The evolution of public service television, methods of financing and implications for the consumer
In the last ten years the growth of the television markets and the increase of the supply have reduced the role of the public broadcasters and sometimes contributed to the crises of the old monopolists. The development of the market has put in the limelight the licence fee, which, in most countries, is paid as a tax on the TV set, and which is used to finance public broadcaster. In a more open market where competition is great and companies operate both in regulated and competitive markets at the sometime, there is the traditional problem of a possible utilization of this income (amount) by the public broadcasters as a kind of cross subsidisation to finance their entry and to maintain a competitive position in competitive markets. In a developed market the problem arises of defining a new role for the public broadcaster (for the public service). That is to say what kind of programmes, what services, what types of programme selection we want to offer people, over and above, what the market itself offers. Moreover it is necessary to ask ourselves which is the best institutional and industrial structure to provide this public service. In fact several solutions are possible, from a single television company to specific obligations for all market participants
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