Companies in this industry broadcast television programs for free to the public. The major US broadcast TV networks, often referred to as the Big Four, are ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC; leading companies based outside the US include ITV (the UK), Mediaset (Italy), Nippon Hoso Kyokai (Japan), RTL Group (Luxembourg), and ProSiebenSat1 Media (Germany).
Global TV broadcast revenues from advertising, a key source of industry revenue, total more than $150 billion, according to Ofcom and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Markets seeing the strongest revenue growth in 2014 included the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) and Nigeria.
In the US the television broadcast industry includes about 2,200 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of more than $40 billion. Both broadcast networks and individual stations are included in the industry. TV cable networks are covered in a separate industry profile.
Broadcast television is also known as terrestrial television (primarily in Europe) or over-the-air television (OTA). The industry doesn't include companies that broadcast primarily on the internet, produce and sell taped TV programs, distribute cable and other TV programs, or use TV as a retail outlet.
Advertising spending, program popularity, and consumer demographics drive demand. The profitability of individual companies depends on programming mix and efficient operations. Large companies have advantages of economies of scale in production and distribution. Small companies can compete effectively with special programming that attracts a targeted audience. The US industry is highly...