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GTV-9, one of Melbourne's first two commercial TV stations, began test transmissions on 27 September 1956, shortly after the commencement of transmission of TCN-9 Sydney. Former 3DB radio announcer Geoff Corke introduced GTV-9's first test transmission.

Later in 1956, GTV-9 while still in test transmission mode, telecast the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games in competition with HSV-7 and ABV-2

Sir Dallas Brookes officially opened GTV-9 on 19 January 1957 from studios in Bendigo Street, Richmond where the building had been converted from a soup factory.

GTV-9's first major production in 1957 was the variety show In Melbourne Tonight ("IMT") hosted by Graham Kennedy. Kennedy was a radio announcer at 3UZ in Melbourne before being 'discovered' by GTV-9 producer Norm Spencer when appearing on a GTV-9 telethon. IMT continued for thirteen years and dominated Melbourne's television scene for most of that time, and established a long tradition of live variety from GTV-9.

The channel was sold to Frank Packer's Australian Consolidated Press group in 1961, which already owned TCN-9 and the two channels formed the foundation for what is now the Nine Network.

GTV-9 along with most Australian TV stations, commenced test transmissions in colour in October 1974 with the official changeover at 12.00am Saturday 1 March 1975. In 1976, GTV became the first Melbourne television station to commence 24 hour transmission.

In 1979, HSV-7 newsreader Brian Naylor signed up with GTV-9 to begin an association that lasted 20 years. Retiring at the end of 1998, Naylor was replaced by former deputy newsreader Peter Hitchener.

Digital Television began officially on 1 January 2001 with GTV broadcasting on VHF channel 8 in simulcast with the analogue channel 9 signal.