RBS

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 This article is a B-class article. It is written to a good standard. This article is part of Altverse II. This is a television-related article of Altverse II.
RBS
Type Federally incorporated enterprise established by charter
Public broadcasting
Broadcast
Radio
Television
Online
Country
First air date
June 23, 1949 (radio)
September 16, 1953 (television)
Founded May 18, 1949
Revenue $1.37 billion (2017)
$291.74 billion (2017)
Headquarters RBS Center
Glendale, Gold Coast, Sierra
Broadcast area
Worldwide
Area National; available on terrestrial and cable systems in CAS member states; available internationally via Internet and Sirus Satellite Radio
Owner Government of Sierra
Key people
Bradley Lynch (President and CEO)
Carmela Maldonado (Director-General)
Launch date
June 23, 1949 (radio)
September 14, 1953 (television)
Picture format
1080i (HDTV 16:9)
(480i/576i letterboxed for SDTVs 16:9)
Sister channels
RBS International
RBS en Español
RBS Arabic
RBS Chinese
RBS Deutsch
RBS Han
RBS en Français
RBS Korean
RBS Vietnamese
Callsign meaning
Royal Broadcasting Service
RBS (the initialism of the former official name, the Royal Broadcasting Service) is a Sierran public broadcaster owned and operated by the Government of Sierra. Founded in 1949 as a public radio broadcaster, it has since expanded to providing public television and online broadcasting. It is one of the largest television networks in Sierra as part of the "Big Six" in Sierran media (the others being 16ON, EBN, SBC, MCN, and Tokki). The network is headquartered on Flower Street and Western Avenue at the RBS Center in Glendale, Gold Coast, Sierra. There are additional offices and production facilities elsewhere throughout the Greater Porciúncula Area, as well as in San Francisco City and San Diego.

Established by royal charter as a crown corporation, it is under the administration and purview of the Minister of Culture, and is funded by Parliament and private donations, in addition to receiving profit from commercial advertising on its television channels, although it does exercise a high degree of autonomy, with its own board of directors. The President, who leads the board of directors, is appointed by the Prime Minister. The board of directors are responsible for appointing the Director-General, who is responsible for the day-to-day managerial operations of the company.

Offering programming in several languages including English, Spanish, Sierra's six other official languages, and four other languages, RBS runs nine sister channels (RBS International, RBS en Español, RBS Arabic, RBS Chinese, RBS Deutsch, RBS en Français, RBS Tondolese, RBS Korean, and RBS Vietnamese) and six digital services (RBS.ks, Radio RBS-2, Radio RBS-3, RBS Music, RBS Access, and RBSi) through RBS International Ltd, a wholly owned commercial subsidiary. In Hawaii, the Gilbert and Ellice Islands, and Rapa Nui, RBS operates under the name as RBS-Pacific. It is a full member of the Anglo-American Broadcasting Union (AABU).

The network was founded in 1949 under the Federal Broadcasting and Telecommunications Act, with the government taking over and nationalizing 15 private radio stations throughout Sierra. RBS was created in response to the perceived concern of the encroaching influence of media and broadcasting from other Anglo-American nations. It became Sierra's largest radio broadcaster, and in 1953, RBS expanded its operations to include television, launching RBS News as a major television network.

RBS's federal funding is supplemented by member station dues from local affiliated stations, donations from private individuals and institutions, and commercial advertising on its television broadcasting. Only its primary news channel, RBS One, and primary radio stations have been commercial-free since 2015. Funding for its premium and cable channels are subscription-based.

History[edit | edit source]

Early broadcasting era[edit | edit source]

RBS traces its origins back to forerunner, Public Information Network (PIN), an unsuccessful attempt by the government of Sierra to produce a nationwide radio broadcasting network, in 1928. At the time of its inception, public radio had already proliferated Sierran media, with dozens of stations and call signs from competing owners, mostly from existing print media companies, who sold expensive receiver sets to their customers. Short-lived and ill-timed, the property and assets of PIN were sold to private buyers when the Great Depression hit, and the government cut down on "inessential services" including public radio. In the wake of its own failure, the government approved over 150 requests for licensing the right to broadcast and operate on the airwaves.

During the 1930s, the only significant radio broadcaster in the market was the Pacific Radio and Communications Company (PR&CC), which was mainly serviced the Gold Coast and the Styxie. PR&CC came under the attack of the struggling newspaper industry, which saw its advertising revenue plummet in the aftermath of the Great Depression, and aggressively demanded the government restrict the nature and content of news that the radio could report on. The newspaper industry successfully brought Hollywood into the fight, with the latter preventing its own stars from appearing on radio. Ultimately, both due to the lack of government action regarding the matter, and the growing acceptance of radio as a tool for greater outreach and publicity, rather than direct competition, the major newspaper industry entered the market formally either through the establishment of their own radio stations, or purchasing existing ones. Struggling to sustain itself due to steep operational costs imposed by the Ventura Telephone Corporation, the PR&CC eventually split into four independent radio networks, and new firms entered the growing market, capitalizing off of the news generated from Great War I.

