The key developments that have occurred in television since 1970. Introduction In this research project, I will set out to evaluate and reflect on the key developments that have occurred in television since 1970. Firstly, I will define the understanding of television, broadcasting and the term “mass media”. Then I will review how it has been deployed, reflecting on the key developments that have occurred since 1970. Television Television is a telecommunication tool for broadcasting and receiving sound and moving images over a distance. (Smart 1995). Programming is broadcast on television stations/channels.
According to ITV’s website, television is the most powerful medium providing advertisers with a unique delivery of fame that no other medium can offer, because television is the UK’s No. 1 leisure activity, the most enjoyed activity exceeding any other media. The reason being is television provides a rich visual impact that no other medium can deliver with the ability to actively engage millions of viewers at the same time. Therefore, if you are an advertiser wishing to build brand awareness and communicate creatively with your target market, then television is where to advertise as no other medium comes close to the impact of television.
(http://www. itv. com/about/). The ‘Mass media’. The term ‘mass media’ refers to forms of communication, which are directed at large mass audiences without any personal contact. The main media of mass communication includes radio, magazines, newspapers, books, cinema, videos, advertising, video games, CDs, the Internet and television. Media such as television have an across-the-board influence over our experience and over our ‘public opinion’, not only because they shape our attitudes in particular ways, but also because they are the means of access to the knowledge on which many social activities depend.
(Giddens 2002. p452). The History of Television. The state has been directly involved in the administration of television broadcasting in the majority of countries. In Britain broadcasting has come along way since it originally emerged as radio broadcasting, which was set up by chief radio manufactures such as Guglielmo Marconi in the 1920s and formed the public organization, (BBC) the British Broadcasting Company, (as it was originally called then). (www. bbc. co. uk). Initially, because bandwidth was limited, terrestrial broadcasting was the only way television could be distributed.
In the US, the Federal Communications Commission authorized stations to broadcast advertisements, but insisted on public service programming commitments as a requirement for a license. The UK chose a different way, by imposing a television licence fee on owners of every household that owned a television, to fund the BBC, which had public service as part of its Royal Charter. (Giddens 2002. p453). Appointed by the Queen on advice from ministers, twelve Governors act as trustees of the public interest and regulate the BBC. (http://www. bbc. co. uk/info/running/).
The fees are to make sure that the BBC is adequately funded to provide for the British public high quality to “educate, inform and entertain”. (http://www. bbc. co. uk/info/purpose/). For many years, the BBC has also received funding from British Government departments for particular segments of its output. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office fund for instance fund the ‘World Service,’ which is broadcast around the world. In recent years, the BBC has also received large amounts of revenue from its commercial section particularly by exploiting its massive back catalogue of programmes.
BBC radio and television output has been free of the constraints of commercial advertisers because of this unique funding method, leaving programme makers (in theory), accountable only to the licence payer. However, pressure from political parties via appointments to the board of governors and by threats over changes to the amount of the licence fee as well as competition with commercial television, channels for audience share are still significant factors in the corporation’s output. (http://www.televisionheaven. co. uk/history9. htm).
In 1955 Independent Television ITV was set up to provide competition to the BBC, because it was suggested that perhaps the Corporation’s monopoly on broadcasting was restricting the type of programmes available to the British public due to the limit that public funding imposed. ITV was more ‘downmarket’ in its approach than the BBC showing popular frivolous entertainment and quiz games sequentially to attract viewers to the new service. (http://www. itv. com/about/).
Unlike the BBC, ITV was funded entirely using revenue from advertisements/commercials shown between programmes. The television commercial is largely considered the most successful mass-market advertising format and this is reflected by the astronomical prices television networks charge for commercial airtime during popular television events. ITV consisted of several different companies, each one serving a different section of the British Isles and producing programmes, which were shown either locally or nationally across the whole network. (http://www. itv. com/about/).
Another key difference was that the ITV companies merely held a franchise to broadcast in a particular region and licence renewal was not automatic therefore, these franchises are reviewed every couple of years. (http://www. televisionheaven. co. uk/history9. htm), & http://www. itv. com/about/. The Key developments in television since 1970. In Europe, a number of significant developments occurred in television since 1970 due to the development of television technology. For example, roundabout the early 70’s, was the introduction of the colour broadcast, which was by the BBC2 in November 1969.
Alongside this, the introduction of the Ceefax text service in 1972. Then, subtitling of television programmes on Ceefax in September 1979. Followed by, television coverage of the House of Lords in January 1985, and events in the House of Commons in November 1989. The World Service Television News service was launched in April 1991. (http://www. bbc. co. uk/heritage/story/1970s. shtml). However, the key and most important development that occurred in television since 1970 was the development of cable and satellite means of distribution.
The start of ‘BBC News 24’ in November 1997 for example, Shortly followed by the introduction of ‘BBC Choice’ and ‘BBC Parliament’ in September 1998. (http://www. bbc. co. uk/heritage/story/1970s. shtml), This development drove businesspersons to target channels towards a specific audience, and enabled the rise of subscription-based television channels (Pay-per-view), such as ‘Sky’. The name ‘Pay-per-view’ is a system by which there is a direct connection between the broadcaster and the consumer. I. e.
television viewers can telephone and order events to be seen on television and pay for the private broadcast of that event to their homes later. The event is shown at the same time to everyone ordering it, as opposed to video on demand systems The ‘pay by view’ system is a part of the ‘value chain model’, termed a ‘gateway’ described by Briggs, ; Cobley, 2002, P137. Owing to sport becoming more popular with the public over the years, the cost of broadcasting certain sports has increased. The competition organisers for instance, The Premier League, Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Association, International Olympic Committee, etc.
sell these broadcasting rights. Using the money to pay player’s salaries, improving facilities and playing grounds. Only on Pay-Per-View television, sports like boxing are shown, and the funds from this go mainly to pay out the enormous prize money awards. According to Football clubs, the only way they can attract the best players is by charging large sums for the rights to broadcast their games and the amplified amounts of money collected by football shown on Pay-Per-View Television, often help fund youth programs, and helps in promoting healthier lifestyles.
Some people argue that the best teams will get larger amounts of money for the rights to their matches and then buy the best players. Thus, this will leave teams that are lower down in the ranking, unable to raise the money necessary to attract competitive players. Consequently, the rich teams will carry on winning and earning more money. Additionally some people argue that if broadcasters are forced to bid higher and higher for one sport, football in this case, because there is not enough money left other sports could lose out. Therefore, could this have an effect on less popular sports, depriving them of essential funding?
(http://www. bbc. co. uk/schools/gcsebitesize/pe/history/influencesrev2. shtml) In November 1998 was the public launch of ‘ONdigital’, then replaced by ‘Freeview’ in 2002, (Digital Terrestrial Television – DTTV or DTT or DVB-T). Using the ‘Freeview’ and ‘Top Up TV’ platforms the UK leads the world in DTT uptake by the general population Digital terrestrial television (DTTV) is seen by the Government as an innovative technology to drive their country to the front line of the ‘digital revolution’ and free up existing television frequencies for resale to communications operators.
For the price of a set-top box or new television, consumers see DTTV as a way to get more programs with the same simple antenna. Broadcasters see DTTV not only as a way to saves money due to lower power consumption, but more importantly as a way to fight competition from satellite and cable DTV and other digital program distribution technologies, such as personal digital video recorders (PVR) and video on demand (VOD).