Chapter

Television versus the People

Peter Bazalgette

in Television Policy

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2005 | ISBN: 9780748617173
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671113 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748617173.003.0022
Television versus the People

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In this lecture, the author, founder of the independent production company Bazal (now Endemol UK) and recipient of the Royal Television Society's Judges award for his outstanding contribution to British television, suggests that television is confronting a revolution in which power is shifting away from the ‘sleek barons of British broadcasting’ in favour of the viewer. However, television is still plagued by regulators who apply ill-informed and outmoded criteria of ‘quality’ to programmes and content. They also fail to achieve healthy competition, which benefits the consumer: the key ambition for any regulatory regime. The author argues that ‘we need an end to the era of over-regulation’ and offers a wide-ranging agenda for change, such as abolishing the existing and ‘absurd’ regulators of television content; removing the public service remit from Channel 3 and Channel 5 and reviewing Channel 4's remit for diversity; phase out the ITV companies' payments for their licence to broadcast, along with their entire capacity for in-house production with the sole exception of local and regional news; privatising BBC Worldwide; and preserving and strengthening BBC's public-service role.

Keywords: television; power; broadcasting; competition; quality; ITV; BBC; public service; over-regulation

Chapter.  3274 words. 

Subjects: Television

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