From Xandir Malta to PBS: Tuning into Maltese life and times for 45 years

Television service in Malta began in 1962 when Malta Television Services Ltd (MTV), a subsidiary of Rediffusion (Malta), was created to produce and transmit television and radio programmes. In 1975, after pressure by Maltese employees at MTV, the stage was set for broadcasting to be nationalised. 

The following timeline highlights notable events in the 45 years since broadcasting in Malta was incorporated into the public sector.

1975 — Launch of Xandir Malta

Xandir Malta, the precursor of PBS, was originally created as the broadcasting division of Telemalta Corporation, which was established by parliament in 1975. Radio Malta was also included in this company. A year later, Xandir Malta transmitted the first outside broadcast.

1981 — Introduction of colour television

Malta began transmitting in colour on 8th July 1981. Colour TV sets were expensive at the time and difficult to obtain, so it wasn’t until a few years later that these became commonplace in Maltese households.

1991 — Setting up of Public Broadcasting Services

The nineties brought significant change to the media landscape due to the media pluralism law passed a few years earlier. The national broadcaster itself underwent restructuring. On 27th September 1991, Public Broadcasting Services Ltd was established to take over the operations of Xandir Malta.

2011 — Switch-over from analogue to digital broadcasting

Preparations for the switch to digital terrestrial broadcasting began in 2009. A new digital platform was launched and the analogue signal was turned off on 31st October 2011.

2012 — Inauguration of the PBS Creativity Hub

On the 50th anniversary of the first MTV broadcast, PBS launched the Creativity Hub within the renovated Rediffusion House in Gwardamanġa. PBS also unveiled a new visual identity which paid homage to the original symbols used by the state broadcaster.