Play Match the Companies

"Right now, there is a whole, an entire generation that never knew anything that didn't come out of this tube! This tube is the gospel, the ultimate revelation; this tube can make or break presidents, popes, prime ministers; this tube is the most awesome goddamn propaganda force in the whole godless world, and woe is us if it ever falls into the hands of the wrong people..."
--Network, 1976

The big three, what's the big three? Ten years ago it was common knowlege, NBC, ABC, and CBS. Now There's FOX, UPN, and WB, and that's just the networks. Most of the recent growth is due to the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

"The Telecommunications Act of 1996 is the first major overhaul of telecommunications law in almost 62 years. The goal of this new law is to let anyone enter any communications business -- to let any communications business compete in any market against any other. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 has the potential to change the way we work, live and learn. It will affect telephone service -- local and long distance, cable programming and other video services, broadcast services and services provided to schools."

Cable companies became a worthy adversary for the networks, stealing ratings and advertisers. In order to keep up the networks needed help and the mergers/buyouts began.

"We are no longer an industrialized society; we aren't even a post-industrial or technological society. We are now a corporate society, a corporate world, a corporate universe. This world is a vast cosmology of small corporations orbiting around larger corporations who, in turn, revolve around giant corporations, and this whole endless, eternal, ultimate cosmology is expressly designed for the production and consumption of useless things. . . "
--Network, 1976
Let's play: Match the Companies
NBC Disney
ABC Wesinghouse
CBS General Electric

Answers        Back to top

Networks have also become online news organizations. How would you get to NBC's website? Type in You'll end up at the entertainment part of the NBCi network. The NBCi homepage looks much like a homepage for Lycos or Netscape, offering a search engine and links to games, jobs, and other interests. CBS's website has links to "partner sites" like and, that offer the same things. ABC is part of the Go network. Each of the big three has fingers that touch almost everything.

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