Maidstone Studios is a television studio complex based at Vinters Park in Maidstone, Kent UK. It is home to a lot of independent British television programming including quiz shows and popular childrens shows such as CITVs Art Attack. ...


The site was originally acquired by Southern Television who had commissioned a conceptual design for new studio facilities on the site. Following the award of the franchise to TVS, Southern sold the site to the new company.


Construction commenced in early 1982 and the first studios at the centre became operational in mid-1983. During this construction TVS served the south-eastern part of their area from the former Southern studios at Southampton and Dover (the latter closing when facilities at Maidstone became operational - see below).


During 1981 TVS purchased the former Plaza Theatre in Gillingham which, following extensive refitting, became the TVS Television Theatre which became operational for the start of broadcasting in 1982. This facility played a relatively minor part in the company's production schedule (see below).


The Maidstone facilities, though significant (and home to many networked shows) were ancillary to those in Southampton which were the company's corporate headquarters. Following the sale of TVS in 1993, the studios were acquired by TVS’s new owners IFE. As well as producing programming for IFE, the studios were also available for use by other programme makers.


In the late 1990s a consortium of local businesspeople purchased the studios, renaming them The Maidstone Studios, becoming a leading independent provider of production and broadcasting facilities in the United Kingdom. The Maidstone Studios is a television studio complex based at Vinters Park in Maidstone, Kent UK. It is home to a lot of independent British television programming including quiz shows and popular childrens shows such as CITVs Art Attack. ...


Dover

The studios were originally the south-eastern base of Southern Television and were essentially a news gathering operation with transmission facilities for regional news opt-outs. TVS used Dover as a regional studio for a year until completion of Vinters Park when they disposed of the site. The buildings have since been demolished and the site is now used as a car park. The Maidstone Studios is a television studio complex based at Vinters Park in Maidstone, Kent UK. It is home to a lot of independent British television programming including quiz shows and popular childrens shows such as CITVs Art Attack. ...


TVS Television Theatre

TVS acquired the former Plaza Cinema in Gillingham, Kent as a stop gap measure between the commencement of broadcasting and the completion of Vinters Park. The theatre was quickly converted for television use ready for the start of broadcasting. Gillingham is a town in Kent, England, forming part of the Medway conurbation; it is a constituent of Medway unitary authority. ... coat of Arms of Kent For other uses, see Kent (disambiguation). ... The Maidstone Studios is a television studio complex based at Vinters Park in Maidstone, Kent UK. It is home to a lot of independent British television programming including quiz shows and popular childrens shows such as CITVs Art Attack. ...


The decision to operate a television theatre was in contradiction to the trend in television at that time (Both the BBC and Thames Television were to dispose of similar facilities in the next two years). The British Broadcasting Corporation, usually known as the BBC, is the largest broadcasting corporation in the world in terms of audience numbers, employing 26,000 staff in the United Kingdom alone and with a budget of more than GB£4 billion. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Production at Gillingham was limited: It was the base of the regional afternoon magazine show Houseparty and TVS filmed the UK inserts for Fraggle Rock there. TVS sold the theatre in 1988. For a period afterwards the site was used for other activities before being demolished to make way for redevelopment. A campaign to have it listed failed as the large-scale conversion for television production had made it unsuitable for listing. For the animated television series, see Fraggle Rock (animated TV series). ...


Regional Offices

TVS maintained a sales office in London and several smaller offices throughout their region. This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ...


People

At the tender stage, South and South East Communication comprised a board of directors who assisted in preparation of their tender and would run the company if their tender was successful. Members of the board included:

A number of presenters made the transition from Southern to TVS. All production staff were transferred as part of the then union agreements within ITV that no technician should lose their employment as a result of franchise changes. A Chairman is the presiding officer of a meeting, organization, committee, or other deliberative body. ... Terence George Boston, Baron Boston of Faversham (born 21 March 1930) is a British Labour politician. ... Managing director is the term used for the chief executive of many limited companies in the United Kingdom, Commonwealth and some other English speaking countries. ...


