Timeline of The Introduction of Color Television in Countries

This is a list of when the first color television broadcasts were transmitted to the general public. Non-public field tests and closed-circuit demonstrations are not included.

Countries and territories which never had black and white television (i.e. the first broadcasts were in color), such as Zanzibar, Brunei, Botswana, Laos, Burma, South Africa, Macau, Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Bhutan and Malawi are not included in this list.

Country Date Network or Channel Color System Notes
Albania 1981 RTSH PAL Color broadcasts had been available from Yugoslavia since 1971, and Italy since 1977.
Algeria 1979 RTA SECAM
American Samoa 1969 KVZK-2 NTSC KVZK-2 was a National Educational Television affiliate.
Argentina 1978 LS 82 Canal 7 PAL-N Introduced for the 1978 FIFA World Cup (local transmission in color began at 00hs May 1, 1980). In 1969 Canal 13 made experimental transmissions in NTSC, but eventually did but not received government approval, so the project was cancelled.
Australia 1967 ATV-0 (now ATV-10). PAL Introduced June 15, 1967 with live coverage of the Pakenham races. Full-time color transmissions since March 1, 1975.
Austria 1969 ORF PAL First transmission was the Eurovision broadcast of New Year Concert from Vienna on January 1, 1969. Full-time color transmissions since January 15, 1975.
Bangladesh 1980 BTV PAL
Belgium 1971 RTB/BRT PAL Color broadcasts from France (SECAM), Germany and Netherlands (PAL) were available since 1967. Early receivers were very costly owing to multiple standards: PAL/SECAM/625 lines and monochrome/819 lines
Bermuda 1968 ZBM-TV NTSC ZBM was an affiliate of the U.S. network CBS.
Bolivia 1979 Televisión Boliviana NTSC
Brazil 1972 Bandeirantes/Globo PAL-M First transmissions (unofficial and just for specific programs) were made between 1962 and 1963 using NTSC. Tests for the regular transmissions begins in 1970 with the Mexico's FIFA World Cup, and the first official transmission being the coverage of the 12th Caxias do Sul Grape Festival in February 1972. Full-time color transmissions since 1978.
Bulgaria 1970 BNT SECAM
Cambodia (Kampuchea) 1981 National Television of Kampuchea PAL Full-time color transmissions started in 1985. Last country in Asia with black and white transmission to introduce color television.
Canada 1966 CBC, also CTV NTSC Launched simultaneously in English and French at 12:01 a.m. on July 1, 1966, at the beginning of Canada's 100th year as a nation. Color broadcasts from the United States had been available since the mid-1950s. Full-time color transmissions since 1974.
Chile 1978 TVN, Canal 13 NTSC Channel 13 began closed-circuit and special public demonstrations of specific events from 1965 on the Santiago, Valparaiso and Viña del Mar areas. First transmission in color was in the 13th Viña del Mar Festival, but only for export until the 18th edition. First nationwide color show transmitted was in Teletrece newscast of Canal 13 on April 1, 1978. Full-time color transmissions since mid-to-late 1979.
China 1971 CCTV PAL
Colombia 1979 Primera Cadena NTSC Test broadcasts in SECAM were held in 1966. In 1974, the inauguration of West Germany's FIFA World Cup was aired in color in closed circuit at two colosseums in Bogota and Cali. Full-time color transmissions since December 1, 1979.
Congo (Brazzaville) 1975 TeleCongo SECAM
Costa Rica 1973 TICA-TV NTSC
Cuba 1958 Tele-Color, S.A. NTSC Ended in 1959; returned in 1975.
Cyprus 1976 CyBC SECAM
Czechoslovakia 1971 ČST SECAM
Denmark 1968 Danmarks Radio PAL First introduced for the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France. The national broadcaster's programming transitioned to color throughout 1969 and "color tests" were officially ended on April 1, 1970. Color broadcasts had been available from Germany since 1967.
