Companies in this industry broadcast television programs for free to the public. The major US broadcast TV networks, often referred to as the Big Four, are ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC; leading companies based outside the US include ITV (the UK), Mediaset (Italy), Nippon Hoso Kyokai (Japan), RTL Group (Luxembourg), and ProSiebenSat1 Media (Germany).
Advertising spending, program popularity, and consumer demographics drive demand. The profitability of individual companies depends on programming mix and efficient operations. Large companies have advantages of economies of scale in production and distribution. Small companies can compete effectively with special programming that attracts a targeted audience. The US industry is highly concentrated: the top 50 companies account for more than 85% of revenue.
National and regional over-the-air advertising accounts for about 60% of revenue for the industry in the US, local ads for about 20%. Other revenue sources include network compensation and programming services. Ad sales and audience size are major industry metrics.