Every day people flip on the TV to watch their favorite drama, reality TV, news, sports, or comedy, but is what they’re watching really all that different? TV show in existence is apart of something bigger and they can all be traced back to at least one large corporation. So if this is true how is the audience affected? To help answer this question I’ll be using the television show Psych as an example. Psych airs on the USA Network, which is a part of NBC Universal. NBC Universal owns a number of different media firms such as, NBC News, Hulu, E!, Syfy, Bravo, A & E, Fandago, and Universal Pictures. They also own some local new stations and a few major theme parks. Also on their webpage NBC Universal says that Comcast holds a 51% interest in the company and GE holds the other 49%.

To many people this might not seem like such a huge deal, but Comcast’s somewhat recent decision to buy holds in NBC brings up the question, how does Comcast effect the content of TV shows? To answer this I’ve found the article How Will NBC Change Under Comcast Ownership? by Scott Harris. In this article he lists a number of changes, a few of which I will outline here. He believes that NBC will have more sports, more coverage of the Olympics, more Jay Leno, and move cable hits to television network.

So what effect will this have on the audience? The audience could potentially get less of a variety in programming and the same values or beliefs will most likely be repeated, even if the shows are different. The result of Comcast having more connections to the audience also means they have more of a potential to influence audience beliefs.  Also, cultural references and American ideals will be repeated and referenced often enough that it reinforces the already present values of our culture. Take for example, Psych. In Psych a number of Harry Potter, Star Wars, and other movie references are made which sends the signal to the audience that if they want to be on the same wavelength as the rest of society these are the topics they need to know.

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