Problems and Prospects
Growth of Cable Challenges Networks
The new television season has just begun and executives at ABC, CBS and NBC are anxiously awaiting the public's judgment of their fall lineups. But this year the networks have something extra to worry about, for, as millions of Americans are finding out each year, there is much more on television than network fare. About a third of American households with television sets now subscribe to cable services. Five years ago there were fewer than 3,900 cable TV systems across the country serving about 12 million subscribers. Today there are more than 4,700 systems with nearly 25 million subscribers. Because of the growing popularity of cable, the networks' share of the television audience is dwindling. It stood at ...