Television in Sweden officially launched on 4 September 1956 with the launch of Radiotjänst TV, which was renamed Sveriges Radio TV a year later. The arrival of a second television network, TV2, led to the first channel relaunching as TV1 in 1969, while remaining under the Sveriges Radio banner. Full-time colour broadcasting in 1970 before both networks were placed under the management of Sveriges Television (SVT) on 1 July 1979.
To encourage competition between the two channels, TV1 relaunched as Kanal 1 in 31 August 1987 with the entirety of its homegrown programming produced in Stockholm, including the national news and current affairs programme Aktuellt (Current). Increased competition from commercial channels, including TV4, led to another relaunch as SVT1 in 1996, incorporating programming produced from across the country again.
A major corporate revamp in 2001 saw the channel repositioned as SVT's flagship network in an effort to make it the most watched television station in Sweden - a position previously held by SVT2. As part of the revamp, TV2's popular news programme Rapport (Report) moved to the first network while Aktuellt moved to the second network.
Alongside Rapport, SVT's main entertainment shows air on the first channel, including Melodifestivalen, Så ska det låta and På spåret are broadcast on this channel. Since 2006, SVT1 has fallen behind to commercial rival, TV4 in terms of audience share (22.2% for TV4 as opposed to SVT1's 19%).
On weekdays, a typical broadcast day on SVT1 begins with the breakfast programme Gomorron Sverige (Good Morning Sweden) followed by a mix of repeats, films and documentaries throughout the day as well as live sport. The main evening schedule usually airs from around 5pm until midnight with the main 25-minute edition of Rapport at 7.30pm, alongside shorter bulletins at 6pm and later in the evening. Repeat programming airs throughout the night.
Since August 2008, SVT1 also broadcast regional news programming, including opt-outs in Gomorron Sverige, a main 15-minute bulletin at 6.30pm and a mid-evening update at 7.55pm. The late bulletin airs on SVT2 at 9.35pm (9.25pm on Fridays) as part of Aktuellt. Stories from SVT's regional newsrooms also feature in the national programme Sverige idag (Sweden Today) on weekdays. As of April 2015, there are 21 regional news services, under the SVT Nyheter banner, although most are pre-recorded from centralised studios.
Initially known as Radiotjänst TV, the channel was renamed as Sveriges Radio TV after its parent company. It was usually referred to as TV for short, as it was the only television service available at the time.
During the 1960s, the television service usually used the Sveriges Radio logo as identification. It was designed by Karl-Erik Forsberg and is still in use by Sveriges Radio. At start up and closedown, the service used an ident slide consisting of an art deco version of central Stockholm, with the Stockholm City Hall in the centre.
When a second channel launched in December 1969, 'Sveriges Radio TV' was renamed TV1. As colour television arrived a year later, TV1 started using a blue background behind their logo.
On screen, the TV1 and TV2 logos were usually seen accompanying picturesque slides of the country and the station clock, although in-vision continuity was generally favoured for most junctions.
The Kanal 1 revamp in 1987 saw the introduction of a computer-animated ident featuring Stockholm landmarks surrounding the logo. In-vision continuity was abandoned in favour of out-of-vision presentation over captions, although in-vision returned during the Christmas holidays, usually for the annual Christmas Eve continuity shift, handled by veteran broadcaster Arne Weise.
Full-time in-vision continuity returned as part of a further revamp in 1994, two years before both networks launched a new look.
The initial graphics for SVT1 and SVT2 were replaced a year later with a predominantly blue theme.
In 2001, a corporate rebranding by Timothy Wilkinson and Darrell Pockett from English & Pockett led to a further revamp, featuring SVT's new starflower logo. A warmer orange and red theme was adapted for the first network and updated two years later. The SVT logo consisted of an orange square with the numeral "1" in the Myriad font next to the starflower.
All SVT presentation switched to widescreen in 2007.
SVT1 underwent another relaunch on 25 August 2008, designed by Stockholm-based Liberty. While the new look did not feature the corporate logo, SVT1's idents featured a violet rectangle theme centred around a TV screen - the new graphics were designed by Dallas Sthlm.
A review of SVT presentation led to the end of in-vision continuity on the network on Sunday 4 March 2012 - the last announcer to appear on camera was Justine Kirk. SVT1 now utilises out-of-vision announcers.
SVT1's third logo, designed by Sid Sutton, used from 1980 to January 1996.