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1999 Chronokey Chronomedia index
Numbers after entries link to the list of references.


links and notes
  Cultural highlights | Predictions made this year  
February 1  Morse code distress signal SOS is abandoned by the International Maritime Organisation on the adoption of the Global Maritime Distress Safety System.  
February 27 18:00  First pay-per-view (PPV) television coverage of a football match in the UK is of the FIrst Division game between Oxford and Sunderland. BSkyB, which offers the match for £7.95, plans a series of six 'screen tests' before the end of the season in May. The Football League says the reason is to gauge fans' reactions [generally unfavourable] and to quantify the value of PPV coverage.  
March  Nielsen//NetRatings begins measuring Internet traffic.  
March  Media Metrix Europe (MMXI Europe) begins measuring Internet traffic in France, Germany and the UK.  
April 23  UK's Independent Television Commission (ITC) revokes the broadcasting licence of Kurdish-language Med TV for broadcasting incitements to acts of political violence and for failure to comply with previous warnings. > July 31
April  Sweden begins digital terrestrial television (DTT) transmissions.  
June 12  Producer David O Selznick's 1940 Academy Award for Best Film, presented for Gone With the Wind, is sold at auction by Sotheby's in New York for $1.54m to the popular singer Michael Jackson. [Since 1950, recipients have been required by the Academy to sign an undertaking that they will not sell their Oscars.] Clark Gable's annotated script for the same film sells for $46,000 and a dress worn by Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara fetches $90,500. The jacket worn by Elvis Presley for his first television appearance sells for just under $60,000 and $57,750 is paid for a signed copy of the Beatles' Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album.  
June 17  Digital Video Express abandons marketing of its Divx pay-per-transaction DVD video scheme because it failed 'to obtain adequate support from studios and other retailers' despite 'strong consumer interest in the Divx feature'.  
July 1  Cable & Wireless Communications introduces digital cable television services on its networks in North-west England.  
July 31  Medya TV, a Kurdish-language channel based in Paris and aimed principally at the Kurdish community in Turkey, begins transmissions, one day after a test transmission via Eutelsat. It is effectively the successor to Med TV, whose broadcasting licence has been revoked in the UK.  
August 23  Pyra Labs launches Blogger as a means of publishing personal websites.  
September 9  Sega Dreamcast games console is launched in the US.  
September 21  Warner Home Video releases The Matrix film trilogy on DVD in the US. Out of a pressing of 1.5m copies, 780,000 sell within the first week.  
September  Icelandic television service Channel 8 changes its name to Popp tíví. [0066]  
October 14  Sega Dreamcast games console is launched in Europe.  
October 14  Use of the phrase 'shit happens' in an episode of Chicago Hope on CBS is (believed to be) the first time the word 'shit' has been used in a scripted prime-time network programme in the US. < 1965 November 13
November 15  First digital radio (DAB) transmitter in the UK comes into service.  
November 24  Walt Disney's Toy Story 2 is the first commercial film to be released simultaneously for conventional theatrical presentation and electronic projection (e-cinema), showing at six e-cinemas in California, Texas and Florida.  
•  UK's five national television channels (BBC1, BBC2, ITV, Channel Four, Five) account for 86 per cent of viewing time. Other channels, with the remaining 14 per cent, take £361m in advertising revenue. The national channels (excluding the BBC) take £2.7bn from advertising sales.  
•  Netherlands Institute for the Classification of Audio-visual Media (NICAM) is established to work towards self-regulation in media classification and censorship. > 2001 February 22
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Page updated 28 January 2009
© David Fisher