In Business This Week
WASN'T THAT AN ANDY WARHOL MOVIE?
Who says there's nothing good on television? Not the people of Columbia, S.C., where Cablevision, in the throes of adding capacity, last year found itself with a spare channel and nothing to air. It aimed a borrowed video camera at an aquarium filled with tropical fish, donated by a local pet store in return for an on-air plug. Add soothing background music and, presto: the "Relaxation Channel."
The low-budget, seemingly innocuous programming drew a loyal audience of thousands--so loyal that when the fish got the hook to make way for the Sci-Fi Channel, outraged fans besieged Cablevision with calls and letters denouncing the slimy move. Now the marine celebrities (starfish?) are back for 12 hours a day, sharing a slot with a movie channel. Plus, there's a bonus: an all-new, saltwater tank--and subscribers won't even have to pay a premium.EDITED BY KEITH H. HAMMONDS