From the early days of television, three major networks took control of the industry. These are the American Broadcasting Company (ABC), the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) and the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC). Newer networks such as Fox and UPN have appeared in recent years.
The networks each have news departments with bureaus and reporters all over the world. They also have sports departments that cover major national sporting events like the Superbowl (football) and the World Series (baseball). The major product of these networks, however, is entertainment programming.
America also has several thousand local television stations. Most of them are affiliated with one of the major networks. These stations show a combination of their own programming and the national entertainment, news and sports shows made available by the networks.
Broadcast television of all kinds, network and local, has long been under threat from cable and satellite television services, which now reach more than half of all American homes.
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