Some significant dates

Aug. 1950 – First international television relay : Calais-Dover-London

July 1952 – First Franco-British exchange : Paris-Lille-Casel (standards conversion) – Dover-London

July 1953 – Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II (first multilateral television relay)

June 1954 – First Eurovision transmissions, known as the “Lille Experiment”, the experiment being directed from a special control centre set up at Lille, France

Jan. 1956 – First Olympic Games on Eurovision; the Winter Games from Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy

June 1957 – State Visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Paris

Dec. 1957 – “Pictures in the Sky”, the first European Roundabout (“multi-origin”) programme

June 1958 – World Football Championships, from Sweden

Oct. 1958 – First service-trials of the Daily News Exchange Scheme

Nov. 1958 – Papal coronation ceremonies from the Vatican

Jan. 1959 – International Ski Championships from Kitzbühel, Austria

May 1959 – Second service-trials of the Daily News Exchange Scheme

Sept. 1959 – Visit of President Eisenhower to Europe

Mar. 1960 – Visit of Mr. Kruschev to France

May 1960 – Marriage of Princess Margaret, from London. “Summit” Conference, from Paris

July 1960 – Olympic Games, from Italy

Dec. 1960 – Marriage of King Baudouin of the Belgians

Feb. 1961 – Total eclipse of the Sun, from France, Italy and Yugoslavia

July 1961 – Kennedy-Kruschev meeting in Vienna

Jan. 1962 – Inauguration of Stage I of the Eurovision Permanent Network Scheme. Start of regular Daily News Exchanges

July 1962 – First live transatlantic television relays, by the satellite Telstar (in both directions)

Number of coordinated transmissions

Number of coordinated transmissions


EUROVISION - Some pictures

Each year, Eurovision transmits a series of programmes that may already be qualified as traditional.

To quote a few as an example, the Pontifical Mass transmitted from Rome on New Year’s Day, the New Year’s Concert given by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the first sporting event of the year, the Ski Jumping transmitted from Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany.

These are followed by pictures of winter sports in a snow-bound Europe and the Eurovision Song Contest.

Spring and Easter are marked by the Pontifical Benediction of “Urbi et Orbi”, Whitsun by a regular Protestant Service and Roman-Catholic Mass.

In summer, an important place is reserved for open-air sporting events (Tour de France bicycle race, 24-hour motor-car race at Le Mans, the Milan – San Remo bicycle race and so on) and for the European artistic festivals, such as those at Salzburg, Glyndebourne, Aix-en-Provence, Bregenz and Neri.

Finally, the European Television Community is almost fully united in the middle of winter to take part in the Midnight Mass transmitted on Christmas Eve from a sanctuary somewhere in Europe.

In addition to traditional events of this sort, Eurovision is on the spot every time that an important event takes place in Europe, be it of an artistic, political, religious or sporting nature.

For this reason, “the great hours of Eurovision” are often also “the great hours of Europe”.

Christmas Mass transmitted live from the Abbey of Mont St. Michel (France, R.T.F., 1958).

New Year’s Concert by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra’s [sic] (Austria, O.R.F., 1961).

Coronation ceremonies of Queen Elizabeth II (United Kingdom, B.B.C., 1953).

Ballot by Igor Stravinsky from the Hamburg Opera House (W. Germany, A.R.D., 1962).

Equestrian events in the Rome Olympic Games (Italy, R.A.I., I960).

Eurovision Song Contest (Luxembourg, C.L.T., 1962).