relevant to one-way, entertainment-driven commercial programming, which in
addition to broadcast, cable, and time-shift VCRs includes cable substitutes--
SMATV, MMDS, and DBS.
Over the years the methods and the accuracy of ratings systems have frequently
been challenged. However, the integrity, objectivity, and fairness of the people
delivering the audience numbers have rarely been questioned. This is the legacy
of Crossley, Hooper, Nielsen, Roslow, and Seiler. These pioneers set ethical
and professional standards that have been carried on by their successors. May
we see the imprint of their principles on those services which may emerge to
measure electronic media audiences in the future.
Few people were as successful as David Sarnoff not only in foreseeing
the future but in making it happen. Some examples are his 1915 vision
of mass radio audiences receiving music, news events, and sports results
over a "Radio Music Box," his founding of NBC to provide quality radio
service, his foresight in 1929 in backing Vladimir Zworykin to successfully pursue electronic television, his determination to launch commercial
television at the New York World's Fair in 1939, and his indefatigable
pioneering and $200 million commitment to compatible electronic color
(now used in 90 percent of U.S. households) in the face of vicious
"IRTS Brings Big Names Together," Broadcasting, February 6, 1984,
p. 52, a report on the twelfth annual faculty/industry and college conference of the International Radio and Television Society.
"Enhancement--Next TV Set Revolution," Television Digest, March 19,
1984, p. 11.
Sandra Salmans, "Cable Operators Take a Bruising," The New York
Times, March 4, 1984, Section 3, p. 1.
"TCI Buys Pittsburgh System," Television Digest, March 26, 1984, p. 6.
The implication that there is any cable service but pay cable will disappear
along with that artificial distinction.
Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau, New York.
Hugh M. Beville Jr., "VCR Penetration: Will It Surpass Cable by 1990?" Television/Radio Age, July 9, 1984, p. 27.
Advertising Age (April 9, 1984) characterized the RCA move as "a hammerblow" to the entire videodisc market.
Jill McNiece, "Cable Ops Place Bets on Multichannel MDS," Multi-
channel News, December 12, 1983, p. 40.