Commercial broadcasting

Commercial broadcasting (also called private broadcasting) is the broadcasting of television programs and radio programming by privately owned corporate media, as opposed to state sponsorship. It was the United States′ first model of radio (and later television) during the 1920s, in contrast with the public television model in Europe during the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s which prevailed worldwide (except in the United States) until the 1980s.



Commercial broadcasting is primarily based on the practice of airing radio advertisements and television advertisements for profit. This is in contrast to public broadcasting, which receives government subsidies and tries to avoid paid advertising interrupting the show. During pledge drives they will interrupt shows to ask for donations.

In the United States, non-commercial educational (NCE) television and radio exists in the form of community radio; however, premium cable services such as HBO and Showtime generally operate solely on subscriber fees and do not sell advertising. This is also the case for the portions of the two major satellite radio systems that are produced in-house (mainly music programming).

Radio broadcasting originally began without paid commercials. As time went on, however, advertisements seemed less objectionable to both the public and government regulators and became more common. While commercial broadcasting was unexpected in radio, in television it was planned due to commercial radio's success. Television began with commercial sponsorship and later transformed to paid commercial time. When problems arose over patents and corporate marketing strategies, regulatory decisions were made by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to control commercial broadcasting.[1]

Commercial broadcasting overlaps with paid services such as cable television, radio and satellite television. Such services are generally partially or wholly paid for by local subscribers and is known as leased access. Other programming (particularly on cable television) is produced by companies operating in much the same manner as advertising-funded commercial broadcasters, and they (and often the local cable provider) sell commercial time in a similar manner.

The FCC's interest in program control began with the chain-broadcasting investigation of the late 1930s, culminating in the "Blue Book" of 1946, Public Service Responsibility For Broadcast Licensees. The Blue Book differentiated between mass-appeal sponsored programs and unsponsored "sustaining" programs offered by the radio networks. This sustained programming, according to the Blue Book, had five features serving the public interest:

  • Sustaining programs balanced the broadcast schedule, supplementing the soap operas and popular-music programs receiving the highest ratings and most commercial sponsors
  • They allowed for the broadcast of programs which, by their controversial or sensitive nature, were unsuitable for sponsorship
  • They supplied cultural programming for smaller audiences
  • They provided limited broadcast access for non-profit and civic organizations
  • They made possible artistic and dramatic experimentation, shielded from the pressures of short-run rating and commercial considerations of a sponsor.[1]

Commercial time has increased 31 seconds per hour for all prime time television shows. For example, ABC has increased from 9 minutes and 26 seconds to 11 minutes and 26 seconds.[2]


Programming on commercial stations is more ratings-driven—particularly during periods such as sweeps in the US and some Latin American countries.

Other factors

Commercial broadcasting (especially free-to-air) is sometimes controversial. One reason is a perceived lack of quality and risk in the programming (to which more conservative elements respond that it is too risqué 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 criticized for a perceived homogeneity in programming, covert politically motivated censorship of content, and a desire to cut costs at the expense of a station's identifiable personality. Politics is a major force in media criticism, with an ongoing debate (especially in the United States) as to what moral standards – if any – are to be applied to the airwaves.

Global commercial broadcasting


Commercial broadcasting is the dominant type of broadcasting in the United States and most of Latin America. "The US commercial system resulted from a carefully crafted cooperation endeavor by national corporations and federal regulators."[3]

The best-known commercial broadcasters in the United States today are the ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC television networks and the RTEX radio network, based in the United States. Major cable television in the United States operators include Comcast, Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable. Direct-broadcast satellite (DBS) services include DirecTV and Dish Network.

In an hour of broadcast time on a commercial broadcasting station, 10 to 20 minutes are typically devoted to advertising. Advertisers pay a certain amount of money to air their commercials, usually based upon program ratings or the audience measurement of a station or network. This makes commercial broadcasters more accountable to advertisers than public broadcasting, a disadvantage of commercial radio and television.


In Europe, commercial broadcasting coexists with public broadcasting (where programming is largely funded by broadcast receiver licences, public donations or government grants).

In the UK, British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) is available and WorldSpace Satellite Radio was available.


One of the best-known commercial services in Asia is the oldest radio station in the region, Radio Ceylon.

List of major commercial broadcasters





English language

French language




United States

English language

Spanish language





Japan (key station)




South Korea





Republic of Ireland

United Kingdom



New Zealand

See also


  1. ^ a b Boddy, William. Fifties Television: the Industry and Its Critics. University of Illinois Press, 1992. ISBN 978-0-252-06299-5
  2. ^ Fleming, H. (1997). PSA slice shrinks as commercial pie grows. Broadcasting & Cable, 127(13), 19-22. Retrieved from
  3. ^ Hilmes, Michele (2004). "The Origins of the Commercial Broadcasting System of the United States". Jahrbuch Medien und Geschichte. 4: 73–81.

