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Television Broadcast and Beyond Television: Broadcast and Cable/Satellite The Invention of Television Philo T. Farnsworth: developed the central concepts of television at age fourteen the lines of a tilled potato field supposedly the inspiration behind the technology

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Broadcast and Beyond

television broadcast and cable satellite
Television: Broadcast and Cable/Satellite

The Invention of Television

  • Philo T. Farnsworth:
      • developed the central concepts of television at age fourteen
      • the lines of a tilled potato field supposedly the inspiration behind the technology
  • September 7, 1927: “There you are, electronic television.”
Vladimir Zworykin:
    • working to develop television for RCA
    • filed for a patent 1923
    • U.S. patent office ruled in favor of Farnsworth
    • RCA lost, and had to pay royalties
    • television development halted for World War II
    • Farnsworth’s patents expired in 1947
The Beginning of Broadcasting
    • 1939, NBC transmitted television broadcasts from the New York World’s Fair.
    • From 1948 to 1952, the licensing of new television stations was frozen:
        • needed to give the FCC time to determine best way to regulate television
    • early, popular programming included comedy and variety shows, some dramas.
The Arrival of Color Television
    • In 1959- only three shows were regularly shown in color:
        • NBC peacock logo
    • By 1965, all three major networks were broadcasting in color.
    • Cost of early color sets was very high.
Cable and Satellite Television
    • Community Antenna Television
        • pioneered by the Parsons family of Astoria, Oregon
        • connected a cable to an antenna to strengthen signal
        • became known as community antenna television (CATV)
        • up until the 1970s, cable was a way to get a better signal, not more channels
Satellite Distribution and the Rebirth of Cable
    • By the mid-1970s, FCC relaxed regulation.
    • Home Box Office (HBO) began in 1975.
    • Satellite systems had advantage over networks:
        • hundreds of cable systems could obtain the programming as cheaply as one
Ted Turner
    • on December 27, 1976—Superstation WTBS
    • created Cable News Network (CNN) and CNN Headline News
    • TNT, Cartoon Network, and Turner Classic Movies
    • in 1996 Turner Broadcasting bought by Warner Brothers:
        • merger allowed Turner access to more media
Two-thirds of Americans have cable; 12.9 percent in the United Kingdom.
  • Types of Cable Programming:
      • affiliates of the major broadcast networks
      • independent stations and minor network affiliates.
      • superstations (WTBS, WGN, etc.)
      • local-access channels
      • cable networks (MTV, CNN, BET, etc.).
      • premium channels (HBO, Showtime, etc.).
      • pay-per-view channels
      • audio services
Hollywood and the VCR
    • initially two incompatible formats, costly
    • by 1991, VCRs found in seven out of ten homes
Universal and Disney sued Sony over its promotion of the VCR for recording movies:
      • 1984—U.S. Supreme Court ruled that viewers had the right to record copyrighted programs for their own use
  • VCR ownership peaked in 1999 (89 percent).
Direct Broadcast Satellites
    • 1990s—advent of the low-earth-orbit direct broadcast satellite
    • fall 2006—in approximately 26 percent of U.S. homes
    • head-to-head competition with cable
    • specialized programming (NFL package)
Digital Television
    • All television broadcasting in the United States is scheduled to be digital by February 17, 2009:
    • Two digital formats:
        • high-definition television (HDTV)—a wide-screen format, high resolution picture
        • standard digital television—allows multiple channels to be delivered on same frequency
On November 1, 1998 Space Shuttle Discovery launch:
      • first nationally-broadcast digital program
from broadcasting to narrowcasting the changing business of television
From Broadcasting to Narrowcasting: The Changing Business of Television
  • The Big Three:
    • NBC, CBS, and ABC
    • television network—companies that provide programs to local stations around the country
    • network makes money from national advertising:
        • network affiliate keeps all ad revenue from programming they produce/carry
Educational Broadcasting Becomes Public Broadcasting
    • Public Broadcasting Act of 1967:
        • established the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
        • funding for noncommercial programs on Public Broadcasting System (PBS)
        • Sesame Street—November 8, 1969
        • popular documentaries
FOX Network:
    • on the air in 1986 in six out of ten top U.S. markets
    • string of popular programs
    • “stole” NFL away from Big Three networks
Defining Ratings
    • Nielsen Media Research:
        • tracks television usage in 9,000 U.S. homes
        • uses PeopleMeters in large markets, viewer diaries in smaller markets
        • sweeps—quarterly viewership measurement
        • rating point—the percentage of the total potential television audience for a show
        • share—the percentage of sets actually tuned to a particular show
An Earthquake in Slow Motion
    • 1976—nine of ten people were watching network television
        • by 1991—Big Three lost a third of audience
        • more channels on cable
    • Big Three networks sold to new owners in 1985
    • broadcast networks’ revenue plummeted in the 1990s
    • cable programs cheaper to produce
    • cable channels have both a subscription fee and-advertising revenue
Television News Goes 24/7
    • began with brief coverage of the 1940 Republican national convention on NBC
    • by 1948, both parties’ conventions were covered
    • 1947—Meet the Press
        • TV’s longest-running news/commentary program
    • August 1948—CBS airing nightly fifteen minute news show
        • CBS coverage of 1956 sinking of the Andrea Doria
        • in 1963, CBS and NBC expand to half hour nightly news broadcast (ABC in 1967)
November 3, 1979—Americans held hostage in Iran
    • ABC started a nightly news update at 11:30 p.m. EST.
        • show eventually became Nightline
  • 1980—CNN goes on air
    • 1991 Gulf War—attracted large audience with its twenty-four-hour coverage
    • by 2003 Iraq War—had significant competition
    • by 2002, FOX News getting higher ratings than CNN
Diversity on Television
    • 1999—Big Four networks introduced twenty-six new shows
        • none featured a nonwhite lead character
    • Fall of 2006
        • thirty-two of the forty-three new shows featured Hispanic, African-American, and Asian-American actors
    • Lost
        • featured diverse cast (interracial couple, non-English speaking actor)
Univision and Spanish-Language Broadcasting
    • Univision—Spanish-language broadcast network:
        • fifth largest broadcast network
    • Telemundo
    • Telenovelas—Spanish soap operas
        • Make up fifteen of the top twenty Spanish-language programs
Black Entertainment Television (BET)
    • reaches 60 million households:
        • 12.5 million black households
    • started in 1980 in Washington, D.C.
    • purchased by Viacom
    • attracting advertisers who want to reach nonwhite audience
Audience Members as Programmers: Public Access Cable
    • Channels air public affairs programming and other locally produced shows.
    • More than 15,000 hours of programming are produced annually on 2,000 stations.
    • Most programming is conventional, but some is controversial.
television and society
Television and Society

