This is a timeline of the history of the former British television broadcaster ATV. It provided the ITV service for London at weekends and the Midlands on weekdays from 1955 to 1968, and for the Midlands all week from 1968 to 1982.
26 October – The Independent Television Authority (ITA) awards franchises for the weekend service in London and the weekday service in the Midlands to the Associated Broadcasting Development Company (ABDC).
17 February – ATV launches its Midlands service, operating on weekdays with ABPC's ABC providing the weekend programmes. ATV's London service is renamed ATV London.
7 May – The first broadcast of ATV Midlands News takes place. It is a short daily summary of regional news with stories often sourced directly from the Birmingham Evening Dispatch, a local newspaper. Film footage is later added with footage shot by Birmingham Commercial Films.
ATV Midlands News is supplemented by the launch of Midland Montage, a weekly topical magazine programme.
ATV purchases the Elstree Studios. The original reason for the purchase was for production of the affiliated ITC filmed series.
ATV sets up its own news film unit for its regional news programmes.
Because its existing television studios at other sites were deemed to be insufficient for its requirements, ATV converts its Elstree Studios from film studios into television studios.
A slight change is made to the logo to add either region's name below the ident.
Early in 1964, ATV's weekday lunchtime entertainment programme, Lunchbox, ends. It had been on air since shortly after ATV had begun broadcasting. Consequently, ATV no longer broadcasts programming at lunchtime.
September – ATV launches its own listings magazine TV World. Previously, listings for the week ahead had been published in a Midlands version of TVTimes.
5 October – Following pressure from the Independent Television Authority to improve regional coverage, ATV introduces a nightly news magazine programme, ATV Today. It runs for 20 minutes and follows the teatime 15 minute-long ATV Midlands News bulletin. Later ATV Today is later expanded to the full 30 minutes and the news bulletin is subsumed into the main programme.
2 November – The first edition of ATV's soap opera Crossroads is broadcast. The programme continues to be produced by Central after it takes over from ATV in 1982, eventually ending in 1988. It would be revived in 2001 and would end again in 2003.
ATV is given a three-year extension to its licence. This is later extended by a further year.
Following a restructure of the company, ATV and Incorporated Television Programme Company (ITC) both become subsidiaries of the Associated Communications Corporation (ACC).
28 July – ATV stops broadcasting in London after its franchise is given to London Weekend Television. However the company is now able to broadcast seven days a week across the Midlands. The company is renamed ATV Limited.
2 August – A technicians strike forces ITV off the air for several weeks although management manage to launch a temporary ITV Emergency National Service with no regional variations.
14 September – The final edition of ATV's listings magazine TV World is published due to TVTimes launching as a national publication the following week.
15 November — To coincide with the launch of colour broadcasting, ATV's logo is altered and the famous ‘zoom’ ident launches in glorious technicolor.
16 October – Following a law change which removed all restrictions on broadcasting hours, ATV launches an afternoon service.
The 1974 franchise round sees no changes in ITV's contractors as the huge cost in switching to colour television would have made the companies unable to compete against rivals in a franchise battle.
1975 to 1978
No events, although the late 1970s sees the introduction of short news bulletins at lunchtime and late at night. They are called ATV Newsdesk.
10 August – The ten week ITV strike forces ATV off the air. The strike ends on 24 October.
The Independent Broadcasting Authority announces that the lack of regional programming and production (it had a major studio centre at Elstree in Hertfordshire, a legacy of its London contract), was hampering the region, so it insists that the new applicant for the franchise to be more clearly based in the region and have separate facilities for the East and West Midlands. ACC creates ATV Midlands Limited, a shell company solely for the franchise process.
28 December – ACC is awarded the Midlands contract but with conditions attached. ACC is forced to sell 49% of the company, relinquish executive roles, sell the Elstree studios and rename the company to demonstrate that it is effectively a new business.
July – Central uses ATV's studio complex at Elstree for the final time. It does so in order to comply with a condition of the licence renewal which requires the company to stop using any London-centric facilities.