Who Owns OWN TV Station: Unveiling the Power Behind the Network

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Television stations, those ubiquitous sources of news, entertainment, and information, are owned by a relatively small group of massive corporations. Media conglomerates like Disney, Comcast, AT&T and ViacomCBS control most of the TV stations you’re familiar with. They’ve got their fingers in every pie from news to drama series to your favorite reality TV shows.

Digging a bit deeper, you’ll find that these media moguls not only own the content broadcasted but also the channels it’s disseminated through. For instance, Comcast owns NBCUniversal which includes networks such as NBC News and CNBC. Similarly, AT&T controls WarnerMedia which encompasses HBO and CNN among others.

So next time you’re flipping through channels or streaming your favorite show online – remember that there’s likely a huge corporation behind it all. These companies wield significant influence over what we watch and how we perceive the world around us.

Scope of Owning Your Own TV Station

Dreaming big isn’t just for Hollywood stars. You too can step into the world of media ownership, specifically owning your own TV station! Now, you might be wondering about the scope of this venture. Well, let’s delve right into it.

Owning a television station isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds. In fact, thousands of individuals and corporations in the United States alone own one or more TV stations. These range from small, local channels to national networks with millions of viewers.

So why should you consider owning a TV station? For starters, it gives you control over content creation and distribution. This means having the power to decide what shows are broadcasted, when they air and how they’re promoted. It’s also an excellent platform for showcasing local talent and addressing issues that matter most to your community.

The financial aspect is also attractive. A successful TV station can generate substantial revenue through advertising sales, syndication deals and licensing fees. However, remember that these earnings are not guaranteed; they depend on various factors such as viewer ratings and market trends.

Now let’s talk about the challenges:

  • High start-up costs: Buying an existing station or setting up a new one requires significant investment.
  • Regulatory hurdles: You’ll need to comply with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations.
  • Operational challenges: From hiring skilled staff to acquiring state-of-the-art equipment; running a TV station involves numerous operational aspects.

In summary: Owning your own TV station is an ambitious goal with potential rewards both personally and financially but don’t underestimate the challenges it presents either!

Decoding the Legal Facets: Who Can Own a TV Station?

Now, let’s delve into the legal intricacies of owning a TV station. You’ll find that it’s not as straightforward as you might think. There are several federal laws and regulations in place that control who can own and operate a television station.

Firstly, it’s important to understand that any US citizen or corporation can legally own a TV station. However, if you’re part of a foreign entity wishing to break into American airwaves, things get slightly more complex. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) permits only up to 20% foreign ownership of broadcast stations directly and 25% indirectly.

Here is how the FCC breaks down direct and indirect ownership:

Type Percentage
Direct Ownership Up to 20%
Indirect Ownership Up to 25%

Additionally, there are restrictions on how many stations one person or company can own nationwide and within specific markets. For instance, any single entity is prohibited from owning television stations that collectively reach more than 39 percent of total U.S. households.

Similarly, in any individual market, an entity may usually own up to two TV stations; but this depends on certain conditions such as at least eight independently owned competitor stations must remain post-acquisition.

Bear in mind these rules aren’t set in stone; they’ve been subject to changes over time due primarily to consolidation within the industry and advancements in technology. Therefore, staying updated with current regulations is crucial when considering becoming a broadcaster.

Finally yet importantly, ethical considerations factor into who gets approved for licenses by the FCC – remember that broadcasting is considered a public service!

In summing up:

  • Any U.S citizen or corporation can theoretically own a TV station.
  • Foreign entities face stricter restrictions.
  • Limitations exist regarding nationwide coverage.
  • Typically two TV stations can be owned per market under specific conditions.
  • Ethical considerations play part in licensure approval process.

So there you have it! It’s not just about having deep pockets – navigating through this web of legalities will be your first hurdle should you decide to venture into owning your very own television station.

Financial Aspects Associated with Owning a TV Station

Owning a TV station is no small feat. It’s an endeavor that comes with significant financial implications. From purchasing equipment to hiring staff, you’ll need considerable resources to get your station off the ground.

First and foremost, acquisition costs can be hefty. The price of buying an existing station varies greatly depending on its market size and ratings performance. You could be looking at anywhere from just under $1 million for smaller markets to well over $100 million for stations in major metropolitan areas.

Market Size Potential Acquisition Cost
Small Less than $1 Million
Large More than $100 Million

Next up is staffing. When it comes to running a successful TV station, human resources are essential. This includes everyone from news anchors and reporters to camera operators and technicians. Depending on the size of your team, this could add several millions more to your expenses.

Furthermore, don’t forget about operating costs such as:

  • Technical equipment: The cameras, broadcasting devices, editing software – these all come with substantial price tags.
  • Maintenance: Breakdowns happen and replacing or repairing equipment isn’t cheap.
  • Licensing fees: These are recurrent charges that give you the rights to broadcast certain shows or sports events.
  • Utilities: Running a studio means high electricity bills.

