Shadowrun: Dirty Laundry
CombatTV – a 24 hour channel devoted to violence, bloodsport, and the art of shit exploding. Primary advertiser/shareholder is Ares Macrotechnology.
The major trid networks operate over all the broadcast media. They maintain the fiction of “free 3V,” and pay for their operations by running commercials. An average hour of programming
on a major has about 25 minutes of commercials.
That’s not counting shows that are nothing but ads with some entertainment wrapped around them.
The majors also operate premium access channels for a fee, and of course, they advertise their pay services heavily on the free channels.
Public control over broadcasting was pretty much demolished in the privatization wave at the turn of the century.
Government finally gave up in 2022, and the Internetwork Transmission Control Council took over from what was left of the FCC. The ITCC is a “self-regulating oversight body for the
responsible management of the communications industry.” It says so right in its charter.
The ITCC is the majors, and the majors are the ITCC. They’re in charge of regulating themselves and their independent competitors, too. The result is a tight, self-perpetuating little
oligarchy whose main job is keeping competitors from making trouble for the majors.
There were rumors that the ITCC charter was part of a deal between President William Jarman, who was running for his third term, and the networks, which were a big piece of the remote-vote system that put Jarman back in the White House in 2024. Natch, that’s just spiteful sour grapes spread by Jarman’s opposition.
Like most big corps, the majors came out of the economic collapse following the Computer Crash of 2029 ahead of the game. The ITCC today operates in the UCAS, CAS, and California Free State as the regulatory body for all media transmission.
They have influence in the NAN and Quebec, mostly from the economic clout their corporate affiliates have in those countries, plus the propaganda they can beam in from ITCC stations on the borders or via satellite.
Any network with a seat on the ITCC is a major. There are
two major North American nets that are not FTCC members, and
both are mouthpieces for their national governments (the NAN
The majors operate freely across national borders, thanks to the mess of interlocked trade agreements among the North American powers. Most international broadcasting regulation is smoke and mirrors anyway. With almost unlimited cable feeds, satellite availability, and Matrix transmissions, it is pretty hard to keep people from watching anything they fragging well please.
The following are generally agreed to make up the majors:
ABS (American Broadcasting System, UCAS)
CBC (Confederate Broadcasting Company, CAS)
NABS (Native American Broadcasting System, NAN)*
NBS (North American Broadcasting System, UCAS)
NN (NewsNet, formerly Turner Network Television, CAS)
OTQ (Organisation Trivideo de Quebec, Quebec)*
PBN (Public Broadcasting Network, UCAS)
*Not an ITCC member
Source: Shadowbeat, pg 25