True & Honest Fan
- Jan 19, 2020
To go along with this and my remarks about radio/tv megacorps, TV stations in a given market would be affiliated with one of the major networks, but a local or regional company would own/operate the station. Along with network affiliates, there would also be independent stations doing their own thing, typically airing reruns in syndication or movies on the UHF band. There are still some around I believe.I think I ought to give you a rundown of American TV so you have something to compare that with.
As us Jesuslanders know, we have have five major television networks - NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, and The CW - plus PBS.
NBC (full name: National Broadcasting Company) is the oldest of all of these networks; it was founded as a radio network in 1926, and eventually launched their television network in 1939. It has a fairly extensive library of programs (helped by the network being a sister of Universal, giving it a pretty decent catalog of movies to broadcast during certain periods of time), including Saturday Night Live, their annual Macy's Thanksgiving Parade broadcasts, as well as their catalogs of crime and medical dramas, and their infamous late night talk shows (both of which are only slightly better than the other examples listed below). It's also a very news-heavy network, even having two cable spinoffs for that very purpose: The market-focused CNBC channel, and the absolutely notorious left-wing MSNBC channel (think of it as the left's Fox News, with only a slightly better reputation. You may recognize NBC and their properties for their famed Peacock logo, which had gone under many revisions until 1986.
CBS (full name: Columbia Broadcasting System, though they've not legally been that for decades) was founded in 1927, just a year after NBC launched. To this day, it has arguably one of the best lineups of shows of any of these networks; formerly home to beloved comedies and western shows like Gunsmoke and I Love Lucy (not to mention the countless other shows it was well known for in its heyday, see: MASH, Dallas, As the World Turns...), it still maintains a superb variety of television programs, including their reality shows (like 'em or not), comedies like Big Bang Theory (recently ended), and their exemplary lineup of crime shows (you may recognize NCIS or CSI) and annual reruns of Christmas specials (speaking of which, it also airs their unofficial broadcast of the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade every year, and manages to do so via some workarounds). It's not as news-heavy as NBC, but its still known for their recognizable news shows like 60 Minutes and Face the Nation. Sadly, the network is also known for hosting two of the worst late-night talk shows that have disgraced the nation: Late Show with Stephen Colbert and the Late Late Show with James Corden, and I'll just leave it at that. The network is known for their iconic "Eye" logo, which has remained unchanged for over half a century (it debuted in 1951).
ABC (full name: American Broadcasting Company) was founded in 1943, though it has roots to NBC dating back to 1927, having become an independent network by the former year. Being owned by Disney, ABC's programming tends to skewer towards a younger audience; it has a few Disney-related holiday specials (on top of the other holiday specials it airs), as well as an extensive lineup of reality and game shows (you may have heard of The Bachelor/Bachelorette, Shark Tank, Dancing of the Stars, etc.) They have a fairly substantial lineup of news programming, including Good Morning America and 20/20. Being a sister to ESPN, the network also has a large catalog of sports programming, including E-Sports and X-Games. Their one late-night talk show offering, Jimmy Kimmel Live, is rather notorious for its overreliance on celebrities to compensate for the show's host being an unfunny lefty dullard.
Fox (full name: Fox Broadcasting Company) was founded in 1986, though it wouldn't begin airing with a lineup of shows until a year later; being a much younger network compared to the above, it doesn't have any connection to radio broadcasting (although several radio networks have been launched under the Fox brand since). Easily recognizable for its lineup of animated shows (don't pretend you don't know what The Simpsons or Family Guy is), Fox also has licenses to broadcast every sports under the sun, including racing, football, soccer, golf, etc. It doesn't have much in the way of news programming on its own (other than Fox News Sunday), but it has one particular notorious cable news spinoff: Fox News. It's the most watched cable news network, and is infamous for its heavy conservative leanings, much to the ire of every SJW and libtard. The channel's political views are obviously divorced from that of its more liberal sister network (especially since most of the shows airing on Fox aren't even owned by them anymore, instead they're owned by Disney, but that's another story).
The CW (full name: The CW Television Network) was founded in 2006, formed as part of a merger between two other television networks: The WB (full name: The WB Television Network) and UPN (full name: United Paramount Network), both formerly owned by present-day WarnerMedia and ViacomCBS. As a result, ownership of The CW is split evenly between the two, although given the programming, the network clearly has more influence from the former. It's easily the least traditional of the five major networks, not having any connection to radio, lacking any national news programming (stations rely on their local news instead), and also lacking any late night talk shows. The network clearly targets the youngest of audiences, being home to a variety of fantasy-related shows ('member Supernatural?), and having a limited amount of shows that attract the attention of older audiences (including being the present home of Whose Line Is It Anyway)
And as a bonus: PBS (full name: Public Broadcasting Service). It was formed in 1969 (it would be officially launch a year) as a continuation of NET (full name: National Educational Television), which was privately owned by the Ford Foundation. PBS, on the other hand, is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (they also fund National Public Radio, or NPR, technically making that network a sister to PBS). Given that CPB itself is funded by the government, they're largely get money from taxpayers; think of it like the BBC and their television license, but because PBS itself isn't directly funded by the government, they do air limited advertisements (a certain program will proclaim that it is funded in part by a business or organization), as well as having "pledge drives" in attempt to get viewers to buy whatever they have in stock (DVDs, posters, etc.). Aside from all the technical aspects of PBS (and the assorted controversies over public media funding), the network has a reputation for its heavy emphasis on local programming, meaning that one major show on the network could be produced by one affiliate (referred to as a member station) , while another could be produced by another affiliate (not to mention, PBS doesn't have a nationally-set schedule like the main networks, the member stations are allowed to customize their own schedules). The programs range from the documentaries (Nova, Nature, Finding Your Roots, etc.), general entertainment shows (Austin City Limits, Independent Lens, Masterpiece, etc.), the usual news shows (PBS NewsHour, Washington Week, etc.), lifestyle shows (This Old House, Ciao Italia), as well a set of more miscellaneous programming (MotorWeek, Antiques Roadshow, etc.), and a set of British imports (BBC news programming to name one). That's not to mention the shows that they have either acquired (Democracy Now! to name one example), are distributed by American Public Television (America's Test Kitchen, again to name one), or air as part of the PBS Kids brand (you know, the programming block overaged autists are madly obsessed with?) Overall, PBS has a reputation for its high-brow content, and controversies over its political leanings.
Wow, I made that longer than it had to be. I just wanted to give you an idea of what our country's television scene is like. I went into such detail because I've always thought the British television scene is either largely homogenous or otherwise largely consists of imports from other countries, on top of seemingly not having any television stations in your country per se (compared to the innumerable amount of affiliate stations combined here in the U.S.)
Anyway, this was all fine and good until the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Among many things, this allowed for a wave of mergers and acquisitions over the next 10-15 years. Ever see that stat about how 6 corporations control 90% of US media? This is a big reason why. Any sort of true local focus or editorial control/standards was basically wiped out. The same happened with the character of local radio stations maybe outside local morning/noon/afternoon shows except magnified by the advent of automated playlists.