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Author: Rebecca Edwards

How Challenges Have Forged a Stronger, Kinder Cable Industry

They say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and that sentiment certainly applies to the cable industry. In an age when superheroes rule both big and small screens, it’s not a stretch to liken cable’s unsteady journey to that of a struggling hero besieged with challenges at every turn. Cable providers, once hailed as the industry-leading champions of televised entertainment, frequently find themselves turned into unlikely villains. However, as with most heroes, the cable industry has come out of each challenge stronger, wiser, and more in-tune with the public it serves. To understand the twists and turns...

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Your Cable Equipment: Renting vs. Buying

UPDATE! This article is out of date – but we’ve got all the answers you need on our Cable Modem Buyer’s Guide. Saving money on the cable bill is practically an American pastime. And one area where consumers can save — but usually don’t — is with their cable equipment. Because cable providers include rental fees for equipment like modems, cable boxes, and DVRs directly in their plans, most customers don’t even realize that they could purchase some or all of the equipment needed to enjoy their cable subscription. Buying Instead of Renting Is Your Right The fact is,...

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How Much Does TV Impact Real Life?

Along with baseball and apple pie, television is one thing Americans absolutely love. But we’re told time and again that our obsession with the tube is detrimental to our overall health and happiness. Some go so far as to blame television for what they view as the erosion of moral conscience and common decency in modern society. However, a slew of new studies turn the idea of television’s bad influence on its head. In fact, it’s been posited that TV is actually beneficial — helping with everything from preparing kids for success in school to decreasing sexual violence. With...

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ABC Family Changing Name to Draw Younger Crowd

Shakespeare once told us that a rose by another name would still smell as sweet, but does a television network by any other name still get us to tune in? ABC Family hopes so. The Disney-owned network recently announced that it will be changing its name to Freeform come January. Why Make a Change? The network made its decision based on its target audience, viewers aged 18 to 34 whom it has dubbed “becomers,” and the misconception that a network with “family” in its name broadcasts only family-friendly and wholesome programming. As the Millennials age out of its target base, the network needs to attract and keep new, younger viewers. It’s not uncommon for networks to use a name change as a way of rebranding their offerings in hopes of capturing a new, or bigger, audience. In fact, this isn’t the first time this network has changed its name: when it first aired in 1977, the network was known as CBN Satellite Service, denoting its original parent company, the Christian Broadcast Network. From there, the channel went through at least three other names, most of which included the word “family.” As the channel changed hands from CBN to FOX to Disney, programming that used to center around religious shows like “The 700 Club” dropped off to make way for more mainstream content. Anyone who has tuned in to “Pretty...

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Can TV Be a Catalyst for Change and Tolerance?

Pointing out the evils of television is a longstanding tradition, but recognizing its role in creating a more vibrant, diverse, and tolerant society is something of a rarity. Recent research shows that the small screen is just as influential as we’ve always thought, and that influence is a mighty weapon for instigating changes in societal norms — especially when writers and directors make a conscious choice to use that power for good. What Research Found The research, conducted by Jeremiah Garretson of Stony Brook University, compared thirty years of television portrayals of working women, lesbians, gays, and African-Americans to...

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