As part of the Center’s educational mission, The Cable Center tells the story of the cable industry and shares its legacy and contributions. The Cable Center extends its reach far beyond the walls of its Denver headquarters with online exhibits that serve as an open door to The Center’s programs, archives, exhibits and activities.
These unique historical resources are a living and enduring testament to the entrepreneurial spirit of cable's founders and also to the innovative culture the industry inspires on a daily basis. The Center's programs help current professionals excel in their roles, provide accurate information to the press, educate academics about industry accomplishments and keep the story alive for future generations.
We invite you to peruse the Barco Library’s online collection, home to the world's largest collection of printed, audio and video resources exclusively related to the cable and media industry. Learn about the Cable TV Pioneers, an exclusive group of industry veterans who have made a meaningful contribution in building the industry.
Study the history of the industry through the Cable History Timeline, Development of DOCSIS, Cable Connects Us and Cable Today and Tomorrow Timeline online exhibits. Order "The Cable Industry – A Short History Through Three Generations” by Larry Satkowiak, which shows how the cable industry evolved from its modest CATV beginnings in 1948 to its current status as a telecommunications powerhouse. Watch our Masters Forums, which connect college students with the cable industry, and view the industry’s past through lens of the future, at our online VR Exhibit.
A unique short history of the cable industry
Satkowiak weaves a fascinating story of the cable industry which reflects the compelling impact of the free-enterprise system in the United States. In its early days, the broadcasters dominated the television system and discouraged additional competition to their empire. Consequently, the emerging cable industry struggled to survive against the network giants and, at times, its future looked rather bleak. The advent of cable programming changed everything in the 1970s, and by the 1990s, cable programmers negotiated with the satellite companies to carry their content, which made television highly competitive. In the twenty-first century we have seen an unprecedented explosion of technological ingenuity, and the cable industry is one of the pivotal contributors towards this exponential growth.
Will there be a fourth generation of cable or is there a nascent telecommunications industry about to unfold? Satkowiak expertly speculates what the current trends portend for this dynamic industry.