A live taping of RBS News Nightly with anchorman Paul Strozzi in 1949.

During Great War I, the government of Sierra relied on private broadcasters in disseminating information to the public, and worked closely with Hollywood in distributing films and programs which promoted the war effort, and propaganda. Renewed interest in launching a publicly owned radio network emerged towards the end of Great War II.

Following the end of the war, the Sierran government continued to work closely with private radio broadcasters, and cracked down on amateur radio. The desire to revive government-owned radio as originally conceived with PIN in 1928 reemerged in the late 1940s amid heightened tensions with the United Commonwealth. The Rioux Ministry, which was elected into office, promoted pursuing a more transparent, reconciliatory role of government in regards to public policy, and one of the functions it championed was delivering its own form of news that would be independent from private and partisan influence.

In 1949, Parliament passed the Federal Broadcasting and Telecommunications Act, which officially created RBS (as the Royal Broadcasting Service), and the Telecommunications Regulatory Agency (TRA), in a last-ditch effort to finally offer the government a permanent footing and place within Sierran media, and to regulate the growing communications industry. RBS aired its first radio broadcast on June 23, 1949 at around noontime, by airing the inaugural newscast of its flagship program, The Times of the Pacific, with as much as 450,000 nationwide tuning in. It premiered on FM airwaves with contracted local stations. Just four years later, after a moderately successful run in the radio market, RBS received approval by the TRA in obtaining television broadcasting rights, and began airing after it purchased its first station in Pasadena (KRBS-TV).

Viewership of the channel was initially tepid as most remained faithful to private broadcasters who had been on air for at least a decade. In addition, RBS lacked many of the entertainment programs offered by its competitors, who had syndicated soap operas, comedies, and movies. Edwin Goodman, RBS' first president, refused to introduce entertainment programs onto the channel lineup, which at the time consisted of news programs, documentaries, and dated films. By 1952, viewership continued to lag behind the other competitors, before Goodman resigned and gave control over to former Tokki executive George Ankram. Understanding the market demand for entertainment, Ankram still believed that the foremost duty of RBS was to provide "informative news". He then carried on an entertainment lineup which offered only "good-spirited, family-friendly content", that would be aimed towards both entertaining and educating viewers, especially children. Receiving permission from Parliament, Ankram acquired the funds and resources necessary to form a new channel which would be devoted towards engaging families and children. The new channel, RBS 2, featured edutainment programs, sing-alongs, story readings, and footage of animals and Sierran landscapes. Meanwhile, the main channel was revamped to divest less emphasis on news (which would only air during critical time slots at the morning and in the evening), by introducing original content television programs with famous Hollywood stars, and specials.

Cold War broadcasting era[edit | edit source]

During the Cold War, RBS aired more news programming and talk shows which expressed a more distinctly partisan tone that was previously absent during the decades before. Although RBS had programming that promoted the ideals of the Sierran Cultural Revolution, it only included programming that educated listeners and viewers of the cultural aspects associated with New Culture, rather than the political ideology and doctrines tied to the Revolution. Great War II forced RBS to adopt a more patriotic and nationalist-driven platform. As the national broadcaster, the decision to turn RBS into the mouthpiece of the Sierran government towards the public fell under the direction of Director-General Russell Warren, who was nominated by Prime Minister Franklin Tan and appointed by King Louis III.

During Warren's administration, he approved the development and production of The Traveler's Log and Special Look Sundays, two programs which first aired on RBS, and were the first documentary-styled programs that utilized early modern recording techniques, on-field journalism, and filmed completely in full color. The Traveler's Log focused on human interest stories throughout the world, and placed an emphasis on travel and human culture. Special Look Sundays was a 60-minute news program that focused on a weekly highlighted story that RBS journalists investigated and interviewed relevant parties. The Traveler's Log was praised for bridging the divide between Sierra and the communist world, such as the United Commonwealth, during a period of heightened tension between the capitalist West and communist East. A number of episodes included segments aired in communist countries, and it was the first Sierran programs to film in Communist China after Earl Warren's visit to the communist state. Both programs were highly acclaimed and received accolades throughout their years of production and continued to air new episodes until their respective discontinuations in 1996 and 2006.

