(%*<> NRUS-HERALD, PmmVHy, lie., Friday, Jon* 28, 1974 CIVITAN SCHOLARSHIP GIVEN-Coach Will McRaney right, of the Panama City Civitan Club presents Miss Tonya Laramore, center, with a full scholarship to GCCC. Dan Smith, Gulf Coast Financial Aid Director looks on. Pros and Cons Debated For Pay Television Plan HOLLYWOOD Depending on which side of the fence you sit, pay TV is either the threat or the promise. But both sides agree that what was once just an interesting theory is now a reality. It's a small reality, however. At the moment, there are an estimated 65,000 homes in the United States that are subscribers to a pay TV system. But only a year or so ago, there were virtually none, so the increase is sizable. And the Stanford Research Institute, in a recent study, has predicted that 30 per cent of all American homes with televisions will be pay subscribers by 1985. What has given pay TV its biggest impetus is a totally new approach. Over the years, there have been many grandiose attempts at some sort of pay TV network. Most involved sophisticated hardware and complicated billing systems. Today's most popular pay TV companies do it the simple way, and the simple way is proving effective. They "piggy-back" their signal into homes that are equipped with cable TV. This enables them to install the system inexpensively. This does have the disadvantage of self-limiting prospective subscribers to those who have cable TV, or are in areas where cable TV is available. But there are an estimated eight-million homes that have cable TV now, and more are being added each month, so the prospects are there. At'the moment, the two biggest pay TV companies are both located in southern California - Optical Systems, which operate pay TV systems in San Diego and Santa Barbara, Ca., Toledo, 0., Harrisburg and Easton, Pa., Wayne, N.J., and will soon open up in the Davenport-Moline-Rock Island area; and Theta Cable, which works the Los Angeles area. Theta Cable began operations in Los Angeles in April, and signed up 6,600 subscribers in its first five weeks. That represents • roughly 10 per cent of all the pay TV subscribers in the United States, showing what can happen when the idea hits a major metropolitan area. Both Theta and Optical limit their programming to movies, so far. They each show two movies a night, one at seven and one at nine, and change the program every week. Pay TV is bound by an FCC rule — "rammed down our throats," says Optical's president, Geoffrey Nathanson — restricting access to movie inventories. The rule requires pay TV to pick up a picture, providing the producer makes it available for TV showing that early, within the first two years after its release or wait until it is a ripe 10 years old. During the eight years between, a movie is off limits to pay TV, although not to the "free" networks and independents. They are now trying to get that rule changed, but they are being bitterly opposed by theater owners and the Na- PRE-4TH OF JULY SALE BARGAINS ON WESTINGHOUSE AIR CONDITIONERS, WASHERS, DRYERS, DISHWASHERS, RANGES, AND REFRIGERATORS SALE STARTS THURSDAY JUNE 27TH WESTINGHOUSE WASHER - $168.00 WESTINGHOUSE DRYER- $118.00 GOODYEAR BUDGET TEMS - 90-DAYS CASH GOODYEAR SERVICE STORE 763 4651 325 E. 6TH ST. tional Association of Broadcasters. The movie producers are all for pay TV, feeling that it is another potential source of revenue. And. theoretically, if and when there are sufficient subscribers, there could be production exclusively for pay TV use. The existing free television networks are Keeping a wary and worried eye on the progress of pay TV. Everett H. Erlick, an ABC vice-president, told that network's affiliates at a recent meeting that "this game (the pay-free TV contest) ... could drastically change this business as we know it today." And there is little doubt that it could. If the Stanford Research Institute forecast is anywhere near correct, pay TV could conceivably be a tremendous force in the entertainment industry within a few years. At the moment, subscribers (they pay somewhere around $6 to $8 a month for the cable, another $6 to $8 for programming) get nothing but movies. For a family, however, this could be a good buy. They see some eight films a month. These are generally good ones, fairly recent releases. They do not get to see blockbusters because studios keep those beyond that two-year FCC limit The pay TV networks do no editingand show no commercials. Thus, they will not use X-rated films, but do show many R-movies. A family that enjoys movies finds pay. TV a bargain. The jury is still out on whether pay TV will create any programming. Jack Mann, Theta's marketing director, doubts that win happen, at least* not for some years. But Nathanson, of Optical, is more optimistic. "I don't think we'll produce our own dramatic things," he says, "but I believe we nave a future in self-help programming. We're planning to telecast lessons in guitar playing, speed reading, improving your memory, that sort of thing. You see, they'd be more profitable — we could use them over and over for ten years at least. With dramatic things, playing them once or twice is all." If ) X" II Self Service fay LiO$$ SHOES CLEARANCE! Hundreds of Good Buys...Greater Price Cuts Than Before! W0MENS AND CHILDREN'S SUMMER SANDALS, CLOGS AND DRESS s tlOeS VALUES TO $10.99 $197 $Jg97 $397 $497 MENS SHOES VAIUES TO 16.99 PAY-LESS 507 W. 15TH. ST. 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