The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with North America and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (October 2011) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
A media market, broadcast market, media region, designated market area (DMA), television market area, or simply market is a region where the population can receive the same (or similar) television and radio station offerings, and may also include other types of media such as newspapers and internet content. They can coincide or overlap with one or more metropolitan areas, though rural regions with few significant population centers can also be designated as markets. Conversely, very large metropolitan areas can sometimes be subdivided into multiple segments. Market regions may overlap, meaning that people residing on the edge of one media market may be able to receive content from other nearby markets. They are widely used in audience measurements, which are compiled in the United States by Nielsen Media Research. Nielsen measures both television and radio audiences since its acquisition of Arbitron, which was completed in September 2013.
Markets are identified by the largest city, which is usually located in the center of the market region. However, geography and the fact that some metropolitan areas have large cities separated by some distance can make markets have unusual shapes and result in two, three, or more names being used to identify a single region (such as Wichita–Hutchinson, Kansas; Chico–Redding, California; Albany–Schenectady–Troy, New York; and Harrisburg–Lebanon–Lancaster–York, Pennsylvania).
In the United States, radio markets are generally a bit smaller than their television counterparts, as broadcast power restrictions are stricter for radio than TV, and TV reaches further via cable. AM band and FM band radio ratings are sometimes separated, as are broadcast and cable television. Market researchers also subdivide ratings demographically between different age groups, genders, and ethnic backgrounds; as well as psychographically between income levels and other non-physical factors. This information is used by advertisers to determine how to reach a specific audience. In countries such as the United States, media regions are defined by a privately held institution, without government status; in countries such as the United Kingdom, government-run television stations map their own regions.
A Television Market Area (TMA) is a group of counties in the United States covered by a specific group of television stations. The term is used by the U.S. Government's Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate broadcast, cable, and satellite transmissions, according to the Code of Federal Regulations, at 47 CFR § 76.51 and FCC.gov. The TMAs not only have full control over local broadcasts, but also delineate which channels will be received by satellite or cable subscribers ("must-carry" rules). These market areas can also be used to define restrictions on rebroadcasting of broadcast television signals. Generally speaking, only stations within the same market area can be rebroadcast. The only exception to this rule is the "significantly viewed" list.Virtually all of the United States is located within the boundaries of exactly one TMA.
A similar term used by Nielsen Media Research is the Designated Market Area (DMA), and they control the trademark on it. DMAs are used by Nielsen Media Research to identify TV stations that best reach an area and attract the most viewers. There are 210 Nielsen DMAs in the United States, 70 of which are metered (in other words, viewership in these markets are estimated automatically instead of through the archaic diary system still in use in the smaller markets).
TMAs may cover a much larger area than the stations that serve it, especially since the digital television transition. This is particularly true in markets that have hilly or mountainous terrain that is ill-suited for digital broadcasting. In these cases, the outlying areas of a TMA may only be served by cable and satellite, or perhaps by small translators. (There are some cases, such as that of Olean, New York, where a sizable number of independent stations operate, but none carry any major network affiliation unless they operate as translators. Because of this, Olean is considered part of the Buffalo, New York market despite none of that city's major signals reaching the city from 70 miles away.) Conversely, a geographically small market such as Erie, Pennsylvania may have stations where their signal spills well over into neighboring TMAs (most of Chautauqua County, New York, is closer to Erie than Buffalo, but the county is also located within the Buffalo DMA).
Arbitron (now Nielsen Audio) also maintained similar areas for television ratings, each called an "area of dominant influence" (ADI), which were first created in 1966.For the 1993-1994 television season, there were 209 ADIs in the continental United States. Arbitron stopped offering a television ratings service in late 1993.
Nielsen Audio (previously Arbitron) maintains smaller areas for radio stations; each is called an Arbitron Radio Metro. Whereas a typical TMA may cover ten counties, an Arbitron market generally covers two to four, and a TMA may contain two to four separate Radio Metros. There are 302 Radio Metros in the United States, but not all areas of the country are covered.
