Initially known as the Associated Broadcasting Company, ATV was granted the weekend broadcasting franchise for London and its surrounding areas, starting on September 24, 1955. Due to legal threats from another entity already using the ABC name, the company rebranded itself as Associated TeleVision (ATV) just three weeks later. ATV also secured a weekday franchise for the Midlands, with broadcasting commencing on February 17, 1956.

On July 28, 1968, ATV lost its London franchise to the London Television Consortium, as decided by the Independent Television Authority (ITA). However, ATV was granted a seven-day-a-week franchise for the Midlands under the name ATV Network, which began operations the following day. Facing regulatory changes, ATV was eventually required to sell 49% of its shares. As a result, the company was restructured and relaunched as Central Television on New Year’s Day 1982, marking the end of ATV.