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1969 Chronokey Chronomedia index
Numbers after entries link to the list of references.

links and notes
  Cultural highlightsPredictions made this year  
January 1  UK television licence fee is increased by £1 to £6 monochrome and £11 colour. > 1971
January 2  Australian Rupert Murdoch buys UK's best-selling Sunday newspaper News of the World from Sir William ('Pissing Billy') Carr, after a bitter battle with rival bidder, Czech-born British publisher Robert Maxwell. > October
January  Experimental pay TV service at Hartford, Connecticut closes.  
January 30  The Beatles' last public performance together is on the roof of Apple Corps, their company building in Savile Row, London. The performance of Get Back for release as a recording and for the film Let It Be ends when the police appear on the roof.  
February 4  A Bill to introduce statutory deposit of films in the National Film Archive is introduced in the UK House of Commons by Dr David Kerr. He reports that with the past 10 years 998 films have been selected for voluntary deposit but acquisitions were achieved for only 126 out of 237 UK films, 110 of 360 US films and 50 out of 401 European and other films. Moreover, the copies provided have generally been used prints no longer suitable for exhibition.  
February 5  Turn On, a comedy sketch show to challenge NBC's hit series Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, is taken off the ABC network after its first episode.  
February  Arab States Broadcasting Union is formed.  
March 19  ITA's transmitter mast at Emley Moor collapses, causing loss of ITV programmes to 6m viewers in the newly created Yorkshire Television area, and of BBC2. Temporary masts have BBC2 back on air within two days and ITV within four. Work begins on a permanent replacement later in the year. > 1971 January 21
April  IBM announces a method of contact printing videotape at high speeds.  
April  Matsushita announces a 'bifilar' high-speed contact videotape printer.  
April  Sony announces its first colour videocassette recorder. Known as the Magazine Videocorder, it uses one-inch tape running at 3.25 ips giving 60 minutes’ recording time. Sony’s one-inch videotape recorder model EV310, costing £1,200, is introduced this year.
The quest for home video
May  First gallery exhibition entirely devoted to video: Television as a Creative Medium, at Howard Wise Gallery, New York.  
May  Film and Television Committee of the Australian Council of the Arts recommends establishment of a film development corporation, a national film school and an experimental film fund. Under lobbying pressure, prime minister John Gorton accepts the recommendations and all are implemented within the next three years.  
May  Canadian government bans all tobacco advertising on television once current contracts are fulfilled.  
•  In the USA, the Federal Communications Commission issues a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to ban cigarette advertising on radio and television. Cigarette advertisers agree to withdraw broadcast advertising in return for a delay in imposing restrictions on the sale of cigarettes. > 1970
May 29  Broadcasting Act comes into effect in the Netherlands, setting up Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (NOS) as the controlling and co-ordinating body.  
June 7  BBC Overseas Service begins transmissions in the Nepali language.  
June 17  JVC announces plans to market cartridge video recorder using half-inch tape running at 7.5 ips for a maximum playing time of 30 mins. Audio to be on dual stereo tracks. JVC, Matsushita and Sony discuss standardisation of colour format under auspices of Electronic Industries Association of Japan (EIAJ).
The quest for home video
June 27  Telesat Canada Act is passed to ‘establish a Canadian corporation for telecommunication by satellite’.  
July 8  Kinney National Service conglomerate acquires Warner Bros-Seven Arts, changing its name to Warner Communications.  
July 21  Live television coverage of the first moon landing, including, at 02:56 GMT (in US prime-time), Neil Armstrong stepping onto the moon's surface. An estimated 40.13m US households (65 per cent) are watching and 1,000 people involved at the three US networks in producing the coverage, based on signals from the two remote television cameras on the lunar landing module.  
July 21  First public demonstration of EVR home video system at the International Audio-Visual Exhibition (Internavex) at Olympia in London. > 1970

The quest for home video: EVR
July 25  A 3D soft porn film called The Stewardesses, shot in the Stereovision process, is released in the US. Made for just over $100,000, it reportedly goes on to make over $120m at the US box office.  
August  Television service starts in United Arab Emirates. Television service start dates
August 15-18  Woodstock Music and Art Fair concert is held at Bethel, NY. Despite rain, an estimated 500,000 people turn up at Yasker’s Farm for the concert featuring many of the top rock music acts of the day. The event, preserved on film in Woodstock (Michael Wadleigh, 1970), becomes one of the defining moments of its age and for a generation.  
