Television Jamaica (TVJ)
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by Serena Grant

Jamaica’s premier free to air television station Television Jamaica (TVJ), has become a blueprint for other local channels, however, none have come close to the media giant. With its standout personalities and must see, water-cooler-talk-producing programmes, TVJ has the Jamaican viewing audience hooked.

From news, sports and of course entertainment, TVJ continues to come out on top of its television counter parts.  

However, before TVJ was the leader is programming and cutting edge technology (their live streams via 1 are second to none on the island), the channel was blissfully black and white in the homes of a few Jamaicans, whose neighbours would crowd around the then technological wonder - the television.

Here are few facts about TVJ you may, or may not, have known:

  • TVJ was at first called Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation Television (JBC TV) (talk about a flash back).

  • JBC – TV was name after the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation, an organization started on June 15, 1959 by one of Jamaica’s eventual National Heroes, Norman Manley.

  • JBC TV first came on the air on August 6, 1963 (a year after Jamaica gained Independence from Britain).

  • Because of dire financial constraints, the only programming aired on JBC – TV for some time programmes American and British shows (can you imagine?)

  • Because of its founder’s political ties, JBC-TV was accused of being biased in their reporting. This resulted in strike action being taken in 1964. When the dust settled, most of the journalist working with the station got the boot.

  • Original programming became more prominent in 1972 as by this time, JBC TV was receiving government funding for programming.

  • JBC TV aired Jamaica’s first soap opera in 1989, (you guessed it) Lime Tree Lane.

    Jamaicans young and old crowded around their television sets to watch the antics of Mass Gussy, Johnny, Tiny, Miss Zella, Donald and the others. Talk about memories!

  • On August 1, 1997, JBC TV was renamed Super Supreme Television (SSTV) after it was acquired by RJR (I bet you did not remember that!).

  • In October of 1998 (SSTV) became Television Jamaica (TVJ) and was officially integrated into the RJR Communications Group.

And as they say, well, the rest is history :-)


Robinson, C. (2003) - JBC TV – A birthday without celebration  . Retrieved from

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