TVS also recruited 200 new staff for their facilities at Gillingham and Maidstone although a small number of these were made redundant after the company went on-air as the studios struggled to reach production capacity, restricted by TVS's limited access to the ITV network.


The Broadcasting Years

TVS began broadcasting on 1 January 1982. The first show was titled ‘Bring in the New’ presented by Khalid Aziz. TVS was soon recognised as ambitious (in contrast to the rather staid Southern) and who wanted to be a 'major player' within ITV and not just a large regional company. is the 1st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday (link displays the 1982 Gregorian calendar). ... Khalid Aziz LVO DL FRSA started his career as a journalist, becoming the youngest producer in the BBC at Radio Leicester. ...


At that time networked programme schedules were agreed by a committee with representatives from the ‘Big Five’ ITV companies Thames, LWT, Central, Yorkshire and Granada. This was done to ensure that the larger ITV companies bore more of the production costs as their size enabled them to. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Central TV logo, 1985_1998 Central Independent Television, or to give it its familiar name, Central Television or Central, is a British Independent Television company that took over from ATV on 1 January 1982. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...


This led to criticism in some quarters that the larger of the remaining 'regional' ITV companies (TVS, Anglia, STV, Tyne Tees and HTV) found it difficult to get network access for their grander productions, or that they were left with softer non-primetime sectors, such as childrens and religious television. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Scottish Television (stv central), now known as stv on air, is Scotlands largest independent television franchisee, and has held the ITV franchise for Central Scotland since 31 August 1957. ... Tyne Tees Television is the ITV television contractor for North East England. ... HTV logo, 1990s HTV Group plc is a television company, the ITV contractor of Wales and the West of England, owned by ITV plc. ... PrimeTime is a television newsmagazine from ABC News. ...


TVS attempted to get the 'Big Five' turned into the 'Big Six' with their inclusion as during the mid-1980s their revenues were greater than that of Yorkshire, and often equal to that of LWT. The attempt failed (they did form an alliance with LWT which enabled some of their shows to obtain primetime network status) but in the 1990 Broadcasting Act the 'Big Five' committee was replaced with an independent ITV Network Programme Commissioner.


Programming

In common with their predecessor, TVS had a strong performance in children’s programming. Early successes included Saturday morning show No. 73 which was later networked, On Safari (TVS's first pre-transmission production), The Witches and the Grinnygog, Fraggle Rock, The Boy Who Won the Pools, Get Fresh, Knights of God. Later successes included Motormouth, The Storyteller, Tugs, How 2, Finders Keepers and Art Attack. No. ... On Safari was a childrens game show series set in the jungle that was produced by Television South, and aired on ITV for 4 seasons from 1982 until 1985. ... The Witches and the Grinnygog is a childrens novel by the writer Dorothy Edwards, published in 1981 and shortlisted for that years Whitbread Prize for a childrens book. ... For the animated television series, see Fraggle Rock (animated TV series). ... Get Fresh was a childrens television programme that ran from 1986 to 1988 in the United Kingdom. ... Knights of God was a British childrens TV series from 1987 starring George Winter and Julia Parker with several other notable actors and written by Richard Cooper. ... Motormouth was a Saturday morning childrens television series that was produced by Television South and aired on ITV for four series (seasons), from 1988 until 1992. ... The Storyteller is a live-action/puppet television series created and produced by Jim Henson in 1987. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... How 2 is an informative childrens programme produced by TVS between 1990 and 1992, and SMG Productions (stv) from 1993. ... Finders Keepers was a childrens game show that aired on the Nickelodeon network in America from November 2, 1987 to June 30, 1990. ... Neil Buchanan on the Art Attack set, circa 1990 Art Attack is a British childrens television series about art. ...


As they became established TVS made significant contribution to network drama (through their tie-up with LWT) with shows such as the detective series C.A.T.S. Eyes. The production of the Inspector Wexford Mysteries, television adaptations of Ruth Rendell’s novels, proved to be a success with over fifteen programmes being made over a ten year period. C.A.T.S. Eyes is a British television series made by TVS for ITV between 1985 and 1987. ... Ruth Barbara Rendell, Baroness Rendell of Babergh, CBE, who also writes under the pseudonym Barbara Vine, (born February 17, 1930), is a British best-selling mystery and psychological crime writer, often called the Queen of Crime. ...


