Structure of the TV and Video Industry
This essay will focus on the structure of the channels the BBC and ITV, which will give the reader an understanding of the structure of the television and video industry in the UK. This essay will be split up into three parts; the details of ownership and income, systems and technologies, and their regulations as well as discussing the success of both companies. Details of Ownership and Income In the television sector, there are one of two types of broadcasters; commercial and public service broadcasters.
A public service broadcaster is a non-profit public television network. An example of this sort of TV channel would be the BBC which is run by John Reith and George Villiers. The service is viewed widely through the UK and is paid for through the TV licence fees making it a national company, but it is also broadcasts in some other countries. The fee is paid for by every household that has a television. All the money which is generated goes straight to the company and is put forward into bettering their service of entertainment.
Structure of the TV and Video Industry Essay Example
They also generate money through merchandise, DVD and programme sales on their online shop. Public service broadcasters have a duty to show certain things on their channels as they are put in place for all of the public. Their remit is to entertain and inform the audience as well as educate them. This compares to commercial broadcasters which are independent and have no duty except to entertain, even if the shows they choose to air have no beneficial effect on their audience.
Commercial broadcasters are independent broadcasting companies that rely on advertising slots on their channel for profit, unlike public service broadcasters which rely on TV Licence fees. They do not often air educational TV shows as they know a lot of the public are interested in being entertained, rather than learning. The public will often choose watch shows which do not require them to think too hard, but to just sit back and relax. ITV is a prime example of a commercial broadcaster and is owned by
numerous different companies such as ITV Public Limited Television, STV Group PLC, UTV Media and ITV1 Channel Television. It is a national company as it is aired only in the UK and relies on advertising for most of its revenue, although it does generate money through merchandising, programme sales and DVD sales on their online shop. They sell numerous different products such as series box sets of shows they have aired and even gift items such as coffee mugs and calendars. They air a number of very successful entertaining shows such as I’m a Celebrity: Get Me Out Of Here, The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent.
All three of these programmes have made huge sums of money for the channel. The way they earn money through these shows is by the advertising slots in between the programmes. For example, this is how it would work. In order to air a specific show, ITV have an agreement with SycoTV which is the company behind the programs The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent to air their programmes. Advertisers approach ITV and buy out advertising slots in order to reach their preferred target audience and this generates a large amount of advertising revenue for the channel.
It is said that ITV had made around ? 75 million revenue through advertising during the X Factor as well as the live show phone-ins last year (Source). Britain’s Got Talent has also been said to be bringing in huge sums of money for the channel, for example last year in the final a 30 second ad spot had cost around ? 120,000(Source). I’m A Celebrity is also a huge hit with the public which is proven by the figures. Since first launching in 2002 up until 2009 ITV has made around ? 170 million pounds in global revenue (Source).
Television changed a great deal in 1990 when the Conservative Government passed the 1990 Broadcasting Act which led to the 5th analogue channel in the UK (Channel 5) and the growth of multi channel satellite television. The act also stated the BBC needed to buy in at least 25% of its output from independent production companies instead of making all of its output in house. This act enabled BSkyB to grow in Great Britain. The Act has split opinion in Britain. Some see it as a massive expansion in choice but some see it as
a big dumbing down of programmes and say that technical standards and other standards are no longer monitored and enforced so strongly. It has certainly enabled Rupert Murdoch’s company News Corporation to grow massively in terms of horizontal integration – the increase of the market share eg. News corporation taking over MySpace, although his company was stopped from expanding further in Great Britain by the white paper of 1995 which stopped them from buying Channel 5. Systems and Technologies Broadcasting in the UK is quite complex as many broadcasters have different ways of transmitting their channels.
The first five channels of British television (BBC 1, BBC 2, ITV, Channel 4 and FIVE) are available to any home in the UK as analogue channels, as long as they pay their licence fee. Analogue TV is slowly dying out and will officially be stopped transmitting in 2012 since the introduction of more modernised means of receiving channels has been developed. There are advantages as well as disadvantages due to the fact that it will be shut off soon. Firstly, it will benefit the UK economy as a whole by convincing people to turn to options such as digital, satellite and cable TV which all cost money in comparison to free-to-vie analogue.
It will also increase digital terrestrial television (DTT) reception in areas all over the UK that were unable to reach signals before due to spectrum. limitations. It will then offer more space as analogue takes up about a third of the spectrum which can also be used to increase signal reach in some areas and also make room for new services too. As well as this, it will give viewers a wider variety of channels to watch and reduce costs for broadcasters that would have had to pay more to transmit services in both formats.
The downsides of the switching off analogue will mostly affect homes in the UK as they will be the people who will have to start paying for different means of watching TV. As well as affecting domestic settings, they will also be affecting non-domestic settings such as hospital’s and TV rental businesses who rely on analogue TV. Having to make the switch from analogue to digital will be difficult in hospitals as they will not only need new TV sets, but will also have to pay for new Freeview TV set top boxes for their patients.
