Media group

A media conglomerate, media group or media institution is a company that owns large numbers of companies in various mass media such as television, radio, publishing, movies, and the Internet. Media conglomerates strive for policies that facilitate their control of the markets around the world.[1]

According to the 2013 Fortune 500 list, The Walt Disney Company is America's largest media conglomerate in terms of revenue, with News Corporation (now News Corp & 21st Century Fox), Time Warner, CBS Corporation, and Viacom completing the top five.[2] Other major players are Comcast's NBCUniversal division and Sony's Sony Corporation of America subsidiary.

Terminology

A conglomerate is, by definition, a large company composed of a number of smaller companies engaged in seemingly unrelated businesses.

It is questionable whether media companies are unrelated, as of 2007. The trend has been strongly for the sharing of various kinds of content (news, film and video, music for example). The media sector is tending to consolidate, and formerly diversified companies may appear less so as a result. Therefore, the term media group may also be applied, however it has not so far replaced the more traditional term.

Criticism

Critics have accused the larger conglomerates of dominating media, especially news, and refusing to publicize or deem "newsworthy" information that would be harmful to their other interests, and of contributing to the merging of entertainment and news (sensationalism) at the expense of tough coverage of serious issues. They are also accused of being a leading force for the standardization of culture (see globalization, Americanization), and they are a frequent target of criticism by various groups which often perceive the news organizations as being biased toward special interests.

There is also the issue of concentration of media ownership, reducing diversity in both ownership and programming (TV shows and radio shows). There is also a strong trend in the United States for conglomerates to eliminate localism in broadcasting, instead using broadcast automation and voice-tracking, sometimes from another city in another state. Some radio stations use prepackaged and generic satellite-fed programming with no local content, except the insertion of radio ads.

Notable examples (the big six)

Comcast/NBCUniversal News Corp/21st Century Fox The Walt Disney Company CBS Corporation/Viacom Time Warner Sony Corporation of America
Broadcast television network NBC Fox ABC CBS, The CW (50%) The CW (50%)
Cable channels USA Network, Syfy, Bravo, E! FX, National Geographic Channel ABC Family, A+E Networks (50%), Disney Channel Showtime Networks, TVGN (50%), MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central TNT, TBS, HBO, Cartoon Network
Movie production studio Universal Studios 20th Century Fox Walt Disney Pictures CBS Films, Paramount Pictures Warner Bros. Columbia Pictures
Theme park resorts Universal Parks and Resorts Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Nickelodeon Suites Resort Orlando Parque Warner Madrid (5%)
Publishing Wall Street Journal, The Times, New York Post Marvel Comics, Disney Publishing Worldwide Simon & Schuster DC Comics, Time, People, Sports Illustrated
News, political, business channels MSNBC, CNBC Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network ABC News Now, Fusion (50%) CNN/HLN
National sports networks NBC Sports Network, Golf Channel, NHL Network (15.6%) Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2 ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS CBS Sports Network NBA TV
Record label Fox Music Walt Disney Records CBS Records Columbia Records, Epic Records, RCA Records
Internet iVillage, Fandango, Hulu (32%) Fox Sports Digital Media, Hulu (36%) Disney Interactive Media Group, Hulu (32%) CBS Interactive, CNET, MTV New Media Flixster Sony Online Entertainment

Other examples

Some of the most well-known media conglomerates include:

See also

Notes

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