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Home Box Office (HBO) is an American premium cable and satellite television network that is owned by Time Warner through its respective flagship company Home Box Office, Inc.Programming featured on the network consists primarily of theatrically released motion pictures and original television series, along with made-for-cable movies and documentaries, boxing matches, and occasional stand-up comedy and concert specials.Because of the cost of HBO (which is the most expensive of the U. premium services, costing a monthly fee as of 2015 between and depending on the provider), many Americans only view HBO programs through DVDs or in basic cable or broadcast syndication – months or even years after these programs have first aired on the network – and with editing for both content and to allow advertising, although several series have filmed alternate "clean" scenes intended for syndication runs.In 1965, Charles Dolan – who had already done pioneering work in the commercial use of cables and had developed Teleguide, a closed-circuit tourist information television system distributed to hotels in the New York metropolitan area – won a franchise to build a cable television system in the Lower Manhattan section of New York City.By 1977, Ted Turner's Atlanta superstation WTCG-TV (soon to become WTBS) and Pat Robertson's CBN Satellite Service (later to become the present-day Freeform) had joined it, pioneering satellite delivery for the cable television industry.HBO distributed its programming for only nine hours each day, from p.m. Eastern Time, during its first nine years of operation.Seeing satellite transmission as the only viable option to expand HBO's reach, Gerald Levin allocated .5 million to lease transponder space on the Westar 1 satellite for a five-year term. Eastern Time on September 30, 1975, HBO became the first television network to continuously deliver its signal via satellite (as opposed to microwave relay, the industry norm at the time) when it distributed the "Thrilla in Manila" boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier; it was beamed to UA Columbia Cablevision's systems in Fort Pierce and Vero Beach, Florida, and American Television and Communications Corporation's Jackson, Mississippi system, Through the use of satellite, the channel began transmitting separate programming feeds for the Eastern and Pacific Time Zones, allowing the same programs that air first in the eastern half of the United States to air at accordant times in the western part of the country.
Since HBO's more successful series (most notably shows such as Sex and the City, The Sopranos, The Wire, Entourage, Six Feet Under, Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones and True Blood) air on over-the-air broadcasters in other countries (such as in Canada, Australia and much of Europe – including the United Kingdom), HBO's programming has the potential of being exposed to a higher percentage of the population of those countries compared to the United States.
This was partly because the tall buildings in the city blocked television signals and partly because the New York City Council had required that all electrical and telecommunication wiring be laid underground to limit service disruptions during bad weather, an ordinance that was passed after a blizzard in 1888 damaged telephone and telegraph lines in the area.
Sterling Manhattan consistently lost money during its first six years of operation, because of the expense of running cable underground and into buildings throughout Manhattan (as much as 0,000 per mile) and a limited subscriber base, 400 of them by 1971.
To gauge whether consumers would be interested in subscribing to a pay television service, Time-Life sent out a direct-mail research brochure to residents in six U. Time-Life later conducted a test in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in which salesmen presented the concept of a pay cable channel to residents by offering free service for the first month and a refundable installation fee; half of residents surveyed in the test expressed interest in purchasing the conceptual service.ffice," although the name was originally intended as a working title in order to meet deadlines to publish research brochures for the new service, with the belief that management would come up with a different name later.
Originally, Home Box Office was to debut on a Service Electric cable television system in Allentown; in order to avoid blackouts for NBA games that it was set to televise (Allentown was within the NBA's designated blackout radius for the Philadelphia 76ers' market area, under rules that the league had in effect at the time to protect ticket sales), Time-Life agreed to an offer by Service Electric president John Walson to launch the channel on its system in Wilkes-Barre (outside of the 76ers' DMA, in northeastern Pennsylvania).
In the summer of 1971, while on a family vacation in France, Charles Dolan began to think of ideas to make Sterling Manhattan profitable.