Cover: The Growth of Cable TV and Its Probable Impact on Over-the-Air Broadcasting.

The Growth of Cable TV and Its Probable Impact on Over-the-Air Broadcasting.

Published 1970

by Rolla Edward Park

Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback10 pages $20.00

A model is constructed to assess the potential impact of unrestricted cable television growth on broadcasting. A very strong set of distant signals is assumed, and cable penetration is assumed to reach ultimate levels. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) policy has been to protect the stations in larger (top 100) markets, particularly struggling nonnetwork UHF stations, by restricting cable growth in these markets. Results from the model indicate that concern over the impact of cable is misdirected on several counts: (1) Reduction in aggregate station revenue due to cable is small enough to be balanced by one year's typical revenue growth. (2) Stations in larger markets, now sheltered by FCC policy, would on average be little hurt by unrestricted cable growth. (3) Stations in smaller markets, for which FCC policy now provides no protection, would suffer severe revenue reduction due to cable at ultimate penetration. (4) At least through the 1970s, nonnetwork UHF stations stand to gain substantially from cable growth, because cable puts them on the same technical footing as competing VHF stations. 10 pp.

This report is part of the RAND paper series. The paper was a product of RAND from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.