Back When Broadcast TV Tried To Convince The World That Cable Was A Monster

from the ah,-history dept

It's the same old story we've seen over and over again: a new technology comes along and the industry it disrupts tries to demonize that technology as an evil that must be stopped. And yet, the "evil" never really turns out to be that bad, but it's sometimes amusing to go back and see what was said at the time. Karl Bode points us to this fun little commercial that network TV stations apparently put out in the early days of cable TV, warning how "pay TV is the monster in your living room." And, it urges viewers to "let your lawmakers know" in order to "save free television":
Of course, these days, we keep hearing about how the networks want more and more and more cash from the cable/satellite providers just to keep that "free TV" available. Funny how things work out...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Joel (profile), Mar 30th, 2010 @ 9:10am

    They feed the Monster...

    Broadcast TV is now the one feeding the monster by broadcasting the commercials for cable and the satellite companies.

    The networks want to have their cake and eat it too, by selling cable and satellite commercial spots and then asking them to pay more for the content they provide them.

     

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  2.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 30th, 2010 @ 9:10am

    B-b-b-b-b-b-b-

    b-b-but, but....free....is bad!

    What kind of cyclical asshatery is this?

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2010 @ 9:18am

    Re: They feed the Monster...

    What the hell does "have their cake and eat it too" mean? Of course you eat your cake, that's what it's for.

     

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    asshatery, Mar 30th, 2010 @ 9:22am

    I like pie!

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2010 @ 9:45am

    Re: Re: They feed the Monster...

    I can't believe this needs to be explained, but..

    Once you eat your cake, it's gone and you don't have it. So either have it (uneaten) or eat it (then you don't have it)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2010 @ 9:56am

    since the arrival of pay television cable networks the quality of broadcast tv has dropped dramatically. cause and effect? i think they were probably right.

     

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    Miss Virtual Reality, Mar 30th, 2010 @ 9:58am

    I think that both cable and broadcast tv are currently hurting. Most shows and movies can either be viewed online whenever and most people find free ways to do so.

     

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  8.  
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    Joel (profile), Mar 30th, 2010 @ 9:58am

    Re: Re: Re: They feed the Monster...

    Thank you sir/madam, I can't believe someone doesn't know this and that you were polite enough not to insult their intelligence.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2010 @ 10:01am

    WHAT THE FUCK GOOD IS AN UNEATEN CAKE?! Who wants to sit and LOOK at a delicious cake? This stupid proverb should not exist. >:[

     

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  10.  
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    John Doe, Mar 30th, 2010 @ 10:10am

    Proves you right...

    I guess people will pay for "free" stuff after all. Its too bad big business cannot figure this out even after all the precedents that have been set before them.

     

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  11.  
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    NUXI, Mar 30th, 2010 @ 10:21am

    PACMAN!

    Jack Valenti once compared Cable TV to Pac-man:

    "Now, I don't have to tell you, Mr. Chairman -- God, we have sweated blood together on the Cable Copyright Act -- but this subcommittee back in 1976 recognized the inequity of a new technology being unlicensed, cable television. You didn't want cable television fouling the airwaves and like Pac Man, gulping do everything in sight, and denying the copyright owner -- I say that as a throwaway line to Warner Bros. and Atari -- not only de copyright owner his rights, but stripping his other markets of their profit potential. "


    A few minutes later in the hearing was his famous Boston Strangler quote.

    http://cryptome.org/hrcw-hear.htm

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2010 @ 10:28am

    Except that all the major free broadcast networks own cable networks as well, so it's their own crap they are competing against anyway.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2010 @ 10:29am

    What does all this "TV" crap have to do with eating cake.
    Cake is GOOD, but I prefer cookies.
    Does the proverb also apply to cookies?

     

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  14.  
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    AC, Mar 30th, 2010 @ 10:38am

    Re: Re: Re: They feed the Monster...

    obligatory Portal reference in 3..2..

    couldn't wait

    "The cake is a lie."

