TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Cable TV Advertising (was 'Transitional Fair Use'...)

Re: Cable TV Advertising (was 'Transitional Fair Use'...)

Neal McLain (
Sun, 19 Dec 2004 04:55:47 -0600

PAT wrote [TD 23:602]:

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Do you remember *many, many*
> years ago when cable television was first getting underway how
> 'they' said cable would be a better deal 'since there would not
> be any commercials; it is all paid for by your cable fees'.

To which I wrote [TD 23:605]:

> Given this history, I don't see how it's possible that anyone
> familiar with the industry could have claimed that "there would
> not be any commercials; it is all paid for by your cable fees."
> Without distant independent commercial stations like WGN-TV and
> WOR-TV, the cable industry wouldn't have had a salable product.

Whereupon Barry Margolin <> wrote [TD 23:606]:

> Of course they weren't talking about broadcast channels that
> were piped in by the cable system -- those would obviously have
> the same content as over-the-air. The no-commercials
> expectation was for all the premium channels that were created
> just for pay cable distribution. Since we have to pay extra to
> get those, there was an expectation that these fees would
> obviate commercials. But the only channels that have stayed
> true to this vision are some of the movie channels, like HBO
> and Showtime.

So you're telling me that back in the late 40s and early 50s
("... when cable television was first getting underway"), "they"
expected that the cable industry would create commercial-free "premium
channels ... just for pay cable distribution"? And, by implication,
that a technology would exist for distributing these channels
nationwide at reasonable cost?

Gee, I'd sure like to know who "they" are.

Neal McLain

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Well, I do not know who 'they' were
either, but I distinctly remember sometime the late 1950's hearing
about how 'cable television stations will not have commercials since
the fee you pay for service takes care of all that ..." PAT]

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