Associated-Rediffusion 1955-1964, Rediffusion London 1964-1968
Associated-Rediffusion Limited was founded in 1954 as a partnership between Associated Newspapers, British Electric Traction (BET) and BET’s Broadcast Relay Service subsidiary, trading as Rediffusion, to bid for one of the new Independent Television franchises.
The consortium won the London Monday to Friday contract and began broadcasting on 22 September 1955.
Shortly after broadcasting began, with the new ITV system hemorrhaging money, Associated Newspapers withdrew almost all of its participation, leaving the company to be a direct subsidiary of BET/BRS Rediffusion.
The company was refounded in 1964, becoming Rediffusion Television Limited, trading as Rediffusion, London.
At the 1967 interviews with the Independent Television Authority for new contracts beginning in July 1968 it failed to impress the members and instead of having the franchise renewed, was asked to merge with the holder of the contract for Saturdays and Sundays in the English midlands and the north, ABC Weekend Television.
BET/BRS Rediffusion and ABC’s parent company, the Associated British Picture Corporation, formed a joint venture to run the new London Monday morning to Friday afternoon contract, which they named Thames Television. ABPC held 51% of the voting stock.
Rediffusion Television Limited, still a part of the highly diversified BET plc, was kept going to sell its archive and programme rights to other broadcasters, but gradually disappeared during the 1970s.
Thames Television kept the London weekday franchise until 31 December 1992, when it was replaced by Carlton Communications.