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What is the Television and Radio Database?
Where are you getting your programme information from?
Why are some days incomplete?
How soon before the database is complete?
How can I contribute information?
What are the advantages of being a contributor?
What about regional variations throughout the UK?
What about independent radio stations?
What about cable and satellite broadcasting?



What is the Television and Radio Database?

The Television and Radio Database is the definitive database for radio and TV programmes broadcast in the UK during the 20th Century. When this project is complete, it will contain details of every programme ever broadcast to London, England, from the first regular radio broadcast in 1922 to the millennium eve broadcasts of 1999.

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Where are you getting your programme information from?

The main source for our radio and TV listings is The Times newspaper. It began listing full radio schedules on 31st December 1922, just six weeks after the British Broadcasting Company began in the UK, and over 9 months before the Radio Times was first published. Other daily newspapers that include listings for London have also been used as a source of reference. These include the Daily Mirror, the Daily Express, the Daily Star and The Sun. The advantage of using a daily newspaper is that it is more likely to contain last minute changes to the schedule that would not have been published in the weekly magazines.

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Why are some days incomplete?

Broadcasting began in the UK on the 14 November 1922 and has continued, without a break, ever since. That means there are 28,172 days worth of listings to add to the database before it contains everything ever broadcast in the 20th Century. There are some days for which it has been difficult to track down the complete radio and television listings (although every day does have details for at least one service). As a member of TVRdb you are encouraged to fill in the gaps by submitting the missing details for those days.

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How soon before the database is complete?

Our aim to get all 77 years of broadcasting in the twentieth century (1922-1999) fully catalogued before the 95th anniversary on 14th November 2017. That will include 28,172 days worth of listings. This can easily be achieved with YOUR help. If 1000 contributors were to add just one day of listings a day it would be complete in less than a month!

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How can I contribute information?

Any help you can offer is most welcomed. Simply sign up as a contributor and you'll find tools in the Members Area that allow you to add or edit information in the database. All additions are manually verified so you can use any printed source in addition to the recommended online resources detailed in the Members Area.

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What are the advantages of being a contributor?

There are plenty. First up, we'll include your name on our credits page. The more you contribute, the higher up the list your name will appear. This will give you ultimate kudos and bragging rights. Secondly, if you're one of our top contributors, we'll include a link to a website of your choice. This could be a personal blog, social network profile or even an affiliate link. This should generate lots of new visitors to your site and improve your search engine ranking.

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What about regional variations throughout the UK?

The ITA awarded fifteen regional licences for the ITV network between 1955 and 1961. This meant a lot of regional variations for news and local programming. TVRDb is currently concentrating on the largest of these regions, the London area, that broadcast to around 12 million homes. Eventually, though, we hope to add listings for other regions, as many programmes of the 20th century were never broadcast to London.

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What about independent radio stations?

The Sound Broadcasting Act 1972 finally allowed independent radio stations the chance to legally broadcast throughout the UK. Until then, the only competition to the BBC were the pirate stations, such as Luxembourg, Jackie and Caroline. The first of these launched, once again, in London, with both LBC and Capital Radio going on the air in October 1973. If you have programme listings for these stations, or any other archive listings for local or national radio, please let us know so we can add them too!

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What about cable and satellite broadcasting?

The eighties and nineties finally saw our TV and Radio choices expand exponentially, as both cable and satellite competed for subscribers. Towards the end of the decade, the first digital channels also appeared, with many new channels only available to those willing to pay for them. Although it would be nice to include all the different cable, satellite and digital services, TVRDb is currently limiting itself to free-to-air channels. If you have comprehensive listings for any of the Pay-TV channels, please let us know so that we can add these in future updates.

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