The Entertainment Channel

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CableVision 1982a.jpg
CableVision 1982b.jpg
  • 1981: It is reported in the Australian Doctor Who Fan Club newsletter, Data Extract (issue #7, dated September 1981), that "the rights to the first Davison season (the 19th) have been bought by a Cable TV network based in New York called the 'Entertainment Channel'. These rights are first run rights and they will not be offering the season for syndication for viewing throughout America until 1984." However, Doctor Who is not mentioned in any of TEC's print ads or TV listings for 1982, which strongly hints that such a deal never took place.
  • DE's news report (presumably taken from another publication) was either incorrect, or the exclusive sale to TEC fell through, and other US stations were therefore able to buy the new series earlier than 1984.
  • In fact, John Nathan-Turner announced to the attendees at the Panopticon West II convention in July 1982 that a pre-sale of three years' worth of Davison stories would be available for syndication from January 1983 (indeed, the first broadcasts of Peter Davison stories in the US occurred later that year), which supports that had there been a special deal between the BBC and TEC in 1981 preventing others from buying into the new series, that deal had been dropped by mid-1982.
  • The Entertainment Channel was shut down on March 31, 1983 and merged with Alpha Repertory Television Service (ARTS) to form the Arts & Entertainment Network (A&E). A&E launched February 1, 1984 with programs from ARTS (The Associates) and TEC (Solo), but not Doctor Who.
Electronic Media, Aug. 19, 1982
Screen International, Dec. 17, 1983