Chapter 27

Cable TV: A Pipe Dream


A pipe dream is a dream about transmitting programming through pipes of all sorts—cable, beams from outer space, even the electrical company's line into the home. The specter of new delivery mechanisms has been an enticing image for all programmers. Originally, there was fear that the new mediums would so destroy old habits that they could bring down an industry. Did not film producers of the 1940s and 1950s worry that television would be the end of their business? Even more recently, the studios fought the advent of videocassette recorders, which posed a threat to the box office. But today, revenue from videocassette sales dwarfs the take at the box office. While movies continue to draw $5 billion or so, video ...

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