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1964 Chronokey Chronomedia index
Numbers after entries link to the list of references.


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  Cultural highlights | Predictions made this year    
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January 8  Independent Television programme contracts are extended for three years from July 1964 without change.  
January 8  Comedy series The Beverly Hillbillies on CBS achieves the highest US television rating (44.0) to date. The success is almost repeated the following week (January 15) with a rating of 42.8. > February 9
January 13  The Beatles' I Want to Hold Your Hand (with I Saw Her Standing There on the B side) is released by Capitol in the US. It becomes their fastest selling single to date.  
January 20  The Beatles' second US album, Meet the Beatles, is released in the US. It rises to number one in the album chart and stays there for 11 weeks. > February 9
January 24  CBS agrees to pay $14.1m a year for television rights to the National Football League (NFL) for the next two seasons. CBS will retain the contract for the next 30 years. See also January 28
January 26  ITV Welsh-language contractor for North and West Wales, Teledu Cymru, ceases operations.  
January 28  NBC is to pay $36m for television rights to American Football League (AFL) games for the seasons 1965 to 1969. See also January 24
January 29 21:30  Twelve Wasted Years, a party political broadcast by the Labour Party achieves an audience of 10.4m, equivalent to about 81.5 per cent of all TV households. It is shown on all three channels simultaneously. Election broadcasts in October do not achieve the same ratings.  
January  Television service starts in Liberia. Television service start dates
February 8  BBC Wales television service starts with seven hours a week in Welsh and five in English.  
February 9 20:00-21:00 EST  The Beatles perform five songs live on The Ed Sullivan Show on CBS Television. The programme gets a rating of 23.24m homes—overtaking The Beverly Hillbillies as the highest US television audience to date. Teenage crime is at an all-time low for the decade. > BeatlesMarch 26
March  UK Post Office agrees to license Manx Radio as a commercial broadcaster in the Isle of Man.  
March 26  Can't Buy Me LoveThe BeatlesCan’t Buy Me Love has unprecedented advance orders of a million in the UK and 2.1m in the US. First-week sales are respectively 1.226m in the UK and 1.5m in the US. > April 4
March 28 (Easter Saturday)  Radio Caroline, the first UK off-shore pirate radio station, goes on the air.  
April 1  Second French television channel begins monochrome transmissions to 20 per cent coverage of French households.  
April 4  The Beatles occupy the top five places in the US pop singles chart and the top two places in the LP chart. They are eventually displaced from the top singles spot by 63-year-old Louis Armstrong. > July
April 7  Panama withdraws the registration of the Radio Caroline ship, in accordance with international radio regulations.  
April 20  BBC2 will start shortlyFirst night of BBC2 television channel is blacked out by huge power failure in west London.  
April 21, 19:15  ‘Opening’ of BBC2 television on 625-line standard. The announcer holds a candle to symbolise the power cut that prevented the opening the previous evening. The first programme, Play School, was actually transmitted earlier, at 11.00 in the morning.  
April 24  Itinerama (Cinerama tent)Mobile ('portable') Cinerama theatre opens at Richmond, England for a two-week run, prior to moving to other UK locations. Called Itinerama, the 128-ft plastic-coated canvas tent seats 1,216 people. It has a screen measuring 103ft x 37ft, claimed to be the largest in the country. Cinerama announces plans for several more portable touring theatres by 1965, including four in Italy, three in Germany, two in France and one in Switzerland, within a worldwide target of 50 units, including some in the USA.  
April 26  BBC Television starts a weekly News Review for deaf viewers.  
April  Ampex announces a high-band colour videotape recorder VR-2000 developed primarily to satisfy the requirements of the BBC’s new 625-line system. It is now possible to make up to four generations of dubs with minimal loss of quality.  
April  Winston Research Corporation, division of Fairchild Camera and Instrument Corporation, introduces a low-cost fixed-head videotape recorder using quarter-inch tape running at 120 ips.  
