TCN-9 Sydney started in 1956,the first television station in Australia. GTV-9 Melbourne opened shortly afterwards. The Nine Network differs from its rivals in that its O&O stations do not include all major cities. Nine has traditionally been the most successful network in Australia, dominating viewership in news and current affairs, sport and lifestyle programs for decades. In recent years, its star has lost some of its shine as it has been overtaken in the ratings by rival Seven.
The network is best-known for its dominant presence on the television landscape for most of the last 50 years. Under the ownership of the famous Packer family (including Australia's long-running richest man Kerry Packer), most of the highest-rating programs in news, current affairs, sport, variety and lifestyle were on Nine. In its early years, Nine and notably its Melbourne station GTV produced a slew of the best-loved classics of Australian television and made household names of its stars. Programs like In Melbourne Tonight, the Don Lane Show (with American import Don Lane), Frost Over Australia and The Graham Kennedy Show were all on Nine.