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Television history

Television history

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Television history

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  1. Television history Television today

  2. Television, now Some key questions • Public service broadcasting (PBS) vs. commercial enterprise • Funding of PSB • Networks vs. cable television • National vs. transnational dimensions • Consequences of time shifting • Media convergence • Changes in content and uses

  3. International programme trade • From early on American television producers lobbied in many countries for American technical standards • The US government sponsored international festivals, produced programmes targeted for foreign broadcasters and organized broadcasts in their military bases • In 1985 USA produced 44 % of imported programmes in Western Europe, Britain 16 % - the two should be though of is complementary than competitive • Successful European television programmes are usually remade in the USA • In Latin America, South-East Asia and some other places melodrama and other popular genres reach their own international markets

  4. Sports on the telly • Direct broadcasts enable global attendance of sport events • Many people have bought their first tv sets, colour tellies and videos on the eve of great sports events • Audiovisual aesthetics becomes an integral part of the sports experience • Today one of the most successful and expensive formats of programming → heavily commericalized • Satellite technology has facilitated the creation of sport channels • Televising of Olympics has developed into the most global media event

  5. Television in India • According to Nehru television is a luxury in a country suffering from squalor, famine, and illiteracy • State controlled broadcasting promoting science and the distribution of knowledge. • “The real India” – rural areas prominently treated. • TV spreads beyond Delhi in the 1970s. • Mainly highbrow programmes in Hindi • Illegal cable operators since the 1980s. • Murdoch’s STAR TV and other satellite channels break down the state monopoly • A new Bollywood style format based commercial operation begins in 1991 – the worlds largest growing TV audience. • Also the state governed Doordashan has had to increase the volume of entertainment. • India has become a major operator in the international TV market.

  6. US networks face new competition • Home Box Office (HBO, 1972): a subscription based premium cable television network with headquarters in New York City • Prime Time Access Rule (PTAR, 1975) limits the amount of time a local affiliate can broadcast programming provided by the network. • VCRs become household devices in the 1980s • Ted Turner launches CNN 24-hour television news in 1980 • Rupert Murdoch launches Fox Network in 1986 • A major change of leadership in the three old Networks in the 1980s • Networks' share of the audience declines throughout the 1980s and 1990s

  7. Satellite and cable technology challenges traditional modes of operation • Geostationary satellites together with glass fibre technology increase the number of potential channels available tenfold • Cable channels begin in Britain in 1983 with the purpose of supplementing BBC & ITV existing services →narrowcasting • The new Cable Authority declares that “cable was not designed as a public service” • British IBA is forced to acknowledge that satellite broadcasts are beyond national control and legislation • Rupert Murdoch’s News International begins Sky Channel in 1981 • Satellite channel MTV launched in 1987 offers music round the clock

  8. Media Concentration • Rupert Murdoch creates a media empire stretching over three continents • Silvio Berlusconi gains near complete control of both public and commercial television in Italy • Critical media in Russia is stifled • Chinese media becomes more popular but remains under strict government control

  9. Formats – definitions and volume • ”A television format is a program or a program concept with distinct elements that can be exported and licensed to production companies or broadcasters outside its country of origin or for local adaptations (Schmitt, 2005). • “A recipe for re-producing a successful television program, in another territory, as a local program.” (Bodycombe, 2005) • Mass-attracting, serialized non-fiction such as quiz shows, real-life soap-operas, chat shows • Global volume in the range of 2.5 billion € • Market shares: UK 43%, US 13&, Netherlands 9%

  10. Format trade – McDonaldisation of TV? • No international legal basis but generally respected – except in China • Format Recognition and Protection Association (FRAPA) founded in London in 2000 • Packets include use of title, set designs, PR & auxiliary material, ratings etc. • Domestication: becoming a part of national culture is costly but a key element of success • The owner of the format might insist on strict adherence to the original concept (Who Wants to be a Millionaire?) • Big Brother has become the most watched programme in the history of television - by 2005 estimated 740 million viewers

  11. “It’s not TV. It’s HBO “ • A premium New York cable television service • Pay-television system allowed people to see uncut commercial-free movies and sports coverage. • A reputation for offering very high quality original programming. • Not much pressure to tone down controversial aspects in their programs, thus allowing for explicit themes, such as graphic violence, explicit sex, profanity, and drug use. • Networks' share of the audience declined throughout the 1980s and 1990s. • Other providers have tried to produce their own “It’s not TV” • Prestige series today bring in long-term revenue through extended sales of international rights

  12. TV and the internet • Many popular series have internet sites which are either producer based or which have grown from private initiative. Among the first: Xena: Warrior Princess, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, My So-Called Life • Screenwriters started participated in discussing the themes and undertones of the series – now such blogging can be part of their job description • Fans have sometimes succeeded in ensuring the continuation of a series, even influencing plot and character development • Sites have also been used to distribute pirate material • Programmes and sites may interact with one another just like films and videogames • Reality shows in particular give rise to blogs in which makers, participants and viewers participate • To an increasing degree programmes are quickly put into the net either by the broadcasters or pirates (catch-up television) • Programmers produce also other televisual material in the net

  13. Television/webpage synergy in Britain • Channel 4:n Embarassing bodies (2007 - ) programme/ pages are considered to provide better and more unashamed health information than the Nation Health Service • Big Art Project provided young people with a forum to exhibit their artistic talent in public places in their region. Some 1400 people signed up immediately. Participants produce and moderate content. • Children’s BBC: e.g. a spy story might offer clues and children have to look for solutions from the web page

  14. Old and new platforms • Terrestrial broadcasts • Cable • Satellite • Internet • Mobile television • Public premises • Recirculation(VCR, DVD, BlueRay, smart phones etc.)

