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Television Today. Television is an industry: driven by commercial motives, technological change and customer -- or viewer – satisfaction regulated and scrutinized by the government licensed to serve the public interest. Television Today. Broadcasting is:

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television today

Television Today

Television is an industry:

driven by commercial motives,technological change and customer -- or viewer – satisfaction

regulated and scrutinized by the government

licensed to serve the public interest

television today2
Television Today
  • Broadcasting is:

transmitting sound and pictures by means of radio waves through space for reception by the general public.

  • Cable is:

transmitting sound and pictures through a coaxial cable for reception by an audience that pays for the service.

  • Direct broadcast satellite is:

transmitting broadcast and cable programming by satellite to a receiver attached to the home of the subscriber

  • Podcasting is:
    • transmitting programming over the internet, through cell phones and other electronic devices
television today3
Television Today

These differences affect:

  • Government regulation
  • Economic principals, practices and structures
  • Programming philosophies and strategies
  • Technological advancements
  • Ethical issues and considerations
  • Responsibilities to viewers, owners and advertisers
television today4
Television Today

There are approximately 1,600 television stations in the United States today. 77 percent are commercial stations, 23 percent are public television stations. All but 400 of the commercial stations are affiliated with a Big Four network.

There are seven broadcast networks – ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CW, PBS and Pax-TV.

There are between 40-50 cable networks in operation.

There are hundred of satellite channels.

television today5
Television Today

American viewing habits are changing.

  • In 1978-79, ABC, CBS and NBC garnered 91 percent of the primetime viewing audience.
  • In 2001-2002, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, UPN and WB garnered a primetime share of 42 percent.
  • Last week in primetime, 28 percent of the TV households in the U.S. were tuned to the Big Four – ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC. Add in UPN, the WB and Pax-TV, the number was 33.7 percent.
television today6
Television Today

Time Spent Using Consumer Media

Hours per person per year

Network Indies Basic Premium Internet

1995 865 179 447 89 5

1998 710 174 566 101 61

2001 806 61 639 137 149

television today7
Television Today

Broadcast Television Stations

VHF – very high frequency, channels 2-13, broadcast range of 65 miles

UHF – ultra high frequency, channels 14-69, broadcast range of 30-40 miles

LPTV – low power, operate with reduced coverage, broadcast range of 12-15 miles

All broadcast stations are licensed by the Federal Communications Commission.

television today8
Television Today

Commercial stations are generally set up and run the same way, no matter their size or ownership.

  • General Manager – oversees entire operation
  • General Sales Manager – oversees national and local sales department
  • News Director – oversees the news department which includes producers, assignment editors, reporters, photographers, anchors and weather and sports
  • Programming Director – responsible for programming during the entire broadcast day
  • Production Manager – oversees studio crew and remote location crew
television today9
Television Today
  • Promotion Director – oversees station’s marketing and public relations efforts
  • Chief Engineer – responsible for maintaining the station’s broadcasting facilities and equipment
  • General Administration – includes human resources, accounting, payroll, clerical staff, etc.
television today10
Television Today

Commercial television stations may be:

  • Independently owned
  • Group owned

In 1996, the top 25 station groups owned 24.6 percent of the nation’s 1,600 television stations. In 2006, nearly half of all television stations are members of a group.

television today11
Television Today

FCC Ownership Rules

  • There are no limits on how many stations a company or an individual can own, but the stations as a group may not reach more than 39 percent of total U.S. households.
  • An individual or a company may own two stations in the same market (called a duopoly), if the second outlet is financially troubled, a start-up station or is not among the market’s top-four rated stations at the time of purchase.
television today12
Television Today
  • One owner can control two TV stations with overlapping signals as long as the stations are based in difference designated market areas.
  • A company with two TV stations may also own up to six radio stations in a market if the market has at least 20 separately owned broadcast, cable and newspaper “voices.”
  • When there are 10 “voices,” the limit is two TV and four radio stations.
  • One TV and one radio station are allowed regardless of the number of “voices.”
television today13
Television Today
  • What are the advantages of belonging to a large group to the owner, the station and the viewer?
  • What are the disadvantages of belonging to a large group to the owner, the station and the viewer?
television today top station groups
Television Today – Top Station Groups
  • Fox: 37 stations (38.3 percent of the U.S) – all stations but one are either Fox or UPN affiliate, duopolies in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Washington, Minneapolis, and Orlando
  • Viacom/CBS: 39 Stations (37.9 percent of the U.S.) – all CBS and UPN affiliates, duopoly in Los Angeles (KCBS and KCAL)
television today top station groups15
Television Today – Top Station Groups
  • NBC/Universal: 42 stations (33.7 percent of the U.S.) – all NBC or Telemundo affiliates
  • Tribune: 30 stations (29.9 percent of the U.S.) – all WB affiliates
  • ABC/Disney: 10 stations (23.5 percent of the U.S.) – all ABC affiliates
  • Gannett: 21 stations (17.7 percent of the U.S.) – owns stations affiliated with CBS, NBC, ABC and WB
  • Hearst/Argyle: 35 stations (15.3 percent of the U.S)
television today networks
Television Today -- Networks
  • The FCC defines a network as a unit offering at least 15 hours of programming a week.
  • Stations who wish to affiliate with a network sign contractual agreements to air programming.
  • Networks provide stations with programming (typically 13.5 hours on a weekday), prestige, identity, an advertising and sales environment, and at times, compensation.
television today networks17
Television Today -- Networks

Network affiliates have officially complained to the FCC regarding the following issues:

  • Networks unduly restrict affiliates ability to pre-empt network programming
  • Networks use affiliation to interfere with station sales
  • Networks’ news collaboration hurts affiliates
  • Networks are repurposing programming on affiliates’ competitors (cable channels, websites)
  • Networks promote their other “outlets” on affiliates
  • Networks favor their own stations over affiliates
television today independent stations
Television Today – Independent Stations

Independent stations air programming that is either locally produced or purchased through program syndicators or other distributors.