An experimental television service in Koningstad was established in May 1952. The first (internal) broadcast took place on 2 July that year, and by August, television sets were set up in several houses in the city which received test transmissions.
Regular test broadcasts occurred again in 1953, this time to other cities. Channel 1 was set up in January 1954 and regular broadcasts were transmitted; two hours daily in Koningstad and Grijzestad from Monday to Saturday, one hour in each language. In July television was extended to most of Brunant, with Drenthe and Sint-Willemstad Parish the last to receive television by January 1955.
Further programming was added yearly, till there was television coverage from 6:00 to 22:00 daily by the summer of 1960. The coverage of King Johan II's Golden Jubilee was the first major issue for the bilingual channel, with several written complaints of the unevenness of the coverage.
A second channel was introduced in April 1965; the first channel, renamed to Channel 1, broadcast in Dutch and Channel 2 in English.
Color television in the PAL format was tested in early 1968, with the first color program being the coronation of King Marten II on 2 February 1968. Further color programming was introduced in 1969, completed for both channels on 2 May 1971.
In 1989 the government passed laws allowing for the gradual introduction of private television. TV Plus was the first private station, initially on channel 5 and then on channel 8, broadcasting in Dutch. There were talks of divesting one or some of the existing channels, but the government found it hard to convince both viewers and personnel in the dismantling of the BBN. Instead, further emphasis on higher quality and competitiveness with the new stations was selected.