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The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American English-language commercial broadcast television network that is a flagship property of NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast. The network is headquartered at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, with additional major offices near Los Angeles (at 10 Universal City Plaza), Chicago (at the NBC Tower) and Philadelphia (at the Comcast Technology Center). The network is one of the Big Three television networks. NBC is sometimes referred to as the "Peacock Network", in reference to its stylized peacock logo, introduced in 1956 to promote the company's innovations in early color broadcasting. It became the network's official emblem in 1979.

NBC has thirteen owned-and-operated stations and nearly 200 affiliates throughout the United States and its territories, some of which are also available in Canada via pay-television providers or in border areas over-the-air; NBC also maintains brand licensing agreements for international channels in South Korea and Germany. [111]

History


Founded in 1926 by the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), NBC is the oldest major broadcast network in the United States. At that time the parent company of RCA was General Electric (GE). In 1930, GE was forced to sell the companies as a result of antitrust charges.

In 1986, control of NBC passed back to General Electric (GE) through its $6.4 billion purchase of RCA. (GE later liquidated RCA but kept NBC.) Following the acquisition by GE, Bob Wright served as chief executive officer of NBC, remaining in that position until his retirement in 2007, when he was succeeded by Jeff Zucker.

In 2003, French media company Vivendi merged its entertainment assets with GE, forming NBC Universal. Comcast purchased a controlling interest in the company in 2011, and acquired General Electric's remaining stake in 2013. [[CITE|undefined|http://deadline.com/2013/03/comcast-completes-acquisition-nbcuniversal]] Following the Comcast merger, Zucker left NBCUniversal and was replaced as CEO by Comcast executive Steve Burke.

During a period of early broadcast business consolidation, radio manufacturer Radio Corporation of America (RCA) acquired New York City radio station WEAF from American Telephone & Telegraph (AT&T). Westinghouse, a shareholder in RCA, had a competing outlet in Newark, New Jersey pioneer station WJZ (no relation to the radio and television station in Baltimore currently using those call letters), which also served as the flagship for a loosely structured network. This station was transferred from Westinghouse to RCA in 1923, and moved to New York City. [[CITE|undefined|http://musicradio77.com/transm.html]]

WEAF acted as a laboratory for AT&T's manufacturing and supply outlet Western Electric, whose products included transmitters and antennas. The Bell System, AT&T's telephone utility, was developing technologies to transmit voice- and music-grade audio over short and long distances, using both wireless and wired methods. The 1922 creation of WEAF offered a research-and-development center for those activities. WEAF maintained a regular schedule of radio programs, including some of the first commercially sponsored programs, and was an immediate success. In an early example of "chain" or "networking" broadcasting, the station linked with Outlet Company-owned WJAR in Providence, Rhode Island; and with AT&T's station in Washington, D.C., WCAP.

New parent RCA saw an advantage in sharing programming, and after getting a license for radio station WRC in Washington, D.C., in 1923, attempted to transmit audio between cities via low-quality telegraph lines. AT&T refused outside companies access to its high-quality phone lines. The early effort fared poorly, since the uninsulated telegraph lines were susceptible to atmospheric and other electrical interference.

In 1925, AT&T decided that WEAF and its embryonic network were incompatible with the company's primary goal of providing a telephone service.

RCA spent $1 million to purchase WEAF and Washington sister station WCAP, shut down the latter station, and merged its facilities with surviving station WRC; in late 1926, it subsequently announced the creation of a new division known as the National Broadcasting Company.

WEAF and WJZ, the flagships of the two earlier networks, were operated side-by-side for about a year as part of the new NBC.

On April 5, 1927, NBC expanded to the West Coast with the launch of the NBC Orange Network, also known as the Pacific Coast Network.

In the 1930s, NBC also developed a network for shortwave radio stations, called the NBC White Network.

In 1927, NBC moved its operations to 711 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, occupying the upper floors of a building designed by architect Floyd Brown. [[CITE|undefined|https://nytimes.com/2010/02/21/realestate/21streets.html?8dpc=]] The space that NBC occupied was designed by Raymond Hood, who based the appearance of its multiple studio facilities on "a Gothic church, the Roman forum, a Louis XIV room and, in a space devoted to jazz, something 'wildly futuristic, with plenty of color in bizarre designs.'"[[CITE|undefined|https://nytimes.com/2010/02/21/realestate/21streets.html?8dpc=]] NBC outgrew the Fifth Avenue facilities in 1933. [[CITE|undefined|https://nytimes.com/2010/02/21/realestate/21streets.html?8dpc=]]

In 1930, General Electric was charged with antitrust violations, resulting in the company's decision to divest itself of RCA. The newly separate company signed leases to move its corporate headquarters into the new Rockefeller Center in 1931. John D. Rockefeller, Jr., founder and financier of Rockefeller Center, arranged the deal with GE chairman Owen D. Young and RCA president David Sarnoff. When it moved into the complex in 1933, RCA became the lead tenant at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, known as the "RCA Building" (later the GE Building, now the Comcast Building), which housed NBC's production studios as well as theaters for RCA-owned RKO Pictures.

The iconic three-note NBC chimes came about after several years of development. The three-note sequence, G-E'-C', was first heard over Red Network affiliate WSB in Atlanta, with a second inversion C-major triad as its outline. An executive at NBC's New York headquarters heard the WSB version of the notes during the networked broadcast of a Georgia Tech football game and asked permission to use it on the national network. NBC started to use the chimes sequence in 1931, and it eventually became the first audio trademark to be accepted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. [[CITE|undefined|http://nbcchimes.info]] [[CITE|undefined|http://radioremembered.org/chimes.htm]]

A variant sequence with an additional note, G-E'-C'-G, known as "the fourth chime", was used during significant events of extreme urgency (including during World War II, especially in the wake of the December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor; on D-Day and during disasters). The NBC chimes were mechanized in 1932 by Rangertone founder Richard H. Ranger; their purpose was to send a low-level signal of constant amplitude that would be heard by the various switching stations manned by NBC and AT&T engineers, and to be used as a system cue for switching individual stations between the Red and Blue network feeds. Contrary to popular legend, the G-E'-C' notes were not originally intended to reference to the General Electric Company (an early shareholder in NBC's founding parent RCA and whose Schenectady, New York radio station, WGY, was an early affiliate of NBC Red). The three-note sequence remains in use by the NBC television network, most notably incorporated into the John Williams-composed theme music used by NBC News, "The Mission" (first composed in 1985 for NBC Nightly News

In 1934, the Mutual Broadcasting System filed a complaint to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), following the government agency's creation, claiming it ran into difficulties trying to establish new radio stations in a market largely controlled by NBC and the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). In 1938, the FCC began a series of investigations into the monopolistic effects of network broadcasting. A report published by the Commission in 1939 found that NBC's two networks and its owned-and-operated stations dominated audiences, affiliates and advertising in American radio; this led the Commission to file an order to RCA to divest itself of either NBC Red or NBC Blue.

After Mutual's appeals were rejected by the FCC, RCA filed its own appeal to overturn the divestiture order.

After losing on final appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court in May 1943, RCA sold Blue Network Company, Inc., for $8 million to the American Broadcasting System, a recently founded company owned by Life Savers magnate Edward J. Noble. After the sale was completed on October 12, 1943, Noble acquired the rights to the Blue Network name, leases on landlines, the New York studios, two-and-a-half radio stations (WJZ in Newark/New York City; KGO in San Francisco and WENR in Chicago, which shared a frequency with Prairie Farmer station WLS); contracts with actors; and agreements with around 60 affiliates. In turn, to comply with FCC radio station ownership limits of the time, Noble sold off his existing New York City radio station WMCA. Noble, who wanted a better name for the network, acquired the branding rights to the "American Broadcasting Company" name from George B. Storer in 1944. The Blue Network became ABC officially on June 15, 1945, after the sale was completed. [666666] [[CITE|undefined|http://worldcat.org/issn/1550-1043]] [666666]

NBC became home to many of the most popular performers and programs on the air.

In the late 1940s, rival CBS gained ground by allowing radio stars to use their own production companies to produce programs, which became a profitable move for much of its talent.

In addition, NBC stars began migrating to television, including comedian Milton Berle, whose Texaco Star Theater on the network became television's first major hit. Conductor Arturo Toscanini conducted the NBC Symphony Orchestra in ten television concerts on NBC between 1948 and 1952. The concerts were broadcast on both television and radio, in what perhaps was the first such instance of simulcasting. Two of the concerts were historic firsts – the first complete telecast of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, and the first complete telecast of Verdi's Aida (starring Herva Nelli and Richard Tucker), performed in concert rather than with scenery and costumes.

