more things change, the more they remain the same. People (including,
admittedly, me) don't want to have to pay for any type of media delivery,
especially when it arrives via air waves or the Internet. We expect
to pay for print media like books, newspapers, and magazines... unless
they are available online, in which case they should be free.
Six months before I was born, a reader of Radio-Electronics
magazine wrote to declare his outrage at the fledgling industry of Pay
Television. That a viewer would be expected to pay the broadcaster for
a show that was being, in his opinion, amply subsidized by advertisers,
was an outrageous concept, an unthinkable assault on all that is holy.
While his indignation was probably shared by the majority of the television
viewing public, evidently the maniacal scheme succeeded. In the 1950s
and even through part of the 1970s, television shows typically included
about 10-12 minutes of commercials and other non-show segments for each
hour of broadcast. Season 1, Episode 1 of
Trek, for example, ran for 50 minutes; that was in 1966. In 1985,
the first episode of
ran for 48 minutes - two more minutes of commercial time. In 2005, the
first episode of
ran for 43 minutes - with 17 minutes of commercials. I have no idea
what the latest shows have for commercial time. At some point, singularity
will probably be reached where equal time is allocated to the main feature
February 1958 Radio-Electronics
of Contents]These articles are scanned and OCRed from old editions of the Radio & Television News magazine.
Here is a list of the Radio-Electronics articles I have already
posted. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.
See all available
vintage Radio-Electronics articles. Also, "Will
You Pay for TV?," in a 1957 Radio & Popular Electronics
'Pay-As-You-Watch' System," in a 1953 Radio & Television
Stop Pay TV
It shocks me to find that there are so many people who
would accept pay TV. This is not for me! Never in a million years! TV
stations are paid by companies whose advertisements they spout. They
get paid plenty too. So now we're going to have to pay the TV companies
for the right to watch programs which were made to be watched for the
price of the set and a little extra added to our electric bills. Not
only that, but we will have to shell out to a group who have absolutely
no right to the TV sets of millions of people all over the country.
All this, just because they see a quick way to make money.
sure that if enough people get together we could stop pay TV dead in
its tracks. I'd sure like to hear of more people who are with me in
his matter. I'd like to hear the news of those who are for pay TV too.
The show must go on, but without a little pay box on top of
the set! Toll TV must be stopped!
(Name withheld by request)
Brooklyn, N. Y.