A Brief History of Television: Part 1

Lesson Details

Subject: Business

Title: A Brief History of Television: Part 1

Description:

History can tell us a lot about the future. It's a cliche but it's true.

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Transcript
 

Okay so, once you get your skill sets down, and as you can see they’re not that hard to do, the real question becomes: What do I do now?  How do I make a living in this business and you can go from making free videos for YouTube, for the rest of your life if you want, all the way up to selling multimillion dollar series to television networks or distributing worldwide, and in the course of the courses we offer here, I’m going to show you how to do all of those things.

But before we start down that path I think it's critically important for you to have a general overview of the entire industry, where it came from where we are now and where it's going.  This is critical that you understand what is happened, to understand what is going to happen.

In the 1970s, and I picked this number at random when television really was in its golden age, there were three networks in the United States; they work, in England there was one or two, in Germany there was one or two, most countries were very limited in terms of the television, and that's all there was there was, there was no video industry, there was certainly no online industry, the television industry was very circumscribed and this was 40 years ago when when television began to really take off.  So in the United States there were three television networks ABC NBC and CBS, and a couple of local stations and PBS and that was all you can see on TV.  Thats probably hard for people today to understand but the reason was the signals for television were pushed through the air as analog signals — giant waves and of course the bandwidth could only electromagnetic spectrum could only occupy a hold so much material — was picture and sound and color all being pushed through the air and coming into your house through these TV aerials the sat on top of your house.

So we were limited essentially the three networks those three networks shared an audience of 100 million homes.  That meant that on any given night any network could be pretty much guaranteed give or take 30 million homes — that's a lot of homes.  That a lot of homes to put your advertising into. That's a really focused and very small and concentrated market.

So those TV networks to go to advertising agencies and charge a lot of money for the opportunity to put your message into 30 million homes and as a result those three networks, ABC NBC or CBS, made a fortune.  They had licenses to print money because essentially there was no competition beyond the three of them, and if you look at the window here from our offices you can actually see this giant 30 Rock, or maybe you've seen on TV, this tremendous building in Rockefeller Center that was built on the back of the profits that these industries created. Right here across the street is Black Rock the CBS building: exactly the same thing.  And for a long time those three networks pretty much controlled the airwaves and they controlled all the information that came into everyone called news entertainment sports whatever it was the own every as a pretty good business.

© Michael Rosenblum & Lisa Lambden 2016