Rediffusion may well be remembered by for it's involvement in Television Broadcasting as a franchisee to the ITA providing programmes to the London area as Associated-Rediffusion
and Rediffusion London.
Rediffusion History goes back much further to the early days of radio when in 1927, the fledgling company, Broadcast Relay Service Ltd set up one of the worlds first cable distribution companies combining the overhead wires of tram operator British Electric Traction to "Rediffuse" radio programmes to paying subscribers. The cost of a "Wireless Set" was beyond the reach of most households at that time and signal reception was very poor, this making the "piped" service a popular alternative.
This Wired System was later developed to include Television Relay and to be generally known as Cable Television.
The business expanded rapidly and by 1945 Rediffusion was manufacturing TV receivers to coincide with the re-commencement of Television broadcasting by the BBC shortly after WW2. Cable Story
By 1954 Rediffusion had successfully bid for the first independent television franchise and Associated-Rediffusion was born commencing transmissions in September 1955, the first commercial station to take to the air in the UK.
By 1976 the Groups assets were £ 130,000,000 with 13,100 UK employees and 2800 overseas employees. Total Group Income for that year was £ 122m with exports accounting for £23m The Group had expanded into many associated companies with responsibilities including: Communications, Music, Computers and Flight Simulation.
The TV rental and Cable Distribution side of the business had grown dramatically with the event of Colour Television and much of the new housing development incorporated a connection to the Rediffusion Wired Vision system.
The early 1980's saw a major change in the Broadcasting industry.
The Hunt Committee submitted a report to the then government calling for greater regulatory and franchising of Cable Operators. This would also allow operators to offer a broader range
of channels such as Satellite and Movies and also interactive services.
While the existing Cable Networks were not capable of being expanded for this purpose, Rediffusion had developed the "Switch Star" system using fibre optic lines in readiness to accommodate the upgraded requirements.
It was not long after that the parent, BET, decided to part company with the Rediffusion and the Group was subsequently sold off. The TV rental side going to Granada and the property and networks going to the Maxwell Group. Other divisions were sold on to private ownership.
Little evidence of Rediffusion remains today other than the name and memories.
Rediffusion 1927 - 1985
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MK10 wired Television 1972
Rediffusion Radio C1957