May 1  General Overseas Service of the BBC based at Bush House becomes the BBC World Service.  
May 9  Radio Atlanta pirate radio ship—moored off the coast of Essex, England—goes on the air; it merges with radio Caroline in July.  
May 27  Radio Sutch (renamed Radio City in October), founded by Screaming Lord Sutch—later a regular parliamentary candidate and founder of the Monster Raving Loony Party—goes on the air from the Shivering Sands Fort in the Thames Estuary.  
May  RCA announces a prototype electron beam recorder with better resolution than conventional kine-recording (recording of television pictures by photographing from a television tube onto film).  
June 3  Radio Invicta, another UK pirate radio station, goes on the air from Red Sands Towers in the Thames Estuary. > December 18
June 5  Manx Radio broadcasts its first programme from a caravan: commentary on the Isle of Man TT motor cycle races. Its initial potential audience for commercial radio programmes in 2,500. > November 24
June 9  Survey shows 7.6 per cent of homes in BBC2 television service area around London have 625-line sets capable of receiving the signals.  
June 24  Picturephone video telephone system demonstrated in US.  
June 27  French law is passed to establish L’Office de Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française (ORTF) as the state-controlled broadcasting organisation. > July 27
June 30-July 1  Richard Burton as HamletHume Cronin as PoloniusElectronovision Productions, in association with American Broadcasting Companies and Paramount Theaters, records three performances of Richard Burton as Hamlet at the Lunt Fontane Theatre in New York. The highly acclaimed production, directed by John Gielgud and also featuring Hume Cronin and Alfred Drake, runs for 136 performances—a record for any actor in the role. It is recorded at a cost of $350,000 using the Electronovision process, a multi-camera system that produces a monochrome kinescope (telecine) recording for theatrical exhibition. > September 23-24
June  Sony PV-120AL video system is installed by American Airlines for passenger entertainment.  
July 27  Law establishing L’Office de Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française (ORTF) comes into effect. > 1971
July 30  Television Advertisement Duty in UK is replaced by an Exchequer Levy on advertising revenue.  
July  Advance orders for the soundtrack album of the Beatles’ film A Hard Day’s Night (called Something New in the US) are 250,000 in the UK and 1m in the US; it sells 2m in the US by October and 600,000 in the UK by the year end. < April 4
> September 17
August 13  Trans World Radio begins pre-launch transmissions from Bonaire in the Netherladns Antilles. > October 1
August 19  First satellite placed in geostationary orbit is Syncom 3.  
August 20  International Telecommunications Satellite Consortium (Intelsat) is formed by 11 nations and increased to 19 by the year end. > 1965
September 1  Radio Nordzee International begins television transmissions from international waters off the Dutch coast.  
September 17  The Beatles are paid a record $150,000 fee for one performance at the Municipal Stadium in Kansas City. > December 4
September 23-24  Electronovision's recording of Richard Burton as Hamlet is shown twice daily for two days only in 991 US cinemas, with a reported box office gross of $3m.  
September 30  UK government extends territorial waters to include the areas of the pirate radio towers in the Thames Estuary.  
September  Television services start in American Samoa and the Yemen People’s Democratic Republic. Television service start dates
  Instant replay equipment is used increasingly for sports programmes in the US.  
October 1  Trans World Radio officially launches transmissions from Bonaire in the Netherladns Antilles.  
October  Comparative sophistication of American television equipment used to cover the Olympic Games in Tokyo causes Japanese broadcasting and electronics industries to review their technology and manufacturing strategies.  
October  Television service starts in Morocco. Television service starts
October 29  Electronovision process is used to record The TAMI Show (Teen Age Music International) at the Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica, California. The Beach Boys, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, James Brown, Jan and Dean, Marvin Gaye, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Lesley Gore, Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, The Rolling Stones and The Supremes are recorded for posterity. The theatrical film is released in a wide-screen version. Two edited versions, apparently made by cropping the wide-screen version, are released on videocassette and laser disc in 1982 by UPA Productions with the title That Was Rock. Another show, The Big TNT Show, is recorded by Electronovision later in the year at the Moulin Rouge in Los Angeles, featuring Joan Baez, Bo Diddley, The Byrds, Ray Charles, Petula Clark, Donovan, The Lovin' Spoonful, David McCallum, The Ronettes and Ike & Tina Turner. It is released theatrically in 1966.  