     

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    Haywood (profile), Mar 30th, 2010 @ 10:51am

    Pay TV really was a Trojan horse though

    The promise of commercial free service lasted a few years, then it became as commercial laden as "Free TV". The good of it came in the mountainous states, where over the air didn't work all that well. Finally you could get more than 1 or 2 channels.

     

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    Esahc (profile), Mar 30th, 2010 @ 10:53am

    Re: Re: They feed the Monster...

    Cake or Death . . .

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2010 @ 10:55am

    Re: Re: Re: They feed the Monster...

    This may also be a not-so-subtle attempt to point out that the original expression said that you cannot "eat your cake and have it too" -- which is a bit clearer.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Have_one%27s_cake_and_eat_it_too

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Mar 30th, 2010 @ 11:12am

    Here is my favorite line from todays news ....

    “Ultimately the dinosaurs of the content industry will need to face reality; the sad thing is that winning cases such as this only damages them and puts their own future in doubt.”

    I know it has nothing to do with network TV , the early days of cable, or Cake.

    It does however speak to the past where the Network TV stations did not get much in the way of protection and they survived. The monster in the living room now is infringement, and they are getting protection from it in UK's DEB, ACTA, french 3 strikes, etc. I wonder how that perceived delusion of protection is going to work out for them ????

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2010 @ 11:15am

    Re: Proves you right...

    not really true. they pay for what was not free. make it free and they will not pay anymore.

     

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  20.  
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    Rob.Etler (profile), Mar 30th, 2010 @ 11:26am

    4 legs good, 2 legs bad

    It's nothing new. Corporations run through systems, and those systems are designed to resist change. That's part of what makes them successful. That's why every time something new comes around, it's demonized until the corporation finds a way to make money off it. Today, file-sharing is seen as the end-all to the RIAA and MPAA. Until they find a way to give the consumer what they want, then the technology will become vital to it’s success and they’ll bitch about how some newer technology is cutting into their profits from the older one they didn’t want to adopt in the first place.

     

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  21.  
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    Coco Was Screwed, Mar 30th, 2010 @ 11:52am

    Re: Re: Proves you right...

    So hows that bottled water you're sipping...

     

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  22.  
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    Tim, Mar 30th, 2010 @ 12:12pm

    I want to sign that petition

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2010 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Re: Proves you right...

    Really true, they don't pay for what was free. Make it not free and they will pay more.

     

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  24.  
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    John Doe, Mar 30th, 2010 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Re: Proves you right...

    How many people pay cable or satellite providers for HD local networks that they could get free over the air?

    How many people pay for MP3s that they could get for free? iTunes seems to be doing well, is it not?

     

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  25.  
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    Rugger2141, Mar 30th, 2010 @ 1:22pm

    Seeing this today w/ Satellite Radio

    We've been seeing this in recent years with broadcast radio fighting against the Sirius-XM merger. The deep pockets of Infinity and Clear Channel worked to demonize this merger of two ailing companies by declaring satellite radio a monopoly in a world where CDs, MP3 Players, local FM & AM and to a lesser extent 8-track and cassettes, compete in the same arena.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2010 @ 3:51pm

    Re:

    I want to eat my cake. But then I also want to have some cake for later too. But if I eat all my cake....I won't have any for later. OH MAH GAWD!

     

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  27.  
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    Steve, Mar 30th, 2010 @ 4:44pm

    What's wrong with free tv? I wish I did not have to pay a cable bill, I don't watch squat anyways, the only thing I really consume is some internet and not a whole lot of it either.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2010 @ 5:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: They feed the Monster...

    that makes a whole lot more sense, thank you.

     

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  29.  
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    Alatar, Mar 31st, 2010 @ 12:57am

    Don't let the monster

    Monsters do have their place in your nightmares, in horror movies, but not in your home. Pay Music is dangerous (*insert here a pic with the logos from the 4 majors swallowing coins*) . Sign the petition and help save Free Music.

    Works for Music too, am I right?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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