Djibouti 1974 RTD SECAM
Dominican Republic 1969 Color Visión NTSC
Ecuador 1974 Ecuavisa/Teleamazonas NTSC
Egypt 1973 ETV SECAM
Equatorial Guinea 1976 RNGE SECAM
El Salvador 1973 YSU-TV NTSC
Estonia 1967 ETV SECAM/
PAL
First color broadcasts came from Moscow; first local color program was transmitted on December 30, 1972. Transistioned from SECAM to PAL 1992-1999.
Ethiopia 1979 ETV PAL
Finland 1969 YLE/MTV PAL
France 1967 ORTF SECAM Introduced on La Deuxième Chaîne at 2:15pm (14:15) on October 1, 1967.
French Polynesia 1971 RFO SECAM
French Guiana 1974 RFO SECAM
Gabon 1973 RTG SECAM
East Germany 1969 DFF SECAM Introduced on October 3, 1969 on the new second television channel launched for that purpose with a symbolic launch button pressed by Walter Ulbricht on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the GDR on October 7. The television tower in East Berlin was also opened that day.
West Germany 1967 ARD/ZDF PAL Introduced on both channels simultaneously at 9:30am on August 25, 1967 with a symbolic launch button pressed by Willy Brandt on the International Radio and Television Fair in West Berlin.
Gibraltar 1969 GBC PAL
Greece 1976 EPT SECAM
Ghana 1980 GBC PAL
Greenland 1970 KNR PAL
Guadeloupe 1972 RFO SECAM
Guatemala 1970 RTG NTSC First Central American country to introduce color television.
Guam 1971 KUAM-TV NTSC KUAM was a primary NBC affiliate that also carried some programming from ABC and CBS.
Haiti 1975 Télévision Nationale d'Haïti NTSC
Honduras 1973 Canal 3 Honduras NTSC
Hong Kong 1970 TVB PAL Full-time color broadcasts since 1975.
Hungary 1971 Magyar Televízió SECAM
Iceland 1973 RÚV (Sjónvarpið) PAL Broadcast continued in black-and-white until the late 1980s.
India 1979 Doordarshan PAL Full-time color transmissions since 1982.
Indonesia 1 September 1979 TVRI PAL Full-time color broadcasts began on 24 August 1982.
Iran 1973 NIRT SECAM
Iraq 1968 RTI SECAM First Muslim country to introduce color television.
Ireland 1971 RTÉ PAL Introduced for the Eurovision Song Contest 1971 in Dublin on April 3, 1971; color broadcasts from United Kingdom available since 1967–69.
Israel 1977 IBA/IETV PAL Introduced for the coverage of the Egyptian president's visit to Israel in November 1977, then reintroduced for the Eurovision Song Contest 1979 in Jerusalem on March 31, 1979. Gradual transition to full-time color transmissions from 1980 to 1983. Full-time color transmissions since February 1983. Color broadcasts from Jordan and Egypt had been available since 1974.
Italy 1972 RAI PAL Introduction temporarily stalled by political turmoil. Color broadcasts from France (SECAM) had been available since 1967, and from Austria (PAL) since 1969. Privately operated transmitter chains made these signals available as far as Rome. First color test was in 1972 Summer Olympic Games. Full-time color transmissions started on February 1, 1977.
Ivory Coast 1970 RTI SECAM
Jamaica 1975 JBC NTSC
Japan 1960 NHK/NTV/TBS/YTV/ ABC NTSC-J The first Asian country to introduce color television, on September 10, 1960.
Jordan 1974 JTV PAL
Kenya 1978 KBC PAL
North Korea 1977 KCTV PAL
South Korea 1980 KBS/MBC NTSC Test color broadcasts in 1975. Full-time color broadcasts since 1981.
Kuwait 1974 KTV PAL
Latvia 1968 LTV SECAM/
PAL
First color broadcasts came from Moscow. First local color program was transmitted on January 28, 1974. Switched from SECAM to PAL on February 2, 1998.
