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TV Wars: Exclusive Content and Platform Competition in Pay TV

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  • Helen Weeds

Abstract

The paper examines incentives for exclusive distribution of premium television content such as live sports and Hollywood movies. Static analysis shows that a pay TV operator with premium content always chooses to supply its retail rival, using per-subscriber fees to soften competition. Incorporating platform competition, however, exclusive content gives its holder a market share advantage that is amplified by dynamic effects. Under some conditions this benefit outweighs the opportunity cost of forgone wholesale fees, making exclusivity the equilibrium choice. The analysis explains the observed incidence of content exclusivity in pay TV. Specific dynamic mechanisms are explored, and welfare and policy implications are discussed.
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Suggested Citation

  • Helen Weeds, 2016. "TV Wars: Exclusive Content and Platform Competition in Pay TV," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(594), pages 1600-1633, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:econjl:v:126:y:2016:i:594:p:1600-1633
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/ecoj.2016.126.issue-594
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Stennek, Johan, 2014. "Exclusive quality – Why exclusive distribution may benefit the TV-viewers," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 42-57.
    2. D'Annunzio, Anna & Russo, Antonio, 2015. "Net Neutrality and internet fragmentation: The role of online advertising," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 30-47.
    3. Harald Nygard Bergh & Hans Jarle Kind & Bjørn-Atle Reme & Lars Sørgard, 2012. "Competition between Content Distributors in Two-Sided Markets," CESifo Working Paper Series 3885, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Evens, Tom, 2010. "Challenging content exclusivity in network industries: the case of digital broadcasting," 21st European Regional ITS Conference, Copenhagen 2010: Telecommunications at new crossroads - Changing value configurations, user roles, and regulation 12, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    5. Subhasish M. Chowdhury & Stephen Martin, 2017. "Exclusivity and exclusion on platform Markets," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 120(2), pages 95-118, March.
    6. Etro, Federico, 2016. "Research in economics and industrial organization," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(4), pages 511-517.
    7. Antonio Russo & Anna D'Annunzio, 2013. "Network Neutrality, Access to Content and Online Advertising," KOF Working papers 13-344, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    8. repec:eee:indorg:v:53:y:2017:i:c:p:114-144 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:eee:iburev:v:27:y:2018:i:1:p:173-185 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Hans Jarle Kind & Tore Nilssen & Lars Sørgard, 2010. "Price Coordination in Two-Sided Markets: Competition in the TV Industry," CESifo Working Paper Series 3004, CESifo Group Munich.
    11. Anna D'Annunzio, 2013. "Vertical Integration in Two-Sided Markets: Exclusive Provision and Program Quality," DIAG Technical Reports 2013-16, Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering, Universita' degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza".

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media

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