Pay-per-view

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Pay-per-view (PPV) provides a service by which a television audience can purchase events to view via private telecast. The broadcaster shows the event at the same time to everyone ordering it (as opposed to video-on-demand systems, which allow viewers to see recorded broadcasts at any time). Events can be purchased using an on-screen guide, an automated telephone system, or through a live customer service representative. Events often include feature films, sporting events, pornographic movies and "special" events such as professional wrestling, mixed martial arts, and boxing.

Contents

United States

The Zenith Phonevision system became the first pay-per-view system tested in the United States of America. Developed in 1949, it used telephone lines to take and receive orders as well as to de-scramble a broadcast signal. Phonevision field-tests ran for 90 days in Chicago. In 1950, Skiatron tested its Subscriber-Vision system on WOR in New York City. The system used IBM punched cards to de-scramble a signal broadcast during the broadcast station's "off-time". Both systems showed promise, but the FCC denied them permits.[1]

One of the earliest pay-per-view systems on cable, the Optical Systems Channel 100, first entered service in 1972 in San Diego through Mission Cable[2] (acquired by Cox Communications) and TheaterVisioN, which operated out of Sarasota, Florida. These early systems quickly went out of business, as the cable industry adopted satellite technology and as flat-rate systems like Home Box Office became popular.

Pay-per-view first became popular when the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers began using the system after winning the championship in the 1977 season.[3] It operated through a few pay-TV services such as Z Channel, SelecTV, and ON-TV in select markets throughout the 1980s.

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