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-   -   Commercial-free cable TV (http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=88245)

snopes 06 January 2014 10:33 PM

Commercial-free cable TV
 
Comment: I have heard on multiple occasions (especially by pro-cord
cutters) that the early selling point for cable tv was commercial free
television. I personally do not remember this, and cannot find one single
substantiated claim to support this idea. Is this just another case of
somebody stating a hoax matter of factly, and subsequently being taken for
the truth? Or is there some substance behind this claim that my google-fu
is unable to reveal? Thank you. Love the site. Below are some links:

http://deals.woot.com/questions/deta...ling-point-was

http://www.tigerdroppings.com/rant/p...mmercials.aspx

http://askville.amazon.com/time-payi...estId=16159205

There are many other examples buried in numerous comments sections of
various articles.

P.S. - Most time it comes up, it leads with "Am I the only one who
remembers..." or "Why does nobody remember..." as if they are
unconsciously parroting some originating source (and considering cable
dates back to 1948 I doubt many people can make the claim "I remember...")

jimmy101_again 07 January 2014 12:18 AM

HBO and other premium channels are basically commercial free (no commercials during the show, only between show, kind of like PBS :p ).

Taking a broadcast channel, removing the ads, then putting it onto the cable system doesn't make much sense.
1) It would mess up the timing of shows and/or you would have three minutes of blank screen every ten minutes where the commercials were.
2) The broadcast stations could prohibit use of their content by cable TV since the cable system would be modifying the feed.

ganzfeld 07 January 2014 02:37 AM

It was certainly the case that the FCC and broadcasters were concerned cable would take a big bite out of local advertisement revenues but that was because the cable companies were rebroadcasting shows from the big cities (by sending them out from remote antennae and then by microwave networks), not because they had no commercial messages. It wasn't until they began to increase their channels that the cable networks began to provide any cable-only content, let alone ad-free programming.

Lainie 07 January 2014 02:16 PM

My family were early adopters of cable in our community, in early 1970s. My parents signed up purely for reception reasons.

Horse Chestnut 07 January 2014 02:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lainie (Post 1793032)
My family were early adopters of cable in our community, in early 1970s. My parents signed up purely for reception reasons.

Did they have their QUBE box? :) I seem to remember hearing about the commercial free future with pay-to-view TV. It was around the same time they were telling us that computers would make all offices paperless.

Cervus 07 January 2014 03:43 PM

Back in the 80's and 90's, the "premium" cable channels you had to pay extra money for didn't show commercials at all. At the time, that included movie channels such as HBO, Showtime, and The Disney Channel.

fitz1980 07 January 2014 03:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cervus (Post 1793060)
Back in the 80's and 90's, the "premium" cable channels you had to pay extra money for didn't show commercials at all. At the time, that included movie channels such as HBO, Showtime, and The Disney Channel.

HBO and Showtime only show ads for other stuff on the channel between programs. I think Disney has switched to a commercial break system and is now included with many basic cable packages.

Lainie 07 January 2014 04:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Horse Chestnut (Post 1793045)
Did they have their QUBE box? :-).

IIRC, the cable system didn't offer enough channels to require a box. :lol: We were all excited because we could get all three Cleveland network stations reliably, PLUS a whole bunch of new UHF channels!

Unless the wind blew really hard.

smittykins 07 January 2014 11:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lainie (Post 1793070)
IIRC, the cable system didn't offer enough channels to require a box. :lol: We were all excited because we could get all three Cleveland network stations reliably, PLUS a whole bunch of new UHF channels!

Unless the wind blew really hard.

We first got cable in late '76(Syracuse NewChannels). Our box had 15 buttons with a rocker switch on the side, for a capacity of 30 channels, but we probably actually got less than half that, though we did get HBO. I remember being impressed that we could get channels from New York City(the three independents)!

'Course, I was ten years old at the time, and admittedly easily impressed. :lol:


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