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1972 Chronokey Chronomedia index
Numbers after entries link to the list of references.


links and notes
  Cultural highlights | Predictions made this year  
January 1, 00:00  Greenwich Time Signal with seven pips—to create a 'leap-second'—is broadcast for the first time at the start of a leap year.  
January 5  The Times publishes a letter from Tom Rhys, president of the Association of Broadcasting Staff, the main union representing BBC staff, proposing a National Television Foundation to own UK's fourth television channel, an idea that had developed in union meetings in summer/autumn 1971. [0063]  
January 19  Restrictions on UK broadcasting hours are lifted by the government, which also rules out the early allocation of the fourth available television channel, for which ITV, with the support of the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA), has lobbied to create ITV-2, to match the two BBC channels.  
February 6  CBS shows an edited-for-television version of an X-rated film, The Demand, and reportedly receives 500,000 letters of complaint.  
February  Fourteen Frontier Coverage Packages (FCPs) are in operation in the remote parts of Canada. > 1973
March  Television service begins in Qatar.  
March  CRTC announced revised Canadian content regulations for private television stations: 60 per cent minimum overall and 50 per cent minimum in prime time, effective from October 1972.  
April 21  First of a series of articles in The Guardian by Anthony Smith makes the case for a charitable National Television Foundation that would run the fourth UK channel as a publisher or commissioning agent rather than on a conventional broadcasting model.  
April 28  ITA opens its 100th broadcasting transmitter at Brighton, Sussex. > 1976 April 30
April  British Lion is acquired by Barclay Securities, headed by John Bentley.  
June 12  Sound Broadcasting Act receives the Royal Assent, authorising the re-named Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA, formerly Independent Television Authority) to license local commercial sound broadcasting stations in UK.  
June 19  Locations of the first 26 Independent Local Radio (ILR) stations in UK are announced by the Postmaster-General.  
June 30  Canada’s House of Commons Committee on Procedure and Organisation gives approval in principle to allowing radio and television coverage of parliamentary sittings, subject to further study of technical arrangements and of editorial control.  
June  Rupert Murdoch acquires two Australian newspapers: the Sydney Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph.  
July 21  Canada's third English network, Global Television, is licensed by the CRTC to serve five Ontario cities.  
July 1  Sunday Cinema Act comes into effect in the UK, allowing cinemas to open on Sundays under normal licensing conditions.  
July 2  Greenwich Cablevision begins local community television programmes from its Plumstead High Street shop in London. First programme: Cable Town.  
August 9  Four more UK cable television stations—at Bristol, Sheffield, Swindon and Wellingborough—are authorised by Minister of Posts and Telecommunications Sir John Eden to begin local programme origination. The operators are respectively Rediffusion, British Relay, EMI (with its Radio Rentals cable system) and Wellingborough Traders Television Relay. More about UK community cable experiments
September  Australia’s federal Tariff Board instigates an enquiry into the country's film and television industry > 1973 June 30
September  First satellite television transmission between China and Japan.  
October 23  BBC announces development of a teletext system, later to be called Ceefax,  using spare lines in the vertical blanking interval of the television signal to carry information for display on television receivers via a decoder. > 1973
October  First digital television standards converter is demonstrated in UK by engineers at the Independent Broadcasting Authority.  
November 9  United Nations resolution 2916 (XXVII) stresses the need to reach international agreement about the use of satellites for services of international direct broadcasting by satellite (DBS). In a vote called for by the United States to suppress further debate that might lead to a 'restrictive' approach to DBS, the US loses 101-1. > 1982
November 10  Canada’s Anik-1 domestic communications satellite is launched from Cape Canaveral. The name means 'brother' in Inuktitut. CBC takes three of the transponders to carry one colour video signal, two audio channels and a cue and control circuit. The footprint reaches from coast to coast and from the 39th parallel to 80 degrees north. > 1973
November 13  A second newsreader is included in BBC1’s Nine O’Clock News. > 1976
November  Home Box Office (HBO), a movie pay TV service, launches on the Service Electric cable system in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, delivered on videotape. Owned by Sterling Communications (which is backed by Time Inc), HBO charges subscribers $8 a month—as much as they pay for a basic tier of up to 12 channels. Selective delivery of cable channels to subscribers requires a system that allows specific signals to be seen only in households where premium subscriptions have been paid; a set-top converter returns channels sent out 'off-frequency' to a usable frequency. Although costing $30 each, the converters also allow more than the 12 channels accommodated in the design of the television receiver. An alternative solution is to add a 'trap' to the ‘drop’—the cable between the street cabinet and the home—that can be removed when the household subscribes. However, this does not break the 12-channel barrier and is amenable to illicit tampering to by-pass payment. Under Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations designed to protect the terrestrial ('free') TV broadcast window, pay TV channels are allowed to buy only films less than two or more than 10 years old. > 1975
December  Television service starts in Turkey.  
December  Incoming Labor government in Australia proposes a tier of 'community broadcasting', alongside public service and commercial broadcasting, to help establish a less European, more Australian national sense of identity.  
December  Sterling Communications’ Manhattan Cable and systems on Long Island lose $4.0m during the year.  
•  MPAA changes GP film classification to PG (parental guidance) because many thought GP stood for general public.  
•  In the UK, the European Communities Act makes films produced in the European Community British for quota purposes.  
•  Under the new Danish film law, the tax on cinema ticket sales is abolished. Funding support for film production becomes the responsibility of the Danish Film Institute.  
•  Panavision introduces the Panaflex 35mm silent reflex camera. The first production on which it is used is Steven Spielberg's The Sugarland Express, photographed by Vilmos Zsigmond.  
•  First magnetic recording tape produced in India using locally developed technology by Vimal (whose tape is used exclusively by All-India Radio).  
•  Indian television service begins oeprations in a second city, Bombay (Mumbai). > 1976
•  Haut-Conseil de l’Audio-Visuel set up in France under the prime minister’s chairmanship to co-ordinate all media activity.  
•  First feature-length documentary is made in Cameroon, Une Nation est née (Birth of a Nation), directed by Jean-Paul N’Gassa, to mark the end of federalism See also 1975
•  PAL colour television introduced in Brazil; television service starts in Senegal; radio and television services start in United Arab Emirates. Television service start dates
•  Philips establishes its Polygram music subsidiary.  
•  Virgin Records is founded in Notting Hill Gate, London by Richard Branson, Simon Draper and Nik Powell. > 1992
•  PongFirst widely distributed computer game is Pong.  
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Page updated 19 February 2009
© David Fisher