The Relation between Content Providers and Distributors: Lessons from the Regulation of Television Distribution in the United Kingdom
Using the United Kingdom (UK) as a case study, this article analyses the growing commercial and regulatory significance of broadcaster–distributor relations within the contemporary television industry. The first part of the article argues that despite important changes in broadcast delivery technology, more recently shaped by the growth of the Internet, and the associated growth of options of receiving television content, the traditional delivery platforms (digital terrestrial, satellite and cable) remain by far the preferred choice for viewers in Britain. At the same time, public service broadcasters continue to be the biggest investors in domestic original non-sport content and account for over half of all television viewing. The strength of PSBs in content and their growing reliance on commercial proprietary subscription platforms (cable and satellite) and gradually on the Internet presents challenges in the nexus between broadcasters and distributors. The article focuses on the debate over retransmission fees between PSBs and Sky, and on the question of whether Sky should be required to offer some of its premium content to rival pay-TV platforms. These two examples highlight the impact regulatory intervention can have on the balance of power between broadcasters and distributors. The article concludes that such debates concerning the commercial relations between content providers and distributors will remain pivotal and become more heated given that similar issues are raised in the Internet environment.
The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
Citation : Michalis, M. and Smith, P. (2016) The Relation between Content Providers and Distributors: Lessons from the Regulation of Television Distribution in the United Kingdom. Telematics and Informatics, 33 (2), pp. 665-673
Research Group : Cinema and Television History Research Centre
Research Institute : Media and Communication Research Centre (MCRC)
Peer Reviewed : Yes
- Leicester Media School