The U.S. media landscape is dominated by massive corporations that, through a history of mergers and acquisitions, have concentrated their control over what we see, hear and read. In many cases, these giant companies are vertically integrated, controlling everything from initial production to final distribution. In the interactive charts below we reveal who owns what.
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2011 revenues: $55 billion
In 2011, the Federal Communications Commission approved Comcast’s takeover of a majority share of NBCUniversal from General Electric. This merger combines the nation’s largest cable company and residential Internet service provider and one of the world’s biggest producers of TV shows and motion pictures. Comcast’s media holdings now reach almost every home in America. It serves customers in 39 states and the District of Columbia. In addition to its vast NBCUniversal holdings, Comcast has 23.6 million cable subscribers, 18 million digital cable subscribers, 15.9 million high-speed Internet customers and 7.6 million voice customers. Comcast recently entered into a partnership with Verizon in which each company will market and sell the other’s services.
TV: NBCUniversal; twenty-four television stations and the NBC television network; Telemundo; USA Network; SyFy; CNBC; MSNBC; Bravo; Oxygen; Chiller; CNBC World; E!; the Golf Channel; Sleuth; mun2; Universal HD; VERSUS; Style; G4; Comcast SportsNet (Philadelphia), Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic (Baltimore/Washington, D.C.), Cable Sports Southeast, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, MountainWest Sports Network, Comcast SportsNet California (Sacramento), Comcast SportsNet New England (Boston), Comcast SportsNet Northwest (Portland, Ore.), Comcast Sports Southwest (Houston), Comcast SportsNet Bay Area (San Francisco), New England Cable News (Boston), Comcast Network Philadelphia, Comcast Network Mid-Atlantic (Baltimore/Washington, D.C.); the Weather Channel (25 percent stake); A&E (16 percent stake); the History Channel (16 percent stake); the Biography Channel (16 percent stake); Lifetime (16 percent stake); the Crime and Investigation Channel (16 percent stake); Pittsburgh Cable News Channel (30 percent stake); FEARnet (31 percent stake); PBS KIDS Sprout (40 percent stake); TV One (34 percent stake); Houston Regional Sports Network (23 percent stake); SportsNet New York (8 percent stake)
Online Holdings: MSNBC.com (50 percent stake); Hulu (32 percent stake); DailyCandy; iVillage; Fandango
Telecom: Clearwire Communications (9 percent stake)
Other: Comcast Interactive Media; Plaxo; Universal Studios Hollywood; Wet ‘n Wild theme park; Universal Studios Florida; Universal Islands of Adventure; Philadelphia 76ers; Philadelphia Flyers; Wells Fargo Center; iN DEMAND; Music Choice (12 percent stake); SpectrumCo (64 percent stake).
2011 revenues: $40.1 billion
The Walt Disney Company owns the ABC television network; cable networks including ESPN, the Disney Channel, SOAPnet, A&E and Lifetime; 277 radio stations, music- and book-publishing companies; film-production companies Touchstone, Miramax and Walt Disney Pictures; Pixar Animation Studios; the cellular service Disney Mobile; and theme parks around the world.
TV: Eight television stations and the ABC television network; ESPN; Disney Channels Worldwide; ABC Family; SOAPnet Networks; A&E (42 percent stake); Lifetime Television (42 percent stake); the History Channel (42 percent stake); Lifetime Movie Network (42 percent stake); the Biography Channel (42 percent stake); History International (42 percent stake); Lifetime Real Women (42 percent stake); Live Well Network (42 percent stake)
Radio: ESPN Radio Network; Radio Disney
Print: ESPN The Magazine; Disney Publishing Worldwide; Juvenile Publishing; Digital Publishing; Disney Music Publishing; Marvel Publishing
Entertainment: Marvel Entertainment; ABC Studios; ABC Media Production; Pixar; Walt Disney Pictures; Walt Disney Records; Hollywood Records; Mammoth Records; Buena Vista Records; Lyric Street Records
Other: Buena Vista Concerts; Disney Mobile; Disney Theatrical Productions; the Disney Store; Disney theme parks and water parks; Disney English; Disney Interactive Media Group; Disney Games; Playdom, Inc.
2011 revenues: $33.4 billion
News Corporation’s media holdings include the FOX Broadcasting Company; television and cable networks such as Fox, Fox Business Channel, National Geographic and FX; print publications including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post and TV Guide; the magazines Barron’s and SmartMoney; book publisher HarperCollins; film production companies 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Blue Sky Studios; numerous websites including MarketWatch.com; and non-media holdings including the National Rugby League.