In 2009, Nielsen began offering radio ratings in competition with Arbitron, starting in those markets ranked 101st and smaller.
Top 100 media markets on the radio may also contribute to society through public relation campaigns. The radios ability to target specific demographics within the areas they are located and are broadcasting from are a big reason for why they are still successful.
Terrestrial television is a type of television broadcasting in which the television signal is transmitted by radio waves from the terrestrial (Earth-based) transmitter of a television station to a TV receiver having an antenna. The term terrestrial is more common in Europe and Latin America, while in the United States it is called broadcast or over-the-air television (OTA). The term "terrestrial" is used to distinguish this type from the newer technologies of satellite television, in which the television signal is transmitted to the receiver from an overhead satellite; cable television, in which the signal is carried to the receiver through a cable; and Internet Protocol television, in which the signal is received over an Internet stream or on a network utilizing the Internet Protocol. Terrestrial television stations broadcast on television channels with frequencies between about 52 and 600 MHz in the VHF and UHF bands. Since radio waves in these bands travel by line of sight, reception is generally limited by the visual horizon to distances of 64–97 kilometres (40–60 mi), although under better conditions and with tropospheric ducting, signals can sometimes be received hundreds of kilometers distant.
Nielsen Audio is a consumer research company in the United States that collects listener data on radio broadcasting audiences. It was founded as the American Research Bureau by Jim Seiler in 1949 and became national by merging with Los Angeles-based Coffin, Cooper, and Clay in the early 1950s. The company's initial business was the collection of broadcast television ratings.
Vermont PBS (VPBS) is the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member network for the U.S. state of Vermont. It is operated by Vermont ETV, Inc. a community-based non-profit organization which owns the licenses for all of the state's PBS member stations. Originally owned and operated by the University of Vermont (UVM), the network has been operating since October 16, 1967. In the late 1970s, UVM sold the network to Vermont ETV. Until 1997, it was known as Vermont Educational Television, or Vermont ETV. Between 1997 and May 2014, it was known as Vermont Public Television or VPT.
KLST, virtual channel 8, is a CBS-affiliated television station licensed to San Angelo, Texas, United States. The station is owned by Nexstar Media Group, which also operates NBC affiliate KSAN-TV under joint sales and shared services agreements (JSA/SSA) with owner Mission Broadcasting. The two stations share studios on Armstrong Street in San Angelo; KLST's transmitter is located near Eola, Texas.
WTOC-TV, virtual and VHF digital channel 11, is a CBS-affiliated television station licensed to Savannah, Georgia, United States, serving southeastern Georgia's Coastal Empire and southern South Carolina's Lowcountry. The station is owned by Gray Television. WTOC-TV's studios are located off Chatham Center Drive in Savannah's Chatham Parkway section, and its transmitter is located along Fort Argyle Road/SR 204 in unincorporated Chatham County. On cable, the station is available on Comcast Xfinity channel 6 and Charter Spectrum channel 11.
Spanish Broadcasting System, Inc. (SBS) is one of the largest owners and operators of radio stations in the United States. SBS is also invested in television and internet properties, deriving the majority of its income from advertising through its media products.
WNPT, virtual channel 8, is a PBS member television station licensed to Nashville, Tennessee, United States. The station is owned by Nashville Public Television, Inc., a community-funded, non-profit organization. WNPT's studios are located on Rains Avenue in southeast Nashville, and its transmitter is located in the southern suburb of Forest Hills.
The media in New York's Capital District is part of the Albany-Schenectady-Troy media market, which is the 59th largest in the United States, includes all of the 11 counties of the Capital District, along with Hamilton County, New York, as well as Berkshire County, Massachusetts, and Bennington County, Vermont. In total, there are 16 AM/MW stations, 30 full-power FM stations, 14 low-power FM translators, 8 full power analog TV stations, 5 low-power TV translators, and 8 full power digital TV (DTV) stations licensed to communities within 30 miles (48 km) of downtown Albany. In terms of broadcast media, Albany is part of Arbitron market #63 (radio), and Nielsen DMA #57 (television), and is a broadcast market with historical relevance. The pioneering influence of General Electric in Schenectady directly contributed to the area emerging as the birthplace of station-based television (WRGB) and one of the earliest FM broadcast stations, in addition to the first federally licensed radio station in upstate New York, WGY.
