American networks are top tier. No really. American networks have impacted the world at large and will forever be cemented in the history books. American TV is also highly competitive and, as you can imagine, generates billions in revenue. But what is it about US television that has the world in awe? Is it the sheer volume of content available? The quality of said content. Or is it the plethora of TV shows to watch? Whatever it might be, we’ve looked at the top 10 TV networks in the US.
Founded in 1927 in Chicago, CBS has long been at the forefront of great television. CBS offers a range of programs such as news, sitcoms, procedurals, police dramas, and even reality TV – more on that in a bit. As with most other networks, CBS entered the digital world when it launched its streaming news service in 2014. But back to reality TV. This network also gave us the first-ever reality TV show, Survivor. Over the years, Jeff Probst’s hosted show has been a top performer for the channel, so much so that the show is currently in its 42nd season. The network’s roster also includes FBI, FBI Most Wanted, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Price is Right, and many more.
Most popular program: Survivor
Viewers for the 2021/2022 season: 6.35 million
With its headquarters in New York, NBC gave us countless classic TV shows we still love today and don’t forget about the news and soap operas! Think The Voice, Days of our Lives, Parks and Recreation, This is Us (which sadly ended in May), and so much more. If we think about it, many of NBC’s longest-running shows are still considered the best such as Law and Order: SVU and the entire Chicago franchise.
Most popular program: The Voice
Viewers for the 2021/2022 season: 6.25 million
When we hear Fox, we immediately think about The Walking Dead. And some other shows too. Fox is known for their groundbreaking and highly entertaining reality TV shows, and we couldn’t be happier about that. Think Masked Singer, Beat Shazam, So You Think You Can Dance, Hell’s Kitchen, MasterChef Junior, and more!
Most popular program: Masked Singer
Viewers for the 2021/2022 season: 4.68 million
The American Broadcasting Company was founded in October 1943. This network has given a slew of series, such as the ever-popular Grey’s Anatomy, American Idol, and The Bachelor. The channel also has one of the most popular shows of 2022 so far, Abbot Elementary. ABC has cemented itself as a formidable contender in the battle of the networks. Not only are they referenced in popular culture, but the content is also truly world-class. ABC also comes with a range of featured brands such as FX, Nat Geo, Hulu, ABC News, and more.
Most popular program: The Bachelor
Viewers for the 2021/2022 season: 4.19 million
A network dedicated to all things sports-related is a win in any book! While ESPN is part-owned by Disney, it solely focuses on sports news which has been welcomed since the network first launched in 1979. For the past 40 years, we’ve been able to catch up on much-needed sports coverage from boxing to football and basketball too!
Most popular program: Sportscenter
Viewers for the 2021 season: 3.03 million
What we like about Univision is that firstly, it’s free-to-air, and secondly, it is primarily focused on Spanish language content. What’s more, you get Spanish soap operas, as well as news shows dedicated to Spanish speakers.
Most popular program: La Rosa De Guadalupe
Viewers for the 2021/2022 season: 1.432 million
This list would not be complete without adding some sort of news company. Fox News has cemented itself as a breaking news channel by covering everything from breaking news, lifestyle, politics (probably their biggest draw card), opinion pieces, and more. Fox News plays a unique role in the media world, and so far, 2022 has been no different. Fun fact, during the 2000 presidential race, Fox News saw a staggering 440% increase in viewers, the most significant gain among the top three news networks.
Most popular program: Breaking news and political news
Viewers prime time: 2.34 million
Total day viewers: 1.32 million
Home and Garden Television broke into the TV space by offering a slew of DIY home and garden shows. And for the past 28 years, execs have stuck to the formula. If you are after ideas or are just interested in seeing what others are doing to their homes, then this is for you.
Most popular program: A Very Bad Renovation
Viewers for the 2021/2022 season: 1.243 million
Founded by media exec Tom Rogers, MSNBC is a news network dedicated to anything and everything news. If you are after political commentary and the latest updates on current affairs, MSNBC is the one you are after. It is also a pay-tv channel.
Most popular program: overall news
Viewers for the 2021 season: 1.194 million
This network prides itself on being one of the leading entertainment networks, and we understand why. You can catch the latest episodes of NCIS, Hawaii Five-O, Blue Bloods, MacGyver (the new one), and more. The network also offers reruns of other popular shows, which prove to be equally as popular as their new lineups.
Most popular program: as voted by viewers, the film, The Lincoln Lawyer
Viewers for the 2021 season: 1.044 million