Cultivating Fan Culture on TV

Cultivating Fan Culture on TV


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Cultivating Fan Culture on TV


Television remains to be a vital source of passing information and entertaining the masses and the media house owners put much effort to improve how the fans benefit from the programs and the news that they receive. Newman and Levine (2005) write that even with the emergence of alternative forms of relaying information, many people still rely on television for entertainment and becoming enlightened. The report begins with a description of how TV is becoming increasingly reliant on the internet and social media for economic survival. The report then proceeds to describe the fan activity associated with Steve Harvey (a talk show) before showing how NBC tries to cultivate its fan culture using various avenues with the objective of impacting on the shows’ profile and firm’s profitability. A production house would only promote its shows by making them exciting and trying to engage the viewers through a variety of strategies.

Increased use of the Internet and Social Media on TV

The growth in technology has immense effects on how individuals and business organizations go about their activities at present. The institutions in charge of television broadcasting also witness the benefits that come with technological advancement and are trying to incorporate the features that they believe will improve how they function (Ferguson & Klein, 2006). Media houses, just like any other business organizations must identify the technological features that would suit their functions and which will yield the desired outcome.

The internet is becoming an essential working tool for TV stations that are increasingly using the device to acquire information that would satisfy the fans. The service providers use the internet to obtain information on the topics that they plan to discuss, and also on how they ought to prepare their work. The internet allows broadcasters to relay news and programs online thus providing a more comprehensive platform through which viewers can access what they want to watch (Ma et al., 2015 and Mittell, 2015). Furthermore, the internet makes it possible for TV stations to place some of the news online in the form of written materials other than motions. Internet users can then retrieve the information any time they like even after the date of posting.

The development of the internet provided the chance for the emergence of social media which is becoming an essential tool in carrying out the broadcasting activities. Hermida (2010) mentions that nowadays, TV stations make use of social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn to interact with viewers. The use of YouTube is also becoming a vital tool for broadcasters who can post news and programs on these platforms to ease access. Media houses also tend to prefer social media because it allows for the sharing of images and videos, and also because they relay information almost instantly. Hermida (2010) asserts that more broadcasters are embracing social media to attract the millennials who do not only form a large percentage of the fan-base but also prefer to use this form of interaction. The increased use of social media compels media houses to inform their viewers how they can connect with the station using social media by orally mentioning the avenues or by displaying the platforms on the screen.

More TV stations are embracing the use of the internet and social media avenues with the view satisfying and improving the fun culture. Viewers are more likely to stick to a particular station when they are confident that they would watch some of their favorite programs online without being close to a TV set (Fiske, 2010). The relaying of news through social media also attracts many people who view the platforms as being a suitable way of acquiring information. Furthermore, TV stations strive to adopt the best technological types to gain a competitive advantage which improves their economic status. The use of the internet and social media avenues also give fans a new experience which transforms the TV culture. Initially, before the emergence of the internet, the activities of TV stations were quite limited because the broadcasters could not share the information through other avenues and because it was impossible to store the content in such a way that users can retrieve them at a later period (Wasko, 2005). Otherwise, the effectiveness with which production houses implement these tools shall determine the group’s performance about the applications.

The Fan Activity Associated with Steve Harvey

Steve Harvey is a talk show that runs during the day and has featured five seasons since 2012 to 2017 with approximately 920 episodes across the entire period. Media personality and comedian Steve Harvey hosts the show that appears weekly on NBC at the NBC Tower offices in Chicago, Illinois. The presenter invites people from diverse backgrounds and personalities who share their captivating or even terrifying life encounters with the public. Apart from highlighting on the stories the guests bring to the show, the presenter engages the attendants in a series of activities such as games, comics, and questions as a way of keeping the show moving (Goldberg, 2013). Steve takes a humorous approach to address some of the everyday issues people encounter in their lives, and even borrows from his life faces as he tackles various topics that encompass parenting, business issues, relationships, and finance issues among many issues.

Steve while hosting the show takes part in some activities with the objective of making the program lively and engaging. The host mostly applies the use of social media to interact with home viewers whom he considers as part of his audience. Steve would read tweets at random, especially when he receives a message that touches on the topic at hand, and would share what he learns with the participants. The host reads the message from social media via the smartphone that he holds throughout the show to allow him to sample some of the messages that can go on air without generating a public outcry. Apart from engaging home viewers through social media, the presenter plays relevant videos when trying to explain an issue that would go down well with the aid of visual narration. The videos cut the boredom that would otherwise make the show boring. Steve may play a video that describes a political issue or may play a video to make the crowd lively.

The presenter also invites the participants to respond to some of the emerging issues as a way of building fan activity. Steve tries to give any person the opportunity to contribute towards the program and does not appear to be discriminatory in the way he selects the respondents. The participants may also take a humorous approach in narrating their view which tends to attract viewers to the program. Steve may even take time to invite a participant on stage to give their view or to give a performance that would entertain the attendees and home viewers. The approaches Steve takes to enhance the program’s fan activity prove to be paying judging from the high number of people who consider the talk show to be their favorite.