KSAN-TV, virtual channel 3, is an NBC-affiliated television station licensed to San Angelo, Texas, United States. The station is owned by Mission Broadcasting; Nexstar Media Group, which owns CBS affiliate KLST, operates KSAN-TV under joint sales and shared services agreements. The two stations share studios on Armstrong Street in San Angelo; KSAN-TV's transmitter is located north of the city on SH 208.
WNTJ is a radio station licensed to serve Johnstown, Pennsylvania, United States. The station, established in 1946, is currently owned by Forever Media LLC and is a simulcast of WNTI out of Somerset, Pennsylvania.
WOEN is a radio station that broadcasts a country music format, simulcasting sister station WZKZ in Alfred. Licensed to Olean, New York, United States, the station serves the Olean area. The station is owned by Sound Communications LLC, a division of Waypoint Media.
WMXO is a radio station licensed to and located in Olean, New York. The station broadcasts at 101.5 MHz and plays a Contemporary Hit Radio format. The station is currently owned by Sound Communications, LLC. WMXO has been broadcasting since November 1, 1978.
KNIK-LP, VHF analog channel 6, is a low-powered television station licensed to Anchorage, Alaska, United States. The station is one of very few low-power television stations that operate predominantly as a radio station by way of the fact that many FM radio receivers can tune in a VHF channel 6 television audio carrier at 87.75 MHz. This technique is made more potent due to a formerly unforeseen interpretation of deregulatory language in FCC low-power television station regulations:
Sec. 73.653 Operation of TV aural and visual transmitters.
The aural and visual transmitters may be operated independently of each other or, if operated simultaneously, may be used with different and unrelated program material.
KQXY-FM is a radio station broadcasting a Top 40 (CHR) format. Licensed to Beaumont, Texas, it serves the Beaumont/Port Arthur metropolitan area. It first began broadcasting under the call sign KLVI-FM in 1967. The station is currently owned by Cumulus Media. Its studios are located on South Eleventh Street in Beaumont and its transmitter is located in Vidor, Texas.
WDZZ-FM is a radio station broadcasting an urban adult contemporary format, licensed to Flint, Michigan, and under ownership of Cumulus Media. Its studios are located south of the Flint city limits and its transmitter is north of downtown Flint.
KFGE is a radio station broadcasting a country music format licensed to Milford, Nebraska, United States. The station serves the Lincoln area. Studios are located at Broadcast House at 44th Street and East O Street in Lincoln, while its transmitter is located near Utica. It is one of several stations across the United States that uses the "Froggy" branding.
WNKI is a radio station broadcasting a Top 40 (CHR) format. Licensed to Corning, New York, United States, the station serves the Elmira-Corning area, and is the Arbitron #1 rated station in the market. The station is currently owned by Seven Mountains Media, which closed on its $3.9 million acquisition of the station April 1, 2019, from Community Broadcasters, LLC.
The digital transition in the United States is the switchover from analog to exclusively digital broadcasting of terrestrial television programming. According to David Rehr, then president and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters, this transition represented "the most significant advancement of television technology since color TV was introduced." For full-power TV stations, the transition went into effect on June 12, 2009, with stations ending regular programming on their analog signals no later than 11:59 p.m. local time that day.
A duopoly is a situation in television and radio broadcasting in which two or more stations in the same city or community share common ownership.
KLIR is a radio station licensed to serve Columbus, Nebraska, United States. The station is owned by Alpha Media, through licensee Digity 3E License, LLC. Digity owns and operates radio station throughout Nebraska and the Midwestern United States.