In June 1959, the first television show in Greece was recorded, more specifically from the 128th Electronic Telecommunications Training Squadron (SETI) located in Kavouri.
Starring two students of the School, Chief Mantis and Undersecretary Karamanlidis, who had succeeded in building a television transmitter, the range of which covered a radius of three kilometers.
"If they told you that Athens has a television, you would not believe it," said the relevant report of the time, adding that a signal could be broadcast but people did not have televisions to receive it!
The two of them, with the support of the then commander of the School, Squadron Leader G. Pantazis, had built a small television transmitter which, as mentioned in the relevant news, emitted a very clear image.
However, it was impossible for them to build a television receiver with the few means at their disposal, and for this reason they had turned to the US Military Mission, which had provided them with a television set, so that they could control the results of their efforts.
First official television broadcast in Greece
The first television broadcast in Greece became a reality during the 25th International Fair of Thessaloniki (September 3, 1960).
The studios were set up in the pavilion of the Power Corporation of Greece (ΔΕΗ), supplied by Philips, along with other locally improvised equipment.
A few years later, in another pavilion at the same fair, a small private transmitter was put into operation, broadcasting throughout the year.
This station was in operation until 1968, when the two new state broadcasters in Thessaloniki started operating and demanded the abolition of the "illegal" station.
The two state stations that held the television monopoly during this period were ERT (the national radio and television station) and YENED (the army's national television station).
Watch the first television broadcast in Greece 23-02-1966
A third state TV channel, its closure and color TV in Greece After the construction of the OTE tower at the Thessaloniki Fairgrounds, OTE launched a third state TV channel in SECAM color format.
The two original state broadcasters demanded the closure and elimination of the new OTE channel, fearing that OTE would force them to close due to the superiority of the color picture, the telecommunication network and the technical superiority of OTE. They succeeded and all the equipment that OTE already owned was transferred to YENED (the army's national television station), which founded what is now ERT3 (national radio and television channel 3), which still broadcasts from Thessaloniki.
During the period of Greek military rule from 1967-74, the programs were a mixture of news and entertainment.
One notable series that still holds the viewership record was the war drama O Agnostos Polemos (The Unknown War).
After the restoration of the Republic in 1974, the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation continued to dominate, appealing to a much larger audience than YENED (the Army's national television station).
Color television broadcasts began in the late 1970s.
ERT (the national radio and television station) merged with YENED (the army's national television station) in 1982.
1965 OTE Studio restored with fully functional equipment
The end of the state monopoly on television
Thessaloniki was home to Greece's first non-state television station, TV100, owned by the city of Thessaloniki, and TV Plus was the first non-state television station in the Athens region.
Soon TV Plus offered a subscription service, broadcasting 24 hours a day an encrypted signal that viewers could receive with a decoder (provided for free by the broadcaster) and a monthly subscription fee.
This was particularly revolutionary at the time, as there was no legal framework for commercial broadcasting and private stations in the country.
ERT was not exactly pleased with the new television stations that came on the scene after the government's unsuccessful attempts to stop TV Plus, often changing the frequencies of their own stations or setting up repeaters to interfere with the new private stations.
However, in 1989, the Greek Parliament finally passed a law legalizing private broadcasting (radio and television) and granted provisional licenses to two stations, Mega Channel and Nea Tileorasi (New Television). Mega Channel officially began broadcasting as a nationwide network in November 1989, while Nea Tileorasi disappeared from the scene after several months of test broadcasts.
Other private stations took advantage of loopholes in the existing legislation and the lack of an organized licensing procedure to go on the air almost overnight. In December 1989, Antenna TV began broadcasting nationwide, named after the successful new radio station with the same name. Mega and Antenna had a similar programming style with locally produced comedies and dramas, numerous variety shows (in the Italian tradition), American movies and tabloid news.
They immediately gained much of ERT's ratings and advertising revenue, and to this day are alternately #1 and #2 in ratings in Greece, while ET1, ET2 and ET3's ratings crashed (they have since recovered significantly, but still can not compete with the big private stations).