Lebanon 1975 Télé Liban PAL
Liberia 1975 LBS PAL
Libya 1976 Al-Libyah TV PAL
Lithuania 1968 LRT SECAM/
PAL
Used SECAM as part of the USSR 1968-1990, and 1990-1997. PAL has been in use since 1997.
Luxembourg 1972 Compangnie Luxembourgeoise de Télédiffusion PAL / SECAM The then only channel for audiences in Luxembourg, France and Belgium originally used the French/Belgian 819-line B&W standard. After Belgium and France opted for different color systems, Luxembourg broadcast two versions of the same channel. All later RTL channels aimed at French-, German- and Dutch-speaking audiences in Europe adopted the standards of their target markets.
Madagascar 1977 MBS SECAM
Malaysia 1978 RTM PAL Introduced in Peninsular Malaysia on 28 December 1978 and in Sabah and Sarawak on 31 August 1980. Color had been available from Singapore on 1 Maysince 1974 and Southern Thailand on 1975.
Full-time color broadcasts began on 1 January 1982.
Malta 1978 TVM PAL Color broadcasts from Italy had been available since 1977.
Martinique 1969 RFO SECAM
Mauritius 1973 MBC SECAM Color television arrived on a full-time schedule in 1978.
Mexico 1963 Canal 5 Telesistema Mexicano (now Televisa) NTSC Launched February 8, 1963 with the program Paraiso Infantil. Color had been available previously in a few border cities, on a limited basis. Full-time color transmissions started with the 1968 Summer Olympic Games. Curiously, Mexico had its own system of color television, invented by Guillermo González, prior to NTSC adoption.
Monaco 1973 TMC PAL / SECAM Color broadcasts from France had been available since 1967.
Mongolia 1975 MNB SECAM
Morocco 1973 RTM SECAM First test transmission was in 1972.
Netherlands 1967 NPO PAL Introduced on both national channels on September 21, 1967.
Netherlands Antilles 1973 Televisie Curaçao PAL
New Caledonia 1971 RFO SECAM
New Zealand 1973 NZBC PAL Introduced in November 1973, as part of preparations for the 1974 British Commonwealth Games, held in Christchurch in February 1974. Full-time color was achieved by December 1975.
Nicaragua 1973 Televicentro Canal 2 NTSC
Nigeria 1974 WNTV PAL
Norway 1971 NRK PAL The first color broadcast was the speech made by the King on December 31, 1971. Full-time color broadcasts since 1975.
Pakistan 1976 PTV PAL Full-time color transmissions arrived in 1982.
Panama 1972 NTP NTSC
Paraguay 1981 TV Cerro Corá PAL
Peru 1976 Televisión del Estado NTSC Full-time color transmissions since 1980.
Philippines 1966 ABS-CBN NTSC First color test transmission was in 1963. Commercial launch in June 1966 using RCA color; and full-time color transmissions began in 1971 when color sets became more widespread in the Manila area and suburbs.
Poland 1971 TVP SECAM Broadcasts in the rural areas continued in black-and-white until late 1980s.
Portugal 1979 RTP PAL First experimental Broadcasts for the coverage of the 1976 election. Introduced for the Portuguese version of Jeux Sans Frontières on September 5, 1979; color broadcasts from Spain available since 1972. Full-color transmissions started on March 10, 1980.
Qatar 1974 QBS PAL Color broadcasts from Bahrain had been available since 1973.
Réunion 1972 RFO SECAM
Romania 1983 TVR PAL Despite being in the Eastern Block, Romania chose not to adopt SECAM, unlike the other Warsaw Pact countries. Full-time color broadcasts since 1990. Romania became the last country in Europe to introduce color television.
Saint Pierre and Miquelon 1971 RFO SECAM Color transmissions had been available from Newfoundland and Labrador since 1967, but were NTSC.
Saudi Arabia 1973 SAGTS SECAM
Senegal 1975 RTS SECAM
Sierra Leone 1978 SLBS PAL
Singapore 1974 Radio Television Singapore (RTS) PAL Full-time color broadcasts began on 1 November 1977.
