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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) [4].

On October 16th, RCA sent a fifteen-minute color variety show to San Francisco and Los Angeles, the first transcontinental color transmission.

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People won’t buy color sets to see a majority of programs in the same shades of gray the old table top model in the corner delivers” [14].

However, even as NBC was increasing its color output, CBS was placing the impetus in the hands of the advertiser.

At that time, two competing color mechanisms were being championed separately by CBS and RCA (which at the time was affiliated with NBC).

Eventually, CBS dropped their own color technology, which was incompatible with existing black and white sets.

The more color sets in use, the more potential eyeballs for color programming — and more importantly, from the advertiser’s point of view, color commercials.

Still, the only network actively pushing color programming was NBC, which had 179 affiliates broadcasting in color by February of 1961.In 1963, the network was broadcasting in color only if an advertiser would help pay for the added cost [15]. A preliminary study released in March of 1965 by ARB (and paid for by all three networks) led NBC to announce that its color programming would give it a 1.4 ratings-point advantage over ABC and CBS [17].magazine declared that “the surge of interest in color in the past six months marks September 1965 as the date of the long-awaited color breakthrough” [16]. The study compared 4,600 color homes with 4,600 black-and-white homes.NBC “color days,” which started in November of 1960, saw the bulk of an entire day’s worth of programming broadcast in color [13].An April 1961 editorial in magazine entitled “The Time Has Come for Togetherness on Color” noted that in the seven years since the FCC approved color standards, the “black-and-white television system […] has passed the peak of its growth.” Color, on the other hand, “is still in the egg, and only skillful and expensive handling will get it out of the egg and on its feet.” The editorial called for “color activity at both the transmitting and receiving ends.Paley and Frank Stanton (the latter two board chairman and president of CBS, respectively) [2].

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