Companies in this industry primarily produce, or produce and distribute, television programs, television commercials, or videos. Major US-based companies include the television production and distribution operations of CBS, Disney, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures, Time Warner, and Twenty-First Century Fox. Leading companies based outside the US include Dutch firm Endemol Shine, UK's FremantleMedia (owned by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann), and the BBC Worldwide.
Consumer viewing patterns and spending by advertisers drive demand. The profitability of individual companies depends on effective marketing. Large companies have advantages in financing, distribution, on-staff creative and technical talent, and multiple-year contracts with key performers and directors of popular programs. Small companies can compete successfully by focusing on special topics or niche audiences. TV program production and distribution is part of the motion picture production and distribution industry, which is concentrated: the 50 largest US companies account for nearly 80% of industry revenue.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major products and services are the production and distribution of TV programs, commercials, and related products, like DVDs. Program production types (genres) include TV movies; dramas; situational comedies (sitcoms); reality, game, and talk shows; and documentaries, children’s, art, sports, and news programs. Most programs are scripted, though some genres are largely unscripted, including talk and reality shows. First-run programs typically earn less than subsequent releases for reruns (“repeats”); long off-network runs (syndication); and DVDs.