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Remembering the early days of Rediffusion in Malta

Description

The origins of broadcasting in Malta date back to the first broadcast transmitted from the Naval Wireless Station at Fort Rinella in 1933.

In 1934, an agreement was reached between the Maltese government and London-based broadcaster Rediffusion to set up a sound wired radio system in Malta and Gozo.

Rediffusion started its Malta broadcasting service on 11 November 1935.

The first radio broadcasts were primitive, yet highly ambitious for the time.

Technological constraints meant that almost all of the programmes had to be performed live by musicians and announcers such as Charles Arrigo.

He joined Rediffusion in 1947 and had a distinguished career as a broadcaster, best known for his commentaries on state occasions and for dramatised readings of Maltese novels.

On 23 January 1958, Rediffusion House opened on St Luke’s Road in Guardamangia in the same building which today houses the PBS Creativity Hub.

Television Malta was launched in 1962 and moved into a newly-built studio complex two years later.

The company enjoyed an almost absolute monopoly until the 8 January 1973 when Radio Malta was set up and managed by the Malta Broadcasting Authority.

In 1975, the Telemalta corporation was established and became responsible for broadcasting and telephone services in Malta.

Known as Xandir Malta, it continued until 1991 when Public Broadcasting Services Limited was set up.

Today, PBS operates three radio stations and two television channels, namely TVM and TVM2.

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