Cable TV channels transmit programming through coaxial cables that are wired into individual homes.   Initially this was a different system of TV distribution than Broadcast TV, where programs were delivered via broadcast transmitters through the airwaves.   The other big difference: Cable TV service providers charge customers monthly fees to delivered programming through their cable systems.  In the U.S., Broadcast TV is free.

After some public resistance (“No Pay TV” campaigns), Cable TV became widely used by the mid-1980’s, offering more programming choices to the public than the five existing broadcast networks at the time (CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX and PBS).   By the early 2000’s, after the advent of digital technology, the vast majority of television programming (cable & network) was delivered through coaxial cable.

Most Cable TV channels, though some may be called networks (such as CNN) are not networks in the traditional sense.  Whereas TV network companies provide programming to a network of local stations that have agreements with these companies, cable TV channels provide programming only for their designated channel or bandwidth.

– Carol Basuru