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Markymark7,092 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today
They used to have a holding slide in the early days when they didn't have enough adverts to fill the breaks.


Really? I don’t recall seeing that. Were TVam’s breaks national or did they follow a LEMNUS-type model?

They had ad regions AIUI, although for some reason they were different to the ITV regional areas. .


One way or another it would have cost a fortune to playout and distribute 14 sets of ads!
robertclark1251,431 posts since 13 Jan 2009
STV Central Reporting Scotland
Did TV-am have any studios in Knutsford even in 1983? I only ask as I thought it was the late 1980s, when inject studios started to appear. I know where the one in Newcastle upon Tyne used to be, at Jesmond. The office block where it was has been rebuilt, though Ian White has saved the studio sets for preservation.

Staying on breakdowns, with TV-am, if they had six ad regions, what happened if ads for one of the regions failed to playout? Could they switch to another regions ads?
Neil Jones5,506 posts since 23 Dec 2001
Central (West) Midlands Today
I'm not entirely sure whether TV-am did use their regions in the end (or maybe they did and scrapped it after 1991 in favour of national adverts) - they were definitely advertised as such for advertising purposes but you had weird looking borders didn't match up to any particular ITV regions:




But of course being a new network and national service they could redraw their own boundaries.
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Markymark7,092 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today
I'm not entirely sure whether TV-am did use their regions in the end (or maybe they did and scrapped it after 1991 in favour of national adverts) - they were definitely advertised as such for advertising purposes but you had weird looking borders didn't match up to any particular ITV regions:

But of course being a new network and national service they could redraw their own boundaries.


Only up to a point. It would have cost a fortune to get the then GPO to provide extra circuits, back then broadcasters were forced to use them for intercity and Tx links.

You can see from that map that the regions were based upon

My guess

London:TVS:Anglia (Easy, just use the existing GPO circuits to Southampton, Maidstone, Norwich and C Palace.

HTV:TSW (Use the GPO circuit that went West, feeding Bristol, (and onto Plymouth and Cardiff)

Midlands: (Use the main northbound GPO circuit that fed Brum)

North West: (Opt out of the onward Brum circuit at Knutsford, and use a circuit to Winter Hill (via BT Manchester)

YTV/TTTV/Border (Same as above, but feed GPO Manchester with a feed to carry on to Emley, Pontop, and Caldbeck)

STV/Grampian (Same as above, but feed GPO Manchester with a feed to carry on to Black Hill and Durris)

NI: (Same as above, but feed GPO Manchester with a feed to carry on to Divis)

So to summarise, all that was needed as far as new circuits were one incoming and four outgoing feeds (plus back up circuits etc) between Knutsford and GPO Manchester, that would have been expensive enough !
Last edited by Markymark on 25 September 2019 10:07am
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Neil Jones5,506 posts since 23 Dec 2001
Central (West) Midlands Today
There is a video on YouTube I found where TV-am's on-screen clock was inadvertently pulled up at the start of an ad break:

(see from 8:20 onwards)

This suggests to me that the adverts in this particular break are coming from Camden Lock by 1990? Unless the various ad regions in the map (if they existed by this point) had their own graphic/clock generators? Would that even be a thing?

Various studio recordings from TV-am over the years with all their graphics intact seems to suggest all the graphics (including the clock) and adverts were all generated from Camden Lock. Indeed the studio recording from the first airing Feb 1st 1983 matches (as far as I can tell from the first break) with the off air from Transdiffusion which they'd already said was recorded in the Central ITV region. So I'm not 100% sure if the regions thing ever happened at TV-am?
Markymark7,092 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today
But if one of those feeds failed, say the feed to North West, did that result in another feed, and thus another set of adverts, going to the north west? And, could TV-am, in theory, have provided regional news based on those macro regions?


Broadly yes to the first question, for the second question regional news wouldn't have been possible with any more granularity than the macro regional networks. The most practical solution in that case would have been to place regional studios in each 'ITV city', or (as was the case with GMTV) simply get the ITV companies to provide regional news !
Markymark7,092 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today
There is a video on YouTube I found where TV-am's on-screen clock was inadvertently pulled up at the start of an ad break:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGdtqBuWjoY
(see from 8:20 onwards)

This suggests to me that the adverts in this particular break are coming from Camden Lock by 1990? Unless the various ad regions in the map (if they existed by this point) had their own graphic/clock generators? Would that even be a thing?

Various studio recordings from TV-am over the years with all their graphics intact seems to suggest all the graphics (including the clock) and adverts were all generated from Camden Lock. Indeed the studio recording from the first airing Feb 1st 1983 matches (as far as I can tell from the first break) with the off air from Transdiffusion which they'd already said was recorded in the Central ITV region. So I'm not 100% sure if the regions thing ever happened at TV-am?


I would have thought (if the regional thing as you say ever happened at all) that such a thing would have been the first thing to be ditched as TvAm got into trouble very soon, though by 1990 they were a money making machine, so more likely then !
Last edited by Markymark on 25 September 2019 10:42am
Si-Co2,184 posts since 2 Oct 2003
Tyne Tees Look North (North East)
I can’t say I recall seeing any ads during TVam that appeared to be tailored to a local area. Mainly generic household brands... and in the very early days only about a half a dozen ads that were unique to TVam and only shown in breakfast hours (Pye Tube Cube, Go Crack an Egg etc). Even if the product was advertised elsewhere on ITV, there was a breakfast version (probably as much to do with the Equity dispute as anything else).
Cut out the coupon in your TV Times!
IndigoTucker509 posts since 4 Jan 2003
I remember reading the TV-am posts from the members of the union that were sacked (on a website somewhere?). I think the ads were due to be compiled on VT during the day when the VT machines were not in use, then played out across the macro regions in the morning once the BT Automatic switching was sorted, but due to the rapid loss of money and cuts to service, they weren’t implemented. I may be wrong though.
bluecortina867 posts since 26 Jul 2012
But if one of those feeds failed, say the feed to North West, did that result in another feed, and thus another set of adverts, going to the north west? And, could TV-am, in theory, have provided regional news based on those macro regions?


Broadly yes to the first question, for the second question regional news wouldn't have been possible with any more granularity than the macro regional networks. The most practical solution in that case would have been to place regional studios in each 'ITV city', or (as was the case with GMTV) simply get the ITV companies to provide regional news !


Some very limited info here:

http://www.dgsys.co.uk/btmicrowave/sites/293.php

I once went on a course with a couple of chaps from the 'Distributive etc etc'. When I later heard TV-am were setting up shop in Knutsford I realised it could only be one place - theirs.
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