According to the 2015 study on the distribution of media in Nicaragua by the consulting firm Borge y Asociados, television is the most consumed media followed by radio. The study also shows that the consumption of Internet is significantly increasing. There are 11 open television channels in Nicaragua, four of which are owned by Daniel Ortega's family and four other by Mexican businessman Ángel González. The remaining three belong to other entrepreneurs.
President Daniel Ortega and his family control channels 4, 6, 8 and 13, and González is in charge of channels 2, 9, 10 and 11. Channels 12 and 23 belong to smaller media entrepreneurs and channel 14 to the Pellas business group (the largest entrepreneurs in the country). There are other national channels on paid-for cable television, such as channel 21 of the Evangelical Church, 71 of the Catholic Church, channel 98 of the journalist Manuel Espinoza and channel 99 of the Parliament. All these channels operate from Managua. In each of the 15 departments and in the two regions of the Caribbean (North and South) there is an average of two or three cable television channels, mostly offered canned programming broadcasted locally in the specific department or province. Television is the main media in terms of consumption at national level, but only channels 4, 6 and 10 reach the whole country, the rest only broadcast in the main cities of central, eastern and western Nicaragua.
According to the audience studies of the polling company MYR, González’s channel 10 is the media with greatest penetration at the national level and the most preferred among Nicaraguans.
Most television channels rebroadcast programmes of Mexican and Spanish-language US TVs, because the national production is very limited and does not meet the preference of the audience. Telenovelas of the Mexican television network Televisa, those from the Hispanic chains Telemundo and from the American Spanish-language free-to-air television Univision, have the highest influence on the Nicaraguan audience.
Channel 10 is the most watched nationally, as it features content close to the preference of the audience, such as telenovelas and programmes that focus on social problems and entertainment, recreational and cultural activities. Its Action 10 news program ranks first in audience ratings according to all surveys. The profile is popular, with news from the neighbourhoods and segments of social assistance for the people. After sensationalist information, the preferred type of content among both adults and youth is political analysis on TV. Due to the success of channel 10, the other channels, especially those of the government, are copying its style of news reporting. However, due to political preferences, these channels cannot reach 10.
In terms of international news channels, the Spanish-language channel of the CNN news network is the one with the highest penetration in Nicaragua, followed by the RT Russian chain (also in Spanish) and by the TELESUR network that transmits from Venezuela. These three channels broadcast on paid television or cable.
Television has displaced radio and newspapers, because its programming features promotions of sports and cultural events which attract more and more of the audience and live broadcasts of social issues which meet the taste of the population.
The weekly programme Esta Semana and the daily programme Esta Noche, by the group CINCO (Communication Research Center) directed by journalist Carlos Fernando Chamorro, were aired on different open television channels, the last of which was Channel 12 as far as 2018. These programmes had gained national relevance for the quality of their reports and the chronicles that were addressed. However, because of their critical positions towards the situation in the country, the Sandinista government censored them at the end of 2018 and even confiscated the goods and threatened to arrest Chamorro, who had to go into exile in Costa Rica, where he continues to publish his programmes on the Internet and social networks.