Britain's first pay-television service begins next Friday (January 7). It will run for three years?
Britain's first pay-television service begins next Friday (January 7). It will run for three years in an experiment to find whether Britain needs pay-tv.
Pay-tv is government-licenced, but privately financed. To start with, the experiment is confined to 10,000 converted sets in two London suburbs. Later it will embrace Sheffield, in Yorkshire, to test provincial reaction.
About 50 hours of programmes will be transmitted from Pay-TV's London headquarters each week. They will be wide and varied in range -- recent movies, 'live' theatre and ballet, sport, education programmes and documentaries. The aim is to provide an alternative service to the established programmes of Britain's three regular television channels.
Prices will vary according to the time and type of programme, but the average cot will work cut to about 3 shillings an hour. Viewers will get a schedule in advance telling them how much to put in the meter for each particular programme.
Transmission will be done by a wire service -- as used in the Soviet Union -- rather than by a frequency. Pay-TV are confident that the experiment will prove a success.
The button to start the service will be pressed by Mrs. Harold Wilson, wife of the British Prime Minister. But the actual opening will be done by Mr. Wedgwood Benn, who as Postmaster-General is responsible for television in Britain. This is part of his speech:--