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The more color sets in use, the more potential eyeballs for color programming — and more importantly, from the advertiser’s point of view, color commercials.
Still, the only network actively pushing color programming was NBC, which had 179 affiliates broadcasting in color by February of 1961.
People won’t buy color sets to see a majority of programs in the same shades of gray the old table top model in the corner delivers” .
However, even as NBC was increasing its color output, CBS was placing the impetus in the hands of the advertiser.
Paley and Frank Stanton (the latter two board chairman and president of CBS, respectively) .
Thousands were able to watch the first color broadcast in auditoriums, department stores and hotels in the five cities, but the general public was left in the dark — literally.
NBC “color days,” which started in November of 1960, saw the bulk of an entire day’s worth of programming broadcast in color .
An April 1961 editorial in magazine entitled “The Time Has Come for Togetherness on Color” noted that in the seven years since the FCC approved color standards, the “black-and-white television system […] has passed the peak of its growth.” Color, on the other hand, “is still in the egg, and only skillful and expensive handling will get it out of the egg and on its feet.” The editorial called for “color activity at both the transmitting and receiving ends.
Only (due to the cost of expensive special effects) would be aired in black and white .And for those households that owned a color set, only a small percentage of network broadcasts were even in color.During the entire 1954-1955 television season, for example, CBS only made nineteen color broadcasts .In 1963, the network was broadcasting in color only if an advertiser would help pay for the added cost . A preliminary study released in March of 1965 by ARB (and paid for by all three networks) led NBC to announce that its color programming would give it a 1.4 ratings-point advantage over ABC and CBS .magazine declared that “the surge of interest in color in the past six months marks September 1965 as the date of the long-awaited color breakthrough” . The study compared 4,600 color homes with 4,600 black-and-white homes.