Public broadcasting in Seychelles dates from 1945 with a daily one hour broadcast run by the Department of Education, using the facilities of the Cable and Wireless telecommunications company. On 10th July 1965 Radio Seychelles proper first came on the air from a studio at Union Vale.
In 1966 Eric Passmore was appointed as Manager of Radio Seychelles.
An announcer, Gilbert Confait, and a technician, Dawson Sinon, were employed on a full time basis, while two other persons were employed on a part time basis, Emmy Etienne as announcer and Davidson Chang-Him as technician.
The appointment of a manager brought additional development. Broadcasting time was increased to four and a half hours on weekdays. Local news items and announcements were broadcast in English and Creole. New programmes were also introduced, such as local advertising in both languages, a programme of lunch time music and another focusing on items of interest to the Creole-speaking listeners which was broadcast late in the evening.
Outside broadcasts started in September 1966 on the occasion of the opening of the National Show by the Governor. Religious services, choral singing and sports commentaries were also broadcasted.
With the installation of a new Marconi transmitter, Radio Seychelles operated in a medium wave band on a 1 kilowatt power output, transmitting for four and a half hours daily in the three languages, English, French and Creole. The new equipment resulted in an improvement in both range and quality. Most of the programmes continued to be provided by the BBC Transcription Service. Other programmes were produced locally or sent by international broadcasting organisations. The staff consisted of a British manager/engineer on I.V.S. Volunteer and six full-time and six part-time local staff.
On Sunday 30th May 1971 at 1.15 a.m an explosion occurred at Radio Seychelles at Union Vale which totally destroyed the transmitters. Damage was estimated at half a million Seychelles rupees. The explosion was caused by a demolition charge placed on the premises.
In 1977 Radio Seychelles received its first outside broadcasting van which made it possible to introduced live programmes such as tea time music. The programmes were hosted by different announcers like Douglas Cedras, Jeris Moses and Marie-Cécile Medor, from various places around Mahé. That same year the hours of broadcasting were extended to 65 hours per week. A survey was also conducted to inquire about the listening habits and opinions of the listeners of Radio Seychelles.
In 1980 a television unit was set up at Bel Eau to produce video programmes for the Ministry of Education. On January 1st 1983, public television was launched with Radio Television Seychelles (RTS) broadcasting from Hermitage every weekend (Friday to Sunday).
By 1986 television programmes were available to some 98% of the population. In 1989 RTS television began broadcasting seven evenings a week. With the installation of a new satellite dish at the TV station at Hermitage two years later, viewers were able to watch CNN relayed by RTS.
On May 1st 1992 following the re-introduction of multiparty politics, RTS (a government station run by the Ministry of Information) became the Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation (SBC), a public broadcasting service. Paradise FM, the FM radio service of the SBC, was launched on 30th May 1997 to complement the AM radio service.
The AM channel, which is for a general domestic audience, offers largely spoken word programming. It aims is to provide a community service and there is a big demand for the reading of private announcements, notices and messages. It broadcasts in mono on 219 metres, 1368 kHz.
It broadcast all kinds of programmes in the three national languages (Creole, English and French): music, news, documentaries, panel games, drama and children's programmes. The are both local and international productions. 40% of the programmes aired are local and 60% are foreign.
The main news bulletins in Creole consist of 50% local news, 33% international news and 17% sports.
Paradise FM broadcasts 24 hours a day. It is a predominantly music service which also offers sports, advertisements and talk shows.
SBC TV opens at 6.am with CNN and the BBC and closes at 8.30 am. It re-opens at 12.00 noon with BBC News and French channels such as TFI, RFO, and CFI followed by SBC programmes at 4.45 pm until late in the evening. During the weekends and on public and school holidays it remains open throughout the day.
The programmes which are broadcast are: news, serials, documentaries, movies, sports, comedies and children's programmes.
20% of programmes transmitted are local production and 80% are foreign programmes. Programmes including the news bulletins are broadcast in the three national languages - Creole, English and French.
Television system: PAL/B 625/50
Estimated no. of TV sets in the country: 14,000
The SBC has the responsibility of relaying two foreign radio stations, Radio France International (RFI) and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)