Broadcast network
A broadcast network is an organization, such as a corporation
A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business. Early corporations were established by charter...

 or other voluntary association
Voluntary association
A voluntary association or union is a group of individuals who enter into an agreement as volunteers to form a body to accomplish a purpose.Strictly speaking, in many jurisdictions no formalities are necessary to start an association...

, that provides live television
Live television
Live television refers to a television production broadcast in real-time, as events happen, in the present. From the early days of television until about 1958, live television was used heavily, except for filmed shows such as I Love Lucy and Gunsmoke. Video tape did not exist until 1957...

 or recorded content, such as movies
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

, newscasts, sports
Broadcasting of sports events
The broadcasting of sports events is the coverage of sports as a television program, on radio and other broadcasting media. It usually involves one or more sports commentators describing the events as they happen.-United States:...

, Public affairs programming, and other television program
Television program
A television program , also called television show, is a segment of content which is intended to be broadcast on television. It may be a one-time production or part of a periodically recurring series...

s for broadcast
Broadcasting is the distribution of audio and video content to a dispersed audience via any audio visual medium. Receiving parties may include the general public or a relatively large subset of thereof...

 over a group of radio station
Radio station
Radio broadcasting is a one-way wireless transmission over radio waves intended to reach a wide audience. Stations can be linked in radio networks to broadcast a common radio format, either in broadcast syndication or simulcast or both...

s or television station
Television station
A television station is a business, organisation or other such as an amateur television operator that transmits content over terrestrial television. A television transmission can be by analog television signals or, more recently, by digital television. Broadcast television systems standards are...

s. Most networks are primarily either a television network
Television network
A television network is a telecommunications network for distribution of television program content, whereby a central operation provides programming to many television stations or pay TV providers. Until the mid-1980s, television programming in most countries of the world was dominated by a small...

or a radio network
Radio network
There are two types of radio networks currently in use around the world: the one-to-many broadcast type commonly used for public information and mass media entertainment; and the two-way type used more commonly for public safety and public services such as police, fire, taxicabs, and delivery...

, although some organizations run both types of networks.

Streaming media
Streaming media
Streaming media is multimedia that is constantly received by and presented to an end-user while being delivered by a streaming provider.The term "presented" is used in this article in a general sense that includes audio or video playback. The name refers to the delivery method of the medium rather...

, Internet radio
Internet radio
Internet radio is an audio service transmitted via the Internet...

 Webcasting is sometimes considered a form of broadcasting despite the lack of broadcast stations
Radio station
Radio broadcasting is a one-way wireless transmission over radio waves intended to reach a wide audience. Stations can be linked in radio networks to broadcast a common radio format, either in broadcast syndication or simulcast or both...

, in which case its practitioners may also be called "broadcasters" or even "broadcast networks".


Reginald Fessenden
Reginald Fessenden
Reginald Aubrey Fessenden , a naturalized American citizen born in Canada, was an inventor who performed pioneering experiments in radio, including early—and possibly the first—radio transmissions of voice and music...

, a former engineer and communications researcher for the U.S. Weather Bureau was the first to transmit the first radio broadcast. His broadcasts were to ships at sea which he used his radio telegraphy equipment. His programs consisted of a recorded Handel piece, a violin performance, and a reading from the Bible. He claimed to be the first to transmit the human voice. General Electric
General Electric
General Electric Company , or GE, is an American multinational conglomerate corporation incorporated in Schenectady, New York and headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut, United States...

 was encouraged years later to create the Radio Corporation of America (RCA). Around this time was when AT&T
AT&T Inc. is an American multinational telecommunications corporation headquartered in Whitacre Tower, Dallas, Texas, United States. It is the largest provider of mobile telephony and fixed telephony in the United States, and is also a provider of broadband and subscription television services...

 got involved in radio.


With all of these stations going on the air, they thought it would be a good idea to try and share programming to save on effort required to create programming and programs sometimes appealed to the audience when served by more than one station. When two or three stations link together from a telephone line it is called chain broadcasting. Since the phone lines were owned by AT&T which they still own today, they were the first ones to begin the sharing of two or three stations by telephone lines.

In 1924, the “Eveready Hour” was broadcast over 12 stations, many of them owned by AT&T. “Eveready hour” was the first commercially-sponsored variety show
Variety show
A variety show, also known as variety arts or variety entertainment, is an entertainment made up of a variety of acts, especially musical performances and sketch comedy, and normally introduced by a compère or host. Other types of acts include magic, animal and circus acts, acrobatics, juggling...

 in the history of broadcasting. National companies were able to reach large portions of the nation with their brand names and slogans in a resourceful manner. By 1925 AT&T had linked together 26 stations in a network. They were also using its owned & operated (O&O) station WEAF
WEAF may refer to:* WEAF , a radio station in Camden, South Carolina, ex WAME, WQIS* WNBC , new call letters of NYC station originally WEAF, aka WRCA...

