Everyone Is Entitled To My Opinion- On Cable TV

by Paul Big Bear
Dear Friends,
        As I turned on my computer this morning I found myself caught up with a long ongoing debate about cable TV, in particular Comcast Cable as they are, again, threatening to remove a popular channel this time Antennae TV. “Call this (800) number and tell them (Comcast) you demand they keep this popular channel.” Will this really do anything? Will Comcast acquiesce to these demands?
        Let us step back in time to 1968; How many remember GMRX then pronounced gee mer x? This was a rating system for theaters, G = general admission, M = Mature, R = Restricted (over 18 only), and X + adult. I remember going that year that same year to see Romeo and Juliet in the theater, it was rated R so you had to be 18 to see it. The stars Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey were both under 18 when this was filmed.
       That same year “Commercial Free TV” was hot news, theaters had large posters posing questions regarding the acceptance of ratings and commercial TV. Cable had been around in the guise of  antennaes placed on top of a mountain and wires brought reception to homes that never had TV reception. I grew up in such an area, no TV or radio reception. Pay TV as it was called, took the coded message from the antennae to your home into a decoder box for a fee. For a flat fee of five or six dollars you would receive all over the air stations; 7 UHF and 4 Vhf and other services with a capability of 12 channels, this opened the door for new programming. FCC regulation brought up the question of commercial and income other than subscriber payments, was cable not restricted to home owner payments and millions and millions in cost to set up programming not yet available, add to this the matter of copywrite laws and would Pay TV create a monopoly becoming the only way to watch TV, PAY FOR IT? FCC said where do you draw the line between what is offered in the public interest and what is offered for profit? As for copy write, is it legal for cable/pay TV to rebroadcast regular TV and charge for it? One more consideration, do FCC rules apply to programs not fed over the air?
       1968 (an election years) the FCC turned these arguments over to Congress to draft legislation and secure a vote. It was such a hot topic on Capitol Hill, rather than deal with it before the elections it was decided to deal with it after the elections. On the 16th of December 1968 News First ran an interview between anchor Mitchell Kraus and TV Guide Editor Richard K. Doan to discuss what the future might be. Fifty years later it is still up in the air.
        Streaming services are available in the range of $25.00 to $83.00 a month leaving you to search and find a time you may fit into your schedule. Does all this leave you nostalgic for; the days when you had a TV antennae on your roof, rabbit ears on your TV enhanced with crimpled foil, adjustment buttons on the back of your set like clarity and horizontal hold? How many remember the remote control that handled volume, scrambled picture, and sound? You when your father stomping his foot on the floor didn’t result in clear viewing. Now where did I put that 800 number?
Reply Reply All Forward


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *