When Did Cable TV First Start?

Nowadays, cable TV is something we do not think off as important nor a breakthrough in technology. Since we now have the internet and all the streaming services, regular cable TV has somewhat dropped in popularity. Still, it is still very important and holds a special place in the hearts of people. Therefore, it is important for everyone to know about it and how it changed the TV industry during the middle of the last century.

Early History

In Arkansas, Oregon, and Pennsylvania in 1948, cable television began almost at the same time in the United States to increase the weak reception of signals coming from traditional, over-the-air TV transmissions in geographically isolated regions or mountainous regions. On these high points or mountaintops, numerous “community antennas” were erected to spread the signal, after which all the surrounding households were attached to the antenna towers to receive the transmitted signals.

By 1952, the 1970’ cable network providers nationally served more than 14,000 customers. Nearly 800 cable networks that served over 850,000 customers were in operation by the year 1962. Local television stations regarded the rise of cable through the introduction of remote signals as a rivalry. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had extended its authority in response to the complaints of the broadcast industry and has imposed limits on the right of cable networks to access remote television signals.

Source: Medium

Strict Policies Implemented

The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) escalated its conservative policy in the early 1970s by enacting the rules that restricted the cable operators’ right to sell sporting events, movies, and syndicated programming. For many years, funding for cable development and extension was mediocre and the potential was not at all used to its fullest. Despite it being beneficial and convenient, the policies prevented it.

Years passed, and then a local TV station in Atlanta that broadcasted mostly sports content and classic films became the second channel to use the satellite. Development in this department had augmented by the end of the decade, and the cable subscribers were nearly 16 million households.

Source: Stuffablog.com

Turn of the Century

At the end of 1995, apart from several area TV networks, there were 139 cable TV channels available nationally. The number of nationwide cable video networks had risen to 171 by the spring of 1998. This was the time when Time Warner, Continental, Charter (click here), Comcast (Xfinity cable), Cox, Newhouse, and Viacom came into existence and amused their customers with their services and creative artistic content across the country.

Most of the cable service providers merged multiple times to expand their footmarks in the country during this span. Charter Communications acquired Time Warner Cables and Bright House Network and introduced a brand new name for all of them, that of Spectrum. This happened in 2016 and it resulted in them having a footprint in 44 states of the United States. Xfinity is also one of the leading providers across the country due to its massive serviceability trail. Both of the mentioned providers along with other leading cable and internet service providers are not only known for their extended reach, but their excelling performance over the decades, a loyal customer base that respects their consistency and quality, and an a constant growth in all areas.

By then, the average customer could select from a broad range of premium content, with over 57 percent of all viewers watching at least 54 channels regularly, up from 47 in 1996. Then, at the end of the decade, just under 7 out of every 10 TV households in the United States of America, which is over 65 million people, had already chosen to switch to cable.

Source: iLounge

2000 and Beyond

In 2001, AT&T decided to fold its cable services into those of Comcast Corp. in share as a reaction to those requests, creating the first-ever cable provider with more than 22 million subscribers. In actuality, though, it will also take more costly infrastructure for cable to begin offering advances like high-definition TV facilities, being progressively implemented by off-air radio stations as well as broadcast networks, which include top tie names like HBO, Discovery, ESPN, and Showtime.

In the modern age of internet services, streaming platforms, and social media, cable provides millions of customers with online content, internet access, and wireless mobile service as well. They are no longer limited to TV only, since they would have gone out of business a long time ago. What started by a few pioneering entrepreneurs over at least half of a century ago has contributed to the development of at least 800 programming stations experienced by more than 93 percent of the United States residents. In addition, they have impressive broadband speeds of more than 2 GBPS, with even higher internet speeds always in development.

Source: Figures On A Landscape

The Bottom line is This

When it first became available, cable TV providers reintroduced the TV as a whole. Thanks to the new tech introduced in the fifties, they started producing programming that moves where our clients need to go. No matter where you are, you could have quality television program. Fast forward more than half a century, and you have something even more impressive where almost all the cable TV service providers have their own TV Apps for their respective subscribers. These allow them to watch whatever they want, or whatever they have had missed, on whatever device you want to or have at your disposal at that time, as well as whichever place you are at. Best of all, the only thing you need to have is a stable internet connection, which many of these providers now offer as well. It is a whole package.

Conclusion and Takeaways

In the past 20 years, cable service providing companies have given over $275 billion in infrastructure and have created over 2.9 million jobs, making them one of the strongest and most successful modern industries in the world. These are only a few of the many incredible aspects of the telecommunication industry, a branch of entertainment that is constantly improving, adapting, and overcoming challenges.

About Margharita Evanom

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