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Television in a digital age: what role for public service broadcasting?


  • Shaun P. Hargreaves Heap


type="main" xml:lang="en"> The television broadcasting industry is subject to an exceptionally high level of public intervention, but one of the reasons for this, the absence of competition, is fast disappearing as households become multi-channel. This paper is concerned with whether a case for public service broadcasting remains and, if so, what form it should take. There are several other potential sources of market failure, but a lack of evidence often makes judging their practical significance difficult. To help overcome this problem and provide the basis for improved public accountability, the paper proposes several measures of public service broadcasting performance. The paper also considers when the appropriate remedy for these failures might take the form of dedicated public service broadcasters like the BBC, RAI, ARD, France 2, etc. It suggests that, in general, targeted supply side interventions of this sort only make sense when they address a supply side failure and that dedicated public service broadcasters are to be preferred to alternative types of targeted intervention, like an ‘Arts Council of the Air’, on contractual grounds. — Shaun P. Hargreaves Heap

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  • Shaun P. Hargreaves Heap, 2005. "Television in a digital age: what role for public service broadcasting?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(41), pages 112-157, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecpoli:v:20:y:2005:i:41:p:112-157

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    Cited by:

    1. Andreas Hadamitzky & Korbinian von Blanckenburg & Christof Backhaus, 2007. "Die Bereitstellung von öffentlich-rechtlichen Fernseh- und Rundfunkprogrammen: Eine Analyse auf Basis der Kollektivgütertheorie," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 8(3), pages 256-278, August.
    2. Rothbauer, Julia & Sieg, Gernot, 2011. "Welfare effects of public service broadcasting in a free-to-air TV market," Economics Department Working Paper Series 13, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Economics Department.
    3. Ingmar Rövekamp, 2014. "Public Service Broadcasting in an International Comparison," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 12(3), pages 51-53, October.
    4. Christine Benesch, 2010. "Governance of Public Broadcasters and Television Consumption," CREMA Working Paper Series 2010-18, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    5. Nadine Lindstädt, 2010. "Germany’s PSB going online – is there an economic justification for Public Service Media online?," Working Papers 102/10, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Sociology, Environmental and Business Economics.

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