Search Individual media Reference department
Quotations department Media department Reference department
< previous | next >
1985 Chronokey Chronomedia index
Numbers after entries link to the list of references.


links and notes
  Cultural highlights | Predictions made this year  
January 1  Cable Authority comes into being in UK to regulate cable development under Cable and Broadcasting Act 1984.  
January 2  End of 405-line television transmissions in UK, two years before the scheduled date of end 1986 and more than 48 years after the official start of the service The BBC estimates around 60,000 sets (with characteristic H-shaped rooftop aerials) are still in use, although only 960 replies had been received in response to a warning that the service was to end prematurely. Only 278 households are officially beyond the reach of 625-line transmitters.  
January 12  Purple Rain by Prince falls from the top of the US album charts after a record 24 consecutive weeks at number one. It is replaced by Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA, which has been at number two throughout Prince's reign.  
January 18  Gorizont 11 satellite is launched.  
January 20  American football Super Bowl XIX game is watched by a US television audience of 115.9m—the second highest audience ever. Advertising time exceeds $1m a minute for the first time.  
January 23  House of Lords proceedings from the UK parliament are televised live for the first time.  
January  British Telecom's monopoly on the supply of primary telephone services is ended as Cellnet and Vodafone begin cellular (mobile) telephony services.  
February 8  Arabsat 1A and Brasilsat 1 satellites are launched.  
February  Italy legalises private television broadcasting, of which there is a vast amount already.  
March 22  Ekran 14 satellite is launched.  
March 23  Intelsat VA F-10 satellite is launched.  
March  Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation buys a 50 per cent share in Twentieth Century-Fox parent company TCF Holdings from Marvin Davis for $162m, plus an advance of $88m. > September
March  Capital Cities Communications pays $3.5bn to acquire the ABC television network in the USA.  
March  Société Européenne des Satéllites (SES) formed in Luxembourg to launch Astra series of television satellites.  
April 1  UK television licence fee increased from £46 to £58 for colour, £15 to £18 for black and white.  
May 8  Télécom 1B and Gstar 1 satellites are launched.  
May 25  End of the final collecting period for the British Film Levy (Eady Levy). The final resting place
May  Committee to investigate ways of financing the BBC, chaired by Sir Alan Peacock, is set up by the Thatcher government. > 1986 July
May  Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) launches first computer system with integrated CD-ROM.  
June 2  UK cable movie channel TEN closes. Mirrorvision begins.  
June 17  Morelos 1, the first Mexican satellite, is launched.  
June  Minitel service in France now has 1,100 service providers and 800,000 terminals.  
June 30  Intelsat VA-F11 satellite is launched.  
July 13  Live Aid concerts in London and Philadelphia are televised worldwide to raise money for African famine relief. An estimated 1.5bn people see the event of television and 75 per cent of all radio stations worldwide carry part of it.  
July  Publishing firm Grolier launches a CD-ROM version of Academic American Encyclopedia for the consumer market.  
July  Philips withdraws from French consumer LaserVision market.  
August  Philips, Sony and Matsushita announce plans for CD-Video format with support from Warner and Polygram.  
September  Rupert Murdoch buys the other half of TCF Holdings, parent company of Twentieth Century-Fox, from Marvin Davis for $325m, making a total cost of $575m.  
September  British Interactive Video Association (BIVA) holds first meeting.  
September  Philips starts redirecting LaserVision marketing effort from consumer to professional markets.  
September  Television service starts in Nepal, using PAL B colour standard. Daily transmissions at 19:00-21:00 begin on a regular basis on December 29.  
September 30  Launch of CNN International, mainly to Europe.  
October 5  President Marcos of the Philippines issues a decree to replace the Board of Review for Motion Pictures and Television (BRMPT) with the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) as the nation's censorship authority. Film classification schemes
October  Proposed takeover of Thames Television by Carlton Communications is blocked by the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA).  
October  Philips and Du Pont Company form Philips Du Pont Optical (PDO) joint venture to manufacture and market optical discs.  
•  Idea of suburban multi-screen cinema complexes (multiplexes) begins to be exported from the USA.  
October  American Multi-Cinema (AMC) opens the first multiplex cinema complex in the UK. The Point at Milton Keynes has 10 screens and 2,038 seats.  
October  Philips withdraws from German consumer LaserVision video disc market.  
October  Sony launches portable CD audio disc player in Japan.  
October  Sony buys out from CBS the half share it does not already own in disc pressing company Digital Audio Disc Corporation (DADC).  
November  Britain's Health Education Council estimates that UK television is broadcasting 332 hours of tobacco-sponsored programming a year.  
December  Philips launches the 'first commercially available' CD-ROM drive.  
December  Band Aid's single, Do They Know It's Christmas?, produced in aid of African famine relief, sells 750,000 copies in a week in the UK, making it the fastest-selling record of all time until 1997.  
•  Atari ST personal computer is launched in the US and later in Europe.  
•  Individual coding of car radios is introduced to prevent theft.  
•  India produces 912 feature-length films—a world record for any country in a single year.  
•  Stichting Smalfilmmuseum (Dutch Amateur Film Museum) is set up to build an archive of non-professional films and equipment. It is housed in the same building in Amsterdam as the national broadcasting museum, NAA-Omroepmuseum.  
< previous | next >

Page updated 30 September 2008
© David Fisher