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|Radio Caracas Television|
|Type||Broadcast television network|
|First air date||November 15, 1953|
|Founded||November 15, 1953|
|Founder||William H. Phelps|
|Slogan||"Tenemos con que" (We have whereupon)|
|Owner||Radio Caracas Television RCTV, C.A. / Empresas 1BC|
|Key people||Eladio Larez, RCTV President
Marcel Granier, Empresas 1BC Director
|Launch date||November 15, 1953|
|Analog channel||2, 3, 10|
Radio Caracas Television (RCTV) is a Venezuelan television network headquartered in the Caracas neighborhood of Quinta Crespo. It is sometimes referred to as the Canal de Barcenas. The network is owned by Empresas 1BC.
 1953 to 1960
Radio Caracas Television was launched by Radio Caracas Radio (previously known as Radio Caracas) on November 15, 1953. It was the third television network to begin operations in Venezuela (Televisora Nacional, channel five, was the first and Televisa, channel four, was the second).
The following day, on November 16, 1953, El Observador Creole, Venezuela's first regular television news service, went on the air. Later, El Observador Creole changed its name to El Observador Venezolano and eventually, this would become El Observador.
Theatrical works were part of RCTV's original programming. They included titles such as Kaleidoscopio, Anecdotario, Teatro del Lunes, Gran teatro, Ciclorama, Cuentos del Camino, and Candilejas were broadcasted.
In 1954, RCTV introduced El Show de las Doce, one of the first variety programs in Venezuela, which was conducted by Víctor Saume. Guest stars on this show included Pedro Infante, Libertad Lamarque, Magdalena Sánchez, and Cherry Navarro, to name a few.
The first television soap opera (telenovela) to air in Venezuela was RCTV's Camay in 1954. It starred Hilda Vera and Luis Salazar and came on at 9pm. Since then, telenovelas have been a very important part of RCTV's programming.
Throughout the 1950s, telenovelas contained between 20 and 25 epidodes, were on 15 minutes a day (about three of those for advertisements), and were televised live.
In early 1955, RCTV began service exclusively to Caracas on channel two from a new transmitting station located in the Caracas neighborhood of La Colina.
By July, RCTV began regular service to other parts of Venezuela from two repeator stations located in Altamira and south of the Lake Valencia (enabling RCTV to be seen in the cities of Valencia and Maracay on channel seven).
Later, RCTV began service in the Falcon State and the Netherland Antillies on channel 10 from a repeator station located in Curimagua. In January 1957, RCTV made improvements to this repeator station. RCTV also began service to the Zulia State from the Isla de Toas and to the Lara State from mount Manzano in Barquisimeto.
In 1958, RCTV began airing La Voz de la Revolucion, the first political opinion show to air in Venezuela.
In 1959, Tito Martinez Del Box, a producer from Argentina, brought to RCTV La Gran Cruzada del Buen Humor, which later became Radio Rochela. This program made the Guinness World Records for being on the air for five decades uninterrupted (it is currently seen every Monday at 8pm).
 1960 to 1970
In the 1960s, the videotape system appeared in Venezuela, meaning that all shows no longer had to be made live and could be edited for content.
In 1961, RCTV began experimenting with stereo sound during a variety show with the help of Radio Caracas Radio. In that same year, a fire partially destroyed RCTV's studios in Caracas.
In 1964, RCTV built a new transmitting station on the mountains located to the southeast of Puerto la Cruz and Barcelona to offer a better service to the Isla de Margarita, Cumaná, Barcelona, Puerto La Cruz, and other towns in the Sucre and Anzoátegui States by way of channel three.
Later, RCTV inaugurated a transmitting station on Pico Terepaima, south of Barquisimeto, that introduced higher quality service to the Lara, Yaracuy, and Portuguesa States on channel three.
Telenovelas went to lasting 15 minutes a day to between 30 to 60 minutes a day during this decade. Also, telenovelas with sole sponsors disappeared in the year 1964 with the telenovelas La Novela del Hogar (which came on a 2pm), La Novela de Pasion (which came on at 2:25pm), and La Novela Romantica (which came on at 2:55pm).
La Tirana (1967, created by Manuel Muñoz Rico), was the first telenovela to be aired on Saturdays.
On July 21, 1969, RCTV was one of the only television stations that transmitted, live, direct, and exclusively the first visit to the moon by humans. Until then, this was perhaps the most extraordinary event seen on television in the world.
 1970 to 1980
In 1972, RCTV began selling the rights of some of their programs to other television stations in other countries. Today, RCTV claims that some of their shows can be seen in more than 60 countries and dubbed in more than 20 languages. The three hundred episode telenovela, La Usurpadora was RCTV's first telenovela seen in a different country.
Doña Bárbara, based on the novel written by Rómulo Gallegos, was RCTV's first color production. It was adapted for television by Jose Ignacio Cabrujas with Marina Baura as the title role. This production was the first Venezuelan program that was broadcast in Europe. It should also be mentioned that 80% of the telenovela was filmed outdoors.
