Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation

Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation

Infobox Network
network_name = The Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation (GBC)
country = GIB
network_type = Broadcast radio, television
and e-Radio
available = National
(international via e-Radio)
owner =
key_people = Gerard Teuma, Head of Radio
founder =
slogan = "First for local news"
launch_date = 1958 (radio) 1963 (television)
past_names = "Gibraltar Television"
website = []

The Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) is Gibraltar's public service broadcaster. It has provided the community with a radio and television service since 1963.


Modelled on the BBC, the Corporation was established in 1963 with the amalgamation of "Gibraltar Television", a private company, and the Government-owned radio service, "Radio Gibraltar" which started regular broadcasting in 1958. Unlike the BBC, the majority of GBC's funding comes in the form of a grant from the Government. GBC did receive a small amount of income from the levying of a television licence fee. However, it was announced in Gibraltar's budget speech of 23 June, 2006 that the TV licence was to be abolished.


Radio Gibraltar broadcasts 24 hours a day and its programme format is similar to that of commercial local radio stations in the United Kingdom. The station operates on both FM and AM, broadcasting a mix of local programming in English and Spanish, and retransmissions of the BBC World Service. In December 2005, GBC started internet streaming of its radio service on the Internet, which, along with an up-to-date programme guide for GBC television and radio, can be found on the [ website] . You can hear Radio Gibraltar live from 7AM to 8PM on weekdays, after 8PM the station plays continuous music through the night with only the brief interuption of Radio Gibraltar's jingle. On the station's A.M. frequencies BBC transmission can be heard through the night. On Weekends the station broadcasts live from 8AM to 9PM with the same format. Radio Gibraltar's station is currently located at 18 South barrack Road in Gibraltar's south district, after moving there in the 1980s from Wellington Front,it's old location since it's beginning in 1958.

On Saturday 16 February 2008 "Radio Gibraltar" celebrated its 50th anniversary. In order to commemorate the occasion, past presenters were invited to co-host programmes in the slot whch they once occupied, amongst them Peter Canessa, David Hoare, Norma Delgado, Gerry Martinez, Christine Dobinson and Richard Cartwright. During the week leading up to the anniversary, "Radio Gibraltar" broadcast interviews with former presenters who recalled their memories of "Radio Gibraltar" as well as on-air jingles from the past. One of the high points of "Radio Gibraltar's" history was that it served as a communications link between Gibraltar and the neighbouring communities in Spain during the closure of the land frontier, which divided families between 1969 and 1982. A special Roadshow live from Main Street was held on the anniversary.

GBC TV showed a special programme to commemorate "Radio Gibraltar's" 50th anniversary which was celebrated during the week starting 18 February 2008.


The television service also broadcasts 24 hours a day with the programme profile favouring the inclusion of local productions, including news and current affairs programmes. GBC TV programming airs daily between 7:30pm and 11:30pm, with the rest of its transmission hours being taken up by an Information Service which provides local information as well as from time to time broadcasting TV programme replays and programming from the channel's archives.

Local Television shows airing on GBC TV include:
* "Newswatch" - the channel's flagship news bulletin which airs every weekday at 8:30pm and replayed at 11pm.
* "Talk About Town" - A discussion series in Llanito (the local vernacular) in which three presenters discuss local affairs, from the need to replace a street sign to important political affairs.
* "Viewpoint" - The flagship political discussion show.
* "Pepe's Pot" - Culinary series in Llanito in which presenter Pepe Palmero teaches viewers how to prepare local favourites. The series ended after 5 seasons in 2006.
* "Sports Report" - Long running local sports review type show
* "Telebingo" - Long running local gameshow hosted by local presenter David Hoare and then Andy Coumbe, based on the traditional bingo game. The gameshow ended on July 25 2007. .

GBC TV also screens religious, music, history and children's programmes as well as many specials which cover events held in the local community.

The channel also screens some canned output, mostly consisting of shows imported from the US, UK and Australia. Some shows to have aired on the channel since it ceased BBC Prime transmissions and relaunched in 1999 include:
Bodyguards, SeaChange, Bonanza, The Lone Ranger, Catherine Cookson, The Worst Witch, Skippy, and Cold Squad. It also broadcasts the shows "Cinema Cinema Cinema", "Cybernet" and "Gillette World Sport" on a weekly basis.

