Companies in this industry broadcast television programs for free to the public and for cable subscribers. In the US, major broadcast TV networks are ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC, while leading basic-cable networks include ESPN, Fox News, USA Network, and Univision. Other leading companies include Luxembourg-based RTL Group (owned by Germany's Bertelsmann), Japan's Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK, also called Japan Broadcasting Corporation), the UK's ITV, and Italy's Mediaset.
Business advertising, program popularity, and consumer demographics drive demand. The profitability of individual companies depends on advertising volume, programming mix, and efficient operations. Large companies have advantages of market dominance, often owning the only TV stations in a geographic area. Small companies can compete effectively with special programming that attracts a targeted audience. The US industry is highly concentrated: the top 50 TV broadcasting companies account for about 90% of TV broadcasting revenue; the top 50 cable and other subscription programming companies account for nearly all of cable/subscription TV revenue.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major industry product lines are broadcasts (air time) and programming, production, and post-production services. Other sources of revenue include program rights, merchandise sales, and sales of website advertising space.