Aiming to keep classic radio alive as television matured, and to challenge CBS's Sunday night radio lineup, which featured much of the programs and talent that had moved to that network following the defection of Jack Benny to CBS, NBC launched The Big Show in November 1950. This 90-minute variety show updated radio's earliest musical variety style with sophisticated comedy and dramatic presentations. Featuring stage legend Tallulah Bankhead as hostess, it lured prestigious entertainers, including Fred Allen, Groucho Marx, Lauritz Melchior, Ethel Barrymore, Louis Armstrong, Ethel Merman, Bob Hope, Danny Thomas, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Ella Fitzgerald. However, The Big Show' s initial success did not last despite critical praise, as most of its potential listeners were increasingly becoming television viewers. The show lasted two years, with NBC losing around $1 million on the project (the network was only able to sell advertising time during the middle half-hour of the program each week).

NBC's last major radio programming push, beginning on June 12, 1955, was Monitor , a creation of NBC President Sylvester "Pat" Weaver, who also created the innovative programs Today , The Tonight Show and Home for the companion television network. Monitor was a continuous all-weekend mixture of music, news, interviews and features, with a variety of hosts including well-known television personalities Dave Garroway, Hugh Downs, Ed McMahon, Joe Garagiola and Gene Rayburn. The potpourri show tried to keep vintage radio alive by featuring segments from Jim and Marian Jordan (in character as Fibber McGee and Molly); Peg Lynch's dialog comedy Ethel and Albert (with Alan Bunce); and iconoclastic satirist Henry Morgan. Monitor was a success for a number of years, but after the mid-1960s, local stations, especially those in larger markets, were reluctant to break from their established formats to run non-conforming network programming. One exception was Toscanini: The Man Behind the Legend, a weekly series commemorating the great conductor's NBC broadcasts and recordings which ran for several years beginning in 1963. [[CITE|undefined|https://digital.library.unt.edu/explore/collections/TNMBL/browse?start=170]] After Monitor ended its 20-year run on January 26, 1975, little remained of NBC network radio beyond hourly newscasts and news features, and Sunday morning religious program The Eternal Light

On June 18, 1975, NBC launched the NBC News and Information Service (NIS), which provided up to 55 minutes of news per hour around the clock to local stations that wanted to adopt an all-news radio format. NBC carried the service on WRC in Washington, and on its owned-and-operated FM stations in New York City, Chicago and San Francisco. NIS attracted several dozen subscribing stations, but by the fall of 1976, NBC determined that it could not project that the service would ever become profitable and gave its affiliates six months' notice that it would be discontinued. NIS ended operations on May 29, 1977. In 1979, NBC launched The Source, a modestly successful secondary network providing news and short features to FM rock stations. [666666]

The NBC Radio Network also pioneered personal advice call-in national talk radio with a satellite-distributed evening talk show, TalkNet; the program featured Bruce Williams (providing personal financial advice), Bernard Meltzer (personal and financial advice) and Sally Jessy Raphael (personal and romantic advice). While never much of a ratings success, TalkNet nonetheless helped further the national talk radio format. For affiliates, many of them struggling AM stations, TalkNet helped fill evening time slots with free programming, allowing the stations to sell local advertising in a dynamic format without the cost associated with producing local programming. Some in the industry feared this trend would lead to increasing control of radio content by networks and syndicators.

General Electric acquired RCA in 1986, and with it NBC, signaling the beginning of the end of NBC Radio.

GE's divestiture of NBC's entire radio division was the first cannon shot of what would play out in the national broadcast media, as each of the Big Three broadcast networks were soon acquired by other corporate entities.

By the late 1990s, Westwood One was producing NBC Radio-branded newscasts on weekday mornings.

On March 1, 2012, Dial Global announced that it would discontinue CNN Radio, and replace it with an expansion of NBC News Radio on April 1, 2012. This marked the first time since Westwood One's purchase of NBC Radio and its properties that NBC would have a 24-hour presence on radio. A previous program, First Light, placed new emphasis on the NBC brand after diminishing it over the years. With the change, NBC News Radio expanded its offerings from 60-second news updates airing only on weekdays to feature two hourly full-length newscasts 24 hours a day. Subsequently, on September 4, 2012, Dial Global launched a sports-talk radio service, NBC Sports Radio.

NBC News Radio has been distributed by iHeartMedia and its TTWN Networks since July 2016. It is provided to the network's 24/7 News Source affiliates and includes a top of the hour newscast along with other audio content which is heard on over 1000 radio stations. [[CITE|undefined|http://insideradio.com/nbc-news-iheart-partner-on-news-network/article_f2df5c76-4785-11e6-b665-a7716dddc8e4.html]]

For many years, NBC was closely identified with David Sarnoff, who used it as a vehicle to sell consumer electronics.

The following day (May 1), four models of RCA television sets went on sale to the general public in various department stores around New York City, which were promoted in a series of splashy newspaper ads.

Reportedly, the first NBC Television "network" program was broadcast on January 12, 1940, when a play titled Meet The Wife was originated at the W2XBS studios at Rockefeller Center and rebroadcast by W2XB/W2XAF (now WRGB) in Schenectady, which received the New York station directly off-air from a tower atop a mountain and relayed the live signal to the Capital District. About this time, occasional special events were also broadcast in Philadelphia (over W3XE, later called WPTZ, now known as KYW-TV) as well as Schenectady. The most ambitious NBC television "network" program of the pre-war era was the telecast of the Republican National Convention held in Philadelphia in the summer of 1940, which was fed live to the New York City and Schenectady stations. [[CITE|undefined|http://broadcastpioneers.com/40gop.html]] However, despite major promotion by RCA, television sales in New York during 1939 and 1940 were disappointing, primarily due to the high cost of the sets, and the lack of compelling regularly scheduled programming. Most sets were sold to bars, hotels and other public places, where the general public viewed special sports and news events. One special event was Franklin D. Roosevelt's second and final appearance on live television, when his speech at Madison Square Garden on October 28, 1940, was telecast over W2XBS to receivers in the New York City area. [[CITE|undefined|http://deadline.com/2013/03/comcast-completes-acquisition-nbcuniversal]]

Television's experimental period ended, as the FCC allowed full-fledged commercial television broadcasts to begin on July 1, 1941.

Prior to the first commercial television broadcasts and paid advertisements on WNBT, non-paid television advertising existed on an experimental basis dating back to 1930.

On V-E Day, May 8, 1945, WNBT broadcast several hours of news coverage, and remotes from around New York City. This event was promoted in advance by NBC with a direct-mail card sent to television set owners in the New York area. [[CITE|undefined|http://deadline.com/2013/03/comcast-completes-acquisition-nbcuniversal]] At one point, a WNBT camera placed atop the marquee of the Hotel Astor panned the crowd below celebrating the end of the war in Europe. [[CITE|undefined|http://deadline.com/2013/03/comcast-completes-acquisition-nbcuniversal]] The vivid coverage was a prelude to television's rapid growth after the war ended.

The NBC television network grew from its initial post-war lineup of four stations.

The post-war 1940s and early 1950s brought success for NBC in the new medium.

In 1951, NBC commissioned Italian-American composer Gian Carlo Menotti to compose the first opera ever written for television; Menotti came up with Amahl and the Night Visitors , a 45-minute work for which he wrote both music and libretto, about a disabled shepherd boy who meets the Three Wise Men and is miraculously cured when he offers his crutch to the newborn Christ Child. It was such a stunning success that it was repeated every year on NBC from 1951 to 1966, when a dispute between Menotti and NBC ended the broadcasts. However, by 1978, Menotti and NBC had patched things up, and an all-new production of the opera, filmed partly on location in the Middle East, was telecast that year.

While rival CBS broadcast the first color television programs in the United States, their system was incompatible with the millions of black and white sets in use at the time. After a series of limited, incompatible color broadcasts (mostly scheduled during the day), CBS abandoned the system and broadcasts. This opened the door for the RCA compatible color system to be adopted as the U.S. standard. RCA convinced the FCC to approve its color system in December 1953. NBC was ready with color programming within days of the Commission's decision. NBC began the transition with a few shows in 1954, and broadcast its first program to air all episodes in color beginning that summer, The Marriage

In 1955, NBC broadcast a live production in color of Peter Pan , a new Broadway musical adaptation of J. M. Barrie's beloved play, on the Producers' Showcase anthology series, The first such telecast of its kind, the broadcast starred the musical's entire original cast, led by Mary Martin as Peter and Cyril Ritchard in a dual role as Mr. Darling and Captain Hook. The broadcast drew the highest ratings for a television program for that period. It was so successful that NBC restaged it as a live broadcast a mere ten months later; in 1960, long after Producers' Showcase had ended its run, Peter Pan, with most of the 1955 cast, was restaged again, this time as a standalone special, and was videotaped so that it would no longer have to be performed live on television.

