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What was your first new TV channel/first pay channel?

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What was your first new TV channel/first pay channel?

Old 12-29-16, 11:40 AM
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What was your first new TV channel/first pay channel?

First new channel:

Channel 50 WKBD Detroit. We needed a decoder box since TV's couldn't handle UHF stations. I think it began in the fall 1965 as basically a sports channel(Pistons/Red Wings road games). It used too come on at 4pm in the afternoon. Started with either an older western show or Little Rascals. It introduced me to The Three Stooges , Leave it to Beaver(???) and Roller Derby.

First Pay channel:

ON-TV. It played on Channel 20 WXON Detroit. I first got it in the fall of 1981. Then I stopped it for awhile then got it back. It finally went out of business in early 1983. Needed their decoder box plus their antenna. Since it came on at 8pm the Red Wings games came on an hour late. They did televise in the afternoon on the weekends so the games could be should complete. They also were big on movies. A lot of them I seen for the first time including Nighthawks. The last movie they showed was Shoot the Moon(w/Albert Finney) and they went off the air. I'm not sure if the ON-TV in other locations continued. Don't know why but I saved some of their monthly schedule booklets.
Old 12-29-16, 12:52 PM
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Re: What was your first new TV channel/first pay channel?

Back in 1969, a UHF station came to St. Louis, -KDNL Ch. 30 (now an ABC affiliate). We had to get the loop antenna and they showed a lot of syndicated packages. I was a kid and watched the Horror/Monster films on the week-end and "Ultraman" every weekday. Somewhere in the early Seventies, they turned into a pay channel every night at 7pm. You'd get five minutes of Pay programming for free and then "snow". It was a failed experiment and they went back to free programming.

In the late Seventies, there was a pay channel called "Showtime", -I don't know if it was connected to the Showtime we have today. You had to buy a special antenna that you had to mount outside and then pay a monthly fee (I think maybe $30). I lived at home and was willing to foot the bill, but my father wouldn't have it (he couldn't understand why you'd pay for Television).

In January of 1981 American Cablevision came to town and my father (to my surprise) didn't need much selling. We got it the weekend of a legendary snowfall in this area and I watched Cable (primarily HBO, -which I think was included in the initial deal) all weekend.

Last edited by DWilson; 12-29-16 at 08:51 PM.
Old 12-29-16, 01:15 PM
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Re: What was your first new TV channel/first pay channel?

Anyone who lives in the Philadelphia/South Jersey area remembers Prism. It was a Pay Channel that started in 1976 and played Movies and all of the local sports teams (Phillies/Flyers/Sixers). It lasted about 20 years until Comcast bought them out in 1996. I remember we were one of the first ones in our neighborhood to get cable in 1979 because that was the only way to get Prism. The one great thing about Prism was there were no commercials, so every stoppage of play in the Flyers/Sixers or between innings with the Phillies, the announcers would fill the time by talking. By the late 80's they smartened up and started running commercials.
Old 12-29-16, 02:04 PM
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Re: What was your first new TV channel/first pay channel?

We didn't get ABC until I was 5. Local affiliate went on the air in 1963.
Old 12-29-16, 05:00 PM
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Re: What was your first new TV channel/first pay channel?

The first new OTA channel in my local market growing up was WNUV-54 in Baltimore around 1982 or so (independent but later became a WB/CW affiliate). A weird channel in its first couple years because at 7p, it switched to a pay channel called Super-TV which you needed a special box to unscramble the signal. It had movies w/o commercials and also offered some Orioles games for a few seasons.

Cable. I have no idea. I remember when TNT started up in the early 90s. I'm sure a new channel came up on my system (Comcrap) from the original 35 or so channels prior to that in the 80s.

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