Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Freeze of 1948

            Today in class, March 22, I will be talking to you about the FCC’s issuing of the temporary freeze in 1948, as it relates to our topic of TV.  The freeze of 1948, which was issued by the FCC, was intended to last six months to give the FCC sufficient time to deal with matters regarding giving licenses to new stations and creating standards for them all to follow. Six months was suppose to give the Federal Communications Commissions (FCC) the time it needed to study the issues that were arising and create a blueprint, so to speak, for the future stations that were seeking a license. However, do to circumstance beyond their control, such as the Korean War, the FCC was unable to lift the freeze in the six month time period that they had hoped to.
             The FCC had five major issues on their hands: the freeze the FCC put on new TV stations in 1948, reservation of channel space for educational-  noncommercial television, the reduction of channel interference, establish a national channel allocation map or scheme, and opening up of additional spectrum space. Some of these issues were more difficult to solve, some very easy, and some differed from city to city. The freeze was finally lifted after the Sixth Report and Order was issued, which expanded the channels for very high frequency channels, ultra high frequency channels, and educational channels.
              By the time the freeze was lifted, the war and Great Depression had also ended, which was changing the day to day life of Americans, giving them more leisure time. This new leisure time was filled with television and many new fads such as Davy Crockett and Elvis Presley emerged. 

1 comment:

Madison Albert said...

The freeze of 1948 resulted from an overwhelming amount of request of licenses that new stations wanted to acquire and the standards that needed to be put into place. To view this as a lesson of old forms of media informing new media markets, I think that this can be related back to radio how this serves as an example of how old media markets can inform new media markets.
Television was built off of radio and its concept. Because of the type of industry it is, companies who were pioneers in radio had the ability to be pioneers in television. Just as radio had many factors it had to work through when it was starting up, so television was faced with the same problem. Not only does there have to be a device that meets certain standards, but also companies must meet them and comply with them as well. This is where we see the freeze of 1948. It was meant to come in and create a certain set of standards and regulations so that new companies could obtain licenses, but is aware of the regulations they were under. This is something that the pioneers of television should have expected because the rules that were put into place regarding radio. For instance, radio underwent the Radio Act of 1912; to me this is an example that informs new markets that there will be some type of act they will undergo. I expect that this is something we will continue to see in the future regarding Internet or other new forms of media that will emerge.
Back to the freeze of 1948, I think a reason besides the outside contributing factors, that the freeze lasted longer than anticipated was at the rate that television was able to prosper. Radio paved the way and started a booming industry that television was able to capitalize on. This created a richer concept of broadcasting, but it also came with many complications, which is why the FCC mandated the freeze of 1948.