American TV

usaglobeTelevision is one of the major mass media of the United States. Ninety-nine percent of American households have at least one television and the majority of households have more than one. As a whole, the television networks of the United States are the largest and most syndicated in the world. In the

United States television is available via terrestrial (“over-the-air”), unencrypted satellite (“free-to-air”), direct broadcast satellite, cable television, and IPTV (internet protocol television).

Over-the-air and free-to-air TV is free with no monthly payments while cable, direct broadcast satellite, and IPTV require a monthly payment that varies depending on how many channels a subscriber chooses to pay for. Channels are usually sold in groups, rather than singly.

Broadcast TV

The United States has a decentralized, market-oriented television system. The United States has a national public broadcast service known as the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Local media markets have their own television stations, which may be affiliated with or owned and operated by a TV network.

Stations may sign affiliation agreements with one of the national networks. Except in very small markets with few stations, affiliation agreements are usually exclusive: If a station is an NBC affiliate, the station would not air programs from ABC, CBS or other networks.

However, to ensure local presences in television broadcasting, federal law restricts the amount of network programming local stations can run. Until the 1970s and ’80s, local stations supplemented network programming with a good deal of their own produced shows. Today, however, many stations produce only local news shows. They fill the rest of their schedule with syndicated shows, or material produced independently and sold to individual stations in each local market.

The Major Networks

usa-flagThe five major U.S. networks are ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, and The CW. The first three began as radio networks: NBC and CBS in the 1920s, and ABC was spun off from NBC in 1943. Fox is a relative newcomer that began in 1986, although it is built upon the remnants of the former DuMont Television Network, which was an earlier “fourth network” that operated from 1948 to 1956.
The CW was created in 2006 when UPN merged with The WB.

Weekday schedules on ABC, CBS and NBC affiliates tend to be similar, with programming choices sorted by dayparts (Fox does not air network programming outside of prime time other than weekend sports programming).

Typically, they begin with an early-morning local news show, followed by a network morning show, such as NBC’s Today, which mixes news, weather, interviews and music. Network daytime schedules consist of talk shows and soap operas, with one network (CBS) still carrying game shows and a handful of other games airing in syndication; local news may air at midday. Syndicated talk shows appear in the late afternoon, followed by local news again in the early evening. ABC, CBS and NBC offer network news, generally at 6:30 or 7:00 in the Eastern Time zone and 5:30 or 6:00 in other areas. Local newscasts or syndicated programs fill the “prime access” hour or half-hour, and lead into the networks’ prime time schedules, which are the day’s most-watched three hours of television.

Typically, family-oriented comedy programs led in the early part of prime time, although in recent years, reality television like Dancing with the Stars has largely replaced them. Later in the evening, dramas like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, House M.D., and Grey’s Anatomy air.
At the end of prime time, another local news program comes on, usually followed by late-night interview shows, such as Late Show with David Letterman or The Tonight Show. Rather than sign off for the early hours of the morning (as was standard practice until the early 1970s in larger markets and until the mid 1980s in smaller ones), TV stations now fill the time with syndicated programming, reruns of prime time television shows or the local late news o’clock news, or 30-minute advertisements, known as infomercials, and in the case of CBS and ABC, overnight network news programs.

Saturday mornings usually feature network programming aimed at children (including animated cartoons), while Sunday mornings include public-affairs programs. Both of these help fulfills stations’ legal obligations, to provide educational children’s programs and public-service programming respectively. Sports and infomercials can be found on weekend afternoons, followed again by the same type of prime-time shows aired during the week.


abcThe American Broadcasting Company (ABC) is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group, formerly ABC-TV. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948. It is the largest broadcaster in the world by revenues. As one of the Big Three television networks, its programming has contributed to American popular culture.
Corporate headquarters is in the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City, and the company’s news operations are also centered in Manhattan. Entertainment programming offices are in Burbank, California adjacent to the Walt Disney Studios and the corporate headquarters of The Walt Disney Company.

WABC-TV is the flagship television station of the American Broadcasting Company in New York City, New York. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 7 from a transmitter atop the Empire State Building. Owned by the Disney-ABC Television Group subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, WABC maintains studios near Lincoln Square on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, adjacent to ABC’s corporate headquarters.
WABC-TV is best known in broadcasting circles for its highly successful version of the Eyewitness News format and for its morning show Live! with Kelly and Michael, syndicated nationally by corporate cousin Disney-ABC Domestic Television.
ABC Player

Watch full episodes from your favorite ABC programs online. The official ABC video player can help you catch up if you miss a few shows.
There is an app available for iOS and Windows Phone, though strangely not for Android.
Full length episodes in the Full Episode Player are generally available for 4 weeks from their original air date but can vary depending on the show.
NOTE: All ABC Player VOD content is restricted to US only IP addresses (Geoblocked).



cbsCBS Broadcasting Inc. (CBS) is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network, and continues to operate a radio network and a portfolio of large market television and radio stations. The name is derived from the initials of the network’s former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. It is the second largest broadcaster in the world behind the BBC. The network is sometimes referred to as the “Eye Network” in reference to the shape of the company’s logo. It has also been called the “Tiffany Network,” which alludes to the perceived high quality of CBS programming during the tenure of its founder William S. Paley. It can also refer to some of CBS’s first demonstrations of color television, which were held in a former Tiffany & Co. building in New York City in 1950.