In 1956, NBC started a subsidiary, California National Productions (CNP), for merchandising, syndication and NBC opera company operations with the production of Silent Services. [666666] By 1957, NBC planned to remove the opera company from CNP and [666666] CNP was in discussion with MGM Television about handling syndication distribution for MGM series. [666666]

During a National Association of Broadcasters meeting in Chicago in 1956, NBC announced that its owned-and-operated station in that market, WNBQ (now WMAQ-TV), had become the first television station in the country to broadcast its programming in color (airing at least six hours of color broadcasts each day). In 1959, NBC premiered a televised version of the radio program The Bell Telephone Hour

In 1961, NBC approached Walt Disney about acquiring the rights to his anthology series, offering to produce the program in color. Disney was in the midst of negotiating a new contract to keep the program (then known as Walt Disney Presents) on ABC, however ABC president Leonard Goldenson said that it could not counter the offer, as the network did not have the technical and financial resources to carry the program in color. Disney subsequently struck a deal with NBC, which began airing the anthology series in the format in September 1961 (as Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color). As many of the Disney programs that aired in black-and-white on ABC were actually filmed in color, they could easily be re-aired in the format on the NBC broadcasts. In January 1962, NBC's telecast of the Rose Bowl became the first college football game ever to be telecast in color.

By 1963, much of NBC's prime time schedule was presented in color, although some popular series (such as The Man from U.N.C.L.E. , which premiered in late 1964) were broadcast in black-and-white for their entire first season. In the fall of 1965, NBC was broadcasting 95% of its prime time schedule in color (with the exceptions of I Dream of Jeannie and Convoy ), and began billing itself as "The Full Color Network." Without television sets to sell, rival networks followed more slowly, finally committing to an all-color lineup in prime time in the 1966–67 season. Days of Our Lives

NBC contracted with Universal Studios in 1964 to produce the first feature-length film produced for television, See How They Run , which first aired on October 17, 1964; its second television movie, The Hanged Man , aired six weeks later on November 28. Even while the presentations performed well in the ratings, NBC did not broadcast another made-for-TV film for two years. [[CITE|undefined|http://deadline.com/2013/03/comcast-completes-acquisition-nbcuniversal]]

In 1967, NBC reached a deal with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) to acquire the broadcast rights to the classic 1939 film The Wizard of Oz . CBS, which had televised the film annually since 1956, refused to meet MGM's increased fee to renew its television rights. Oz had been, up to then, one of the few programs that CBS had telecast in color. However, by 1967, color broadcasts had become standard on television, and the film simply became another title in the list of specials that NBC telecast in the format. The film's showings on NBC were distinctive as it televised The Wizard of Oz without a hosted introduction, as CBS had long done; it was also slightly edited for time in order to make room to air more commercials. Despite the cuts, however, it continued to score excellent television ratings in those pre-VCR days, as audiences were generally unable to see the film any other way at that time. NBC aired The Wizard of Oz each year from 1968 to 1976, when CBS, realizing that they may have committed a colossal blunder by letting a huge ratings success like Oz go to another network, agreed to pay MGM more money to re-acquire the rights to show the film.

The late 1960s brought big changes in the programming practices of the major television networks.

The 1970s started strongly for NBC thanks to hits like Adam-12 , Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In , Ironside , The Dean Martin Show and The Flip Wilson Show . However, despite the success of such new shows as the NBC Mystery Movie , Sanford and Son , Chico and the Man , Little House on the Prairie , The Midnight Special , The Rockford Files , Police Woman and Emergency! , as well as continued success from veterans like The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and The Wonderful World of Disney , the network entered a slump in the middle of the decade. Disney, in particular, saw its ratings nosedive once CBS put 60 Minutes up against the program in the Sunday 7:00 p.m. time slot in the 1975–76 season.

In 1974, under new president Herb Schlosser, the network tried to attract younger viewers with a series of costly movies, miniseries and specials. This failed to attract the desirable 18–34 demographic, and simultaneously alienated older viewers. [[CITE|undefined|http://deadline.com/2013/03/comcast-completes-acquisition-nbcuniversal]] None of the new prime-time shows that NBC introduced in the fall of 1975 earned a second season renewal, all failing in the face of established competition. The network's lone breakout success that season was the groundbreaking late-night comedy/variety show, NBC's Saturday Night – which would be renamed Saturday Night Live in 1976, after the cancellation of a Howard Cosell-hosted program of the same title on ABC – which replaced reruns of The Tonight Show that previously aired in its Saturday time slot.

In 1978, Schlosser was promoted to executive vice president at RCA, [[CITE|undefined|http://deadline.com/2013/03/comcast-completes-acquisition-nbcuniversal]] and a desperate NBC lured Fred Silverman away from top-rated ABC to turn its fortunes around. With the notable exceptions of CHiPs , Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters , Diff'rent Strokes and its spin-off The Facts of Life , Real People and the miniseries Shōgun , Silverman was unable to pull out a hit. Failures accumulated rapidly under his watch (such as Hello, Larry , Supertrain , Pink Lady and Jeff , The Krofft Superstar Hour , season six of Saturday Night Live, and The Waverly Wonders

During this time, several longtime affiliates also defected from NBC in markets such as Atlanta (WSB-TV), Baltimore (WBAL-TV), Baton Rouge (WBRZ-TV), Charlotte (WSOC-TV), Dayton (WDTN), Indianapolis (WRTV), Jacksonville (WTLV), Minneapolis-St. Paul (KSTP-TV), San Diego (KGTV), Schenectady (WRGB) and Wheeling (WTRF-TV). Most were wooed away by ABC, which had lifted out of last place to become the #1 network during the late 1970s and early 1980s, while WBAL-TV, WRGB and WTRF-TV went to CBS; WBAL-TV was originally to go to ABC, but the station decided against it because ABC's evening newscasts had attracted ratings too dismal for them to consider doing so. [[CITE|undefined|http://americanradiohistory.com/Archive-BC-IDX/77-OCR/BC-1977-03-21-Page-0030.pdf]] [[CITE|undefined|https://americanradiohistory.com/Archive-BC/BC-1977/BC-1977-03-28.pdf]] In the case of WSB-TV and WSOC-TV, which have both since become ABC affiliates, both stations were (and remain) under common ownership with Cox Enterprises, with its other NBC affiliate at the time, WIIC-TV in Pittsburgh (which would become WPXI in 1981 and also remains owned by Cox), only staying with the network because WIIC-TV itself was a distant third to CBS-affiliated powerhouse KDKA-TV and ABC affiliate WTAE-TV (KDKA-TV, owned at the time by Group W and now owned by CBS, infamously passed up affiliating with NBC after Westinghouse bought the station from DuMont in 1954, leading to an acrimonious relationship between NBC and Westinghouse that lasted for years afterward). In markets such as San Diego, Charlotte and Jacksonville, NBC had little choice but to affiliate with a UHF station, with the San Diego station (KNSD) eventually becoming an NBC O&O. In Wheeling, NBC ultimately upgraded its affiliation when it partnered with WTOV-TV in nearby Steubenville, Ohio, overtaking former affiliate WTRF-TV in the ratings by a large margin. Other smaller television markets like Yuma, Arizona waited many years to get another local NBC affiliate (first with KIVA, and later KYMA). The stations in Baltimore, Dayton and Jacksonville, however, have since rejoined the network.

After President Jimmy Carter pulled the U.S. team out of the 1980 Summer Olympics, NBC canceled a planned 150 hours of coverage (which had cost $87 million for the broadcast rights), placing the network's future in doubt. It had been counting on the broadcasts to help promote its new fall shows, and had been estimated to pull in $170 million in advertising revenue. [[CITE|undefined|http://time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,924130-1,00.html]]

The press was merciless towards Silverman, but the two most savage attacks on his leadership came from within the network.

Fred Silverman resigned as entertainment president in the summer of 1981.

In February 1982, NBC canceled Tom Snyder's The Tomorrow Show and gave the 12:35 a.m. time slot to 34-year-old comedian David Letterman. Though Letterman was unsuccessful with his weekday morning talk show effort for the network (which debuted on June 23, 1980), Late Night with David Letterman proved much more successful, lasting for 11 years and serving as the launching pad for another late-night talk franchise that continues to this day.

In 1984, the huge success of The Cosby Show led to a renewed interest in sitcoms, while Family Ties and Cheers, both of which premiered in 1982 to mediocre ratings (the latter ranking at near dead last among all network shows during the 1982–83 season), saw their viewership increase from having Cosby as a lead-in. The network rose from third place to second in the ratings during the 1984–85 season and reached first place in 1985–86, with hits The Golden Girls , Miami Vice , 227 , Night Court , Highway to Heaven and Hunter . The network's upswing continued late into the decade with ALF , Amen , Matlock , L.A. Law , The Hogan Family , A Different World , Empty Nest , Unsolved Mysteries and In the Heat of the Night . In 1986, Bob Wright was appointed as chairman of NBC.

