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Europe has a long tradition of public service broadcasting. Across the continent, local channels and networks produce news, drama and factual programming aimed squarely at local audiences.
But is that programming under threat? Leading television figures think so, pointing to the spending might of the likes of Netflix, Amazon, Apple and Facebook.
“The growth and dominance of these companies is a threat to our entire media ecosystem,” said Noel Curran, director-general of the European Broadcasting Union, which represents PSBs. “Everybody in European media needs to ask: where are we going to be in five to 10 years?”
In Britain, programming delivered via broadband and made available on-demand has shaken television’s hierarchy, under which PSBs were the first ports of call on a television’s remote control and were easily regulated. “What we have taken for granted as critical to the health of UK television is coming under serious threat,” said Jonathan Thompson, chief executive of Digital UK, which is owned by the BBC, ITV and Arqiva, the company that owns and operates the national transmitter network.
How bleak is the (television) picture? Click here to read more.
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