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Managing Media Content: Business Strategies and Practices - An Application Study on Content and Scheduling Formation

Managing Media Content: Business Strategies and Practices Application Study on Content and Scheduling Formation

Andreas N. Masouras

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Research Institute of Applied Communication Neapolis University Pafos 2 Danais Avenue 8042 Pafos Cyprus www.nup.ac.cy ISBN 978-9963-9409-3-6

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Managing Media Content: Business Strategies and Practices - An Application Study on Content and Scheduling Formation

Abstract Through this research, the various levels of planning television content scheduling are analysed from an applicational perspective, based on empirical data and the process, through which content diversity is formed and produced, is studied. More specifically, concepts that are directly associated with content are approached, such as diversity and scheduling and, through a notional and empirical analysis, the policies and methods of programme planning are discussed, as well as how competitive programmes attempt to differentiate from each other with the purpose of increasing their viewing ratings. Through the analysis that will follow in this research, the way that content diversity is formed will be set. Until today – as this research will illustrate – the study of diversity was focused only on its outflow. In this research, the process of its formation is studied firstly and then its outflow, as the outcome of a business practice. The author, giving a characteristic subtitle in this research, employs the concept of formatting diversity, referring to content diversity as an intrinsic part of television scheduling. The empirical analysis is carried out within the Greek situational context, where both public and private television are examined, as well as pay television, which is analysed in a separate chapter because of its distinctive features, in contrast to free-toair television. This thesis hence, concerns the formation of a methodological tool which examines the various structures, policies and methods of scheduling and of

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Managing Media Content: Business Strategies and Practices - An Application Study on Content and Scheduling Formation

television programming in general. This study through an empirical methodological tool can clarify the constituent elements of content diversity and in this way it can facilitate the understanding of the structure of diversity and consequently of the way in which it is formed.

Preface The empirical data analysis took place in Greece, while the whole research was completed in Cyprus. Some chapters of this research have already been published as working papers in Donald McGannon Communication Research Center of Fordham University, while the empirical research was conducted in Research Institute of Applied Communication of Neapolis University Pafos and University Research Institute of Applied Communication of the University of Athens

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Managing Media Content: Business Strategies and Practices - An Application Study on Content and Scheduling Formation

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION ......................................................................................................... 1 NOTIONAL INTERPRETATIONS, CORRELATION IN MODELS AND A NEW APPROACH TO DIVERSITY ON TELEVISION ..................................................... 17 1.1 Quality in television ..................................................................................... 17 1.2 Difficulties of interpretation and pitfalls...................................................... 18 1.3 Quality dimensions of television programmes ............................................ 20 1.4 Factors that reduce quality in television ...................................................... 22 1.5 Pluralism and diversity in the media ............................................................ 24 1.5.1 The concept of pluralism ......................................................................... 25 1.5.2 The concept of diversity........................................................................... 28 1.6 Diversity models .......................................................................................... 32 1.6.1 Philip Napoli’s model .............................................................................. 32 1.6.2 Source diversity ....................................................................................... 33 1.6.3 Content diversity ...................................................................................... 35 1.6.4 Exposure diversity ................................................................................... 38 1.7 Van Cuilenburg’s model .............................................................................. 38 1.7.1. Reflection ................................................................................................... 39 1.7.2 Openness ..................................................................................................... 41 1.8 Valcke’s model or the “Chain of Diversity” ................................................ 42 1.8.1 Provider diversity ..................................................................................... 43 1.8.2 Product diversity ...................................................................................... 44 1.8.3 Exposure diversity ................................................................................... 44 1.9 The Stirling model ....................................................................................... 45 1.9.1 The variety of broadcast programmes...................................................... 46 1.9.2 Balance ..................................................................................................... 46 1.9.3 The disparity or heterogeneity of programmes ........................................ 47 1.10 The three-faceted model for television programming – methodological approach to the research........................................................................................... 49 1.10.1 Institutional Diversity .......................................................................... 50 1.10.2 Content diversity as opposed to context diversity ............................... 52 1.10.3 Source Diversity................................................................................... 55 CHAPTER TWO……………………………………………………………………..61 THE INVESTMENT IN ADVERTISING AND SALES PROMOTION ACTIVITIES: THE CASE STUDY OF PAY TELEVISION IN GREECE - AN EMPIRICAL ANALYSIS THROUGH MARKET DATA…………………………61

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Managing Media Content: Business Strategies and Practices - An Application Study on Content and Scheduling Formation

2.1. Market Empirical Analysis………………………………………………...61 2.2. The extension of the model to pay-television: An initial planning and resetting of the concepts of content homogeneity and heterogeneity……………….74 CHAPTER THREE…………………………………………………………………..79 PROGRAMME TYPOLOGY AND ITS ASSOCIATION WITH THE STUDY OF DIVERSITY AND AUDIENCE VIEWING FIGURES: THE TYPOLOGICAL STRATEGY OF THE GREEK TELEVISION PROGRAMME ................................ 81 3.1. Genre typology and relevant definitions ...................................................... 81 3.2. Television programming and content positioning ....................................... 91 3.3. A typological and taxonomic analysis of Greek television: genre positioning within television programming ................................................................................ 98 CHAPTER FOUR ...................................................................................................... 108 GREEK TV CONTENT SHAPING AND HOMOGENEITY .................................. 108 4.1 Globalisation, Americanisation and the globalised locality of television content ………………………………………………………………………….108 4.2 The political economy of the media: shaping content under conditions of competition ............................................................................................................ 115 4.3 Analysis of homogeneity in Greek television ............................................ 123 4.3.1 Analysis of the results ............................................................................... 125 CHAPTER FIVE ....................................................................................................... 157 AN ALTERNATIVE METHODOLOGICAL APPROACH TO THE STUDY OF DIVERSITY IN GREEK TELEVISION: THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE THEORY OF METAMORPHOSIS AND PARTIAL CORRELATIONS ................................ 157 5.1. The necessity and reasons for developing the methodological tool of metamorphosis ....................................................................................................... 157 5.2. The central idea of “metamorphosis” framework: from content diversity to context diversity ..................................................................................................... 159 5.3. The methodological approach of the theory of diversity’s metamorphosis and the question of the concept: topology-morphology-chronology (diversity over time and space) ...................................................................................................... 166 5.4. Programming tactics, context diversity and the production of pseudocontent (content pseudo-differentiation) ................................................................ 176 5.5. Qualitative content analysis of television news: the utility of morphology, chronology and typology as a tool ......................................................................... 180 CHAPTER SIX……………………………………………………………………..188 RESEARCH IN THE FIELD OF TELEVISION PROGRAMME PRODUCTION 195 6.1. An initial depiction of the issue ................................................................. 195 6.2. Outlining the source ................................................................................... 195 6.3. Assessing the source: from theory to the process of making correlations and from correlations to practice .................................................................................. 213 CHAPTER SEVEN ................................................................................................... 219 APPLYING THE SOURCE DIVERSITY FORMULA TO THE CASE OF GREEK TELEVISION ............................................................................................................ 219 7.1. Questions as they result from the source’s formula ................................... 219 7.2. Description of the study ............................................................................. 221 7.2.1. Data collection ................................................................................... 221 7.2.2. Classification and typology issues ..................................................... 224 7.2.3. Companies’ ownership status ............................................................ 226

