Cable Television

Opportunities and Problems in Local Program Origination

by Nathaniel E. Feldman

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Evaluates past CATV experience with local programming in Canada; in the somewhat isolated tract of Dale City, Virginia; and in Lakewood, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. The study concludes that (1) local programming can cost little to produce, (2) community-oriented programming can at times have high audience appeal, (3) local volunteer groups can produce only a few hours of programming per week to at most perhaps enough for one or two channels, (4) to survive financially, CATV systems generally must import distant stations as well as carry signals from local stations (no other means for attracting subscribers has yet been shown to be viable), (5) CATV operators should be required to rent out equipment, to make available their studios, and to provide free channels for community programming, and (6) CATV operators should also be required to make channels available on a leased basis with the cable operator absolved of responsibility for program content.

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