Since it began broadcasting in Wollongong with one station in 1963, the growth of the WIN Television Network is one of this country’s most outstanding success stories. Bruce Gordon acquired control of the company in 1979 and initiated a period of growth which has seen the Network spread to Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia. It is now the largest regional television broadcaster in Australia and is the fourth largest in Australia behind Networks Nine, Seven, and Ten. The WIN Network covers an area greater in size than Europe. WIN’s expansion into South and Western Australia increased the total potential audience to 4.842 million people across Australia.

The inaugural growth phase of the company began with the acquisition of television RTQ7 Rockhampton, radio station i98FM Wollongong and film and television production company, Crawfords Productions, in Melbourne. The most prominent change the regional television industry has experienced, was brought about by the 1987 Government Legislation introducing television aggregation which combined solus television markets into larger service areas giving viewers a choice of three channels whereas previously there had been only one.

Southern New South Wales and the ACT were the first to take on this new challenge by expanding the Wollongong, Orange, Wagga and Canberra markets. New television facilities were built in these cities and WIN’s viewing audience increased to 1.25 million people. Queensland soon followed, with the provision of a service to 1.35 million people from Cairns in the far north through Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Bundaberg, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba. WIN soon emerged as the number one rating regional Network in these two states.

The aggregation of TV stations proved a costly exercise in expansion for the group, increasing staff numbers and facilities threefold. At that time, Gordon decided to increase his shareholding and privatised the company in 1991. To service a growing number of national and multi-national clients, WIN established a National Sales organisation, Nine Affilliate Sales, in 1992 with offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. This has grown to become the premier regional sales representation company in Australia.

Recently a name change took place to better reflect its business and the national sales arm of the Corporation is now known as WIN NBN Sales. A take-over of the publicly listed ENT Ltd was completed in September 1994 bringing to the group two additional aggregated television markets. One being Victoria, which services 1.093 million people in the regional areas of Mildura and Albury in the north, through Gippsland, Ballarat and Bendigo to Warrnambool in the south, and the other, comprising the whole state of Tasmania delivering 480,000 people with one station in Hobart and another in Launceston, which also covers the northern areas of Devonport and Burnie. The addition of these two states made WIN the number one rating Network in regional Australia.

The July 1998 acquisition of MTN Television in Griffith, New South Wales just preceded the network’s expansion into Western Australia where 60 transmitters were installed across the State and commenced broadcasting March 1999. In August 1999 the South Australian stations, SES Mt. Gambier and RTS Riverland were acquired giving WIN a presence in every State of Australia and taking the total number of stations in the network to 26. WIN Corporation also owns a 44% shareholding in STW 9, Perth.

The WIN Television Network has the largest terrestrial coverage of any television group in Australia and possibly the world. On the east coast of Australia and Tasmania, WIN is affiliated with the Nine Network. In Western Australia, which is a two-station market, WIN has exclusive rights to Nine and Ten Network programming although the base format is Nine Network delivered by satellite to Kununurra in the north, Albany in the south and Eucla in the east.

WIN’s engineers were challenged with Western Australia’s vastness, covering a geographical area, one-third of Australia’s land mass. In South Australia, which are one station markets, the programming is made up of the best from each of the three commercial networks. Businesses in the group, other than television, include Wollongong’s No.1 radio station i98 fm, Crawford Productions Ltd – Australia’s oldest and most distinguished film and television production house, Broadcast Transmission Services specialising in operations, maintenance and installation services to the broadcast and telecommunication industries.

WIN Properties Pty Ltd which controls holdings of commercial and residential property and the land development company, Mt. Leslie Estates Pty Ltd. WIN Corporation, which now employs approximately 850 Australians, has experienced outstanding growth over the past twenty years and the new millenium sees this continuing.

   


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