Electra (teletext)

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Screenshot of Electra's front page from 1991.

Electra was a teletext service in the United States that was in operation from the early 1980s up until 1993, when it was shut down due to a lack of funding, and discontinuation of teletext-capable television sets by the only US television manufacturer offering teletext capability at the time, Zenith. It was owned, operated and maintained by Cincinnati-based Taft Broadcasting Corporation and Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Satellite Syndicated Systems (SSS), in cooperation with cable/satellite TV station Superstation WTBS (now TBS), who carried Electra's data on their VBI (WTBS was in turn owned by Turner Broadcasting System, which would purchase the Hanna-Barbera animation studio, and most shows from sister company Ruby-Spears, from Taft successor Great American Broadcasting in 1991; Turner is now part of Time Warner).

Electra was America's answer to the British Ceefax or ORACLE systems, providing news headlines, weather, entertainment/lifestyle info, and other information. Electra used the World System Teletext (WST) protocol, the same protocol used by Ceefax and ORACLE, as well as by other teletext services in the rest of the European continent.

Electra was one of the very few American teletext services in operation. A few other services were offered by some large-market TV stations in the US throughout the 1980s, such as Metrotext from KTTV in Los Angeles and KeyFax from WFLD in Chicago.

Electra also carried another teletext service on its higher-numbered pages, a service called Tempo. Tempo mainly carried sports (and other miscellaneous) information on its pages.

At the time of Electra's closing in 1993, it was the only existing teletext service in the USA.

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