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Date Posted: 13:29:33 11/19/17 Sun
Author: Garage Rocker
Subject: Re: Nevermind my previous post
In reply to: Joseph P. 's message, "Re: Nevermind my previous post" on 02:42:06 11/17/17 Fri

Did some digging, and found out that around the end of the 1980's, cable had penetrated the market to the point that almost no one was still using an antenna for TV. And by "almost", I mean that the number of people watching local TV on a cable system was the overwhelming majority. The days of tuning in to the local station's actual channel number were almost gone. So, all of the networks urged their affiliates to identify themselves to customers the same way that cable stations did. The handwriting was on the wall. Fox, as well as ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, etc. all knew that they had to position themselves against A&E, TNT, TBS, CNN, etc.

I don't know how far in advance the broadcast network suits were informed that eventually OTA TV would switch to digital on new channels. My guess is that it was well in advance, like a decade or more. That's all the more reason to transition the identity to Fox instead of a channel number. The majority of viewers would be watching cable, and the few who used antennas would probably have to learn a new channel number anyway.

Since customers might be watching their local Fox affiliate on a different channel number than the over-the-air broadcast channel, whether it's because of the switch to digital or the coverage of cable, Fox (and all the other broadcast networks) urged their affiliates to begin changing their consumer identity from "Channel 53" to "Fox 53" or even just "Fox". This was a process, not an event. It took some time. But that seems to be a plausible explanation.

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