Television networks are becoming increasingly competitive. However, these top 10 networks remain to be the biggest in terms of value.
10 CNN: $6.1 billion
Founded by media tycoon Ted Turner, Cable News Network (CNN) has grown from being the first channel able to provide news coverage 24 hours a day, to having international news counterparts in key cities around the globe. CNN is the most widely distributed television news network, reaching viewers through the television and web as well as mobile streaming. CNN is also watched by more than 260 million viewers outside of the United States. CNN’s shows contain a variety of news programs, encompassing politics, world news, morning news, live interviews, medical news, documentaries, human interest stories, money, and foreign affairs.
9 ESPN2: $6.9 billion
Viewed in 89 million homes across in the United States, ESPN2 is one of the most valuable sports television networks in the world. While it was originally created to cater to younger sports fans during the 1993 launch, it has been rebranded to continue as another mainstream sports channel for its mother company, ESPN. ESPN2 is also the home channel of ESPN for tennis coverage, which showcases the big tennis events in television: Wimbledon, the US Open, the French Open, and the Australian Open.
8 Discovery Channel: $7 billion
Discovery Channel has come a long way from being a single channel entertainment company in 1985 to having 28 entertainments brands showing in over 100 channels across the globe. The channel enjoys an audience of over 1.5 billion subscribers, showing an extensive array of non-fiction television shows. Some of its brands include the Animal Planet, Discovery Fit and Health, Velocity, Destination America, The Learning Channel, and the Military Channel.
7 MTV: $ 7 billion
The New York-based cable television channel MTV was originally conceptualized as an outlet for music videos playing 24 hours a day targeting young adults, way back when it first aired in August 1981. Television personalities known as video jockeys would host MTV’s shows, providing information on bands and music. Today, MTV no longer plays just music videos, but a whole other mélange of shows relating to pop culture, including reality shows, and live concert broadcasts including the popular MTV Unplugged. MTV’s main audiences today are teens, and the company has spawned international channels in Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas.
6 USA Network: $7.7 billion
USA Network grew a long way from its humble beginnings when it first aired in 1971. Its popularity and development is mostly due to original shows, including La Femme Nikita, Royal Pains, White Collar, Suits, and many more. The channel also airs Universal Studios movies as well as reruns of the Law and Order television series. USA Network is also known to feature regular airings of WWE programs, including Monday Night Raw, A.M. Raw, Tribute to the Troops, and the WWE Hall of Fame. Some countries in South America including Brazil and Argentina had their own USA Network channels, although these were eventually renamed to Universal Channel in 2004.
5 Disney Channel: $9.3 billion
Targeted at pre-teens, young teens till 14, and preschoolers aged 2 to 6, the Disney Channel’s programming was originally intended for families and children. However, the recent years saw a diversification in their offerings, and now the channel counts adults and teenagers among their roster of fans. The Disney Channel offers seasonal programming blocks, or a different them recurring every summer, Christmas, New Year, and October for Halloween. Sister companies of the Disney Channel include Disney XD (Extreme Digital), which is aimed at young males aged 7 to 14, and Disney Junior. The channel today already has established counterparts abroad, in countries including Hong Kong, Australia, the Middle East, Scandinavia, Ireland, the Caribbean, and the Netherlands, among others.
4 TBS: $9.6 billion
Owned by Time Warner, TBS primarily shows reruns of sitcoms and its own original comedies, although it doesn’t show news. TBS is responsible for the comedies Cougar Town, Who Gets the Last Laugh, and Sullivan and Son. The daytime hours show reruns of comedy classics which include the Fresh Prince of Bel-air, The King Of Queens, Everybody Loves Raymond, Seinfeld, and The Big Bang Theory. TBS also famously shows a number of feature films from sister companies New Line Cinema, Warner Brothers, Columbia Pictures, Paramount Pictures, and Universal Pictures.
3 Fox News: $11.4 billion
The Fox News Channel is owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, which is currently subscribed to by over 102 million people in the United States and abroad. The channel airs 15 hours of live shows per day, with video news clips also available on the Fox websites. Fox news shows are also carried by international counterparts abroad in countries such as Brazil, Italy, the Netherlands, Pakistan, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada.
2 TNT: $ 13 billion
The Turner Network Television, a subsidiary of Time Warner, has a focus on drama in its television series and films although they also show professional sports broadcasts. Its daytime hours mostly show drama reruns which include Law and Order, CSI: NY, Supernatural, and The Mentalist. Original TNT shows include Heartland, Memphis, Trust Me, Wanted, and Witchblade, among others. Feature films are an important aspect of TNT shows, as they also include films from sister companies Warner Brothers, Columbia Pictures, Touchstone Cinemas, New Line Cinema, and Universal Pictures.
1 ESPN: $25.6 billion
ESPN takes the cake for the most valuable television network in the world, with its range of sports-centered talk shows and live broadcasting making it one of the most-watched and successful channels. ESPN stands for the Entertainment and Sports Network, and was founded in 1979. Sportscenter is the channel’s original flagship show, which is a daily sports news show bringing viewers the latest in sports news and events. Among its documentary style and television talk shows focused around sports are its other shows Baseball Tonight, Around the Horn, Outside the Lines, Sunday NFL Countdown, College GameDay, Pardon the Interruption, and SportsNation.