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Television Entertainment Enjoyed by Many in Area

November 17, 1953

By Robert L. Wilkinson
Managing Director, Inland Empire Electrical League
Spokane Daily Chronicle

A rapid and widespread acceptance of television by Inland Empire families marked the first 11 months of the new entertainment medium in this area.

The Inland Empire Electrical League estimates retail sales of TV receivers within range of Spokane stations through the end of October at about 42,000. Thus about 25 per cent of the homes within the area covered are presumed to have television.

Judging from sales curves in older television markets, it is assumed that this will grow to 75 per cent within another four or five years. Television already has become a fundamental feature of the everyday life of Inland Empire residents.

The end of the first year of television here in December will see not only wide acceptance by potential audiences but also a considerable increase in the size of the potential audience. Community antenna systems have already been put into operation or are being readied for early use in a number of Inland Empire communities, including Wenatchee, Walla Walla, Lewiston, Pasco and Kennewick.

These systems give high quality reception of Spokane stations to fringe areas of televiewers, and enable many residents of those towns to receive telecasts for the first time.

Advantages Listed

The exceedingly rapid growth in acceptance of television here can be credited to several factors. Television already was a perfected science and art when it arrived in Spokane. Rather than having to undergo the risks and inconveniences of “pioneering” a new medium, Inland Empire families could purchase highly improved sets in larger screen sizes, with the assurance they would enjoy as reliable and trouble-free performance as an instrument as complex as a television receiver could give.

Spokane’s two powerful network stations soon offered a wide variety of the nation’s top shows, transmitted with the modern and proven equipment. Everyone involved—entertainers, broadcasters, manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and servicemen—had profited sufficiently from years of experience elsewhere to give Inland Empire audiences polished programs through perfected equipment and techniques.

In few places has the television industry enjoyed more satisfied customers.

Through the efforts of such public-spirited, nonprofit organizations as the Electrical League and the Better Business Bureau, purchasers in this area have had added promise of satisfaction by the virtual elimination of deceptive advertising and selling practices.

Fair Dealing Prices

Shoddy merchandise has not flooded the market. Conservative Inland Empire customers, noted for their careful buying, soon learned that reliable, stable dealers and manufacturers of known brands give the honest service and fair dealings they want.

The league and other groups have maintained an interest in preventing excessive interference and will continue to do so. The television industry here is united in its efforts to give present television owners top service and to bring future owners the best possible advice, merchandise and programs.

Developments Foreseen

More developments in television are seen for the future. A hookup with the telephone company’s nation-wide coaxial cable-microwave relay network is a fitting climax to TV’s first year here.

The broadcast day is gradually being lengthened as local stations add interesting and valuable new programs to their schedules. New improvements in both mechanics and styling of receivers are in store, for constant improvement is a byword of American industry.

Another commercial television station eventually will be on the air here after federal hearings are completed and a construction permit granted to one of the applicants for the remaining commercial channel. Presumably a fourth station will some day occupy the channel originally earmarked for educational television. These developments will add even more to the varied program fare now offered Inland Empire audiences.

Additional stations and the network hookup will increase the importance of current events and local affairs as program content. The next time a significant happening like the political conventions or the Kevauver Investigations come along, Inland Empire audiences will join the millions of others throughout the United States in the entrancing thrill of seeing history in the making—right in their living rooms!

Tuesday, November 17, 1953

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From → KHQ, KXLY

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