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50 years of brand entertainment

Milestones in Nine Network's history

Sept. 16, 1956

From its studios in Melbourne, Nine becomes the first television station to broadcast in Australia.

1957

Melbourne’s GTV9 launches Graham Kennedy’s “In Melbourne Tonight,” a pioneering variety program based on the U.S.’ “The Tonight Show.” It runs 13 years.

1963

A coaxial cable links networks in Sydney and Melbourne. Until then, Australia’s two biggest markets grew in isolation.

1968

The government announces Australia will adopt the European PAL color TV standard instead of the American NTSC system.

1969

Oz television broadcasts the Apollo 11 moon landing. Nine’s coverage enters the record books as the longest continuous live broadcast on television.

1971

Variety skein “Hey Hey It’s Saturday” launches as a morning kids skein. It runs 21 years.

1975

Sam Chisholm takes top job at the network, leading the web from third ranking to the dominant station. Color television introduced.

1977

Frustrated by his inability to secure broadcast rights from the Australian Cricket Board (ACB), Nine owner Kerry Packer creates World Series Cricket to be broadcast on his web. One-day cricket is created, and the game is played at night under lights for the first time.

1979

The ACB caves in, granting Nine the rights to broadcast cricket.

1987

Kerry Packer sells his network to entrepreneur Alan Bond.

1987

“Burke’s Backyard” launches, the first of the soon-to-be-everywhere “infotainment” shows.

1990

Packer buys back Nine from Bond. The Seven and Ten Networks go into receivership. Chisholm leaves to run Blighty’s BSkyB.

2005

Nine honcho David Gyngell resigns, citing Packer’s corporate interference. Chisholm returns to run Nine. PBL topper Kerry Packer dies; son James takes the reins of the parent company.

2006

Network celebrates 50 years on air with a revamp and new logo minus its trademark nine dots. “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” host Eddie McGuire named new topper.

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