Antarctic Television Service

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Antarctic Television Service (ATS)
Former type Public
Industry Media
Genre Television
Fate Declared bankruptcy in 1989
Successor Antarctic Broadcasting Company
Founded 1963
Founder(s) James H. Houghe
Defunct 1989
Headquarters

Inland, Olde Antarctica

Antarctica
Area served Antarctica
Key people James H. Houghe (founder)
James Houghe II (new CEO)
Total equity USP 0.33 (before closing)
Employees 300 (prior)
Parent Nationalised Broadcasting Unit (1982 - 1989)
Divisions Fiir Television Service
Icee Television Service
Waeter Television Service
Aer Broadcasting
Subsidiaries Penguinian Obsolet


The Antarctic Television Service was the national television broadcaster of Olde Antarctica known for creating the foundation of today's Antarctic television. Started by the late James H. Houghe in 1963, it was known for its quality programming and coverage of news events. His son, James Houghe II, took the position of CEO in 1987 only to cause it to spiral downwards, eventually declaring bankruptcy and ceding its assets to the Antarctic Broadcasting Company.

It was also the first media outlet that was given freedom of speech, which resulted in numerous cases in the court, such as Galore Embason, which mocked the Air Kingdom's ruler at the time, and Big Fat STINC, which denounced STINC's actions that inadvertently led to the STINC-zachal of 1990.

History[edit]

Origins[edit]

The ATS television indent from 1963 to 1970.

Television had just recently been developed in the 1950s and was used in the government and in the wealthier families. At the time, a single television station broadcast only government service announcements and the occasional newsreel. By the 1960s, only eighteen television sets were made and each cost a whooping equivalent of today's USP150000 (US$200000).

James H. Houghe was one of the operators at the television station. He knew that televisions could be better and one day would be a daily necessity. The term "broadcaster" was synonymous with the government, so Hughe decided to change that by asking for a television broadcasting license. The king of the Earth Kingdom, where he was based in, granted his wish and he started a television station at Inland.

At the time, televisions still weren't popular and were self-manufactured. Therefore, he sought his friend, Daminster, who had just invented the first commercial television set. After striking a deal, Daminster's company, Radio Cooperation of Antarctica (RCA), and television sets entered into mass-production. The television set they produced eventually cost the equivalent of today's USP6000, while the income was only today's equivalent of USP500.

Several rich folk purchased the television set through telegrams and phone calls. Sets were only 2mm wide and were extremely bulky. Nevertheless penguins still considered this a "masterpiece of the era" and reached the same popularity as that of Peach today.

At the time, the Inland-based station would broadcast from 9am to 3pm, and was shown in black-and-white.

Time slot Programming
0859 - 0900 Test pattern
0900 - 0910 Station indent, clock indent, television listings
0910 - 0930 Variety show
0931 - 1000 Morning news
1001 - 1200 Syndicated television
1201 - 1210 Station indent, clock indent, television listings
1210 - 1230 The Show with Davis Entrop
1231 - 1300 Lunchtime news
1301 - 1500 Syndicated television

Meanwhile, the RCA is constantly developing new technologies to cheapen production costs. Their Earth Kingdom base started several tree farms and they started using polycarbonate to manufacture the layers. Eventually, the price was brought down to USP3000, which attracted an even broader audience.

In 1964, they expanded their broadcasting hours from 7AM to 10PM. Several companies producing movies eventually started producing television programs as well. Several popular series included A Middream Summer's Night and Blossoms. Television sets sold hit a million in December 1964. In January of 1965, to emulate the success of newspapers, advertisements were screened in between segments of the show, eventually being integrated as a crucial element of broadcasting.

As the success of the television grew, so did competition. New television set manufacturers such as Touvalds and Snowgen each took up 10% of market share, while a rival channel, Association of Antarctic Broadcasters consisting of eleven production companies, was launched on October 7th, 1966. The AAB's broad range of stations allowed their channel to be broadcasted throughout Antarctica, covering the then-South Pole City, Fanon City and many populated towns of the day.

Land near the city was quickly purchased and in total, 35 stations were built by end 1966. The company was also divided into four divisions to suit each kingdom's terrain. As they could no longer profit from their partnership with RCA after their monopoly was destroyed, they introduced a television license system in which penguins must pay 10 pebbles each month. In return, they received better quality programming and lesser advertisements. Six million television licenses were snatched up and ATS was watched by 95% of those who owned TV sets, up from 72%. AAB only snatched 20% of the audience.

The seventies marked the arrival of WKC (eventually evolving into CPTV), ABC, SST and CKL in chronological order. WKC introduced a much cheaper license (4 pebbles per month) while SST (Sans Sanderson Television) prevented adverts from being screened. ATS was reported to earn only 12% of profit, down from 47%, in 1974. That was about to change thanks to the arrival of the new colour broadcasting system.

Colour broadcasting[edit]

The colour ATS indent from 1977 - 1980.
The clock indent before each newscast from 1983 to 1989.

In 1975, Hughe decided to make ATS go public on the YOWSER. The share price, at its peak, was 15 pebbles.

The same year, the AAB, who was losing its momentum, introduced the field sequential colour system, the first commercial colour television system. Pitching the idea to the Air Kingdom leaders, it was approved and some of its programming began to broadcast in colour. However, few companies were interested in the system, and just in time, Hughe snatched up Daminster once again to strike a deal so as to prevent it from following the field sequential colour system, as they started development on their own. The government approved the field sequential colour system, before quickly withdrawing it the following year.

In 1977, the RCA developed it's first commercial colour television set using the dot sequential colour system. It sold at USP2000. Meanwhile, ATS started development on colour programming. The first ever program broadcast in colour was Adventures of HarryGriff.