These factors combined make owning a TV station a significant investment – one that requires careful planning and deep pockets!

Evaluating the Pros and Cons of Owning a Television Station

Venturing into the media industry by owning a television station can be both rewarding and challenging. It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons before deciding to take this significant step.


  • Control Over Content: As an owner, you’ll have complete control over your station’s content. This means you can shape it according to your vision or market needs.
  • Potential Revenue Stream: If managed effectively, a television station can become a lucrative business venture. With multiple revenue streams like advertising, sponsorships, partnerships, and subscriptions, there’s potential for substantial financial gain.
  • Influence on Public Opinion: Given their reach and impact on society, TV stations often play a crucial role in shaping public opinion. Ownership brings with it significant influence in this respect.


  • High Costs: Running a TV station involves high operational costs. From equipment purchase and maintenance to staffing expenses and licensing fees–the costs add up quickly.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Complying with broadcasting regulations from bodies such as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) can be complex and time-consuming.
  • Market Volatility: Media consumption trends are continually changing. The rise of digital platforms has led to shifting viewer habits which may affect traditional television viewership.
Pros Cons
Control Over Content High Costs
Potential Revenue Stream Regulatory Compliance
Influence on Public Opinion Market Volatility

Remember that owning a television station isn’t just about turning profits; it’s also about providing value to your viewers while navigating through challenges along the way.

Past and Present Owners of Prominent TV Stations

Television broadcasting has seen a myriad of ownership changes over the decades. Let’s explore who’s had their hands on the reins of some big-name stations.

Starting with NBC, it’s been owned by Comcast Corporation since 2011. Before this, General Electric had control from 1986 to 2011, with RCA being the original owner from its inception in 1926 until GE’s takeover.

Over at CBS, ViacomCBS is currently at the helm. This follows a merger between CBS Corporation and Viacom in 2019. Preceding this, Westinghouse Electric Corporation held ownership from 1995 to 2000, after which it became CBS Corporation.

ABC is under The Walt Disney Company’s wing since they acquired Capital Cities/ABC Inc. in 1995. Prior to that, Capital Cities Communications was the owner following a merger with ABC in 1986.

Let’s boil these details down into an easy-to-read table:

Station Current Owner Previous Owners
NBC Comcast Corporation General Electric (1986-2011), RCA (Inception -1986)
CBS ViacomCBS CBS Corporation (2000-2019), Westinghouse Electric Corp (1995-2000)
ABC The Walt Disney Company Capital Cities Communications/Capital Cities/ABC Inc. (1986-1995)

Switching gears to cable television, some noteworthy mentions include Fox News Channel and CNN. Fox News Channel has always been owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation since its launch in 1996 while CNN, established in 1980, belongs to WarnerMedia News & Sports division of AT&T’s WarnerMedia.

As you can see, owning a TV station often involves more shifting alliances and changing hands than you might have initially thought!

Making Business Sense: Revenue Models for TV Stations

Let’s delve into the business side of owning a TV station. One crucial aspect to grasp is how these stations generate revenue. You’ve probably guessed advertising plays a massive role here, and you’re right.

TV stations make their money predominantly through advertising revenues. Advertisers pay hefty sums to air commercials during coveted time slots – think prime-time shows or high-profile sports events. The rates fluctuate based on the program’s viewership numbers and audience demographics.

Another significant source of income is cable and satellite companies’ retransmission fees. These companies pay TV stations for the rights to carry their signal, allowing subscribers access to the station’s content.

Here are some other ways TV stations can diversify their income:

  • Syndication: Selling popular shows they produce to other networks domestically or internationally.
  • Subscription Video On-Demand (SVOD): Offering premium content through an online streaming platform.
  • Licensing: Granting permission for others to use specific station content, like news footage or documentaries.
Revenue Source Description
Advertising Revenues Money from airing commercials during programs
Retransmission Fees Fees from cable/satellite providers for carrying the channel
Syndication Selling produced shows to other networks
SVOD Income from online streaming platforms
Licensing Fees for granting usage rights of specific station content

Remember, no two TV stations are alike when it comes to revenue streams. Factors such as market size, network affiliation, programming quality, and digital strategy all influence a station’s financial performance. As with any venture you undertake, understanding your potential revenue sources is key in making your TV station profitable over time.

Finally, be aware that running a successful TV Station isn’t just about generating revenue; there are significant operational costs involved too – staff salaries, production expenses, licensing fees among others – that need managing effectively if you’re looking at sustainable growth in this industry.

How Do Broadcast Licenses Work?

When you’re thinking about owning your own TV station, it’s crucial to understand how broadcast licenses operate. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is the agency that regulates all interstate and international communications in the U.S., including television, radio, wire, satellite, and cable.

Now let’s dive into what a broadcast license entails for you as a potential station owner. A broadcast license gives you permission to use a specific portion of the radio spectrum in a specific geographic area for a set period of time. It’s akin to renting space on the airwaves. These licenses don’t come cheap or easy – they’re often issued following competitive bidding processes.

