Formally known as CBS Broadcasting Inc., CBS was and remains one of the most successful television networks in the United States. Famous for its “eye logo,” amazing shows, and up-to-date news, very few, if any, broadcasting companies can touch the channel’s legacy.
On the contrary, the journey hasn’t always been smooth for CBS. Here, we highlight some fascinating CBS (TV network) facts you probably didn’t know.
1. It Is One of the Traditional “Big Three” Television Networks
The traditional “big three” television networks in the United States are ABC, NBC, and CBS. CBS was founded as a radio network in 1927. It ruled the airwaves for about a decade until it morphed into a television station in the 1930s. Its influence and success in shaping what we have today earned it a place as one of the Big Three.
2. It is Headquartered in New York City
CBS has numerous news and station office locations all over the United States. They include California, Florida, Ohio, Georgia, Michigan, Texas, Massachusetts, and Maryland Starts. However, the television network is headquartered in New York City. It occupies a 38-story CBS Building, about 492-foot-tall (150m), located on West 52nd Street in the Midtown Manhattan neighborhood of the city.
3. CBS Used To Incorporate Bird Songs to Golf Tournaments
At some point, the people at CBS thought that golf tournaments were too silent, so they decided to include the sounds of birds singing to make them livelier. This continued until someone noticed that the song of a bird playing in a golf competition was not indigenous to that region.
4. CBS Is Sometimes Referred To As The Eye Network
Before the now-popular eye symbol/logo, CBS tried different designs. In fact, between when it started in 1927 and 1951, the giant television network had a record six logo design changes. However, the eye logo designed by William Golden, popularly known as the “Eyemark,” has stood the test of time, reigning for over 72 years and counting. This explains the company’s “Eye Network” tag.
5. CBS Airs Some of the Most Popular TV Shows Worldwide
From dramas to comedies and reality shows, CBS is not short of entertainment options for its views. Over time, the television network has struck amazing deals with producers and actors to constantly develop top content. Currently, some of the most watched shows on the platform include Ghosts, Blue Bloods, Young Sheldon, FBI, and NCIS, attracting an average of over 11 million views.
6. CBS Also Broadcasts Internationally
While it’s true that CBS’ target market is primarily in the United States, the television has also invested abroad. Outside the United States, the television networks are shown through different Paramount Global international networks and/or content agreements.
For instance, Sky News broadcasts the CBS Evening News through its channel, targeting audiences in New Zealand, Italy, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Ireland. Users can access CBS network programming in Canada through cable, IPTV, or satellite. Other countries where CBS services are available include Bermuda, Israel, India, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Mexico.
7. CBS Thought The Word “Pregnant” Was Too Vulgar For One of its Shows
I Love Lucy is a popular sitcom that aired on CBS from 1951 to 1957, lasting 6 seasons. It starred actors such as Lucille Ball (Lucy Ricardo), Vivian Vance (Ethel Mertz), and Desi Arnaz (Ricky Ricardo), among others. In one of the sitcom’s episodes, its producers disregarded the word “pregnant” because they thought it was too vulgar to air.
8. CBS Has Been Subject to Controversies
The television network has not been short of controversies throughout its operations, spreading over seven decades. In 1995, the company faced an uproar over its decision not to air an hour-long interview that featured Brown and Williamson, one of the biggest tobacco companies at the time.
Others include the Killian documents controversy in 2004, the Hopper controversy in 2013, and several harassment allegations in 2018.
9. The Television Network Was Fined $550,000 for A Superbowl Incident
The Superbowl Finals always attract millions of views worldwide. As a result, advertisers, celebrities, and organizers usually target the half-time break to do their thing. However, in the 2004 edition, legendary musician Justin Timberlake tore Janet Jackson’s (another music icon) dress on stage, revealing her right breast even though it was covered with a piece of nipple jewelry.
From the incident, CBS, the official broadcaster of the event, received heavy criticism, resulting in a $550,000 fine from the Federal Communications Commission. This was the biggest penalty ever imposed for indecency at the time.
10. CBS Was Once Nicknamed “Country Broadcasting System”
At some point, the CBS television network was so synonymous with rural-themed TV shows that they were mocked and branded “Country Broadcasting System.” The network succumbed to the pressure and eventually canceled most of the series after the 1970-1971 enacted “Rural Purge.”
11. CBS Renamed Bruce Banner to David Banner Because They Thought “Bruce” Sounded Too Gay
David Banner is a character in CBS’ TV series The Incredible Hulk. However, this was not the character’s original name. In 1978, the television network dropped the name Bruce for David because they thought the former sounded too gay.