Global vision - and cross-channel discord
The first transatlantic TV picture from space, 1962.
Within days of Telstar's launch, the international cooperation upon which it relied was severely strained.
On July 11, 1962, the first test signals from the United States were received at Pleumeur-Bodou. The following day, signal tests from Britain and France were scheduled to be sent to the USA. The British signal was a short test address from GPO engineer Charles Booth.
The signal from Pleumeur-Bodou was more involved: a ten-minute musical program, including Yves Montant singing 'La Chansonnette.' This hardly seemed like a test program. To the British, this was a breach of the agreement not to send anything other than test programs across the Atlantic until the official launch of programming, and very much a case of stolen thunder.
They protested to the European Broadcasting Union, which eventually declared the incident to be a "misunderstanding."
How to cite this page
Alexander Badenoch, 'Global vision - and cross-channel discord', Inventing Europe, http://www.inventingeurope.eu/story/global-vision-and-cross-channel-discord
- Schwoch, James. Global TV: New Media and the Cold War, 1946-69. University of Illinois Press, 2008.