November 24  Manx Radio, the first legal land-based commercial radio station in the British Isles, officially goes on the air.  
November  Television service starts in Ethiopia. Television service start dates
December 4  Record British advance orders are placed for the Beatles for Sale LP. < September 17
December 5  Dutch regulations governing pirate radio come into effect.  
December 15  First Italian satellite, San Marco 1, is launched.  
December 17  Radio Nordzee International pirate radio ship is boarded by Dutch police and put off the air.  
December 18  Radio Invicta closes down.  
December 19  Radio London, another pirate station in the Thames Estuary, goes on the air.  
December 23  Regular programmes begin from Radio London pirate station.  
December  Television services start in Barbados, Cyprus, Guadeloupe, Pakistan and Réunion. Television service start dates
•  UK imposes a 15 per cent surcharge on imports; films are among exempted products.  
•  Beaconsfield Studios ceases use as a film production studio when Independent Artists leaves. It becomes a gas board warehouse until 1971.  
•  BBC Television closes Studio H at Lime Grove for production use but converts it to an experimental colour studio in which to evaluate all the European 625-line systems. Test broadcasts are made after midnight.  
•  ITA's 135-metres (443ft) high transmitter mast at Emley Moor, Yorkshire is replaced by a new mast measuring 385 metres (1,263ft). > 1969 March 19
•  UK government sells British Lion Films to a private consortium headed by Michael Balcon.  
•  In Turkey,the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (Turkiye Radio ve Televizyon Kurumu, TRT) is established to run the state broadcasting monopoly. > 1983
•  Television service starts in Bangladesh. Television service starts
•  Australian Broadcasting Control Board increases local content quota to 45 per cent.  
•  RCA introduces three solid state compact quadruplex videotape recorders, TR3, TR4 and TR5, which incorporate electronic editing, dropout compensation and automatic colour time-base correction. The cost is approximately half that of previous broadcast machines.  
•  Rank Cintel develops the UK’s only successful quadruplex videotape recorder but it is abandoned due to possible patent difficulties.  
•  Philips introduces a one-head helical scan industrial videotape recorder.  
•  RCA begins research and development on video disc systems.  
•  Subscription TV Inc sets up a cable pay TV operation in US. Individual programmes are selected and paid for via a telephone dialling system.  
•  Over 1,000 CATV operations now exist in US.  
•  Experimental television programme Jazz Images made by Fred Barzyk at Boston public television station WGBH.  
•  Autostereoscopic system, using a lenticular screen, demonstrated by MGM and New York University College of Engineering.  
•  BBC Music Programme introduced.  
•  Marplan television audience survey in UK is discontinued.  
•  France Inter, France Culture and France Musique radio services are introduced.  
•  Over the next decade or so film-making begins to spread in Africa and other parts of the so-called Third World:
• Ivory Coast: a short, Sur la dune de la solitude, directed by Timité Bassori, followed by a feature film, Korogo, directed by Georges Keita;
• Jordan: a feature called Watani Habibi.
 
•  The last Bugs Bunny cartoon short for theatrical release is made.
•  Despite the Beatles (11 weeks at number one in the record charts and the film A Hard Day’s Night released in July), the year's top two best-selling records in the UK—neither of which reached the number one position—are by country-and-western singer Jim Reeves, who dies in an air crash on July 31.  
•  Philips introduces the audio compact cassette.  
•  Daily Mirror Newspapers re-launches Daily Herald as The Sun.  
•  UK Sunday newspaper The Observer launches a colour magazine, following its rival, The Sunday Times.  
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Page updated 29 June 2009
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