FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS OF TELEVISION IN TULSA, OKLAHOMA
Without exception, everyone contacted in the preparation of facts for this thesis was optimistic about the future of television in Tulsa. The great strides that have been taken thus far presumably will not be lessened. This prevailing mood of optimism may be evidenced in the thoughts of the men who are currently engaged in Tulsa telecasting.
The manager of KOTV, George Stevens, looks for the advent of a fourth major network within five years. "The predominance of sports in American life will result in the birth of a sports network," says Stevens. Television has become a big business in every sense of the word. To prove this, Stevens has charted the growth of Channel Six in terms of revenue.
In February of 1961, KOTV sold $16,000 worth of air time to local merchants. In February of 1967, the station advertised over $50,000 worth or commercial messages for firms in the Tulsa area. Stevens notes that as the number of color receivers increases, the amount of advertising dollars increases proportionately.
KVOO General Manager, John Devine, also reports an increase in advertising dollars. Devine has watched the growth of Channel Two quite closely in the seven years he has been at the helm. KVOO, like KOTV, devotes approximately ten per cent of its schedule to local programming. "This, however, is not the reason for the station's growth," says Devine. The majority of Tulsa advertisers are buying time on the network shows and movies.
Devine predicts a continuation of technological advances in the field of television. "Most notable advance," says Devine, "will be the advent of the large screen. To cast off the restrictions that a small screen places on the producers of programs, an overall enlargement of scope is necessary." Devine believes that an eight-by-ten-foot screen will bring an added dimension to television viewing.
William Swanson, general manager of the ABC outlet, KTUL, feels that color will continue its influence on the industry. Swanson sees Tulsa as an ideal color market. While the nation is currently only 14 per cent saturated with color receivers, the penetration in Tulsa stands at 18 per cent.
Unlike his colleagues on the VHF spectrum, Swanson feels that the advent of the UHF stations in Tulsa will affect the local television market. KTUL, like the other two network affiliates, has also enjoyed continuing prosperity. Swanson believes that this is due in large measure to the station policy of devoting at least 15 per cent of its schedule to local programming.
Local programming is also the key word in the plans of Tulsa's UHF entries. Buddy Powell, who is awaiting word on his KTOW-TV application, believes that local programming will be the mainstay of all the UHF stations in Tulsa.
Another UHF entry, KCEB, will also rely heavily on local telecasts. Co-owners Elfred Beck, Ernest Moody, and Claude Hill agree that much of their programming will originate in the Tulsa area.
Should KWID, Channel Forty-One, be granted authority to telecast in Tulsa, an entirely different development will prevail. The permittee of KWID, Robert Robbins, has requested permission to telecast a portion of his programs on a subscription basis. At the present time, his application is being restudied by the Commission on the basis or his financial qualifications.
As noted earlier, Tulsa's fourth UHF entry has declined to reveal information at this time. Victor Muscat, potential licensee of the station, has only stated that he will not advertise for revenue. He intends to operate the station from his extensive financial resources.
Although Tulsa has been allocated two ETV channels, only one is currently in operation. KOED Channel Eleven is expected to begin programming in color shortly, according to ETV Director John W. Dunn. Tulsa's other ETV allocation is UHF Channel Thirty-Five. Thus far, this frequency has not been applied for and remains open for educational purposes only.
All of the latest developments in telecasting have been adopted by Tulsa stations and accepted by Tulsa viewers.
As the stations have grown so have their audiences. It is safe to assume that should a fourth network, an enlarged viewing screen, total colorcasting, or any other new development be announced, it will find ready acceptance in Tulsa, Oklahoma.