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Difference between MSNBC and NBC

With the invention of the television, came the original major networks. These were the original channels that broadcast to every television available. The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) was formed in 1926 and began broadcasting nationally. It was presented only in live television and revolutionized our leisure time quickly making television one of our favorite American past times. As with most modern inventions, the need for more programming grew and more broadcasting conglomerates began springing up. With every proceeding generation, broadcasting options grew and soon cable, a pay for programming system, was offered.  It offered an alternative concept to the free public broadcasting we began with.


Extension to an Old Favorite

Although NBC was the founder and original creator of our modern day television, it did not offer enough choices to keep every person entertained. As more and more people began to watch television, NBC’s offering of programming alone could not keep up with the high demand from consumers. Although NBC began as a public station, it obtained its funding through advertising and was able to exist solely on the profits from major corporation and selling advertising space.  As the market grew, however, other broadcasting companies began to spring up all vying for the same market advertising.

And Then Came MSNBC

1972 ushered in deregulation of the cable television industry giving people the option to pay for more programming. This enabled the industry to explode with more varied and controversial programming than once possible. It allowed more channels to enter the programming arena and offer many more options to the consumer. Among those options were cable channels. These channels were really just an extension from the original with more depth, more specialization, more targeted programming like news programming. MSNBC was one of those channels that arose as pay cable was being introduced into people’s homes.

MSNBC was born out of the idea that if they expanded NBC, they could offer more pointed, expanding programming. MSNBC was created with more news and special interest than the varied and overall programming of NBC. Although NBC based, the programming was not targeted for the general population but rather for the more sophisticated, higher educated viewer. Mostly funded by the same sponsors it remained owned and operated by the same company as NBC, it just became a different more specialized division.

MSNBC is broadcast through cable television distributing the same programming nationwide, while NBC remains more local. NBC, although giving some of the same global news and programming, specializes in local events within different regions, while MSNBC delivers the same programming across regions.

Local and Global Distribution

NBC the originator of modern day television programming has maintained its hometown, local programming style to specialize to whatever area it is broadcasting to. It broadcasts in different areas targeting that specific area with its programming and special interest preferences of the population. It has its own anchor people and programs which differ from area to area. MSNBC, although maintaining the original brand label, targets nationally with more global programming and broadcasts the same programming to everyone no matter where they are located. There is no area specific programming with MSNBC, it delivers across populations both news and non-specific programming, really just an extension of the origins that NBC created.

Similarities and Differences

  • NBC was the first broadcasting station established in 1926
  • The government deregulated the broadcasting industry in 1972 leading to the explosion of varies cable channels
  • MSNBC was programming established to be an extension of the original NBC

Which network would you rather watch during lunch?
  • NBC

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