Let’s Check out the Facts About TV

  • A Russian scientist named Constantin Perskyi in 1900 coined the word ‘television’.
  • The first static black ad white TV transmission occurred in 1884 and was conducted by Paul Nipkow in Germany, using what he called his ‘electric telescope’.
  • The very first US TV station opened in 1928, and the BBC in England began transmitting a few years later, in 1930.
  • TV only became popular after the end of World War 2, and by 1948 more than a million homes in the USA had a TV set.
  • By the 1960’s TV’s popularity had exploded, and the first satellite TV station went live in 1962.
  • In 1969 over 600 million people globally watched Neil Armstrong and his crew land on the moon live at home.
  • The first TV sets could only produce between 200 and 400 lines of resolution, and HD sets were only officially ratified in 1996.
  • Initially, TV commercials were cheap to air, and there was not too much competition. Now, commercials are a multi-million dollar industry, and a 30 second spot during the Super Bowl half time can go for nearly $3 million.
  • In 1970 Sony made the first ever VCR and opened up a whole new world for viewers. The possibility of cheaply recording shows became a reality, and movies could also be watched on VCR too.
  • Today, there are only a small percentage of video shops left as streaming has taken over, but in their heyday these shops could make more than a million in turnover annually.
  • Now, an increasing number of people are watching TV shows and movies on their smartphones and tablet like casino players using mobiles for their entertainment, and the sale of TV sets has declined in the last 10 years dramatically.
  • Netflix has become a multi-million dollar streaming service, and Hulu and other services are fast eclipsing traditional TV channels.
  • Included in the most watched TV series are M*A*S*H with a viewership of over 11 million, Cheers with over 80 million viewers and Seinfeld with over 75 million. Friends is also up top with over 52 million viewers and counting, and Tom Selleck’s Magnum P.I also pulls in the numbers, with more than 50.7 million.
  • The most watched TV performance by any single star was in 1973 when Elvis Presley performed live in Hawaii. More than 1 billion people tuned in to see the singer crooned Blue Suede Shoes and other smash hits on TV.
  • The first ever TV commercial was 20 seconds long ad was played during a Philadelphia Phillies and Brooklyn Dodgers game. The advert was for a clock that was manufactured by Bulova Corp.
  • A person ages 65 has seen on average around 2 million commercials on TV.
  • The most common TV commercials in the 1960’s were for household appliances and cleaning products and were designed to appeal to housewives who watched TV during the day.
  • TV dinners were hugely popular in 70’s and 80’s and today it is estimated that around 40% of Americans still watch TV while eating their dinner.

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