The network has its origins in United Independent Broadcasters Inc., a collection of 16 radio stations that was bought by William S. Paley in 1928 and renamed the Columbia Broadcasting System. Under Paley’s guidance, CBS would first become one of the largest radio networks in the United States and then one of the big three American broadcast television networks. In 1974, CBS dropped its full name and became known simply as CBS, Inc. The Westinghouse Electric Corporation acquired the network in 1995 and eventually adopted the name of the company it had bought to become CBS Corporation. In 2000, CBS came under the control of Viacom, which coincidentally had begun as a spin-off of CBS in 1971. In late 2005,

Viacom split itself and reestablished CBS Corporation with the CBS television network at its core. CBS Corporation is controlled by Sumner Redstone through National Amusements, its parent.
CBS can be seen in 96.98% of all American households, reaching 103,421,270 homes in the United States. CBS has 204 VHF and UHF affiliated stations in the U.S. and U.S. possessions. CBS is also carried on cable television across Canada, via its affiliates, as well as in Bermuda, via local affiliate ZBM-TV.

Watch a live stream from WCBS New York at Schoener Fernsehen.



CBS in the UK & Europe

CBS broadcast a number of channels aimed at the UK market, the channels are broadcast free-to-air (FTA) across large areas of Europe from the Eutelsat 28A satellite at 28.5° east.

CBS Action
CBS Action is the home of U.S. action-packed dramas, tense thrillers, sci-fi favourites and fast paced movies that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Popular shows include NCIS, Walker, Texas Ranger, Mission: Impossible, Kung Fu and The District, along with the digitally re-mastered Star Trek: The Original Series and The Next Generation.
CBS Action is broadcast in the UK on Sky channel 148, Freesat channel 137 and Virgin Media channel 192 and can be received on any free-to-air satellite receiver.


CBS Drama
CBS Drama is the essential TV destination for irresistible must-see dramas and gripping movies. A celebration of dramatic stories, unforgettable characters and compelling cliff-hangers.
Popular shows include Dynasty, Dallas, Bad Girls, Boston Legal, Touched By An Angel and the world’s most watched drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
CBS Drama is broadcast in the UK on Sky channel 149 and Freesat channel 134 and can be received on any free-to-air satellite receiver.


CBS Reality
Inspired by real life drama, crime, the bizarre and the unexplained, CBS Reality brings you sensational unscripted programmes to stir your emotions and incredible insights to keep you hooked.
CBS Reality is broadcast in the UK on channels Sky 146, Virgin 148 and Freesat 135 and can be received on any free-to-air satellite receiver.


FOX Network

foxFox Broadcasting Company, commonly referred to as the Fox Network or simply Fox, is an American commercial broadcasting television network owned by Fox Entertainment Group, part of News Corporation. The Fox Broadcasting Company and its affiliates operate many entertainment channels internationally, although these do not necessarily air the same programming as the U.S. network. Most viewers in Canada have access to at least one U.S. Fox affiliate, although most of Fox’s primetime programming (as well as NFL on Fox) is subject to Canadian simultaneous substitution regulations. The network is named after sister company 20th Century Fox, and indirectly for producer William Fox, who founded one of the movie studio’s predecessors, Fox Film.


Fox News

Fox News Channel (FNC), also known as Fox News, is a cable news channel owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of News Corporation. As of April 2009, the channel was available to 102 million households in the United States and to viewers internationally, broadcasting primarily from its New York studios. Critics have stated that Fox News Channel promotes conservative political positions and biased reporting. Commentators, news anchors, and reporters at Fox News Channel have responded that news reporting and political commentary operate independently of each other, and have denied any bias in news reporting. Fox News is available internationally, however the channel is most countries.


FOX Business FTA on Hispasat 1E

Fox Business

Fox Business is available Free-To-Air in most of Europe on the Hispasat 1E satellite at 30.0° East, the channel is available on transponder 147 – 10.730 Horizontal and is listed as FOX NEWS SKY.
Headquartered in News Corporation’s studios in midtown Manhattan, FBN also has established bureaus in such key markets as Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco (Silicon Valley), Washington, D.C. and London.
The network discusses business and financial news. Day-to-day operations are run by Kevin Magee, executive vice president of Fox News; Neil Cavuto manages content and business news coverage.

The channel is broadcast to Australia overnight via the Sky News Business Channel.
Other countries possible in the future include United Kingdom, although the channel’s reports are aired on 21st Century Fox’s Sky News in the UK, Canada and Italy, although negotiations are still on-going with cable and satellite providers. The channel is also carried on Sky Italia.



nbcThe National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City’s Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago. NBC is sometimes referred to as the “Peacock Network,” due to its stylised peacock logo, created originally for its color broadcasts.
NBC has 10 owned-and-operated stations and nearly 200 affiliates in the United States and its territories. Archival footage from a majority of the NBC owned-and-operated stations is available for perusal and purchase through the NBCUniversal Archives.

