Timeline: Milestones in international television


1928 - World's first TV drama, "The Queen's Messenger," is broadcast by General Electric; John Logie Baird transmits TV images across the Atlantic using shortwave and demonstrates color TV.

1930 - Baird, already up and running with the world's first TV studio in 1929, receives permission from the BBC to use its transmitters.

1935 - France begins regular broadcasts from the Eiffel Tower.

1936 - With archaic technology causing on-again/off-again transmissions, the BBC resumes regular TV broadcasting from Alexandra Palace using new electric TV systems.

1944 - Rene Barthelemy, founder of France's first TV company, develops the 819-line TV standard, then 1015 and 1042 lines; Eiffel Tower broadcasts, sabotaged during the war, resume following liberation.

1948 - The BBC broadcasts the London Olympics.

1951 - "I Love Lucy" premieres on CBS; Milton Berle signs a 30-year, $100,000 per year contract to do 360 shows.

1953 - The BBC's 1953 broadcast of Queen Elizabeth's coronation puts TV on the map in Europe.

1958 - China's first TV station, Beijing Television, begins broadcasting.

1961 - Disney's broadcast of "Wonderful World of Color" is seen as color TV's commercial turning point.

1960 - Nixon-Kennedy debate makes TV a political force.

1962 - Telstar launches.

1964 - NHK broadcasts first satellite transmission -- the Tokyo Olympics.

1965 - Danmarks Radio (DR) begins first TV news program, TV-Avisen.

1969 - More than half a billion people watch Neil Armstrong walk on the moon.

1972 - Cable pioneer Charles Dolan's Green Channel becomes Home Box Office (HBO); Philips Model 1500 is introduced as the first VCR for home use.

1975 - With the "Thrilla in Manila," HBO becomes the first TV network to continuously deliver signals via satellite.

1978 - Beijing Television becomes China Central Television (CCTV), the country's only national network.

1980 - CNN launches.

1981 - MTV and Nickelodeon launch nationwide.

1985 - Globo TV's telenovela "The Slave Isaura" becomes the first TV series launched in China with a foreign actress playing the main character.

1986 - "The Oprah Winfrey Show" launches; HBO becomes the first satellite network to encrypt its signal.

1997 - The MGM Channel launches its first channel in Latin America.

1999 - TiVo ships its first PVR units.

2008 - Advertising becomes major factor in Beijing Olympics; this month, SlingCatcher allows users to view their TV remotely without a computer.