External links

  • Video (audio) interview with Ray Fitzwalter on commercial TV in Britain, The rise and fall of ITV, Frontline Club, London, May 2008.
2013 New Zealand Radio Awards

The 2013 New Zealand Radio Awards were the awards for excellence in the New Zealand radio industry during 2012. It was the 36th New Zealand Radio Awards, and recognised staff, volunteers and contractors in both commercial and non-commercial broadcasting.This is a list of nominees, with winners in bold.

2015 New Zealand Radio Awards

The 2015 New Zealand Radio Awards were the awards for excellence in the New Zealand radio industry during 2014. It was the 38th New Zealand Radio Awards, recoginising staff, volunteers and contractors in both commercial and non-commercial broadcasting.

2016 New Zealand Radio Awards

The 2016 New Zealand Radio Awards were the awards for excellence in the New Zealand radio industry during 2015. It was the 39th New Zealand Radio Awards, recoginising staff, volunteers and contractors in both commercial and non-commercial broadcasting.

2017 New Zealand Radio Awards

The 2017 New Zealand Radio Awards were the awards for excellence in the New Zealand radio industry during 2016. It was the 40th New Zealand Radio Awards, recoginising staff, volunteers and contractors in both commercial and non-commercial broadcasting.

2018 New Zealand Radio Awards

The 2018 New Zealand Radio Awards were the awards for excellence in the New Zealand radio industry during 2017. It was the 41st New Zealand Radio Awards, recoginising staff, volunteers and contractors in both commercial and non-commercial broadcasting.


In radio broadcasting, airplay is how frequently a song is being played on radio stations. A song which is being played several times every day (spins) would have a large amount of airplay. Music which became very popular on jukeboxes, in nightclubs and at discotheques between the 1940s and 1960s would also have airplay.

For commercial broadcasting, airplay is usually the result of being placed into rotation, also called adding it to the station's playlist by the music director, possibly as the result of a Pay for Play sponsored by the record label. For student radio and other community radio or indie radio stations, it is often the selection by each disc jockey, usually at the suggestion of a music director.

Most countries have at least one radio airplay chart in existence, although larger countries such as Canada, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Japan, and Brazil have several, to cover different genres and areas of the country.A song which was successful in the airplay charts but weak in sales was commonly known as a "turntable hit" when radio stations played only vinyl singles.

Airplay can be a crucial element in securing a singer's 'hit', and alongside social networking websites it is an effective method that artists use to make their name known.Aaliyah's "Try Again" (2000) was the first song ever to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 based solely on the strength of its radio airplay.Radio airplay is monitored through audio fingerprinting technology with the help of automatic content recognition service. World recognizable music airplay service providers are ACRCloud, Bmat and Soundcharts...etc

Aliw Broadcasting Corporation

Aliw Broadcasting Corporation established in 1991, is one of the major commercial broadcasting organizations operating in the Philippines today.

It currently operates 12 radio stations (consisting of 10 FM and 2 AM stations) strategically located throughout the archipelago with its flagship radio stations DWIZ 882 AM and Home Radio Network. The network’s station DWIZ 882 Mas Todong Lakas is one of the few AM radio stations authorized to operate a 50,000 watt transmitter in Mega Manila.

Channel 2 (Israeli TV channel)

Channel 2 (Hebrew: ערוץ שתיים‎, translit. Arutz Shtaim), also called "The Second Channel" (Hebrew: הערוץ השני‎, translit. HaArutz HaSheni) was an Israeli commercial television channel. It started doing experimental broadcasts funded by the television tax. The channel started commercial broadcasting in 4 November 1993 regulated and managed by The Second Authority for Television and Radio. In its first years, the channel was operated by three broadcasters ("Keshet", "Reshet", and "Telad"), and in 2005 only two broadcasters were left while "Telad" stopped broadcasting due to its loss in the Second Authority's auction.

In 31 October 2017, 24 years after the Channel started broadcasting, it got closed and split into two new channels: Keshet 12 and Reshet 13. After the split, the News Company that was founded with the Channel, keeps broadcasting news in both of the channels parallelly.

Commercial Radio Hong Kong

Commercial Radio Hong Kong (CRHK, Chinese: 香港商業電台 Putonghua; pinyin: Xiānggǎng Shāngyè Diàntái; Jyutping: heung1 gong2 seung1 yip6 din6 toi4), aka Hong Kong Commercial Broadcasting Company Limited is one of only two commercial radio broadcasting companies in Hong Kong along with Metro Radio Hong Kong. It contains a balanced array of entertainment including informative, educational, arts and cultural programmes. CRHK provides updates on current affairs as well as news and weather reports.

ETC (Philippine TV network)

ETC (stylized as etc) is a commercial broadcasting television network in the Philippines owned by Solar Entertainment Corporation through its subsidiary Southern Broadcasting Network. Its free-to-air broadcast is carried by SBN's flagship station DWCP-TV Channel 21 Metro Manila. The channel can also be seen nationwide in all SBN provincial TV stations. The channel is also carried by cable/satellite providers, including Sky Cable/Destiny Cable (Metro Manila), Cablelink, Sky Direct, Cignal and SatLite, along with various provincial cable operators and through online streaming.