Watch a live stream from WNBC New York at Schoener Fernsehen.



NBC Overseas
In the Caribbean, many cable television and satellite television providers air local NBC affiliates, or the main network feed from WNBC New York City or WTVJ in Miami. A few locally owned NBC affiliates do exist, in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Both areas are the main receivers of NBC programs available in English and Spanish via the SAP option.
In the Bahamas, NBC programming is shown on cable via over-the-air affiliates in the United States.
In Bermuda, NBC’s full program line-up is carried by local affiliate VSB-TV, received from the network’s East Coast satellite feed.
In Aruba, the network programming is carried on station PJA-TV (ATV) 15, cable 8.

Asia Pacific
KUAM-TV is an NBC affiliate in Guam and carries the full NBC program line-up via satellite.
In American Samoa, KKHJ-LP is the NBC affiliate for Pago Pago; it signed onto the network in 2005. Local cable television also carries KING-TV from Seattle as well.
NBC is carried on cable in the Federated States of Micronesia via Honolulu’s KHNL.

CNBC Europe
CNBC Europe is a business and financial news television channel which airs across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The station is based in London, where it shares the Adrian Smith-designed 10 Fleet Place building with Dow Jones & Company. Along with CNBC Asia, the channel is operated by the Singapore-headquartered CNBC subsidiary company CNBC International, which is in turn wholly owned by NBCUniversal.
As the most viewed pan-European financial TV channel according to the 2010 EMS survey, the broadcaster reaches over 100 million households across the continent. CNBC Europe produces or co-produces 7 hours of live programming each weekday, along with reports and content for its global sister stations and the outlets of NBC News.

The CW Network

cwThe CW Television Network is an American television network that launched on September 18, 2006. It is a limited liability joint venture between CBS Corporation, the former owners of the United Paramount Network (UPN), and Time Warner subsidiary Warner Bros. Entertainment, former majority owner of The WB Television Network. The “CW” name is derived from the first letters of the names of these corporations (CBS and Warner Bros.).
The CW is America’s fifth broadcast network and the only network targeting women 18-34.The network’s primetime schedule includes such popular series as America’s Next Top Model, Gossip Girl, Hart of Dixie, 90210, Supernatural, Arrow, Nikita, Beauty and the Beast, Emily Owens, M.D., and The Vampire Diaries.

The CW is also available in Canada on cable, satellite and IPTV providers through stations owned-and-operated by CBS Corporation and affiliates that are located within proximity to the U.S.-Canadian border (whose broadcasts of CW shows are subject to simultaneous substitution laws, if a Canadian network holds broadcast rights), and through three affiliates owned by the Tribune Company that are classified in that country as superstations including the local feed of Chicago affiliate WGN-TV.


Reception of American TV Overseas

Watching TV on Satellite

The orbital position of the direct-to-home satellites for North America means that they cannot be received with domestic satellite equipment around the World, they can be received in some countries neighboring the United States, such as Canada, Mexico and some areas of the Caribbean. In most cases, taking your American satellite equipment and subscription overseas, is not an option.
In most English speaking countries, American films and programs are broadcast on local TV, in many other countries they are dubbed in the local language.
A few American channels can be received in most areas of the world, CNN and the Voice Of America (VOA).

Watching TV Online

If you live outside the United States and want to access American TV or their websites, you will find most live streams and VOD (Video On Demand) content geographical blocked (Geoblocked).
This is used by websites like,,, and, there is of course a solution to this, a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
A US VPN will allow you to browse the Internet with a US IP address and give you access to the major US networks.
There are also many sites offering US channels for a price, although many do offer a good service, take care if you decide to subscribe to one of these services.


Geoblocking is a technology that is used to prevent access to web sites from visitors in particular countries or regions.
At the moment it is mainly used by traditional broadcast companies who are moving their television, radio and music content online. Because of distribution contracts with the producers of these programmes many broadcast web sites limit access to people with in their own country.

Whenever a person connects to the internet, their computer or mobile device is assigned what is called an IP address. This is a sequence of numbers in the form
The IP address is assigned to you by the internet service provider (ISP) that you are connecting through and these in turn are assigned to the ISP in blocks.
It is therefore possible to say that a particular IP address is from a particular country or even city.
Site owners that want to use geoblocking simply choose to only allow access to a particular range of IP addresses or to block certain ranges.

US VPN (Virtual Private Network)

A US VPN account is an account that would allow you to connect to a server located in the United States. Once connected you will be assigned a US IP address and all traffic will be encrypted using PPTP or L2TP IPsec encryption. You will still need an internet connection, though you will bypass internet filtering and log keeping (if your ISP keeps logs).
Using a VPN is legal, as no re-broadcasting, copying or pirating is taking place. Once connected to a VPN network in the United States, you will be able to access most sites that restricts access to users outside the USA.

Get a US VPN from StreamVia

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