Milestones In TBS History|
1970s | 1980s | 1990s
January 1, 1970
-Atlanta independent UHF Channel 17 (WJRJ) purchased and renamed WTCG (for Turner Communications Group).
April 15, 1972
-First Braves game on Channel 17 (at San Diego Padres).
October 10, 1972
-First Hawks game on Channel 17 (vs. Buffalo Braves).
January 3, 1976
-Atlanta Braves purchased by R.E. Turner.
December 17, 1976
-WTCG transmitted via satellite, becoming cable's first superstation.
January 28, 1977
-TBS purchases a controlling interest in the National Basketball Association's Atlanta Hawks.
August 21, 1979
-Turner Communications Group becomes Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
August 27, 1979
-WTCG call letters changed to WTBS.
February 1, 1981
-Superstation WTBS qualifies for Nielsen ratings.
June 29, 1981
-WTBS begins 'Turner Time,' starting programming at :05 and :35 after the hour.
January 30, 1982
-Superstation premiere of "The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau." Besides obtaining rights to the series, WTBS also contracts with The Cousteau Society to air original programming on Cousteau's explorations.
January 10, 1983
- Debut of five-year, 55-part "Portrait of America" series (Peabody Award-winner in 1984).
March 28, 1984
- "Cousteau/Amazon" series debuts (Peabody Award-winner in April 1985).
June 6, 1984
-TBS announces exclusive two-year NBA cable contract (extension through 1988 announced in February 1986 and extension through 1990 announced in November 1987).
August 20, 1984
-TBS announces long-term program-production agreement with the National Audubon Society.
January 13, 1985
-WTBS and The Cousteau Society announce agreement to co-produce original programs through 1990, titled "Cousteau's Rediscovery of the World."
April 12, 1985
-Superstation WTBS begins stereo transmission 24 hours a day (Padres vs. Braves).
August 6, 1985
-TBS announces "the Goodwill Games" world-class summer sporting event to take place in Moscow in July 1986.
September 7, 1985
-TBS wins an Emmy (Informational Special) for "Cousteau/Mississippi."
November 7, 1985
-TBS and the National Geographic Society announce long-term programming agreement.
November 18, 1985
-First Better World Society special, "Challenge of the Caucasus," debuts.
March 25, 1986
-TBS acquires MGM film library.
July 5, 1986
- "The Goodwill Games" open officially in Moscow.
August 8, 1986
-MGM Entertainment Company becomes Turner Entertainment Co.
September 8, 1986
-Color Classics debut with the world premiere of a patented color version of the Oscar®-winning movie "Yankee Doodle Dandy."
February 27, 1987
- "Secrets of the Titanic" becomes basic cable's highest-rated documentary program.
September 22, 1987
-Superstation WTBS changes its logo to SuperStation TBS to emphasize the network's national programming prominence.
-SuperStation TBS reaches 50 percent penetration of all American television households.
March 20-22, 1988
-The most extensive look ever at the people, geography and culture of the USSR, "Portrait of the Soviet Union," premieres.
July 12, 1989
-SuperStation TBS announces plans to air NBA Atlanta Hawks package, showcasing 25 regular season Hawks games during the 1989-90 season.
July 24, 1989
-SuperStation TBS announces plans to indemnify cable operators who agree not to black out TBS against syndex-related claims when the new syndicated exclusivity rules take effect on Jan. 1, 1990.
September 4, 1989
-SuperStation TBS renamed TBS Superstation to reflect the strong national standing of the network.
December 13, 1989
-TBS Superstation commemorates the 50th anniversary of "Gone With the Wind," airing a recently restored print that brings to life the vibrancy and color of the original. This also marks the network's first transmission of a D2 digital tape, ensuring the highest quality audio and video on television.