A media conglomerate, media group, or media institution is a company that owns numerous companies involved in mass media enterprises, such as music, television, radio, publishing, motion pictures, theme parks, or the Internet. According to the magazine The Nation, "Media conglomerates strive for policies that facilitate their control of the markets around the world."
A conglomerate is a large company composed of a number of smaller companies (subsidiaries) engaged in generally unrelated businesses.
Some media conglomerates use their access in multiple areas to share various kinds of content such as: news, video and music, between users. The media sector's tendency to consolidate has caused formerly diversified companies to appear less diverse to prospective investors in comparison with similar companies that are traded publicly and privately. Therefore, the term media group may also be applied, however, it has not yet replaced the more traditional term.
Main article: Concentration of media ownership
Critics have accused the large media conglomerates of dominating the media and using unfair practices. During a protest in November 2007, critics such as Jesse Jackson spoke out against consolidation of the media. This can be seen in the news industry, where corporations refuse to publicize information that would be harmful to their interests. Because some corporations do not publish any material that criticizes them or their interests, media conglomerates have been criticized for limiting free speech or not protecting free speech. These practices are also suspected of 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 behind the standardization of culture (see globalization, Americanization) and are frequently criticized by groups that perceive news organizations as being biased toward special interests of the owners.
Because there are fewer independent media, there is less diversity in news and entertainment and therefore less competition. This can result in the reduction of different points of view as well as vocalization about different issues. There is also a lack of ethnic and gender diversity as a majority of those in media[where?] are white, middle-class men. There is a concern that their views are being shared disproportionately more than other groups, such as women and ethnic minorities. Women and minorities also have less ownership of media. Women have less than 7 percent of TV and radio licenses, and minorities have around 7 percent of radio licenses and 3 percent of TV licenses.
Further information: Media cross-ownership in the United States, Category:Mass media companies of Canada, Category:Mass media companies of Australia, Category:Mass media companies of the Philippines, and Category:Mass media companies of New Zealand
In the 2021 Forbes Global 2000 list, Comcast was America's largest media conglomerate, in terms of revenue, with Paramount Global, The Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros. Discovery, and Amazon completing the top four.
In 1984, fifty independent media companies owned the majority of media interests within the United States. By 2011, 90% of the United States's media was controlled by six media conglomerates: GE/Comcast (NBC, Universal), News Corp (Fox News, Wall Street Journal, New York Post), Disney (ABC, ESPN, Pixar), Viacom (MTV, BET, Paramount Pictures), Time Warner (CNN, HBO, Warner Bros.), and CBS (Showtime, NFL.com).
Between 1941 and 1975, several laws that restricted channel ownership within radio and television were enacted in order to maintain unbiased and diverse media. However under the Reagan administration, Congress and the Federal Communications Commission, then led by FCC Chairman Mark S. Fowler, began a concerted deregulation over the years 1981 and 1985. The number of television stations a single entity can own increased from seven to 12 stations.
The industry continued to deregulate with enactment of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Signed by President Bill Clinton on 8 February 1996, it was considered by the FCC to be the "first major overhaul of telecommunications law in almost 62 years". In the radio industry, the 40-station ownership cap was lifted, leading to an unprecedented amount of consolidation. Since this period, Clear Channel Communications grew from 40 stations to 1200 stations, in all 50 states, while Viacom grew to owning 180 stations across 41 markets.
As media consolidation grew, some in the nation began to speculate how it might negatively impact society at large. In the case of Minot, North Dakota, the concerns regarding media consolidation is realized. On 18 January 2002, a train containing hazardous chemicals derailed in the middle of the night, exposing countless Minot residents to toxic waste. Upon trying to get out an emergency broadcast, the Minot police were unable to reach anyone. They were instead forwarded to the same automated message, as all the broadcast stations in Minot were single-handedly owned by Clear Channel Communications. As the FCC reviews media ownership rules, broadcasters continued to petition it for the elimination of all rules, while those who are against this easing would often cite the incident in Minot as how consolidation could be harmful.