Light Entertainment programming included a number of series starring Bobby Davro, Ultra Quiz, Catchphrase, Concentration and the sitcoms Perfect Scoundrels and That's Love. Light entertainment is a term used to describe a broad range of usually televisual performances. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Ultra Quiz was a Saturday Night elimination game show series that was produced by Television South and aired for 3 series on ITV from 1983 until 1985. ... A catch phrase is a phrase or expression that is popularized, usually through repeated use, by a real person or fictional character. ... This article contains a trivia section. ...


MTM Entertainment

TVS's franchise in a prosperous area generated large profits. Restrictions on network programming resulted in the search for non-television investments. Speculative small investments in UK companies was followed by the purchase of the American media company MTM Enterprises, founded by Mary Tyler Moore and responsible for many US hit shows including ‘Hill Street Blues’. MTM specialised in the syndicated television market (programmes made independently and sold to the major American television networks). Television South was renamed TVS Television in 1989. The MTM logo, featuring Mimsie the Cat. ... This article is about Mary Tyler Moore, the actress. ... Hill Street Blues was a serial police drama that first aired on NBC in 1981 and ran for 146 episodes on primetime into 1987. ...


TVS was banking on benefiting from this syndicated market and so borrowed heavily to finance the £190 million purchase with the expectation of huge financial rewards. The purchase initially boosted TVS profits, but a faltering US economy lead to a downturn in US television fortunes.


By 1989, uncertainty over the high price paid by TVS for MTM lead to their share price falling in October 1989. TVS was also failing to secure network slots for its programming and they axed 200 jobs in Northam and Maidstone. As they entered the 1990’s, TVS fortunes were poor and this would have an impact upon their chances of successfully bidding for their franchise when it came up for renewal in 1991.


The 1991 Franchise Battle

In 1990 a new broadcasting act was passed through Parliament which deregulated broadcasting in the UK and removed the monopoly on programme production held by franchise holders. Changes to network broadcasting and the introduction of cable and satellite channels meant that ITV needed to be leaner and fitter to compete with its new found rivals.


The Act saw the replacement of the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) with the Independent Television Commission (ITC). The Act also changed the rules for the allocation of ITV franchises: In previous franchise battles, incumbents were judged on track record and future plans while new applicants were judged on potential and financial backing.


Incumbents and new applicants still had to undergo this examination but now also had to submit a cash bid, payable annually, via a silent auction based on what they valued the contract at. One other change made was that applicants no longer had to own production facilities or produce shows in-house, allowing them to become publisher-broadcasters and opening up the ITV network to independent producers.


The original draft of the Broadcasting Act stated the applicant with the highest cash bid would win; however following fears that this would financially stretch the network and diminish programme standards the concept of a 'quality threshold' was introduced. Incumbents and applicants had to pass this first before cash bids were even considered; even then if a cash bid was deemed to impact on plans the application could be rejected.


TVS failed on both counts. The lucrative nature of their contract area resulted in many applicants forcing TVS to bid a large amount, £59 million per annum for the next ten years. The ITC said this was an unrealistic bid that would impact on programming and the companies financial stabililty given its' on-going problems with MTM. In October 1991 the contract was awarded to Meridian Broadcasting whose bid was £36m per year.


TVS said it would consider a judicial review, but later started to partially liquidate the company. They agreed to sell their studio facilities at Southampton to Meridian. The Maidstone Studios were to be retained with the news facility being leased to Meridian as TVS planned to continue trading as an independent producer. The Maidstone Studios is a television studio complex based at Vinters Park in Maidstone, Kent UK. It is home to a lot of independent British television programming including quiz shows and popular childrens shows such as CITVs Art Attack and Saturday Showdown. ...


The unions started to negotiate with Meridian to absorb some of the 800 TVS staff facing redundancy as Meridian only planned to employ 370 staff as they intended to produce a far smaller amount of network programming and would use independent producers for the remainder of its programming.


