2005年02月18日

1. Introduction

Nowadays, foreign TV companies are all active in China, but without much success until recently. News Corp has enjoyed moderate success by operating a Chinese Mandarin Entertainment Channel called Xing Kong Wei Shi (Or Starry TV”) in China for 3 years.

News Corp’s limited market access comes on the footsteps of China’s admission into the WTO. Although there is no explicit timetable for opening up the TV sector, WTO will indirectly help relax China’s TV rules on provincial connection with foreigners for their expertise. And more recently, the new media ownership rules, which come into effect on November 28, 2004, allow foreign firms to buy up to 49% of local production companies. (SARFT website, Oct. 28, 2004)

Xing Kong Wei Shi is offering general entertainment programmes to Chinese urban, white-collar consumer segment. It broadcasts “cross-over” programmes, such as movies, game shows, sports, and sitcoms. With permission to launch its programmes to a province in China now, Xing Kong is developing for its target of covering whole China, an audience market with 1.3 billion people and target for the share of the present market of £7.6 billion TV advertising (Media Guardian Website, Dec 1, 2004).

The research intends to provide valuable experience case from Murdoch’s TV success in China. This dissertation proposes to reveal Murdoch’s successful strategies in China and discusses the deregulation of foreign ownership in the Chinese TV industry.

Firstly, the problems and goals will be outlined; secondly, a literature review will cover various knowledge on satellite TV issues. Thirdly, the methods employed for this dissertation will be examined. Finally, the expectation of this dissertation will be call for further study on the questions the author has highlighted.

1.1. Problems statement and Goals

One of the most important steps in conducting a research case study is the definition of research questions (Yin, 1994). The research project is seeking to answer a number of questions relate to “How can we explain the success of Xing Kong Wei Shi in China since its launch in 2002?” Regarding the problems and aims, the following would be addressed:

Primarily,

a)        What is Xing Kong Wei Shi’s marketing strategy and goal in China? How successful is Xing Kong Wei Shi’s financial operation? For example, what is the size of its annual profis or loss?

b)        What is Xing Kong Wei Shi’s local management strategy and what goal does Xing Kong Wei Shi want to achieve regarding its personnel strategy in China?

c)        What size of audience market share has Xing Kong Wei Shi gained in China? Is the channel popular among its Chinese audience?

d)        What is Xing Kong Wei Shi’s programme strategy? Which types of programmes are most popular in China?

e)        Who are the main competitors of Xing Kong Wei Shi? What kind of strategies does Xing Kong Wei Shi utilise to compete with its counterparts?

Additionally, this study examines foreign ownership policies in satellite television in China.

1.2. Relevance and significance

Concerning relevance and significance, the following should be mentioned:

An internet search the “case study”on “Xing Kong Wei Shi” suggests that there is a lack of information detailing academic research on similar issues. Therefore, the dissertation proposed will be significant and innovative in providing more experience and research results for other foreign media groups, who are wanting to share China’s super size media market, like the Pearson Plc, and the Viacom, and others.

The dissertation proposed has many research links with both media economics and ownership. Furthermore, the development strategy of media companies is also a popular subject for research interest.

1.3. Barriers

Possible barriers including following, the first and also the biggest problem is distance for interviews. The reason for this being that the researcher has no option in returning to China to meet the CEO of News Corp China, and the President Jamie Davis of Star China, as a result, face to face interviews initially seem to be a barrier for research.

The second problem is officialdom. This is due to the fact that it is not easy to have opportunity to interview officials in government. However, in order to overcome this obstacle, the researcher’s colleagues in Beijing will be requested to do interviews with both managers of New Corp China and government officials on behalf of the researcher.

 

The third, also a vital problem for such a case study, is that the TV channel will not be stable for the other foreign TV channels in China. As a universal research result is not the researcher’s intention .There is no solution to this barrier.

2. LITERATURE REVIEW

Although the shortage of researches on the topic of this proposed dissertation are found, there are considerable research data on various aspects of those problems which a foreign satellite TV station has to face and tackle.

2.1. Media economics and ownership research

Much research related to media firms are not in book but in reports, not in academic research but in media’s own survey or analysis. However there are plenty of books which are researching how media firms behave under different market structures like those economists: Albarran, 1996; Alexander et al, 1998; Doyle, 2002a; Picard, 1989; 2002.

Doyle (2002a:1) indicates, ”[E]conomics, as a discipline, is highly relevant to understanding how media firms and industries operate.” She explains how importand and prevalent of economies of scale and economies of scope amid the media industry. It has been concerned by media economists that how media firms behave under various market structure. (Doyle, 2002a: 10) In the meantime, convergence and globalisation and deregulation of national media industries are increasing important for media economics. (Doyle, 2002b: 4)

2.2. The deregulation of satellite TV trend in Asia and the globalization theory in communication

Foreign ownership policies on satellite TV in Asian countries present the deregulation trend. The reason for it is for keeping up with internationalisation, WTO impact and transferring know-how by foreign investment.

In his book Globalization: Social Theory and Global Culture, Roland Robertson reviews how the concept of globalisation was developed.

Chan (1994) defines media internationalisation as the process by which the ownership, structure, production, distribution or content of a country’s media is influenced by foreign media interests, culture and markets.

2.3. Satellite TV research

Chen (1996) conducted a study on the localization of satellite television in Taiwan. Local and foreign satellite television channels available in Taiwan were examined. Reasons for their success and failure were probed.

Chen pointed out STAR TV, TVBS, Chinese Television Network, and MTV Asia were cited as examples of successful localized satellite channels. These channels provided different satellite feeds to cater for the different need in the Asian region. Their separate feed for Taiwan could offer either Chinese subtitling or Mandarin dubbed programs that overcame the language barrier. The study concluded that the trend of localization of satellite television was a dominant phenomenon in Taiwan and localization of satellite television was a proof of catering to the need of Taiwan viewers by foreign media organizations.