In the 1970s, as the Colombia War intensified and dominated Sierran politics and news, RBS introduced RBS Sports and covered games from all major sports associations including basketball, Anglo-American football, soccer, baseball, and hockey. It also refined its repertoire of children's programming by securing the distributive rights to various animated series including The Toonies Show and Momo the Cat and airing them both on the flagship RBS channel and the family-oriented RBS-2. Due to competition with private news broadcasters, there was mounting pressure within RBS management to adapt and maintain high ratings across its channels. Film studios cosign with RBS to premiere and debut some of their films on television, many of which would be released theatrically just months prior. The tradition of airing movies just months after theatrical release proved popular among viewers and became organized into "Movie Thursday" blocks in 1977 before being moved permanently to "Movie Night Mondays" on RBS-2.

During the 1980s, RBS faced increased competition with private broadcasters as Sierran television and radio industries were undergoing deregulation. The emergence of satellite and cable television challenged the dominance of RBS on the airwaves and due to budgetary constraints and bureaucratic issues, RBS was a later adopter of pioneering technology and trends in the broadcasting world, including not only the aforementioned cable and satellite, but also digital broadcasting and online networking.

Contemporary history[edit | edit source]

Corporate structure[edit | edit source]

RBS Headquarters Building in Porciúncula

RBS is a federally incorporated enterprise, which is a state-owned enterprise established by the government but which is operationally independent from direct government intervention, and is autonomously self-governed through its board of directors, who report directly to the Minister of Culture and relevant committees in both houses of Parliament. The board's chairman, the President, is elected by the board of directors and is charged with promoting the public interest of the people by ensuring that RBS provides both informative and entertaining content, and providing a pathway towards creating community-oriented and involved citizens. General management and internal oversight is handled by the Director-General, who is appointed by the Queen, based on the recommendation of the Prime Minister and validation by the Senate. The Director-General is a non-voting member of the Executive Council of Sierra.

Charter[edit | edit source]

As a royal corporation, RBS operates under a Charter established by parliamentary statute, and is revised by the company, and reviewed and renewed by the Senate every 10 years. The Charter declares that the mission of RBS is to provide meaningful, beneficial news to the general populace, as well as entertainment, with the hopes of educating and creating a nation of informed, involved citizens. Its existence as a public broadcaster is to serve and promote the public good, and to convey the values and experiences of the Sierran people worldwide, and relay back outside worldviews to Sierrans through its international affiliates.

Management[edit | edit source]

As a crown corporation, RBS operates its day-to-day operations and programming autonomously from the Sierran government. RBS is governed by the Royal Charter and the 1949 Federal Broadcasting and Communications Act. Its programming complies with standards and quality control procedures set by the Telecommunications Regulatory Agency. It is independently reviewed and audited by Lewis & Sons, a private CPA firm which works exclusively with Sierran government agencies and crown corporations. RBS is one of the few crown corporations which are not subject to certain federal regulations pertaining to furloughs, federal holidays, or other operational inhibitors. The service and most of its civilian staff continue to operate and work during public holidays or government shutdowns because RBS has been deemed an essential government service by statutory law.

Board of directors[edit | edit source]

The board of directors consist of 28 members, including the Director-General (the board chair), the President and CEO, regional chairs, and directors. Half of the board members, including the key executive positions, are elected by the board of directors, while other half are elected by officials from regional and local affiliates. The 1949 Federal Broadcasting and Telecommunications Act empowers the board of directors to governing and setting the general policy and agenda of the company. In addition, they are responsible for RBS' day-to-day operations, programming selection, editorial policy, human management, marketing, finances, and management.

Since 2009, during a reorganization to RBS, many of the broadcaster's actual day-to-day operations are now directly done by the Executive Committee, which works with and alongside the company's in-house divisions and departments.

Finances and expenditures[edit | edit source]

RBS receives over 70% of its revenue from funding by the federal government, which totaled nearly $750 million in the fiscal year 2017. The total revenue of RBS in 2017 was approximately $1.37 billion. The remainder of its revenue derives from subscription fees, paid advertisements, and real estate. It also collects royalties, contract fees, and a share of profits earned by its affiliates through its programming and television shows, namely those from its television news and entertainment channels. RBS' expenditures was around $745 million, with about half of it devoted to its television networks. About one-fifth of RBS' expenditure went to radio programming, while its online content and writing constituted less than 5% of its total expenditure cost.

Headquarters and regional divisions[edit | edit source]

RBS is officially headquartered at the RBS Center in Glendale, Gold Coast. It is home to the majority of RBS national radio stations, RBS News, and RBS Television. It houses the offices of the board of directors and the Director-General. It has additional studios and facilities in Providencia, and Hollywood. Other program offices are located within the thirty mile zone, including in Santa Monica.