Television South 1982-1993

TVS ceased broadcasting for ITV at midnight on the 31 December 1992. The final show was titled Goodbye to All That, a retrospective of TVS's programming and was presented by Fred Dineage and Fern Britton. The show was recorded in the late afternoon or early evening and aired at 22:45 and conclued at 00:00 when the credits rolled and a message appeared on screen thanking viewers for watching. The message faded to the image of Big Ben chiming in 1993 along with the beginning of Carlton Television, Westcountry Television, and Meridian Broadcasting. Six hours later, GMTV began their first broadcasting day. December 31 is the 365th day of the year (366th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1992 (MCMXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1992 Gregorian calendar). ... Fred Dinenage is a television host and newsreader, based in the south of England. ... Fern Britton (born July 17, 1957 in Ealing, London) is a well-known English television presenter. ... The Clock Tower, colloquially known as Big Ben (a name that correctly refers to the main bell) Big Ben redirects here. ... Year 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1993 Gregorian calendar). ... Carlton Television was the United Kingdom Channel 3 (ITV) licensee for London and the surrounding areas from 9:25am every Monday to 5. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Meridian Broadcasting (ITV Meridian) is the holder of the ITV franchise for South and South East England. ...


Life After Death

TVS Entertainment was sold on 1 February 1993 to the American Company International Family Entertainment Inc. (IFE). IFE then created the Family Channel based from The Maidstone Studios and used the TVS programme archive. Later the Family Channel became Challenge TV and was broadcast on Sky's analogue service. February 1 is the 32nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1993 Gregorian calendar). ... The International Family Entertainment Inc. ... Challenge is a British digital TV channel owned by Virgin Media Television. ... The Maidstone Studios is a television studio complex based at Vinters Park in Maidstone, Kent UK. It is home to a lot of independent British television programming including quiz shows and popular childrens shows such as CITVs Art Attack. ... Challenge is a British digital TV channel owned by Virgin Media Television. ... Sky Digital is the brand name for British Sky Broadcastings digital satellite television service, transmitted from SES Astra satellites located at 28. ...


Current Status

TVS Entertainment ceased trading following the purchase by IFE. The programme library has been passed around (IFE - Fox Family - Saban) recently and is now the property of The Walt Disney Company.


In 2006, Keith Jacobsen acquired the TVS logo and name for use with his independent production company and crew hire agency, Television South Limited. There are current projects with the intention of being broadcast at some point in the future.


See also

This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Meridian Broadcasting (ITV Meridian) is the holder of the ITV franchise for South and South East England. ... The Maidstone Studios is a television studio complex based at Vinters Park in Maidstone, Kent UK. It is home to a lot of independent British television programming including quiz shows and popular childrens shows such as CITVs Art Attack. ...

External links

  • The official Television South website
  • Television South at the Internet Movie Database
  • Transdiffusion Television Network From the South Part 1
  • Transdiffusion Television Network From the South Part 2
  • Transdiffusion Television Network Telecinema
  • TV Ark
  • TVS Downloads

  Results from FactBites:
 
Television South - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (651 words)
Both TVS and Meridian had a slightly bigger coverage area than Southern, because on the day TVS was launched, the transmitters at Bluebell Hill and Chatham Town (in north Kent) were switched from the London ITV region to that of the South of England.
Like its predecessor, the company made many contributions to the network in the areas of children's television, drama and light entertainment.
They also converted the Plaza Cinema in Gillingham into the TVS Television Theatre, and it was here that the UK inserts for Fraggle Rock were made, as well as the Saturday morning children's programme No.73.
Television South West - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (597 words)
Television South West (TSW) was the ITV franchise holder for the South West England region from 1 January 1982 until 31 December 1992, broadcasting from the former Westward Television studios in Plymouth, Devon.
On losing their franchise, the directors of TSW decided to establish a public film and television archive based around the back catalogue of Westward and TSW programmes they owned.
It is open to the public and holds film and television recordings from a wide variety of sources including donations from the general public.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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