This is a list of when the first colour television broadcasts were transmitted to the general public. Non-public field tests and closed circuit demonstrations are not included.
Most television researchers appreciated the value of colour image transmission, with an early patent application in Russia in 1889 for a mechanically-scanned colour system showing how early the importance of colour was realized.
John Logie Baird demonstrated the world's first colour transmission on July 3, 1928, using scanning discs at the transmitting and receiving ends with three spirals of apertures, each spiral with filters of a different primary colour; and three light sources at the receiving end, with a commutator to alternate their illumination.
In 1938 shadow mask technology for colour television was patented by Werner Flechsig in Germany.
Colour television was demonstrated at the International radio exhibition Berlin in 1939. On August 16, 1944, Baird gave a demonstration of a fully electronic colour television display. His 600-line colour system used triple interlacing, using six scans to build each picture.
|Country||Date||Network or Channel||Colour System||Notes|
|Belgium||1971||RTBF & BRT||PAL / SECAM|
|Canada||1966||CBC||NTSC||Colour broadcasts from the United States were available since 1953|
|Cuba||1958||Canal 12||NTSC||Ended in 1959; returned in 1975|
|Finland||1969||YLE & MTV||PAL|
|France||1967||ORTF||SECAM||Introduced on La Deuxième Chaîne at 2:15pm (14:15) on October 1, 1967|
|East Germany||1969||DFF||SECAM||Introduced on October 3, 1969 on the new 2nd television channel launched for that purpose on behalf of the 20th anniversary of the GDR on October 7. The television tower in East Berlin was also opened that day.|
|West Germany||1967||ARD & ZDF||PAL||Introduced on both channels simultaneously at 9:30am on August 25, 1967 with a symbolic launch button pressed by Willy Brandt on the International Radio and Television Fair in West Berlin.|
|India||1982||All India Radio||PAL||Introduced for the Asian Games|
|Ireland||1972||RTÉ||PAL||Introduced for the Eurovision Song Contest 1971 in Dublin on April 3, 1971. Colour broadcasts from United Kingdom available since 1967/69.|
|Israel||1981||IBA||PAL||Introduced for the Eurovision Song Contest 1979 in Jerusalem on March 31, 1979. Colour broadcasts from Jordan availale since 1974.|
|Italy||1977||RAI||PAL||Introduction temporarily stalled due to political turmoil. colour broadcasts from Yugoslavia (PAL) were available since 1971, from France (SECAM) since 1967, and from Austria (PAL) since 1969. Privately operated transmitter chains made these signals available as far as Rome.|
|Luxembourg||1972||CLT||PAL / SECAM||The then only channel for audiences in Luxembourg, France and Belgium originally used the French/Belgian 819-line B&W standard. After Belgium and France opted for different colour systems, Luxembourg broadcast two versions of the same channel. All later RTL channels aimed at French, German and Dutch speaking audiences in Europe adopted the standards of their target markets.|
|Monaco||1973||TMC||PAL / SECAM|
|New Zealand||1973||NZBC||PAL||Introduced for the 1974 British Commonwealth Games in Christchurch|
|Portugal||1980||RTP||PAL||Introduced for the Portuguese version of Jeux Sans Frontieres on September 5, 1979|
|Sweden||1970||Sveriges Radio TV||PAL|
|Switzerland||1968||SSR||PAL / SECAM|
|United Kingdom||1967||BBC 2||PAL||Introduced for Wimbledon coverage took place on July 1, 1967|
|United States||1950||CBS||CBS||Field sequential system; ended 1951|
|United States||1953||NBC & CBS||NTSC||Dot sequential system|