In April 1963 the licence to operate Melbourne's third commercial television station was awarded to Austarama Television, owned by transport magnate Sir Reginald Ansett. The new channel, ATV-0 (pronounced as O, never the number zero), began transmission on 1 August 1964 from a large modern studio complex located in the then-outer eastern suburb of Nunawading, in the locality now known as Forest Hill, but referred to at the time as East Burwood.
The new station opened with a preview program hosted by Barry McQueen and Nancy Cato followed by a variety program, This Is It!. Reception difficulties in parts of the city resulted in the station's virtually permanent third position in the Melbourne television ratings.
ATV had been experimenting with colour transmissions from 1967, when the station was the first to mount a colour outside broadcast in Australia, from the Pakenham races. Many other colour test transmissions occurred subsequently. Full-time colour transmission was introduced to ATV-0 in March 1975 in line with other stations around the country.
Rupert Murdoch gained a controlling interest in Sydney television station TEN-10 in 1979 and had bought a controlling stake in transport company Ansett, owner of Austarama Television (licensee of ATV-0). That triggered a government inquiry into media ownership, the main concern being Murdoch having a controlling interest in television stations in Australia's two largest cities, ignoring the fact that the Kerry Packer-owned Australian Consolidated Press had controlled the Nine Network channels in Melbourne and Sydney for many years.
Due to problems in reception and falling ratings, and the desire to move TV stations out of the VHF band so as to enable FM radio in Australia, the station moved frequency and call-sign from ATV-0 to ATV-10, after getting the agreement of neighbouring Gippsland station GLV-10 to change its frequency to become GLV-8.