2.4. WTO and foreign investment in China

China’s open door policy has led to Chinese access to the WTO. The researcher will examine relevant policy documents on the agreement of China’s WTO entry. The director of SARFT’s (China State Administration of Radio Film and Television) speech on the WTO and its impact to China’s media will be in quoted in order to analysing the agenda of the opening barriers and the regulations on foreign investment in China. Moreover, government statistics will be cited to indicate how foreign investment is increasing in China.

Academic research on the WTO and China broadcasting can be found in Dai’s dissertation (2002) entitled What effect will China’s entry to the WTO has on the China’s broadcasting industry? How are Chinese and non-Chinese broadcasting companies preparing for this? Some of its research results will be cited in the researcher’s dissertation as evidence.

2.5. Research on Xing Kong Wei Shi and News Corp..

In 1993, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation purchased a 64 percent share of Star TV and in 1995, he acquired full control. The purchase of Star TV illustrates the rapid entry of major western broadcasting firms into Asian broadcasting industries in the 1990s (Langdale, 1997a / Chan & Ma, 1996).

More research on Xing Kong Wei Shi and News Corp can be found in various newspapers and magazines and especially report on Murdoch. There is special collection in website of http://Media.Guardian.co.uk.

3. Methodologies

In China, the political and socio-economic systems are completely different from the Capitalist system from which Xing Kong Wei Shi’s parent company has originated. Therefore, Xing Kong Wei Shi has to tackle the challenges from its receiving country for its identity of a foreign satellite TV channel.

3.1. Research methods to be employed

Due to the fact that the  China foreign satellite television service has been the hottest topic in the television industry worldwide today, the case study of Xing Kong Wei Shi is chosen to be researched in this project. In this project, a case study is applied as the research strategy because this might be particularly useful for investigating a contemporary phenomenon in which the boundaries between the phenomenon and its context are not clearly distinguished and the context conditions are part of the study. In this project, China is both part of the phenomenon and the context of the study.

Besides, case study is most suitable for answering “how” and “why” questions. How to tackle the challenge what Xing Kong Wei Shi is facing and how it gets success and why it applies its strategy in such a way are the focus of this project. Therefore, case study may be the most appropriate research method for this topic.

One of the main reasons for undertaking this case study is that the researcher is an operator of a provincial satellite channel in China. Not only is he familiar with this industry, but also the competitors, especially Xing Kong Wei Shi, the most powerful potential competitor in China’s TV industry.

Regarding to the time scale for the research, this will include the period between early year of 2001 when Xing Kong Wei Shi was established, when China officially entered the WTO and the year 2004.

Concerning data collection, this will be based on the following: For documentation, press releases, newsletters, and sales brochures issued by Xing Kong Wei Shi and other official report and regulation policies of China State Administration of Radio Film and Television (SARFT) have been obtained. More researches on WTO in China will be examined from the regulations and report of China Commercial Department. Market research reports on Xing Kong Wei Shi ’s services, information from the web sites of Xing Kong Wei Shi and other members of the News Corp, news clippings on News Corp and the Asian satellite television industry will be checked. And author will ask for the statistics of audience rates of Xing Kong Wei Shi from the CVSC- Sofres Media (CSM), a leader of Television Audience Measurement in China..

A great number of trade magazines and publications will be consulted including Advertising Age, Asia-Pacific Broadcasting, Broadcasting & Cable International, Cable and Satellite Asia, Media, and Television Asia, Financial Times, Guardian Media, Broadcast, and other newspaper or magazines produced in the UK.

As a qualitative methodology is utilised, the majority of information for this study will be provided from contacts and interviews with the elite and researchers in both China and the UK. Interviewees will be:

Jamie Davis, the President of Star China. Jamie Davis worked as the General Manager of Xing Kong Weir Shi since its launch in 2002 and was promoted as the president of Star China after James Murdoch moved to the UK. He represents the official voice of Star and Xing Kong Wei Shi. The researcher has ever met and had a talk with him in China. Hoping a remote interview conducted by my colleagues in China going deep with him to get material of the vision of Xing Kong Wei Shi and his comment on the development of Xing Kong Wei Shi.The author is trying to get plans and their ideas on a foreign owned satellite TV from the management or “inside view”.

Zhu Hong, Official of China State Administration of Radio Film and Television (SARFT). She is responsible for analysing the policies on foreign satellite TV and related issues. The researcher wants to determine the Chinese government’s concern on foreign media operating in China and reveal their policy making progress.

Wu Tao, the director of Croton Media Consultancy, a part of ZenithOptiMedia China; a veteran vice president of AHTV, a success Chinese provincial satellite TV station. He is very familiar with Chinese television industry from both sides, home and foreign. With interview with Wu Tao, researcher will get some ideas on foreign satellite TV channels development from the professional people in television industry and advertising industry.

Lu Lixing, a Chevening scholar and MSc Media Management student in the University of Stirling, worked for Shanghai Media Group (SMG) more than 5 years. Her opinion on the success of Xing Kong Wei Shi would be considered as the viewpoints from Chinese young generation of media professionals.

Yun Zhang, a senior advertising planner and a media consultant in Guangdong province, where Xing Kong Wei Shi can be received through cable networks. Interview with him will results the audience response of programmes that are broadcasted by Xing Kong Wei Shi, and more comparator between domestic satellite TVs and foreign TV channels, which are broadcasting in China.

If possible, researcher is going to have an interview with development manager of Pearson Plc. She will be an observer who is caring about the development of foreign TV operators in China. And get more concern of other foreign TV operators around the world that are waiting for chances to enter China.

Since the writer has been working in a competitor of Xing Kong Wei Shi, evidence from direct observation and participant-observation has been obtained. Physical artifacts in the form of television programs broadcast on the Xing Kong Wei Shi and Xing Kong Wei Shi channel have been reviewed.

Content analyses is the best way to undertake research on TV programmes,consequently, this method will be employed to examine the programmes strategy of Xing Kong Wei Shi, such as its localised theory in programming. This method can also be utilised for research on the marketing strategy of Xing Kong Wei Shi.

