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Lecture 8

04:189:102 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Syncom, Westar, Profanity

Communication and Informatio
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Cable, Satellite, & Streaming TV
1940s/50s: CATV - Community Antenna Television
Strategically placed antennas with very long cables connecting them to subscribers’
Development of Communication Satellites
1962 - AT&T launches Telstar
1963 - Syncom 2 - First communications satellite in geosynchronous orbit
Domestic communication satellites (Canada’s Anik in 1972 and US’s Westar in 1974) -
breakthrough for cable TV
1975 - HBO becomes first cable company to use satellites for regular transmission of TV
Cable and the FCC
In 1962, the FCC intervened because the local cable services started importing cable
content from networks. In 1965, the FCC ruled that:
A cable company MUST CARRY on its box all local stations
In 1972, the FCC gave the following rulings:
Cable TV operators have to obtain a certificate of compliance from the FCC prior to
operating a cable television system or adding a television broadcast signal
Cable companies must include a public access channel (that provided education,
information about local government, etc)
Cable operators had to file annual reports about general statistics, employment, and
finances with the FCC
But many of these were modified or eliminated in the next decade, until
Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984:
Promoted competition and deregulated the cable television industry
FCC stopped regulating cable rates
Faire competition exists if 3 over-the-air stations or signals are available to
viewing area (if this requirement is filled, no regulation can be instituted)
Cable rates rose significantly
1991: FC changes the number of signals from 3 to 6
Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992:
Required cable systems to carry most local broadcast channels
Prohibited cable operators from charging local broadcasters to carry their signal
The Telecommunications Act of 1996:
The FCC can no longer regulate premium cable rates
Changed rules for regulation of basic cable
Controversial Title 3 Cable Services” - allowed for media cross-ownership
Primary goal was deregulation of the converging broadcasting and
telecommunications markets
Media Consolidation (Media Cross-Ownership)
Cable TV and Broadcast Stations
Cable threatens broadcasting
1977 - 14% of US households have cable
1985 - 46% have cable
1997 - basic cable has a larger prime-time audience than networks
Rule were put into place to ensure that broadcast stations got equal access to audiences
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