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Managing Media Content: Business Strategies and Practices - An Application Study on Content and Scheduling Formation

7.3. Ecology of the market: some further methodological issues ..................... 243 7.4. Conclusions drawn after the source formula has been applied .................. 248 CHAPTER EIGHT .................................................................................................... 255 BIBLIOGRAPHY ...................................................................................................... 285

LIST OF TABLES

Table 1 :This table shows variations in advertising expense. In other words, it is a concise classification of the revenue the five channels mentioned in the table receive from advertisements. This information pertains to 2000 to 2006. Each vertical column refers to each respective year separately. Each colour refers to a different channel. Specifically, this table shows the position of three private and two public channels (Source: Media Services S.A. and author elaboration after software development).The decade of 2000 starts with a 0.6% decline between 2000 and 2001. In the next years, television shows rising tendencies with regard to advertising expenses, which soar to 771 million euros in 2004 (+6.9% comparing to 2003), 784.7 million euros in 2005 (+1.76%) and 793.5 million euros in 2006 (+1.13%), until they peak in 2007, at 941.5 million euros (+18.65%). Since then, the expenses of television channels have been dropping, reaching an 8.4% decline in 2008, 17.08% in 2009 and 18.4% in 2010 (Source: Haimanta Sonia, advertising.gr, 2011). ........................................................... 6 Table 2: Elements that constitute Napoli’s model, Source: Napoli (1999, p.10) ........ 33 Table 3: This table presents a brief comparative presentation of diversity models and approaches and comparatively reveal the constituent elements entailed in each. ....... 48 Table 4: Channel’s advertising per month and the product that is advertised. (own elaboration). ................................................................................................................. 71 Table 5: Channel’s sport advertisements per month and the product that is advertised. (own elaboration). ........................................................................................................ 72 Table 6: Time periods of advertisements in magazines. .............................................. 72 Table 7: This table presents the method of classification of genres used by Ihlstrom and Akesson in their study (2004) of the electronic press. Genres that are marked with (I) are inheritance genres. The rest of the genres are new genres. In total there are 57 genres; 23 inheritance and 34 new. .............................................................................. 87 Table 8: Grouped categories of TV programmes (author’s elaboration, 2007) ........... 98 Table 9: The spatio-temporal positioning of programme zones, as specified by AGB. The hours where programme zones are set are related to the daily habits of viewers, the demands of television channels and television viewing figures (this table is based on a commonly agreed market standard). .................................................................. 100 Table 10: The category of films according to the lengthy table of AGB. This table presents partial data and it is not the whole table (AGB, 2009). ............................... 104

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Managing Media Content: Business Strategies and Practices - An Application Study on Content and Scheduling Formation

Table 11: This table presents the data provided by Koukoutsaki regarding the production costs of television series during the periods 1991-2, 1992-3 and 1996-7. .................................................................................................................................... 128 Table 12: This table shows the figures for programme categories in private and public television, respectively. .............................................................................................. 130 Table 13: Total and gross figures for programme types for 2004, 2005 and 2006.... 132 Table 14: This table shows the broadcasting times of each programme category per season and channel. .................................................................................................... 135 Table 15: This table shows average television viewing figures. ............................... 137 Table 16: This table shows the programme types that were broadcast by public television in 1984, 1985 and 1986. ............................................................................ 144 Table 17: This table illustrates the programming of Greek television as regards programme types and the form of these programme types after the advent of private television. ................................................................................................................... 151

LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1: The three work packages, meaning the steps and stages, followed during the process of designing and realising this model, which aims at assessing the degree and diversity of diversity in television content. The first step is to give reason for the need of a new working formula. Afterwards every element of the model will need to be analysed separately and finaly put it into practise. ........................................................ 8 Figure 2: In this graph, readers can visualise the process of content metamorphosis. The process is broken into three stages. To start with, it is classed as homogenised (as regards its genres) content, meaning that it exhibits very low/poor content diversity. Next, the content is under the process of diversification and metamorphoses so that it seems diversified (without changing the genres) and, finally, it appears as context diversity, as an outcome of this process....................................................................... 11 Figure 3: The three-faceted model of diversity where the drivers and sub-drivers of assessing diversity may be presented. .......................................................................... 50 Figure 4: The two axes of the analysis, the socio-political and legislative/regulatory contexts, interact in order to form institutional diversity in the media. ....................... 52 Figure 5: The formula used for estimating source diversity level as it results from the three-faceted content diversity Model: The power of influence, the analysi of the vertical integration and the nature of the market, are the three factors that according to this theory should be examined to to derive at conclusions for the televiosion production market. ....................................................................................................... 56 Figure 6: The philosophy of the model’s topography in the case of television focuses on Aroldi’s triple concept of content, form and logic. The logic behind programming