A well-designed questionnaire will be sent to about 50 advertisers in China, to investigate what impression Xing Kong Wei Shi gives to them. And researcher tries to analyse what the influence both in corporation identification and its programmes are.

3.2. Specific Procedures to be employed

Explanation-building technique is applied in this study so as to analyse the environment and reasons of the business development of Xing Kong Wei Shi. Moreover, the influence from the leadership of News Corp, parent company of Xing Kong Wei Shi, and a situational analysis using the concepts of SWOT (The SWOT approach tried to assess the organization’s strengths (S) and weaknesses (W) and analyse the opportunities (O) and threats (T) in the external environment.) adopted from strategic planning will be applied to get a thorough understanding of Xing Kong Wei Shi’s business decisions.

3.3. Reliability and Validity

To ensure the trustworthiness of this research, several measures were taken. Multiple sources of evidence were used in order to ensure the validity of the study. The procedures of conducting the study will be clearly documented so as to ensure the reliability. Because that the case is a pioneer in China, and with possible changes of policy on foreign satellite TVs, there is less validity unfortunately for this research.

4. Expectations

The author would research the case of Xing Kong Wei Shi in two different phrases: industry level and company level. Hopingly, the result of research on industry level would be benefit for the later comers around world, and more suggestions for Chinese media policy makers. The research of company level will reveal how Murdoch successes everywhere or what is the shortcoming in Murdoch enterprises. The research will leave more experiences and academic observe for other satellite TV players, no matter home or abroad.

In the globalization and information society today, as a pioneer, every effort it takes would be great useful for the development of satellite TV world wide.


References

ABU (Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union)(1995). Guidelines on the programme contents of international satellite television broadcasting in the Asia Pacific Region. ABU.

Albarran, A. (1996) Media Economics: Understanding Markets, Industries and Concepts, Ames, IA: Iowa State University Press

Albarran, A. B. & Chan-Olmsted, S. M. (1998). Global Media Economics: commercialization, concentration and integration of world media markets. Ames, IA: Iowa State University Press. 

Alexander, A.et al (Eds). (1998) . Media Economics: Theory and Practice (2nd ed). New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Amdur, M. (1995). Foreign Investors Smiling on Asia. Broadcasting & Cable International. Dec. P: 8-10  

Atkins, W. (1995). Friendly and useful: Rupert Murdoch and the politics of television in Southeast Asia, 1993-1995. Media International Australia, N.77, P: 54-64

Chan, J. (1994a). Media Internationalization in China: processes and tensions. Journal of Communication, V: 44, N: 3, P: 70-88.

Chan, J. (1994b). Accessibility and national response to Star TV in Asia. Journal of Communication, V: 44, N: 3, P: 112-133.

Chan, J. M. (1996). Television development in greater China: Structure, exports and market formation. In J. Sinclair et al. (Eds.), New patterns in global television: Peripheral vision (pp. 126-160). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Chan, J. M. (2000). When capitalist and socialist television clash: The impact of Hong Kong TV on Guangzhou residents. In C. C. Lee (Ed.), Power, money, and media: Communication patterns and bureaucratic control in cultural China (pp. 245-270). Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.

Chan, K. K. (1995). Information content of television advertising in China. International Journal of Advertising, 14, 365-373.

Chen, C. H. (1996). Localised operation of satellite television. Broadcast and Television, 2(3) (Jan 1996), 59-90.

Chen, P.H. (1998). The Political Economy of Cable Television: A case study of Taiwan’s Electronic Media in Transition. PHD dissertation. Pennsylvania State University.

Dai, Yirong (2002) What effect will China’s entry to the WTO have on the China’s broadcasting industry? How are Chinese and non-Chinese broadcasting companies preparing for this?  Unpublished Dissertation, Stirling University.

Doyle, Gillian (2002a) Understanding Media Economics, London: Sage Publications

Doyle, Gillian (2002b) Media Ownership, London: Sage Publications

Fortune (2003). Murdoch’s Prime Time.FeB.17. P.30-36

Gershon, R.A. (1993).  International deregulation and the rise of transnational media corporations. Journal of Media Economics, v.6, n.2, p: 3-22

Hastings, W.S. (1996). Foreign Ownership of Broadcasting. Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, v.29: pp. 817-855

Lau, Y.Y. & Ang, P. (1998). The Pacific Rim. In Albarran, A. B. & Chan-Olmsted, S. M. (eds) Global media economics: commercialization, concentration and integration of world media markets. Ames, IA: Iowa State University Press. 

Lee, P.S.N., and Wang, G. (1995). Satellite TV in Asia: Forming a new ecology. Telecommunications Policy 19(2): 135-49

Lehner, C.U.(1995). Foreign investment in Asian media – boon or bane? Media Asia, 22(4) : 210-214.

Lorien, H. (1999). China WTO deal: fuzzy picture. Far Eastern Economic Review, Dec2: 43-44.

Low, H. (1995). Cable television in China. Cable TV and Telecommunication Resource. Department of Radio-TV-Film, University of Texas at Austin.

Picard, R (1989). Media Economics: Concepts and Issues. London: Sage Publications.

Picard, R.(Ed) (2002). Media Firms: Structures, Operations and Performance. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates

Robertson, Roland. (1992) Globalization: Social theory and global culture. London: Sage,

Weeks, A. (1998). Broadcast Pioneers- a US company is helping usher in a new era of television programming in China. The China Business Review, May-June: 60-63.

Wildman, S. & Siwek, S. (1988). International Trade in Film and Television Programs. Cambridge, MA: Ballinger.

