Blue skies: A history of cable television

Research output: Book/ReportBook

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cable television is arguably the dominant mass media technology in the U.S. today. Blue Skies traces its history in detail, depicting the important events and people that shaped its development, from the precursors of cable TV in the 1920s and '30s to the first community antenna systems in the 1950s, and from the creation of the national satellite-distributed cable networks in the 1970s to the current incarnation of "info-structure" that dominates our lives. Author Patrick Parsons also considers the ways that economics, public perception, public policy, entrepreneurial personalities, the social construction of the possibilities of cable, and simple chance all influenced the development of cable TV. Since the 1960s, one of the pervasive visions of "cable" has been of a ubiquitous, flexible, interactive communications system capable of providing news, information, entertainment, diverse local programming, and even social services. That set of utopian hopes became known as the "Blue Sky" vision of cable television, from which the book takes its title. Thoroughly documented and carefully researched, yet lively, occasionally humorous, and consistently insightful, Blue Skies is the genealogy of our media society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherTemple University Press
Number of pages804
ISBN (Print)9781282047402
StatePublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

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