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Network ( broadcast network and television network ) denotes a media term with origins in North America, a development stage of the associations of several commercial radio and later also television companies, from which predominantly media groups emerged . The term network encompasses more than the purely technical definition in the sense of broadcasting chains that supply numerous local small broadcasters with a general program with a leading broadcaster and whose local broadcasters are also called affiliates .

History of the Networks

The so-called network broadcasting had its origin in the USA in the 1920s . The background was the desire to be able to broadcast live sports events from coast to coast across four time zones, for example.

To make this happen, the General Electric Company (GE), Westinghouse Electric Corporation and the telephone monopoly American Telephone & Telegraph ( AT&T ) founded the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) in 1919 . Regular broadcasting was started on November 15, 1926 by the subsidiary National Broadcasting Company (NBC), making NBC the first national or national radio broadcaster in the USA. Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) followed in 1927 .

In 1932, the first broadcast network in Canada was created by the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission , which in 1936 became the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

The functional principle has remained almost unchanged since then: At one of the main broadcasters or at certain production locations, the joint program for the connected broadcasters of the networks is produced and transmitted live or time-delayed via the AT&T telephone network (later via "private" coaxial copper cables, today via satellite ). The transmitters connected to the network do not send their own program at predetermined times, but rather the common network program in a kind of program window.

Since the system was expensive in the USA, there were only three radio companies operating networks for a long time (in addition to NBC and CBS, also the Mutual Broadcasting System ). It was not until NBC was broken up that the fourth radio network American Broadcasting Company (ABC) emerged between 1940 and 1944 . When television emerged in the 1940s , three of the four radio networks also made the move to television networks, and a fourth - DuMont - ceased operations after a few years.

In 1942, the United States Department of War established the Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS), later known as the American Forces Network (AFN).

The high costs cemented the oligopoly of the " Big Three " NBC, CBS and ABC in the USA until the 1980s . However, this enabled the networks to produce much more complex programs than was the case with smaller local and regional broadcasters.

They deliver three hours to the affiliates - four hours on Sundays - in prime time (FOX and CW each one hour less), consisting of original broadcasts and repeats of current series, news magazines, reality shows, sports, etc. In addition, the affiliates Depending on the network, soap operas , talk shows and children's programs are offered for daily programming, national news and / or a late night show . As a rule, the broadcasters have to do the rest of the day themselves and, in addition to their own productions, use so-called syndication material. The syndication market includes series that are more than four years old or material produced separately for syndication , such as talk shows; seldom also more expensive, not produced for a specific network series like Star Trek: Deep Space Nine .

Network television experienced a renaissance in 1986 with the founding of the Fox Broadcasting Company , the fourth network, which forms the " Big Four " with the three classic networks .

Development into media groups

Various deregulations in the media sector and a large number of company mergers finally led to the establishment of the United Paramount Network (UPN) and the Warner Bros. Network (WBN), known from 1999 as The WB . The initial euphoria gave way in the following years to disillusionment with the steadily falling audience figures and led in January 2006 - exactly 10 years after their launch - to the announcement that the networks UPN and The WB would be dissolved and, in September 2006, the new, joint The CW Television Network (known as The CW ).

Other networks with a significantly smaller range than those mentioned so far are MyNetworkTV and ION Television . There are also two major Spanish-speaking networks ( Univision and Telemundo ).

Since no company is allowed to cover more than a third of the potential recipients with its transmitters due to state requirements, all networks have affiliates to be able to cover the whole country. NBC and CBS only have a few channels of their own (each under 20), as these are located in the large metropolitan areas ( New York , Los Angeles , Chicago , ...) - the remaining two thirds of the country are covered by three-digit affiliates. In contrast, UPN and The WB have significantly more stations of their own, as these are usually located in cities outside of large metropolitan areas; the big cities are covered by affiliates. The networks mentioned (with the exception of ION Television) are among the major US media groups .

