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Broadcasting in Britain

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Part of the DUV : Sozialwissenschaft book series (DUVSW)

Abstract

The BBC is often described as one of the great British success stories of the 20th century. It has accompanied generations of people through their daily lives, both in the United Kingdom and abroad, with programmes of information, education and entertainment. Programmes have been valued and appreciated for a number of reasons, in particular because they served as a reliable and trustworthy source of information, reflected British culture and society, and contributed to its formation. However, some of the credit for what has often been referred to as the best broadcasting system in the world also needs to go to the commercial companies. From their introduction in 1955 until the early 1990s they constituted an essential component of a broadcasting system that was dedicated to public service. This is no longer the case.

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References

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    They were: UKTV (headed by Canadian broadcaster CanWest in alliance with Australia’s Network 10, Scandinavian Broadcasting Systems, The Ten Group and SelecTV) bidding £36 million; Virgin TV (including The Virgin Group, Paramount, Associated Newspapers, Philips, Electra and HTV) bidding £22 million; Channel 5 Broadcasting (headed by Pearson, MAI, CLT and Warburg Pincus Ventures) bidding £22 million; and New Century Television (including Rupert Murdoch’s News International, Granada, Polygram, Goldman Sachs, TCI, The Really Useful Group, Hoare Govett and Swedish conglomerate Kinnevik) bidding £2 million. See Bell, Emily and Brooks, Richard: Fight is on to milk TV channel we don ’t need. In: The Observer, 30.4.1995, p. 6 and Broadcast, in association with KPMG (ed.): Four play for 5. In: Broadcast, 12.5.1995, Supplement pp. 1–22. Before the bids were revealed, the consortium in which Rupert Murdoch was involved caused a lot of concern in the media industry because it was feared that his influence in British broadcasting could grow further.Google Scholar
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    Channel 5 Broadcasting, which offered the same amount for the franchise as Virgin TV, won the licence because the highest bid from UKTV and the identical Virgin TV bid failed to pass the quality threshold. See Culf, Andrew: Channel 5 triumph signals new challenge for victor. In: The Guardian, 28.10.1995, p. 5. Channel 5 finally came on air on 30 March 1997.Google Scholar
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