In the fall of 1987, NBC conceived a syndication package for its owned-and-operated stations, under the brand "Prime Time Begins at 7:30", consisting of five sitcoms that each aired once a week, and were produced by various production companies contracted by NBC.

The package was aimed at attracting viewers to NBC stations in the half-hour preceding prime time (8:00 p.m. in the Eastern and Pacific Time Zone, 7:00 p.m. elsewhere), [[CITE|undefined|http://articles.latimes.com/1987-09-14/entertainment/ca-4986_1_prime-time-lineup]] [[CITE|undefined|https://nytimes.com/1987/08/11/arts/redefining-prime-time-it-s-all-in-who-you-ask.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm]] and was conceived as a result of the FCC's loosening of the Prime Time Access Rule, legislation passed in 1971 that required networks to turn over the 7:30 p.m. (Eastern) time slot to local stations to program local or syndicated content; and the relaxation of the Financial Interest and Syndication Rules, which had prevented networks from producing content from their own syndication units to fill the void. [[CITE|undefined|https://nytimes.com/1987/08/11/arts/redefining-prime-time-it-s-all-in-who-you-ask.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm]] The shows that were part of the package were regularly outrated in many markets by such syndicated game shows as Wheel of Fortune , Jeopardy! and Hollywood Squares . Marblehead Manor, We Got It Made and You Can't Take It With You were cancelled at the end of the 1987–88 season, with She's the Sheriff lasting one more season in weekend syndication before its cancellation. Out of This World ran for three additional seasons, airing mainly on weekends, and was the most successful of the five series.

NBC aired the first of eight consecutive Summer Olympic Games broadcasts when it covered the 1988 Games in Seoul, South Korea. The 1988–89 season saw NBC have an astonishing 18 series in Nielsen's year-end Top 30 most-watched network programs; it also ranked at first place in the weekly ratings for more than 12 months, an unprecedented achievement that has not been duplicated since. The network continued its hot streak into the early 1990s with new hits such as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air , Blossom and Law & Order

In 1991, Tartikoff left his role as NBC's President of Entertainment to take an executive position at Paramount Pictures. In the course of a decade, he had taken control of a network with no shows in the Nielsen Top 10 and left it with five. Tartikoff was succeeded by Warren Littlefield, whose first years as entertainment president proved shaky as a result of most of the Tartikoff-era hits ending their runs. Some blamed Littlefield for losing David Letterman to CBS after naming Jay Leno as the successor to Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show, following the latter's retirement as host in May 1992. Things turned around with the launches of new hit series such as Mad About You , Wings , Sisters , Frasier , Friends , ER and Will & Grace

One of Tartikoff's late acquisitions, Seinfeld initially struggled from its debut in 1989 as a summer series, but grew to become one of NBC's top-rated shows after it was moved to Thursdays in the time slot following Cheers. Seinfeld ended its run in 1998, becoming the latest overall television program in the U.S. to end its final season as the leader in the Nielsen ratings for a single television season. Consequently, Friends emerged as NBC's biggest television show after the 1998 Seinfeld final broadcast. It dominated the ratings, never leaving the top five watched shows of the year from its second through tenth seasons and landing on the number-one spot during season eight in the 2001–02 season as the latest sitcom in the U.S. to lead the annual Nielsen primetime television ratings. Cheers spinoff Frasier became a critical and commercial success, usually landing in the Nielsen Top 20 – although its ratings were overshadowed to a minor extent by Friends – and went on to win numerous Emmy Awards (eventually setting a record for a sitcom that lasted until it was overtaken by Modern Family

By the mid-1990s, NBC's sports division, headed by Dick Ebersol, had rights to three of the four major professional sports leagues (the NFL, Major League Baseball and the NBA), the Olympics, and the national powerhouse Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team. The NBA on NBC enjoyed great success in the 1990s due in large part to the Chicago Bulls' run of six championships at the hands of superstar Michael Jordan. However, NBC Sports would suffer a major blow in 1998, when it lost the rights to the American Football Conference (AFC) to CBS, which itself had lost rights to the National Football Conference (NFC) to Fox four years earlier; [[CITE|undefined|http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1998-09-04/sports/1998247169_1_cbs-wolff-football]] the deal stripped NBC of National Football League (NFL) game telecasts after 59 years and AFC games after 36 years (dating back to its existence as the American Football League prior to its 1970 merger with the NFL).

Littlefield left NBC in 1998 to pursue a career as a television and film producer, [[CITE|undefined|http://articles.nydailynews.com/1998-10-27/entertainment/18084019_1_warren-littlefield-nbc-west-coast-peacock-network]] with the network subsequently going through three entertainment presidents in three years.

At the start of the 2000s, NBC's fortunes started to take a rapid turn for the worse.

On the other hand, NBC was stripped of the broadcast rights to two other major sports leagues: it lost Major League Baseball to Fox after the 2000 season (by that point, NBC only had alternating rights to the All-Star Game, League Championship Series and World Series), and, later, the NBA to ABC after the 2001–02 season. After losing the NBA rights, NBC's major sports offerings were reduced to the Olympics (which in 2002, expanded to include rights to the Winter Olympics, as part of a contract that gave it the U.S. television rights to both the Summer and Winter Olympics through 2012), PGA Tour golf events and a floundering Notre Dame football program (however, it would eventually acquire the rights to the National Hockey League in May 2004).

In October 2001, NBC acquired Spanish-language network Telemundo from Liberty Media and Sony Pictures Entertainment for $2.7 billion, beating out other bidders including CBS/ Viacom. The deal was finalized in 2002. [[CITE|undefined|http://latimes.com/entertainment/news/business/la-fi-gaspin26jul26,1,4482109.story?coll=la-headlines-business-enter]] [[CITE|undefined|http://marketingmagazine.co.uk/news/14751/NBC-pays--27bn-Telemundo/www.nbc.com]]

In 2003, French entertainment conglomerate Vivendi Universal sold 80% of its film and television subsidiary, Vivendi Universal Entertainment, to NBC's parent company, General Electric, integrating the network with Vivendi Universal's various properties (Universal Pictures film studio, Canal+ television networks, & Universal Parks & Resorts theme & amusement parks & resorts) upon completion of the merger of the two companies under the combined NBC Universal brand. [666666] NBC Universal was then owned 80% by General Electric and 20% by Vivendi. In 2004, Zucker was promoted to the newly created position of president of NBC Universal Television Group. Kevin Reilly became the new president of NBC Entertainment. [[CITE|undefined|http://deadline.com/2012/08/foxs-kevin-reilly-upped-to-chairman-of-entertainment]]

In 2004, NBC experienced a Three on a match scenario (Friends and Frasier ended their runs; Jerry Orbach, who had played one of the most popular characters of its hit Law & Order, died suddenly later that year), and shortly afterward was left with several moderately rated shows and few true hits. [[CITE|undefined|https://wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303864404575572313787373070]] In particular, Friends spin-off Joey , despite a relatively strong start, started to falter in the ratings during its second season. The 2004–05 season saw NBC become the first major network to air select dramas in letterbox over its analog broadcast feed; the move was done in the hopes of attracting new viewers, although the network saw only a slight boost.

In December 2005, NBC began its first week-long primetime game show event, Deal or No Deal ; the series garnered high ratings, and returning as a weekly series in March 2006. Otherwise, the 2005–06 season was one of the worst for NBC in three decades, with only one fall series, the sitcom My Name Is Earl , surviving for a second season; the sole remaining anchor of the "Must See TV" lineup, Will & Grace also saw its ratings decline. That season, NBC's ratings freefalled to fourth place, behind a resurgent ABC, Fox (which would eventually become the most-watched U.S. broadcast network in the 2007–08 season) and top-rated CBS (which led for much of the remainder of the decade). During this time, all of the networks faced audience erosion from increased competition by cable television, home video, video games and the Internet, with NBC being the hardest hit.

The 2006–07 season was a mixed bag for the network, with Deal or No Deal remaining strong and Heroes becoming a surprise hit on Monday nights, while the highly touted Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (from West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin) lost a third of its premiere-night viewers by Week 6 and was eventually cancelled; two critically acclaimed sitcoms, The Office and 30 Rock , also pulled in modest successes and went on to win the Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series for four consecutive years. The network also regained the rights to the NFL after eight years that season when it acquired the Sunday Night Football package from ESPN (as part of a deal that also saw Monday Night Football move to ESPN from ABC). However, despite this, NBC remained at a very distant fourth place, barely ranking ahead of The CW.

However, NBC did experience success with its summer schedule, despite its declining ratings during the main broadcast season.