TV: Twenty-seven television stations and FOX Broadcasting Company (FOX Network, MyNetworkTV); FOX News; FOX Business; FOX News Radio Network; FOX News Talk Channel; FSN (12 regional sports networks); FX; SPEED; FUEL TV; Fox College Sports; Fox Movie Channel; Fox Soccer Channel; Fox Soccer Plus; Fox Pan American Sports; Fox Deportes; Big Ten Network; National Geographic U.S.; Nat Geo Adventure; Nat Geo Music; Nat Geo Wild; Fox International Channels; Utilisima; Fox Crime; NEXT; FOX History & Entertainment; the Voyage Channel; STAR World; STAR Movies; NGC Network International; NGC Network Latin America; LAPTV; Movie City; City Mix; City Family; City Stars; City Vibe; the Film Zone; Cinecanal; Elite Sports Limited; BabyTV; STAR India; STAR Taiwan; ESPN STAR Sports; Shine Limited
Online Holdings: Hulu.com (32 percent minority share)
Print: HarperCollins Publishers; the New York Post; the Daily News; News International (the Times; the Sunday Times; the Sun); News Limited (146 newspapers in Australia); Dow Jones (Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, SmartMoney, Factiva, Dow Jones Newswires, Dow Jones Local Media, Dow Jones VentureSource)
Telecom: Satellite: BSkyB (39 percent minority share); SKY Italia
Entertainment: Fox Filmed Entertainment; Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment; Twentieth Century Fox Television; Twentieth Television; Fox Television Studios
Other: Marketing/advertising: News America Marketing Group; News Outdoor; Fox Library; IGN Entertainment, Inc.; Making Fun, Inc.; Wireless Generation
2011 revenues: $29 billion
Time Warner is the world’s second-largest entertainment conglomerate with ownership interests in film, television and print.
TV: One television station and the Warner Brothers Television Group; Warner Brothers Television; Warner Horizon Television; CW Network (50 percent stake); TBS; TNT; Cartoon Network; truTV; Turner Classic Movies; Boomerang; CNN; HLN; CNN International; HBO; Cinemax; Space; Infinito; I-Sat; Fashion TV; HTV; Much Music; Pogo; Mondo TV; Tabi; CNN Español
Online Holdings: Warner Brothers Digital Distribution; TMZ.com; KidsWB.com
Print: Time, Inc.; 22 magazines including People, Sports Illustrated, Time, Life, InStyle, Real Simple, Southern Living, Entertainment Weekly and Fortune
Entertainment: Warner Brothers; Warner Brothers Pictures; New Line Cinema; Castle Rock; WB Studio Enterprises, Inc.; Telepictures Productions, Inc.; Warner Brothers Animation, Inc.; Warner Home Video; Warner Premiere; Warner Specialty Films, Inc.; Warner Brothers International Cinemas
Other: Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment; DC Entertainment; DC Comics
2011 revenues: $14.9 billion
Viacom is the world’s fourth-largest media conglomerate, with interests primarily in cable television networks, programming production and distribution. Viacom controls over 160 networks that reach more than 600 million people around the globe.
TV: Viacom Media Networks (160 cable channels including MTV, VH1, CMT, Logo, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, TV Land, Spike TV, Tr3s, BET and CENTRIC)
Online Holdings: ParentsConnect.com
Entertainment: Viacom Filmed Entertainment (produces motion pictures under numerous studio brands including Paramount Pictures, Insurge Pictures, MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies)
Other: Nickelodeon Games Group
2009 revenues: $13 billion
CBS Corporation “has operations in virtually every field of media and entertainment, including broadcast television (CBS and the CW — a joint venture between CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Entertainment), cable television (Showtime Networks, Smithsonian Networks and CBS Sports Network), local television (CBS television stations), television production and syndication (CBS Television Studios, CBS Studios International and CBS Television Distribution), radio (CBS Radio), advertising on out-of-home media (CBS Outdoor), publishing (Simon & Schuster), interactive media (CBS Interactive), music (CBS Records), licensing and merchandising (CBS Consumer Products), video/DVD (CBS Home Entertainment), motion pictures (CBS Films) and socially responsible media (EcoMedia).”
TV: Twenty-nine television stations and CBS Television Studios; CBS Entertainment; CBS News; CBS Sports; CBS television stations; CBS Television Studios; CBS Studios International; CBS Television Distribution; the CW; Showtime; CBS College Sports Network; CBS Television Network; Smithsonian Networks
Radio: CBS Radio and 130 radio stations
Online Holdings: CBS Interactive; CNET
Print: Simon & Schuster; Watch! Magazine; Pocket Books; Scribner; Free Press (publishing house)
Entertainment: CBS Films
Other: CBS Outdoor; CBS Connections; EcoMedia