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Major U.S. commercial broadcasting company. It was formed in 1926 by RCA Corp., General Electric Co. (GE), and Westinghouse and was the first U.S. company to operate a broadcast network. Directed by RCA's president David Sarnoff, it became wholly owned by RCA in 1930. NBC was initially divided into the semi-independent Blue Network, based on station WJZ, and the Red Network, based on WEAF, each with links to stations in other cities. By 1938 the Red Network carried 75% of NBC's programs. The Blue Network was sold in 1941 and became the American Broadcasting Co. (ABC). NBC entered television broadcasting in a weakened position, and by 1952 it trailed CBS in audience ratings, though it gradually regained its leading position. In 1986 RCA was sold to GE; in 1987 NBC sold its radio networks. In the 1990s NBC expanded its cable television programming, creating MSNBC (an alliance with Microsoft) and CNBC (an alliance with Dow Jones).
Variants of NBC
NBC in full National Broadcasting Co.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on NBC, visit Britannica.com.