Following the unexpected termination of Kevin Reilly, in 2007, Ben Silverman was appointed president of NBC Entertainment, [[CITE|undefined|http://deadline.com/2007/05/urgent-shakeup-at-nbc-ben-silverman-replacing-kevin-reilly]] while Jeff Zucker was promoted to succeed Bob Wright as CEO of NBC. The network failed to generate any new primetime hits during the 2008–09 season (despite the rare good fortune of having the rights to both the Super Bowl and the Summer Olympics in which to promote their new programming slate), the sitcom Parks and Recreation survived for a second season after a six-episode first season, while Heroes and Deal or No Deal both collapsed in the ratings and were later cancelled (with a revamped Deal or No Deal being revived for one additional season in syndication). In a March 2009 interview, Zucker had stated that he no longer believed it would be possible for NBC to become #1 in prime time. [[CITE|undefined|https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=ZKJRAAAAIBAJ&pg=4547%2C5490418&sjid=FGkDAAAAIBAJ]] Ben Silverman left the network in 2009, with Jeff Gaspin replacing him as president of NBC Entertainment.

On December 3, 2009, Comcast announced they would purchase a 51% controlling stake in NBC Universal from General Electric (which would retain the remaining 49%) for $6.5 billion in cash and $9.1 billion in raised debt. [[CITE|undefined|http://marketwatch.com/story/comcast-to-buy-nbc-stake-as-venture-formed-2009-12-03]] GE used $5.8 billion from the deal to buy out Vivendi's 20% interest in NBC Universal. [[CITE|undefined|http://marketwatch.com/story/comcast-to-buy-nbc-stake-as-venture-formed-2009-12-03]]

NBC's broadcast of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, in February of that year, generated a ratings increase of 21% over its broadcast of the 2006 Winter Games in Torino. The network was criticized for repeatedly showing footage of a crash occurring during practice for an Olympic luge competition that killed Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili. NBC News president Steve Capus ordered the footage not to be shown without his permission and Olympics prime time host Bob Costas promised on-air that the video would not be shown again during the Games. [[CITE|undefined|http://mediabistro.com/tvnewser/nbc/nbcs_capus_tells_staff_no_more_luger_death_video_152076.asp]] [[CITE|undefined|http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireStory?id=9830095]] NBC Universal was on track to lose $250 million in advertising revenue on that year's Winter Olympics, failing to make up the $820 million it paid for the U.S. television rights. [[CITE|undefined|http://latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-nbc16-2010feb16,0,5449882.story]] Even so, with its continuing position in fourth place (although it virtually tied with ABC in many demographics on the strength of NBC's sports broadcasts that year [[CITE|undefined|https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=ZKJRAAAAIBAJ&pg=4547%2C5490418&sjid=FGkDAAAAIBAJ]]), the 2009–10 season ended with only two scripted shows – Community and Parenthood , as well as three unscripted shows – The Marriage Ref , Who Do You Think You Are? and Minute to Win It – being renewed for second seasons, while other series such as Heroes and veteran crime drama Law & Order (the latter of which ended after 20 seasons, tying it with Gunsmoke

After Conan O'Brien succeeded Jay Leno as host of The Tonight Show in 2009, the network gave Leno a new prime time talk show, committing to air it every weeknight at 10:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific as an inexpensive comedic alternative to the police procedurals and other hour-long dramas typically aired in that time slot. [[CITE|undefined|http://variety.com/article/VR1118003149.html?categoryid=14&cs=1]] In doing so, NBC became the first major U.S. broadcast network in decades, [[CITE|undefined|https://nytimes.com/2009/08/05/business/media/05adco.html?pagewanted=print]] if ever, [[CITE|undefined|http://www.printthis.clickability.com/pt/cpt?action=cpt&expire=&fb=Y&partnerID=166466&title=Jonathan+Storm%3A+NBC+outlines+its+plans+for+5-night+%27Jay+Leno+Show%27&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.philly.com%2Finquirer%2Fcolumnists%2Fjonathan_storm%2F20090807_Jonathan_Storm__NBC_outlines_its_plans_for_5-night__Jay_Leno_Show_.html&urlID=408165395]] to broadcast the same program in a weekdaily prime time strip. Its executives called the decision "a transformational moment in the history of broadcasting" and "in effect, launching five shows." [[CITE|undefined|https://nytimes.com/2009/08/05/business/media/05adco.html?pagewanted=print]] Conversely, industry executives criticized the network for abandoning a history of airing quality dramas in the 10:00 hour, and expressed concern that it would hurt NBC by undermining a reputation built on successful scripted series. [[CITE|undefined|http://time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1920038,00.html]] Citing complaints from many affiliates, which saw their late-evening newscasts drop significantly in the local ratings during The Jay Leno Show ' s run, NBC announced on January 10, 2010 that it would drop Leno's show from the 10:00 p.m. slot – [[CITE|undefined|https://usatoday.com/life/television/news/2010-01-10-leno10_N.htm]] with Zucker announcing plans to shift the program (which would have been reduced to a half-hour) into the 11:35 p.m. slot and shift its existing late night lineup (including The Tonight Show) by 30 minutes. The removal of The Jay Leno Show from its prime time schedule had almost no impact on the network's ratings. The increases NBC experienced in the 2010–11 season compared to 2009–10 were almost entirely attributable to the rising viewership of NBC Sunday Night Football. [[CITE|undefined|http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2011/01/05/thanks-to-the-football-gods-nbc-is-ahead-of-last-seasons-ratings/77351]] By 2012, the shows that occupied the 10:00 p.m. time slot drew lower numbers than The Jay Leno Show did when it aired in that hour two years before. [[CITE|undefined|http://deadline.com/2012/01/ouch-nbc-finishes-in-8th-place-thursday-10-pm]] In the spring of 2010, cable provider and multimedia firm Comcast announced it would acquire a majority interest in NBC Universal from General Electric, which would retain a minority stake in the company in the interim.

On September 24, 2010, Jeff Zucker announced that he would step down as NBC Universal's CEO once the company's merger with Comcast was completed at the end of the year.

The 2011–12 season was another tough season for NBC.

In the fall of 2012, NBC greatly expanded its sitcom roster, with eight comedy series airing on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights.

In 2013, NBC Sports migrated its business and production operations (including NBCSN) to new facilities in Stamford, Connecticut. [[CITE|undefined|https://usatoday.com/story/sports/columnist/hiestand-tv/2013/03/12/nbc-nhl-olympics-major-league-soccer/1983139]] Production of the network's NFL pre-game show Football Night in America remained at the NBC Studios at Rockefeller Center (with production operations based in Studio 8G, while the program itself was broadcast in Studio 8H, the longtime home of Saturday Night Live), until it migrated to the Stamford facility in September 2014. Despite the failure of another highly advertised game show event, The Million Second Quiz , the 2013–14 season was mostly successful for NBC due to the continued success of The Voice, Chicago Fire, Revolution, Sunday Night Football and Grimm . Along with new hits including The Blacklist , Hannibal and Chicago PD and a significant ratings boost from its broadcast of the 2014 Winter Olympics, NBC became the #1 network in the coveted 18-49 demographic that season for the first time since 2003–04, when Friends ended. NBC also improved considerably in total viewership, finishing behind long-dominant CBS in second place for the season. [[CITE|undefined|http://thefutoncritic.com/ratings/2014/05/20/nbc-wins-the-2013-14-september-to-may-primetime-television-season-702212/20140520nbc04]]

The 2014–15 season was something of a mixed bag for NBC, but still successful. NBC launched eight new series that year, with only one, comedy-drama police procedural The Mysteries of Laura , being renewed for a second season. Nevertheless, the network continued to experience success with most of its returning series, especially The Blacklist (despite a modest decline in viewership following its move to Thursdays midway through the season, due partly to an initial weak lead-in from miniseries The Slap ). Combined with the record number of viewers tuning in to Super Bowl XLIX, NBC again finished #1 in the 18-49 demographic and in second place overall. [[CITE|undefined|http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2015/05/27/2014-2015-season-nbc-leads-among-adults-18-49-cbs-tops-total-viewers-through-week-35-ending-may-24-2015/408501]]

The 2015–16 season was successful for NBC, with the successful launch of the new drama Blindspot premiering after The Voice , then subsequently being renewed for a second season in November 2015. [[CITE|undefined|http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2015/11/09/blindspot-gets-a-very-early-second-season-pickup-at-nbc]] NBC also continued with the success with the Chicago franchise with launching its second spin-off Chicago Med , which also received an early second season pick up in February 2016. [[CITE|undefined|http://deadline.com/2016/02/law-order-svu-chicago-med-renewed-dick-wolf-deal-nbcuniversal-1201693953]] Thursday nights continues to be a struggle for NBC, with continued success with the third season of The Blacklist brought the failed launch of Heroes Reborn which was cancelled in January 2016, [[CITE|undefined|http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2016/01/13/heroes-reborn-canceled-as-nbc-plays-the-limited-series-card]] and thriller The Player , however NBC found success with police procedural Shades of Blue which improved the 10pm time slot and was renewed for a second season in February 2016. [[CITE|undefined|http://hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/jennifer-lopezs-shades-blue-renewed-862516]] On the comedy side, NBC surprisingly found success in the new workplace sitcom Superstore which premiered as a "preview" after The Voice in November 2015, and officially launched in January 2016 which brought decent ratings for a new comedy without The Voice as a lead-in and which was subsequently renewed for a second season in February 2016. [[CITE|undefined|http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2016/02/23/superstore-renewed-for-season-2-at-nbc]]

