Sixty years ago, on January 3, 1954, RAI – Italian Radio and Television – began its television broadcasts on a single channel, which would later become Rai Uno.
At 11, the first RAI television announcer, Fulvia Colombo, presented the day's schedule, which was broadcast from Milan's headquarters and relay stations in Turin and Rome. She began with the words, "RAI, Italian Radio and Television, begins its regular service of television today." At 2:30 p.m., the first regular program in Italian television history was broadcast: Arrivi e partenze, hosted by Armando Pizzo and Mike Bongiorno. The evening's entertainment was a theatre performance, L'osteria della posta, written by Carlo Goldoni. At 11:15 pm, the last program of the day, La Domenica Sportiva, was aired – this has become the longest running program of Italian television as it is still aired today.
Many developments and changes have occurred since then and today RAI, Italy's national public broadcasting company, operates a large number of TV channels and radio stations. It is the second biggest broadcaster in Italy after Berlusconi's Mediaset and has a consistently high audience share of roughly 42%.
A special documentary retracing the history of Rai Television will be broadcast tonight at 9 pm on Rai Uno.