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Network On Air: New streaming service relives 1960s TV

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Staff Writer

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Streamers can go back to the 1960s this summer with the launch of a new VOD service, Network on Air.

The digital platform, which launched at the start of the month, brings nostalgic television favourites into the online age with a curated collection of series from the archives of ABC Television – which broadcast in the Midlands and Northern England between 1956 and 1968. Many of its programmes have not been seen since their original broadcast.

The service isn’t subscription-based, due to rights reasons, but offers the chance to rent collections of four to six hours’ worth of programming. Series include Dial 999, Big Night Out, Armchair Theatre and The Bruce Forsyth Show as well as Jezebel Ex UK. Selected episodes from each are grouped into collections. There are also curated bundles called Nights In, which include new linking material from David Hamilton (original ABC continuity announcer and host), clips and contemporary ads.

The second Night In bundle includes an exclusive documentary, Your Faces Are All Blurred, featuring Michael Caine in conversation with Roderick Mann, originally aired in 1967, while the fourth Night In collection features the exclusive Getting Rid of People, which features a profile of Peter Sellers.

Titles are available to watch for 28 days after their initial rental, with prices ranging from £2.99 to £4.99.

Original ABC Announcer David Hamilton says: “In October 1960, I made my television debut as an announcer for ABC TV at the Didsbury studios in Manchester. In those days there were only two TV channels – BBC and ITV. ABC, the weekend contractor in the North and Midlands, had a blockbuster schedule and people went to work on Monday mornings talking about the programmes they had all seen the night before, something that couldn`t happen today – truly a golden era of television.”

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