As part of my dissertation in the study of British television channel identities, I created a poster outlining the launch dates of terrestrial and digital channels:
Starting from the first channel, BBC1, in 1922, the timeline aims to show the progression of television broadcasting and the ever-growing competition terrestrial channels face of current times.
Below is an extract from my dissertation:
Since the introduction of digital television in 1991 with the proliferation of new channels, there has been more of a need for broadcasting companies to keep the original terrestrial television channels, those that are freely available to the public without a subscription, being lost in the sea of the newer digital television channels. With statistics from BARB (2011), the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board, showing that the audience share of terrestrial channels is decreasing year on year in Britain (see Fig. 2), it is ‘paramount’ that these channels stand out (Merritt, 1987, p.19).
Channel identities have always played a part in the success of a television channel. Those that are memorable, iconic, that connects with the audience, it all comes down to the design of the ident. Something as seemingly simple requires a lot of research and thought behind the shifting viewing habits of Britain. Next time you are watching your favourite channel, notice how the channel brand matches your viewing taste, this is anything but a coincidence!