Yin, R, (1994) Case Study Research :D esign and Methods(2nd ed)Thousand Oaks, California, Sage Publication

Xu, X. (1998). Asian values revisited in the context of intercultural news communication. Media Asia, 25: 37-41

 

Websites:

China State Administration of Radio Film and Television (SARFT) website: http://www.chinasarft.gov.cn/

Croton Media Consultancy,website: http://www.croton.com.cn/

CVSC- Sofres Media (CSM), website http://www.csm.com.cn/

Guardian Media Website: http:// media.guardian.co.uk

News Corp Website : http://www.newscorp.com

Star TV website: http://www.startv.com/

Xing Kong Wei Shi website: http://www.xingkong.com.cn

 

Introduction

From a speech given by the former BBC director general to a journalism symposium at Goldsmiths College, University of London , Greg Dyke said,”We are even more shocked to discover that the same group (Fox)wants to become a big player in the UK when UK radio is deregulated this year.” He warned the British media: “In the area of impartiality, as in many other areas, we must ensure that we don’t become Americanised.

But actually commercial pressures have tempted others to follow the American formula.No comment on politics,we are discussing this issue in media economics.Media economics is not so often researched compared with more research of media politics and culture.The economies of broadcasting focuses not only the nature of broadcasting markets but also the nature of government involvement in broadcasting markets.We are using in media economies terms to discuss what the British broadcasters can learn from the US television industry.

 

I think it is at least in four areas of broadcasting economies that the UK broadcasting industry with its smaller and deregulating broadcasting economies should learn from the US.

Networks

The television industry benefits a lot from natural economies of scale and scope. The logic of exploiting economies of scale creates an incentive to expand product sales into secondary external or overseas market. As market structures have been freed up and have become more competitive and international in outlook, the opportunities to exploit economies of scale and economies of scope have increased (Doyle, 2002:22).

 

Networking is a kind of economic structure for broadcasting service. A network is an arrangement whereby a number of local or regional television or radio stations are linked together for the purpose of creating and exploiting mutual benefits(Owen and Wildman,1992:206).In the US networks make some programming and control some local stations as well as distributing programmes to many more.

 

There is one network in the UK named as ITV while in the US there are four major networks,ABC,CBS,NBC,and Fox.Networking is also a critical concept in media industry in a fast-paced world in which cost and time pressures make it difficult for every firm to do everything well and to accept every job that it is offered.For some small regions,franchisees are not available to produce all programmes on their schedule,and can not make it as customers hope or need.

 

In economics term,there is economy of scale to prove that networking is a good way to structure media and make it work well for audience. Affiliated broadcasting(networks) can reach more viewers with more regional television stations and earn greater revenue,also can produce more expensive programming,while costing less per viewer.By this way, Television companies optimise their resource, gain economies of scale and enhance their control on programs and distribution channels but also reduce transaction cost and investment risks as well as improve efficiency. In this sense,the US television is better than the UK broadcasters.Economies of scope are generally defined as the economies available to firms large enough to engage efficiently in multi-product production and associated large-scale distribution, advertising and purchasing (Lipsey and Chrystal, 1995:880).

In the US, networks have some features such as the following: Firstly, in physical implementation, there is series of individual broadcast stations which hold spectrum sharing by geographic licensing. Secondly, in economics, for those common broadcasters, the marginal cost of delivering “public good”(uniformity of time and channels) is equal to $0.It is a kind of economies of scale. The common broadcasters also gain better negotiating power with advertisers as well as spreading the risk of programming failure. Thirdly, under regulations, a network also faces government control. In the US, the controller is the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

In the US, network retains most advertising spots while revenue sharing with affiliate (called “clearance”), and leaving station spots (adjacencies) on longer programs in schedule. Network affiliates gain some $600 million annually in return for carrying prime-time programmes supplied by the networks and they are allowed opportunities to sell some commercial airtime of their own to both national and local advertisers. (Dolye, 2002:71) This facilitates high profit margins for most local affiliates (Gapper, 1998:22)

Networks have a distribution monopoly. If they also had a production monopoly, then they could inhibit independent productionwhich in turn inhibits growth of new networks. By controlling program acquisition by affiliates, Networks would dry up supply of non-network programming. The FCC imposes limits on vertical integration of networks and program suppliers, also on amount of network programming affiliates can show, and limits how independent stations show syndicated network programming

As there is only one network in the UK, ITV, we need introduce one more or some national networks even European network to work for the competition of UK TV industry. It is the most important structure that the British broadcasters should learn from their US counterparts.

Advertisers Funded Broadcasting

Public service broadcasting in UK is facing challenge.

EVERYTHING is changing in British television: Public service broadcasters in UK are faced with declining budgets, audience fragmentation, and debate over their proper role, all at a time of rapid technological advance in distribution technology. In a short time the whole television system will switch from analogue to digital in Britain. Public service broadcasting in UK is facing challenge.

The public service broadcasting concept is to “inform, educate and entertain”. Although there is no standard definition of what public service broadcasting is exactly.

In the UK, the BBC is wholly funded by licence fee, and the ITV get some advertising time granted by the IBA to over a dozen commercial franchisees. Channel 4 has its own licence and the right to sell its own advertising time.

From the following chart, An Ofcom, Britain’s new media regulator, investigation shows that less than 50% of the audience are willing to pay a licence fee, mostly are young generation and middle classes. As time passes, more and more of the audience will reject to paying licence fees in future.

Chart 1:Support of the general idea of the licence fee in UK.Source:Ofcom


The programming and scheduling offered by the public service broadcasting in UK has dumped down gradually to some extent. If everything broadcast by a public service broadcaster can no longer necessarily be considered as public service broadcasting a policy regime which privileges public service broadcasters is more and more likely to come into question.

On July 17, 2003, the Communications Act became the law in UK. The key contents of the 2003 UK Communications Act include: Foreign companies to acquire British broadcasters, paves the way for a single ITV company; revised plans for ownership regulations for the radio industry and the creation of the Ofcom, the new super-regulator set to replace the existing five watchdogs for the media and telecom industries. Those are the means of the de-regulation on media ownership.

An evolving concept of public service broadcasting will not reject commercially funded channels, but will ensure that the regulation which restrains them is powerful and backed up by dynamic support for a diverse system.

Ofcom said in a report on public-service broadcasting that because of digital technology there will be less need in the future for television to be subsidised because the market will provide an ever wider variety of programming. The UK’s public service broadcasting is facing an economics issue of challenge of funding.

