Comparative Media Policy, Regulation and Governance in Europe - Chapter 2 (Book)

Chapter 2: Is Content Still King? Trends and Challenges in the Production and Distribution of Television Content in Europe


This chapter provides a broad overview of recent trends in the television industry and related business and policy challenges. The chapter stresses the very different national origins and histories of television production within Europe that have underpinned distinctive production ecologies. Part one provides the historical backdrop of TV production in Europe, on how it transitioned in the 1980s from a largely monopolistic sector, dominated by nationally-focused public service and State-owned broadcasters to one comprising a competitive system of public service and commercial channels. Part two concentrates on the main challenges and trends for European screen production now as it embarks on an era of multiple platforms, global abundance of outlets, shifts towards personalized viewing on-demand, the rise of transnational formats and increasing opportunities to circulate content online across national borders. The final part looks at how European policymakers have responded to challenges to sustain domestic production and growing deficits in production finance accruing from audience fragmentation and declining revenues for mainstream broadcasters. The chapter draws on national cases to illustrate trends or challenges and their likely outcomes, including the United Kingdom as Europe’s largest production market as well as Flanders, a small region with a relatively strong production market.
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