Commercial broadcasting enterprises are limited by their dependence on the sale of commercials in each area in which they broadcast. This makes it necessary to carry the expense of a sales force. In addition, generally speaking, advertisers want to spend money only where large audiences are guaranteed, something that non-established stations can’t immediately do.
For this reason, successful commercial stations generally cost more than non-commercial stations, requiring a larger initial investment. In other words, affordable commercial stations are usually either in small markets (away from major cities) or are “dark” (stations that have ceased broadcasting), which, in turn, makes it harder to sell commercials for those stations. In addition to the sales staff, a commercial network must shoulder the operating costs of each separate station, such as board operators (who connect the callers into the hosts, etc.) and general upkeep and operating expenses.