Television as a Major Social Force

  • Time spent watching television:
      • average person watches about four hours per day
      • fifteen hours per week actively watching, twenty-one passively watching
      • Americans spend half their leisure time with TV
      • at any given time in the evening one third of Americans watching TV (over 50 percent in winter)
      • children spend four hours per day watching television or videos
How Do Viewers Use Television?
  • Reasons identified in the “Television in the Lives of Our Children” study:
      • to be entertained
      • to learn things or gain information
      • for social reasons
  • Study found children watched the same program for different reasons.
Bringing the World into Our Homes
  • TV breaks down the physical barriers that separate people.
  • TV provides a view into formerly separate worlds.
  • People everywhere in the world have access to information simultaneously.
Standards for Television
  • Set by each network’s own standards and practices department:
      • to ensure the network did not lose viewers or sponsors because of offensive content
  • Implemented a two-part rating system in 1997:
      • G, PG, TV-14, TV-MA, S, V, L, and D
      • use ratings to warn, rather than restrict
The Problem of Decency
  • 2004 Super Bowl halftime show:
      • FCC received more than 500,000 complaints about the “wardrobe malfunction.”
  • Rules state no indecent material between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.:
      • no single standard for what constitutes broadcast indecency
future of television
Future of Television

Interactive Television

  • multiple versions of single channels
  • DVRs
  • video-on-Demand
  • online voting to decide outcome of shows, polls
The Earthquake In Slow Motion Continues
  • Video games as mass communication:
      • In 2006, nearly 94 million persons aged two and older played a video game in the last three months of the year.
      • Two-thirds of all men 18–34 have at least one video game console in their homes.
Convergence of Television and the Internet
    • On Wednesday, October 12, 2005, video iPod debuted:
        • Apple partnering with Disney to sell ABC's top rated shows through iTunes.
        • Apple is selling programs to consumers, instead of audiences to advertisers.
    • Now there are multiple ways to watch a network broadcast show.
    • Networks are figuring out how to compensate affiliates for digital purchases of programming.