Entertainment and the mass media – television
Television in the home are nowadays taken for granted with every household in the UK on average having just over 2 televisions. The television covers nearly everyone’s interest and the broad range of channels that are available nowadays means that the whole family are catered for. The only difficulty is choosing one channel to watch any one times any one time. The television only became a common place item in homes in the 1950’s. Back then the first form of television was in black and white and the television has since progress markedly to the flat screens that many people watch today.
Televisions need broadcasting companies to produce the programs that the audience can watch. The first to be established in Britain was the BBC who were formed in 1927. In their early years they dealt only with the radio as they were already being transmitted into people’s homes. Experimental television broadcasts began showing from 1930. In the early years the standards of the BBC were set by the first Director General, John Reith who strived for high moral values in the broadcasts. There was no advertising with the money coming directly from the added tax.
During the Second World War the television broadcasts stopped with the radio left with the job of keeping the nation’s spirits up. At the end of the war the television continued from 1946 and in 1955 competition was introduced with the emergence of ITV. This channel was completely self-funded with the money being raised from advertising. It was divided up into a number of different regional franchises. Carlton and Granada have now bought out the other franchisers, but they remain in name to deliver their local programs. The introduction of this new competition resulted in the creation of BBC 2 in 1964, which straightaway started broadcasting in color. BBC 1and ITV followed suit in 1969 and the three channels were then joined by channel 4 in 1982 who like ITV were independently funded.
The technological advancements meant that new television stations were being formed from satellite and cable. In 1998 Sky TV was launched which produced a vast array of new channels. To receive this channel viewers have to pay a separate subscription charge. For the most popular events they have to pay extra through pay-per-view. This has made a huge impact as the quality of the service is exceptional. Viewers now have access to a series of live events virtually anywhere in the world. The effect has most be probably been strongest in sport with nearly all of the major sporting events no longer being shown on the terrestrial channels.
It has led to great debate as these sports events, that bad been historically owned by the BBC and ITV, were being snatched away to be broadcast on Sky TV. This has resulted in more and more people joining Sky. With more subscriptions the station has had the power to buy out more sporting events. With the power that Sky has more sports matches are broadcast live especially with the money the channel has paid to different sports. The sports have been able to raise their standards as they can now afford to pay the salaries of the biggest stars.
For a number of years Sky appeared to be working in monopoly conditions but in 2006 BT emerged. Following a similar path as Sky’s the company has set about out-biding Sky on televising certain sporting events. In 2016 the Premier League signed a three year deal with the television companies. Sky has agreed to pay 4.176 billion pounds for 126 matches per season for the three year period. BT has agreed to pay 960 million pounds for 42 matches per season. The BBC has agreed to pay 204 million pounds to show the high lights.
The consumers have appeared to have accepted the extra charges they have had to pay as the coverage they get is simply too good to miss. In a relatively short space of time there have been huge change in television coverage in the United Kingdom.