You can’t say personal brands don’t matter everywhere to everyone. In fact, the three largest broadcast networks are betting on nothing but a battle of three personal brands to win bragging rights – and big ad dollars – early in the AM this week.

Who is facing off, where and why?

On television, which we’ve all been told doesn’t matter anymore because real-time TV is just so last decade, personal brands will compete this week for the way in which tens of millions of people kick off their day: watching network TV morning shows.

Here are the three contenders:

Katie Couric on Good Morning America. Oprah on CBS Morning News Monday. Sarah Palin on Today. And who said you had to dance, sing, lose weight or try to spear a snake with an arrow to get a crowd?

It’s a bit shocking to learn that personal brands pack an enormous wallop on one big old media form that, by the way, still dwarfs the importance of those spartan little Facebook ads, and the ever moving Google algorithms that constitute so much of today’s measurable marketers’ nightmares and workload.

How old school. Or really: how get-the-kids-ready-before-school, or the-moment-I-wake-up-before-I-put-on-my-make-up.

It is worth noting that all these women are stars because of their persistent personal branding. They parlay their personas for a living, which drives millions of dollars to them and billions in ad revenue to shows they appear on. All this desirability is based solely on whom they project they are.

What makes their brand popular?

Consider that Couric, Oprah, and Palin aren’t selling acting, writing, crafting, judging or using any other amazing skill to wow us. They each sell only an ability to project a singular, signature being.

Their brands are each different and almost equally compelling.

Intelligent, engaging, and perky.

Soulful, worldly, and giving .

Nasty, opinionated, and smug.

What do these people do for a living? They leverage the force of their compelling, encapsulated, recognizable and relentless selves. What they project is why we tune them in.

They captivate and control audiences by activating their personal branding strategies. They appear like no other individual can even hope to imitate. That is the essence of great personal brands.

Couric, Oprah and Palin are among the biggest personal brands on mass media, plus each has a huge, orchestrated online presence. The three of them are enough to create the biggest ever morning show battle of people who just talk. And weirdly, they are all close to or over 50.

So, watch and learn.

There’s nothing like a competition-crushing ratings and revenue battle to prove you’re on the right track, if you’re building your own personal brand.