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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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Does Public Service Television Really Give Consumers Less Good Value for Money than the Rest of the Market?

Does Public Service Television Really Give Consumers Less Good Value for Money than the Rest of the Market?

Chapter:
(p.52) 5 Does Public Service Television Really Give Consumers Less Good Value for Money than the Rest of the Market?
Source:
A Future for Public Service Television
Author(s):

Patrick Barwise

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9781906897710.003.0007

This chapter explores the assumption that public service television (PST), i.e. BBC TV, commercial public service broadcasters (PSBs), and non-PSBs, offers less consumer value for money than the rest of the market in the UK; that the only continuing rationale for PST rests on citizen concerns. It shows that PST does give citizens public service benefits over and above those provided by the non-PSBs and online-only TV players, and these ‘citizenship’ benefits are highly valued by the public. PST also offers consumers better value for money because the non-PSBs' significantly higher cost per viewer-hour seems unlikely to be compensated for by commensurately higher audience appreciation. The main policy implication is simple: there is no necessary trade-off between citizen and consumer benefits: pound for pound, PST appears to deliver both sets of benefits better than the rest of the market.

Keywords:   public service broadcasting, consumer value for money, public service television, public service broadcasters, citizenship benefits

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