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Public service broadcasting

Author

Listed:
  • Mark Armstrong

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London)

Abstract

This essay discusses the merits of public intervention in the provision of television broadcasting services. I argue that intervention was justified in the past, when there were just a few channels and when advertising was the sole source of commercial funds. However, the advent of subscription television overcomes many of the market failures that once existed. Moreover, asymmetric treatment of broadcasters acts to distort the incentives of commercial broadcasters. Finally, viewers have an increasing ability to avoid unappealing, but perhaps socially desirable, content, which further weakens the case for public intervention in the market.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Armstrong, 2005. "Public service broadcasting," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 26(3), pages 281-299, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:26:y:2005:i:3:p:281-299
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Machiel Dijk & Richard Nahuis & Daniel Waagmeester, 2006. "Does Public Service Broadcasting Serve The Public? The Future of Television in the Changing Media Landscape," De Economist, Springer, vol. 154(2), pages 251-276, June.
    2. Paul Madden & Mario Pezzino, 2013. "Sports League Quality, Broadcaster TV Rights Bids and Wholesale Regulation of Sports Channels," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 1304, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    3. Stennek, Johan, 2014. "Exclusive quality – Why exclusive distribution may benefit the TV-viewers," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 42-57.
    4. Simon P. Anderson & Joshua S. Gans, 2011. "Platform Siphoning: Ad-Avoidance and Media Content," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 1-34, November.
    5. 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.
    6. Helmut Dietl & Markus Lang & Panlang Lin, 2012. "The Effects of Introducing Advertising in Pay TV: A Model of Asymmetric Competition between Pay TV and Free TV," Working Papers 0153, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
    7. Miguel González-Maestre & Francisco Martínez-Sánchez, 2015. "Quality choice and advertising regulation in broadcasting markets," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 114(2), pages 107-126, March.
    8. Germano, Fabrizio & Meier, Martin, 2013. "Concentration and self-censorship in commercial media," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 117-130.
    9. Stühmeier, Torben, 2016. "Media market concentration and pluralism," CAWM Discussion Papers 87, University of Münster, Center of Applied Economic Research Münster (CAWM).
    10. Julia Rothbauer & Gernot Sieg, 2013. "Public Service Broadcasting of Sport, Shows, and News to Mitigate Rational Ignorance," Journal of Media Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(1), pages 21-40, March.
    11. Prat, Andrea & Strömberg, David, 2011. "The Political Economy of Mass Media," CEPR Discussion Papers 8246, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Claude Crampes & Carole Haritchabalet & Bruno Jullien, 2009. "ADVERTISING, COMPETITION AND ENTRY IN MEDIA INDUSTRIES -super-," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(1), pages 7-31, March.
    13. Jerome Adda & Samuel Berlinski & V. Bhaskar & Stephen Machin, 2009. "Market regulation and firm performance: the case of smoking bans in the UK," IFS Working Papers W09/13, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    14. Hans Jarle Kind & Tore Nilssen & Lars Sørgard, 2007. "Competition for Viewers and Advertisers in a TV Oligopoly," Journal of Media Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(3), pages 211-233.
    15. Stennek, Johan, 2007. "Exclusive Quality - Why Exclusive Distribution May Benefit the TV Viewers," CEPR Discussion Papers 6072, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    16. Miguel González-Maestre & Francisco Martínez-Sánchez, 2014. "The role of platform quality and publicly owned platforms in the free-to-air broadcasting industry," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 105-124, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media

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