Like the United States, Canada, Australia, the Philippines, and New Zealand also experience the concentration of multiple media enterprises in a few companies. This concentration is an ongoing concern for the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the Australian Communications and Media Authority, the Philippine National Telecommunications Commission, and New Zealand's Broadcasting Standards Authority. Other countries that have large media conglomerates with impacts on the world include: Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, China, and Brazil. Media conglomerates outside of the United States include Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings, Hubert Burda Media, Fuji Media Holdings, ITV, ProSiebenSat.1, Mediaset, Axel Springer, JCDecaux, China Central Television, Alibaba Group, ABS-CBN Corporation, GMA Network, Inc., TV5 Network, Inc., Viva Entertainment, Asahi Shimbun Company, Grupo Globo, Baidu, and Bertelsmann.
|The Walt Disney Company||Comcast||Warner Bros. Discovery||Paramount Global||Access Industries||Hasbro||Amazon|
|Movie production||Walt Disney Studios||NBCUniversal Film and Entertainment||Warner Bros. Pictures Group||Paramount Motion Picture Group||AI Film (UK), RatPac-Dune Entertainment (controlling stake), Access Entertainment (US)||Entertainment One Films||Amazon Studios, MGM Studios|
|TV production||Disney TV Studios, It's a Laugh Productions, Disney TV Animation, FX Productions, Freeform Productions||NBCUniversal Content Studios, Sky Studios, DWA Television||WB TV Studios, WB Animation, WBITVP, Cartoon Network Studios, Discovery Studios, All3Media (50%)||Paramount TV Studios, Nickelodeon Animation Studio, CBS Films, CBS Studios||Amedia (majority stake) (RU)||Boulder Media (IE), Entertainment One Television||Amazon Studios, MGM Television|
|Broadcast TV network||ABC, Localish (US); RTL Zwei (15.75% DE)||NBC, Cozi TV, Sky,
|The CW (50%)||CBS, The CW (50%), Chilevision||R.G.E. Group (33%) (IL)|
|Cable channels||Disney Channels, UTV net, A&E Networks (50%), Fox Nets Group, Freeform, FX Networks, NatGeo Net (73%)||NBCUniversal Cable, Sky||TBS, TNT, TruTV, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, HBO, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Food Network, HGTV, TLC, Discovery Family (60%), Warner Bros. Discovery International||Paramount Media Networks, Paramount International Networks||Discovery Family (40%)||Epix, MGM HD|
|News, business channels/
|ABC News, ABC News Radio||NBCUniversal News Group, Sky News||CNN, HLN||CBS News, CBS News streaming service|
|National sports networks/
|ESPN Inc. (80%)||NBC Sports Group, Sky Sports, NHL Network (15.6%)||Turner Sports, MLB Network (16%), NBA TV, Eurosport (Europe), DSport (India), Play Sports Group (71%, U.K.)||CBS Sports||Sports Channel (IL)|
|ABC Audio, Disney Music Group, Marvel New Media, Radio Disney Networks||Back Lot Music||WaterTower Music, Williams Street Records||Paramount Music||Warner Music Group|
|Publishing||Marvel Comics, National Geographic (73%), Disney Publishing Worldwide||DC Comics, MAD Magazine, Golf Digest, Golf World; Motor Trend Group (joint-venture)||Simon & Schuster||Amazon Publishing, Kindle Direct Publishing|
|OTT||Disney+ (Star, Hotstar); Star+, Hulu,[a] ESPN+, Marvel Unlimited (Comics)||Peacock, Now, Sky Go, Xumo||HBO Max, Boomerang, DC Universe Infinite (Comics), Discovery+, GolfTV||Paramount+, Pluto TV, BET+, Noggin, Showtime||DAZN (85%)||Amazon Prime Video, Freevee, Amazon Music, Twitch (Gaming), ComiXology (Comics)|
|Internet||Disney Online, Disney Digital Network||Fandango (70%)||Fandango (30%), Otter Media||MTV New Media||Deezer||Box Office Mojo, IMDb|
|Telecommunications||Xfinity, Sky Broadband||ICE Group|
|Video games||Disney Games and Interactive Experiences, Marvel Games, Lucasfilm Games||Universal Brand Development||Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Rooster Teeth Games, Adult Swim Games||Paramount Digital Entertainment||Archetype Entertainment, Tuque Games||Amazon Games, Amazon Digital Game Store|
|2020 Revenues||US$65.39 Billion||NBCUniversal: US$34.32 Billion||WarnerMedia: US$30.4 Billion
