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A Future for Public Service Television$
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Des Freedman and Vana Goblot

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781906897710

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9781906897710.001.0001

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Reflection on A Future for Public Service Television

Reflection on A Future for Public Service Television

(p.19) 1 Reflection on A Future for Public Service Television
A Future for Public Service Television

Mark Thompson

The MIT Press

This chapter argues that public service broadcasting (PSB) will become more important to British audiences over the next decade despite the fact that political support for PSB is weaker today than at any time in its history. For decades, regulators developed policies in the belief that PSB would become steadily less justified as technology and deregulation opened up new commercial content for British audiences. If PSB had any continued relevance, it would be in meeting market failure ‘gaps’, i.e. the continued provision of genres which are not attractive to audiences such as arts programmes and religious output. However, this assumption is false. While digital technology has increased the range of content available to consumers, it is also undermining the economics of commercial content providers. Market failure in the provision of high quality British content is more likely to increase than decrease over the next ten years.

Keywords:   public service broadcasting, PSB, public service television, television broadcasting, public service media, digital technology

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