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 Adding to DuMont's troubles

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Join date : 2010-11-18

PostSubject: Adding to DuMont's troubles   Sat Dec 11, 2010 9:07 pm

Adding to DuMont's troubles was the FCC's 1948 "freeze" on television license applications.[24] This was done to sort out the thousands of applications that had come streaming in, but also to rethink the allocation and technical standards laid down prior to World War II. It became clear soon after the war that 12 channels ("channel 1" had been removed from television broadcasting use) were not nearly enough for national television service. What was to be a six-month freeze lasted until 1952, when the FCC opened the UHF spectrum. The FCC, however, did not require television manufacturers to include UHF capability.[7] In order to see UHF stations, most people had to buy an expensive converter. Even then, the picture quality was marginal at best.[35] Tied to this was a decision to restrict VHF allocations in medium- and smaller-sized markets. Television sets were not required to have all-channel tuning until 1964.

Forced to rely on UHF to expand, DuMont saw one station after another go dark due to dismal ratings.[24] It bought small, distressed UHF station KCTY in Kansas City in 1954, but ran it for just three months before shutting it down at a considerable loss after attempting to compete with three established VHF stations.[36]

The FCC's Dr. Hyman Goldin said in 1960, "If there had been four VHF outlets in the top markets, there's no question DuMont would have lived and would have eventually turned the corner in terms of profitability."

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