The "Freedemian Four" is the term commonly used to refer to Freedemia's four most popular broadcasting companies, Progress World Network (PWN), National Television Network (NTN), Freedemian Broadcasting Company (FBC), and Freedemian/Tarephian Television (FTT). Before 1980, National Freedemian Television was number four, in place of Freedemian/Tarephian Television.
History and Rankings
Back in the 1950's, National Television Network, the earliest created of the bunch, dominated television, with Progress World Network, which at the time was called Progress National Network or PNN, came consistently as a close second. Freedemian Broadcasting Channel was founded in 1961 but rapidly rose to compete with Progress National Network for second place. Originally, a network called National Freedemian Television (NFT) was also part of the top four, stemming from Betterview Pictures. However, NFT would not see long term success beyond the 1980s- while it still exists today, it is no longer affiliated with Betterview Pictures and now exists as a more independent network with differing programming in each major city. Freedemian/Tarephian Television wouldn't be created until 1982, giving it a much later start.
Around 1969, Progress National Network began to grow and expand greatly. Between 1962 and 1969, new programming, one of the first thirty minute national evening news segments (then called Progress National Nightly News), becoming the first Freedemian network to begin broadcasting nationally in color, becoming the first Freedemian network to create a morning news show with hard news alongside more entertaining segments, and becoming the first Freedemian network to air sermons on Sunday mornings instead of paid programming, helped propel Progress National Network to the front to compete directly with still dominant National Television Network.
In 1974, after NTN aired a very controversial pro-war program, Fire with Fire, much of the largely pacifist population chose to transition over to watching PNN. In Quentinsburgh, NTN would lose their strongest most popular affiliate, FQHM 25, as the owners of the affiliate disagreed with the stance and refused to renew. FQHM would become the Quentinsburgh area's NFT affiliate, while NTN would be forced to join FKET 4, which at the time was Quentinsburgh's weakest non-affiliated station. This left much of the area beyond central and western Quentinsburgh, one of the largest areas of viewers, without NTN coverage until 1977, when NTN finally managed to snag FJAS 2, a new, up and coming station that could compete easily with Progress National Network's broadcasting capacity. Over those three years, however, Progress National Network rose rapidly to the top, as many NTN viewers flocked to PNN. FBC saw a large boost in that time as well.
By 1980, Progress National Network ranked first, while Freedemian Broadcasting Channel and National Television Network were fighting for second. Around this time, National Freedemian Television started to slowly go downhill. Betterview programming wasn't succeeding on the channel, and news syndicates couldn't compete with the higher quality offerings of PNN, NTN and FBC. In 1981, Betterview Pictures gave up on the channel, taking the division and spinning it off of the main company after failing to find a buyer. Considering, NFT has seen far more 'success' than was expected, as most thought the station would completely die by 1985. Eventually, NFT would reinvent itself as the network that operates completely differently from city to city.
In 1982, Freedemia/Tarephia Television was founded by DuCostro Media, with a focus on bringing news from all over Tarephia to Freedemia and news from all over Freedemia to Tarephia. In 1983, FTT would be the first network to open a station outside of Freedemia in Nature, furthering their leadership in a broader, continental view of news and programming. For a short period of time, FTT actually ranked second among the new "Freedemian Four"; however, Progress National Network would soon follow FTT's steps to go "global" in 1984. In what was seen by some as an attempt to "one up" FTT, PNN rebranded as Progress World Network, began a new focus on world news from a Freedemian perspective, and opened their first international hubs in Nature, The Ardisphere and Gobrassanya. PWN also slowly started placing news studios worldwide, and by 1990, they had lived up to their name, with correspondants from everywhere from Latina (Cidudad) to St. Richards to Khaiwoon to Villa Constitucion. With Progress National Nightly News becoming Progress World Evening News, PWN rapidly became one of the most popular networks in the world, and FTT slowly dropped to third in the 1990's before dropping to fourth.
Today, Progress World Network ranks first in Freedemia by huge margins, followed by Century Television Network and Freedemian Broadcasting Company. While Freedemia/Tarephia Television ranks fourth, it still ranks highest in international programming and in news from other Tarephian nations, such as the Tarephian News Hour.
National Freedemian Television is ranked even lower, coming in behind networks like National Television Network (fifth place), Faith Television Network (sixth place), and Unimundo (seventh place). NFT currently ranks eighth, the lowest any current or former major network in Freedemia has ever rated. There has been talk of a possible purchase of NFT by FTT, but details have not been released.