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Broadcast/Cable TV History - 1981
1981-00-00 EPG or Electronic Program Guide starts as a text service on cable systems
1981-00-00 National College Television
1981-00-00 WTBS satellite feed was split from its terrestrial signal; but all of the shows seen on WTBS continued to air on its satellite feed; the difference? National advertisers replaced the local ads on the satellite feed.
1981-04-12 ARTS (Alpha Repertory Television Service), shared with Nickelodeon 9pm-3am ET
1981-05-28 Spotlight (PAY) was launched as a 12-hour service, went 24 hours in 1982.
1981-06-05 Night Flight premiered on USA Network as an weekend overnight programming block (11pm-3am ET, expanded to 7am ET later)
1981-07-04 American Educational Television Network moved to another transponder slot on this day (it shared with Showtime West until Showtime went 24 hours every day.)
1981-07-04 Showtime went 24 hours a day
1981-08-01 MTV (Music Television)
1981-08-15 EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network)
1981-09-00 CBN Satellite Service renamed CBN Cable Network
1981-09-00 Channel 33 Tijuana
1981-09-00 HBO went 24 hours a day on weekends
1981-10-12 CBS Cable signed on
1981-11-00 FNN (Financial News Network) debut as a broadcast affiliate feed for stations such as channels 18 and 48 in Los Angeles and San Diego respectively as well as for some cable operators
1981-11-06 PRISM New England signed on (became Comcast Sports Net New England in later years.)
1981-11-20 Satcom 3R satellite was launched
1981-12-00 a short-lived subscription TV service advertised in Tuned In magazine. It is unknown whether it was on a UHF TV station.
1981-12-12 K26AC, the first LPTV station, signed on in Bemidji, MN. It went pay-TV (SelecTV) part-time at any time during the day.
1981-12-17 Modern Satellite Network was last seen on the HBO west feed transponder slot as HBO went 24 hours a day everyday beginning that Monday. It's unknown if it was seen on another transponder.
1981-12-28 HBO begins broadcasting a 24 hour a day schedule
1981-12-31 CNN2 (later renamed Headline News)
1981-12-32 (sometime after Dec 12) Low Power (K48AL) Channel 48 (relaying channel 18 in San Bernadino) signed on in Poway/San Diego. It was announced to be a new station on May 12, 1980. The FCC granted a licence to cover on December 10, 1981.
Lineups as of the end of the year
San Diego/Tijuana TV
6, 8, 10, 12, 15, 33, 39, 48, CCN, CVC, ITV, KCOX
Los Anglees TV
2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 22, 28, 34, 40, 52, 58, ONTV, SelecTV, Z Channel
Other Area TV
3 (Santa Barbara), 6 (San Luis Obispo), 12 (Santa Maria),
18 (San Bernadino), 24 (San Bernadino), 30 (San Bernadino),
36 (Palm Springs), 42 (Palm Springs), 50 (Orange County),
Satellite TV (for the consumer end of the cable system)
ARTS, Bravo, CBN, CBS Cable, Cinemax, Cinemerica, CNN, CNN2, Cornerstone Television, C-SPAN,
Escapade, ESPN, EWTN, FNN, Galavision, HBO, HTN, Learning Channel, Movie Channel, MTV,
NASA Select, National Christian Network, National College Television, Nickelodeon, PTL, Preview, Private Screenings
Showtime, SPN, Sports Channel America, Spotlight, TBN, USA Network, WGN, WOR, WPIX, WTBS