Most television services outside North America are national networks established by a combination of publicly funded broadcasters and commercial broadcasters. Most nations established television networks in a similar way: the first television service in each country was operated by a public broadcaster, often funded by a TV licensing fee, and most of them later established a second or even third station providing a greater variety of content. Commercial television services also became available when private companies applied for television broadcasting licenses. Often, each new network would be identified with their channel number, so that individual stations would often be numbered One, Two, Three, and so forth.
See also: Television in the United Kingdom
The first television network in the United Kingdom was provided by the BBC, but commercial broadcasting was established in order to create a second television network. Rather than creating a single network with local stations owned and operated by a single company (as is the case with the BBC), each local area had an separate television station independently owned and operated, although most of these stations shared a number of programmes. Gradually, each of these stations formed the ITV Network.
When UHF television allowed a greater number of television stations to broadcast, the BBC launched a second network, BBC Two (and the original service was later renamed BBC One). A fourth nationwide commercial network was launched, Channel 4, although Wales introduced a Welsh-language service instead, S4C. A fifth network, currently called Channel 5, was later launched. Since the introduction of digital television, the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 each introduced a number of digital-only channels.
Until 1989, Netherlands Public Broadcasting was the only television network in the Netherlands, with three stations, Nederland 1, Nederland 2 and Nederland 3. Rather than having a single production arm, there are a number of public broadcasting organizations that create programming for each of the three stations, each working relatively independently. Commercial broadcasting in the Netherlands is currently operated by two networks, RTL Nederland and SBS Broadcasting, which together broadcast seven commercial stations.
See also: Television in Russia
The first television network of Soviet Union appeared on 4 November 1967 when the Channel One of USSR Central Television became all-union one. Until 1989 there were six TV channels, all owned by the USSR Gosteleradio. This changed during Gorbachev's Perestroika when the first independent television network, 2×2, was launched.
Following a breakup of the Soviet Union, USSR Gosteleradio ceased to exist as well as its six channels. Only Channel One had a smooth transition to the Ostankino Channel One and the network itself survived. The other 5 networks were Ground Zero. This free airwave space allowed many private television networks like NTV and TV-6 to appear in the mid-1990s.
2000s were marked by the increased state intervention in Russian Television. On 14 April 2001 NTV television channel had its management changed following the expulsion of former oligarch and the founder of NTV Vladimir Gusinsky. As a result most of the star reporters left the channel. Later, on 22 January 2002, the second biggest private television network TV-6, where the former NTV staff took refuge, was shut down allegedly because of its editorial policy. Five months later, on 1 June TVS was launched, mostly consisting of NTV/TV-6 staff, only to stop airing 1 year later. Since then four biggest TV networks (Channel one, Russia 1, NTV and Russia 2) are state-owned.
Still, 2000s saw a rise of several independent TV networks like REN (its coverage increased vastly allowing it to become federal channel), Petersburg — Channel Five (overall the same), the relaunched 2×2 and others. Now the TV audience is mainly shared by 5 leading companies: Channel one, Russia 1, NTV, TNT and CTC.
See also: Television in Australia
Australia has two national public networks, the ABC and SBS. The ABC operates eight stations as part of its main network ABC1, one for each state and territory, as well as three digital-only channels, ABC2, ABC3 and ABC News 24. SBS currently operates two stations, SBS One and SBS Two.
The first commercial networks in Australia involved commercial stations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and later Perth, sharing programming, with each network forming networks based on their allocated channel numbers: TCN-9 Sydney, GTV-9 Melbourne, QTQ-9 Brisbane, NWS-9 Adelaide and STW-9 Perth together formed the Nine Network, while their equivalents on VHF channels 7 and 10 formed the Seven Network and Network Ten respectively. Until 1989, areas outside of these main cities had access to only a single commercial station, and these rural stations often formed small networks such as Prime Television. Beginning in 1989, however, television markets in rural areas began to aggregate, allowing these rural networks to broadcast over a larger area, often an entire state, and become full-time affiliates to one specific metropolitan network.
In the Philippines, in practice, the terms network, station and channel are used interchangeably as programming line-ups are mostly centrally planned from the networks' main offices, and since provincial/regional stations usually just relay the broadcast from their parent network's flagship station (usually based in the Mega Manila area). Hence VHF networks are sometimes informally referred to by the channel number they are seen on terrestrial TV in the Mega Manila area (e.g. Channel 2 or Dos for ABS-CBN and Channel 7 for GMA Network) while some networks have the channel numbers in their name (e.g. TV5, Studio 23 and Net 25 which are seen on channels 23 and 25 respectively).
Unlike the US where networks get programmes from various production houses, the two largest networks in the Philippines produce all their primetime programmes except for Asianovelas. Other networks adopt block-time programming whose programming arrangements are similar to the relationship between a US network and station. USA has the mosted watch television network.