ETC operates daily (including the annual Paschal Triduum) from 6:00 AM to 1:00 AM on analog free TV, while it operates for 24 hours on Solar's digital free TV (under test-broadcast) as well as on most pay TV and streaming service providers.

ETC broadcasts from Solar's master control facility and studios located at the Third Floor of the Worldwide Corporate Center, Epifanio de los Santos corner Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City, while SBN's sales office is located at the 22/F Strata 2000 Bldg., F. Ortigas Jr., Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City. SBN holds free-to-air broadcasts from its transmitter and tower site located at Nuestra Señora de la Paz Subdivision, Bo. Sta. Cruz, Antipolo, Rizal.

FM broadcasting in the UK

FM sound broadcasting began in the United Kingdom on 2 May 1955 when the BBC started an FM broadcasting service the Light Programme, the Third Programme and the Home Service to the south east of England. There are now over 40 BBC and over 250 commercial FM sound broadcasting stations in the United Kingdom.


KINK (101.9 MHz also known as is a commercial FM radio station in Portland, Oregon. It is owned by Alpha Media and it airs an Adult Album Alternative radio format. KINK's studios and offices are on Southwest 5th Avenue in the PacWest Center, while its transmitter is located off Southwest Barnes Road in the West Hills. Its antenna at 501.6 meters at 99,000 watts allows it to be heard across most of northwest Oregon, and has been heard in the Puget Sound area at times.

Although KINK's format has evolved over the years, its sound, philosophy, target audience, marketing, and community involvement have remained fundamentally consistent over its 40+ year history, a rarity in commercial broadcasting. Many of KINK's DJs have been associated with the station for decades, also a rarity in the industry. In the vernacular of commercial radio, KINK is known as a "heritage" radio station.

Kyoto Broadcasting System

Kyoto Broadcasting System Company, Ltd (株式会社京都放送, Kabushiki-gaisha Kyōto Hōsō, KBS) is a commercial broadcasting station headquartered in Kyoto, Japan. It is doing business in Kyoto Prefecture as "KBS Kyoto" (KBS京都) and in Shiga Prefecture as "KBS Shiga" (KBS滋賀)

Its radio station serves Kyoto and Shiga Prefectures and is a member of National Radio Network (NRN). Its television station serves Kyoto Prefecture and is a member of the Japanese Association of Independent Television Stations (JAITS). Since April 1, 2005, KBS is broadcasting digital television in ISDB format.

Media of the Netherlands

Media in the Netherlands – television, radio, newspapers, magazines – are characterised by a tradition of politico-denominational segregation ("pillarisation") on the one hand and an increasing degree of commercialism on the other.

Nelonen Media

Nelonen Media is a Finnish commercial broadcasting company owned by Sanoma Media Finland, which is a part of Sanoma group.

Q2 (TV channel)

Q2, formerly Kanaal 2 and 2BE, is a Belgian television channel owned by the commercial broadcasting company Medialaan (Translation: Media Avenue).

Specialty channel

A specialty channel can be a commercial broadcasting or non-commercial television channel which consists of television programming focused on a single genre, subject or targeted television market at a specific demographic.

The number of specialty channels has greatly increased during the 1990s and 2000s while the previously common model of countries having just a few (national) TV stations addressing all interest groups and demographics became increasingly outmoded, as it already had been for some time in several countries. About 65% of today's satellite channels are specialty channels.

Types of specialty services may include, but by no means are limited to:

(These categories are provided for convenience and do not necessarily represent industry-accepted or otherwise legally-binding names or categories for these types of services.)

Some specialty channels may not be free-to-air or may not be available through conventional broadcast television. Pay TV providers in particular often produce own specialty channels exclusively for their own network.

Talpa TV

Talpa TV (formerly SBS Broadcasting B.V.) is a Dutch commercial broadcasting company owned by Talpa Network.

Television in South Korea

In South Korea, there are a number of national television networks, the three largest of which are KBS, MBC, and SBS. Most of the major television studios are located on Yeouido and Sangam-dong. South Korea became the third adopter in Asia when television broadcasting began on 12 May 1956 with the opening of HLKZ-TV, a commercially operated television station. HLKZ-TV was established by the RCA Distribution Company (KORCAD) in Seoul with 186-192 MHz, 100-watt output, and 525 scanning lines.Important genres of television shows include serial dramas, historical dramas, variety shows, game shows, news programs, and documentaries. All three networks have produced increasingly lavish historical dramas in recent years. Some South Korean television programs are available on satellite and multicultural channels in foreign countries. Korean television dramas have been widely popular in other East Asian, South Asian and Southeast Asian countries, and became popularized internationally at a later stage, with whole sets of videotapes or DVDs of series available with completed subtitles in different languages, online subtitle websites are also created by numerous fan clubs to cater to a global audience. Shopping channels have become quite popular in recent years as well, and the models sometimes put on entertaining acts during product pitches.

There are many cable operators in South Korea, such as Tbroad, C&M, CMB, and CJ HelloVision. There are approximately 14 million cable TV subscribers nationwide. The cable operator provides TPS to its subscribers.

and funding
Subcarrier signals

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