Discovery, Inc.: US$10.6 Billion
|US$25.29 Billion||US$17 Billion||US$4.7 Billion|
|Sony (Japan)||Bertelsmann (Germany)||Vivendi (France)||Liberty Global (UK/US/NL)||Essel Group (India)||CT Corp (Indonesia)||Televisa (Mexico)||Grupo Globo (Brazil)||ABS-CBN Corporation (Philippines)||The Times Group (India)||PLDT (Philippines)||Viva Entertainment (Philippines)|
|Movie production||Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, PlayStation Productions, Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan (Japan)||UFA||StudioCanal (FR)||Lionsgate Films (US, 3.5%)||Zee Studios||Transinema Pictures||Videocine||Globo Filmes||Star Cinema, Skylight Films, Black Sheep, SCX||Mirchi Movies Limited, Junglee Pictures Limited||Cignal Entertainment||VIVA Films|
|TV production||Sony Pictures Television (US), Syco (US & UK)||Fremantle (UK)||Red Production Company (UK), TANDEM Productions (GR)||All3Media (UK, 50%), Lionsgate Television (US, 3.5%)||Essel Vision Productions||Estúdios Globo||ABS-CBN Entertainment, Dreamscape Entertainment, Star Creatives TV, RCD Narratives, RGE Drama Unit, RSB Scripted Format||Metropolitan Media Company Limited||Viva Television|
|Broadcast TV network||GetTV (US)||Buzzr (US)
RTL Group (LU)
|Canal+ Group||Telenet (BE, 58%), Ziggo (NL, 50%), ITV plc (UK, minority), Virgin Media Television (IRL)||Zee Media Corporation, Zee Entertainment Enterprises||Trans TV, Trans7||Las Estrellas, Canal 5, Canal 9, FOROtv||TV Globo||ABS-CBN, Kapamilya Channel||Times Global Broadcasting and Zoom Entertainment Network||TV5||TV5 (entertainment production partner)|
|Cable channels||Sony Pictures Television Networks||Televisa Networks||Canais Globo, Globo Internacional||Creative Programs, ABS-CBN Global||Times Music, Movies Now, Romedy Now||PBA Rush, Sari-Sari Channel||PBO, Viva Cinema, Sari-Sari Channel, TMC: Tagalized Movie Channel, History, Crime & Investigation Network, Lifetime, Celestial Movies Pinoy|
|News, business channels/
|CNews||Zee News||CNN Indonesia (franchise), CNBC Indonesia (franchise)||GloboNews||ABS-CBN News, ABS-CBN News Channel, DZMM TeleRadyo||ET Now, Lead India, Mirror Now , Times Now||News5, One News, One PH|
|National sports networks/
|Sony ESPN (India)||Sports Channel (IL)||Canal Sport||Ziggo Sport (NL, 50%)||Golf Channel Indonesia (JV), Golf+||TDN||SporTV||ABS-CBN Sports, ABS-CBN Sports+Action||One Sports, One Sports (TV channel), One Sports+|
|Sony Music Group (US), EMI Music Publishing (UK), Sony Music Entertainment Japan (Japan)||BMG||Zee Music Company||Trans Talent Management||Som Livre||MOR Philippines, Radyo Patrol, Star Music, One Music||Zoom, Radio Mirchi||Radyo5||Halo-Halo Radio|
|Publishing||Gruner + Jahr, Penguin Random House (US, UK 53%), Bertelsmann Printing Group||Prisma Press, Editis||Editorial Televisa, Intermex||Editora Globo||ABS-CBN Publishing||The Times of India, The Economic Times, Navbharat Times, The Illustrated Weekly of India||The Philippine Star (51%), BusinessWorld (70%)||Viva Books Publishing Inc.|
|OTT||FunimationNow||Videoland (Netherlands)||ZEE5||Blim||Globoplay||iWantTFC||Gaana, MX Player||Cignal Play||Vivamax|
|Internet||Dailymotion||playwin||detik Network||Comercio Más, Televisa Digital||Globo.com||ABS-CBN Digital Media||BoxTV.com, CricBuzz, TimesJobs, SimplyMarry, MagicBricks, ZigWheels|
|Telecommunications||Sony Mobile, So-net||UPC Broadband (Europe), Virgin Media (UK), Telenet (Belgium) (58%), Vodafone Netherlands (50%)||Izzi Telecom||ABS-CBN Convergence (68%), Sky Cable Corporation (59.4%)||PLDT, Smart, TNT, Sun Cellular, Cignal TV|
|Video games||Sony Interactive Entertainment, Unties||Gameloft||ABS-CBN Multimedia|
|2018 Revenues||Sony Entertainment: US$15.1 billion||US$20.30 billion||€16.02 billion||US$12 billion||US$110 million||Trans Corp: US$207.6 million||US$4.81 billion||US$4.4 billion||US$760 million||US$1.5 billion (2016)||US$3,381 million|
Studies routinely find that the individuals appearing in mass media are disproportionately white, middle-class men between the ages of 20 and 60. ... the rapid consolidation of deregulated media companies makes it even less likely that companies and stations will be minority-owned today.