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September 1955 - December 1981

Idents/Clocks [1]

The Associated Broadcasting Company (ABC) was made up (50/50) of the Associated Broadcasting Development Company and the Independent Television Company. ABC went on air in the London area on September 24 1955.

Soon after ABC launched in London, controversy struck. The Associated British Picture Corporation, which owned the Midlands weekend ITV franchise (due to start broadcasting about six months later), wanted the name ABC for their ITV company, in keeping with the name of their cinema group. ABPC won the argument and the London broadcaster became known as Associated Television (ATV) from October 1955.

ATV's weekday service in the Midlands launched on February 17 1956.

Both the Midlands and London franchises were renewed by the Independent Television Authority in January 1964.

With the exception of London, weekend franchises were scrapped in the franchise review process of 1967. ATV was awarded the Midlands franchise but lost the weekend contract in London.

Above: ATV ident [1]. Following the outcome of the company name row with ABPC, in the rush to have the on-screen identity adjusted, the logo in the above ident was created in the wrong proportions. The 'Associated TeleVision Ltd' text was displayed only during start-up and closedown sequences.

Above: ATV ident [2]. This pre-programme ident was thought to have been in use between 1956 and 1959. Versions with 'Midlands Monday to Friday' only and 'London Saturday & Sunday' only were also used.

Above: ATV ident [3]. This ident was introduced shortly after the 1964 franchise renewal. It was first used on screen c. July/August that year. It remained in use until the end of July 1968, when London Weekend Television took over the London weekend franchise.

Above: ATV ident [4]. Introduced late-1969 - possibly November; it remained in place until the end of 1981, when ATV was renamed Central Independent Television. A monochrome version, with a different animation, was used to introduce black and white programmes.

Above: ATV ident [5]. Introduced late-1969 - possibly November. This version of the familiar ATV ident was used to introduce black and white programmes. It had a different form-up from its colour counterpart.

Above: ATV clock [1]. Used from c. 1971 until December 31 1982. A version with a black background was also used.