Television: A Little Premature

"A new era!" cried Henry Griffing last fall, when his Oklahoma firm began piping new movies by TV cable into 472 Bartlesville homes for a flat subscription rate of $9.50 a month. But last week Griffing announced that he was giving up; his brand of pay TV has not paid off. Despite a slash in price to $4.95, only 800 of Bartlesville's 28,700 citizens bought—only half the number needed to make cable ends meet. The two main factors that killed telemovies in Bartlesville were competing movies on free TV and the lack of a metering device that would permit set owners...

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