KCTV was established on 1 September 1953 as Pyongyang Broadcasting Network (PBN) after the Korean War ended. Kim Il-sung personally envisioned that the time was ripe for television broadcasting in the DPRK, but this was not yet to happen. Thus, the PBN began an 8 year period of preparation for commencement of television broadcasts, with the help of the national government.PBN was renamed as Central Broadcasting Television System (CBTS) in 1961, and conducted on 1 September the same year its first test broadcasts.
CBTS officially began operations on 3 March 1963 at 19:00 KST based in Pyongyang then broadcasting 2-hours between 19:00 until 21:00 KST on weekdays only, and then expanded to 4 and later 6 hours.The network carried live the whole proceedings of the 5th Worker’s Party of Korea Congress held on 1 October 1970.The Kaesong Television Broadcasting Station (KTBS) was opened on 1 April 1971 (later was renamed as Korea Television Broadcasting Station (KTBS) for Korean education and culture on 1 February 1997) broadcasts 5 hourse from 17:00 until 22:00 KST on weekdays.
The Mansudae Television Broadcasting Station (MTBS) was opened on December 1973 and broadcasts 4 hours between 18:00 until 22:00 KST on weekdays and on longer periods on weekends and holidays.
The Central Broadcasting Television System (CBTS) would later be renamed Korean Central Television (KCTV) and was officially relaunched at 17:00 local time on 3 January 1973 (the first working day in 1973 in North Korea).The broadcasting hours was only on weekdays (workday in North Korea) and closed on weekends and national holidays.
At the same year colour television test broadcasts started.KCTV officially began colour television broadcasts on 1 July 1974 and broadcast the first live colour telecast in preparation for the 7th Asian Games held in Teheran via satellite transmission on 1 September 1974, the first network to do so.
KCTV was the first live colour television channel to broadcast the New Year’s Eve in colour on 31 December 1974, and in 1975 began weekend broadcasts as well.KCTV started their full-time colour broadcasts on 1 September 1977.The first broadcast received by media telecommunication digital satellite television was the 22nd Summer Olympic Games on 19 July 1980.KCTV started broadcasting on national holidays on 1 March 1981.On national holidays, the broadcasting time of each station is the same as weekends save for major ones.
Now, KCTV broadcasts 6-hours each day from 17:00 until 23:30 KST daily, and 15 hours from 09:00 to 00:00 KST on weekends and key national holidays. There is another exception, for the emergency events at night or daytime, it starts up without any announcers or the Voice of Korea interval signal. The station is still open until that event becomes normal.