Ulster Television

Northern Ireland

Ulster Television's topical magazine "Newsview"
Ulster Television’s topical magazine “Newsview”

Ulster Television is the company which, under agreement with the Independent Television Authority, provides the television programmes in Northern Ireland during the whole week.


Havelock House, Ormeau Road, Belfast 7.
1 Hanover Square, London W.1.
HYDe Park 0426


    ITA         Channel   Vision     Sound    Opening Date   Population ITA Homes
Transmitter             Frequency  Frequency                    000's      000's
                           Mc/s       Mc/s
Black Mountain     9     194.74325  191.234   31st Oct 1959  }             188
                                                             }  1,363
Strabane           8     189.75675  186.27    18th Feb 1963  }             ---

The Rt Hon The Earl of Antrim, DL, JP (Chairman); WB MacQuitty (Deputy Chairman); (Alternate as director – Mrs Betty MacQuitty, BSc (Econ); RB Henderson, MA (Managing Director); The Rt Hon The Countess of Antrim; Miss Betty E Box, OBE (Alternate – CSG Falloon); HAC Catherwood, JP; Captain OWJ Henderson; JP Herdman; MR Hutcheson (Sales Director); GC Hutchinson; BS Johnston, ACA (Company Secretary); B McGuckian; Major GB Mackean, DL, JP; Mrs JA Mackie, OBE; JL MacQuitty, QC, MA, LL.B; Professor JL Montrose, LL.B, LL.D; EMR O’Driscoll.


Managing Director: RB Henderson, MA; Company Secretary: Barry S Johnston, ACA; Sales Manager, Northern Ireland: Basil W Lapworth; Programme Controller: Colin W Lecky-Thompson; Publicity Manager: S Gordon Duffield; Technical Controller: Frank A Brady. Sales Director: MR Hutcheson

Religious Advisory Panel

The Rev Canon ES Barber, MA; The Rev David Burke, BA; The Rev E Lindsay; The Rev Father HP Murphy, CC; RB Henderson, MA; CW Lecky-Thompson; AF Finigan, BSc, LGSM.

Educational Advisory Panel

JJ Campbell, MA; J King Carson, MBE, MA, Dip.Ed; FJG Cook, MA; Dr Michael Grant, CBE, MA, Litt.D, FSA; EG Quigley; Alderman Mrs Hilda F Wilson; RB Henderson, MA; CW Lecky-Thompson; SG Duffield (Executive in Charge of Administration of Schools Programmes).


Total members of staff 163. Production 68, Engineering 42, Administration 22, Sales 26 and Publicity 5. In addition, 16 are employed by TV Post, an Ulster Television subsidiary. Freelance artistes, cameramen and other staff are regularly employed.

Visits to Studios

A limited number of people can tour the studios at the invitation of the company. The public occasionally participates, as an audience, in Ulster Television productions.


Enquiries about Artistes and programmes should be addressed to the Publicity Department, Ulster Television, Havelock House, Ormeau Road, Belfast 7.

Submission of Scripts

Programme or feature ideas are welcome and should be addressed to the Programme Controller. There is a limited demand for short scripts. Ideas for news features should be addressed to the Head of News.

Programme Journal

TV Post is a subsidiary of Ulster Television. It is published by Ulster Television (Publications) Limited and printed by The News-Letter. It gives exclusive coverage in the area of all Ulster Television programmes.


HAVELOCK HOUSE, Ormeau Road, Belfast 7 (Belfast 28122), the headquarters of Ulster Television, contains two general production studios, the larger measuring 1,235 sq. ft.

Both studios, together with a smaller presentation studio, are equipped with up-to-date equipment and are served by a technical system of the most modern design. Other facilities include an Engineering Workshop, Administration and Rehearsal and Dressing Rooms, a News Film Unit and Restaurant.

Ulster Television is equipped with videotape recording equipment.

Technical Development

When Ulster Television came on the air it recruited a large proportion of its engineering staff locally in an area judged to be under-equipped in trained television personnel. Yet this staff, together with trained personnel, has not only proved extremely adaptable in television operation, but has modified much existing television equipment to small studio technique. Only last year (1962) the Engineering Department was responsible for the complete technical installation of the company’s new £100,000 studio. Training has been given to the staff of several small overseas television stations.