It also means that TV rental businesses will not be able to provide analogue TV’s anymore as they will have no use, cutting back their income. As well as this, some areas may even need new roof top aerials installed, totalling up to a large sum of money to make the switch. As Digital televisions such as Freeview offer a handful of more channels, but require a one off payment. There is also satellite which is currently the most popular type of TV broadcasting, with services such as Sky (BSkyB).
They require a monthly subscription service and use communication satellites in space to transmit the channels to Sky set top boxes. This makes their services much more reliable compared to digital and analogue, but also has its own downside. As the signals are received from space, bad weather in certain areas can interrupt signals. This is where cable television would be useful as its service relies on radio frequency signals that are transmitted through fixed optical fibres or coaxial wires meaning that a reliable signal is expected.
The BBC is transmitted through all types of television from analogue, digital, satellite and cable. It is yet to be fully digital as this change will happen in 2012 when the digital switchover from analogue will take place. The BBC is also broadcast to the internet on ‘BBCiPlayer’ which is basically a sort of catch-up on all the programmes the BBC have shown in the past 6 days, excluding programmes shown earlier on in the current day, but do offer the public a live service which allows them to view what is currently on air.
As well as allowing the public to see television programmes, they even include recent radio programmes. As the internet is now available on a range of different devices, from mobile phones to games consoles as well as laptops and computers, this means that their services will now reach a wider audience, creating a beneficial effect for the BBC as a public service as they are attainable almost anywhere.
ITV is much like the BBC as it is also broadcast to all types of television, but features one more type which is Internet Protocol Television. IPTV is different from systems such as analogue, digital, satellite and cable as it relies on an internet connection to stream TV channels, details of which can be found on IPTV’s website (Source). It is also not fully digital yet, but eventually will be in the digital switchover. Just like the BBC, it is also streamed online through its own website and video player, ‘ITVplayer’.
Unlike the BBC, it streams programmes from the company that have been on in the past week including programmes that are currently on air and that were on earlier, helping the company reach a wider audience in the hope of attracting more advertisers which will in turn generate more profit for the company. Regulations Regulations are legal guidelines created by an authority to help make sure the things that the public are exposed to through the media industry are not offensive or cause any sort of harm to them.
They are important because without them, the public would not have anyone stand up for their rights. They are two different television regulators in the UK, The ASA and Ofcom. The Advertising Standards Authority is responsible for regulating adverts. Their role is to ensure that advertisements released are legal, decent, honest and truthful by complying with their Advertising Code. Their role is important when it comes to advertising as the UK’s economy gains huge sums of money in terms of advertising revenue, gaining over ?
20 billion in 2010 alone. Advertisers are created to persuade us to buy a product or service. Giving this much power to big companies who will try to manipulate our thoughts needs to be regulated as it would be unethical for people, especially vulnerable to be manipulated. The ASA has helped ban a number of adverts that may have caused certain issues for example, the XBOX 360 advert ‘Standoff’. In the advert, we see a man walking through what seems to be a busy train station and then making eye contact with a business man coming towards him.
They walk past each other but turn back to keep eye contact and face one another. Both imitate guns with their hands and point them at each other, causing the business man’s friend to hold his hand up in a gun-like position towards their ‘opponent’, which in turn makes someone else point the gun at his friend ending up with everyone holding their hands up as guns pointed at someone else. The man acts as if he’d just fired a gun saying “bang” aloud, causing the whole of the train station to start ‘firing’ at one another and people
acting as if they’d been shot and falling to the ground, ending with their slogan “Jump In”. Looking at the ASA’s Advertising Codes (Source), in my opinion this advertisement was banned due to not complying with section 4. 4: ‘Advertisements must not include material that is likely to condone or encourage behaviour that prejudices health and safety. ’ The way in which Windows, the company behind XBOX Live, has failed to meet this requirement is by suggesting that it is acceptable to go outside and randomly start shooting at people.
The only difference between the real world and the game world is that in the game world, you have the ability to come back to life if you were shot with a gun, whereas in reality if someone were to get hold of a gun and shoot you, the chances of you actually surviving would be pretty slim. The advertisers have not taken into consideration public safety which would be at risk if some people were to take this advertisement a little too seriously and bring real guns into the equation. I believe the ASA were right to ban this advertisement as I fully agree that it could lead to violence.
Another example of an advertisement not meeting the ASA’s requirements is ‘The Cut’ which is an appeal for charity Women’s Aid. In the advert, we see Keira Knightly leaving a movie set on her way home late at night. She seems to be in a good mood up until we see her in the car, wiping off all off her make-up then reaching her home and stepping out the car. Looking up at the balcony, we can see a mysterious male figure. She goes upstairs and walks into her apartment, looking for her partner. A mirror is broken and there is blood on the floor.
