Previous | Next
628629630631632633634635636637638639640641642643644645646647648649650651652653654655656657658659660661662663664665666667668669670671672673674675 of 755
You have to learn where the programs are that you enjoy, and that's going to cut that list
from fifty to, maybe, twenty-five. And at that point some of those channels will be specialty
channels--movies, all news, shopping channels, things of that kind--but the entertainment
channels won't be--there won't be a proliferation of those. There will be to start, because
they'll be a lot of the off-network product and rerun it. But how many times can you see “I
Love Lucy?” you know? A new generation of viewers will come along, but it isn't going to
have the kind of magic that the live “Lucy” show did or the initial “Lucy” shows had.
As that schedule is understood by the viewer, so that the viewer knows where the product is
that he or she wants to watch, some of the cable channels won't be able to cut it. And they'll
disappear. The over-the-air broadcaster will still have a role to play, in my opinion, for two
reasons. At least two reasons. One, because roughly a third of the market will not have
cable. A certain part of the market will not be where it can be plugged into cable--because as
electronics become more miniaturized and battery-operated, you carry a television set around
in your backpack and your briefcase; and that will not be a cable service. That'll be over the
air. So there will be a circulation there that cable won't get.
And if the Vice-President [Al Gore] and the [Clinton] Administration generally promotes this
information technology and wants everybody to get it, it's going to be awfully costly to run
cable into some of the lower economic parts of this community, and certainly it will be true, to
a lesser extent, in other markets. How are they going to get their programs? Over the air.
So there is still a sizeable opportunity for over-the-air television.
The networks have another advantage, and that is the advertiser can say to CBS, “I want to
© 2006 Columbia University
Libraries | Oral History
Research Office | Rights and
Permissions | Help