TVS – Television South

Selected by the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) to replace Southern Television in the South and South East, Television South (TVS) initially had to operate out of portakabins in Southern’s car park as they prepared for their 1982 launch. Eventually, Southern sold their Maidstone studios and land to TVS. As newcomers, TVS stirred the pot by challenging the industry’s established ‘Big Five’ franchises, ambitiously aiming to extend it to a ‘Big Six’.

In a bold move, TVS acquired American TV company MTM in 1988. However, this decision backfired when the US syndication market collapsed, putting financial strain on the company. During the 1991 franchise renewal process, TVS submitted the highest bid of all contenders, a staggering £59 million per year. Surprisingly, the Independent Television Commission (ITC) rejected the bid without providing any explanation.

TVS concluded its broadcasting on December 31, 1992, and was succeeded by Meridian Broadcasting.