Radio Caracas Television (or RCTV) is one of the largest and most important television stations in Venezuela. It can be seen in all of Venezuela on channel 2. It was the third television station to start up in Venezuela (Televisiora Nacional was the first and Televisa was the second). Both Televisora Nacional and Televisa are no longer on, so RCTV is now the oldest television station in Venezuela. Venevision is RCTV's main rival. RCTV's offices can be found in the center of Caracas.
Radio Caracas Television began on November 15, 1953 (during the dictatorship of General Marcos Perez Jimenez). In 1953, plays, news, and sports were pretty much the only thing seen on RCTV, but by 1954, they began making soap operas (also known as telenovelas). Telenovelas are now RCTV's most liked and seen programs.
In the 1960s, RCTV began videotaping their programs, as they used to be made live. In 1961, there was small fire at RCTV. On July 21, 1969, RCTV was on of the only television station in Venezuela that showed the first visit to the moon by man.
In 1972, RCTV began selling some of its shows to other countries and television stations. The three hundred chaptered telenovela, "La Usurpadora" was the first telenovela to be sold to other countries. Today, RCTV's shows are said to be seen in more than 60 countries and heard in more than 20 languages. In 1974, RCTV began recording some of their programs in color. "Doña Barbara", which was made from a book written by Romulo Gallegos, was RCTV's first show made in color. Radio Caracas Television started the "Fundacion Academia Nacional de Ciencias y Artes de Cine" on November 15, 1978.
In the year 1981, RCTV began recording all of their programs in color.
On November 15, 1999, RCTV had been on 16,000 days.
President Hugo Chávez closed RCTV because of reports that they tried to take down his government.
- The host of "¿Quien Quiere Ser Millonario?" ("Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" in Venezuela) is Eladio Larez, who is also the president of RCTV.
- RCTV used to be seen on channel 7 (though in a few places, it can still be seen on that channel).