The indent was also changed to a picture of Antarctica on a black background as colours flew past, as the sentence "Brought to you in true colour!" echoed in the process. It was usually displayed before any colour production.

By end 1978, more than 20% of programs aired were in colour, mostly newscasts and outside drama serials. Approximately 32% of RCA's sales came from colour television that year. The Olde Antarctica Summit was first broadcast in colour in 1979. Adoption of the dot sequential color system by other channels first started in 1980 with ABC, whom ATS has partnered with to share programs. SST, CKL and WKC all introduced colour television in their programs throughout the early eighties. AAB only started broadcasting in the new system in 1985.

All countries at the time eventually broadcasted in colour by 1993.

Controversial period[edit]

ATS was known for its diverse programming and freedom of speech, which attracted more viewers. However, this could cause controversial legal issues. In 1982, the controversial Galore Embason, a dramedy set in the Air Kingdom, criticised the leader of the Air Kingdom as a "power-hungry tyrant", and has been depicted to try and sabotage the relationship between the protagonists. This came after the Air Kingdom's increased taxes on television operators, affecting the ATS. In October that year, a lawsuit was fired and held at the South Pole Summit. Galore Embason was ordered to cease production and was not on the air for as long as eleven years.

Hughe eventually left other production companies in charge of the programs created as they focused on the lawsuits being fired against them. Rival AAB claimed they "sabotaged them through backroom deals and monopolising the industry" in 1984. 1985 was a tipping point when Daminster was ousted from the board, in turn leading to the partnership between RCA and CPTV.

Soon, television license prices soared to cope with the lawsuits and much of ATS's market share was lost. Shares dropped to less than a pebble and production companies sought other alternatives.

Meanwhile, other television companies were also slipping away. SST was in jeopardy with a vast amount of share. SST suffered from stock dilution, or the excess production of shares, causing much differences between the company the shareholder, in turn causing share prices to drop and SST to close down. CKL was sold to ABC and the Water Kingdom withdrew the WKC due to the losses incurred. This proved vital of ATS's existence as it managed to grab hold of sufficient market share to fund their legal department.

In 1985, the following shareholders' meeting tape was discovered by the local authority's police department.

The stupid Air Kingdom monarch is giving us pressure for the increased taxes. I've already contacted the production team to change the villain from a deranged former lover to a crazy dictator. I've also avoided taxes through bribing police officers a huge sum. It'll save us a ton of money and keep us going especially with AAB's lawsuit.
 
— James H. Hughe in the shareholders meeting

Another tape was uncovered from a whistleblower. The whistleblower was his son, James Hughe II, after he ascended to the throne in 1986.

AAB has already attempted industrial espionage on our station. What a load of c**p! I've already sent out a secret service to set fire to their warehouse. Rotton fishes, they're gonna get it soon!
 
— A senior official

On October 21st, 1985, James H. Hughe and twelve senior officials, eight technical staff and five producers and directors (later the actor playing the king was also brought in) were charged for defamation and slander. Hughe was sentenced to jail for twelve years, while all others involved were sentenced for only seven years. Their terms were cut short in 1990 after the STINC-zachal.

Hughe II's succession[edit]

File:HugheII.gif
An employee instruction manual, in which the name of the company was unofficially changed to "Hughe's Empire".

During Hughe's absence, David L. Basker, a junior official in the company, took the position of acting CEO as discussions regarding the new leader were pending. On November 6, 1985, at 11:59 PM, the network announced it would be "shutting down its stations in response to the Air Kingdom's request". A nightlight station eventually took over and broadcasted the message. AAB later reported a 230% in viewership before closing its doors due to overwhelming response on January 11, 1986.

On January 15, 1986, the court of Olde Antarctica allowed James Hughe II, the son of James H. Hughe, to become the new CEO due to his effort in prosecuting his father through providing tapes. The station reopened the day after and gained an astonishing 50 million viewers, up from its previous peak at 21 million. Share prices saw a spike in the month of Wednesday from 0.1 USP to 219, the biggest number in YOWSER history ever before the 2000s.

The first set of changes brought about was the programming. Here are the list of changes in table format:

Note: Coloured box represents affected time slots

Day and Time slot Program (prior to November 7, 1985 (closure)) Program (after January 16, 1986 (reopening))
Monday - Thursday
07:00 - 10:00 Weekday Morning News Weekday Morning News
10:00 - 12:00 Syndicated television Syndicated television
12:00 - 13:00 Weekday Lunch Hour Life of Hughe II (documentary)
13:00 - 19:00 Syndicated television Syndicated television
19:00 - 20:00 Weekday Dinner News Celebrity Night Note: Only episode shown is interview with James H. Hughe II
20:00 - 20:30 The Spy (action/drama) The Spy (action/drama)
20:30 - 21:00 Au La Vista (soap opera) Acting Sniffy (soap opera starring Hughe II)
21:00 - 21:30 Documentary Hughe (episodic documentary)
21:30 - 22:00 Weekday Primetime News Weekday Primetime News
22:00 - 23:00 Late Night with Ed Kennedy Late Night with James Hughe
23:00 - 23:45 Cartoon shorts Au La Vista (soap opera)
Weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
07:00 - 10:00 Weekend Morning News Weekend Morning News
10:00 - 12:00 Syndicated television Huge Hughe! (episodic documentary)
12:00 - 13:00 Lunchtime news Lunchtime news
13:00 - 20:00 Syndicated television Syndicated television
20:00 - 21:00 The Moris Kingston Show Weekend Nightly News
21:00 - 23:00 (fri, sat, sun)
Movie, TV special Evangelist (starring Hughe II)
Late Night Football Evangelist (starring Hughe II)
Rocking Socks Evangelist (starring Hughe II)
23:00 - 24:00 Late Night with John Muvenpic Late Night with Hughe