The 2016–17 season brought more success for NBC with new Comedy-drama This Is Us which was well received by critics and ratings and was renewed for two additional seasons in January 2017. [[CITE|undefined|http://tvline.com/2017/01/18/this-is-us-renewed-season-2-nbc]] The Blacklist continued to bring in modest ratings however, it brought the failed launch of its spinoff The Blacklist: Redemption . NBC continued to grow the Chicago franchise with a third spinoff titled Chicago Justice . On the comedy side, workplace sitcom Superstore continued success in its second season. The network launched new fantasy sitcom The Good Place following The Voice and brought in modest ratings and was renewed for a second season in January 2017. [[CITE|undefined|http://deadline.com/2017/01/the-good-place-renewed-season-2-by-nbc-1201897567]]

Programming


As of 2013, NBC provides 87 hours of regularly scheduled network programming each week.

Daytime programming is also provided weekdays between 12:00 and 3:00 p.m. in the form of the one-hour weekday soap opera Days of Our Lives (the scheduling of the program varies depending on the station, although it is initially fed to affiliates at 1:00 p.m. Eastern). NBC News programming includes the morning news/interview program Today from 7:00–11:00 a.m. weekdays, 7:00–9:00 on Saturdays and 7:00–8:00 on Sundays; nightly editions of NBC Nightly News (whose weekend editions are occasionally subject to abbreviation or preemption due to sports telecasts overrunning into the program's time slot), the Sunday political talk show Meet the Press , weekday early-morning news program Early Today and newsmagazine Dateline NBC . Late nights feature the weeknight talk shows The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon , Late Night with Seth Meyers and Last Call with Carson Daly , weeknight replays of the fourth hour of Today and CNBC program Mad Money , and the sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live , and the LXTV-produced 1st Look and Open House NYC on Saturdays (replays of the previous week's 1st Look also air on Friday late nights on most stations).

The network's Saturday morning children's programming time slot is programmed by Litton Entertainment under a time-lease agreement. The three-hour block of programming designed for 14-16 year-old teenage viewers is under the umbrella branding of The More You Know , based on the network's long-time strand of internally-produced public service announcements of the same name. It premiered on October 8, 2016, giving Litton control of all but Fox's Saturday morning E/I programming among the five major broadcast networks.

Sports programming is also provided weekend afternoons at any time between 12:00 and 6:00 p.m. (9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., or tape-delayed in the Pacific Time Zone). Due to the unpredictable length of sporting events, NBC will occasionally pre-empt scheduled programs (more common with the weekend editions of NBC Nightly News, and local and syndicated programs carried by its owned-and-operated stations and affiliates). NBC has also held the American broadcasting rights to the Summer Olympic Games since the 1988 games and the rights to the Winter Olympic Games since the 2002 games. Coverage of the Olympics on NBC have included pre-empting regularly scheduled programs during daytime, primetime, and late night.

News coverage has long been an important part of NBC's operations and public image, dating to the network's radio days.

In 1989, the news division began its expansion to cable with the launch of business news channel CNBC.

NBC is currently the home to only one daytime program, the hour-long soap opera Days of Our Lives, which has been broadcast on the network since 1965. Since NBC turned back an hour of its then two-hour daytime schedule to its affiliates as a result of the September 2007 expansion of Today to four hours, the network currently ties with The CW for the fewest daytime programming hours of any major broadcast television network.

Long-running daytime dramas seen on NBC in the past include The Doctors (1963–1982), Another World (1964–1999), Santa Barbara (1984–1993), and Passions (1999–2007, later moving to The 101). NBC also aired the final 4½ years of Search for Tomorrow (1982–1986) after that series was initially cancelled by CBS, although many NBC affiliates did not clear the show during its tenure on the network. NBC has also aired numerous short-lived soap operas, including Generations (1989–1991), Sunset Beach (1997–1999), and the two Another World spin-offs, Somerset (1970–1976) and Texas

Notable daytime game shows that once aired on NBC include The Price Is Right (1956–1963), Concentration (1958–1973 and 1987–1991 as Classic Concentration), The Match Game (1962–1969), Let's Make a Deal (1963–1968 and 1990–1991, as well as a short-lived prime-time revival in 2002), Jeopardy! (1964–1975 and 1978–1979), The Hollywood Squares (1966–1980), Wheel of Fortune (1975–1989 and 1991), Password Plus/Super Password (1979–1982 and 1984–1989), Sale of the Century (1969–1973 and 1983–1989) and Scrabble (1984–1990 and 1993). The last game show ever to air as part of NBC's daytime schedule was the short-lived Caesars Challenge

Notable past daytime talk shows that have aired on NBC have included Home (1954–1957), The Ernie Kovacs Show (1955–1956), The Merv Griffin Show (1962–1963), Leeza (1994–1999) and Later Today

Children's programming has played a part in NBC's programming since its initial roots in television.

In 1989, NBC premiered Saved by the Bell , a live-action teen sitcom which originated on The Disney Channel the previous year as Good Morning, Miss Bliss (which served as a starring vehicle for Hayley Mills; four cast members from that show were cast in the NBC series as the characters they originally played on Miss Bliss). Saved by the Bell, despite being given bad reviews from television critics, would become one of the most popular teen series in television history as well as the top-rated series on Saturday mornings, dethroning ABC's The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show

The success of Saved by the Bell led NBC to remove animated series from its Saturday morning lineup in August 1992 in favor of additional live-action series as part of a new block called TNBC, along with the debut of a Saturday edition of Today . Most of the series featured on the TNBC lineup were executive produced by Peter Engel (such as City Guys , Hang Time , California Dreams , One World and the Saved by the Bell spinoff, Saved by the Bell: The New Class ), with the lineup being designed from the start to meet the earliest form of the FCC's educational programming guidelines under the Children's Television Act. [[CITE|undefined|http://variety.com/article/VR1117856766.html?categoryid=1201&cs=1&query=]] NBA Inside Stuff, an analysis and interview program aimed at teens that was hosted for most of its run by Ahmad Rashād, was also a part of the TNBC lineup during the NBA season until 2002 (when the program moved to ABC as a result of that network taking the NBA rights from NBC).

In 2002, NBC entered into an agreement with Discovery Communications to carry educational children's programs from the Discovery Kids cable channel. [[CITE|undefined|http://variety.com/article/VR1117856766.html?categoryid=1201&cs=1&query=]] Debuting that September, the Discovery Kids on NBC block originally consisted exclusively of live-action series, including reality series Trading Spaces: Boys vs. Girls (a kid-themed version of the TLC series Trading Spaces ); the Emmy-nominated reality game show Endurance , hosted and produced by J. D. Roth (whose production company, 3-Ball Productions, would also produce reality series The Biggest Loser for NBC beginning in 2003); and scripted series such as Strange Days at Blake Holsey High and Scout's Safari . The block later expanded to include some animated series such as Kenny the Shark , Tutenstein and Time Warp Trio

In May 2006, NBC announced plans to launch a new Saturday morning children's block under the Qubo brand in September 2006. [[CITE|undefined|http://mediaweek.com/mw/news/recent_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1002198189]] An endeavor originally operated as a joint venture between NBC Universal, Ion Media Networks, Scholastic Press, Classic Media and Corus Entertainment's Nelvana unit (Ion acquired the other partners' shares in 2013), the Qubo venture also encompassed weekly blocks on Telemundo and Ion Television, a 24-hour digital multicast network on Ion's owned-and-operated and affiliated stations, as well as video on demand services and a branded website. Qubo launched on NBC on September 9, 2006 with six programs (VeggieTales , Dragon , 3-2-1 Penguins! , Babar , Jane and the Dragon and Jacob Two-Two

On March 28, 2012, it was announced that NBC would launch a new Saturday morning preschool block programmed by Sprout (originally jointly owned by NBCUniversal, PBS, Sesame Workshop and Apax Partners, with the former acquiring the other's interests later that year). The block, NBC Kids, premiered on July 7, 2012, replacing the "Qubo on NBC" block. [[CITE|undefined|http://marketwatch.com/story/nbc-will-launch-nbc-kids-a-new-saturday-morning-preschool-block-programmed-by-sprout-saturday-july-7-2012-03-28]] [[CITE|undefined|http://variety.com/article/VR1118052022?refCatId=14]] [[CITE|undefined|http://multichannel.com/article/482478-NBC_With_Assist_From_Sprout_to_Launch_Saturday_Morning_Preschool_Block.php]] [[CITE|undefined|http://deadline.com/2012/03/nbc-launches-preschool-saturday-block-programmed-by-sprout]]

NBC holds the broadcast rights to several annual specials and award show telecasts including the Golden Globe Awards and the Emmy Awards (which is rotated across all four major networks each year). Since 1952, NBC has served as the official U.S. broadcaster of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. CBS also carries unauthorized coverage of the Macy's parade as part of The Thanksgiving Day Parade on CBS; However, as NBC holds rights to the parade, it has exclusivity over the broadcast of Broadway and music performances appearing in the parade (CBS airs live performances separate from those seen in the parade as a result), and Macy's chose to reroute the parade in 2012 out of the view of CBS' cameras, although it continues to cover the parade. NBC began airing a same-day rebroadcast of the parade telecast in 2009 (replacing its annual Thanksgiving afternoon airing of Miracle on 34th Street ). In 2007, NBC acquired the rights to the National Dog Show, which airs following the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade each year.

