The Cable History Project

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The following Cable History articles by Larry Satkowiak have been featured in
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Television Franchise Fees in the United Kingdom

By Larry Satkowiak, April 1, 2014

On my way from central London to Heathrow last week, I asked our driver about a recent newspaper report concerning the potential increase in the television license fee that each household must pay. (This is how the BBC is funded.) Our driver pointed out that nonpayment of the fee is a criminal offense and that there were hefty fines for noncompliance...   more »
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Glenn Jones and the Mind Extension Business

By Larry Satkowiak, January 30, 2014

One of the most interesting oral histories in The Cable Center’s collection belongs to Glenn R. Jones. Recently, our librarian received a box of historical items from Greg Liptak’s family and we discovered a video that ended with Jones’ vision of the future from almost 15 years ago, which took me back to his amazing story. Glenn Jones’ entry to the cable business is legendary...   more »
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Time Warner Cable’s Family Tree

By Larry Satkowiak, January 30, 2014

Time Warner Cable (TWC) was built on a strategy of mergers and acquisitions. Its early history dates back to pioneers like Bill Daniels, Monty Rifkin, Tryg Myhren, Steve Ross and Gus Hauser. The origins of TWC are a bit complex, but the company has a wonderfully rich history that many people would not remember today. In many ways, the TWC story is a great example of how the cable industry was built...   more »
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Archer Taylor – Remembering a Cable Pioneer

By Larry Satkowiak, January 2, 2014

If you ever had a question about the early days of cable engineering, Archer Taylor was the guy to know. I have always thought of him as the prototypical cable engineer who made a very generous gesture to The Cable Center by writing two books for us about the early days of the CATV industry...   more »
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John Hendricks and the Power of Discovery

By Larry Satkowiak, December 2, 2013

The power of the television documentary first hit me in 1980 with Carl Sagan’s Cosmos on PBS. I was hooked on the many PBS science programs shown at the time and still have the accompanying books on my shelf. In the early 1980s, John Hendricks had seen these same programs and thought that cable could become the platform for similar programming based on science, nature, and history – he called it the Discovery Channel...   more »
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Cable in the Age of Innovation

By Larry Satkowiak, October 30, 2013

The cable industry is one of the best examples of the American free enterprise system that can be found anywhere. At The Cable Center, we have characterized the current generation of cable as the “Age of Innovation,” a concept that was recently reinforced for me at the annual SCTE Expo in Atlanta. The backbone of the free enterprise system is entrepreneurship, innovation, and competition…and I saw strong evidence of all three...  more »
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The Early History of WICT

By Larry Satkowiak, September 30, 2013

The Cable Industry will turn out in force for our annual Diversity Week celebration starting October 7 in New York City. Last year, I wrote about Walter Kaitz and the founding of the Kaitz dinner, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. WICT, Women in Cable Telecommunications, is another robust organization that provides outstanding programs for the cable industry during Diversity Week that also deserves our support...   more »
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By Larry Satkowiak, July 1, 2013

While in London for the Fourth of July holiday this year, I have been thinking about how television developed so differently in the UK compared to the US. Fundamental decisions about the role of government in broadcast and cable go back to the days of radio in both countries. It is a story of how two nations struggled with the same questions and developed two different solutions...     more »
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By Larry Satkowiak, June 3, 2013

Brian Lamb will receive the Bresnan Ethics in Business Award at the Cable Hall of Fame in Washington D.C. on June 10, and it reminded me about C-SPAN’s beginnings and his outstanding contribution to the United States. It’s the story of a quiet man from the Midwest who has had a profound impact on our society, who brought our government closer to its people, and who insisted on always doing the right thing even when it was not popular... more »
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By Larry Satkowiak, May 6, 2013

When Brian Roberts announced that Comcast completed its purchase of NBC Universal from General Electric, I did not hear much about the historical connections. Last week, as I walked past 30 Rock and Radio City Music Hall, I thought that most people today probably would not know the General Electric links to television and the cable industry. This is one of the richest stories in American business history and it shaped our modern media and communications world... more »

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The ACA and NCTC

By Larry Satkowiak, August 30, 2013

Members of the American Cable Association (ACA) and the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC) met in San Diego at the end of July for their annual Independent Show. It seems as an industry, we primarily concentrate on the largest cable companies in the United States, but forget that there are over 1100 independent cable operators in the United States that serve mostly small towns and rural communities across...     more »
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