Spain 1972 RTVE PAL Color broadcasts had been available from France since 1967, but were SECAM. First color test was in 1972. Full-time color broadcasts since 1977, although monochrome commercials continued to be made until 1978. The Eurovision Song Contest 1969 in Madrid was a color production, but it was televised in black-and-white to the local audience.
Sudan 1976 Sudan TV PAL
Suriname 1977 STF NTSC
Sweden 1970 Sveriges Radio TV PAL Test transmissions started on December 14, 1966. Regular color service and color license fee introduced April 1, 1970.
Switzerland 1968 SBC PAL Color transmission had been available from France and Germany since 1967.
Syria 1980 STV PAL
Taiwan 1969 CTV NTSC Full-time color transmissions since 1975.
Thailand 1969 Channel 7 PAL Although television in Thailand originally employed a 525-line screen (System M, US standard at the time), the country opted for PAL color, which necessitated a conversion to system B (625 lines), starting with Channel 7 in November 1967. Full-time color broadcasts began in 1975, when regional stations converted.
Trinidad and Tobago 1969 TTT NTSC
Tunisia 1976 RTT PAL
Turkey 1981 Ankara Television PAL Test transmissions started with the New Year's Eve celebrations on December 31, 1981; full color television did not start until July 1, 1984. Color broadcasts from Greece had been available since 1976.
Uganda 1975 UTV PAL
Ukraine 1968 UT-1 SECAM/
PAL
SECAM used during the USSR. Experimental color broadcasts came in 1968. Full-time color arrived around 1975.
United Arab Emirates 1974 UAE-TV PAL
United Kingdom 1967 BBC Two PAL Introduced on BBC Two for Wimbledon coverage on July 1, 1967. The launch of the BBC2 "full" color service took place on December 2, 1967. Some British TV programs, however, had been produced in color even before the introduction of color television in 1967, for the purpose of sales to American, Canadian, and Filipino networks. BBC One and ITV started color transmissions November 15, 1969.
United States 1950 CBS CBS Field sequential color system; experimental; ended 1951.
United States 1953 NBC/CBS NTSC Dot sequential system. The United States gradually transitioned from black-and-white to color television between 1953 and 1968.
United States - Alaska 1966 KENI-TV, now KTUU NTSC First program in color, on September 19, 1966, was the premiere episode of That Girl, an ABC show. KENI was a primary affiliate of both NBC and ABC.
United States - Hawaii 1965 KONA-TV, now KHON-TV; KHVH-TV, now KITV; KGMB NTSC KHVH was an ABC affiliate, KGMB was CBS, and KONA was NBC.
USSR/ Russia 1967 Soviet Central Television (Now Channel One (Russia)) SECAM Introduced specifically for the 50th Golden Jubilee Anniversary of the October Revolution. Full-time colorcasts began with the Revolution's 58th anniversary, in 1975.
Upper Volta 1976 Volta Vision SECAM
Uruguay 1981 CXB-10 PAL Introduced for the 1980 Mundialito but locally broadcasted in B&W. Local color broadcasting started in 1981.
Venezuela 1973 RCTV NTSC Color television arrived on a full-time schedule in 1980.
Vietnam 1978 VTV PAL
U.S. Virgin Islands 1968 WBNB-TV NTSC WBNB was a CBS affiliate. This station was destroyed by Hurricane Hugo in 1989.
North Yemen 1979 NYRTC PAL
South Yemen 1981 SYRTC PAL Color broadcasts had been available from North Yemen since 1979.
Yugoslavia/ Serbia 1971 JRT PAL
Zaire 1980 OZRT SECAM
Zimbabwe 1984 ZBC PAL The last country with black and white transmission to introduce color television.

Famous quotes containing the words countries, television, introduction and/or color:

    I have never looked at foreign countries or gone there but with the purpose of getting to know the general human qualities that are spread all over the earth in very different forms, and then to find these qualities again in my own country and to recognize and to further them.
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