The network also broadcasts several live-action and animated specials during the Christmas holiday season, including the 2014 debuts How Murray Saved Christmas (an animated musical adaptation of the children's book of the same name) and Elf: Buddy's Musical Christmas (a stop-motion animated special based on the 2003 live-action film Elf

Since 2013, the network has aired live musical adaptations with major stars in lead roles.

From 2003 to 2014, NBC also held rights to two of the three pageants organized by the Miss Universe Organization: the Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants (NBC also held rights to the Miss Teen USA pageant from 2003, when NBC also assumed rights to the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants as part of a deal brokered by Miss Universe Organization owner Donald Trump that gave the network half-ownership of the pageants, [[CITE|undefined|http://nbcchimes.info]] until 2007, when NBC declined to renew its contract to carry Miss Teen USA, effectively discontinuing televised broadcasts of that event). NBCUniversal relinquished the rights to Miss Universe and Miss USA on June 29, 2015, as part of its decision to cut business ties with Donald Trump and the Miss Universe Organization (which was half-owned by corporate parent NBCUniversal) in response to controversial remarks about Mexican immigrants made by Trump during the launch of his 2016 campaign for the Republican Presidential nomination. [[CITE|undefined|http://deadline.com/2015/06/nbc-donald-trump-cancels-miss-usa-miss-universe-1201461913]] [[CITE|undefined|http://nbcchimes.info]]

Through the years, NBC has produced many in-house programs, in addition to airing content from other producers such as Revue Studios and its successor Universal Television.

NBC sold the distribution rights to programs it produced prior to that year to National Telefilm Associates in 1973; those rights are currently owned by CBS Television Distribution, although NBC still owns the copyrights to the episodes. As a result, NBC, in a way, now owns several other series aired on the network prior to 1973, such as Wagon Train . NBC continues to own its entire library of programs produced after 1973, through corporate sister NBCUniversal Television Group (the successor to Universal Television).

Stations


As of June 2018, NBC has eleven owned-and-operated stations and current and pending affiliation agreements with 226 additional television stations encompassing 49 states, the District of Columbia, six U.S. possessions and two non-U.S.

Currently, New Jersey is the only U.S. state where NBC does not have a locally licensed affiliate. New Jersey is served by New York City O&O WNBC-TV and Philadelphia O&O WCAU; New Jersey formerly had an in-state affiliate in Atlantic City-based WMGM-TV, which was affiliated with the network from 1955 to 2014. NBC maintains affiliations with low-power stations (broadcasting either in analog or digital) in a few smaller markets, such as Binghamton, New York (WBGH-CD), Jackson, Tennessee (WNBJ-LD) and Juneau, Alaska (KATH-LD), that do not have enough full-power stations to support a standalone affiliate. In some markets, these stations also maintain digital simulcasts on a subchannel of a co-owned/co-managed full-power television station.

As mentioned with New Hampshire and Boston, NBC operates a low-powered station in Boston, WBTS-LD, which aims to serve as its station in that market while using a network of additional full-power stations to cover the market in full (including Merrimack, New Hampshire-licensed Telemundo station WNEU, which transmits WBTS on a second subchannel. A WBTS translator, WYCN-CD, is licensed to Nashua, New Hampshire and was purchased by NBC in early 2018 after the FCC spectrum auction, but transmits a full-power signal under a channel share with the WGBH Educational Foundation and its secondary Boston station WGBX-TV from Needham, Massachusetts.

Currently outside of the NBC Owned Television Stations-operated O&O group, Tegna Media is the largest operator of NBC stations in terms of overall market reach, owning or providing services to 20 NBC affiliates (including those in larger markets such as Denver, St. Louis, Seattle and Cleveland); Gray Television is the largest operator of NBC stations by numerical total, owning 23 NBC-affiliated stations.

Related services


NBC provides video on demand access for delayed viewing of the network's programming through various means, including via its website at NBC.com, a traditional VOD service called NBC on Demand available on most traditional cable and IPTV providers, [[CITE|undefined|http://nbcchimes.info]] and through content deals with Hulu and Netflix (the latter of which carries only cataloged episodes of NBC programs, after losing the right to carry newer episodes of its programs during their current seasons in July 2011). NBCUniversal is a part-owner of Hulu (as part of a consortium that includes, among other parties, the respective parent companies of ABC and Fox, The Walt Disney Company and 21st Century Fox), and has offered full-length episodes of most of NBC's programming through the streaming service (which are available for viewing on Hulu's website and mobile app) since Hulu launched in private beta testing on October 29, 2007. [[CITE|undefined|http://nbcchimes.info]] [[CITE|undefined|http://nbcchimes.info]] [[CITE|undefined|http://nbcchimes.info]] [[CITE|undefined|http://nbcchimes.info]]

The most recent episodes of the network's shows are usually made available on NBC.com and Hulu the day after their original broadcast.

On February 18, 2015, NBC began providing live programming streams of local NBC stations in select markets, which are only available to authenticated subscribers of participating pay television providers. All eleven NBC owned-and-operated stations owned by NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations' were the first stations to offer streams of their programming on NBC's website and mobile app, with intentions to reach agreements with other station groups to provide streams of NBC-affiliated stations in other markets. Due to restrictions imposed by the league, the network's NFL game telecasts are not permitted to be streamed on the service. [[CITE|undefined|http://radioremembered.org/chimes.htm]] [[CITE|undefined|http://radioremembered.org/chimes.htm]] [[CITE|undefined|http://radioremembered.org/chimes.htm]] [[CITE|undefined|http://radioremembered.org/chimes.htm]]

NBC's master feed is transmitted in 1080i high definition, the native resolution format for NBCUniversal's television properties. However, 19 of its affiliates transmit the network's programming in 720p HD, while four others carry the network feed in 480i standard definition [[CITE|undefined|http://rabbitears.info/search.php?network=NBC&request=network_search]] either due to technical considerations for affiliates of other major networks that carry NBC programming on a digital subchannel, or because a primary feed NBC affiliate has not yet upgraded their transmission equipment to allow content to be presented in HD.

WRAL-TV in Raleigh, North Carolina (a station that re-joined NBC in February 2016) is currently testing the upcoming ATSC 3.0 television standard, which will allow the transmission of 2160p ultra-high-definition television (UHD), through a secondary experimental station (WRAL-EX); it has transmitted limited NBC programming in UHD through a secondary subchannel, and is currently the only station overall which transmits NBC's schedule in 1080p on its main subchannel.

Meet the Press was the first regular series on a major television network to produce a high-definition broadcast on February 2, 1997, which aired in the format over WHD-TV in Washington, D.C., an experimental television station owned by a consortium of industry groups and stations which launched to allow testing of HD broadcasts and operated until 2002 (the program itself continued to be transmitted in 480i standard definition over the NBC network until May 2, 2010, when it became the last NBC News program to convert to HD). [[CITE|undefined|http://radioremembered.org/chimes.htm]] [[CITE|undefined|http://radioremembered.org/chimes.htm]] NBC officially began its conversion to high definition with the launch of its simulcast feed, NBC HD, on April 26, 1999, when The Tonight Show became the first HD program to air on the NBC network as well as the first regularly scheduled American network program to be produced and transmitted in high definition. The network gradually converted much of its existing programming from standard-definition to high definition beginning with the 2002–03 season, with select shows among that season's slate of freshmen scripted series being broadcast in HD from their debuts. [[CITE|undefined|http://worldcat.org/issn/0732-4456]]

The network completed its conversion to high definition in September 2012, with the launch of NBC Kids, a new Saturday morning children's block programmed by new partial sister network PBS Kids Sprout, which also became the second Saturday morning children's block with an entirely HD schedule (after the ABC-syndicated Litton's Weekend Adventure ). All of the network's programming has been presented in full HD since then (with the exception of certain holiday specials produced prior to 2005 – such as its annual broadcast of It's a Wonderful Life – which continue to be presented in 4:3 SD, although some have been remastered for HD broadcast).