RBS has production centers throughout the Kingdom, including centers in San Francisco City, Bernheim, Las Vegas, San Diego, Hermosillo, Cancún, Honolulu, and Salt Lake City. RBS North, based in San Francisco City, includes a number of departments and is responsible for producing RBS documentaries and game shows. RBS Button Hour, the children's programming, is also based at the RBS North Center. Las Vegas is home to RBS Strip, which specializes in comedies and melodramas.

In addition to domestic locations, RBS maintains news gathering centers worldwide to provide coverage in specific regions and to aid RBSi in international news reporting and operations.

Services[edit | edit source]

News[edit | edit source]

Logo of RBS News
Standard news format of RBS News

RBS News is the flagship programming of RBS and is the largest news gathering operation in Sierra. It provides services to television networks, online, and domestic radio which includes a lineup with programs such as RBS News, RBS.ks, and KRBS. In 2017, a study indicated that over half of Sierra's television viewers tuned into RBS News for major breaking news including the McCombgate reveal and Tokki Studio shooting in comparison to the other broadcast news networks.

RBS News broadcasts as three standard editions: a morning edition (6 AM-9 AM), an afternoon edition (1 PM-3 PM), and an evening edition (7 PM-10 PM). In addition, each edition is transmitted in all 9 official languages. During each edition, different hosts are switched between two locations every hour, allowing for continuous, uninterrupted coverage for three hours. The service also produces special editions, one on Sunday and another during public holidays. Other news programs, hosted by certain hosts and television personalities are aired during RBS News' downtime on RBS One.

Radio[edit | edit source]

Logo of RBS Radio

RBS Radio has twelve separate services, three in English, and the rest in Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, French, German, and Japanese. In addition, RBS Radio licenses its brand and programming to fifteen local partner stations. RBS Radio and RBS Talk are primarily broadcast on the AM band while RBS Music and its affiliated stations are broadcast on FM. RBS Radio is also available in shortwave and satellite radio.

RBS Radio airs around-the-clock live news coverage and updates, including local weather and traffic (dependent on locale and local radio station affiliate), while RBS Talk features original talk show programming, podcasts, and live audio recordings of RBS One and RBS Two programming. RBS Music One airs Top 40, new pop music, and other popular genres; RBS Music Two airs adult contemporary, 1980s to 2000s music, and ballads; RBS Music Three airs classical music, and jazz; RBS Music Four airs hard rock, metal, and other genres of rock; RBS Music Five airs EDM, lo-fi; and RBS Music Six airs hip hop, rap, and R&B.

Television[edit | edit source]

RBS operates and provides content in two main channels: RBS One and RBS Two, as the network's premiere channels. In addition to the main two, which are available nationwide, and can be viewed by older analog models, free of charge. Virtually all cable and satellite television providers also include RBS One and RBS Two in their local channel packages, free of charge, due to government mandate. Digital-exclusive channels offered include RBS International, the six official channels in other languages, RBS Kids, RBS Sports, RBS Three, and RBS Documentary. All RBS channels are available online and on mobile through the RBSGo website and app. It includes catalogues of RBS original programming, movies, documentaries, shorts, exclusive content, and live streaming for some of its channels including RBS One.

Since 2014, RBS has offered HD programming and simulcasts for all of its channels. Initially, RBS aired standard definition and high definition versions of the same channel, but by 2018, dropped the standard definition channels completely in favor of running exclusively in HD in Sierra. It continues to run standard definition versions of its content in certain areas of the Kingdom and abroad.

Daytime[edit | edit source]

On RBS One and RBS Two, daytime programming consists of the news, comedy shows, drama shows, talk shows, documentaries, select films, sports, and limited children's programming. On Sundays, the schedule shifts more heavily on news and serious discussion talk shows, as well as live broadcast sports games. Notable programs during daytime scheduling on RBS channels include The Report of the Week with Mark Makovec, The Morning in Sierra Show, and The Hollywood Circus.

Primetime[edit | edit source]

On RBS One and RBS Two, primetime programming consists of sitcoms, popular drama, select films, game shows, and select animated series. Many stations also supplement the lineup with imported programming, typically from the BBC (leading to many to jokes that RBS stands for Runs British Shows), but also from NHK and similar public broadcasters. Notable RBS primetime programs include Fool's Maiden, Lester, First Contact, and The Butler.

Children's programming[edit | edit source]

RBS is currently the largest provider of Children's programming in Sierran Broadcast Television. Many shows are aired in morning timeslots on RBS One and Two, though most today are shown on the 24/7 RBS Kids digital channel.

Specials[edit | edit source]

Music[edit | edit source]

Internet[edit | edit source]

Miscellaneous[edit | edit source]

International broadcasts[edit | edit source]

Criticism and controversies[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]