By Fitzroy Dearborn
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Additional info for Encyclopedia of Television: 004
In 1929, Westinghouse engineer Vladimir Zworykin called on Sarnoff to outline his concept of an electronic camera. Within the year, Sarnoff underwrote Zworykin’s efforts, and Zworykin headed the team developing electronic television. As the Depression deepened, Sarnoff bought television patents from inventors Charles Jenkins and Lee De Forest, among others, but he could not acquire those patents held by Philo Farnsworth. These he had to license, and in 1936, RCA entered into a cross-licensing agreement with Farnsworth.
Murdoch dropped the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) World Service Television from his STAR-TV program lineup as a concession to the Chinese government. Other governments have complained about the unrestricted importation of news presented from an Anglo-American viewpoint, though their concerns about political consequences are often couched in terms of protecting local culture. Reports of disruptions to local cultures stemming from international satellite broadcasting are widespread. Also during the 1990s, Africa, the one continent long neglected by the satellite television industry, ﬁnally saw widespread availability of satellite television services, dominated by the South African company M-Net.
Sarnoff and Armstrong, once close friends, were hopelessly alienated by the end of World War II. Their deadly feud lasted for years, consumed numerous court challenges, and ended with Armstrong’s suicide in 1954. Sarnoff died in his sleep on December 12, 1971, of cardiac arrest. At his funeral, he was eulogized as a visionary who had the capacity to see into tomorrow and make his visions work. His obituary, which began on page 1 and ran nearly one full page in the New York Times, aptly summed up his career in these words: “He was not an inventor, nor was he a scientist.