Video Marketplace: Competition Is Evolving, and Government Reporting Should Be Reevaluated Page: 7 of 44

copyright-protected content is a licensing fee or royalty. Broadcast and
cable networks produce and aggregate programming from other content
producers for distribution to the public. Broadcast networks consist mainly
of four major networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC), and several smaller
networks, such as the CW Television Network, MyNetworkTV, and ION
Television. Content is produced by the major networks' affiliated
production companies, which can include movie and television studios,
and independent producers. Cable networks aggregate programming
from content producers and some also produce programming, which can
include niche programming-that is, programming that targets specific
demographics. For instance, Lifetime Television offers programming that
specifically targets women, while MTV offers programming that targets
the 18-to-34 age group.
Video content is distributed to households by local television stations,
cable and satellite companies, and most recently, OVDs.1 Each of the
four major broadcast networks owns and operates some local television
stations; other stations may be independently owned but affiliated with
one of the major networks or, as is the case with noncommercial
educational television, unaffiliated with any major network.2 FCC licenses
local television stations, which have the right to transmit a video
broadcast signal on a specific radio frequency in a particular area and at
a particular strength. Local television stations that are affiliated with a
broadcast network negotiate licensing agreements with their network for
the right to air network-furnished content, including prime time shows,
afternoon soap operas, and national news programs. MVPDs obtain a
variety of programming from both local stations and cable networks. Time
Warner Cable, DISH Network, and Verizon are examples of cable,
satellite, and telephone MVPDs, respectively, that license and distribute
content to subscribers. Figure 1 illustrates how television programming is
distributed through broadcast and traditional subscription video service.
1FCC described an OVD as any entity that offers video content by means of the Internet
or another Internet Protocol-based transmission path provided by a person or entity other
than the OVD. See, Annual Assessment of the Status of Competition in the Market for the
Delivery of Video Programming, MB Docket No. 07-269, Fourteenth Report, 27 FCC Rcd.
8610, 8612 (2012).
2Affiliated stations are stations not owned by a major broadcast network, but carry
broadcast network programming and network-inserted advertisements during specific time

GAO-13-576 Video Competition

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Video Marketplace: Competition Is Evolving, and Government Reporting Should Be Reevaluated, report, June 25, 2013; Washington D.C.. ( accessed March 23, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library,; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.

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