There is long-standing debate over the flow of television across national borders. The rise of production centers around the world and the increase in contra-flows fueled claims that television had entered a new era, one with unfettered circulation of programs in all directions. The United States is central to such discussions, both as an exporter of products and as a proponent of free trade, but such contra-flows have not reached American soil. The debut fall schedules for the mainstream broadcast networks over six seasons, 2004-5 through 2009-10, reveal a total absence of finished programs from outside the United States. There were imported program formats, including fictional dramas and comedies, but no finished programs. The analysis also shows the market dominance of six media conglomerates, with an ownership interest in between 85.9 and 94.7 percent of the attributable programs on the debut schedules of the networks.
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