Established in 1926, the National Broadcasting Corporation is the oldest major broadcast network in America. It was founded by the Radio Corporation of America and fell under the ownership of General Electric when GE acquired RCA in 1986. In 2004, NBC merged with Universal Entertainment to become NBCUniversal. In 2011, the cable TV company Comcast took a controlling interest in NBCUniversal from GE. NBC, along with ABC and CBS, is one of the "Big Three" American broadcast networks. Through much of the twentieth century, the three networks were responsible for the majority of the commercial broadcast television programming in the United States.
Arguably the pinnacle of NBC's success came in the 1980s and 1990s, when a succession of hit situation comedies consistently gave the network ratings victories over its competitors. Beginning with the hugely successful Bill Cosby vehicle The Cosby Show in 1984, the network led a revival of interest in the sitcom form, and in the early 1990s, NBC sitcoms such as Friends and Seinfeld dominated the competing networks' offerings and helped NBC to be the top-rated network through much of the two decades. NBC also benefitted from several highly rated hour-long dramas during this period, including ER, The West Wing and Law & Order.
NBC offers a limited selection of full-length episodes of its shows, both current shows and a limited number of classic shows, on its website, along with a collection of clips, highlights, web-exclusive content and previews of each show.