Television, also called TV, is one of our most important
means of communication. It brings moving pictures and
sounds from around the world into millions of homes.
The name "Television" comes from Greek word meaning
"far", and a Latin word meaning "to see", so the word "tele
vision" means "to see far".
About three-fourths of the 1 500 TV stations in the US
are commercial stations. They sell advertising time to pay for
their operating costs and to make profit. The rest are public
stations, which are nonprofit organizations.
Commercial TV stations broadcast mostly entertainment
programs because they must attract larger numbers of viewers
in order to sell advertising time at high prices. These
programs include light dramas called situation comedies;
ac- tion-packed dramas about life of detectives, police officers,
lawyers and doctors; shows featuring comedians, dancers
and singers; movies; quiz shows; soap operas; cartoons.
Commercial TV broadcasts also documentaries and talk
shows. Documentary is dramatic, but nonfictional presentation
of information. It can be programs about people, animals in
faraway places or programs on such issues as alcoholism,
drug abuse, racial prejudice. On talk shows a host interviews
politicians, TV and movie stars, athletes, authors. There are
also sport programs and brief summaries of local, national
and international news. Advertising is an important part
of commercial TV. Commercials appear between and during
most programs. They urge viewers to buy different kinds of
products — from dog food to hair spray, and from cars to
Public television focuses mainly on education and culture.
There are programs on wide range of subjects — from physics
and literature to cooking and yoga. Public TV also broadcasts
plays, ballets, symphonies as well as programs about art and
history. Public TV attracts less viewer than commercial TV.
1. What does the word television mean?
2. What kind of stations are there in the US?
3. Why do commercial stations broadcast mostly entertainment
4. What programs are broadcasted on commercial TV?
5. What programs does public TV broadcast?
6. Which kind of TV — commercial or public — attracts