Growth of private stations
In early 1990, many other channels also went on the air, including New Channel (unrelated to Nea Tileorasi) with films, music videos and talk shows, Channel Seven-X (with avant-garde programming, including foreign films, intellectual programs and a simulcast of the French music channel TV ), Jeronimo Groovy TV (originally a popular music video channel that broadcast in Athens.
Broadcasting in Athens with heavy interference from other channels), TeleCity (a right-wing political station with news and talk shows), 902 TV (owned by the Communist Party of Greece), Kanali 29 (a television station with political and cultural programming and a cult following), and many other stations that occupied every available VHF and UHF frequency, often broadcasting for only a few weeks or months or with very little significant programming.
Many stations even began broadcasting on the same frequencies as other stations, especially ERT's satellite stations, many of which soon disappeared from the band altogether as ERT seemed unwilling or unable to protect its frequencies.
Similarly, private stations sprang up all over the country, in every city and region and in most villages.
Satellite television, failed ventures and the investment and creation of new ventures
In 2000, Alpha TV established the Alpha Digital channel, which broadcast Alpha TV, Polis TV (a local channel for Athens owned by Alpha), various thematic channels also operated by Alpha, the radio stations owned by the Alpha Group, and a small selection of foreign television channels, most notably MTV and VH1 (MTV was no longer broadcast terrestrially in Greece at this point, that was discontinued in 1999). Despite the popularity of MTV and VH1 and Alpha's acquisition of the rights to Greek soccer matches, the company soon went under, leaving Nova as the only company offering pay-TV services in Greece to date: TV.
Plans for a satellite bouquet managed by OTE (the Greek national telecommunications company) never got past the testing phase.
OTE has leased frequencies on the Hot Bird satellite and broadcasts several smaller Greek stations TV as well as many radio stations free-to-air. In recent years, many television stations have failed, but many new ones have also been created and invested in.
Polis TV was relaunched in December 2005 as Channel 9 with programming consisting mainly of news and talk shows. Recently, the original owners of Skai TV returned to the television business and relaunched Skai on Seven TV frequencies.
Other notable stations that have started operations in recent years include Channel 10 and TeleCity, which has been renamed Tileasty. Other stations have upgraded and modernized, but Greek frequencies are still crowded with many unlicensed TV stations, often broadcasting low-quality programs (telemarketing, low-budget movies, music videos, illegal telephone hotlines, soft pornography).
List of television stations (Defunct Greek television channels and curent)
Public National Channels
ERT1 ERT2 ERT3 Vouli TV (National network with programming produced by the Hellenic Parliament)
Private National Channels
OTA (Digea) Alpha TV ANT1 Makedonia TV Mega Channel Open TV Skai TV Star Channel
Private Subscription Channels
Animal Planet Greece (Nova) Body In Balance (Cosmote TV) Boomerang Greece (Nova) Cosmote Cinema (Premium movie channel with 4 channels) Cosmote History Cosmote Sport (Premium sports service with 10 channels) Discovery Channel Greece (Nova) Disney Channel Greece Disney Junior Greece Fox Greece Fox Life Greece MAD Greekz (Nova) MAD Viral (Cosmote TV) National Geographic Greece Nova Cinema (Premium movie service with 4 channels) Nova Life Nova Sports (Premium sports service with 9 channels) One Channel Sirina Entertainment (Cosmote TV) Village Cinema (Cosmote TV)
Foreign Owned Specialty Channels
BabyTV (Cosmote TV) Blue Hustler Euronews Eurosport 1 (Nova) Eurosport 2 (Nova) FashionTV Hustler TV Luxe TV (Cosmote TV) Mezzo TV (Cosmote TV) National Geographic Wild Penthouse (Cosmote TV) Stingray CMusic (Cosmote TV) Stingray iConcerts (Cosmote TV) Travel Channel (Nova)
Athens - Attica
Action 24 - Athens a.Epsilon TV - Peristeri Alert TV - Tavros ART - Kallithea Attica TV / SBC - Aspropyrgos and Irakleio Blue Sky - Irakleio Channel 9 - Athens Extra Channel - Peristeri High TV - Athens Kontra Channel - Tavros MAD TV - Pallini Nickelodeon Greece - Irakleio RISE TV - Irakleio Smile TV - Rizoupoli
Thessaloniki - Central Macedonia
4E TV - Ampelokipoi a.Epsilon TV - Thessaloniki Atlas TV - Nea Moudania and Thessaloniki Dion TV - Thessaloniki and Kato Agios Ioannis Egnatia TV - Giannitsa and Thessaloniki Euro Channel - Kilkis and Evosmos Europe One - Thessaloniki Gnomi TV - Thessaloniki Nickelodeon Plus - Thessaloniki Pella TV - Giannitsa Time Channel - Oraiokastro TV 100 - Municipality of Thessaloniki Vergina TV - Thessaloniki
Eastern Macedonia and Thrace a.
