Television set for a revolution

About 90 percent of Americans pay for television, giving them scores of channels to choose from, but four free-to-air networks they can pick up with a “rabbit ears” aerial still account for 96 of the top 100 primetime programs. Audience inertia and brand loyalty built over decades mean that ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC still account for 40 percent of all primetime viewing. Their unique ability to attract mass audiences, particularly for live sport, has kept TV advertising healthy even as advertising dollars fled other media for Google and Facebook.

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