TV Comes To Glendale
An Introduction by Tim Ernster
In the early 1980s
cable companies across the nation were in a franchise war with each other
in their effort to lock up the cable television markets in major
metropolitan markets. During this period of time, companies were making
many promises to cities to lure them into long-term franchise agreements.
They were promising new technologies, dual cable systems, higher franchise
fees, and programming equipment for local, public, and educational access
Glendale was caught
up in this excitement along with most of the other major cities in
Arizona. In 1982 Glendale
advertised for proposals for the construction of a cable system. The City
received nine proposals from multiple system operators.
After a competitive process, the City awarded a 15-year license to
Storer Cable. They had promised to build a dual cable system offering 82
channels, as well as provide a government access channel, educational
access channel, and public access channel. In addition, they offered an
institutional network (INET), interconnecting major government, and
education facilities on a separate network. A variety of equipment was
promised to equip a government access studio and, a mobile production van
was included in the offering.
To the credit of the
cable company, most of what was promised was delivered. The dual cable system was constructed, the studio equipment
was provided, the INET was constructed, and the mobile production van was
delivered as promised.
During the late 80s
and early 90s, a shakeout of the cable industry occurred. Due to over-promising in the early 80s, many companies could
not deliver, or could not be profitable. A consolidation in the industry
took place with larger MSOs (multiple system operators) buying out the
smaller, struggling cable companies. Also, at the federal level, there was
a movement towards deregulation that made it easier for the cable business
to be successful. Rate regulation by local government was no longer
allowed, and caps were established for franchise fees.
In the late 80s
Storer Cable sold its system in Glendale to Republic Cable. A few years
later, Republic Cable sold the system to Cox Cable, one of the largest
cable companies in the nation. Today the system is still owned by Cox
Cable. During the last 20 years, Glendale, along with other cities
in the Valley, have made significant progress in developing quality
programming on the government access channels. Cities realize that it is
an important source of information for citizens.
Much of the cable
industry has changed during the last 20 years in technology and channel
availability. Also, today,
cable companies offer many other services over the cable system besides
programming. High speed Internet, telephone services, and telephone line
maintenance are just a few.
service providers are challenging cable companies by offering similar
services, but using different technologies.
Satellite service has emerged as a formidable competitor, and cable
companies are losing subscribers to this competitively priced alternative.
Competition from satellite services has become a major issue for cable
companies during the last ten years.
the last 25 years, the cable industry has been able to adapt very well to
the changing technological, political and regulatory environment. While it
faces significant challenges, it continues to be a significant force in
the telecommunications industry. This bodes well for an industry that has
only existed for the last 30 years.
Camelback's Commitment To Glendale
We at Camelback Cablevision feel privileged in offering to serve the people of
Glendale with a modern cable communications system.
Our company is a joint enterprise of five shareholders who are actively involved in the Valley Community,
and Storer Broadcasting Company, which recently marked its 53rd anniversary of service to the
The design, technology and services offered in this proposal reflect our service plan for the Valley and
include unique elements specifically intended to serve the needs of Glendale. We believe that our design is
unique and the best obtainable. We know that the equipment offered is of the
highest possible quality.
What is unique about our proposal is its derivation from our long association with the Glendale community.
We spent numerous manhours ascertaining the needs of the community and alternative means of
serving those needs. You will find many examples of our unique approach including our fully addressable
system, InfoVision, InstaCam and the electronic library. We believe that the latter proposal is a unique
approach to development of a tremendous opportunity in your city.