, New York.


Radio Corporation of America also known as RCA began to copy AT&T’s network model. The problem with that was RCA had to lease phone lines from AT&T which caused conflict. The Federal Trade C omission (FTC) took notice of this and charged AT&T with United States antitrust law violations. In 1926 AT&T sold of their broadcasting interests to RCA. RCA agreed to lease network connections from AT&T and for several decades AT&T made a profitable business in radio and television networking.


In 1926, RCA created the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) under David Sarnoff
David Sarnoff
David Sarnoff was an American businessman and pioneer of American commercial radio and television. He founded the National Broadcasting Company and throughout most of his career he led the Radio Corporation of America in various capacities from shortly after its founding in 1919 until his...

. When NBC first started off they had two groups of stations that worked together with different programs and sponsors to support. The two networks were called NBC Red and NBC Blue. NBC Red dealt with stronger stations and NBC Blue dealt with weaker stations.

In 1941, the Federal Communications Commission
Federal Communications Commission
The Federal Communications Commission is an independent agency of the United States government, created, Congressional statute , and with the majority of its commissioners appointed by the current President. The FCC works towards six goals in the areas of broadband, competition, the spectrum, the...

 (FCC) issued the Report on Chain Broadcasting
Chain Broadcasting
Chain Broadcasting is the act of connecting two or more radio stations to broadcast the same program at the same time.-AT&T starts chain broadcasting:...

, because they wanted to investigate the monopolistic practices of the radio networks. The FCC was most concerned about NBC Red and NBC Blue which the commission thought was anti-competitive. Since the FCC does not have the power to regulate the networks, they decided aim the regulations to the stations. In 1943, the Supreme Court of the United States
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

 took away the FCC’s power to enforce chain broadcasting regulations. NBC Blue was sold to Edward Noble who later named it the American Broadcasting Company
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...



During 1926 and 1927 radios in people’s homes were increasing dramatically. The third radio network that came about was the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). William S. Paley
William S. Paley
William S. Paley was the chief executive who built Columbia Broadcasting System from a small radio network into one of the foremost radio and television network operations in the United States.-Early life:...

 was the one who bought Columbia. CBS struggled at first because both NBC networks had a head start. Paley helped out CBS to get them where NBC was. He focused on entertainment programming, news, and news affiliation. Regional networks on CBS also existed in various parts of the country. CBS ended up hiring Edward R. Murrow
Edward R. Murrow
Edward Roscoe Murrow, KBE was an American broadcast journalist. He first came to prominence with a series of radio news broadcasts during World War II, which were followed by millions of listeners in the United States and Canada.Fellow journalists Eric Sevareid, Ed Bliss, and Alexander Kendrick...

 who boosted CBS’s ratings dramatically. Murrow and CBS covered the war in Europe at the time Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 was in power. NBC and ABC withdrew from the war because they thought it was dangerous. Murrow took the chance and it paid off for him and CBS. CBS ratings sky rocketed.


American Broadcasting Company
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

 (ABC) use to be NBC Blue until it was sold to Edward Noble. ABC was born due to the controversy that the FCC had with NBC Blue and NBC Red. By the mid-1940s the broadcasting arena was a big Three television networks
Big Three Television Networks
The Big Three Television Networks are the three traditional commercial broadcast television networks in the United States: ABC, CBS and NBC...

 battle. Noble’s network almost went bankrupt and in 1951 Leonard Goldenson
Leonard Goldenson
Leonard H. Goldenson was President of the U.S. television and radio broadcaster ABC.-Early life and career:...

 and United Paramount Theaters bought ABC for $25 million. In 1964, ABC won the ratings race in the fifty largest U.S markets. In the 1970-71 season, ABC ranked #1 in the Nielsen ratings
Nielsen Ratings
Nielsen ratings are the audience measurement systems developed by Nielsen Media Research, in an effort to determine the audience size and composition of television programming in the United States...

, becoming the first ABC television show to top the list, a medical drama
Medical drama
A medical drama is a television program, in which events center upon a hospital, an ambulance staff, or any medical environment.In the United States, most medical episodes are one hour long and, more often than not, are set in a hospital. Most current medical Dramatic programming go beyond the...

 called Marcus Welby, M.D.
Marcus Welby, M.D.
Marcus Welby, M.D. is an American medical drama television program that aired on ABC from September 23, 1969, to July 29, 1976. It starred Robert Young as a family practitioner with a kind bedside manner, and was produced by David Victor and David J. O'Connell...

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