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February 1956 - 1958

Idents [1]

After some initial hesitation on whether or not they should expand their business beyond cinema and venture into the world of independent television, the Associated British Picture Corporation signed a contract to broadcast in the Midlands and the North in September 1955. The contract covered weekends.

Within a matter of months, ABC were on air in the Midlands; the service launched on February 18 1956. Soon afterwards, they were up and running in the North; they went on air there for the first time on May 05 1956.

Weekend franchises were scrapped (except in the London area) in the 1967 round of contract renewals. ABC then looked further afield, pinning its hopes on the London weekend franchise, although they also had an offer in for the Midlands weekday contract. In the end, the London Television Consortium (London Weekend) won the weekend contract for London, with ABC being offered London weekdays, on condition that it merged with Rediffusion. And so it was - with profits being shared equally between the two, but with ABC maintaining control over the new company - the two companies merged, giving us Thames Television.

Above: ABC ident [1]. The station's first ident was a static slide. Here we see it leading into an edition of 'Oh Boy!'.

Above: ABC ident [2]. Another example of the ident, prior to an edition of 'Armchair Theatre'.