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Managing Media Content: Business Strategies and Practices - An Application Study on Content and Scheduling Formation

is the main driver for the final shaping of the content and for its diversity rate. In essence, it is a chain process where one element affects and complements another. .. 60 Figure 7: In this graph, certain models or approaches for content are set out, classified into four categories: a) general approaches, b) sector-based approaches, c) contentbased approaches and d) form-based approaches. ....................................................... 62 Figure 8: The differentiation of pay teleivision is based on the relationship with the viewer. The process of acceptance by the viewer to buy the television programme content, is accompanied by a series of procedures on behalf of pay television to convince the viewer of the differentiation of its content. .......................................... 66 Figure 9: Ways of communication with the existing viewers of the channel. ............. 67 Figure 10: Channel advertising through other communication media, in order to attract prospective subscribers. .................................................................................... 68 Figure 11: This graph shows the taxonomy of film genres as perceived by Chandler, based on the classification used by the British television listings magazine “What’s on TV� from 1993 (Chandler, 1997) and influenced by the approach of Thomas and Vivian Sobchack who, in 1980, made a basic distinction between comedy and melodrama, thus starting the discussion on the methods of taxonomy........................ 89 Figure 12: In this graph, which is considered a sub-model of the basic modelled approach of this study, the chain of the classification procedure used by AGB Hellas is presented. Other companies may use a different methodology, even if their philosophy is the same. A similar model of television programme choices, which gives more emphasis to the preferences of the audience, and not so much to the methodology for programme classification, was created by Webster and Wakshlag (1983). Specifically, this graph shows the spatio-temporal classification of television programming in zones, genres and other methodological sub-classifications such as the measurement of television viewing per quarter. This procedure is mainly based, on the one hand, on the daily habits of the audience and, on the other hand, on the utility of such a tool that may be useful for television channels and their programmers. .... 106 Figure 13: These graphs illustrate the numbers of domestic productions compared to foreign shows in private and public television, respectively, during 2004-2006. ..... 139 Figure 14: Frequency of programme airing as regards programmes premiering on television and reruns (private television). .................................................................. 141 Figure 15: Frequency of programme airing as regards the programmes premiering on television and the reruns (public television). ............................................................. 141 Figure 16: Total recording of figures for domestic and foreign productions in 1984, 1985 and 1986. ........................................................................................................... 145 Figure 17: Total comparative recording of figures for domestic and o foreign productions in 1984, 1985, 1986 and in 2004-2006, respectively. ............................ 145 Figure 18: Total comparative recording of figures for domestic and foreign productions in 1984, 1985, 1986 and in 2004-2006, respectively, for public television. .................................................................................................................................... 146 Figure 19: Total comparative recording of the figures for domestic and foreign productions in 1984, 1985, 1986 and in 2004-2006, respectively, for private television. ................................................................................................................... 146 Figure 20: This graph shows the frequency of the reruns compared with the frequency of programmes premiering on television, as regards the period from 1984 to 1986. 147

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Managing Media Content: Business Strategies and Practices - An Application Study on Content and Scheduling Formation

Figure 21: This graph shows the frequency of the reruns compared with the frequency of programmes premiering on television, as regards the period from 1984 to 1986 and from 2004 to 2006 comparatively. ............................................................................. 148 Figure 22: This graph shows the frequency of the reruns compared with the frequency of programmes premiering on television, as regards the period from 1984 to 1986 and from 2004 to 2006 comparatively and this comparative presentation refers to two public television channels and three private ones. ..................................................... 148 Figure 23: The figure presented above shows the three stages of the process of content metamorphosis. In the first one, there is a low level of diversity regarding the genres. In other words, there is a homogenisation of the content. The first stage is also a prerequisite for the whole process to start. The second stage is the procedure itself – the telemorphing process – during which the channels determine their tactics of content differentiation, and the third and final stage is when the differentiatied product is produced, although the genre does not change. This artificial diversification of the content is what is called context diversity. (own elaboration, 2009). ........................ 163 Figure 24: The metamorphosis process is actually a “game” based upon similar genres, aiming at their partial differentiation from each other. If channels x, y and z broadcast the same programme genre during the same time period, then x-channel will broadcast the genre, y-channel will broadcast genre 1 and z-channel will broadcast genre 2. In other words, it is the same genre that changes in shape through the use of several scheduling tactics (author’s elaboration, 2009). ........................... 164 Figure 25: The three methodological variables are morphology, chronology and topology. They form the author’s approach to content’s metamorphosis, as they are the basic elements of this approach (author’s elaboration, 2009). ............................. 167 Figure 26: This diagram illustrates the correlation of chronology – topology and that of time – space. In essence, it is the same philosophy and rationale. As regards television programming, great emphasis is placed on how time is arranged against the space in which it is scheduled. In fact, it is an indissoluble association between chronology (time) and topology (space), where these two elements give the final form to the morphology of programming. .......................................................................... 169 Figure 27: The figure displays series broadcast daily, for example “Maria i Aschimi” (Maria, The Ugly One) is broadcast every day of the week, at the same time. However, the crime fiction programme “Light in the tunnel” is placed within a particular zone (after the main news programme) only once a week. These cases are examples of horizontal and vertical scheduling, respectively. Horizontal/vertical scheduling is an approachable methodological criterion of the programme’s assessment. As shown by the figure, diagonal scheduling could be added to the related terminology. It is a hybrid technique made up of the two aforementioned types of scheduling. For example, the well-known TV show “Fame Story” could be considered vertical, since its live broadcasting took place every week, but it could also be considered horizontal, since the scenes were shot during the week inside the academy’s studios and the house where the contestants lived were broadcast both by the pay-tv channel and by the channel that was holding the rights. The combination of the two tactics aims at creating tension and anxiety in the spectator’s mind. The combination resulting between horizontal and vertical scheduling is something the author calls diagonal scheduling (author’s elaboration, 2008). ................................. 172 Figure 28: The factors that Steiner refers to during his analysis and in the end influence the final form of the channel’s content. ..................................................... 175

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Managing Media Content: Business Strategies and Practices - An Application Study on Content and Scheduling Formation

