Network Ten (commonly known as Channel Ten or simply Ten, stylised as ten), is an Australian commercial broadcasting network owned by Ten Network Holdings, and is headquartered in Pyrmont, New South Wales. It is the third Australian free-to-airtelevision network to make its debut after Nine Network in 1956 and Seven Network in 1956. It first aired on August 1, 1964 in Melbourne. Network Ten is the fourth of all the five national free-to-air networks in Australia, after the ABC. Its owned-and-operated stations can be found in the capital cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, while affiliates extend the network to cover most of the country. The channel's name became a backronym for "The Entertainment Network" during the early-1990s.
From the introduction of TV in 1956 until 1965 there were only two commercial television networks in Australia, the National Television Network (now the Nine Network) and the Australian Television Network (now the Seven Network), as well as the publicAustralian Broadcasting Corporation (then Commission). In the early 1960s, the federal government began canvassing the idea of licensing a third commercial television station in each capital city. This decision was seen by some as a way for the government to defuse growing public dissatisfaction with the dominance of imported overseas programming and the paucity of local content. The first of these "third" licences was granted to United Telecasters Sydney was granted on 4 April 1963.
Structurally, the Australian television industry was closely modelled on the two-tiered system that had been in place in Australian radio since the late 1930s. One tier consisted of a network of publicly funded television stations run by the ABC, which was funded by government budget allocation and (until 1972) by fees from television viewer licences. The second tier consisted of the commercial networks and independent stations owned by private operators, whose income came from selling advertising time.