Czechoslovak Television (ČST) was founded on 1 May 1953 in Czechoslovakia. It was known by three names over its lifetime: Czech: Československá televize, Slovak: Československá televízia (until 1990), Česko-slovenská televízia (from 1990 until 1992).
|Owner||Government of Czechoslovakia|
|1 May 1953|
|Dissolved||31 December 1992|
ČST started life as a single programme, airing for a short amount of time each day. The first public broadcasting was a short performance by František Filipovský on 1 May 1953. On 11 February 1955, the first live broadcast was made, an ice hockey match from Prague.
Like all other media in the Communist Czechoslovakia, the station was subject to heavy censorship. However, as part of the process of social liberation in 1968, for a few days ČST aired broadcasts about the Prague Spring. However, in 1969, it became part of the normalisation efforts on the national media.
Launch of second channel
Move to colour
Further technical improvements were made on 9 May 1973, when the first regular broadcasts in colour started on TV2, followed two years later by colour transmission on the first channel as well.
At the end of the decade, in 1979, a building and a studio based in Prague's Kavčí hory was opened, which became the home of ČST's news department.
Division of ČST TV2
After November 1989, lineup changes were made, with the first program being renamed F1 for the federal district, and the second program being split into the Czech ČTV and the Slovak S1, the first such division of channels by ČST. A third channel for Czech audiences, previously used by Soviet broadcasting was launched on 14 May 1990, called OK3 (Czech: Otevřený kanál tři, English: Open Channel three). A similar channel for Slovak audiences called TA 3 was created on 6 June 1991 (broadcasting from August 1991 until July 1992).
During the Velvet Revolution, ČST staff very quickly joined the side of the protesters and allowed them to spread important messages and broadcasts of the demonstrations.
Velvet divorce ends Czechoslovak Television
Directors of ČST
- 1953 – 1958 Karel Kohout
- 1958 – 1959 Milan Krejčí
- 1959 – 1963 Adolf Hradecký
- 1963 – 1968 Jiří Pelikán
- 1968 Bohumil Švec
- 1968 – 1969 Josef Šmídmajer
- 1969 – 1989 Jan Zelenka
- 1989 Libor Bátrla
- 1989 – 1990 Miroslav Pavel
- 1990 Jindřich Fairaizl
- 1990 – 1992 Jiří Kantůrek