NTD (TV station)

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NTD
Darwin, Northern Territory
Branding Nine
Channels Digital: 31 (UHF)
Virtual: 9
Owner Nine Entertainment Co. (O&O)
(Territory Television Pty Ltd)
First air date 11 November 1971
Call letters' meaning Northern
Territory
Darwin
Former channel number(s) Analog: 8 (VHF) (1971-2013)
Former affiliations independent (1971–1998)
Ten (secondary, 1998-2002; per program, 2002-2005)
Transmitter power 40 kW (analog)
85 kW (digital)
Height 80 m (analog)
147 m (digital)[1]
Transmitter coordinates 12°24′52″S 130°58′9″E / 12.41444°S 130.96917°E / -12.41444; 130.96917
Website 9now.com.au

NTD is an Australian television station, licensed to and serving Darwin, Palmerston and surrounding areas. The station is owned and operated by the Nine Entertainment Co., and is an owned-and-operated station of the Nine Network, under the company name Territory Television Pty. Ltd..

History

Origins

NTD-8 was officially launched at 8:00pm on 11 November 1971, with the opening lineup beginning at 5:30pm with Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, followed by Bandstand at 6:00 p.m. and at 7:00 p.m., An Evening with Burt Bacharach.[2]

The station was officially inaugurated at 8:00pm by Northern Territory Administrator, Fred Chaney, followed by speeches from Sir Myles Wright, Fred Yates, John Hickman, and assistant executive John May.

The opening lineup continued with All the King's Men at 8:30 p.m. and Danger Man at 10:30 p.m. The station closed for the night at 11:30 p.m.

The station was completely wiped out by Cyclone Tracy in December 1974 and was off air for 10 months while it was rebuilt from the ground up.[2] The station reopened with full colour on Monday 27 October 1975 with John Lewis as Manager, with on air operators Gavin Ashton, Steve Mariner and Ross Jamieson. Daryl Potts was Chief Engineer until he died in 1979. Robert Potts was Studio Cameraman / Film Department / Trainee location 16mm Cameraman.

1980s

NTD-8 did not run any news and current affairs programming until 18 October 1982, after the station hired Rex Clark as a news director to launch a nightly bulletin at 7:00pm entitled News at Seven, alongside a current affairs programme entitled Spectrum.

In the late 1980s, NTD-8 was purchased by Publishing and Broadcasting Limited, the owners of the Nine Network at that time. Following the purchase, NTD-8 adopted a similar on-air presentation to the Nine Network, though replacing the "9" with an "8." NTD's news service revamped and rebranded along with the station, to become Eight National News.[2]

1990s

NTD was the sole commercial television station in Darwin until 1998, Telecasters Australia launched Seven Darwin.[2] However, for several years NTD remained the sole locally based station in the city, as Seven Darwin was little more than a relay for Seven Central.

The Nine Network's Darwin headquarters in The Gardens.

Territory Television Pty. Ltd. attempted to gain Seven Network affiliation rights prior to Seven Darwin's launch, in a strategic move to dominate and force the incoming competitor to align with Network Ten. This would have seen NTD-8 broadcast both Nine Network and Seven Network programming, however after being rejected affiliation, the station gained Network Ten affiliation to supplement their parent company's Nine Network programming.[2]

2000s

On New Year's Day 2003, Eight Darwin became Nine Darwin, in line with the rest of Kerry Packer's Nine Network owned-and-operated stations. At the same time, the station dropped most Ten programming from the line-up, and in 2005, the Network Ten affiliation rights were officially relinquished, and were then taken by Southern Cross Television's TND in 2005.[2]

In 2005, in the midst of the tug-of-war for the AFL television rights, PBL announced that National Rugby League games will take precedence on the station over AFL games, a sign that Nine may have been about to give up the race for the rights to a proposed Seven-Ten consortium, which they did, but not without putting in a $780 million dollar bid for the rights.[3]

In 2008, Nine Darwin (NTD) began broadcasting Nine HD[citation needed]. In April 2008, Darwin Digital Television (DTD), a joint venture between the Nine Network and Macquarie Southern Cross Media, began broadcasting on the digital terrestrial platform as a full-time Ten Network affiliate.[4]

The same year, it was speculated that Imparja Television, the Nine affiliate for most of the rest of the Territory, was planning to purchase the station from the Nine Network.[5] The deal would have involved the sale of the station, as well as its facilities and licence.[5] Negotiations for the sale of the station fell through on 29 September, when Imparja failed to secure federal government funding to help finance the takeover.[6]

2010s

The analogue signal for NTD was shut off at 9.00am CST on Tuesday 30 July 2013.

In July 2017, it was reported that the station's nightly news program, Nine News Darwin, would move its studio presentation from Darwin to Nine's Brisbane studios and replace local weekend bulletins with delayed simulcasts of the Queensland bulletin.[7] The last stand-alone edition of Nine News Darwin aired on Friday 8 September 2017.[8]

News

The station's hour-long news program, Nine News Darwin airs at 6pm each weeknight.

As of 11 September 2017, the program is produced and broadcast from the studios of QTQ in Brisbane. The weeknight program airs as a joint interstate broadcast with regional Queensland and includes opt-outs for local news, sport and weather - reporters and camera crews covering the Darwin area are based locally at the NTD-8 studios. Weekend bulletins are a delayed simulcast of Nine News Queensland with no local opt-outs.

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