Limits on Broadcasting Hours

Incredible though it seems today, until 1972 broadcasting hours were limited by the government, basically to 50-60 hours a week. Some programmes were exempt. The rules applied in 1963 were:
  1. Broadcasting hours shall not exceed:
    1. 50 hours a week;
    2. 8 hours in any day
  2. The following broadcasts shall not be taken into account for the purposes of rule 1:
    1. Religious Programmes (ie acts of worship from a church or studio, and other programmes which the Authority, with the advice of the Central Religious Advisory Committee, approves for broadcasting under the terms of Section 3 (4)(a) of the Television Act 1954);
    2. Ministerial and party political broadcasts;
    3. Outside broadcasts up to a maximum of 350 hours in any one calendar year of events neither devised nor promoted by the Authority or its programme contractors;
    4. Any broadcast in excess of 8 hours on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Eve or New Year's Day;
    5. Schools broadcasts;
    6. Repeats of schools broadcasts during school holidays of up to one hour daily for a total of ten days;
    7. Broadcasts in the Welsh language;
    8. Broadcast of a "parade" of new advertisements, made before 12 noon on one day a week (other than a Sunday)
  3. On Sundays:
    1. There shall be no broadcasting between 6.15pm and 7.15pm; but this paragraph does not apply to religious programmes as defined in rule 2.i, or to outside broadcasts of events neither devised nor promoted by the Authority or its programme contractors, or to programmes in the Welsh language;
    2. Any programmes between 2pm and 4pm are to be designated for adults;
    3. The Postmaster-General has granted an additional hour of broadcasting on Sundays between 10am and 11am for an experimental period of three months for the transmission of adult educational programmes.

Rule 2.vi and 2.viii legitimised practices underway; in neither case were these broadcasts really intended for the general public.

The Sunday rules clear come from a different age. Adult programmes were required on Sunday afternoon so that children wouldn't be encouraged not to go to Sunday School by them. Similarly their parents were not allowed to be enticed to stay at home in the evening away from church by the television, except for some reason if they were Welsh speakers.

These rules were relaxed slightly through the years, but were finally swept away on 19 January 1972.