  15. New Media - digitalisation • The increasing facility of live broadcasting on the one hand and freedom allowed by time-shift on the other • Immediately available on-location material in conjunction with studio material • Broadcasting vs. narrowcasting – both programmers and advertisers encourage ever more bold targeting on specialized audience sectors. • Extremely costly vs. extremely cheap (which can still look good) • New and recirculated material on various platforms. • DVR enables ’intelligent’ automatic recording functions (in the USA: TiVo) – and skipping advertising • Weakly and strongly interactive media • In theory all the world is available – in practice distribution is heavily centralized • Media experience (de-localization of social life) – incentive for both participations and alienation

  16. Matrix media (Michael Curtin) • Aim: concentration of creative talent and synergy of different channels of distribution • Technical-practical background: the multiplicity and fragmentation of media allow for an amoeba-like changes in their usage • Economical background: media conglomerations • Major hindrance: different operators tend to adhere to their established practices and guard jealously their own spheres of activity • Future: development of increasingly interactive, targeted and multiplatform programme formats • Ever increasing participation in social networks

  17. Commercial implications • Digital technology allows increasingly close following of what people actually watch → also the impact of advertising can be monitored with greater precission • Interactive applications produce data about consumers → increasingly targeted advertising • “The goal of the surveillance-based, digitally enhanced, scientific management of consumption looms on the digital horizon” (Mark Andrejevic) • Audience Indentity Metric traces correlations between programme watching and consumer practices

  18. 2007 – point of no return?(Michael Curtin) • DVR viewing which takes place within three days is taken into account in ratings • Ratings of actual advertising taken into account in pricing policies • Script writer strike demand: royalties also from distribution in other media than TV • Networks lose a major part of their prime time audiences • NBC in particular begins to push up its multimedia-profile: all programming must develop a multimedia strategy • Increasing awareness of the need to produce web material that excels amateur production

  19. PBS – traditional justifications that remain • Acknowledgement of the need to keep up national culture in a globalizing world • Commitment to a universal service • Nurturing of diversity • Securing representative character of content in political, social and cultural terms • Guaranteeing democratic accountability • Adhering to non-profit goals → dependence on some form of public financing • “A public service remit aimed at protecting moral values, cultural traditions, pluralism and democracy” Main source: Lowe & Bardoel (eds): From Public Service Broadcasting to Public Service media

  20. PBS – new justifications • Convergence, globalization and digitalization legitimate the social importance of PSM • Vertical and horizontal integration in the commercial sector leads to prohibitive costs → • narrowing of choice and overriding of domestic media policies • PSM must operate on a sufficiently large scale to insure quality and competitiveness • The need to create social cohesion in order to counter cultural and social fragmentation Main source: Lowe & Bardoel (eds): From Public Service Broadcasting to Public Service media

  21. Arguments against PBS/PMS • PBS ethos reflects value judgements based on traditional taste and cultural values that are not self-evidently valid • No forms or contents are more valid than others → no justification for a privileged position • Spectators as consumers with their free choices are the only relevant arbiters of value • People should only pay for what they actually use (but actually we all pay for advertising) • TV production just like any other form of enterprise should be open to free competition • PBS operators should not compete with commercial operators. Ibid

  22. Challenges for PSB - or PSM • From supply orientated to demand orientated content provision • From providing to audiences to interacting with users • From products to processes • PSM must legitimate itself more explicitly than PSB in the past • Public value test: • Confirming contribution to public interest • Assessing impact on the commercial market • Linear viewing habits have decreased → multichannel platforms with a public service ethos • New media supplement rather than replace existing media – each medium occupies its own niche in the social practices of everyday life ibid

  23. ”How to accommodate public values and private interests in European media 2012?” Anker Brink Lund, 27.4.2012 • Correcting of market failure / distorting market competition • Global copying vs. local sense making • Emphasis on reach rather than share • Long tail only possible with a strong head – even PSB needs blockbusters • Developing civil society norms and values • In the long run PSB is in the interest also of business life

  24. Constant state of change • Ellis’s three eras of television: • era of scarcity • era of availability • era of plenty • Change fatigue: it is strenuous to have to make choices all the time as to what you want to watch • Constant feeling of not having enough time • According to ratings audiences tend to be fairly conservative • Constant media revolution vs. limits of creativity

  25. Major media concentration • Rupert Murdoch creates a three continen media empire • Silvio Berlusconi in Italy exercises control over both public broadcasting and commercial television • Critical media in Russia is to a great extent silenced