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Cable Pioneers. 1948: John Walson, small appliance store PA: builds an antenna on nearby mountain and strings wire down to his store Helps him sell more TVs to people not served over air. Why: Many “white areas”: no TV service CATV worked like power repeater In 1960, fewer than 1% had cable.

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cable pioneers
Cable Pioneers
  • 1948: John Walson, small appliance store PA: builds an antenna on nearby mountain and strings wire down to his store
  • Helps him sell more TVs to people not served over air.
  • Why: Many “white areas”: no TV service
  • CATV worked like power repeater
  • In 1960, fewer than 1% had cable
cable pioneers1
Cable Pioneers
  • Early 1950’s: Robert Tarlton (another appliance salesman) utilized Shapp’s MATV idea to serve viewers in his town
  • Result: cable as we know it invented in using coaxial cable and amplifiers
  • Cable: Head-end wired to homes
  • Limited obligation to “serve the public”
  • Regulated locally, Subscriptions and Ads
cable pioneers2
Cable Pioneers

--In Canada, by 1970 40% or more had cable, in the US, only 10% of the population.

--TV stations welcomed redelivery, ONLY.

--Some stations had bigger audiences!

--In 60’s: Growing concern about cable

--Territoriality challenged for some stations.

cable s beginning
Cable’s Beginning
  • “Redelivery Service” to white areas
  • Program duplication worried broadcasters
  • “Must carry rule” adopted in early sixties (In 1968 Supremes upheld this rule)
  • 1972: FCC restricted cable to being ancillary (overturned by appeals court 5 years later, beginning of deregulation)
  • laissez-faire, Market model wins again
rise of cable
Rise of Cable
  • Launch of “domsats”
  • Early Satellite Demand Low
  • Rise of superstations
  • 1979 Satellite Decision
  • HBO (1972), PPV and alternative “niche” programming: “Pay TV”
wireless cable
Wireless Cable
  • It’s not really “cable”
  • Too much competition from DBS
  • FCC issues first DBS licenses in 1980
  • FCC authorizes some operations in 1982
  • Not as successful as in the late 1990s
  • Recent renewed DBS Interest
direct broadcast satellite
Direct Broadcast Satellite
  • DBS was digital, but how could its programming be different?
  • Success in the 90’s: Digital signal offers more channels, better picture
direct broadcast satellite1
Direct Broadcast Satellite
  • USSB/Hughes/Direct TV/Primestar
  • Echostar/Dish Network
  • DirectTV only began operations 1994
  • 1996 Echostar, third High Power
  • Murdoch News Corp Creates ASkyB
  • Murdoch’s political influence enormous
dbs is getting bigger
DBS is getting BIGGER
  • Currently, DBS providers are signing-up 3 new customers for every 1 cable gets
  • Satellite’s share of Pay-TV jumped 23% last year over the year before.
  • Watch for Reduction of the Field
  • Will there be 25 million subscribers to DBS by 2004—it looks good.
multichannel effects
Multichannel Effects

-- cable and DBS are less accountable to the public and thus more liberal in their treatment of sex and violence. HBO was the first to show uncut sex scenes in movies

++ increased utility or usefulness of media

++ provides voice for ethnic/cultural diversity and public access

television choices florida
Television Choices-Florida
  • 9 of 10 Floridians subscribes to cable or DBS at $30 - $60 per month
  • 80% of Fla households have cable
  • 10% of Fla households have DBS
  • 10% only get local broadcast signal
  • wireless cable not much of a factor
television choices us
Television Choices: US
  • 66% of households have cable
  • 13% have DBS
  • 20% get local broadcast signal
  • Wireless cable still not a factor
broadcasters are struggling
Broadcasters are struggling
  • Competition for viewers
  • New Networks
  • Transition to DTV is very expensive
  • Network affiliates remain first choice during prime time
top 5 cable companies
Top 5 Cable Companies
  • AT&T 16,400,000
  • Time Warner 12,700,000
  • Charter 6,138,000
  • Cox 6,100,000
  • Comcast 5,719,800
chapter 3 key concepts
Chapter 3: Key Concepts
  • Community Antenna TV [CATV]
  • When/Why did cable first exist?
  • Why did broadcasters welcome cable at first?
  • Why did the FCC initially adopt a “hands off” policy regarding cable regulation?
  • How did the launch of domsats affect cable?
  • TVRO [RECEIVE ONLY]
chapter 3 key concepts1
Chapter 3: Key Concepts
  • Define “Superstation”
  • DBS vs. backyard TVROs
  • What were the factors that finally launched the current success of DBS?
  • What are the differences/similarities between Ted Turner and Rupert Murdoch?