ABC Television

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Associated British Corporation, owned by cinema chain ABPC, was the third ITV station to take to the air (after Associated-Rediffusion and ATV). It broadcast to the English Midlands and the North of England on weekends, commencing in the Midlands on 18 February 1956, and in the North of England on 5 May of the same year. After a slow start, the company became renowned for having a strong corporate identity and a large range of popular programmes, including The Avengers, Armchair Theatre, World of Sport and Britain's first teenage music show, Oh Boy!.

In the 1967 franchise round, the weekday/weekend splits in the Midlands and North of England were removed, with ATV and Granada Television going seven days in the Midlands and the North West of England respectively and the Yorkshire area passing to the new Yorkshire Television, and ABC's hopes of obtaining the London weekend franchise were dashed by David Frost's London Television Consortium, which became London Weekend Television. The Independent Television Authority however, did not want ABC to disappear from the scene, and thus arranged a "shotgun marriage" between it and Rediffusion - creating a new London weekday station, Thames Television. ABC's final day of broadcasting was 28 July 1968, with Thames commencing two days later.

ABC's in-house programme library is now owned by French media company StudioCanal, although the copyrights to them are shared with ITV.

1st ID (18 February 1956-13 September 1958)

Visuals: On a black background, there is a downward-pointing triangle containing "ABC" at the top, and a bar with slanted ends across the middle of the triangle with "TELEVISION" inside it. There is also the word "presents" below the triangle.

Variant: Starting in 1957, the "presents" text would be in a Mistral font and is on the bottom tip of the triangle. The logo is also bigger.

Technique: Cel animation.

Audio: Three "chimes" based, perhaps unsurprisingly, on the musical notes A, B and C, followed by three drumbeats. Composed by Bob Sharples.

Availability: There is a Flash remake of this on

2nd ID (14 September 1958-1964)

Visuals: On a black background, three triangles drop down one-by-one at a fast pace, leaving line trails as they drop. The first triangle reveals an “A”, the second reveals a “B”, and the last one reveals a “C”. They join together to form a large white triangle with what looks like a black propeller inside. “PRESENTS” or “NETWORK” quickly unfolds below, letter-by-letter.

Accompanying clock idents: For it serving three regions at once, it had three unique clocks used during its lifetime.

  • London: A grey background with a white analog clock and kite-shaped hands. Blocks represent the hours and the ABC logo can be seen in the top left. The second hand moves smoothly here.
  • Midlands: Similar to the London clock, but with a black background, a rounder-looking appearance, and numbers displayed on the cardinal directions. The second hand moves with a jitter motion here.
  • North: A black background, but with a completely different clock with dots to represent the minute points, and no logo in sight.


  • One opening variant had "NETWORK" appearing first when the Propeller Triangle was forming before the film splicing to the completed logo with "PRESENTS" under it.
  • A still version exists, in both B&W and colour. The coloured version has a white propeller, which appears to be in 3D judging from the shadows, and (starting clockwise) the triangles were yellow, red, and blue respectively.

Technique: Cel animation.

Audio: Same as the 1st logo, with the "chimes" sounding as the letters are revealed after the triangles drop. There are three different variations on the chimes. They're nicknamed "Twinkling" (had the chimes in a high pitch and lacked the drums at the end), "Clunky" (the most familiar Version), and "Definitive" (which was a variation of "Clunky").

Availability: Preserved on sites like TVARK, among others; also has a Flash remake on This was also used by ABC to introduce certain productions in their theatres, so it can also be seen on Halas & Batchelor shorts.

3rd ID (1964-28 July 1968)

Visuals: On a black background, the same triangle from before zooms in towards the camera and disappears. One by one, three triangles drop at a fast pace (this time, not forming trails like before). The first one reveals an “A”, the second reveals a “B”, and the last one reveals a “C” (all in a different font). They join together to form the same shape, then “presents” or “Television” (also in a different font) quickly zooms-in.


  • In some cases, this logo appeared without "presents" zooming-in.
  • A variant with "Television" replacing "presents" has also existed.

Technique: Cel animation.

Audio: Same as the 1st logo. Again, the "chimes" sound as the letters are revealed. The only difference is there is a shorter pause between the chimes and the drums.

Availability: Again, it has a Flash remake on Also seen on sites like TVARK, among others.

External Links

ABC Television
Thames Television
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