Satellite TV: India As A Case Study

by Neil Hurley

Fall 1967

Volume 10
Issue 1

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The first published report on satellite television for mass education in developing countries was done in early 1963 by Leland L. Johnson of The RAND Corporation, who concluded that "the potential benefits of satellite technology to underdeveloped countries have been exaggerated." Considering satellite television by relay, Johnson felt that the costs of the receiving sets would be prohibitive. Only if viewers had access to commercially sponsored television, thus cutting the receiving costs, did he feel that satellite television would be economically feasible. It was Johnson's firm belief that educational satellite television was not economically justifiable unless grafted onto a commercial system. At the First Annual Meeting of the American Institute of Aeronautics from June 29 to July 2, 1964, Dr. R.P. Haviland of the Satellite and Space Systems Division of the General Electric Company proposed a second generation television satellite, a Demonstration Broadcasting Satellite "for providing direct broadcasting service to the individual homes." The technological capability of being able to bypass ground stations and costly distribution services set off speculation about the nature of a new "imaging civilization" of world-wide compass.

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