Network Spending Shows Why Free TV Isn’t Dead Yet

By Andrew Gauthier 

Associated Press

If you looked at the finances of the broadcast TV networks, you might not be optimistic about the future of free TV.

Each year, ABC, NBC and Fox contribute a smaller share of the profits reaped by their parent companies. Meanwhile cable channels boost viewership and get growing chunks of the advertising pie. No wonder a cable company is about to scoop up NBC–largely because it owns cable channels, which also deliver a stream of revenue from subscription fees.


So why are the TV networks spending tens of millions of dollars more on prime-time dramas and comedies for next season than they did in the last season? More…