Research Projects

The company has published two major pieces of research on Northern Ireland. The Northern Ireland Market was prepared by the Economist Intelligence Unit Limited and The Distribution of Consumer Goods in Northern Ireland by Industrial Market Research Limited.

In addition, the company commissioned the Gallup Organisation to analyse the effectiveness of its Midnight Oil adult education series.


Ulster Television productions include: Newsview, a Monday-to-Friday news magazine; Preview, a weekly entertainment review programme; Flashback, a weekly news review programme; With a Fiddle and a Flute, a musical programme; Nocturne, a light classical music programme; Midnight Oil, a “University of the Air”; Looking Back, a personal interview programme; Look Here, a current affairs programme; Teatime With Tommy, a musical request programme; End the Day, religious education; Full Time, sports coverage; Come On To…, a programme which features Ulster towns; and Farming Special, a weekly summary of farming news, views and prices.

News and Weather Coverage

Ulster Television gives a full coverage to news events in Northern Ireland. It has its own news team (which comes under a Head of News and News Features), a News Film Unit, and is widely represented throughout Northern Ireland by specially-appointed correspondents.

The main news programme is Newsview, which is transmitted each evening from Monday to Friday.

“Around the clock” coverage is provided by news bulletins and flashes on major news events.

Northern Ireland


  • Population within measured contours: Primary 1.03 mn, Secondary 0.10 mn, Fringe 0.07 mn. Total 1.20 mn.
  • Channel: Band III Channel 9 (horizontally polarised)
  • Vision Carrier Frequency: Nominal 194.75 Mc/s. Actual 194.74325 Mc/s
  • Sound Carrier Frequency: Nominal 191.25 Mc/s. Actual 191.234 Mc/s
  • Effective Radiated Power: Vision 100 kw maximum. Sound 25 kw maximum.
  • Power of Transmitters: Vision (peak white) 4 kW. Sound (carrier) 1 kW
  • Heights above sea level: Site 987 ft. Mean aerial 1,687 ft.
  • Location: 6° 1′ 10″ W, 54° 35′ 10″ N.
  • Population within predicted contours: Primary 0.108 mn, Secondary 0.073 mn, Fringe 0.069 mn. Total 0.25 mn.
  • Channel: Band III Channel 8 (vertically polarised)
  • Vision Carrier Frequency: Nominal 189.75 Mc/s. Actual 189.75675 Mc/s
  • Sound Carrier Frequency: Nominal 186.25 Mc/s. Actual 186.27 Mc/s
  • Effective Radiated Power: Vision 90 kw maximum. Sound 22.5 kw maximum.
  • Power of Transmitters: Vision (peak white) 2 x 2 kW. Sound (carrier) 2 x 0.5 kW
  • Heights above sea level: Site 900 ft. Mean aerial 1,875 ft.
  • Location: 7° 23′ 10″ W, 54° 48′ 0″ N.

Black Mountain (Channel 9) and Strabane (Channel 8)

Company: Ulster Television

A large part of Northern Ireland was provided with an Independent Television service in the Autumn of 1959 by the construction of the Black Mountain station near Belfast, close to the BBC’s existing Band I station at Divis. However, West Ulster, which includes the districts of Londonderry and Enniskillen, could not be covered by this station and, clearly, at least one additional station was needed.

The Black Mountain station overlooks Belfast and is 987 ft. above sea level. A 750 ft. mast, the highest permitted by the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation due to the proximity of the airport, was erected. It supports a moderately-directional aerial radiating about 100 kW to both the north-west and the south-west, 7o kW to the west and 20 kW to the east. This power-radiation pattern ensures the optimum coverage of the area whilst avoiding harmful interference to the service areas of other stations using Channel 9, notably Winter Hill.

Black Mountain
Black Mountain

A study of the topography of West Ulster revealed that the unserved area could economically be covered by a single station if a high site near Strabane could be obtained. A site 900 ft. above sea level was found four miles south-east of Strabane and here a station using a 1,000 ft. mast was constructed.

It has a highly-directional aerial radiating about 9o kW in two main lobes to the north and to the south. 10 kW only is radiated to the east and west, but this suffices to cover the areas not served by the Black Mountain transmitter and, at the same time, prevents unnecessary radiation into the territory of the Irish Republic to the west.

The Black Mountain station went into service on 31st October 1959. Strabane began programme transmission during February 1963.