• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10

What have been the consequences of multi channel fragmentation for the identity of the BBC? What problems does public service broadcasting face?

Extracts from this document...


What have been the consequences of multi channel fragmentation for the identity of the BBC? What problems does public service broadcasting face? The BBC is a vital part of television in Britain; its requirements mean it must adhere to a various spheres of taste. Due to the rapid growth in various commercial cable channels, the BBC has now found itself existing amongst and competing with numerous commercial cable channels that do not have to adhere to certain principles. Whereas the BBC must provide the nation with information, education and entertainment through which, it aims to cater for the needs of all groups in society. The objective is to bring a profound social and cultural benefit to the public and reinforce the democratic and open nature of the British society. However the viewers that used to watch the BBC are now fragmented across numerous channels. Therefore the identity of the BBC is put in a critical position, where its future is being challenged by political, economic interests and by increasing competition from commercial media. The financial strains are becoming more difficult with the rapid increase in multi channel viewing. It also faces the problem of adapting to globalisation and new technologies. For the BBC to survive it must change and adapt. But how far can it go without undermining its identity? The number of people subscribing to cable channels is growing, this means that audiences are more and more fragmented and dispersed. BBC's dominant television audience share is eroding away. Viewers' concentration on programmes has shortened as a result of multi channel fragmentation as there is now a greater choice of programmes. Therefore the BBC can not remain unchanged in a changing world. It is important for the BBC to keep up with this ever growing change and development in television viewing. The secretary of state for national heritage, Peter Brooke: "Its programmes are enjoyed, admired and respected all over the world....in many ways the BBC has both embodied and communicated our national heritage."1 According to Peter Brooke, the BBC clearly has a strong identity within Britain and around the world. ...read more.


The new generation of young people are less interested in conventional politics as said by the retired speaker of the House of Commons. "We believe that in the age of digital television it will not be sufficient for the BBC to offer only two mixed genre channels which are somehow supposed to meet the needs of everyone. That is not how audiences will want to receive television in the future. We need a more coherent portfolio of channels. However, as I've already said, people have an expectation of BBC channels in terms of quality which we have to meet. As we are inevitably constrained by money, this means we must limit the size of this portfolio." But there is another more important reason for limiting the number of channels we plan and that is the principle of universality. What universality means is making all our publicly funded services available in all homes. Universality has been one of the core principles of public service broadcasting in the past and should remain so in the digital age. It means that everyone regardless of race, creed or bank balance will have access to the BBC's services. For BBC ONE in particular this challenge comes at a difficult time when, partly as a result of under-funding, the channel is not doing as well as it should. As Chris Smith acknowledged in a recent interview in the New Statesman, we had very good Autumn and Winter schedules last year and we have some great programmes this autumn, including the adaptation of Kingsley Amis' Take a Girl Like You; William Ivory's new drama The Sins and Sir David Attenborough's new series State of the Planet. We need more of that kind of popular, quality programming. I believe we now live in a competitive world where the average simply isn't good enough. We need more of the very best. BBC ONE needs to have a greater impact on people's lives. It needs to be more modern, more in touch, more contemporary. ...read more.


Another consequence of multi channel fragmentation is that it brings up the question of whether the viewers should be able to choose for themselves. The Peacock report was important in pointing this out: "British broadcasting should move towards a sophisticated market system based on consumer sovereignty. That is a system which recognises that viewers and listeners are the best ultimate judges of their own interests, which they can best satisfy if they have the option of purchasing the broadcasting services they require from as many alternative sources of supply as possible."15 However this assumes that audiences are informed enough to judge for themselves. This partly takes away and replaces what the BBC stands for. Its identity is destabilized because its existence becomes questionable due to so many channels being available. It also becomes harder to justify the license fee on which the BBC is funded by. The BBC believes in a certain amount of risk taking and innovation, in fact it is part of their agenda. "Developments in broadcasting, especially the rapid emergence of new satellite and cable channels, are reducing the importance of these rationales."16 However, it could also have an opposite effect and increase the importance of the principles that the BBC sustains, or arguably is failing to sustain by adhering to commercial tastes. The BBC has to carry on customising itself to these changes. The main principles of the BBC will always apply and yet somehow new changes must be introduced. Public broadcasters might want to address the problem of declining audiences through a change in their schedules towards a programming of a more popular appeal. 1 The future of the bbc, a consultation document 2 Green, p.5 3 Green, p.13 4 Green, p.14 5 Green, P.14 6 Green, p.18 7 Green, P.19 8 Miller & Allen 9 Foster, p.11(intro.) 10 Tunstall, p138 11 Green, p.40 12 Green, p.40 13 Foster, p.4 14 Foster, p.4 15 Report of the committee on financing the bbc, p.133, para 592 16 Foster, p.10(intro.) ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Television & Radio Studies section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Television & Radio Studies essays

  1. Disney and the BBC - Media institutions often determine what way the audience interprets ...

    Grants bumbling Englishman in 'Notting Hill' meets and falls in love with a famous American actress played by Julia Roberts. Both Grant and Roberts are big name stars with a bankable box office presence, which means the film would be more likely to appeal than if two unknown quantities were to appear.

  2. . What are the advantages and disadvantages of the BBC:

    For example, ' the match of the day program 'was one of those programmes that attract most of the middle classes in the British society, and that enable them to be the distributor for there programmes in UK and the rest of the world, which main commercially increase the profit.

  1. The Music Business Research Project: Angel Music Group

    The huge success of the brand in the UK saw it move to countries across the globe as previously mentioned. Not only has Angel Music Group taken its dance music brand to the heights of success within events, but has taken the brand in other directions with respect to record

  2. How does the Television Drama Series Shameless, Disrupt Stereotypes of Working Class Ideologies?

    This representation of the eldest daughter is very unusual in television but shows working class life in a positive way as the daughter has been brought up well enough to take care of the family when called for. In more modern television females who take up this role of being

  1. Many voices one cause: One cause many voices? An investigation into Zimbabwe broadcasting corporation's ...

    African Union Patriotic Front ZAPU Represented in the study by Paul Siwela ZBC Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation ZCTU Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions ZEXCOM Zimbabwe Ex-combatants Company ZIMRIGHTS Zimbabwe Rights ZIMPREST Zimbabwe Programme for Economic and Social Transformation ZRF Zimbabwe Advertising Research Foundation ZTV Zimbabwe Television CHAPTER 1 Introduction and Background

  2. Early Regulation of Radio Broadcasting by the Canadian State

    Founded in 1930 (Miller) by Graham Spry and Alan Plaunt, the CRL supported the establishment of a public-owned radio system. The CRL had a wide following of farm, labour, educational and women's groups, national organizations, churches, intellectuals and politicians, and the majority of Canadian newspapers (McChesney).

  1. Discuss the part broadcasting and documentary has played in the development of the modern ...

    has created a new public composed of nearly the whole society. It was a new way of circulating information to everyone. Scannell says that it became a 'forum for debate and discussion on current matters of general concern, and thus a new site for the formation of public opinion.'

  2. My essay is based on how Blacks and Arabs are represented in the media, ...

    The ?other? is someone different from the norm and difference is a compelling theme in the area of representation. Race is always an issue of the other that is not white. People of colour i.e. Blacks and African Americans are regarded as race and ethnic groups but the white and the English are not.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work