Last night when I was writing my entry about Fox versus Cablevision I wanted to include an interesting piece of history… but I forgot. Better late than never! I’m including it because it’s about one of the parties, but it really isn’t part of this current dispute.
Cablevision was the original cable TV franchise holder in Boston. Boston was the last major American cities to receive cable service. The franchise was presumed to be very lucrative. The bidders were aggressive.
Back in 1981 Cablevision promised 52 channels for $2 a month. Seriously. They offered another 20 channels for $5.95 more plus eight added pay channels.
Cablevision has long since sold its Boston system. It’s safe to say inflation has trouble keeping up with cable!
Here’s what the New York Times reported Mayor Kevin White saying the day the franchise was granted nearly thirty years ago:
”It seemed possible that Cablevision might be offering more than they could deliver, but the more I studied the company, the more I came to appreciate their intellectual integrity.”
You don’t hear a lot about company’s having their “intellectual integrity” appreciated anymore.
For his part I wonder if Cablevision chief Charles Dolan would say this today:
The Mayor made it clear that he didn’t want just another luxury service for people who could afford it, but rather something that was inexpensive enough to reach everyone and could make a difference in their daily lives.