|Network Name:||Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC)|
|Network Type:||radio, and online|
|Owner:||Government of Sri Lanka|
|Launch Date:||1925 (radio)|
|Former Names:||Radio Ceylon, Radio SEAC, Radio Ceylon, Ceylon Broadcasting Corporation (1925-1972)|
|Present Names:||Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (1972-)|
The Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) came into existence on January 5th 1967 when Radio Ceylon became a public corporation. Dudley Senanayake who was the Prime Minister of Ceylon in 1967 ceremonially opened the newly established Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation along with Minister Ranasinghe Premadasa and the Director-General of the SLBC, Neville Jayaweera.
The Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC), formerly Radio Ceylon, is the oldest radio station in South Asia (world's second oldest), and was founded as Colombo Radio in 1925. Edward Harper who took up his post as Chief Engineer of the Telegraph Department in 1921 was the first person who initiated experimental broadcasts in Ceylon. The first ever broadcast on an experimental basis took place in 1923 - gramophone music was played from a tiny room in the Ceylon Telegraph Office with the aid of a transmitter built by engineers of the Telegraph Department - the transmitter was built using radio equipment from a captured German submarine. Ceylon began a broadcasting service, just three years after the launching of broadcasting services in Europe.
Edward Harper who is known as the 'Father of Broadcasting in Ceylon founded the Ceylon Wireless Club together with English and Ceylonese radio enthusiasts. Sir Hugh Clifford, the British Governor, spoke to the nation on Colombo Radio for the first time on December 16 1925.This was a historic occasion. The advent of broadcasting in Sri Lanka, places the country alongside Great Britain, the United States of America and Germany, in terms of international broadcasting history. Sri Lanka was a pioneer in the world of broadcasting.
During World War II the Allied Forces took over radio operations in Colombo and Radio Seac was born. Colombo based (British) Announcers, David Jacobs and Desmond Carrington (they joined the BBC after the war) were among those who presented the news and radio programs for the allied forces across South East Asia.When the war was over Radio Seac was handed back to the Government of Ceylon who changed the name to Radio Ceylon. The name change heralded a new chapter in broadcasting in South Asia. The station was soon to occupy the number one position in South Asia as the market leader.
Radio Ceylon enjoyed the status of King of the airwaves in the 1950s and 1960s in South Asia. Millions of listeners tuned into the radio broadcasts. This was the golden era of Radio Ceylon. Clifford Dodd, an administrator from Australia was brought in under the Colombo Plan. It was Dodd who founded the Commercial Service of Radio Ceylon - it was hugely successful, earning the island millions of rupees in revenue.
Radio Ceylon and the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation produced some of the finest announcers and presenters in the world among them: Livy Wijemanne, Vernon Corea, Pearl Ondaatje, Greg Roskowski, Tim Horshington, Claude Selveratnam, Jimmy Bharucha, Thevis Guruge, Chitrananda Abeysekera, A.W.Dharmapala, Karunaratne Abeysekera, H.M.Gunasekera, S.P.Mylvaganam, Gnanam Rathinam, Nihal Bhareti, Leon Belleth, Eric Fernando, Niranjan Abeysundere,Molly Walpola nee Ponnamplam, Noeline Honter and Vijaya Corea to name a few.
The announcers at the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation were backed up by a band of dedicated radio operational assistants who were all part of the 'hub' of the studios at Independence Avenue. Among those expert operational assistants were Clifford Basanayake, Sisira Chandrasekara, Vasantha Lankathilake and Mahinda Fernando.
In 2005 the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation celebrated 80 years in the world of broadcasting. This was a historic landmark where broadcasting was concerned and it was a very important chapter in communication in Sri Lanka.
In 2007 the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation celebrated 40 years as a public broadcasting corporation. With the incorporation in 1967 came a name change - the Ceylon Broadcasting Corporation. When the country became a republic in 1972 the station came to be known as the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation.
The Chairman of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation, Hudson Samarasinghe, took the decision in 2008 to re-launch the English Commercial Service. Back in the 1950s and 1960s the Commercial Service of Radio Ceylon was a brand leader and helped the station to rule the airwaves in South Asia. No other radio station could touch the popularity of Radio Ceylon. The re-launch commenced on 1st September, 2008. The SLBC had earlier allocated more time to BBC regular programmes. More entertainment programmes have been added to the re-vamped English Commercial Service with a view to grabbing a market share of listeners on the island and across the vast Indian sub-continent.