He walks into the room and she notices his hand and hands him a towel, but he throws it back in her face. She then says “Sorry, we didn’t agree to that. It wasn’t on the script” Her partner then abruptly punches her in the face and she falls to the ground. He then grabs her by the hair and starts to kick her in the stomach repeatedly as it zooms out from what we now see is a movie set with train tracks leading out. This did not meet the Advertising Code as it fails to comply with the ASA regulations in Section 16 (Source): “These rules are intended to prevent the abuse of people’s charitable impulses.
Charity advertisements or advertisements that feature charities should treat with care and digression any subjects likely to arouse strong emotions. Although audiences are generally more tolerant of potentially distressing treatments when the objectives of an advertisement are charitable, sensitivity is nevertheless required especially in relation to younger audiences. ” ASA Section 16 This advertisement did have a powerful message to convey about the importance of how domestic violence is becoming a big issue in the UK, but the way in which they had shown it was not sensitive towards the audience.
The way the man had physically abused the actress, as well as the way it was shown was very graphic in a sense that many people are not used to seeing such violent behaviour, making them feel uneasy at seeing this advert. This would be the case particularly for anyone seeing the advert who had experienced any kind of violence. This advertisement was banned from airing on British television, but can still be viewed online on major video streaming websites such as YouTube. Again, I feel the ASA were right to ban this advert as the subject was not treated with enough sensitivity.
Ofcom is the British communications regulator. They are responsible for regulating the content of TV programmes and radio shows as well as fixed line telecoms, mobiles and the airwaves in which wireless devices operate. They were created to make sure that the public can obtain the best from their communications services and are protected from unsuitable material that may harm, offend or persuade people to commit certain crimes or do certain things in a way television might.
It is funded through the fees that media companies must pay if they are fined by Ofcom, and is also has government aid through a grant-in-aid. They are accountable to parliament and have the authority to enforce the regulation laws for television and radio programmes. An example of when Ofcom has had to investigate a complaint large number of complaints was during the 2010 X Factor final which was shown on ITV. In the live episode, ITV showed Rihanna dressed in incredibly short, tight shorts and a bra-like top.
Furthermore the dance moves she performed were fairly sexual for public viewing before the watershed. Ofcom received over 1,000 complaints for the final causing an investigation to begin. In the end, Ofcom had came to the conclusion that ITV were not in breach of their codes, but because of the high number of complaints, Ofcom created new guidelines for broadcasters which outlined that they needed them to be more careful when to showing live content such music videos before the 9PM watershed as children and teenagers would be watching.
(Source). In conclusion, I believe that both the BBC and ITV are effective broadcasters as they cater to the needs of their audiences well through delivering pure entertainment on ITV, and also airing informative and educational shows on the BBC. However, in my opinion the BBC is the better broadcaster as they regularly stick to their regulators rules and also cater to such a wide audience, unlike ITV who mainly seem to care about a mainstream audience because of their needs in terms of their advertisers.
This was shown when they had not taken into consideration their younger audiences of the X Factor by exposing them to inappropriate things that they should not be subjected to due to the watershed. I think they did not consider their younger viewers sensitivity but considered only the popularity of the artist they were showing in order to pull in the largest possible audience thereby bringing in advertising revenue.
I will still watch both channels, but I will mainly stick to the BBC as I feel I can trust them more now, knowing that they actually are regulated as a public service broadcaster by a board of governors to care about their viewing audience. I have learnt quite a lot of useful information whilst undertaking research for this analysis, such as how systems and technologies work, the main regulators of our TV media content and advertising as well as understanding the ownerships of these broadcasters and how they gain their income, giving me an insight into why they choose to air certain programmes and such.
GRADE AWARDED D1: To comprehensively explain the structure of the television and video industry with elucidated examples and consistently using subject terminology correctly D1: learners will talk about the structure of the television and video industry in such a way as to show how why it is structured the way it is. Learners will develop ideas critically (ie, compare, assess and discriminate) and draw out of an example precisely what it is about it that exemplifies the point it illustrates.
For example, using the BBC as a case study, a learner might explain, how it is structured in terms of its role as a public service provider, giving examples of how the broadcaster conforms to its public service remit to ‘educate, inform and entertain,’ and fully explaining how these examples illustrate the public service remit in operation. The learner might then also explore how the BBC is constrained by regulation and is pressured by increasing competition from the commercial sector.
Learners will explain the differences between methods of funding with clear reference to the Broadcasting Act 1990. They will explain the regulation of the industry with reference to detailed illustrative examples of self-regulation in action and cases where the external regulators have intervened, elucidating these examples in such a way as to clearly show how they demonstrate the regulation of the industry.