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To gauge whether consumers would be interested in subscribing to a pay television service, Time-Life sent out a direct-mail research brochure to residents in six U. Time-Life later conducted a test in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in which salesmen presented the concept of a pay cable channel to residents by offering free service for the first month and a refundable installation fee; half of residents surveyed in the test expressed interest in purchasing the conceptual service.ffice," although the name was originally intended as a working title in order to meet deadlines to publish research brochures for the new service, with the belief that management would come up with a different name later.

Originally, Home Box Office was to debut on a Service Electric cable television system in Allentown; in order to avoid blackouts for NBA games that it was set to televise (Allentown was within the NBA's designated blackout radius for the Philadelphia 76ers' market area, under rules that the league had in effect at the time to protect ticket sales), Time-Life agreed to an offer by Service Electric president John Walson to launch the channel on its system in Wilkes-Barre (outside of the 76ers' DMA, in northeastern Pennsylvania).

HBO continued to air various original programs aimed at children until 2001, when these programs almost completely moved over to HBO Family (which continued to occasionally distribute its own slate of original children's programming until 2003).Home Box Office (HBO) is an American premium cable and satellite television network that is owned by Time Warner through its respective flagship company Home Box Office, Inc.Programming featured on the network consists primarily of theatrically released motion pictures and original television series, along with made-for-cable movies and documentaries, boxing matches, and occasional stand-up comedy and concert specials.This was partly because the tall buildings in the city blocked television signals and partly because the New York City Council had required that all electrical and telecommunication wiring be laid underground to limit service disruptions during bad weather, an ordinance that was passed after a blizzard in 1888 damaged telephone and telegraph lines in the area.Sterling Manhattan consistently lost money during its first six years of operation, because of the expense of running cable underground and into buildings throughout Manhattan (as much as 0,000 per mile) and a limited subscriber base, 400 of them by 1971.As of July 2015, HBO's programming is available to approximately 36,493,000 households with at least one television set (31.3% of all cable, satellite and telco customers) in the United States (36,013,000 subscribers or 30.9% of all households with pay television service receive at least HBO's primary channel), HBO subscribers generally pay for an extra tier of service that includes other cable- and satellite-exclusive channels even before paying for the channel itself (though HBO often prices all of its channels together in a single package).

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