PIosifidis

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Transcript PIosifidis

Public Broadcasting in Small EU
Countries: Challenges and Strategies
Dr. Petros IOSIFIDIS
Reader in Media Policy
City University London
Measures of State Size
NOTIONS OF SMALLNESS...
 Population Size
 Geographic Size
 Economic Size (Wealth)
 Market Size
Population Size
 Dividing line between large/small states?
below 20m (EC, 2009; Puppis, 2009; Lowe & Nissen, 2011)
 Iceland (0.3m); Ireland (4.5m); GR (11m), NETH (16.3m)
 Small population 
-
cannot support broadcasting industry
high service cost/no scale economies
Geographic Size
 Microstates  Less than 200 square miles (Picard, 2011)
 The territory affects costs via the size & complexity of the
necessary transmission infrastructure to serve state/localities
 Geography affects costs: it is cheaper to serve flat territories
than mountainous that require more transmitters/repeaters
 It is cheaper to serve urban than rural audiences (population
density creates advantageous cost thresholds)
Economic Size (wealth)
 Measure of economic output  GDP per capita
 EU27, 2008: GDP was 23,500 EURO (Eurostat, 2008)
states below that average typically have lower GDP
 Poorer states have less resources to devote to providing &
acquiring broadcasting services (however, a state can be small
but wealthy)
Small states as per political system
 Liberal states: Ireland
 Democratic-corporatist: Austria, Belgium, Denmark,
Finland, Iceland, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden,
Switzerland)
 Polarized/pluralist: Cyprus, Greece, Malta, Portugal
 Post-socialist: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary,
Latvia, Lithuania, Slovak Rep, Slovenia (Hallin/Mancini 2004)
Small Broadcasting Market Size
 Shortage of resources (limitation on production; know-how)
 Small audience/advertising markets (limits to revenues; no
scale economies  costly media production; few exports
due to cultural specificity)
 Dependence (commercialization & globalization affect more
smaller states  ‘imported deregulation’)
 Vulnerability (foreign takeover of media firms) (Puppis, 2009)
Small number of TV channels
 Denmark (5.5m) – PSBs: TV2, DR1; Private: None
 Ireland (4.5m) – PSBs: RTE1, RTE2, RTE3; Private: None
 Sweden (9.3m) – PSBs: SVT1, SVT2; Private: TV4
 Netherlands (16.3m) – PSBs: Ned1; Private: RTL4, SBS6
EXCEPTION:
 Greece (11m) – PSBs: NET, ET1; Private: 5
Impact of giant neighbours
 Austria, Luxemburg, Switzerland
Giant neighbour: Germany
 Belgium - Giant neighbour: France
 Ireland – Giant neighbour: UK
BEYOND EUROPE:
 Canada – Giant neighbour: USA
 New Zealand – Giant neighbour: Australia
 Taiwan – Giant neighbour: China)
The language factor
 Not widely spoken languages in small countries:
 Pros  may prevent cultural domination
 Cons  cannot expand activities abroad (Nordic exception)
 Austria, Ireland & Belgium  affected by same-language
neighbouring countries
 VRT (Flanders) - competition from Dutch channels
 RTBF (Wallonia) - competition from French cable channels
 ORF - competition from German channels
 RTE - competition from British channels
Diverse policies
 Nordic model: protection of domestic program supply (YLE
& SVT: bulk of domestic output in Finish & Swedish
respectively)
 Southern Europe:
-
higher acceptance of commercialisation
state, not public broadcasting
Historical & Political Context
PORTUGAL
 Broadcasting developed under dictatorship (same
to Greece and Spain)
 In addition to the state, the Catholic Church also
influential in shaping media
GREECE
 De-facto TV deregulation in 1990  no consideration re:
effects on market structure
 Attempts to regulate market failed due to:
 Broadcasting’s association with a military dictatorship (1967-
74)
 Introduction of a regulatory regime with vague principles
and highly detailed but rarely implemented rules
 PSB’s debt has increased its dependency on the government
Strategies for the future
 Interventionist approach – given the small audience &
advertising markets, it’s not possible to achieve socio-cultural
goals (pluralism & cultural diversity) through liberalisation
(EU approach) & competition among domestic media firms
(pro-market approach)
  allow mono- & cross-media concentration
  subsidies/support programmes
(Puppis, 2009, 2010; Siegert, 2006)
Invest in PSB
 PSBs’ Assets  political backing, relatively secure
funding, longevity, credible source
 Most small PSBs from Northern Europe managed to
retain high audience/revenue share
 Exceptions: ERT (GREECE), RTP (PORTUGAL),
which had embraced commercialisation (Iosifidis,
2007)
Invest in new technology
 Be available in several platforms (transform into PSM)
 New digital channels, mobile telephony & interactive web
sites (e.g. create a channel on YouTube)
 More interactivity; closer to audiences to reflect a
multicultural society, catch younger audiences
Independent producers
 Channel 4 and S4C
 Advantages: healthy independent production sector; new
voices, new ideas (new technology helps)
 Difficulty: independent sector consolidation (few firms
dominate  less diversity and dynamism)
Selected bibliography
 Iosifidis, P. (2007) ‘Public Television in Small European Countries: Challenges and
Strategies’, International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics 3(1): 65–87.
 Lowe, G.F. and C. Nissen (2011) Small Among Giants.TV Broadcasting in Smaller Countries,
Nordicom.
 Puppis, M. et al (2009) ‘The European & Global Dimension: Taking Small Media Systems
Research to the Next Level’, International Communication Gazette 2009; 71; 105.
 Siegert, G. (2006) The Role of Small Countries in Media Competition in Europe’, in
Heinrich, J. and Kopper, G. (eds.) Media Economics in Europe. Berlin: Vistas.
 Trappel, J. (2010) ‘Squeezed and Uneasy: PSM in Small States - Limited Media
Governance Options in Austria and Switzerland’ in P. Iosifidis (ed.) Reinventing Public
Service Communication: European Broadcasters and Beyond, Palgrave Macmillan.