TV Program Production & Distribution
Companies in this industry primarily produce, or produce and distribute, television programs, television commercials, or videos. Major US-based companies include the television production and distribution operations of CBS, Disney, NBCUniversal (owned by Comcast), Sony Pictures, Time Warner (owned by AT&T), and Twenty-First Century Fox. Newer, but increasingly significant, entrants in the field include streaming services Netflix and Amazon. Leading companies based outside the US include Dutch firm Endemol Shine, as well as FremantleMedia (owned by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann) and ITV (both based in the UK).
TV viewership, measured by the average amount of TV watched per day, is highest in North America, followed by Europe and Asia, according to Eurodata. TV viewing continues to grow in South America. Global industry growth is being led by digital home video platforms, including over-the-top (OTT), streaming, and video on demand services.
The US TV program production and distribution industry is part of the motion picture production and distribution industry, which includes about 15,000 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $67 billion.
Broadcasting of TV programs is covered in the TV Broadcast & Cable Networks industry profile. Cable TV system operators are discussed in the Telecommunication Services industry profile.
Consumer viewing patterns and spending by advertisers drive demand. The profitability of individual companies depends on effective marketing. Large companies have advantages in financing, distribution, on-staff creative and technical talent, and multiple-year contracts with key performers and directors of popular programs. Small companies can compete successfully by focusing on special topics or niche audiences. TV program production and distribution is part of the motion picture production and distribution industry, which is concentrated: the 50 largest US companies account for nearly 80% of industry revenue.
Companies that produce and distribute TV programs may compete with producers and distributors of movies, though many companies deal in both forms of filmed entertainment. The major networks develop their own programs in-house through studio counterparts, which can make it difficult for independent studios to land a series on broadcast television. Internet streaming companies are also producing original content to attract new subscribers and retain existing ones.
The industry competes for consumer dollars spent on other forms of media, including books, magazines, and music, and competes for time spent with other forms of leisure activity, including sports, hobbies, and video games.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major products and services are the production and distribution of TV programs, commercials, and related products, like DVDs. Program production types
Sales & Marketing
Finance & Regulation
Regional & International Issues
Also includes the following chapters:
Quarterly Industry Update
Trends and Opportunities
Call Preparation Questions
Glossary of Acronyms