Basic cable viewing up by 80 percent since 1990

It’s often difficult to perceive rapid change when you’re living through it. But a new study from Bortz Media and Sports Group puts a dizzying spin on the rapid growth of cable television.

Since 1990, basic cable viewing is up more than 80 percent, says the report. Spending on programming for basic networks was six times higher during the same period, from $1.4 billion in 1990 to $9.2 billion in 2002. Over the past decade, the number of basic cable networks increased from 87 to 308.

Since 1996, when major telecommunications legislation was enacted by Congress, the cable industry has spent $173 billion on new plants and added services, the report finds. The cable industry as a whole now has 1.1 million jobs with $42 billion in personal income for its employees.

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