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On October 16th, RCA sent a fifteen-minute color variety show to San Francisco and Los Angeles, the first transcontinental color transmission.However, word of the test was withheld until early December on orders from AT&T .Although experiments with color television had coincided with the development of commercial black and white television, it was not until the 1950s that attempts were made to successfully launch color television.On January 12th, 1950, the general public was introduced to color television for the very first time when CBS demonstrated its “field sequential” color system on eight television sets in the Walker Building, in Washington . The first commercial color broadcast took place at PM on Monday, June 25th, 1951, when CBS offered an hour-long program entitled “Premiere” to an ad-hoc network of five stations in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington.On October 25th, manufacturing of color television was put on hold at the request of Defense Mobilizer Charles E.
The test was also broadcast on WNBT, and because RCA’s system was compatible with existing black and white television sets, viewers were able to watch the demonstration (in black and white, of course) .Only (due to the cost of expensive special effects) would be aired in black and white .Initially, both ABC and CBS planned to broadcast only a fraction of their schedules in color: ABC six and a half weekly hours and CBS only three programs per week , .Although limited color broadcasts took place during the 1950s, it wasn’t until the early 1960s that color TV started to take off.
Thanks in large part to NBC, color TV grew at a furious pace, culminating in the color revolution of 1965.
NBC’s figure for January 1st, 1966 stood at 5,220,000, an 85% gain over the January 1st, 1965 number but still only 9.7% of all television households .