Year of Publication


Date of Thesis


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Communications (School)

Subject Categories

Interactive videos; Cable television -- United States; Closed-circuit television -- United States


Dozens of "blue sky" forecasts of cable communication's glorious future were made by scholars, research institutes, public interest lobbies, and governmental advisory bodies in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Because cable could carry a greater number of video signals than the broadcast spectrum and was capable of bi-direct­ional communication it was siezed upon as a means to alleviate problems such as social alienation and political disempowerment. However, interactive cable failed to develop as expected. Through an analysis of critical events, this thesis assesses the cycle of enthusiasm and disappointment--each time conducted at a higher technological plane--that characterizes the history of cable-based interactivity. It concludes that the periodicity in interactive service development is the result of events that determined the evolutionary course of cable's regulatory regime.Thus both regulation and competition have in their turn alternatively been the forces behind interactive service development.

Included in

Communication Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.