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National Association of Broadcasters
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Frequently Asked Questions

What are NAB positions on issues related to the broadcast industry?
NAB maintains a list of its position statements here.

How many radio and TV stations are there in the United States?
The FCC updates its stations estimates every quarter. View that chart here.

How many radio and TV stations are there in the world?
The Central Intelligence Agency maintains a complete list of international radio and TV stations in the CIA World Factbook. The World Factbook describes each country’s broadcast ownership, as well as estimates for the total number of broadcast stations (radio and TV) for each nation.

How do I purchase or start a broadcasting station?
Click here for more information on how to apply for a radio or television broadcast station from the FCC.

Where can I find a list of radio and TV markets?
Nielsen updates radio and television market rankings every year. You can find a listing of TV markets and number of TV homes within each market for the 2019-2020 TV season here and the listing of radio markets and number of people in each market for 2019 here.

Where can I find broadcast industry employment information?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes employment estimates for the Radio and Television Broadcasting industries, as well as average hourly and annual wage estimates by occupation title.

Where can I find information on women and minorities in broadcasting?
The FCC releases statistics on radio and TV station ownership for minorities and women every two years. Click here to access the most recent update.

The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA)/Hofstra University Survey includes data on women and minority employment in the broadcasting industry. Click here to read the report.

Where can I learn about broadcasters' community service initiatives and nonprofit partnerships?
NAB’s Broadcast Public Service website illustrates the unique impact that radio and television broadcasters have in their local communities.

What is the total advertising revenue for the radio and TV industry?
According to Kagan, a media research group within S&P Global Market Intelligence, the radio industry generated $17.8 billion in advertising revenue in 2019. For TV, Kagan projects that local stations generated $21.9 billion in on-air advertising revenue in 2019.

For additional financial data on the TV industry, try NAB's Television Financial Report, an annual report containing average revenue and expense data for commercial television stations; and The Television Industry: Market-by-Market Review, also published by NAB. Click here to order NAB publications.

How much does radio and TV broadcasting contribute to the nation's Gross Domestic Product?
According to analysis by Woods & Poole Economics, $1.17 trillion of the annual U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) originates in the local commercial broadcast radio and television industry. All told, TV and radio broadcasting contributes to nearly 6% of the nation's GDP.

How much time is spent listening to radio and watching TV?
According to the Nielsen February 2020 Total Audience Report, adults watch almost 34 hours of TV and listen to nearly 12 hours of radio per week.
The Nielsen Total Audience Report

How does broadcast TV hold up versus cable ratings?
Broadcast remains at the top in terms of TV viewership. According to Nielsen, television programs on broadcast networks such as NBC, ABC and CBS are watched by millions more viewers than the top programs on cable networks.

What are the top radio formats?
View the top 10 most popular radio formats of 2019 here.

What is spectrum and why should I care?
Click here for a Spectrum 101 tutorial.

Where can I find a breakdown of frequency allocation in the U.S., and maybe even a handy chart?
Information on how frequencies are assigned and maintained is provided by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the Interdepartment Radio Advisory Committee.

What is Next Gen TV?
Next Gen TV, or ATSC 3.0, technology enhances the viewing experience with ultra high definition video quality, theater-like sound, mobile reception and more accessibility, personalization and interactivity. More information can be found here.

What is HD Radio?
HD Radio technology enables local AM and FM broadcasters to offer crystal clear sound and additional digital content for free. A single frequency is capable of delivering up to four stations of content. Additionally, the digital signal provides on-screen information such as album art, song information, traffic and weather. More information can be found here.

How many HD radio stations are there?
Click here for a complete listing of HD radio stations by zip code.

I'd like to know more about the new technologies that are being offered or are in development by our nation's broadcasters.
Please visit our innovation section and nabpilot.org for more information.

Where can I find information about the Emergency Alert System (EAS)?
The FCC has more information about the EAS here.

Where can I find information about the history of NAB or the history of broadcasting?
The Library of American Broadcasting houses a collection of resources regarding the history of broadcast radio and TV.