 1980 onwards
During the first years of the 1990s, RCTV developed a series of made-for-TV-movies. Some were based on non-fictional and fictional events. Among these included: La Madamme (with Mimí Lazo), Cuerpos Clandestinos (with María Conchita Alonso), Volver a ti (with Ruddy Rodríguez), and Buen Corazón (with Coraima Torres).
By 1992, RCTV had lost much of its audience to its main rival, Venevisión, but after the launch of Por Estas Calles, RCTV became by far the number one television station in Venezuela in terms of rating. This resulted in Venevisión to cancel its contract with Marte TV (Channel 12; now La Tele), and as a result Marte TV nearly entered bankruptcy.
During RCTV's 50th anniversary week, in November 2003, segments of past shows and old newscasts were aired.
In Venezuela, as in many other countries, reality shows have become very popular. They include ¿Quien Quiere Ser Millonario? (the Venezuelan version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?), Fama y Aplausos (later Fama Sudor y Lagrimas, similar to American Idol), and Date con Todo, the competition of Bailando con las Estrellas on Super Sabado Sensacional (Venevisión).
On December 15, 2006, Tu Tienda RCTV, a gift shop which sells various products containing the logo of RCTV, ¿Quien Quiere Ser Millonario?, and RCTV's new telenovela, Te Tengo en Salsa, opened in the Recordland at the Sambil Mall in Caracas.
 Evolution of RCTV's logo
RCTV has had three different logos throughout their history.
 Current schedule
- Further information: List of programs broadcast by RCTV
To see RCTV's current schedule chart, click the following link. Shows labelled PN or PNI are produced by RCTV or by a company affiliated with RCTV, respectively.
El Observador is RCTV's news program. It currently broadcasts three times a day (except for Sundays, when it only comes on during important events such as an election).
 International broadcasts
Aside from the fact that some of RCTV's programs can be seen in other countries on various channels, RCTV, together with Globovisión, have created TV Venezuela, a premium subscription channel available to those with a DirecTV service.
RCTV has been criticized by Hugo Chávez's government and supporters for their presumed role in the April 11 Venezuelan coup attempt of 2002 and the December 2, 2002 to February 4, 2003 Venezuelan general strike (where free advertisements for the opposition were apparently broadcast by privately owned TV stations including RCTV). On the afternoon of April 11, Chávez interrupted the broadcasting of the opposition march to the Miraflores presidential palace to make a speech. Halfway through his speech, RCTV and the other major private networks, interrupted his speech to broadcast a shooting that was taking place at the march. Chávez responded by ordering all of the major private networks off the air (they came back on right after Chávez was overthrown). Over the next couple of days, the private networks would support Pedro Carmona's interim government. Isaías Rodríguez, Venezuela's pro-Chávez, prosecutor general, requested a press conference where he claimed that he was going to announce his resignation. Instead of resigning, he announced that Chávez had not resigned and that he had been overthrown.  All of the private networks responded by cutting off his speech. As the coup began to collapse, Chávez supporters went to RCTV's headquarters and smashed their lobby's window, while RCTV was airing cartoons. 
The Venezuelan government has been threatening RCTV that they will not be renewing their broadcast license which expires in May 2007. On December 28, 2006, president Hugo Chávez announced that the government will not renew RCTV's broadcast license in May 27, 2007. 
- The host of ¿Quién Quiere Ser Millonario? (a Venezuelan version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?) is Eladio Lárez, who is also the president of RCTV.
- The music that can be heard during the broadcast of El Observador was also used as the music for El Observador back in the 1970s and early 1980s.
- RCTV's studios are located in the neighborhood of Quinta Crespo in central Caracas.
- In the late 1980s, while being interviewed by Luis Guillermo García, a former reporter for El Observador, former president of Venezuela Jaime Lusinchi became angry with him and said "a mí tú no me jodes" (you don't fuck me) on live TV.
- The 1966 telenovela Mamá Trompeta was one of the first telenovelas made by RCTV that was starred by a foreign actress, Sara García, who came from Mexico.
- On September 26, 1981, there was a news flash on RCTV that prematurely declared the death of former president of Venezuela, Rómulo Betancourt. This was condemned by the Venezuelan government.
- RCTV used to be seen on channel 7 (though in a few areas today, it can still be seen on that channel).
- RCTV has been famous for its station identification promotions. Currently, these promotions are developed by the Guayoyo Motion Graphics Company (who also develops the station identification promotions for Warner Channel in Latin America). Many of RCTV's old promotions from the 1980s and 1990s can be found at http://www.youtube.com/
 See also
- List of programs broadcast by RCTV
- List of RCTV slogans
- List of Venezuelan television channels
- Empresas 1BC
- Radio Caracas Radio
- RCTV International
- TV Venezuela
- ^ http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/ve406e.pdf
- ^ http://www.libertad-prensa.org/Director.aspx?P=Articulo&A=164
- ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6215815.stm