How NBC Cultivates Fan Culture

Cultivating fan culture in TV broadcasting entails developing ways of making the viewers accustomed to the programs relayed by the station and building more interest to watch. Growing fun culture in TV broadcasting takes the form of marketing in a business where the enterprise tries to encourage buyers to purchase the goods or services (Brunsdon, 1997). Cultivating the fan culture according to the description Fiske (2010) make the viewer familiar with the program’s schedule, and also transform how the audiences interact with the broadcaster. Cultivating the fan culture may also entail providing programs that are interesting to keep the viewers in touch with the station at all times.

The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is one of the leading TV stations in the U.S. that functions under the umbrella of NBCUniversal. The firm started its operations in 1939 functions as one of the oldest in the U.S. (CBN, 2017) and understands the importance of building a fan culture that would make its viewers consider it as the best. The broadcaster specializes in a broad range of activities including a full range of entertainment and news coverage which makes it the choice of many viewers in the U.S. Understanding how the organizations cultivate it fan culture may help to know its strengths and weaknesses thus guiding the managers on what steps to take to improve outcome.

NBC in its attempt to build the fan culture tries to offer the best programs and news coverage that fans can identify with the broadcaster. NBC, for example, relays some of the best political debates that enlighten viewers about the political situation in the country without showing its connection to any party. Shows such as Meet the Press, Early Today, and Dateline NBC continue to attract a large following because of the debaters’ candid analysis of the key political issues affecting the nation (CBN, 2017). The station broadcasts a lot of content on sports and provides a variety of selections to children who have the freedom to choose from comedy, cartoon, animated programs, and children competitions. The NBC Kids that premiered in 2012 is a good example of a program that every kid would want to watch at the morning hours during the weekend (CBN, 2017). The network also covers live broadcast during major awards or any other major occurrences such as breaking news and important holidays such as Christmas. The broadcasting of interesting programs and live coverage helps to cultivate the fan culture thus empowering the fans to be able to identify the production house as one that caters for the viewers’ wants and desires when it comes to entertainment and news transmission.

The broadcaster also tries to cultivate the fan culture by carrying regular advertisements for its programs to sensitize viewers on what day and time to expect their favorite shows. O’Donnell (2007) warns against failing to guide viewers on what to expect regarding programming terming this to be a fatal step that may significantly affect the number of audiences watching the station. NBC relays the adverts that inform about the time the different programs will air in between shows and at times when many people watch TV such as at night to attract as many viewers as possible. The adverts cultivate a fan culture where the audience can program their selves to catch their favorite shows. Otherwise, a large number of people would not know the exact day and time to watch their favorite programs.

The production house provides the viewers with the chance to watch their preferred shows online without necessarily being close to a TV set. The firm has an app that viewers can install on their smartphones to allow them to watch any program that they select. Alternatively, the audience can log into the production house’s website to view the shows. The document by McKinsley and Co. (2013) informs that using online sources to relay programs help to increase the fan base alongside creating confidence on the production firm because viewers get the feeling that they can watch what they desire from anywhere.  The viewers in this scenario must only ensure that they have an internet connection to enjoy fast streaming.

Finally, NBC now uses social media platforms as it happens with other broadcasters as a way of cultivating the fun culture for its programs. The organizers of the shows make sure that the viewers can interact with the presenter of each program through social media thus creating the impression that the station values the viewers’ perception. The station also seeks to create the awareness that viewers can contribute towards the broadcaster’s activities by allowing the audience to make phone calls or to write emails giving their opinions on how they view the programs.

Impact on Profitability

The initiatives NBC takes to cultivate the fan culture have a significant effect on developing the shows’ profile and also impact on the profitability. Relaying different programs, for example, impact on the shows’ profile in the sense that viewers have different tastes and would only tune in their desired program is running. The acts of engaging the viewers using the internet and social media may not only impact on the shows’ profile but will also add on the profits the firm makes after it becomes evident that more viewers prefer NBC to other stations. Advertisers will increase in number with the anticipation of reaching many people, and this will ultimately add to the profits the broadcaster makes. The forms NBC uses to cultivate fan culture do not seek to exploit the fans but instead aims at advancing the experience and increasing the desire to watch.


The activities of a production house would become successful if the media house applies various forms of appealing to viewers. Steve Harvey is an example of a show that applies various forms of making the show lively. The analysis reveals that the internet and social media are becoming important working tools that are becoming increasingly applicable in improving performance and viewers’ satisfaction. The host (Steve Harvey) tries to engage the participants through a series of activities, and also incorporate the home viewers through the social media. NBC also tries to cultivate the fan base through various platforms such as airing lively programs, making adverts that inform about the day and time each show ought to run, and using the social media to interact with the viewers. The strategies are set to improve the broadcaster’s profile of the shows, and may also lead to profit production.























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Fiske, J. (2010). Television culture. New York, NY: Routledge.

Goldberg, L. (2013). “Steve Harvey” syndicated talk show renewed for second season. Retrieved from

Hermida, A. (2010). From TV to twitter: How ambient news became ambient journalism. MC Journal, 13, 1-8.

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Ma, W. et al. (2015). New media, knowledge practices and multiliteracies. New York, NY: Springer Publishers.

McKinsley and Co. (2013). Social technologies. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 48(3), 446-465.

Mittell, J. (2015). Complex TV: The poetics of contemporary television storytelling. New York, NY: NYU Press.

O’Donnell, V. (2007). Television criticism. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Wasko, J. (2005). A comparison to television. Malden, MA: Blackwell.


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