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Consider the importance of Channel Four in relation to the history of public service broadcasting.

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Introduction

Name Louise Alexander ID s1545100 Subject 2117 FMC Tutor Jason Jacobs Tutorial Wednesday 12:00 N29_Theatre 3 Assessment Short Essay 1 Due Friday 11th April 2003 Word Count 1330 wds Title Consider the importance of Channel Four in relation to the history of public service broadcasting. (Question 10) BBC would argue that public service broadcasting and advertising based programme revenue are contradictory. However the newest ITV contract, Channel Four would disagree strongly against this statement. The channel is a subscription service, and the subscribers are limited to existing ITV companies. By selling advertising space, Channel Four guarantees they retain the monopoly of television advertising in Britain; it also helps to guarantee that Channel Four is safeguarded from direct commercial pressure in their programme-making policies. History seems to show that the British Broadcasting Corporation, otherwise known as the BBC, has largely dominated British television. This is largely due to the fact that after World War II ended and the BBC started up again; it was without competition until 1955 when ITV was established. This was the start of advertising financed programmes and soon after, other ITV regional companies followed. The next channel was BBC2 Channel 4 went to air on November 2nd, 1982 for the first time. It was ITV that became approved. ...read more.

Middle

They remain a small group, effectively heads of output departments and responsible for major areas like drama, arts, education and current affairs output. These editors have enormous power that they have to delegate to other programme maker. The first was a call for the new channel to operate outside the existing 'duopoly' of the BBC and IBA as a kind of publishing house, absolved of the normal requirements to produce a balanced evening's viewing. British broadcasting had become tedious, complacent and insipid and that the new channel should therefore be open to new voices and new ways of doing things; that it should be committed to experiment and innovation in both the form and content of programmes. ITV believed it had every right to the fourth channel, considering BBC got the third. This would then balance the channel system in Britain. The new channel was to be regulated by the IBA and to be entirely financed by advertising revenue. However, the exact mechanism that was arrived at for collecting this revenue is significant - that ITV companies were allowed to sell the allocated advertising airtime on the new channel. Secondly, pay an annual subscription agreed with the IBA to meet Channel Four's production and administrative costs. Since this subscription largely came out of the excess profits tax or 'levy' paid by the companies, ITV shareholders were carefully protected. ...read more.

Conclusion

Now it resembles a BBC channel. This could lead to other channels attempting to cross over into new audiences by taking on other channel's likeable qualities. The challenge of Channel Four was that it was able to demonstrate a form of public-service broadcasting financed, however indirectly, by advertising revenue. The challenge of commercialism was that the BBC began to see a future in which many aspects of commerce- like merchandising from programmes, or selling videos etc. Considering BBC funding has been from licensing, this is also important for financial purposes. BBC in the future, with such competition, will have trouble convincing audiences to keep paying for the licenses. So, as financing begins to change, it's important for C4 to set the standard for advertising revenue. Even though advertising does not finance the BBC, merchandising could be the step in the right direction. The introduction of C4 has been a significant development in British Broadcasting history. It is innovative, unique and entertaining. It combines many interesting programmes such as art television, television for young people; Film on 4; commissioning programmes from independent programme makers; while addressing diverse audiences in the process. Channel four has significantly and usefully extended the range of political ideas and cultural formed available through television; and second, that it has introduced a new model of production that potentially facilitates the expression of this wide range of ideas. ...read more.

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