TVRI Nasional monopolized television broadcasting in Indonesia until August 24, 1989, when the first private television station RCTI went on air.
The television tower of TVRI at its headquarters in Jakarta.
In 1961, the Indonesian government decided to include the establishment of a national television station as part of the preparations for the 1962 Asian Games to be held in Jakarta. Later that year, the Television Preparation Committee was formed. In October, President Sukarno ordered the building of a studio in Senayan, Jakarta and two television towers. TVRI broadcast its first test transmission, of the Indonesian Independence Day celebrations from the Merdeka Palace transmission on August 17, 1962. TVRI went on the air on the day of the 1962 Asian Games opening ceremony, August 24, 1962. Two years later, the first regional broadcast stations opened in Yogyakarta, Semarang, Medan, Surabaya, Makassar, Manado, Batam, Palembang, Bali and Balikpapan. Earlier in 1963, the TVRI Foundation was formally created as the official governing authority for the channel.
In 1974 TVRI became part of the Information Ministry, with the status of a directorate. Its role was to inform the public about government policies. After two years, it began to be broadcast all over Indonesia via satellite.
The first colour television signal was transmitted via satellite transmission in 1979. The first colour news bulletins were Berita Nasional (National News), Dunia Dalam Berita (The World in News), breaking events segments on Laporan Khusus (Special Report) and Berita Terakhir (Late News).
TVRI in the late 1970s and 1980s became a well defined mass media component of the national information department. By that time it also had a second channel on Channel 8. It also established provincial television production studios.
In 1989, TVRI lost its monopoly when the government’s sixth Five-Year Plan allowed private television stations to begin broadcasting, the first commercial television station being RCTI.
After the start of the reform era, TVRI’s status was changed again and it became responsible firstly to the Ministry of Finance and was then turned into a limited company under the authority of the State Ministry for State-Owned Enterprises and Ministry of Finance.
TVRI has 22 regional stations and more than 6,800 employees, 2,000 of whom are based in Jakarta. It broadcasts information and educational content as well as entertainment from 4:00 am to 1:30 am on the next day.
Along with government digital television, TVRI also has 4 channels, currently broadcast in DVB-T. TVRI 1 (on-air identity as TVRI Nasional) with national coverage, TVRI 2 which will be the regional network of regional TVRI broadcasters (currently broadcasts the Jakarta regional station), TVRI 3 with programmes focused on culture and TVRI 4 with sport programmes.