Advertising Models

Advertising is ubiquitous. In the 1990s,international deregulation of telecommunications brought about a great upsurge in advertising expenditure within this sector as new rivals emerged to compete with long-standing incumbents in the UK, across Europe and elsewhere. (Doyle, 2002:50)

The source of funds for broadcasting could be government subsidy, private advertising, or donations by the viewing public. Most of television, in the United States relies on people to watch commercials. Advertising pounds only come if you build the audience and that is happening less and less.

The special feature of advertiser supported television is that programmes are made available “free” to audiences, while those audiences are then sold on a “wholesale “basis to advertisers, from whom stations derive revenue. The whole process thus involves advertisers standing in an intermediate relation between consumers and television channels. This introduces a special system of incentives. (Cave, 1989:19)

Advertising funded broadcasting seeks audience size. The medium becomes a vehicle for business purposes, so the audience’s needs are only tangential. An advertising-driven media is a commercialised media. The station likely to take in consideration only audience size in choosing its programs.

In the first place there is the serious possibility that television’s share of advertising in the UK is becoming less dynamic and losing something of its dominant position in the advertiser’s world-view. One long-term advertising expenditure forecast, reported in the Financial Times, suggested that television’s share of advertising expenditure could drop from the 27.9% it took in 2001 to 24.5% in 2014. Some leading figures in the industry are predicting a serious shift in advertiser behaviour away from television.

But at the mean while, for everywhere licence fee funding is likely to decline relative to the volumes of advertising and subscription revenues arise with commercial broadcasters. The consultancy, Zenithmedia, estimated that European television advertising finance will rise by 50% in the decade between 1994 and 2004, and subscription finance is estimated to rise by a factor of 6 in the same period, that is, by 600%. No one expects licence fee finance to rise by such a proportion! Moreover, public service broadcasters’ share of broadcasting advertising expenditure has declined from 44% in 1990 to 28% in 1994. (Zenithmedia, 1995).

A slowing growth in overall TV advertising revenues could be combined with a declining share of these revenues for the public service broadcasters as the competition from new channels increases. ITV’s loss of both share of audience and share of commercial revenue in recent years has been startling. Its share of audience has dropped from 33% in 1997 to 24% last year, and its share of TV advertising from 65% to 54% in the same period.

Advertiser-funding broadcasting has operated very well since the birth of broadcasting in the US.Today,the US advertisers support the broadcasting to make high quality programmes to meet the audience need.Advertiser-funding is proved to be the most successful experience which most of countries are willing to learn from the US in de-regulation years,especially in European countries like Germany and France.In facing the challenge of Public Service Broadcasting,people are arguing about the future funding of BBC and other broadcasters in the UK.In the report of the independent review panel “The Future Funding of the BBC”(1999),researchers worried that how programmes quality will be ensured by the free market.I will discuss it in following part in which we can learn from US.

“Deficit-financing”

In the UK, broadcasters tend to pay all production costs, so that producers are not exposed to any financial risk, but in return broadcasters retain the majority of secondary rights (Dolye, 2002:82). Under the UK system, broadcasters who commission programmes from independent producers are prepared to cover the production budget in full and also to pay the programme-makers small up-front production fee or profit, usually of around 10 per cent of the total production budget. However, in return, the broadcaster acquires not only the primary rights (or first right to transmit the programme) but also, generally, the majority of secondary rights (e.g. for additional transmissions on domestic television, video distribution and overseas sales). (Doyle, 2002:82)

The deficit-financing model in the US contrasts sharply with the cost plus system, which prevails in the UK. The term deficit financing describes a system, prevalent in the US, where programme-makers share a portion of the financial risks involved in production in return for ownership of secondary and tertiary rights to their programmes (Litman, 1998:140)

“Deficit Financing” and “Syndication” are intrinsically related. Without syndication dollars, there is no deficit financing. The system works by production companies pitching their ideas for development to the networks. When a project is given the green light, the studio puts up some, but not all, of the money for the number of episodes it orders. In exchange, the network receives the exclusive right to air that show for a period of time. After that time, the production company is free to shop the show around elsewhere. They MUST be able to sell the show for future airings because they have not even made enough money from the network to cover their costs. The gap between what the network pays and what it cost for production is the deficit.

The vertical supply chain in the television industry involves program production, then programs sold to service packagers to assemble television schedules and finally the packages are distributed onwards to television viewers by broadcasters. Broadcaster themselves are service packagers, but separate intermediaries, such as networks also act as service packagers including major US networks. The distribution phase for broadcast television can sometimes be broken into more than one stage (Doyle, 2002b: 74).

Therefore, one advantage of deficit financing is to maximise revenues, manage capacity more efficiently and gaining more control over the television market, especially the important upstream (content production) and downstream phases (distribution) in the vertical supply chain. Meanwhile, the television content producers can achieve the goal of reducing the per-viewer production costs by selling their programs to as many audiences as possible through vertical integration with more distribution channels (broadcasters) as to secondary and tertiary market.

UK television production needs such ways to fund their production and distribution as deficit financing, but with precondition of network of television industry structure.

International Trade of Programmes

Television has always been traded. It would be fair to say, however, that for a good part of the history of television there was what Nordenstreng and Varis called ‘a one-way street’ in television exports – from the United States and to a lesser extent the Great Britain, to the rest of the world.

Obviously, the US producers in international audiovisual trade are in predominant position in global markets. The US suppliers also occupy a leading position as exporters of regular television content. (Doyle, 2002:90) Now the audio and visual products are the second sales of the United States in its world trade. Also the reason for its “one way street” trade can be explained in three aspects: for the reason of its domestic market is nearly saturation. As mean while a worldwide television product market merged for the popular of television in most countries. And last reason is that US television producers benefit from the fact that English is an international language.

International dumping further complicates the analysis, for that is the effect of foreign producers selling their programs at prices far below their costs of production – at marginal costs rather than average costs.

