Who Controls the Media?

Parent Company Networks Owned Cable Interests
General Electric
$100.5 billion
1998 revenues


Background:
GE/NBC's ranks No. 1 on the Forbes 500. Prior to its merger with NBC and an alliance with Microsoft, GE specialized in electronics. The peacock owns many New York sports team. It also owns or has equity stakes in many popular websites, including Snap.com and iVillage.
NBC
includes programming, news and more than 13 TV and radio stations
Owns 25-50% of the following:
  • A & E (with Disney and Hearst)
  • American Movie Classics (25%)
  • Biography Channel (with Disney and Hearst)
  • Bravo (50%)
  • Bravo International
  • CNBC
  • Court TV (with Time Warner)
  • Fox Sports Net
  • History Channel (with Disney and Hearst)
  • Independent Film Channel
  • MSG Network
  • MSNBC (50%)
  • National Geographic Worldwide
  • News Sport
  • Prime
  • Prism (with Rainbow, a subsidiary of Cablevision, and Liberty Media, a subsidiary of TCI)
  • Romance Classics
  • Sports Channel Cincinnati, Chicago, Florida, New England, Pacific, Ohio, Philadelphia
Time Warner
$26.8 billion
1998 revenues


Background:
The largest media corporation in the world, Time Warner owns film and music production companies, theme parks, sports teams, magazines, websites and book publishers as well as Turner Broadcasting
TURNER BROAD-CASTING
includes sports teams, programming, production, retail, book publishing and multimedia

WB
Television Network
  • HBO (75%)
  • Cinemax
  • HBO Direct Broadcast
  • Court TV (33% with GE)
  • TBS Superstation
  • Turner Classic Movies
  • TNT
  • Cartoon Network
  • Comedy Central (37.5% with Viacom)
  • Sega Channel
  • OVATION (50%)
  • Women's Information Television (WIN) (partial)
  • TVKO (75%)
  • 4 regional all-news channels
  • CNN
  • CNN/SI (with Sports Illustrated)
  • CNNfn (financial network)
  • CNNRadio
  • Headline News
  • Sportsouth
  • CNN International
  • CNN Airport Network
The Walt Disney Co.
$23 billion
1998 revenues


Background:
With its 1995 merger with Capital Cities/ABC, Disney has become a fully-integrated media giant. In addition to its theme parks, the company profits from retail outlets, magazines, book publishers, websites, motion pictures, sports teams, TV, cable, radio, music and newspapers.
ABC
includes ABC Radio, ABC Video and ABC Network News
  • Disney Channel
  • Disney Television (58 hours/week syndicated programming)
  • Toon Disney
  • Touchstone Television
  • A&E (37.5% with Hearst and GE)
  • Lifetime Network (50%)
  • ESPN (80% with Hearst)
  • ESPN2 (80% with Hearst)
  • ESPN Classic (80% with Hearst)
  • ESPN West (80% with Hearst)
  • ESPNews (80% with Hearst)
  • Buena Vista Television
  • Biography Channel (with GE and Hearst)
  • History Channel (37.5% with Hearst and GE)
  • Classic Sports Network
  • E! (35%)
Viacom
$18.9 billion
1998 revenues


Background:
Viacom's purchase of Paramount, CBS and Blockbuster Video enables them to use cable, television, movies, comic books, theme parks, music publishing and book publishing to cross-market their products. Broadcasting alone brings in over $6 billion in revenues.
CBS
includes stations, CBS Radio, CBS Telenoticias and CBS Network News

UPN
includes programming and TV stations (50%)
  • Nickelodeon
  • MTV
  • M2: Music Television
  • VH1
  • Showtime
  • Nick at Nite's TVLand
  • Paramount Networks Comedy Central (50% with Time Warner)
  • TNN: The Nashville Network
  • Movie Channel
  • FLIX
  • All News Channel (50%)
  • Sundance Channel (45%)
  • Midwest Sports Channel
  • CBS Telenoticias (30%)
  • Home Team Sports (66% with News Corporation)
News Corporation
$13 billion
1998 revenues


Background:
CEO Rupert Murdoch's style has inspired respect and fear, and it has also made his multinational ventures in publishing, television and satellite services very successful. The company owns 20th Century Fox, the New York Post, the London Times, TV Guide, many stadiums, the LA Dodgers and five New York sports teams.
FOX
includes programming and stations
  • Fox Family Channel (50%)
  • Fox News Channel
  • fx (50% with TCI's Liberty Media)
  • fxM (50% with TCI's Liberty Media)
  • Fox Sports Net (25% with TCI, GE and Cablevision)
  • The National Geographic Channel (50%)
  • FIT TV Partnership
  • Regional networks, including TV Guide Channel and Fox Sports New York

Other Major Players:

AT&T (TCI) - Recently acquired by AT&T, TCI's hold on cable, internet and local phone services contributed to $7.6 billion in 1997 revenues. TCI is the second-largest US cable television system provider, and it has 10% ownership of Time-Warner/Turner. The company owns all or part of USA Network, Sci-Fi Network, E!, Court TV, Starz! and Starz! 2, Black Entertainment Television, BET on Jazz, BET Movies/Starz! 3, CNN, TNT, Headline News, Prime Sports Channel, The Learning Channel, Discovery Channel, QVC, Q2, Fox Sports Net, The Travel Channel, Prevue Channel, Animal Planet, The Box, Telemundo, International Channel, Encore, MSG Network, Action Pay-per-view, and the Home Shopping Network.

Sony - Sony's main media interests, earning $9 billion in 1997 sales, are in film and television production, movie theaters and music.

Universal (Seagram) - In addition to Universal Studios, with its production facilities and theme parks, the company owns the USA and Sci-Fi cable networks.