The Dish Network Corporation, re-branding its consumer TV service simply as DISH, is an American direct-broadcast satellite service provider. The company provides satellite television, audio programming, and interactive television services to commercial and residential customers in the United States. As of March 2013[update], the company provided services to just over fourteen million subscribers and has approximately 34,000 employees (with more than 25,000 employees located within the United States). The company is headquartered in Meridian, Colorado, though the postal designation of nearby Englewood is used in the corporate mailing address.
In January 2008, Dish Network was spun-off from EchoStar, its former parent company, which was founded by Charlie Ergen as a satellite television equipment distributor in 1980. The company began using Dish Network as its consumer brand in March 1996, after the successful launch of its first satellite, EchoStar I, in December 1995. That launch marked the beginning of its subscription television services, and EchoStar has since launched numerous satellites, with nine owned and leased satellites in its fleet as of January 2013. EchoStar continues to be the primary technology partner to Dish Network.
Video on demand (VOD) or audio and video on demand (AVOD) are systems which allow users to select and watch/listen to video or audio content on demand. IPTV technology is often used to bring video on demand to televisions and personal computers. Catch up TV is a form of video on demand.
Television VOD systems either stream content through a set-top box, a computer or other device, allowing viewing in real time, or download it to a device such as a computer, digital video recorder (also called a personal video recorder) or portable media player for viewing at any time. The majority of cable- and telco-based television providers offer both VOD streaming, including pay-per-view and free content, whereby a user buys or selects a movie or television program and it begins to play on the television set almost instantaneously, or downloading to a DVR rented from the provider, or downloaded onto a PC, for viewing in the future. Internet television, using the Internet, is an increasingly popular form of video on demand.
Comcast Corporation is the largest mass media and communications company in the world by revenue. It is the largest cable company and home Internet service provider in the United States, and the nation's third largest home telephone service provider. Comcast provides cable television, broadband Internet, telephone service and in some areas home security (including burglar alarms, surveillance cameras, fire alarm systems and home automation) to both residential and commercial customers in 40 states and the District of Columbia. Since January 2011, having acquired the majority of the international media company NBCUniversal is also a producer of film and television contents, operates cable channels, national channels (NBC and Telemundo), the major film Universal Pictures and Theme Parks.
The company is headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In January 2011, Comcast acquired a 51% majority stake in media conglomerate NBCUniversal from GE, and began the process of purchasing the remaining 49% on February 12, 2013, at a cost of $16.7 billion. It completed the purchase on March 19, 2013. Comcast also has significant holding in several cable networks (including E! Entertainment Television, the Golf Channel, and NBC Sports Network), distribution (ThePlatform), and related businesses.
Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic (CSN Mid-Atlantic) is an American regional sports network that operates as an affiliate of Comcast SportsNet and delivers live-game coverage and sports news and entertainment television programming to more than 4.7 million households throughout the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore region of the United States. It is owned by the NBC Sports Group unit of NBCUniversal.
The network serves as the official television partner of the Washington Redskins, Washington Capitals, Chesapeake Bayhawks, Washington Wizards, D.C. United and Washington Mystics, as well as the home of the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Colonial Athletic Association.
Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia (CSN Philadelphia) is an American regional sports network that operates as an affiliate of Comcast SportsNet which primarily serves the Philadelphia metro area, but its reach extends to cover Southeastern Pennsylvania, all of South Jersey, and most of Delaware. It is owned by the NBC Sports Group unit of NBCUniversal, which in turn is owned by locally-based cable television provider Comcast. CSN Philadelphia's studios and offices are located inside the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. CSN Philadelphia also has a small studio inside Citizens Bank Park, which is used sporadically during the baseball season.
NBCUniversal, Inc. (formerly known as NBCUniversal Media, LLC in 2011, and NBC Universal, Inc. previously) (and also known as NBCU or NBCUni) is an American media and entertainment company engaged in the production and marketing of entertainment, news, and information products and services to a global customer base. The company owns and operates American television networks, numerous cable channels, and a group of local stations in the United States, as well as motion picture companies, several television production companies, and branded theme parks.
NBC Universal was formed in August 2004 by the merger of General Electric's NBC with Vivendi's Vivendi Universal Entertainment. GE and US cable TV operator Comcast announced a buyout agreement for the company on December 3, 2009. Following regulatory approvals, the transaction completed on January 28, 2011. Comcast subsequently owned 51% of NBC Universal while GE owned 49%. Comcast intended to buy out the rest of GE's stake over the following seven years, but nothing happened until February 12, 2013, when Comcast announced its intention to complete the purchase all at once and assume 100% ownership of the company by the end of March. The deal was finalized on March 19, 2013.
Television is one of the major mass media of the United States. Household ownership is 96.7% and the majority of households have more than one. Its peak was the 1996-1997 season with 98.4% ownership.  As a whole, the television networks of the United States are the largest and most syndicated in the world.
As of August 2013, there are approximately 114,200,000 American households with television.
NBC Sports is the sports division of the NBC television network. Formerly "a service of NBC News," it broadcasts a diverse array of programs, including the Olympic Games, the NFL, the NHL, Notre Dame football, the PGA Tour, and the Triple Crown, among others. Other programming from outside producers – such as coverage of the Ironman Triathlon – is also presented on the network through NBC Sports. With Comcast's acquisition of NBCUniversal, its own cable sports networks were aligned with NBC Sports into a part of the division known as the NBC Sports Group.