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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Private television (as called in all latin countries) or commercial broadcasting is the United States first model of television born in the 1920s, antithetical to the "public television" model born in Europe in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s and dominant worldwide except the United States up until the 1980s. Today it is the historically global and dominant model of television.

The difference between "private television" and "public television" are state vs. private ownership, and not commercials, because in some public television, as the French and German model, scheduled programming is not interrupted by commercials, while in other public television, such as in the Italian and Spanish model, they are.



Some features of Private television


Massive practice of advertisement

Commercial broadcasting is based on massive practice of broadcasting advertisements for profit, in contrast to public media which eschews most or all paid advertisements.

In United States does exist, however, completely advertisement-free commercial television and radio; premium cable services such as HBO and Showtime generally operate solely on subscriber fees with no need to sell ad space, as do the parts of the two major satellite radio systems that are produced in-house (mostly music material).

Pay services

Commercial broadcasting also has considerable overlap with pay services such as cable television, cable radio, satellite television and satellite radio; though such services are generally partially or wholly paid for by local subscribers, much of the programming, particularly on cable television, is produced by companies operating in much the same manner as commercial broadcasters, and both they and often the local cable provider will sell commercial time in the same manner.


Programming on commercial stations is often more sensationalistic—particularly during ratings periods such as sweeps in the U.S. and also in some Latin American countries.

Other features

Commercial broadcasting (especially over-the-air) is often controversial for a great many reasons. Chief among them is a perceived lack of quality and risk in the programming (to which more conservative elements respond that it is too risque much of the time), an excessively high ratio of advertising to program time (especially on children's television), and a perceived failure to serve the local interest due to media consolidation. Commercial radio in particular is often attacked for perceived homogeneity in programming, covert politicized censorship of content, and a desire to cut costs at the expense of giving the station an identifiable personality. Politics is a major force in media criticism, with an ongoing battle (especially in the United States) as to what moral standards, if any, are to be applied to the airwaves.

Aspects of private television geography

United States

Commercial broadcasting is the dominant type of broadcasting in the United States and a large number of other countries such as most of Latin America.

Perhaps the best known commercial broadcasters are the venerable ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC television networks, as well as radio giant Clear Channel Communications, based in the United States. Major US commercial cable operators include Comcast, Adelphia, Time Warner Cable, and Cox Communications; satellite services include DirecTV, Dish Network, the UK's BSkyB, and the radio services Sirius, WorldSpace, and XM. In Asia the best known Commercial Service was with the oldest radio station in the region, Radio Ceylon.

In an hour of broadcast time on a commercial broadcast outlet, typically ten to twenty minutes are devoted to advertising. Advertisers pay a certain amount of money to air their commercials, usually based upon the popularity or ratings of a station or network. This effectively makes commercial broadcasters more answerable to advertisers than the public, which is a major criticism of commercial radio and television.


Today in Europe Commercial broadcasting coexist alongside public broadcasting, where programming is largely funded by broadcast receiver licences, public donations, or government grants.


See also

commercial radio was 1st used in 1921.


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