snopes.com  

Go Back   snopes.com > Urban Legends > Business

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06 January 2014, 09:33 PM
snopes's Avatar
snopes snopes is offline
 
Join Date: 18 February 2000
Location: California
Posts: 109,613
TV 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...")
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06 January 2014, 11:18 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
Join Date: 29 December 2005
Location: Greenwood, IN
Posts: 6,432
Default

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

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.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07 January 2014, 01:37 AM
ganzfeld's Avatar
ganzfeld ganzfeld is offline
 
Join Date: 05 September 2005
Location: Kyoto, Japan
Posts: 22,767
TV

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.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07 January 2014, 01:16 PM
Lainie's Avatar
Lainie Lainie is offline
 
Join Date: 29 August 2005
Location: Suburban Columbus, OH
Posts: 72,920
Default

My family were early adopters of cable in our community, in early 1970s. My parents signed up purely for reception reasons.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07 January 2014, 01:58 PM
Horse Chestnut's Avatar
Horse Chestnut Horse Chestnut is offline
 
Join Date: 11 August 2004
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 5,307
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
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.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07 January 2014, 02:43 PM
Cervus's Avatar
Cervus Cervus is offline
 
Join Date: 21 October 2002
Location: Florida
Posts: 20,847
Default

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.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07 January 2014, 02:53 PM
fitz1980 fitz1980 is offline
 
Join Date: 27 May 2009
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 4,625
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cervus View Post
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.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07 January 2014, 03:32 PM
Lainie's Avatar
Lainie Lainie is offline
 
Join Date: 29 August 2005
Location: Suburban Columbus, OH
Posts: 72,920
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Horse Chestnut View Post
Did they have their QUBE box? :-).
IIRC, the cable system didn't offer enough channels to require a box. 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.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07 January 2014, 10:13 PM
smittykins's Avatar
smittykins smittykins is offline
 
Join Date: 27 December 2003
Location: Seneca Falls, NY
Posts: 2,412
TV

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
IIRC, the cable system didn't offer enough channels to require a box. 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.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Pew Study Finds MSNBC the Most Opinionated Cable News Channel By Far JoeBentley Soapbox Derby 16 25 March 2013 02:12 AM
Fake cable guys snopes Crime 2 29 January 2013 08:59 PM
Axe Commercial E. Q. Taft Fun House 8 24 January 2013 05:05 PM
Joplin survivors required to return cable boxes snopes Inboxer Rebellion 0 02 June 2011 05:13 PM
Pear Cable Calls James Randi's $1 Million Offer a Hoax snopes Spook Central 13 06 October 2007 10:13 PM


All times are GMT. The time now is 10:37 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.