The U.S. Census Bureau offers a tribute to the 50th anniversary of color TV:
- It was described as “the wonderful world of color” in the title of an early television program. On March 25, 1954, the Radio Corporation of America began to manufacture color television sets at its Bloomington, Ind., plant. It initially built about 5,000 of these sets, known as the model CT-100 color receiver. They retailed for $1,000 apiece. These sets with 12-inch-wide screens didn’t receive much use that year, as colorcasting was severely limited at that time. It would be difficult to imagine life without color television today. To mark the anniversary, the Census Bureau has assembled a sampling of statistics from its publications about television and the television industry.
The number of television sets in U.S. households in 2001.
The percentage of households with at least one TV in 1960. (From the 1960 census)
The percentage of households with at least one TV in 2001.
The average number of TVs per home in 2001.
The projected number of hours that adults (age 18 and older) will watch television in 2004. This is the equivalent of about 70 days.
The percentage of people age 18 and over who said they watched television in the spring of 2002. Older Americans (age 65 and over) were more likely to be glued to the tube (97 percent) than any other age group.
The percentage of children ages 6 to 11 whose parents in 2000 imposed at least one rule for watching TV, such as types of programs watched, how early or late the children could watch and the number of hours watched. The percentage dropped to 73 percent for children ages 12 to 17.
The projected spending per person for cable and satellite TV in 2004.
The estimated average monthly rate for cable TV in 2002.
The Televison Industry
The number of people employed in the manufacture of television, radio and wireless communications equipment in the United States in 2001.
The number of stores that primarily sold televisions and other electronic equipment in 2001.
The annual payroll for the 245,000 employees of 6,692 cable TV networks and program distribution firms in the United States in 2001.
The number of television broadcasting networks and stations in the United States in 2001.
The number of people working behind the lens as television, video and motion picture camera operators and editors, according to Census 2000.
The payments by television broadcasting firms for broadcast rights and music license fees in 2001. Such payments constitute the biggest expense of TV broadcasters. The next highest expense was the annual payroll, $6.5 billion.
Amount spent on television advertising in 2002, up from $38.9 billion in 2001.
We Americans love our TV – there is almost one for every American, and if you account for the 1.8% of households that don’t have a television, the figure gets even closer to a 1:1 ratio. We have four TVs in our house and five people full-time (my oldest daughter is away at college), although the two little ones and the two adults typically watch together in the family room. The 4-year-old has a TV in her room, but it’s used as a VCR monitor only. We are pretty communal in our viewing habits.