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Mr Kite877 posts since 15 Aug 2007
Granada North West Today
The elephants in the room that everyone ignores when comparing the UK TV market to the US market are the BBC and Channel 4.

The US model doesn't have two well-funded, popular, public service broadcasting TV organisations - commanding a 1/3rd of the viewing audience before any of the other networks make a start. Plus BBC One is the most popular channel in the UK.

That does make a significant change to the ecosystem - plus the US has a mix of O&O and Affiliates, plus network production, and syndication - which doesn't really map to any previous UK model does it? (The ITV model never really had separate network production - all non-indie productions were made by individual franchises, which would equate to large US local stations? ITV didn't have a separate 'network' production operation until it became ITV plc)


The US has PBS though, which is different again. Additionally, Japan, which also has regional networks has NHK; the state broadcaster more akin to the BBC. Each region has two NHK stations as well as the regional commercial ones. The NHK stations are organised on the same regions, similar to how there is a regional BBC service in each ITV region (even if they don't always align).

If the London split was removed (along with no archaic breakfast franchise) and ownership was relaxed so that one company could own three or four stations, then it's not hard to imagine a London-based network developing as a result, with O&Os in London, West Midlands, North West & Yorkshire, as I said in my previous post. One aspect of the US system that's always fascinated me is how if a local station forgoes a network offering, the network has the right to offer it to another station in the same area; even if it's affiliated to a rival network. Kind of reminds me of when Carlton were threatening to axe Emmerdale. Syndication is also interesting, with local stations purchasing blocks of programming; sometimes repeats of old shows, sometimes imports, often quiz shows and the like. It's quite dynamic in some ways.

But this is all just a thought exercise; albeit an interesting one.
noggin13,884 posts since 26 Jun 2001
The elephants in the room that everyone ignores when comparing the UK TV market to the US market are the BBC and Channel 4.

The US model doesn't have two well-funded, popular, public service broadcasting TV organisations - commanding a 1/3rd of the viewing audience before any of the other networks make a start. Plus BBC One is the most popular channel in the UK.

That does make a significant change to the ecosystem - plus the US has a mix of O&O and Affiliates, plus network production, and syndication - which doesn't really map to any previous UK model does it? (The ITV model never really had separate network production - all non-indie productions were made by individual franchises, which would equate to large US local stations? ITV didn't have a separate 'network' production operation until it became ITV plc)


The US has PBS though, which is different again.


Yes - read my second paragraph again. PBS is not the US's most popular TV channel is it? That's the point I was making. The big four US networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox) don't have the same competition from PBS as ITV do from the BBC...

PBS in the US is not a well funded public service broadcaster... It's not like ARD/ZDF, France Television, TVE, RAI, SVT, NRK etc. is it?
2
dbl and bilky asko gave kudos
Mr Kite877 posts since 15 Aug 2007
Granada North West Today
I have to admit the notion of 2 stations to 1 region intriguing. A hull based station covering East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire could have provided a challenge to either YTV or Anglia


Yes, it's possibly that you could've had, say, an independent Hull station (albeit affiliated to a network) with a rival that also had the Emley Moor franchise and so was based in Leeds and perhaps another one which had Belmont & Sandy Heath. which may also be based in Hull, or perhaps Cambridge or Peterborough. Whether Belmont would merely become a relay in this scenario would depend on the regulations that would exist. It could be that the only obligation would be to provide a minimum number of hours of local news and so you'd have a mini-network, a bit like how the sub-regions of Central & TVS/Meridian worked.
Last edited by Mr Kite on 4 December 2018 10:33pm
Mr Kite877 posts since 15 Aug 2007
Granada North West Today
The elephants in the room that everyone ignores when comparing the UK TV market to the US market are the BBC and Channel 4.

The US model doesn't have two well-funded, popular, public service broadcasting TV organisations - commanding a 1/3rd of the viewing audience before any of the other networks make a start. Plus BBC One is the most popular channel in the UK.

That does make a significant change to the ecosystem - plus the US has a mix of O&O and Affiliates, plus network production, and syndication - which doesn't really map to any previous UK model does it? (The ITV model never really had separate network production - all non-indie productions were made by individual franchises, which would equate to large US local stations? ITV didn't have a separate 'network' production operation until it became ITV plc)


The US has PBS though, which is different again.


Yes - read my second paragraph again. PBS is not the US's most popular TV channel is it? That's the point I was making. The big four US networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox) don't have the same competition from PBS as ITV do from the BBC...

PBS in the US is not a well funded public service broadcaster... It's not like ARD/ZDF, France Television, TVE, RAI, SVT, NRK etc. is it?


Didn't say PBS was the same, so we're in agreement surely.
Ne1L C547 posts since 11 Sep 2011
The elephants in the room that everyone ignores when comparing the UK TV market to the US market are the BBC and Channel 4.

The US model doesn't have two well-funded, popular, public service broadcasting TV organisations - commanding a 1/3rd of the viewing audience before any of the other networks make a start. Plus BBC One is the most popular channel in the UK.