Epsilon TV - Drama Alfa TV - Alexandroupoli Center TV - Kavala Delta TV - Alexandroupoli Diktyo TV - Serres ENA Channel - Kavala Epiloges TV - Serres Lydia TV - Kavala Next TV - Xanthi Orestiada TV (Municipal) - Orestiada Smile TV - Xanthi Star TV - Drama Thraki NET - Alexandroupoli TV Rodopi - Komotini
Diktyo 1 - Kastoria Flash TV - Kozani Osios Nikanor - Kavala TOP Channel - Kozani West Channel - Kozani
Astra TV - Volos, Larissa and Karditsa Smile Plus - Larissa Thessalia TV - Karditsa, Larissa and Volos TRT - Volos, Larissa and Karditsa TV10 - Trikala
Art TV - Arta Epirus TV1 - Ioannina ITV (Ioannina TV) - Ioannina Vima TV - Ioannina
Acheloos TV - Agrinio ENA TV - Lamia Epsilon TV - Livadeia Lepanto TV - Nafpaktos Star Central Greece - Lamia
Achaia Channel - Patras a.NET - Kalamata ART TV - Tripoli Axion TV - Corinth Best TV - Kalamata Electra TV - Corinth Ionian Channel - Patras Lepanto TV - Patras Lyxnos TV - Patras Mesogeios TV - Kalamata ORT - Pyrgos PLP - Pyrgos and Patras RTP Center - Corinth Super B - Patras Super TV - Corinth
Aeolos TV - Mytilene Alithia TV - Chios Patrida TV - Chios Samiaki TV - Samos Syros TV1 - Ermoupoli Volcano TV - Santorini
Aigaio TV - Kalymnos Irida TV - Rhodes Kosmos TV - Ialysos Kos TV (Municipal) - Kos Tharri TV (Monastery) - Rhodes
a.Epsilon TV - Ierapetra CreteTV - Nea Alikarnassos Kriti TV1 - Chania New Television - Chania Notos TV - Nea Alikarnassos Sitia TV - Nea Alikarnassos TV Creta - Nea Alikarnassos
4E TV (USA/Canada) Alpha Sat (USA/Canada/Australia) ANT1 Europe (Europe) ANT1 Pacific (Australia) ANT1 Satellite (USA) ERT World 1 (Europe/Australia) ERT World 2 (Canada) Greek Cinema (USA/Canada/Australia) MAD World (Canada) RIK Sat (USA/Canada/Australia) SportPlus TV (USA/Canada) Star International (USA/Canada/Australia)
International Local Greek Channels
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (USA) Greek Music Video Hits (USA) Greek Voice Television (USA) Hellenic TV (United Kingdom) Montreal Greek TV (Canada) Toronto Net TV (Canada) New Greek TV (USA) Odyssey (Canada) WZRA-CD (USA)
Armed Forces Information Service Cine+/Sport+ Cine+/Studio+ Prisma+ Sport+/Info+ DT DT 2 DT HD NERIT NERIT Sports NERIT Plus NERIT HD ERT Sports
Private National Channels
902 TV Alter Channel Tempo TV
Private Subscription Channels
Fox Sports FX Channel Greece Greek Business Channel Holidays in Greece TV MTV Music Greece Universal Channel
MTV Greece MTV Plus Patra TV Super TV Tele Time
Alter Globe (USA/Australia) ANT1 Prime (USA) Blue (USA/Australia) Greek Music Television (USA) MAD World (USA/Australia) Mega Cosmos (Canada)