Soft-selling on cable TV

It seemed to lumber ponderously down the runway for years, but now cable television is definitely airborne. A quarter of the nation's 77.8 million TV homes are hooked up to one of the 4,600 local cable companies that pipe into living rooms everything from first-run movies, hard-sell religion and soft-core porn shows to kiddie programs and the proceedings of Congress live. Cable-systems owners, present or prospective, are as hot on Wall Street as genetic engineering firms, and advertisers are beginning to eye cable TV as a promising vehicle for commercials. Though at present a mere $45 million...

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