57,000 Channels and There’s Nothing On

American TV once threatened to become radical and strange through the proliferation of local stations. But it wouldn’t be allowed to last.

A woman looks at high-definition 3D television screens at Panasonic stand at the 2010 IFA technology and consumer electronics trade fair. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

It is difficult today to imagine an era when an antenna-studded box sat in the American living room with only four channels available, all of them “free” to view. I subscribe to TV services I don’t use, want, or need, yet the automated payments still fly out of my bank account every month. The United […]

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