Television Boom

January 26, 1949

Report Outline
Rapid Growth of the Television Industry
Television Uses and Television Programs
Television and the Radio, Movies and Press
Special Focus

Rapid Growth of the Television Industry

Advent of Powerful New Communications Medium

The Miracle of television last week enabled an estimated ten million Americans to watch the inaugural ceremonies at Washington without leaving their homes in cities and towns in the East and Middle West. Demonstration on this scale of the marvels of the new medium of communication was made possible by the linking on Jan. 11 of eastern and midwestern television networks. With the opening of transcontinental networks promised within a few years, people in every part of the country, with the possible exception of remote rural areas, will be able to witness the next inauguration in 1953.

Development of television on a commercial basis was delayed by the war and did not get into full swing until 1947, but its progress during the last two years has been spectacular. Since Jan. 1, 1947, the number of television stations regularly on the air has increased six times over, and the number of receiving sets in the hands of the public has jumped from a few thousand to nearly a million. This is only a beginning, for many more stations are expected to go into operation in the next few years, and sales of sets are expected to mount by leaps and bounds for some years to come.

Wayne Coy, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, has predicted that television will become “the most powerful instrument of communication ever devised …with almost unlimited potentialities for the promotion of the welfare, the education, and the entertainment of all our people.” As such it may profoundly alter existing social, educational and cultural patterns, and in the process it is bound to have far-reaching, though as yet not clearly visible, economic effects. The post-World War II development of television may be compared with the development of radio after World War I. Generally it is agreed, however, that television will have even more important social and economic consequences for the nation than did its forerunner in the field of communications.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Feb. 19, 2021  Hollywood and COVID-19
Apr. 11, 2014  Future of TV
Nov. 09, 2012  Indecency on Television
Aug. 27, 2010  Reality TV
Jun. 20, 2008  Transition to Digital TV
Feb. 16, 2007  Television's Future
Mar. 18, 2005  Celebrity Culture
Oct. 29, 1999  Public Broadcasting
Aug. 15, 1997  Children's Television
Dec. 23, 1994  The Future of Television
Mar. 26, 1993  TV Violence
Sep. 18, 1992  Public Broadcasting
Oct. 04, 1991  Pay-Per-View
Feb. 17, 1989  A High-Tech, High-Stakes HDTV Gamble
Dec. 27, 1985  Cable Television Coming of Age
Sep. 07, 1984  New Era in TV Sports
Sep. 24, 1982  Cable TV's Future
Apr. 24, 1981  Public Broadcasting's Uncertain Future
May 09, 1980  Television in the Eighties
Oct. 25, 1972  Public Broadcasting in Britain and America
Mar. 26, 1971  Video Revolution: Cassettes and Recorders
Sep. 09, 1970  Cable Television: The Coming Medium
May 15, 1968  Television and Politics
Mar. 01, 1967  Financing of Educational TV
Dec. 16, 1964  Community Antenna Television
Oct. 21, 1964  Sports on Television
Feb. 28, 1962  Expansion of Educational Television
Aug. 28, 1957  Television in the Schools
Jan. 18, 1957  Movie-TV Competition
Sep. 06, 1955  Television and the 1956 Campaign
May 18, 1954  Educational Television
Sep. 03, 1953  Changing Fortunes of the Movie Business
Apr. 20, 1953  Televising Congress
May 31, 1951  Television in Education
Jan. 26, 1949  Television Boom
Jul. 12, 1944  Television
Radio and Television