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Broadcasting: outline

Broadcasting: outline

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Broadcasting: outline

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  1. Broadcasting: outline • Radio and Television history • Broadcasting policy: 1) Spectrum • Roots of goverment intervention • Alternatives and trade-offs 2) Ownership concentration • Cable's rise

  2. Broadcasting history (Radio) • 1881: The "musical telephone" was a major attraction at the International Electrical Exhibition in Paris. The Compagnie du Théatrophone, was established in Paris, distributing music by telephone from various theatres to special coin-operated telephones installed in hotels, cafés etc., and to domestic subscribers. The service continued until 1932 • 1895 Guglielmo Marconi sends a radio signal more than a mile. • 1919: Radio Corporation of America formedPooled patents (Westinghouse, ATT, GE) • 1920: first US Commercial radio broadcastNo restrictions on who can broadcast • 1926: RCA forms NBC to encourage receiver sales (later forced to divest "Blue Network", which became ABC) • 1927: CBS formed • 1927 Radio Act: Licensing

  3. Broadcasting History (TV) • 1930s: experiments with "radio with pictures" RCA • 1940: National TV System Committee (NTSC) • 1946: TV service starts in US 12 VHF channels licensed initially • 1950s: TV overtakes radio • 1952: channel expansion – additional 70 UHF channels (less desirable) • 1953: Color TV • 1980: 83% of households have color TVs • Since 1990: 98% of households have TVs, cable passes 90% of US homes

  4. Ownership concentration rules • Radio station ownership limits • 1940s: 7 AM and 7 FM stations • 1985: 12 AM and 12 FM stations • 1992: 18 AM and 18 FM • 1994: 20 AM & 20 FM stations • 1996: nationwide ownership limits for radio stations eliminated. • TV station ownership limits • 1940s: 3 stations • 1953: 5 stations • 1984: 12 stations, max. reach of 25% • 1996: any number, max. reach of 35% • Cross-ownership rules • 1975 ban of newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership • Limits on number of broadcast station in single market

  5. 1920's radio policy debate • Fundamental tension: press freedom vs scarce spectrum • Alternatives debated? • Relative merits? • Market for spectrum • Why not initially? • Primary vs secondary market

  6. Spectrum and licenses • Channels: artificial structure on ethereal resourceAM radio: 10 kHz / channelFM radio: 200 kHz / channelTV: 6 MHz / channel • Spectrum scarcity leads to government allocation of licenses • Who gets licenses? Typically powerful players- existing radio stations received TV licenses- existing TV station receive HDTV spectrum- after initial allocation, secondary market • License renewals: over 10,000 in the US since 1950s, only 50 contested, only 20 denied. • Alternatives:- spectrum auctions (primary market)- unlicensed spectrum • Trends: redefined basis for spectrum property rights

  7. Spectrum policy trends • Reallocation of spectrum from Federal government use to non-Federal government use • Allocation of more spectrum for mobile as opposed to fixed applications • Use of auctions to assign spectrum to particular users (started 94) • Increased licensee flexibility in the use of assigned spectrum • Continued support for unlicensed services • Increased competition in the provision of all telecommunications services, including radio-based services • Increased reliance on voluntary standards.