Figure 29: Elements of the diversification of televised news bulletins, distinguished into the three basic axes of the author’s analysis and related to content metamorphosis: morphology, topology and chronology. .......................................... 187 Figure 30 In – house External .......................................... 229 Figure 31: Quantitative analysis of productions per television production company. .................................................................................................................................... 230 Figure 32: Comparative analysis of in-house and external productions per programme category. ..................................................................................................................... 232 Figure 33: Comparative analysis of in-house productions and external productions in public and private television. ..................................................................................... 233 Figure 34: General analysis of programme categories on culture, entertainment and information per television production company. ....................................................... 234 Figure 35: Comparative graph that illustrates external productions’ television viewing ratings. ........................................................................................................................ 236 Figure 36: Comparative analysis of the external productions of channels considering the figures for the production companies................................................................... 237 Figure 37: Comparative analysis of external productions per viewing figure for programme categories ................................................................................................ 238 Figure 38: Comparative graph illustrating television viewing figures for external productions considering their broadcasting time. ...................................................... 239 Figure 39: The quota of television production companies owned by television channels...................................................................................................................... 240 Figure 40: The quota of productions in relation to television stations that own the production companies. ............................................................................................... 241 Figure 41: External productions in relation to broadcasting times. .......................... 242 Figure 42: Comparative analysis of external productions assessed by programme genres, in relation to their broadcasting time or broadcasting slot. ........................... 243 Figure 43: This circular graph shows the criteria used in order to approach notionally the idea of small nations as regards media content, i.e. in what way these criteria characterise small nations, have an impact on the shaping of media content and, consequently, on the degree of this content’s diversity. ............................................ 258 Figure 44: The advent and establishment of digital television have had an impact on approaches regarding the study of television content and its diversity so far. In this graph, the most important factors are shown that, according to this research, contribute to the reshaping of methodological approaches. ....................................... 282

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Managing Media Content: Business Strategies and Practices - An Application Study on Content and Scheduling Formation

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

AFT

Armed Forces Television [In Greek: Τ.Ε.Δ]

EIRT

National Foundation of Radio and Television

ERT

Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation

IMEE

Research Institute of Applied Communication (Cyprus)

IOM

Audiovisual Institute of Greece

ITF

Thessaloniki's International Trade Fair

MDm

Metamorphosis theory of minimum differentiation

NRF

National Radio Foundation [In Greek: ΕΙΡ]

NRTC

National Radio and Television Council [In Greek: Ε.Σ.Ρ.]

NRTF

{ex. NRF} National Radio and Television Foundation

ΝΥΑ

National Youth Association

PPC

Public Power Corporation

PPT

Post offices, Phone centres, Telegraph centres

RTS

Radio Transmission Service

YENED

Armed Forces Radio and Television Station

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Managing Media Content: Business Strategies and Practices - An Application Study on Content and Scheduling Formation

INTRODUCTION Τhe question, modelling process and use of primary terms relating to content In this research the concept of television programming content diversity will be analysed in detail and especially from the organizational programme point of view, building an appreciative model tool for television content. In the first chapter, it is attempted to interpret and approach the concept in relation to parallel concepts, such as pluralism and quality in television. In the introduction, the usefulness of this research will be discussed, as well as, through which paths, the idea of studying diversity in this way has arisen. During a public lecture the author of the present thesis gave at the University of Nicosia (2010), the ‘problem’ of content diversity was presented and how the metamorphosis theory was born.1 This theory is a component of a wider methodological model, developed within the framework of this thesis and which is applied on the market of television programme. It is one of the basic elements of this research that affects the philosophical approach to diversity in television and the broader research regarding the content. The usefulness and importance of television among information and communication media is highlighted. The initial thesis speaks to the commercial character of television and it attempts to address, through their application to the market, the following issues: 1. Discuss the way in which content diversity is employed in scheduling formation.

1

See the sixth chapter.

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Managing Media Content: Business Strategies and Practices - An Application Study on Content and Scheduling Formation

2. Analyse if content diversity is in fact a measurable concept, and if it is so, what exactly does it assess? 3. Construct an accepted methodology, which will examine the tendencies of television market, with regard to content diversity. The challenging issues regarding the methodological study of content arise from the following dimension: viewers, when sitting in front of the television, their reactions, preferences and attitude determine television content. The connection between the viewer and television audience measurement is the activity of viewing, which is described as “seeing” or “watching”. The act of watching television may also involve more than one activity simultaneously. As a few examples, the following human activities conducted during “watching” television include: Α.

Viewers sit in front of the television. They watch a particular programme from the beginning to the end, without being disturbed or interrupted by external agents.

Β.

Viewers sit in front of a television and watch a particular programme from the beginning to the end, without being disturbed or interrupted by external agents. However, they do not have any particular preference towards the programme and do not exclusively watch the programme from beginning to the end. As a result, they zap and move from channel to channel.

C.

Even when the television is on, viewers do not sit in front of it but move in the wider space of the room and are influenced by external

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Managing Media Content: Business Strategies and Practices - An Application Study on Content and Scheduling Formation

disturbances. As a result, they may not watch television but they may hear something about which they are interested. What is attempted to be explained through these three assumptions is the fact that there is a methodological gap regarding an assessment of the habits of the television audience2 and the instruments of television audience measurement according to the aim of the channel. In this research, the audience is not studied in the sense of its activity or passivity, but in relation to its assessment and measurement in the form of television viewing figures. One chapter of this research addresses the matter of television ratings, at an applicational level. As it is pointed out when the correlation between content and television ratings is examined, it is due to the habits of the audience that it is distributed into programming zones and thus into viewing measurement zones. Television viewing is directly related to the content and the degree of its diversity. The decisions taken by channels and advertisers “enclose� television content, framing and limiting the diverse dynamics regarding its transmission. This means that television audience measurement of content results from the degree of diversity, dependent on the way the diversity is formed. The largest part of this study investigates the modelling process, assessing the degree of diversity in television content. A theoretical and, to some extent, methodological process is developed and an approach through which the degree of television diversity can be practically assessed. The original contribution to knowledge that this study offers is shown by the manner in which it discusses the several levels of television programming, under the light of diversity as a market objective and the way its components and subcomponents are 2

See Chapter 4, where the impact of audience habits on the content is presented and the way these two axes interact is discussed.

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Managing Media Content: Business Strategies and Practices - An Application Study on Content and Scheduling Formation

constructed and built through the suggested model. The detailed examination of the programme’s levels can lead to the interpretation of content diversity through a different perspective, such as the correlation of diversity with viewing ratings and generally with the tendencies of television market. To be precise, this originality of approach in understanding diversity and its connection with programme structuring, through the author’s model is proven by typological content classification analysis, homogeneity, the development of the theory about the metamorphosis of content and my formula for the approach of the source’s diversity. Sub-models of methodological formulae are developed throughout the chapters. Specifically, these emerge in Chapter 4, when dealing with the classification typological analysis, in Chapter 6, when dealing with the metamorphosis of content, and in the third section with the formulae that are used for the assessment of source diversity. Developing these sub-models leads to a better and more analytical approach of the main model, and particularly these models make much clearer the subcomponents from which the main model is made. In addition, applying the model in practice, especially to Greek television content, leads to the final discussion

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on a future application of the model, as in this study the author

wishes to demonstrate the usefulness of the model beyond the parameters of a doctorate. Most importantly, the possibilities of extension are reviewed, enriching the application of the model to other television environments. The question of television content is neither simple nor mono-dimensional, but needs a multidimensional analysis and discussion, something which is achieved by the present study through the following nine chapters. This study was written during a period of intense economic change, and the global financial crash did not leave either television 3

See Chapter 9.