Because audiences tend to prefer television programs with larger amounts of production investment (Waterman, 1988), it is less likely that programs produced in the smaller markets with lower investments in audiovisual production will flow into the larger ones.

But actually the reason for the international market of the US television industry is that market reconstructing. Every reconstruction of networks will bring much more development of its international marketing. It also proves that the UK needs much more reform of its industry structure to meet the more profit of international audio and visual market with strong accent of English language.

Conclusion:

In the coming changing years, with the impact of technology and deregulation, the UK television industry should find its new model to develop and serve the audience better. In 2006,the UK should have new a funding charter for the BBC.In 2015;the UK will enter into a wholly digital television era. With these changes learning more lessons from the US is a great thinking angle-modelling in media economics is an efficient way of doing this. Economy of scale and scope, and good allocation of the resources of television media is what we have discussed in this paper.

The “Networks structure” of broadcasting is a fundamental challenge for the UK’s nearly hundred years old tradition of public service. It is also a precondition for the UK to learn much more of the mechanism of television broadcasting, producing and distribution in its vertical supply chain within the UK.

The advertiser-funded broadcasting system is seen as a declining way for media companies to collect money but it is still very health mechanism for coming decades despite of challenge of Pay TV as the audience are likely to welcome the system which is “free” for them.

Deficit-financing in television production and international trade in programmes are also main issues that the UK can learn from the US television industry.

 

References:

Curran, J and Seaton, J. (1991) Power Without Responsibility, 4th Edition, Routledge: London

Cave, Martin (1989)”An Introduction to television economics”, in Gordon Hughes, David Vines, (eds), Deregulation and the Future of Commercial Television, Aberdeen University Press, Aberdeen, pp9-37

Doyle, Gillian, (2002), Understanding Media Economics, and SAGE: London

Gaper ,J. (1998),”America’s networks take a stern look at prospects”, Financial Times, 6 April: 22

Jensen, Klaus Bruhn and Jankowsky, Nicholas W. (1991) A Handbook of Qualitative Methodologies for Mass Communication Research, Routledge: London

Litman, B. (1998)”The economics of television networks: new dimensions and new alliances”, in A. Alexander et al. (eds), Media Economics: Theory and Practice, 2nd edn, Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlaum Associates.pp.131-50.

Owen, B and Wildman, S. (1992), Video Economics, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Waterman, D. (1988). World television trade. Telecommunications Policy, 12(2), 131-151.

http://foi.missouri.edu/jourwarcoverage/wemustnot.html

我们现在说电视产业化,各地电视台也在努力抓收入,搞公司化。但是真正研究过电视经济学的似乎很少,在电视台内部就更少了。

 

我想结合我在英国学习传媒经济学和在国内省级卫视做过一段时间的经历谈一些粗浅的关于中国卫星电视的经济学问题,希望透过这些言论引起各方的关注,实现中国电视产业的正常有序发展。

 

说经济学,大家不要害怕,不要以为是一个很大的题目。其实经济学就是在讨论资源的最优化配置问题。只要时刻想到这个问题,经济学这个词就可以变得平易近人一些。

 

应该说传媒是个新鲜事物,尽管报业有着几百年的历史,然而在我们观察传媒的主要理论时,发现都是近百年时间里的研究成果。而当我们讨论传媒经济学时,这个历史就更近了,主要的传媒经济学家,皮卡德,阿尔巴然,等都健在,更不必说我的老师吉莉·道尔博士了,她只是个年轻人。所以国内摸着石头过河的电视台台长们可以松一口气了。

 

但是,综观国外传媒经济学的主要论点,除了一些基本和传统的话题外,一些崭新的课题确确实实地放在我们现在国内的各位电视台台长面前,也放在全球各大媒体的主管面前。三网合一,数字化,交互式传播等等。中国传媒,尤其是电视业的发展,能否在实践中杀出一条血路,甚至能为世界传媒提供经验,成为摆在国际同行面前的一个活生生的案例,是本文撰写的初衷。

 

本文将试着从中国卫星电视的产品说起,讨论目前国内电视业的秩序问题,然后讨论如何做强做大的经济学问题,以及对未来电视业发展的一些假设作出判断。

 

卫星电视产品:商品性和公共性

 

首先,让我们看看电视产品的性质,这是我们讨论的核心问题。

 

经济学必然要讨论到我们的实实在在的产生经济动力的产品。作为一个经济组织的媒体,他究竟生产的是什么呢?

 

有人认为电视台生产的是时间,有的人认为是观众,有的人认为是信息,有的人认为是节目。那么电视台生产的是什么呢?我不想参与辩论,只想提出一些在这个领域内比较公认的理论。

 

根据皮卡德的定义,电视广播的产品发生在所谓的“双重产品”市场中,(Picard, 1989:17)它的第一个产品 是其播出的节目,第二个产品自然是其观众(Doyle,2002:60,这个观众指观看其节目的那部份。

 

节目播出这个产品具有“公共商品”的性质(Owen and Wildman, 1992:23-4)。公共商品的特征是不会因为增加或减少观众 而被消耗或浪费。当然如果它的观众无限增多,其产品的边际成本可以为零。

 

基于 对公共商品的认识,在欧洲对电视传媒普遍采用公共广播理论(PSB), 有的人也称其为“力思主义”,得名于倡导此思想的BBC首位总裁。当然这个理念在当今的欧洲社会中也普遍受到挑战,BBC更是首当其冲,不断因为PSB而经受各种事件的冲击和影响。

 

我个人也是这样看待卫星电视广播的产品的,我国卫星电视的第一产品是其节目的播出,(programmes service)该产品的成功往往能决定一个电视台的命运。湖南卫视的娱乐节目,因其盛而盛,因其衰而衰。在这个产品的生产上,安徽卫视的电视剧大卖场或者说其电视剧的编排播出是非常理想的,他们生产了非常好的产品。作为电视台,它是广播者,它的主要任务就是包装并编排播出节目,从这个意义上讲,安徽卫视的电视剧编排播出这个产品做得非常好。作为一个企业,它如何对自己的产品质量进行控制,如何提升自己产品的竞争力,从某种程度上反映了这个企业的管理能力,这就是传媒管理的实际应用了。