Situation in Germany

In Germany , this principle is basically not practiced. When in the mid-1990s TV stations in metropolitan areas went on air in Germany (for example IA Fernsehen Berlin, Hamburg 1 , TV.München ), the RTL City-TV program from Cologne was created in 1997 . When compiling the material, RTL also used holdings from its regional partners, such as B. RTL Nord ( Hamburg ), which also produces several issues of the RTL regional magazine Guten Abend RTL for the northern German states and all of Germany. From March 1, 1998, 12 broadcast formats were marketed by IP Multimedia . Seven hours of programming were available every day, consisting primarily of older series and programs from RTL's stock. The six channels , Tele Regional Passau 1 , FF Franken Fernsehen , intv , Hamburg 1 and Fernsehen from Berlin were supplied . It was broadcast in the broadcasting center in Cologne via the DFS2 satellite , and program customers could "take over clearly defined parts depending on regional program planning " and integrate them into local programs. For example, Hamburg 1 took three hours from it, including contributions that were seen three hours earlier on competitor RTL-Nord-Live . As this represented too few customers to fund the program through advertising, it was soon discontinued.

With the exception of mü and münchen2, all of the 18 Bavarian local stations are currently broadcasting their programs on Kabel, i. d. Usually in addition to broadcasting on its own channel, also via a window in the RTL main program. This local window was also broadcast terrestrially on RTL until the last RTL terrestrial channel within Bavaria went offline in July 2013.

The principle of the station group (e.g. RTL Group , ProSiebenSat.1 Media ) is more of a coexistence, while the networks essentially operate from top to bottom. But there are also channels such as 3sat or ARTE , which represent the joint work of the public broadcasters, and accordingly broadcast the programs of these channels in a mixed manner. In the case of radio programs, it happens that local broadcasters take over the main program from a provider (e.g. Radio NRW ).

Situation in Austria

In Austria , the KroneHit program, a network based on the American principle, existed in Austria until 2004: Private radio stations were originally only able to obtain local or regional broadcasting licenses in Austria, which meant that for a long time it was not possible to operate an Austria-wide private radio program. KroneHit circumvented this by supplying existing private local / regional radio stations with a blanket program that was broadcast by these stations in their respective broadcasting area and thus a large part of Austria was reached. The individual affiliates broadcast the KroneHit program for 60% of their broadcast time, while the remaining 40% broadcast either their own program or an unmoderated music program. In 2004, the Austrian Private Radio Act was changed and since then has also allowed Austria-wide private radio programs. Kronehit was the first to obtain such an Austria-wide approval and has since broadcast a uniform program for the entire country (exceptions: Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday between 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m.). The often very small and economically weak affiliates disbanded. Their frequencies are still used to broadcast the KroneHit radio program.

Otherwise, however, in Austria as in Germany and generally outside of the USA, the network principle is not used. The two television programs of the ORF as well as the private broadcasters ATV and Puls 4 are coordinated centrally in Vienna and broadcast uniformly by all broadcasting systems throughout Austria. Only the television program ORF 2 will be switched off at 7:00 p.m. for a good 20 minutes in the individual federal states for the broadcast federal state today .

In addition to the three Austria-wide radio programs in each federal state, the ORF also broadcasts the regional program Ö2 ; these radio programs are designed independently in each regional studio, only the world news every hour on the hour is taken over by all regional programs from Vienna. The situation is similar with the private broadcasters of the Antenne / Life Radio group, here in Dobl near Graz the company Radio Content Austria produces world news that is always five minutes before the full of all radio programs of this group in their regional program Hour. However, it is only a matter of simplifying the production of news, not a mantle program in the sense of a network.

The German private television stations are broadcast in Austrian cable networks and via DVB-S in their own Austria variants, for example Sat.1 Austria broadcasts its own Austrian news program at 8:00 p.m. there are other specific Austrian programs on all other ProSiebenSat.1 Media and RTL Group programs. Some of these programs (e.g. Café Puls ) are produced by Austrian media companies and some of them are broadcast on all channels in a group. Austrian commercials are also broadcast during the commercial breaks.

Since 2015, acts R9 Regional TV Austria , founded as a pure advertising sales for nine regional TV stations, in addition as network stations with their own program content, complemented since 2018 by teleshopping offers, which the vast program section is disputed.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Ira Wagman and Peter Urquhart. Public Broadcast in CBC / SRC, In: Cultural Making Sense of Canadian Media in digital age . James Lorimer & Company Ltd. Ottawa, 2012. page 48. ISBN 978-1-4594-0273-7
  2. Publications of the American Forces Radio and Television Service homepage AFN ( Memento of the original from January 24, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. RTL City TV is marketed by IP Multimedia. Horizon Online, January 29, 1998
  4. RTL City-TV provides frames for six channels. ( Memento of the original from April 4, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice., January 30, 1998 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /