Over the past 16 years channels broadcasted to homes in the U.S. have increased by over 70. But who owns all of those channels? UsTelevision.com looked into it and found the biggest businesses that have stakes in the stuff we watch on TV.

Click for ginormous chart:

Us Television infographic
Wallstats, August 2011

Category: Data Analysis, Financial Press, Television

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

18 Responses to “Who Owns What You Watch On TV?”

  1. clove says:

    incomplete without Fox and Scripps.

  2. Petey Wheatstraw says:



  3. Moe says:

    I’m surprised anyone would admit to owning any of it…

  4. mathman says:

    Well, as people’s cable tv, computer service and tv’s themselves disappear those heavily invested in the visual arts aren’t gonna have many heads watchin’ their charades anymore:


    You KNOW they’re not going to honor the social contract when they already broke all the financial laws (they don’t even have common sense anymore) and don’t use the Constitution any more (it’s all trumped by the secret Patriot Act and the homeland security farce) and finally, we (ostensibly) can’t do anything about it anyway (according to “them”).

    If they let the abuse continue while the economy continues downward, the environment becomes less predictable, and people lose everything. That situation will result in complete social upheaval – going to the movies will be like committing suicide (you’ll either never make it, lose it all when you arrive, or won’t make it home – with “99%” confidence interval).

    Don’t let it come to this.

    Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers for the ride home:

  5. investard says:

    How in the world do you design this infographic and forget Fox? That’s pretty bizarre.

  6. Moe says:

    Pretty impressive actually – i’d like to forget them as well as he has….

  7. jaymaster says:

    Too damn many channels, not enough decent content.

    I get something like 180 channels (not counting music and pay per views), and I counted 58 infomercials running one Sunday morning.

    What a waste of bandwidth.

  8. investard says:

    USTelevision is based out of Atlanta, so maybe it’s some Turner folks trying to create an alternative reality where CNN is still #1.

  9. jimix5198 says:

    What good is a beautiful graphic without FOX?

  10. Bill in SF says:

    It appears that CNBC has fallen off the map as well. I know, I know… It’s probably due to the Comcast acquisition of NBC Universal. But, this is the internet in the 21st century. What good is a graphic that doesn’t capture recent history?

  11. philipat says:

    Perhaps they think Faux misrepresents itself as news and, therefore, isn’t worth watching. A view which is, unfortunately, not shared by many so, in the interests of accuracy, it really should be included.

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  13. Greg0658 says:

    I’ll stick up for UStv dotcom in their absense .. Fox aka NewsCorp is Australian based with an office in NYC (sorta) .. as we all know NYC = the financial capital of the world, media mecca, United Nations headquarters

    “who owns all of those channels” .. would that be the FCC ? or the cable subscribers ? or the shareholders ? or Rupert Murdoch (or the Queen) ? or Ted Turner ? or the artists filling the air ?

    when crash comes to final stop and the hands all play out .. umm ? not sure.


  14. Union actor says:

    You certainly should include Newscorp. As a media conglomerate, they are in (aside from newspapers) movies, TV content, sports, the Internet, broadcast TV, cable TV, the music business, movie distribution and satellite TV. They are one of seven principal owners of today’s media industry, down from 23 twenty years ago (1991). Media consolidation is real. AOL/Time Warner, Disney, Viacom/CBS, Newscorp (Direct TV), GE/NBC/Universal, Cox/Discovery, Clear Channel rule the root. The graphic above doesn’t come close to the real picture of what these behemoths own. If you want to see what Disney really own, for example, use this link to the Columbia Journalism Review. You can find the current holdings of the other corporations there, too. http://www.cjr.org/resources/index.php?c=disney
    Why do I know any of this? Because my union bargains with these folks on a regular basis. Their exec are trustees to our unions’ health and retirement plans and sit on the other side of the table when we bargain contracts for movies, music, daytime, night time and cable TV. They’re all tough. But GE/NBC are viciously anti-union.
    Make no mistake: you see and hear what you see and hear because that’s pretty much what they will tolerate. The corporate owners give individual outlets latitude but just. Cable outlets devoted to capital with never a member of the working class seen…or heard.
    The giants are not the vertical monopolies of days gone by: one company owning all the production studios, for example. They are horizontal monopolies with interests in all areas of production AND distribution, including live theatre, theme parks and terrestrial radio. One, Disney, has their fingers in every single area mentioned here. The others are present in most but not all.
    They have leverage in what gets produced in entertainment, what gets programmed and promoted, what music is heard – and NOT heard – on radio and seen and heard in live venues.
    This picture shifts slightly, year to year. But the trend remains the same: consolidation across the board with dramatic consequences to those working in media and to citizens in what they hear and see and what they won’t hear and see.
    Net Neutrality is likely the next battle in the consolidation wars. Be grateful that the current FCC understands this and that Michael Powell is not running the show. But the FCC is a whole other story, isn’t it?

  15. sportsbiz says:

    Not just Fox is missing but the other half, well 51%really, of NBC. Where’s Comcast? It’s not just a delivery system but owns a fair amount of programming assets apart from NBC, including Golf Channel, Versus, several regional sports networks, and E!.

    One correction for union actor, Newscorp divested its interest in Directv in exchange for a larger interest in Liberty Media, whose true scope I think is underestimated in the info graphic.

  16. Fritz3 says:

    In addition to missing Fox/Newscorp, Comcast/NBCU, and Scripps, this thing is missing Discovery Networks, and they are bigger than AMC or A&E. Clearly this was put together by someone who doesn’t actually _watch TV_.

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  18. Steve Koraly says:

    We all owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Ritholtz for publishing the list of companies we should all boycott;
    1961, “Television… is a vast wasteland.” Kennedy’s FCC chairman, Newton Minow
    1992, “57 Channels, And Nothin’ On” Bruce Springsteen
    Today, “God help us!”
    As JFK’s 1961, FCC Chairman observed, “When television is good nothing… is better… But when television is bad, nothing is worse… what you will observe is a vast wasteland.”
    TV is a powerful, influential medium that could do so much good, but (due to morally bankrupt TV moguls), does so much harm.
    “… which companies are responsible for taking up so much of our time in front of the TV.” WELL…WE are responsible for what we watch… what our children watch and what our children see us watching. Ergo- We are responsible for the programming… the TV moguls can’t produce unprofitable programming for long.