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Dec. 30th, 2003 | 02:45 pm

Inspired by a slashdot comment in an article about The State of Automated Commercial Skipping.

Now I do understand that reality shifts as collective perceptions of it move over time, but am I the only one who remembers that cable TV originally didn't have commercials? That was why you were willing to pay for it. I remember thinking, what a great idea! I would so pay not to watch these stupid commercials! What a great invention; life will be better now.

I told this to my Dad and he looked at me funny. That's not the way he remembers it at all.


So, dear readers[1], did I make this up? Is it just me?
Did cable TV originally have commercials in your universe?

-Trip


[1] accidentally typo'd as "dead reader" at first

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Comments {7}

Miss Adventure and Her Friends

No commercials

from: snaxxx
date: Dec. 30th, 2003 01:12 pm (UTC)
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Wow, that's going way back! I think I've fried a few of those memory cells watching TV.

However, I remember that "no commercials" was the big draw of cable, starting with HBO and Cinemax. There were a few cable channels imported from other cities (Ted Turner's) that would have commercials, but that was it. I remember MTV having either no or very few commercial breaks.
And to think people get annoyed by the annual pledge drive on PBS, when you still don't have to put up with commercial breaks.

Could be revisionist memory, though.

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Chef Monkey

Re: No commercials

from: chefmonkey
date: Dec. 30th, 2003 06:52 pm (UTC)
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    I remember MTV having either no or very few commercial breaks

That's nothing. I remember MTV having music.

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Chef Monkey

(no subject)

from: chefmonkey
date: Dec. 30th, 2003 07:03 pm (UTC)
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Yes, I distincly remember that being one of the major selling points of cable. You paid to have commercial-free stations. I also recall being confused when they started adding commercials. "Why are they doing that? I thought the model was that you pay directly for the entertainment instead of indirectly through consumer goods. Why would anyone pay to watch commercials?" But it went on.

On the topic of product crappification that seems to be nearly lost in the winds of time, I remember, clear as day, that the hook -- the distinguishing feature -- of Slice (the soft drink) was that it contained 10% real fruit juice! Huge marketing campaign. I'm not exactly sure when things started to go horribly wrong, but at some point, they phased the food out of slice, and made it another Sprite knock-off. It's now just sugar, water, carbonation, and lab-produced esters.

Wow. Thinking about this junk opened the memory compartment that includes the long-defunct über-sweet peanut-butter-like substance called "Koogle". That moniker has apparently been hijacked by some sort of kosher food search engine. (Groan at the bad pun).

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Triple Entendre

(no subject)

from: triple_entendre
date: Dec. 31st, 2003 02:22 am (UTC)
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mmmm, bit-twiddling....

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valkyriie

I WANT MY MTV

from: valkyriie
date: Dec. 31st, 2003 07:27 am (UTC)
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I remember not only no commercials but that video channels played videos all the time.

What happened to that???

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(no subject)

from: spumoni
date: Jan. 5th, 2004 11:53 pm (UTC)
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Not only do I remember, but that's precicely why I'm edgy about satelite radio. After spending $200 bucks on equiptment, it's $10 a month for "Commercial Free Radio!"...
For now.
Check back in ten years and thier only selling point will be that you almost never lose reception. Six commercials between every song, but hey! what sound quality on those refinancing ads!

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Triple Entendre

(no subject)

from: triple_entendre
date: Jan. 6th, 2004 11:06 pm (UTC)
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Oooh, point. I hadn't thought of that. I'll probably go straight to Internet radio.

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