It is an expanding and lucrative media market in today’s society, where media takes advantage of the choices it can give. Media is different from other industries its competitive framework has a purpose – it guarantees proper competition in the economic cycle and also sustains the well being of society through the range of information made available. Competition is the driving force for diversity.
Ofcom – (the Office of Communications) is built to end years of confusion for viewers surrounding broadcast regulations, which had been run by five different watchdogs. The new watchdog will be one giant organisation replacing all five, and it is hoped should help lift the weight off the shoulders of all the other combined watchdogs. The five watchdogs they will be replacing include Broadcasting Standards Commission, Independent Television Commission, Radio Authority Office of Telecommunications and Radiocommunications Agency. This has been debated by some saying that they will not be able to handle the different sectors as they don’t have enough experience in the different fields. The Broadcasting Standards Commission will cease to exist on 29 December 2003
The UK’s consumer watchdog, the National Consumer Council, has criticised Ofcom plans to relax the way TV and radio advertising is regulated. According to the Guardian newspaper, Ofcom, the new communications watchdog, wants to transfer everyday control of the task to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which already considers complaints about non-broadcast advertising. It is expected the ASA would use a new code of practice, drawn up by the advertising industry, to rule on complaints. But the Council is worried the self-regulatory system proposed by Ofcom would act as a “licence for advertisers to run their own show”. In a document published in response to consultation on the changes, the NCC calls on Ofcom to abandon its plans unless there are radical improvements.
There are some major UK media players one includes the world famous News corporation this includes many news papers and television companies including the sun and the times. It is run by the world renowned Rupert Murdock who has been a major player in the worlds media market. A big merger that has been approved is that of Carlton and Granada which will become final on the 2nd of February. ‘Carlton Communications Plc is a leading UK media company with businesses in free-to-air television broadcasting and advertising sales, content production and distribution and cinema advertising.’
‘Granada is the largest and most successful company in the UK commercial television sector, and one of Europe’s biggest programme producers. In 2001 it produced 9,000 hours of original television programmes and feature films, selling to over 120 countries around the world.’ to give an idea of who owns what here is a small table about the television ownership The different watchdogs look over and managed several different companies like the BBC and most television broadcasters. It also has the power to referee on the BBC, where complaints are usually handled by the board of governors.
It has a certain frame work controlled by the government to regulate this developing industry. They firstly came up with the 1990 broadcasting act, this relaxed current ownership restrains. It deals with the different media sectors and how they will be limited and set across the whole industry or based on one single measure of media influence. In May 1995 the government released a white paper containing proposals for reforming the regulation of media. They wanted to relax restrictions on cross ownership and wanted to define media as a single market. OFTEL published ‘Beyond the telephone, the television and the PC’ debating these actions.
The two main concerns for dominance in the media market is the economic and political. Economically the market could easily be monopolised by the larger markets and their views to be overly expressed giving the consumers restricted choice. These markets being monopolised also brings up the issue of companies being able to charge whatever they want. The consumer’s best interest would be to have a wider choice. Political concerns are based on the white paper that states “Television radio and the press have a unique role in the free expression of ideas and opinion, and thus un the democratic process. The main objective must therefore be to secure a plurality of sources of information and opinion, and a plurality of editorial control over them (para 5.2)
There has been a major change in the way broadcasting has technologically progressed. It used waves then it used satellites then came digital and now it is all three. There is a good diversity which means a better quality of product to the views as all the companies will be fights for the custom. This means cheaper prices and better viewing materials. As we have a better range of technology we can now broadcast from out countries and receive America programs. This lets advertisers reach much further and get into a lot more homes. We also have to think who will have things like set-top boxes to receive digital or people who own a satellite dish.
These people obviously have a better source of income than most if they can afford this service so certain products will be specifically marketed at them. The way in which things are targeted towards the audiences can make or break the product. Its like advertising a first class flight to New York in the sun, the class of people that read this paper don’t have that kind of money that’s why they only spend .35p on a paper. The times have recently brought out a new glossy paper that is hitting a niche in the market no paper has headed for before it wants to get an elite range of customers by pricing it at ï¿½5.50 this makes it hard for lower classes to get access to the paper and aims at the high fighters and business people.