A trip down memory lane vol. 2: Estonian Television celebrates 60 years

  • image

    Urmas Ott interviewing model Carmen Kass (Ülo Josing)

  • photo

    TV-presenter Anu Välba in "Teletop" (Toomas Tuul)

  • photo

    Actors Andrus Vaarik and Anu Lamp in "Hardi Volmeri show" (Raivo Tiikmaa)

  • photo

    ETV's evening news program "Aktuaalne Kaamera" celebrates its 30,000 show (Raivo Tiikmaa)

  • photo

    Trendy TV-program "Noortestuudio pärastlõuna" with host Ivar Vigla, 1987 (Peeter Sirge)

  • photo

    Then prime minister Edgar Savisaar and minister of the state Raivo Vare at ETV's studio in 1991 (Ülo Josing)

  • photo

    Legendary TV host Urmas Ott interviewing Russian actor Vladimir Vinokur (Faivi Kljutšik)

  • photo

    ETV's news program "Aktuaalne Kaamera" celebrates its 25,000 show (Peeter Sirge)

  • photo

    Singer Anne Veski and musician Ain Tammesson performing at ETV studio (Ülo Josing)

  • photo

    Miss Estonia 1991 Erika Bauer (Ülo Josing)

  • photo

    Singer-songwriter and rock musician Gunnar Graps, 1993 (Heidi Maasikmets)

  • photo

    Actors Aarne Üksküla and Enn Kraam (Heidi Maasikmets)

  • photo

    Preparing for film shoot (Toomas Tuul)

  • photo

    Popular characters Sööbik and Pisik from a TV-play, based on a book by Thorbjorn Egner (Heidi Maasikmets)

  • photo

    Operator's assistant Andrus Tuisk, 1986 (Raivo Tiikmaa)

  • photo

    Reception of Olympic winners Erika Salumäe and Tiit Sokk at Freedom Square (Ülo Josing)

  • photo

    Then prime minister Mart Laar at ETV's studio in 1994

  • photo

    Popular TV-play (Heidi Maasikmets)

  • photo

    Strippers, brought in to perform on "Night TV" in early 1990s (Ülo Josing)

  • photo

    Eurovision Song Contest 1994 - singer Silvi Vrait, musician Urmas Lattikas and songwriter Ivar Must (Toomas Tuul)

  • photo

    Doctor turned MP Viktor Vassiljev and TV host Hagi Šein in ETV's seniors' program "Prillitoos" (Heidi Maasikmets)

  • photo

    Last Soviet leader Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev visits Estonia in 1987 (Ülo Josing)

  • photo

    Actress Helgi Sallo in "Kunksmoor" (Raivo Tiikmaa)

  • photo

    Singers Reet and Ivo Linna with host Vahur Kersna, 1992

  • photo

    A scene from ETV's children's program "Miljon miksi" (Heidi Maasikamets)

  • photo

    (Raivo Tiikmaa)

  • photo

    The crew behind hugely popular comedy sketch show "Kitsas king" (Ülo Josing)

  • photo

    Pätu, a popular Estonian book and television series character (Heidi Maasikamets)

  • photo

    Miss Estonia 1989 Cathy Korju (Ülo Josing)

  • photo

    TV hosts Reet Oja and Mati Talvik (Toomas Tuul)

  • photo

    Blocking access to ETV studios during the 1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt (Ülo Josing)

  • photo

    ETV's once popular dating show (Ülo Josing)

  • photo

    Athletes Andrus Värnik and Andrus Utsar (Ülo Josing)

  • photo

    Winners of Eurovision 2001 Tanel Padar and Dave Benton (Ülo Josing)

  • photo

    Hosts of Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Estonia, opera singer Annely Peebo and actor Marko Matvere (Ülo Josing)

  • photo

    Kaidor Kahar hosting ETV's weekly nature show "Osoon" (Ülo Josing)

  • photo

    A scene from Kreisiraadio's sketch show (Ülo Josing)

  • photo

    ETV's children's program "Potsu" from 1996 (Toomas Tuul)

  • photo

    Independence Day reception by President Lennart Meri and the first lady (Ülo Josing)

  • photo

    Miss Eesti 1998 Karin Laasmäe (Ülo Josing)

  • photo

    Dolls depicting president Arnold Rüütel and first lady Ingrid Rüütel, from comedy show "Pehmed ja Karvased" (The soft and the furry) (Ülo Josing)

  • photo

    Mihkel Kärmas and Vahur Kersna, hosts of "Pealtnägija" (Witness) (Toomas Tuul)

  • photo

    "Mõmmi and the ABC" (Toomas Tuul)

7/17/2015 4:57 PM
Category: Entertainment

Estonian Television (ETV), the crown jewel of Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR), is celebrating 60 years of national broadcasting. ERR News publishes bits of the station's vast photo archive.

ETV was launched on July 19, 1955, following the Soviet government's decision to establish a television station in 1953.

Regardless of whether the Soviets had more sinister aims than providing a hotbed for Estonian language and culture on the TV-screens, the national TV channel has maintained a unique archive which is part of a rich Estonian cultural heritage.

True, some Russian-language programs and films were also forced upon on the ETV's program during the occupation, but nevertheless the original material that was produced – from talk-shows to documentaries and TV-plays to children's programs – is impressive.

The important value of national television was especially significant following the Soviet perestroika and during the Singing Revolution, when ETV was giving more and more airtime to various Estonian intellectuals and thinkers who were openly critizising the Soviet regime and later called for Estonian independence. For example, it was live on air on the ETV-show “Mõtleme Veel” (let's think again) on April 13, 1988, when Edgar Savisaar introduced an idea to establish the Popular Front of Estonia, which later called for self-governing Estonia and organized series of much-crowded events and actions which increased national pride.

With independence restored and capitalism ushered in, ETV went through slightly turbulent period in the 1990s. Competing private TV-channels TV3 and Kanal 2 were founded and due to unstable state-funding, ETV allowed TV-advertizing for the first time (it stopped showing commercials in 2002, after a deal in which private broadcasters pay around 15 percent of the ETV's funding for their exclusive right to screen TV-advertizing).

The decade also saw many stalwart TV anchors and personalities, such as Urmas Ott, leave ETV – either to private channels or more lucrative jobs elsewhere.

In a more positive news, ETV became an active member of the European Broadcasting Union and hosted the Eurovision Song Contest in 2002, after previous year win by Estonia.

ETV was merged with Estonian Radio Service in 2007, despite some opposition, to form what is now known as Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR).

Today, ETV is again cherished as the most competent TV-channel in Estonia, which produces more original programs than any private channel. The ETV2 was introduced in 2008, focusing mainly on educational programs and documentaries. ETV+, a Russian-language channel, will start broadcasting this autumn.

For photos from 1955-1984 click here.

M. Oll, S. Tambur

The name field cannot be empty
No more than 50 characters
Comment field cannot be empty
No more than 50 characters
Comment field cannot be empty
No more than 1024 characters
{{error}}

Message forwarded to the editor

This Ip-address has limited access

See also

There are no comments yet. Be the first!

Reply to comment

+{{childComment.ReplyToName}}:
Reply to comment
Reply

Laadi juurde ({{take2}})
The name field cannot be empty
No more than 50 characters
Comment field cannot be empty
No more than 1024 characters
{{error}}
Add new comment