In 1999, NBC launched NBCi (briefly changing its web address to "www.nbci.com"), a heavily advertised online venture serving as an attempt to launch an Internet portal and homepage. This move saw NBC partner with XOOM.com (not to be confused with the current money transfer service), e-mail.com, AllBusiness.com, [[CITE|undefined|http://cnet.com/news/nbci-agrees-to-acquire-allbusiness-com]] and Snap.com (eventually acquiring all four companies outright; Snap should also not be confused with the current-day parent of Snapchat) to launch a multi-faceted internet portal with e-mail, webhosting, community, chat and personalization capabilities, and news content. Subsequently, in April 2000, NBC purchased GlobalBrain, a company specializing in search engines that learned from searches initiated by its users, for $32 million.

The experiment lasted roughly one season; after its failure, NBCi's operations were folded back into NBC.

Evolution of the NBC logo


NBC has used a number of logos throughout its history; early logos used by the television and radio networks were similar to the logo of its then parent company, RCA.

International broadcasts


NBC network programs can be received throughout most of Canada on cable, satellite and IPTV providers through certain U.S.-based affiliates of the network (such as WBTS-LD /Boston, KING-TV /Seattle, KBJR-TV / Duluth, Minnesota, WGRZ / Buffalo, New York and WDIV-TV / Detroit). Some programs carried on these stations are subject to simultaneous substitutions, a practice imposed by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission in which a pay television provider supplants an American station's signal with a feed from a Canadian station/network airing a particular program in the same time slot to protect domestic advertising revenue. Some of these affiliates are also receivable over-the-air in southern areas of the country located near the Canada–United States border (signal coverage was somewhat reduced after the digital television transition in 2009 due to the lower radiated power required to transmit digital signals).

NBC no longer exists outside the Americas as a channel in its own right.

In 1993, then-NBC parent General Electric acquired Super Channel, relaunching the Pan-European cable network as NBC Super Channel.

Most of NBC Europe's prime time programming was produced in Europe due to rights restrictions associated with U.S. primetime shows; the channel's weekday late night schedule after 11:00 p.m. Central European Time, however, featured The Tonight Show, Late Night with Conan O'Brien and Later , which the channel's slogan "Where the Stars Come Out at Night" was based around. Many NBC News programs were broadcast on NBC Europe, including Dateline NBC, Meet the Press and NBC Nightly News, the latter of which was broadcast simultaneously with the initial U.S. telecast. Today was also initially aired live in the afternoons, but was later broadcast instead the following morning on a more than half-day delay.

In 1999, NBC Europe ceased broadcasting in most of Europe outside of Germany; the network was concurrently relaunched as a German-language technology channel aimed at a younger demographic, with the new series NBC GIGA as its flagship program. In 2005, the channel was relaunched again as the free-to-air movie channel Das Vierte which eventually shut down end of 2013 (acquired by Disney which replaced it by a German version of Disney Channel. GIGA Television was subsequently spun off as a separate digital channel, available on satellite and cable providers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland which shut down as a TV-station end of 2009.

NBC programming is available in Mexico through free-to-air affiliates in markets located within proximity to the Mexico–United States border (such as KYMA-DT / Yuma, Arizona; KGNS-TV / Laredo, Texas; KTSM / El Paso, Texas; KVEO / Brownsville, Texas; and KNSD / San Diego), whose signals are readily receivable over-the-air in border areas of northern Mexico. Some U.S.-based border affiliates are also available on subscription television providers throughout the country, including in the Mexico City area.

In Nicaragua, satellite providers carry either select U.S.-based NBC and Telemundo affiliated stations or the main network feed from NBCUniversal or Telemundo. The main local affiliate stations are NBC 6 WTVJ, Telemundo 51 WSCV in Miami. In addition to the NBC programming there is also available by the NBC sister network Telemundo, a Spanish network based in the United States.

In 1993, NBC launched a 24-hour Spanish-language news channel serving Latin America (the second news channel serving that region overall, after Noticias ECO, and the first to broadcast 24 hours a day), Canal de Noticias NBC, which based its news schedule around the "wheel" format conceived at CNN. [666666] The channel, which was headquartered in the offices of the NBC News Channel affiliate news service in Charlotte, North Carolina, employed over 50 journalists to produce, write, anchor and provide technical services. Canal de Noticias NBC shut down in 1999 due to the channel's inability to generate sustainable advertising revenue.

In the Caribbean, many subscription providers carry either select U.S.-based NBC affiliated stations or the main network feed from NBC O&Os WNBC in New York City or WTVJ in Miami. In addition, the network's programming has been available in the U.S. Virgin Islands since 2004 on WVGN-LD in Charlotte Amalie (owned by LKK Group), while Telemundo owned-and-operated station WKAQ-TV in San Juan, Puerto Rico carries the WNBC feed on a digital subchannel. In these areas, NBC programs are available in English and in Spanish via second audio program.

In the Bahamas, NBC programming is available via U.S.-based affiliate stations on domestic cable providers.

In Aruba, NBC maintains an affiliation with Oranjestad station PJA-TV (which brands on-air as "ATV").

In Puerto Rico, Telemundo O&O WKAQ-TV carries "NBC Puerto Rico" over their third subchannel, which is effectively a simulcast of WNBC with some local advertising and station identification.

Until it ended operations in 2014, NBC's entire program lineup was carried by VSB-TV, using the Eastern Time Zone feed, though an hour ahead due to its location in the Atlantic Time Zone. Bermuda currently receives NBC service from WTVJ Miami via cable.

In Guam, the entire NBC programming lineup is carried by Hagåtña affiliate KUAM-TV (which has been an NBC affiliate since 1956) via the network's East Coast satellite feed. Entertainment and news programming is broadcast day and date on a one-day tape delay as Guam is on the west side of the International Date Line (for example, the network's Thursday prime time lineup airs Friday evenings on KUAM, and is advertised by the station as airing on the latter night in on-air promotions). Live programming, including breaking news and sporting events, airs as scheduled; because of the time difference with the six U.S. time zones, live sports coverage often airs on the station early in the morning. KUAM's programming is relayed to the Northern Mariana Islands via satellite station WSZE in Saipan.

In American Samoa, NBC was affiliated with KKHJ-LP in Pago Pago [[CITE|undefined|http://astra2.org/ustv.html]] from 2005 to 2012. Cable television providers on the islands carry the network's programming via Seattle affiliate KING-TV.

In the Federated States of Micronesia, NBC programming is available on domestic cable providers via Honolulu affiliate KHNL.

NBC Asia launched in 1994, distributed to Nepal, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Pakistan and the Philippines. Like NBC Europe, NBC Asia featured most of NBC's news programs as well as The Tonight Show, Late Night and Saturday Night Live. Like its European counterpart, it was not allowed to broadcast American-produced primetime shows due to existing broadcast agreements with other domestic broadcasters. NBC Asia produced a regional evening news program that aired each weeknight, and occasionally simulcast some programs from CNBC Asia and MSNBC. NBC also operated NBC Super Sports, a 24-hour channel devoted to televising sporting events.

In July 1998, NBC Asia was replaced by a regional version of the National Geographic Channel. As is the case with NBC Europe, CNBC Asia broadcasts select episodes of The Tonight Show and Late Night as well as Meet the Press are as part of its weekend schedule, and airs NFL games under the Sunday Night Football brand.

Through regional partners, NBC-produced programs are seen in some countries in the continent.

In Australia, the Seven Network has maintained close ties with NBC and has used a majority of the U.S. network's image campaigns and slogans since the 1970s (conversely, in 2009, NBC and Seven both used the Guy Sebastian single "Like it Like That" in image promos for their respective summer schedules). The network's Seven News division has used John Williams-composed "The Mission" (the proprietary theme music for NBC News' flagship programs since 1985) as the theme music for its local and national news programs since the mid-1980s. Local newscasts were also titled Seven Nightly News from the mid-1980s until c. 2000. NBC News and Seven News often share news resources, with the former division using Seven's reporters for breaking news coverage and select taped story packages relating to Australian stories and the latter sometimes incorporating NBC News reports into its national bulletins.

Seven also rebroadcasts some of NBC's news and current affairs programming during the early morning hours (usually from 3:00 to 5:00 a.m. local time), including the weekday and weekend editions of Today (which it brands as NBC Today to differentiate it from the unrelated morning program on the Nine Network), Dateline NBC and Meet the Press.

Criticism and controversies


Presidents of NBC Entertainment


See also


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