 

作为双重产品中的另一个是观众。我们也可以说是“眼球”。这个产品毫无疑问的受到目前许多电视台的重视,抓覆盖率,提高收视率都反映出了这个产品在电视台台长心目中的重要性。在我国,此项产品做得最好的是中央电视台(CCTV)。它的覆盖率是全国最高的,它的春节联欢晚会和新闻联播是收视率最高的节目。国内一些电视台的节目制播能力受到制约,但他们的观众这个产品却生产得很好,典型的例子是贵州卫视。贵州卫视勤抓覆盖,每年的美兰德全国卫星电视覆盖率调查中,它的排名都非常靠前,而它独具特色的有奖收视活动,及利用一些事件进行事件营销的吸引观众的活动也得到全国同行的赞许。贵州卫视在经营观众这个产品方面走在全国卫星电视的前列。而那些新兴的讲粤语,讲闽南语的卫视,则真的不知道他们在经营什么样的产品,如果说是宣传工具,又何苦要让这些政策水平掌握并不能达到权威水平的电视台去经营呢?这实在是有违经济学原理的错误行为。

 

不是每种商业或者产品都是拿来经营的。这在中国更是得到认可。纵然是产品,特别是电视,它也会出现所谓的“市场失灵”,西方发达国家已经普遍意识到了这个问题。这个理论对我们提了个醒,象中央电视台这样的媒体,由于其国家电视台的身份,由于 其靠行政命令所获得的观众 产品的垄断,就更不应该进入市场,不应该利用这些不公平的条件来开展经营。近些年来,中央电视台在疯狂地利用其对观众 产品的优势进行贩卖。每年的招标就是对“观众”这个产品的血腥掠夺,如果用这个收入去提升其第一产品节目播出的话,观众也许没有什么意见,可是现在呢?观众对中央电视台怨声载道,这就足以说明央视这个媒体对观众的掠夺已经引起了众怒,而他们却没有看到。这种利用经济手段疯狂掠夺,迟早是要还回去的。连续多少个月的高速增长并不能牵强地与中国经济增长挂在一起。只是充分说明央视在掠夺上,圈地上的动作是如何的狂野。

 

说到这里,我们抛开经济学,要讨论一个传媒自身的问题,谁是中国的公共电视?目前各级电视台都在办所谓的“公共频道”,这些频道谈不上什么公共电视的概念,充其量只是一个让上情下达的不得已或者说多余的通道而已。肩负反映民情民意,寓教于乐,打造公民道德规范职责从来就没有通过它们实现。这与西方发达国家的公共电视形成鲜明对照。当然我们的台长会说,我们所有的电视频道都是公共电视,因为它们都在担负宣传任务,都是党的喉舌。可是现在每个频道都在拼创收,拼收视率,这也难怪央视新闻频道会出现“竞猜人质死亡人数”的不道德的严重播出事故了。

 

我认为,解决这个问题的办法是对中央电视台实施大的变革,CCTV应该成为BBCNHK那样不播广告的电视台。它的频道可以保留,综合,新闻,经济,法制,儿童,戏曲,国际频道。其它频道应该拆分成为新的全国性电视台。只有这样才能形成中国电视经济正常的市场秩序,才有利于全国卫星电视的有序竞争和发展,只有把运动员和裁判员真正地分开,才能将中国电视事业向产业方向进一步地推动发展。

 

我们需要用我们的智慧来定义电视产品的商品属性和公共属性,我们只有在传媒法规和传媒所有制方面作出有效的政府管制,形成有章可循,有游戏规则的市场,这里面的竞争者才能真正按照自己的能力得到有效的发展。这里不能生存的媒体才能退出或者与其它媒体发生合并重组。中国电视业这盘棋才真正能走活。

 

接下来,我将要从经济学的角度探讨传媒企业的扩张和集中问题。(未完待续)

 

参考文献:

 

Doyle, Gillian, (2000)“The economics of monomedia and cross-media expansion” Journal of Cultural Economics,24”1-26

 

Owen and Wildman, (1992) Video Economics, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press

 

Picard, R (1989) Media Economics: Concepts and Issues, London, Sage

2004年11月25日

老实说, 英国人的厨艺实在不敢苟同. 而且在餐厅用餐亦所费不非


除非阁下对饮食要求不太高(或者口味相当西化!); 否则还是自行煮食最好吃,最经济!


 


客观地说, 还是要介绍一下Stirling的餐厅: 


在大学内也有数间餐厅:

















Oscar (Path foot Building)网主少到Path foot, 资料不详



Mac Robert’s (Mac Robert Center) 主要提供:炸鱼 薯条, 汉堡包, Pizza, 三文治, coffee & tea.



Mac Robert’s dinning room (Mac Robert Center) 每天均有三餐供应, 款式天天不同!



Stir Cafe (Mac Robert Center) 主要提供: 三文治, coffee & tea.


*阁下可以买一年的饭票(大约5磅一天) 就可以省却煮食和洗碗的时间, 专心读书.


或者 阁下偶然想一尝Scotland的地度食品 亦可一试!


 


在大学外也有数间不同口味的餐厅:




















Stirling town 内有几间印度式,中国式,法国式,意大利式的餐厅



这儿的餐厅价格大约在5 – 10 , 大部份亦提供自助餐午餐和晚餐



当然一定有McDonald’s Burger King 两大美式连锁快餐店.



(这儿的McDonald’s Burger King 的价钱比香港贵大约2-3)



Scotland的地度食品: Fish and Chips(炸鱼 薯条)


 


如果你要靠你自己烹调, 这也是非常容易的


Stirling 有二大超级市场, Tesco Sainsbury’s. 