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Managing Media Content: Business Strategies and Practices - An Application Study on Content and Scheduling Formation

or its content unaffected. To provide an example from the Spanish television market, according to the University of Navarra (2010) media blog, 2010 was the year during which a lot of television readjustments at a production level were made, a fact that directly influences the quality levels4 of television content. It would be interesting to examine the variations of television diversity within such specific economic circumstances. This study attempts to indicate the way the degree of diversity is modified and changes under the pressure exercised by financial reforms conducted by television companies. The level of impact that the stations’ financial positions wield on content is shown through advertising. Heretakis (1997) confirms that television and advertising in Greece have operated in parallel since its birth, generating a strongly commercial character. The commercial character of television also influences content, as in fact there is interaction between the two. Although this study refers to the influence and importance of adνertising – with the exception of the introduction and the table below – it is not focused on the advertising revenue of the channels, but on how economic contractions and modifications reform the production sector and generally television content. What is argued here is that those tendencies are clearer and more representative in terms of source diversity. Furthermore, the production sector formulates the wider television environment framing content. Chapters six and seven refer extensively to the linear process followed by the interaction between advertising and the production of content. The important role that television audience measurement plays throughout the production process is also discussed.

4

Quality is conceptually defined in the first sub-chapter of the first chapter, where the conceptual convergences between the concept quality and diversity are also presented.

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Managing Media Content: Business Strategies and Practices - An Application Study on Content and Scheduling Formation

Table 1 :This table shows variations in advertising expense. In other words, it is a concise classification of the revenue the five channels mentioned in the table receive from advertisements. This information pertains to 2000 to 2006. Each vertical column refers to each respective year separately. Each colour refers to a different channel. Specifically, this table shows the position of three private and two public channels (Source: Media Services S.A. and author elaboration after software development).The decade of 2000 starts with a 0.6% decline between 2000 and 2001. In the next years, television shows rising tendencies with regard to advertising expenses, which soar to 771 million euros in 2004 (+6.9% comparing to 2003), 784.7 million euros in 2005 (+1.76%) and 793.5 million euros in 2006 (+1.13%), until they peak in 2007, at 941.5 million euros (+18.65%). Since then, the expenses of television channels have been dropping, reaching an 8.4% decline in 2008, 17.08% in 2009 and 18.4% in 2010 (Source: Haimanta Sonia, advertising.gr, 2011).

The important role played by content diversity also probes the way in which procedures are followed during the production of content and, to some extent, the way the nets of content distribution distribute to television channels. The content produced is transmitted through the distribution nets and controls how this is later broadcast and promoted. A very important role is also played by the fusion or merger between production companies and television networks, and more broadly the relationships and cooperation among them. This is also a question that is examined through this research. The process followed in the course of this study is segregated, aiming to model the Research Institute of Applied Communication

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Managing Media Content: Business Strategies and Practices - An Application Study on Content and Scheduling Formation

assessment procedure of content diversity degree, into three introductory stages, or three work packages as they are called in this study. In the first stage, the model was designed and the elements which the model could be made of were decided, so that the degree and intensity of diversity could be assessed. The first stage involved the model’s construction. In the second stage, the author analysed separately each role played by components and subcomponents and their theoretical framework, developed the importance of their function and application and established how all these contribute to the correct approach for assessing the degree of diversity. In the third chapter, each part of the model was applied separately, using the Greek television industry as a base for this application and the respective variables that facilitate the classification and organisation of the methodology. In the conclusions of this study, there is an extensive discussion with regard to the functionality of this empirical model.

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Managing Media Content: Business Strategies and Practices - An Application Study on Content and Scheduling Formation

Figure 1: The three work packages, meaning the steps and stages, followed during the process of designing and realising this model, which aims at assessing the degree and diversity of diversity in television content. The first step is to give reason for the need of a new working formula. Afterwards every element of the model will need to be analysed separately and finaly put it into practise.

Work packages organise interaction among the elements from which the model is made and placed within a practical methodological framework. They facilitate a combination of primary sources and generally a better organisation of the steps that follow in this research. More particularly, this study is separated into three main sections, excluding the introduction and the conclusion. The first section consists of three chapters. In the first chapter, the concepts aligned with diversity are approached, particularly “quality” and “pluralism”, before the main concept of this study to be defined, which is diversity. Later on in this chapter, four important models are analysed that approach either theoretically or methodologically the concept of diversity and are important studies upon which the initial ideas regarding the design of this model are also based. These

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models are Napoli’s model (1999), which has already been mentioned as being the factor that made the author of this study design this model, Van Cuilenburg’s model (1999), which supports interaction and balance between the two diversity axes and consists of reflection and openness, and Valcke’s model (1999), also called the “Chain of Diversity”, which deals with the separation between quantitative and qualitative diversity and is inspired by three axes, namely provider diversity, product diversity and exposure diversity. Valcke’s model (1999), as its creator states, is inspired by Napoli’s model, as they have a lot in common, and it is in fact a further analysis and extension of the latter. Stirling’s model (1998) is also interesting in that it has some ideas in common with the author’s model, particularly when referring to the variety of broadcast programmes because, as mentioned during a lecture given by the author at the University of Nicosia (2010), the degree of diversity reflects the availability and variety of programmes. Later on, and particularly in the fourth sub-chapter, the author’s “three-faceted model” is presented. This sub-chapter is the most important because it acts as the methodological base and design on which the structure of the study is based. The model consists of three main drivers of assessment: institutional diversity, content/context diversity and source diversity. There are a further nine sub-drivers: sociopolitical context, legal context, indicators of assessing and analysis, typology issues, genres analysis, metamorphosis analysis, power of influence, vertical integration and ecology of market. The study’s second section also consists of three chapters (four, five and six). Chapter 4 deals with typology issues and genre analysis. More particularly, it deals with the typological analysis of Greek television as seen through the prism of the AGB Television Audience Measurement Company. In the framework of this study’s model

