Sept. 16, 1956
From its studios in Melbourne, Nine becomes the first television station to broadcast in Australia.
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.
A coaxial cable links networks in Sydney and Melbourne. Until then, Australia’s two biggest markets grew in isolation.
The government announces Australia will adopt the European PAL color TV standard instead of the American NTSC system.
Oz television broadcasts the Apollo 11 moon landing. Nine’s coverage enters the record books as the longest continuous live broadcast on television.
Variety skein “Hey Hey It’s Saturday” launches as a morning kids skein. It runs 21 years.
Sam Chisholm takes top job at the network, leading the web from third ranking to the dominant station. Color television introduced.
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.
The ACB caves in, granting Nine the rights to broadcast cricket.
Kerry Packer sells his network to entrepreneur Alan Bond.
“Burke’s Backyard” launches, the first of the soon-to-be-everywhere “infotainment” shows.
Packer buys back Nine from Bond. The Seven and Ten Networks go into receivership. Chisholm leaves to run Blighty’s BSkyB.
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.
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.