How did TV Markets come about?

I mean why are Baltimore and Washington DC two seperate markets. They are close enuff to be one. Wouldn’t that have saved on duplication? How come Boston and Providence aren’t one? They are closer than Grand Forks and Fargo ND but those cities are one. Yes I realize that the populations are so much greater but Dallas and Fort Worth are one market.

Was this political? I mean why have TWO NBC stations in Baltimore and DC when one could do the job?

Why did Chicago get less VHF than LA or NYC. At the time Chicago was bigger than LA? Why did LA and DC not have to sacrifice one of their VHF channels to PBS.

Nielson seems to control this but who put them in charge of determaining markets. And why do they differ from Metro Area Ranks?

Click here for Market Segments --Note may have changed due to the 2000 census–

The stations wanted duplication. Most network affiliates originally started out as radio stations and went into TV. So the NBC affiliate in DC and the one in Baltimore both applied for a TV license. The FCC granted it, and allocated the bandwidth so they signals wouldn’t interfere. Since running a TV station is very profitable, neither station is going to voluntarily give it up (also, each of the stations reach areas the other cannot).

As long as the bandwidth was available, the FCC was happy to grant licenses.

As far as PBS is concerned, they came to the party late, and most of the VHF channels had been allocated. So they were given UHF. In a few cities, there was a VHF channel available, so that’s what they used.

Nielson doesn’t control the allocation. The FCC does. They use metro areas according to what they perceive as being a unit for advertising purposes. If you’re advertising a store in DC, then you really aren’t all that interested in Baltimore shoppers; they’re too small a percentage of your sales. Ditto for an advertiser in Baltimore.