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the question of typology and diversity is considered as interactive, something that is discussed in Chapter 4 too, as the method through which genres and way of classification are selected, which also influences any further development of the result of the diversity degree under examination in this research. Chapter 5 deals with content homogeneity issues. This chapter proves this study’s initial hypothesis inasmuch that if content is homogeneous, how could differentiation between channels be achieved so that the channels are able to compete with each other? This hypothesis stems from two already published content studies, as well as by other important studies that have been conducted from time to time to study the content of Greek television. Chapter 6 follows, which, as the core of the study, analyses the author’s theory about the television metamorphosis of the minimum differentiation of content. The theory is divided into three phases. During the first, homogeneity and over-concentration data are located in specific programme genres. If this data was not valid and did not show any homogeneity, then theoretically it would not be possible to move to the second stage of the theory, which is the metamorphosis process, the process during which the content begins to change. In this study three methodological differentiation variables are suggested, namely morphology, chronology and topology, which are explained in detail in the sixth chapter. These variables are empirically tested through news bulletin interviews, and it is shown how a news bulletin diversifies its homogenous programme from competitive news bulletins. Finally, during the third phase of the metamorphosis theory, “metamorphosed” programme appears, generating differentiated content. The diversity of content which results from this situation is labeled in this study “context diversity”, in contrast to content diversity, as they are in fact two completely different

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situations and types of diversity. Generally speaking, the phases of the theory are as follows:

Homogeneity of content (content diversity)

telemorphing process

context diversity

Figure 2: In this graph, readers can visualise the process of content metamorphosis. The process is broken into three stages. To start with, it is classed as homogenised (as regards its genres) content, meaning that it exhibits very low/poor content diversity. Next, the content is under the process of diversification and metamorphoses so that it seems diversified (without changing the genres) and, finally, it appears as context diversity, as an outcome of this process.

The third section consists of two chapters (the seventh and eighth) that examine the question of source diversity, which is the last main driver of the model. These chapters aim to present and apply in practice the formula used by the author to assess source diversity, which is presented as a sub-model or as an extra theoretical base to the main model of the study. These chapters refer to the so-called “power of influence�, which is interpreted through correlating and examining the interaction between television audience measurements and hours in programmes created by production companies. In the formula a question about vertical integration is also included, from which important conclusions are drawn with regard to the exact structure of the production market and the market ecology issue, which relates to the following two questions: a) how do scholars define a television product’s geographical market and b) how do scholars define a television product conceptually? Finally, the last chapter, spanning from Research Institute of Applied Communication

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Managing Media Content: Business Strategies and Practices - An Application Study on Content and Scheduling Formation

Section 4 and Chapter 9, concludes the present study, in which a micro-topography of the model is presented and some aspects about how this model can be used or extended in the future are analysed in detail. In addition to these studies, where the author was also involved as a researcher during a visit to the Center for Media and Communication Studies of the Central European University, there is another important investigation: a study on the indicators related to media pluralism within the member states on account of the European Commission (2007). This study focuses mainly upon the relationships developed between work packages, the way they are built and their multilevel application through a risk-based framework, which uses a methodology that can apply to section profiles of the media in general and to different sizes and particularities of countries. However, that study differs from the model developed in this doctorate, because it deals with pluralism issues and not content diversity, a distinction

developed in the first chapter.

Nevertheless, the rationale with regard to the approach of Indicators remains the same, and this is the reason why they are mentioned in this study. Throughout this research, words such as “degree” and “intensity” are used, both of which refer to diversity. Diversity is not referred to directly, as it is not an independent concept. Besides, such an approach would have been incorrect, since the author is not aiming at approaching diversity as an abstract and generalised idea but as a wellconstructed measurable assessment of the variations and mutations of television content. The use of characterisations such as the degree and intensity of diversity serve exactly this goal, as that is how this research study defines diversity within specific research borders.

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As an extension of this argument regarding the use of basic terms, concepts or words that characterise diversity in general, the author worked upon this issue during the early stages of research and applied the findings within the context of building the concept of model. The question of whether modelling a possible formula, and more generally a way of assessing diversity’s degree or intensity of television content, would be the right case and the right way of approaching such a sociological issue was contemplated. For the needs of the study the model is conceptually defined as follows: It is considered as a methodological means and framework that is used for a sociological analysis, perception or idea to be applied in practice. In this research, the theoretical approach relating to the study of diversity in television is designed step-by-step and printed upon the model. As such, it acquires applicable dynamics through the elements from which the model is made. In other words, this is a hypothetical description in its early stages, which later acquires a particular form after a chain-synthesis of the elements that define a particular process to be followed by the researcher, in order to reach the final result after applying the model. The terms application or applied communication5 are employed in order to set the model’s frames and future extensions, which appear in such cases as in this study, where the theoretical approach is verified by praxis when it is applied. For example, one of the forms or practices that lies in the broader field of applied communication is so-called “monitoring”, a technique also employed here as a tool in the sixth chapter of the author’s study in the framework used to develop the metamorphosis theory relevant to content’s minimum differentiation. Monitoring, as an 5

Two research institutes in the Greek-speaking world that study exclusively applied communication issues and from which I received research material are the Research Institute of Applied Communication in Nicosia and the University Research Institute of Applied Communication of the Department of Communication and Mass Media of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Especially from the Research Institute of Applied Communication I received key source material for the fifth chapter, where I analyse the content homogeneity issue, and for the sixth chapter, where I develop my theory related to the television metamorphosis of content.

