What Is the Early History of the National Broadcasting Company?

The National Broadcasting Company, abbreviated as NBC, officially began in 1926, as the first major broadcasting network in the United States. Founded by Radio Corporation of America, known as RCA, the company used the network as a marketing tool to promote the sale of RCA radios. The network featured two separate stations that focused on news and events happening in the eastern part of the country. The Red Network focused on entertainment, while the Blue Network focused on news.

The National Broadcast Company expanded from the east to the west, with the Gold and Orange networks, which followed the same format as the Red and Blue networks. The famous NBC chime made its appearance in 1929. However, in 1931, when RCA split from General Electric, the network found itself homeless; therefore, it relocated to New York City's Rockefeller Center. In 1943, the FCC once again forced changes upon NBC, which required its parent company RCA had to sell the Blue Network. This network eventually became the American Broadcasting Company, abbreviated as ABC.

NBC started to experiment with television broadcasts in 1931; and, by 1939, the network featured regular television programming. The company first broadcast in color in 1954. The famous peacock logo appeared in 1956. The network also developed some of its long-standing programs at that time with "The Today Show" beginning in 1952 and "The Tonight Show" debuting in 1954.