Here is an overview of the process:

  1. Application: You begin by submitting an application to the FCC with specifics on your proposed usage.
  2. Review: The FCC reviews applications carefully against their regulations and guidelines.
  3. Approval/Denial: If approved, you’ll receive your license and can start broadcasting; if denied, you’ll need to revise and resubmit your application or appeal.

It’s worth noting that once issued, these licenses have an expiration date – typically after eight years for television stations according to Section 307(c) of the Communications Act. After which renewal applications are required.

Additionally, there are obligations tied with owning such licenses like adhering strictly to FCC rules regarding programming content and commercial limitations among others.

Remember this: It isn’t just about obtaining your broadcast license – it’s also about maintaining good standing with the FCC throughout its duration. Violations can lead to hefty fines or even revocation of your license.

In short, understanding how broadcast licenses work forms an integral part when looking into owning your own TV station. They’re more than just permits—they represent legal agreements between broadcasters and federal authorities that ensure quality control over our nation’s airwaves while providing opportunities for new voices in broadcasting!

Understanding the Role of Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

Let’s dive deeper into understanding the role of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). This agency plays a significant part in who owns TV stations in the United States.

The FCC, established by the Communications Act of 1934, is an independent U.S. government agency overseen by Congress. It’s responsible for regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable throughout the country.

When it comes to owning a TV station, you’ll find that it’s not as simple as just buying one. The FCC has rules and regulations in place to maintain diversity and competition among broadcast media ownership.

For example:

  • A single entity can’t own more than one of the top four stations in any market.
  • There are limits on how many stations a single company can own nationwide.
  • Cross-ownership restrictions limit companies from owning both a newspaper and a TV station within the same market.

These regulations aren’t set in stone though; they’re reviewed every four years by the FCC to determine if they’re still necessary for competitive balance.

Moreover, before anyone can buy or sell a TV station, they must obtain approval from the FCC first. The process includes public notice of the proposed sale or transfer and an opportunity for public comment.

Just remember: while certain individuals or corporations may have financial control over specific channels or networks, ultimately it’s under federal law that governs who truly holds sway over America’s airwaves – the Federal Communications Commission.

Hoops to Jump Through Before You Own Your TV Station

So, you’re interested in owning your own TV station? That’s a notable ambition. However, it’s not a walk in the park. There are hoops to jump through before achieving this goal. Let’s dive into them.

Firstly, you’ll need significant financial backing. Start-up costs for a television station can range from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars depending on the scope and scale of your operation. This includes buying or leasing space for your studio, purchasing equipment, hiring staff, obtaining broadcast licenses and insurance coverage.

Then comes the legal aspect. You can’t simply start broadcasting content without approval from Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC is responsible for managing and licensing the electromagnetic spectrum for commercial users in the United States. It ensures that all radio communications – including television broadcasts – do not interfere with each other.

  • Application Fee: $3,000
  • Construction Permit: $4,000
  • License to Cover: $1,500

You also need to consider programming your station will air. Are you planning on creating original shows or will you license existing ones? If it’s the latter option, remember that syndication rights can be costly!

Lastly but crucially is understanding and accepting that running a TV station demands round-the-clock commitment with an unrelenting focus on quality content creation and audience satisfaction.

In short:

  1. Secure substantial financial funding.
  2. Navigate legal requirements.
  3. Plan compelling programming.
  4. Commit entirely to providing quality service.

Remember,boldly venture, but be prepared for what lies ahead in your journey towards owning your very own TV station!

Conclusion: Following the Roadmap to Own Your Broadcasting Channel

You’ve made it this far, and by now you’ve gathered enough knowledge about owning a TV station. It’s not a small feat, but with determination and the right resources, it’s certainly within your reach.

Owning a broadcasting channel isn’t just about purchasing equipment or acquiring licenses. It requires consistent effort in creating engaging content, reaching out to your target audience and maintaining the quality of broadcasts. You’re also responsible for staying compliant with rules set forth by governing bodies like the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Let’s sum up what we’ve covered so far:

  • Starting your own TV station begins with formulating a business plan that outlines your mission, target audience and revenue streams.
  • Next comes securing funding for your venture. This could be through personal savings, loans or investors.
  • Then you need to get necessary licenses from FCC. Remember that these can take time and involve certain criteria such as technical expertise and financial stability.
  • Once you have all of this in place, it’s time to choose a location for your station and purchase equipment.
  • Finally, hire staff including broadcasters & technicians who will help produce high-quality content.

It’s important to note that owning a broadcasting channel is an ongoing commitment. You’ll need to keep pace with changing technology trends while continuously striving to offer fresh content that resonates with viewers.

If you’re passionate about sharing stories or ideas on screen then owning your own TV station might just be the adventure you’re looking for! Don’t let the challenges deter you; instead use them as stepping stones towards achieving your dream of becoming a broadcaster.

Remember – every great achievement starts with one step forward! In this case, understanding who owns their own TV station is yours! Go ahead – take control of those airwaves!