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application tool, helps classify the television programmes of this study’s focus (central news programmes) into classes according to the criteria the author set from the outset. In this way it is possible to record the programmes, and after they are chronologically classified according to their date of broadcasting (or date of production, if this is something in which researchers are interested), they are thematically classified. Content analysis then commences, based upon variables mentioned in the sixth chapter (morphology, chronology and topology). Furthermore, the author finds applicable practices throughout the model development process, an example of which can be found in the sixth chapter, where the “metamorphosis of content” is presented, as referred to in this study. Several studies on the diversity of content construct a model while simultaneously using similar concepts, for example an analytical framework, something that Napoli (1999) also refers to whilst studying the diversity components and subcomponents referred to above and in more detail in the first chapter. On the subject of analytical frameworks, he also makes a reference to the project realised by Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Ernst and Young of Belgium, Jonkoping International Business School and Central European University (2007), a project the author has also spoken of and which is based upon the philosophy of the process Napoli developed in his study. Withers (1985) undertook a study wherein he speaks about how the model should be named and uses an econometric model, as he calls it, to examine the relations between the results of television audience measurement and the use of television made by viewers in relation to issues regarding several levels of programme diversity. Withers (1985) applies his model to the ABC Australian public television company and concludes that non-competitive scheduling positively boosts the results of ABC’s

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public television audience measurement, although, according to the study, a rise in the level of programme diversity requires a higher budget. What the author is trying to achieve through these reports is not a summary of which studies used the same or similar ways of characterising the concept of the model, but instead to express my opinion that the differences in their usage have no considerable importance for researchers, as any differences among them, if any, are quite insignificant. For example, Napoli (1999) does not apply his analytical framework in practice, but it simply supports the importance of the components the from which the model is made as a theory and as a regulatory tool, as well as the possible future uses of the model in contrast to the analytical framework for the indicators of media pluralism (2007), which is applied in cases relating to member states through the methodological indicators from which the model is configured. The Withers (1985) model is also applied in practice upon ABC in Australia, while the model presented here is applied practically through Greek television content. Consequently, the author would not support a generalised opinion that a model or analytical framework should or should not be applied in practice during the time the model is being presented or composed. A model or analytical framework could simply aim at presenting the theoretical extension of an issue and not give a great deal of attention to the practical application of the model, although the final goal of a model is exactly the application of the elements from which the model is made. Nevertheless, in the first chapter that follows the drivers and subdrivers of the three - faceted model are presented, and in the rest of the chapters these elements are applied – each one separately – and placed in the framework of programmes broadcast by both private and public television.

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Finally, in the first chapter, concepts indirectly related to diversity are probed. An analysis and explanation of these concepts will later facilitate a better clarification of the terms and functioning of the model, without causing any confusion with similar issues such as the several levels of content quality.

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CHAPTER ONE NOTIONAL INTERPRETATIONS, CORRELATION IN MODELS AND A NEW APPROACH TO DIVERSITY ON TELEVISION

1.1

Quality in television

The discussion regarding the quality of a programme or the lack of it, and in general about quality and “trash” television is quite frequent. As it will be shown in this chapter, the quality of television content is a highly abstract concept; nevertheless, it can be approached through parallel concepts, for instance through diversity. Television content quality is a key issue in researching, assessing and moderating the television landscape. Much research in different countries assesses television content quality. Several conferences, where television content quality has been the key topic of discussion, have been organized and conducted6. Consequently, the entire issue has preoccupied, shaped and been negotiated by different interest groups, including politicians, bureaucrats, academics and journalists. Clarification is necessary to highlight that quality cannot be defined, as it is a dynamic and changeable variable. When a researcher attempts to interpret and approach the term, it is clear that subjective interpretations shape and mould the definition. By far the majority of the efforts offered in definition are notional, aiming to eliminate this academic “softness”, ambiguity, liminality and dissonance in order to encourage and 6 Scientific committees of two international conferences organised by the Research Institute of Applied Communication, which dealt with the issues of quality and diversity in television and in the media in general. Indicatively, the television diversity model illustrated in detail in this thesis at the Third International Conference organised by the Institute: ‘Problems and challenges on Public Broadcasting’, 1st International Conference on Communication, Research Institute of Applied Communication, Cyprus 2004 & ‘Quality and Diversity in the Media’, 3rd International Conference on Communication, Research Institute of Applied Communication, Cyprus 2009.

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promote research on this specific issue. Alongside the sociological approaches to ‘quality7,’ the author also wishes to note the debates about quality and cultural value that have emerged through cultural studies (Frow, 1995). An inability to define this concept and measure quality necessitates that researchers should correlate more verifiable variables with diversity which, unlike quality, is a measurable concept according to the models for measuring and managing developed in this chapter. The diversity and width of the variables considered in the model used by the researcher shape the approach to quality as a concept. It is worth pointing out at this juncture that I offer an approach, not a precise definition. An assessment of the concept is required because, besides diversity, quality may be involved in other issues that are not going to be discussed in this research. Moreover, there is a lack of clarity in its definition, which makes any association critical. 1.2

Difficulties of interpretation and pitfalls

Issues regarding quality fall within the scope of subjective interpretation that makes any definition variable and discourse-specific (Van Cuilenburg, 1998). Quality in general may be based on various values, requirements and prospects. When referring to this issue, Chris Barker (1997) states: The issue with the quality in television is not a query that cannot be answered. The quality is a subjective definition referring to a number of features that satisfy different models which, in their turn, result from a more or less basic form of values and rules (p.214).

7

Such as, for instance, the approach of Ioanni Angeli, which is developed for the purposes of this research and is treated in this sub-chapter.

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Quality is frequently evoked as if the meaning can be assumed. The more frequently this concept is deployed by researchers, lawmakers and media professionals, the greater the tendency to blunt both its meaning and application. The fact that Article 15 of the Constitution of Greece8 refers to ‘the quality level of programmes in consideration of the social mission of radio and television and of the cultural development of the country’ is typical of the great importance attached to this concept. Yet significantly, such a usage does not deploy an attendant definition of the key term. Despite – or indeed because of – these debates detailing the concept of quality, it is important to configure a foundational definition to commence the discussion, debate and research set out in the following pages. This is not definitive, but a starting point. Is it the quality of a specific programme that should concern the researcher or the total output of a TV station’s programming? It is worth pointing out that it is a process related to both parameters (Papathanassopoulos, 1993). In addition, the concept of quality in television may be approached based on its other aspects, for instance quality in entertainment or in information. In order to distinguish between these aspects, Dr. Ioannis Angeli states that the concept of quality is based each time on the variables the researcher aims at examining; thus, the aspects of television quality arise from those the researcher wants to consider9. Specifically, he asserts, in the context of an ongoing research project being conducted for Cypriot television, that television quality is approached by answering the “what” and the “how” – meaning the requirements of the viewers and how their expectations are met. Another aspect of the

8 The Constitution of Greece, Article 15 – Par. 2. 9 Dr. Ioannis Angeli, Cyprus University of Technology, personal correspondence, 2008.

