Television South (TVS) was selected by the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) to replace Southern Television in the South and South East regions. In the initial stages, TVS was forced to operate out of portakabins in Southern’s parking lot as they prepared for their 1982 launch. Southern eventually sold their Maidstone studios and land to TVS.
The newcomer ruffled some feathers by seeking to join the established five franchises and create a “big six.” In 1988, TVS acquired the American TV company MTM, but this proved to be a costly mistake as the US syndication market fell. When the next round of franchise bidding took place in 1991, TVS submitted the highest bid of any franchise at £59 million per year. The Independent Television Commission (ITC) rejected the bid without providing an explanation. TVS ceased broadcasting on December 31st, 1992, and was replaced by Meridian Broadcasting.