Valley Video Cable Company

Valley Video Cable Company (VVC) was a company founded by Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company on October 27, 1966 (at the time the company was named Hershey Estates). The president of the company was Arthur Whiteman, chief executive of Hershey Entertainment & Resorts at the time.

Establishment of VVC

On February 21, 1967, VVC had reached an agreement with Anaconda Astrodata Company to build a transmitter and other facilities for a Community Antenna Television system (CATV). This type of cable system is an early form of modern cable systems that provided by companies such as Comcast or Service Electric.

Anaconda Astrodata was a relatively new company, only a year old at the time of the VVC agreement. They were based in Anaheim, California, and focused on producing CATV systems. The company had been formed when two other companies, Anaconda Wire and Cable Company and Astrodata, Inc. merged in 1966 after heavily collaborating together since 1965.

Anaconda Astrodata nameplate from a signal level meter.

A 400 foot Anaconda Astrodata transmitter tower was built off Hummelstown RD1 south of Hershey. Occasionally this equipment was vandalized, such as when their electric service meters were shot out.

VVC expanded service coverage around the Hershey area between 1967 and 1973, including the boroughs of Palmyra and Hummelstown, and the townships of South Londonderry Township, North Londonderry Township, and South Annville Township.

The general manager of VVC was George T. Buchan. Buchan was born in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and served as a police officer for some time in the western Pennsylvania city. He later came to Hershey and then was hired by Hershey Estates to be general manager of the cable company.

Photograph by the Lebanon Daily News and printed in the Lebanon Daily News, February 25, 1972, page 10. George Buchan is seen here (second from left), accepting a plaque from the American Legion recognizing their effort for hanging flags on street lights with people from Continental Telephone Company in Hershey during holidays.

Their offices were originally located on 213 West Chocolate Avenue (where Hershey Plaza Apartments currently stands). They later relocated to 749 East Chocolate Avenue (same address as Hampton Inn & Suites Hershey) until the mid 1970s. They moved into an office in the Hershey Lodge, and then in 1976 they moved to 441 West Chocolate Avenue (currently Fingerpaints Nail Salon).

It is unclear when Hershey Entertainment & Resorts sold their share of the business. What is clear is that the company was eventually sold to Tele-Media Company of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, a cable operator which had companies operating in Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

From VVC to Comcast

In 1988, VVC renamed themselves Tele-Media Company to align their branding with their corporate owners. Four years later, the Bellefonte Tele-Media Company was in negotiations to sell their whole company to TCI, which would turn TCI in to the second largest cable operator in the United States.

The Hershey area Tele-Media Company was not part of this sale; it was sold to Lenfest Communications and merged with it’s only subsidiary company, Suburban Cable. Suburban Cable was a cable company started about 9 years after Valley Video began in Perkasie, Pennsylvania.

In 1999, Suburban Cable was sold to Comcast Cable, which was completed in 2000.

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