|Founded||1948, Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania|
|Products||Cable television, Internet Service Provider, Cable telephony|
|Owner||Service Electric Cable TV & Communications|
Service Electric is a group of affiliated cable television companies serving eastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey. Service Electric also offers broadband Internet and telephone services through two partner companies, PenTeleData and Alianza.
The company was started in 1948 in Mahanoy City by John Walson, who owned a General Electric appliance store. At the time, the surrounding mountains in Schuylkill County made over-the-air reception from Philadelphia television stations difficult. Walson, who was interested in selling television sets through his store, solved the problem by building an antenna on top of the mountain overlooking the town. He initially ran a cable to his warehouse and then to his appliance store, using boosters to enhance the signal. Along the way, he hooked up neighbors to the antenna system. Although there are others who have laid claim to the honor, Walson is often recognized for having built the first cable TV system in the United States. Until Walson's death, the company was known as Service Electric Cable TV, Inc., which was based in Bethlehem.
In early 2011 Service Electric commenced offloading cable systems from its Service Electric Cable Company affiliate. Service Electric Cable TV, Inc. was composed of three divisions, eventually becoming Service Electric Cable TV & Communications, Service Electric Cable TV of New Jersey, and Service Electric Cablevision.
The cable system in Wilkes-Barre and vicinity moved operations to Service Electric Cable TV & Communications, which is currently based in Bethlehem, and services the Greater Lehigh Valley and Wilkes-Barre in PA, and Hunterdon and Warren Counties in NJ.
On February 18, 2011 the Service Electric Cablevision affiliate acquired CATV Service Inc. based in Danville, Pennsylvania. The cable system in Mahanoy City became a 'sister company' to Service Electric Cable TV & Communications, taking the name "Service Electric Cablevision" - serving Birdsboro, Hazleton, and Sunbury, PA. The Cablevision corporate office is located in Allentown.
John E. Walson, eldest son of John Walson ran Service Electric Cable TV, Inc. for 38 years until his death in August 2012. John M. Walson has taken over the role of president since his father's death.
On July 13, 2020, Altice, a cable, phone and internet provider based in Long Island City, Queens, acquired Service Electric Cable TV of New Jersey, servicing Sussex County, NJ, for $150 million.
The company's Lehigh Valley system operates Service Electric Network (SEN), a local origination cable television station. Service Electric Network carries local news and sports, including coverage of East Penn Conference. high school football, boys and girls basketball and wrestling, as well as several Lehigh University football games. In 2008, Service Electric Network began carrying home games of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the AAA-level Minor League affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. The games are televised from Coca-Cola Park in Allentown. Service Electric Network also carries home games of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, the AHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers. The station has also added coverage of the Reading Phillies, the Philadelphia Phillies' AA-level minor league affiliate as well as Philadelphia Union affiliate Bethlehem Steel FC. The network rebranded to Service Electric Network from TV2 Sports in May of 2020.
In the Lehigh Valley, an "overbuild" environment exists in many communities in which subscribers can choose between two competing cable television providers. Service Electric and RCN offer similar, though not duplicative, programming packages. In most other areas served by one of Service Electric's family of companies, they are the only viable provider.
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