On 27th March, 1997 when Independent Television started transmission of programmes on Channel 22 with its slogan – Certainly the Best, the station radically changed the horizon of broadcasting in its coverage area, ITV came with a new vision to expand the frontiers of broadcasting in the new millennium. The zeal of the founding Father, Sir, Chief Dr. Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion, the Esama of Benin Kingdom, who after a careful study of the broadcast industry yearned for an enhancement of the choice available to viewers to a level comparable to what obtains in developed countries. Chief Igbinedion’s dream culminated in the approval and subsequent presentation of a license by the former Head of State General Ibrahim Babangida on 26th June 1993, at the Ladi Kwali Hall of Sheraton Hotels and Towers Abuja. It goes down in history that IBW Enterprises, the parent body of Independent Television was the first private owned broadcasting station in Nigeria to receive a private license No. 001 on that memorable day.
Having obtained the franchise, Sir Chief, Dr. Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion, the Esama of Benin Kingdom went straight to work by rendering standard skeletal services under the umbrella of Independent Television Network (ITN), and a Cable outfit. Even as the viewers warmly embraced ITN in 1995 plans were intensified for the birth of a full fledged Independent Television, which resulted in the siting of the station at Iguosa because of the high altitude of the location. A 1000 feet Mast was erected by ALLAN DICK, a reputable firm based in London. An Italian company TECHNO SYSTEM, with its team of highly qualified Engineers, delivered and installed Independent Television a pair of its best Transmitters of Ten Kilowatts Capacity, transmitting on Channel 22 UHF. Independent Television who commenced full transmission on the 27th March, 1997 waxed stronger with fans growing in leaps and bounds by the day.
On the 1st of September 1997 the Management and Staff paid courtesy visits to the Benin Monarch, Omo ‘N’ Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo Oba Erediawa. The Royal Father lauded the station and enjoined members to keep the flag flying. Also the then Edo Military Administrator Group Captain Baba Adamu Iyam played host to the Management and staff of Independent Television.
To further satisfy viewer’s insatiable desire, the Investor/Proprietor of ITN, Benin City, Nigeria, Chief Igbinedion saw the need for a complementary Radio Channel, with the establishment of Independent Radio on 92.3 Mega Hertz FM. The Radio arm, which came to life on the 10th September 1998, was christened the ‘Heart Beat Station’, by its owner.
The Independent Radio was inaugurated by the Oba of Benin, Omo ‘N’ Oba Nedo, Uku Akpolokpolo Oba Erediawa on Saturday 7th November 1998 urging the Station’s operators to carry out their objectives with the same zeal for the running of Independent Television.
The ceremony was attended by the State Governors, Federal Ministers and Diplomats as well as traditional rulers from other States of the Federation. It was a ceremony that will remain in minds of the audience.
Nigeria’s Broadcasting Code is the compass that directs the affairs of Independent Television and Radio under the supervision of the National Broadcasting Commission NBC.
The Commission also approved Channel 42 UHF for Independent Television to transmit its programmes in the Federal Capital Territory. The license was presented to the investor, the Esama of Benin Kingdom on 17th of December 1999.
ITV Abuja started transmission on 1st September, 2007. At inception, Independent Television was a contributor to Cable News Network CNN and other popular international broadcast Stations.
Recently, Independent Television/Radio attained another milestone when it was granted license for Digital Satellite broadcasting in December 2009, to enable the Station to beam its television programmes to viewers around the world.
This preceded the acquisition of State of the Art digital ultra high-tech virtual studios equipment including high definition cameras, teleprompters, virtual studio components, complete digital studio lightening systems and digital sound console.