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1990 Chronokey Chronomedia index
Numbers after entries link to the list of references.


links and notes
  Cultural highlights | Predictions made this year  
January 22  First Argentine satellite, Lusat, is launched.  
January  US consumer launch of CD Interactive (CD-i) is delayed until the first quarter 1991. < 1989
February  Philips drops the CD-Video name with which it had tried to re-launch the concept with three disc sizes in favour of Laser Disc.  
March 25  British Satellite Broadcasting (BSB) provides a ‘service launch’ to around 270,000 cable subscribers.  
March  Bray Management takes over lease of Bray Film Studios from Samuelsons.  
April 29  Launch of British Satellite Broadcasting (BSB) as a direct-to-home (DTH) satellite service. > November 2
April  First commercially available re-writable optical video disc recorder is launched by Panasonic (LQ-4000) on the US market.  
May 24  Law for Regulation of Video Salons, Video Bars and Video Rentals is passed in Turkmenistan, giving the State Film Committee (Goskino) a monopoly over all video activity in the country, which is interpreted (by Goskino) to include cable television. The latter operations must be sanctioned by the local administration and then formed as a subsidiary of Goskino run by the private applicant. [0037]  
May 29  British Foreign Office instructs the BBC to cease broadcasts to Japan and Malaya to release resources for more output in Mandarin, Russian and Vietnamese. The BBC service to Japan had achieved listener reach of 225,000 at an annual cost of £279,000. [0054]  
June 14  Swedish parliament passes the Examination and Control of Films and Videograms Act. > August 14;
Film classification schemes
June 8-July 8  Games of the FIFA World Cup football tournament finals, held in Italy, are televised in 167 counties and attract a cumulative total of 26,692.76m viewers. Total transmission time is 14,693 hours. [0065] < 1986
> 1994
June  First under-$500 Laser Disc/CD combi-player is launched in the US by Pioneer.  
July 16  First Pakistani satellite, Badr A, is launched.  
July  UK telecoms regulator Oftel takes its first action against four cable franchise holders for failing to keep to licence requirements for building their networks.  
July  Pioneer acquires 10 per cent of the equity in US film producer Carolco Pictures to expand its Laser Disc software library.  
July  Work starts on the MPEG-2 standard for digital video encoding.  
August 14  Swedish Code of Statutes SFS 1990:886 is published, establishing the rules for film and video censorship under the Examination and Control of Films and Videograms Act Film classification schemes
August 27 09:00  BBC launches Radio 5.  
August  Italian parliament passes Law 233 (‘Mammi’ Law) to regulate all broadcasting, establishing the basis for the duopoly of state broadcaster RAI and the Fininvest private networks (Italia 1, Rete 4, Canale 5).  
September  Eastman Kodak announces that it will launch its Photo CD format in 1992.  
October 20  Turner Broadcasting System and its TNT cable channel acquires 10-year exclusive domestic exhibition rights to nearly 1,000 MGM/UA films. (Turner owns MGM.)  
October 20  MTV Brasil pop music channel launched following licensing deal with leading magazine publisher Abril Group, for terrestrial transmission and cable carriage.  
October  Sony shows a prototype portable CD-i player with a 10cm/4-inch LCD screen.  
November 2  UK’s DBS failing franchise holder British Satellite Broadcasting (BSB) and Rupert Murdoch’s Sky Television merge to become British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB). The official DBS approach is abandoned, along with the Marcopolo satellites, in favour of expanding the Sky strategy on Astra satellites.
British Satellite Broadcasting: The full responsibility
November  MPEG-1 Committee Draft specification is completed.  
November  Philips purchases Du Pont’s share of Philips Du Pont Optical (PDO), dissolving the joint venture.  
November  Microsoft releases preliminary specifications for Windows multimedia extensions.  
November  Matsushita acquires MCA.  
December 5  First independent television service in Ukraine, TV Start Creative & Production Amalgamation, is granted a licence.  
December 31  Broadcasting Act comes into force in the UK, transferring regulatory responsibility for terrestrially broadcast television, cable and satellite to the new Independent Television Commission from the Independent Broadcasting Authority and the Cable Authority, both of which are abolished. National Transcommunication Ltd (NTL) takes over the IBA transmitter networks.  
December  French pay TV channel Canal Plus has 3m subscribers.  
•  Thames Television, London area weekday ITV contractor, produces 400 hours of original programmes for the ITV network (plus 100 hours of repeats) and a further 500 hours for screening only in the London area. These 900 hours were produced by 1,500 staff and returned £21m profit from turnover of £350m. > 1993
•  Japan’s BS-3a broadcasting satellite is launched.  
•  Sega Megadrive computer games console is launched at £189 in UK.  
•  Nintendo Gameboy hand-held computer games unit is launched.  
•  Sega and Nintendo grant European third-party software licences. First off the mark for Nintendo format is Ocean, the first for the Sega format is US Gold.  
•  A year of expensive American film productions: Total Recall costs $85m, Die Hard 2 $70m, The Godfather, Part 3 $65m and Days of Thunder $55m.  
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Page updated 2 October 2008
© David Fisher