Tesco, Stirling (01786 427400)  


Sainsbury’s, Stirling ()


Iceland, Stirling 1-unit 5 Pitt terrace (01786 464300)  


今年TescoSainsbury’s 都有免费巴士接载学生来往购物,相当方便!


这两间超级市场亦有自己的产品,一般价钱比其它牌子平一点, 亦可以选择超值牌系列, 价钱可说是最平的,不过质素当然一般啦!
























































这里的超级市场比香港的大 货物的种类比较多



这里的超级市场能买到新鲜蔬菜,新鲜的肉,奶类产品,海鲜,米和面包。



但是蔬菜和海鲜的价格相对比较贵



这里的蔬菜大部分都很大路, 相信大家也会吃过



肉其实也离不开猪, 不过这儿比较多火鸡(Turkey)



奶类产品在这里很便宜 鸡旦也很平



新鲜的火腿,烟肉亦有很多种类。



海鲜有三文鱼(Salmon) 吞拿(tuna)鳟鱼(trout) 银鳕鱼(cod) 鲈鱼(bass) 青口(mussel) 虾。



白米可在这里买到不过不太够软滑



面包是这里的主要粮食, 种类多新鲜而且便宜; 另外粟米片(corn flakes)亦相当便宜。



但调味料(如胡椒粉等)就非常之贵。



啤酒餐酒在这里不太贵但烈酒类就非常之贵而且多饮无益



香烟在英国是很昂贵的最好在机场买定!



另外一间超级市场Iceland 主要售卖急冻食物 价钱较便宜. Iceland Pizza cheese cake都不错的。



 阁下是朱古力及糖果的fans的话 这里的朱古力及糖果简直与香口胶差不多价钱!! 1磅有5条吉百利朱古力 糖果花款多到令人眼花!! 不过小心蛀牙及发胖!!



阁下可往Thistles Center 内的Woolworth/ Marks and Spencer’s  搜购一番!



Woolworth 里亦可以买到很多厨具!









这里的酒吧很热闹, 价钱比香港平, 在大学内及Stirling 市内亦有不少酒吧,可以去见识一下! 不过酒吧内是很嘈吵和很闷热的! 所以大多数女孩都穿很短的小背心~~!


中式超级市场








在爱丁堡及格拉斯哥可买到中式食品


1. 兴盛行


地址:310 Lieth Walk, Edinburgh EH6 8SD


Tele.: 0131 554 4333


2. 百佳中英行


地址: 199 Lieth Walk, Edinburgh EH6 8NX


Tele.: 0131 554 0358








格拉斯哥的中式超级市场资不详,还望指教!


Stirling医疗保健


























大学学生在医务所注册后可免费使用医务所的门诊及牙医服务



不过每次配药均要付6磅的Prescription Tax



而留学生可申请 NHS 证书来括免Prescription Tax



NHS 证书申请表可于学内药房索取



NHS 证书可括免药物, 牙医及配眼镜的费用



往医务所注册需带备过往的注射记录



亦最好接受脑膜炎注射,费用全免


 


Campus 内的药房可配药 亦可买到日用品卫生用品晒相花妆品


Stirling town内亦有多间药房,日用品,卫生用品相对较平


 


Stirling通讯


Postage:











Stirling 是使用Royal Mail 寄信(Airmail)回港大约要45-65p(HKD$5-6)



本地寄信亦有分First class(1天到达)/ Second class(3天到达)


Phone Call / Mobile Phone






































若想致电回港,可在报摊买一张储值电话卡, 在公共电话亭致电回港。



储值电话卡有5/10/20磅的面额 (网主认为UK First 最抵!)



储值电话卡大约20p (HKD$2-3)一分钟。



亦可以买一张BT 储值电话卡(3磅一张) 致电海外1磅一分钟!!!!



或使用香港流动电话的国际电话漫游服务,但需注意价钱的变动!



在使用英国的流动电话服务也可以,因为在英国接听电话是免费的。



可请家人使用香港的长途电话服务致电给阁下!



在英国有四间流动电话服务商分别是:


1.         Orange (PCS)


2.          One2One (PCS)


3.          Vodafone (GSM)


4.          BT cell net (GSM)



因为留学生在英国没有固定地址,所以多数不能申请月费服务。



只可选择增值 / 预缴电话服务。



另外只有Orange有SIM card 独立发售, 其它公司均要连电话一并购买。


Internet

















在大学内有多间计算机室24小时供学生使用。



大学内使用宽频上网, 速度很快。



学生如使用手提电脑,可购买一张Ethernet Card(不是Modem) 直接在大学的网络上使用宽频上网。



不过在大学的计算机里下载 / 安装其它软件是有限制的。


Computer

















计算机对每位留学生是非常重要的, 尤其是交论文或找资料。



计算机其实可以在Stirling town 买到, 这里有Tiny, Times Dixon 等大型计算机连锁店, 价钱与香港差不多,而且附送Printer Scanner 比起手提电脑平得多,亦可在毕业时二手售出。



Stirling town也有DIY砌机出售,价钱比原厂机平一点



或阁下认为比较喜欢手提电脑那就要注意保养维修的事项!


Stirling的适当衣服






























































Stirling的天气是干的和寒冷的因此我们必须准备充足的衣服



衣服一定是耐寒的 潮流却不大重要



衣服不需要太多足够便可



最好是防风防水而透气的



因为在冬天室内外的温差很大



在室外很冷;在室内却很焗!



Gore-Tex Iso-tex 等户外远足用的大衣



些衣服能在这里买到 价钱比香港平一点



这里买既有学生折扣 亦无需放在行李内



另外在冬天路面会结冰 很容易滑倒



准备一对行山鞋会比较好同时亦要小心行路!


 



大学内有洗衣房(near Polwarth flat)



学生需购买一张储值卡大约3(12 credits)



洗衣连干衣大约要6 credits



若不怕麻烦亦可自行清洗



Stirling town亦可选购名牌衣服



Stirling 不远有一个Factory Outlet (Tillicoultry)



那里有很多不同的名牌衣服价钱合理



可乘First Bus 62/62A/62B 前往