September 8  First experimental transmissions by the Independent Television Authority (ITA) of colour programmes from the new Crystal Palace transmitter on UHF Channel 23. > November 15
September 30  RCA demonstrates its HoloTape video playback system. This appears to be a rushed response to EVR as the prototype machine has no audio facility.
The quest for home video: HoloTape
September  The first industrial strike at the BBC is called by the Association of Broadcasting Staff (ABS) when pay negotiations collapse.  
October 5, 23.00  BBC broadcasts the first edition of the anarchic comedy series Monty Python’s Flying Circus.  
October  Television service starts in Trust Territory of the Pacific, using the NTSC television standard. Television service start dates
October  Under the Post Office Act passed by the UK parliament the General Post Office (GPO) is turned into a statutory corporation headed by a government-appointed chairman. Responsibility for broadcasting is passed to the new Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. > 1974
October 27  Vidicord teleplayer is demonstrated in London. Using Super 8 cine film, stored in a cassette, it plays back in monochrome via the aerial socket of a conventional television receiver. The player costs £370.
The quest for home video: Vidicord
October  RCA announces SelectaVision HoloTape holographic video playback system.
The quest for home video
October  EIAJ Type 1 video cartridge specifications are agreed and announced.  
•  Electronic Industries Association of Japan sets CP-504 unified standards for non-broadcast open-reel videotape recorders.
The quest for home video
October  Australian Rupert Murdoch buys UK newspaper The Sun, formerly The Daily Herald, which is re-launched in tabloid format. > 1970
November 8  First German satellite, Azur, is launched.  
November 15  First BBC1 and ITV colour television transmissions (experimental since September 8) from five UK transmitters. BBC2 has been in colour since 1967. The first commercial shown in colour is for Bird's Eye peas, shown on ATV Midlands at 10:05 am during Thunderbirds. > December 13
November  Matsushita introduces a magazine video recorder with audio-type cassettes containing two reels of EIAJ standard reels of videotape.
The quest for home video
November  Sony announces a new home videocassette machine called Color Videoplayer, using three-quarter-inch tape running at 3.15 ips, giving 90 minutes' playback with two audio tracks. A revamped version of this machine is re-introduced in 1972 as the U-matic system.
The quest for home video
November  Technicolor Corporation of America announces plans for new method of using videotape with 2,000 scan lines for feature film production.  
December 13  Three more UK transmitters begin colour television broadcasts. < See November 15
•  ITV's costs rise by 21.4 per cent during the year. [0063]  
•  Kirk Kerkorian, a Las Vegas financier, acquires MGM for $80m but sells $60m worth of assets.  
•  Associated Television opens the ATV Centre in Bridge Street, Birmingham for its Midlands operations.  
•  Warner's pre-1948 film library is sold to United Artists.  
•  EMI gains control of Associated British Pictures Corporation.  
•  Bell & Howell introduces the Filmosound 8 double-system using separate audio cassettes to record sound and camera sync pulses at one per frame.  
•  'Cinema Action' group is formed in the UK.  
•  Twentieth Century-Fox makes a loss of $36.8m for the year.  
•  Durwood Theatres opens the first six-screen multiplex cinema. The expanding company's name is changed to American Multi-Cinema (AMC).  
•  Cinemas are nationalised in Upper Volta (=Burkina Faso), leading to a boycott by French distributors who exercise a film supply monopoly in the region.  
•  Inaugural Panafrican Film Festival at Ouagadougou, Upper Volta (=Burkina Faso).  
•  Snooker tournament coverage introduced on BBC2 as a way of boosting interest in colour television, while providing hours of low-cost programming.  
•  Television service starts in Bolivia. Television service start dates
•  Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules that from 1 April 1971 all cable television systems with more than 3,500 subscribers must provide facilities for local community origination and transmission of programmes. The start is later deferred to 1972.
> 1976
•  In Red Lion Broadcasting Co v. FCC the US Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of the FCC's Fairness Doctrine. > 1987
•  Ampex's Videofile system is adopted by Scotland Yard for electronic storage and retrieval of fingerprints.  
•  NHK begins regular FM radio broadcasting in Japan.  
•  Pioneer becomes the first Japanese company quoted on the Amsterdam stock exchange.  
•  US Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency establishes a computer communications network, ARPAnet.  
•  UK’s most popular newspaper Daily Mirror launches a weekly colour magazine.  
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Page updated 1 February 2010
© David Fisher