As has been the trend worldwide, GBC TV has also added a few reality shows to their line-up in recent years. The first reality Talent Contest to air on the GBC was "Let's Dance", a take on the BBCs "Strictly Come Dancing" contest. In the GBC take, various local personalities competed in a weekly competition that run for four weeks. A second series followed a year later. January 2007 saw the launch of GBC's new reality contest - "Weekend Warrior" in which two teams of local personalities battled it out against each other in a boot camp type competition. A second series has already been given the go ahead for 2008.

In 1999, GBC TV piloted the screening of a Spanish language programme in their late night slot (10:30pm). "Flor de Oro", a Colombian telenovela was the first Spanish language serial to air on the channel. It ran for 65 episodes and had a replay the next day at 2pm. Following the conclusion of the serial, GBC TV launched a second telenovela, "Modelos 90 60 90", this time opting not to include it in its nightly transmissions and only maintaining it in its 2pm slot. When the serial finished, GBC ended its Spanish language television programming and restricted Spanish broadcasts to radio (Radio Gibraltar) in its traditional 2 - 4pm slot.

With the arrival of satellite TV to Gibraltar, GBC TV decided to compete with a Microwave Distribution System MMDS which carried the BBC Europe service (later to become BBC World). Due to difficulties in securing the rights to rebroadcast other channels, and propagation problems, the service was terminated. GBC started relaying BBC Prime on its normal channels. In the early 1990s this comprised the channel's programming throughout the day with GBC TV productions screening in appointed "windows"; such as the "NewsWatch" programme at 8:30pm. At the time reception of these satellite channels required a 4m dish which was impractical for home users. The BBC service was encrypted with decoders supplied to licence holders free of charge.

This rebroadcasting ended in 1999 when GBC ceased BBC transmission in favour of a relaunch which would see the channel broadcasting its own output between 7:30pm and 11:30pm.

Prior to the 1990s, GBC TV was the only English language channel available in Gibraltar. As a result, Gibraltarian viewers saw legendary TV shows first on GBC TV. Some well known TV shows to have aired on GBC TV include:
Dallas, The Sullivans, EastEnders, Coronation Street, Benny Hill, Wonder Woman, Charlie's Angels, Bonanza, Skippy, The Bill Cosby Show, The Simpsons, Twin Peaks, St Elsewhere, Hunter, 'Allo 'Allo!, Birds of a Feather, and Blackadder.

The Board

The activities of the Corporation are controlled and governed by a Board consisting of a Chairman and not more than seven members appointed by the Governor. Subject only to any directions of the Governor-in-Council the Board is responsible for the Corporation’s policy.The Corporation appoints the General Manager and other staff to carry out its policies and the Board is empowered to delegate any of their duties to their employees except responsibility for policy. Within GBC the Board’s powers are absolute.

The Chairman and Board thus work through their permanent staff, headed by the General Manager, who are responsible to the Board.Although the chief concern of the Board is undoubtedly broad policy, once laid down it is left to the General Manager and senior staff, whom they appoint to carry out as trustees of the public interest in broadcasting. In view of their ultimate responsibility for everything that is broadcast, it is the Board’s duty to take an active interest not only in the programmes, but also in the financial and staff policies of the Corporation.

This is done through a number of sub-committees in which Board members and senior staff participate in decisions relating to the treatment of political and public affairs, finance and development, and programmes. Only the House of Assembly has the power to change the Ordinance and the Governor-in-Council the Directions.


In summer 2007, the Government of Gibraltar announced that if it were to be re-elected in that year's elections, they would review broadcasting in Gibraltar and GBC TV and Radio would undergo a major overhaul in 2008. The GSD Government was then subsequently re-elected in 2007 for a further term. It has been said that the Government would consider privatising in full or in part broadcasting in Gibraltar.

During a function held to celebrate Radio Gibraltar's 50th anniversary, Chief Minister Peter Caruana announced that the planned review of GBC and Broadcasting in Gibraltar would take place before the end of 2008.


Radio Gibraltar

* Medium Wave 1458 kHz (206 metres)
* FM 91.3 MHz West side of the Rock and town area.
* FM 92.6 MHz South District and Costa del Sol (Spain)
* FM 100.5 MHz South District and Bay of Gibraltar.

GBC Television
* VHF Channel 12 West side of Rock including town area.
* VHF Channel 6 Town area, East Side including Catalan Bay and Cost del Sol (Spain)
* UHF Channel 53 South District
* UHF Channel 56 North District
* UHF Channel 32


* GBC Radio live 24/7 in both Real Audio and Windows Media formats
* GBC Television for special events in Real Media format.
* Daily news headlines in Real Audio.

External links

* [ GBC website, with live streaming]

ee also

* Communications in Gibraltar

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