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Media conglomerate

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A media conglomerate, media group, or media institution is a company that owns numerous companies in various mass media; i.e. television, radio, publishing, motion picture, and the Internet. According to the magazine Nation, "Media conglomerates strive for policies that facilitate their control of the markets around the world."[1]

These conglomerates exist in the Americas as well as Europe and Asia. Media conglomerates have become a standard feature of the global economic system since 1950.


A conglomerate is a large company composed of a number of smaller companies (subsidiaries) engaged in seemingly unrelated businesses.

As of 2007, it has been questioned whether media companies actually are unrelated. The practice of conglomeration has been used for the sharing of various kinds of content such as news, film and video, and music. The media sector's tendency to consolidate causes formerly diversified companies to appear less diverse as a result. Therefore, the term media group may also be applied, however, it has not so far replaced the more traditional term.[citation needed]

US examples[edit]

According to the 2015 Forbes Global 2000 list, Comcast is America's largest media conglomerate in terms of revenue, with The Walt Disney Company, 21st Century Fox, Time Warner, CBS Corporation, and Viacom (the latter two conglomerates are controlled by National Amusements through supervoting shares) comprising the "Big Six".[2]

International media[edit]

Canada, Australia, and New Zealand also have large amounts of media concentration, like the United States. This concentration issue is an ongoing concern for the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, Australian Communications and Media Authority and New Zealand's Broadcasting Standards Authority.


Critics have accused the larger conglomerates of dominating media and using unfair practices. This can be seen through the news industry, by corporations refusing to publicize or deeming "newsworthy" information that would be harmful to their interests and contributing to the merging of entertainment and news (sensationalism) at the expense of the coverage of serious issues. They are also accused of being a leading force for the standardization of culture (see globalization, Americanization), and are a frequent target of criticism by various groups, which often perceive the news organizations as being biased toward special interests.

There is also the issue of concentration of media ownership, reducing diversity in both ownership and programming (TV shows and radio shows). There is also a strong trend in the United States for conglomerates to eliminate localism in broadcasting, and instead, use broadcast automation and voice-tracking, sometimes from another city in another state. Some radio stations use prepackaged and generic satellite-fed programming with no local content, except the insertion of radio ads.

Notable examples[edit]

Comcast 21st Century Fox Walt Disney Co. CBS Corp. Viacom Time Warner Sony Bertelsmann Vivendi Televisa
Movie production studio Universal Studios 20th Century Fox Disney Studios, UTV Motion Pictures (India) CBS Films Paramount Motion Pictures Group Warner Bros. Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group UFA (Germany) StudioCanal (France) Videocine (Mexico)
TV production Universal Television, Universal Cable Productions 20th Century Fox Television ABC Studios, It's a Laugh Productions, Marvel Television CBS Television Studios Paramount Television Warner Bros. Television Sony Pictures Television FremantleMedia (UK)
Theme park resorts Universal Parks and Resorts Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Nickelodeon Suites Resort Orlando Parque Warner Madrid (JV with Parques Reunidos) (Spain)
Broadcast television network NBC, Cozi TV,
Telemundo, TeleXitos
Fox, MyNetTV, Movies! (50%) ABC, LWN CBS, The CW (50%), Decades (JV) The CW (50%) GetTV RTL Group (Luxembourg) Canal+ Group (France) Canal de las Estrellas, Canal 5, Gala TV, FOROtv (Mexico)
Cable channels NBCUniversal Cable FX Networks, Nat Geo channels (73%) Disney Channels Worldwide, Freeform, A+E Networks (50%) Pop (50%), Showtime Networks Viacom Media Networks Turner Broadcasting System, HBO Sony Pictures TV networks Televisa (Mexico)
News, political, business channels NBCUniversal News Group, Weather Channel (25%) Fox News, Fox Business Fusion (50%) CNN, HLN
National sports networks NBC Sports Group, NHL Network (15.6%) Fox Sports 1 ESPN Inc. (80%) CBS Sports Network Turner Sports TDN (Mexico)
Record label Fox Music Disney Music Group CBS Records Comedy Central Records, Nick Records WaterTower Music Sony Music Entertainment BMG (Germany) Universal Music Group
Publishing Marvel Comics, Disney Publishing Worldwide Simon & Schuster DC Comics Gruner + Jahr (Germany), Penguin Random House (53%), Bertelsmann Printing Group Editorial Televisa, Intermex (Mexico)
Internet iVillage, Fandango, Hulu (32%) Fox Sports Digital Media, Hulu (36%) Disney Interactive, Hulu (32%) CBS Interactive, CNET MTV New Media Flixster, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Crackle, PlayStation Network Comercio Más, Televisa Digital (Mexico)
2013 Revenues (rank) US$64.657 billion (2) US$31.867 billion (4) US$48.813 billion (3) US$15.284 billion (6) US$13.794 billion (7) US$29.795 billion (5) US$75.540 billion (1)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Moglen, Eben, Michael Pertschuck, and Scott Sherman, (1999). "Editorials" (Nation, 269: 18). p. 12. ISSN 0027-8378
  2. ^ "The World's Largest Media Companies Of 2015 - Forbes". Forbes. 2015-05-22. Archived from the original on 2015-07-06. Retrieved 2016-01-28.