That does make a significant change to the ecosystem - plus the US has a mix of O&O and Affiliates, plus network production, and syndication - which doesn't really map to any previous UK model does it? (The ITV model never really had separate network production - all non-indie productions were made by individual franchises, which would equate to large US local stations? ITV didn't have a separate 'network' production operation until it became ITV plc)


The US has PBS though, which is different again. Additionally, Japan, which also has regional networks has NHK; the state broadcaster more akin to the BBC. Each region has two NHK stations as well as the regional commercial ones. The NHK stations are organised on the same regions, similar to how there is a regional BBC service in each ITV region (even if they don't always align).

If the London split was removed (along with no archaic breakfast franchise) and ownership was relaxed so that one company could own three or four stations, then it's not hard to imagine a London-based network developing as a result, with O&Os in London, West Midlands, North West & Yorkshire, as I said in my previous post. One aspect of the US system that's always fascinated me is how if a local station forgoes a network offering, the network has the right to offer it to another station in the same area; even if it's affiliated to a rival network. Kind of reminds me of when Carlton were threatening to axe Emmerdale. Syndication is also interesting, with local stations purchasing blocks of programming; sometimes repeats of old shows, sometimes imports, often quiz shows and the like. It's quite dynamic in some ways.

But this is all just a thought exercise; albeit an interesting one.



Hmm. Time for a trip to fantasy land

Capital Television owning franchises in London, East Anglia and Yorkshire
Granada owning franchises in the Northwest, Borders and Northeast (inc IOM. Border closes down and operations moved to TTTV)
Central owning franchises in the midlands and Wales
Scottish owning franchises in Scotland
(and just for the hell of it Carlton owning franchises across Southern England and the Channel Islands)
UTV remaining separate.

ITN producing breakfast programme across network as well as normal news bulletins along with local outputs.
Riaz503 posts since 6 Jan 2016
And you think there would still have been ITV digital channels if that had been on the agenda? They only existed as a result of significant investment from the commercial entities which owned most of the franchises (including your dreaded Carlton). With a franchise round upcoming at such a crucial time - you really think they would have even thought about investing millions in channels they could imminently lose?


I'm not going to go through the history of the ONdigital fiasco, but did the 1990 Broadcasting Act effectively factor in the potential that ITV (companies) could by 2000ish have additional satellite, cable, or DTT channels, and how they would be handled at a future franchise round?
noggin13,884 posts since 26 Jun 2001
And you think there would still have been ITV digital channels if that had been on the agenda? They only existed as a result of significant investment from the commercial entities which owned most of the franchises (including your dreaded Carlton). With a franchise round upcoming at such a crucial time - you really think they would have even thought about investing millions in channels they could imminently lose?


I'm not going to go through the history of the ONdigital fiasco, but did the 1990 Broadcasting Act effectively factor in the potential that ITV (companies) could by 2000ish have additional satellite, cable, or DTT channels, and how they would be handled at a future franchise round?


I don't think they were foreseeing DTT in 1990 - but it was already clear that satellite and cable channels were changing the landscape. The IBA had already awarded our national DBS channels to BSB, after the BBC/IBA joint venture didn't work out (Granada/Anglia + others were involved initially)

Similarly the ITV companies (apart from Thames) and Virgin had created SuperChannel (on European satellite and cable), which although not a success for them (they'd sold it by 1990 I think) did demonstrate that it was a new part of the media landscape.

It was clear by 1990 that non-terrestrial broadcasting was going to be a new revenue opportunity for commercial broadcasters - and particularly for ITV franchise holders who produced high-value, popular content.
Last edited by noggin on 5 December 2018 12:06pm
noggin13,884 posts since 26 Jun 2001
A "UK Gold" featuring a combined BBC/all ITV programming would have been a powerful player imo


In Europe it would - in the UK I think you'd have needed to offer new programmes though. A common complaint in the 80s was 'too many repeats' - as when shows got much higher audiences (because there were only 4 channels) more people had seen them the first time they were broadcast.

Ironically - repeats are probably more popular now than they've been for a while, as fewer people watch shows on their first transmission.
Interceptor725 posts since 20 Oct 2014
A "UK Gold" featuring a combined BBC/all ITV programming would have been a powerful player imo


In Europe it would - in the UK I think you'd have needed to offer new programmes though. A common complaint in the 80s was 'too many repeats' - as when shows got much higher audiences (because there were only 4 channels) more people had seen them the first time they were broadcast.

Ironically - repeats are probably more popular now than they've been for a while, as fewer people watch shows on their first transmission.

I think nostalgia has a much higher intrinsic value today than 20-30 years ago too.
Ne1L C547 posts since 11 Sep 2011
A "UK Gold" featuring a combined BBC/all ITV programming would have been a powerful player imo


In Europe it would - in the UK I think you'd have needed to offer new programmes though. A common complaint in the 80s was 'too many repeats' - as when shows got much higher audiences (because there were only 4 channels) more people had seen them the first time they were broadcast.

Ironically - repeats are probably more popular now than they've been for a while, as fewer people watch shows on their first transmission.

I think nostalgia has a much higher intrinsic value today than 20-30 years ago too.


Agreed. DVD's, Blu-Rays and retro channels have increased value of nostalgia.