Tuesday, 24 March 2009

BBC history


  • The originalBritish Broadcasting company was founded in 1922 by a group of telecommunications companies&mdash animation.
  • By 1925 the BBCcould be heard throughout the UK.
  • The Company, with John Reith as general manager, became the British Broadcasting Corporation in 1927 when it was granted a Royal Charter of incorporation and ceased to be privately owned.
  • Within a year the BBC had broadcast plays, concerts and popular and classical music, talks and a variety of fprogrammes.
  • The powerful newspaper indusrty successfully kept the BBC out of the news buisness.
  • Bulletins were prepared by the news agencies and could only be broadcast after 7pm.


  • In 1932 the BBC moved into the worlds first purpose built radio production centre Broadcasting house in Portland place. ot quickly become a landmark and was described as 'a new tower of London'.

Monday, 23 March 2009

What is the role and future of public service broadcasting in Britain today?

Public service broadcasting (PSB) has a long and profound history in Britain. It has been well funded and has produced many high quality programs. In the Uk the term public service broadcasting refers to broadcasting intended for the public benefit rather than for purely commercial concerns. The communications regulator Ofcom requires that certain television and radio broadcasters fulfil certain requirements as part of their licence to broadcast. All of the BBC's television and radio stations have a public service remit, even those that only broadcast digitally.

An independent regulator and competition authority, Ofcom has launched a review on the future of public service broadcasting in the UK.
Many viewers are willing to pay to ensure public service broadcasting will continue on a variety of channels, as they don’t want a future where PSB programmes, such as regional news and arts shows to appear solely on BBC. But three more options remain on the table as Ofcom works to make sure public service broadcasting thrives into the next decade and beyond. There are currently five main public service broadcasters in the UK – the BBC, ITV1, Channel 4, five and S4C (plus Teletext). They make PSB programmes as part of their licence and in return receive benefits, such as free access to valuable airwaves and a good slot in the channel lineup. But commercial broadcasters like ITV say the rising cost of PSB programming is starting to outweigh the benefits.
By having a digital switchover, this means there will need to be major changes to the current public service broadcasting system if it is survive. Ofcom research found that 82% of the audience would pay more on top of the lincene fee, to make sure there is still a range of PSB programmes on a variety of channels. Ofcom proposed a number of short-term measures to make sure the PSB obligations on ITV, Channel 4 and five are realistic. Ofcom Chief Executive Ed Richards said: ‘Audiences want choice and new UK output in every area of public service programming. ‘But strong digital TV take-up means it is getting harder for our leading commercial broadcasters to provide this.

The BBC has been criticised by some for exceeding its public service remit by providing content that could be provided by commercial broadcasters. They argue that the BBC can distort the market, making it difficult for commercial providers to operate. An example of this is the Internet services provided by the BBC. However, those who defend the BBC suggest that the BBC needs to provide new services and entertainment, to remain relevant in the digital age. There are also questions about the public service commitments of the commercial broadcasters. All commercial channels that broadcast solely on digital platforms do not have public service requirements imposed. After digital switchover many of these channels will have the same coverage as the analogue commercial broadcasters.

Ofcom’s review considers how public service broadcasting could thrive in the future; it also addresses the implications of this for the whole of the UK - locally, regionally and for each of the UK’s nations.
This review highlights the impact of declining audiences on the current funding model for public service broadcasting by the commercial free-to-air broadcasters. They have already reduced their investment in unprofitable services for the nations and regions and children’s television.
These changes will continue and the costs of commercial PSB obligations could soon exceed the benefits, the largest of which is privileged access to radio spectrum. Ofcom identifies three main risks to the future delivery of public service broadcasting:
falling investment by ITV1, Channel 4 and five in UK content;
a loss of choice in many types of public service content; and
a declining ability to reach a large audience with programmes shown on the main public service channels.
As a result, Ofcom forecasts that some types of UK-made content which audiences want may in future only be available from the BBC. Ofcom believes a new PSB model will need to be in place by 2011.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Media issues and debates: Cotempoary British Broadcasting

Key issues affecting British television
  • piracy
  • advertising
  • funding
  • new technology
  • fragmented audience

What will be the key factors in ensuring its success or downfall in the future?

  • Different models of funding and production
  • format selling
  • trans media model (international)
    use of new technology
  • sharing production costs over countries