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Television In The USA


учитель Р.А. Федянина, гимназия N 123, г. Барнаул


1. To consolidate the acquisition of the words for the topic `Television`.
2. To practise listening for main ideas about television in the USA.
3. To practise writing a short report of an interview.
4. To practise reading for specific information on television in the USA.
5. To practise speaking on television in the USA.


Hello, I`m glad to see you. I hope you`re fine today. Today`s lesson is about television in the USA. We`ll learn some information on TV channels, popular programs and the largest TV networks in the US.
Why do you think people watch TV? For news? For entertainment? For another reason?
Are American TV programs shown in this country? Which ones? What are your favorites?


1. Look at the words in the box and put them into categories of your choice.

Commercial soap opera game show PBS sports documentary cable news satellite CNN sitcom announcer ABC talk show educational discussion high-definition presenter quiz conventional NBC host national master music anchorman serial current affairs commentator channel viewer station

2. Work in pairs. Do you have the same categories? Do you have the same words in the categories?

3. In the box there are some words to describe different types of TV programs. Match them with their definitions.

1. A television comedy series in which the same characters appear in different stories each week.
2. A television program on which the presenter, or host, interviews well-known people.
3. A television program about the continuing daily life and troubles of a group of characters, broadcast every day, two or three times a week.
4. A television competition in which the players can win prizes if they answer questions correctly.
5. A program about important things that are happening in the world at the present time.


1. Listen to Shelley, who`s American, talking to Francis, who`s English, about television in the USA. Tick (V) the questions below that Francis asks.

1). How many television channels are there?
2). How much television do people watch every day?
3). What are the most popular types of programs?
4). Is satellite television very popular?
5). Is radio more or less popular than television?

2. Work in pairs. Can you remember what Shelley`s answers to the questions were?

Listen to the conversation again and check the answers.


1. Write a report of the interview with Shelley. Write a brief summary of her replies under each question you`ve ticked.

2. Tell the class what you`ve learnt from the interview about television in the USA.


1. Read the text about television in the USA.

Find out what the following abbreviations stand for: ABC CBS NBC PBS CNN HBO FCC.


There are a lot of commercial and non-commercial stations. Most commercial stations are affiliated with one of the national commercial networks: ABC (American Broadcasting Company), NBC (National Broadcasting Company), CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System), or Fox Broadcasting Company. These networks are not television stations or channels or programs. They are not licensed to broadcast. Networks are essentially program distribution companies. They buy programs from independent television production companies and sell these programs to individual television stations. The network is paid by advertisers to insert commercial announcements on the program the network buys.

On the average, American viewers watch TV four hours a day, usually tuned to one of the national commercial networks: ABC, NBC, CBS, or Fox Broadcasting Company. These stations attract about 98 percent of TV audiences. During a sixty-minute TV program, you can expect to see about twelve minutes of commercials.

The commercial networks broadcast a variety of shows: news, drama, soap operas, comedy, sports, music, movies, children`s programs, game shows, and talk shows. There is a lot of competition for viewers, especially during prime time, from 7 to 11 p.m. Ratings, published in the newspapers, measure the audience for the top ten programs.

PBS (Public Broadcasting Service), supported by government and private funding, is the only noncommercial network. It broadcasts more serious drama, performing arts, science, public-affairs documentaries, and educational children`s programs. Sesame Street, the most popular children`s show on PBS, appears on TV stations all over the world. All five networks broadcast twenty-four hours a day.

Some viewers pay to receive a wider selection of programs on cable television. There are up to 500 cable stations. Two well-known ones are HBO (Home Box Office), which shows movies, and CNN (Cable News Network), which specializes in news.

All of the networks have nationwide news programs. All have regularly scheduled news series. Among the most popular are CBS`s Sixty Minutes and PBS`s The MacNeil\Lehrer Newshour. The world`s the most durable TV show is NBC`s Meet the Press. In this show, important political figures and leaders are interviewed by journalists.

All television stations in the US, public or private, must be licensed to broadcast by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), an independent federal agency. Each license is given for a few years only.

There are no fees, charges, taxes or licenses in the USA foe owning television receivers or receiving anything that is broadcast through the air. There is no government censorship or `reviewing` of programs and content. But `family viewing time` from 7 to 9 o`clock in the evening has been introduced. During these hours programs containing violence and sexual suggestiveness are kept to a minimum.

2. Speak on:

a) the sources of financial support of commercial and noncommercial television;
b) the major television networks;
c) the Federal Communications Commission;
d) television charges and licenses;
e) how much television a `typical American` watches;
f) prime time and family viewing time on TV.


I hope you`ve learned a lot of interesting information about television in the USA. You`ve worked well today. Let`s remember what we`ve done at the lesson.

Your home task for the next lesson is to prepare a report on television in the USA. Your marks for the lessons are :

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