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quality found in information is related to the latter of the three parameters, i.e. speech. The way in which speech is used in the context of a television programme provides a media platform for several opposing or conflicting groups, contributing to mutual respect and good working relations and, finally, promoting dialogue in a democratic way (Crawford, 2007). The notional elasticity of the concept of quality undoubtedly has an impact on various studies that claim to be measuring quality. In this respect, it is noteworthy that some studies take as a basic standard of quality those programmes which attract the highest numbers of viewers, thus leading to the conclusion that the most high-quality programmes are news bulletins and programmes with violent content, since these are the ones that achieve the highest ratings10 (Crawford, 2007). 1.3

Quality dimensions of television programmes

Quality is a concept that cannot be defined; therefore, the goal of this research is to make it workable. The most useful and appropriate mechanism for approaching the quality of television content is to assemble and refer to specific criteria that could be used to identify a programme with the necessary traits. These criteria have been gathered from Papathanassopoulos (1993), who offers some clear and significant parameters: 1.

The freedom of expression is imperative so that the work of the creator is not used for maximising viewing ratings.

10 In this specific research, Crawford assesses the most qualitative programmes based on two contradictory parameters. On the one hand, the study refers to audience measurement estimating that the most qualitative programmes will have higher ratings. On the other hand, the number and length of advertising spots is considered a factor for TV programme; thus, assessing quality.

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2.

The producer of a programme should not be under time pressure in order to complete the work.

3.

A high standard of professionalism is required, and the people involved in the programme’s production should be fully aware of any technical developments in the field of their activities.

4.

A quality production should be original and the creator should give the impression that the created work can educate viewers and promote awareness among them11 (2003).

In contrast to other programme types, news bulletins present certain distinctive features that affect their quality assessment. The objectivity of the news announced, the diversity of its coverage, or even the distribution of time that is given to its guests, as well as their ideological standpoints are among the factors that are taken into consideration, when assessing quality. Therefore, if a news bulletin for example, offers significantly more time to guests from a specific ideological or political sphere, compared to guests from other areas, then this news bulletin would be assessed as of poor quality. Furthermore, other factors may contribute to improving the quality content of TV programmes such as, for instance, their educational nature, pluralism and representativeness (Tambini, 2001; Medina and Sadaba, 2007) of all social groups. All these factors contribute actively to the existence of quality in the programme. As

11

St. Papathanassopoulos, personal correspondence, 2008.

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far as this issue is concerned, the existing commercial logic of the media is, for the most part, not in line with the specific features. 1.4

Factors that reduce quality in television

The quality content of TV programmes is affected by the logic that infiltrates in media business. This logic is influenced by specific features which do not increase the quality level of a TV programme. The first factor among these is viewing ratings. The consumer of TV programmes is not the viewer but the advertiser (Hairetakis, 2006; 2004). Obviously, this has an impact on the content of the programmes, since high viewing ratings are apparently what matter most (Tsourvakas, 2003). A second factor that may have an impact on the quality of TV programmes is that of cost, since in most cases quality programmes cost more than other productions. Another deterrent to the quality level in television, and related to the logic of the media, is the modus operandi of journalism. As far as this issue is concerned, a distinction should be made between “quality” journalism and “popular” journalism (Langer, 1998). The latter comes to terms with and is related to the economic logic of the mass media and deals with issues that do not aim at informing viewers by presenting important topics. The specific logic referring to this journalistic practice is in conformity with the existing market logic and standardisation of the products provided by the media. The first form of journalism aims at covering really important issues and at investigating these issues in depth (Meijer, 2001). The issue of the connection of journalism with the wider diversity of content is analysed in this research within the discussion of institutional diversity.

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Finally, the last feature that reduces the quality of the programmes is the time the producers have at their disposal, particularly in pre and post production. The producer of a programme requires a fair time frame in order to create a quality production. However, in most cases the producers of programmes are under time pressure in order to complete their work, and in this case an element of mimicry is a significant issue. Quality is one of the most important challenges in the operation of the television landscape. Even if its definition is quite difficult to ascertain, there have been efforts to approach and measure it in several countries (Koeman, Peeters and Dhaenens, 2007). What is extremely significant is the fact that all parties involved promote different values and criteria which, in many cases, concur. In considering the research on quality in television, a number of variables can be included to constitute the factors necessary to produce quality programmes: a) the educational nature of a programme (Tsourvakas, 2003), that is if a programme has indeed educational purposes, b) respect for and observance of principles such as individual rights and personal life, c) the freedom of the producers to produce programmes (regardless of whether this freedom is related to timing commitments or to commercial success and ratings) (Papathanassopoulos, 1993), d) coverage of economic conditions (research and logistics), e) qualified and skilled personnel (Sewell, 2001), f) freedom from obligations related to ownership issues, as well as to issues related to the cooperation with political and social interests (Tambini, 2001; Crawford, 2001), an issue concerning freedom of expression and the independence of the production process from external factors, and finally g) diversity and pluralism. Regarding this last variable, diversity and pluralism are researched in the following chapters. However,

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some of the parameters mentioned (such as ownership, educational nature) are treated separately because their assessment is imperative and their absence from most of the research evident. Regardless of how a researcher defines quality in television, diversity and pluralism are considered to be a part of it. The concept of diversity itself (Hillve, Majanen and Rosengern, 1997), the models of which will be analysed in the following pages, involves a number of parameters that contribute to the production of improved quality in programmes.

1.5

Pluralism and diversity in the media

The deregulation of the television sector in European countries during the 1980s had an impact, inter alia, on research examining the content of television, as well as on the modus operandi of media enterprises in general. This movement led to an investigation of certain significant parameters related to the operation of television, as in the cases of pluralism and diversity12. The description of these two concepts is necessary in order to proceed to the main research work, which consists of an analysis of diversity models. Before proceeding to the analysis of these two terms, the author wishes to confirm that the distinction between them is difficult to ascertain. In the case of quality, which falls within the scope of subjective interpretation or definition, the issue falls within the scope of subjectivity in a different dimension, since it is related to the subjective judgment of the

12 It is essential to clarify that in Europe this movement was evident during the 1980s, but in the USA it appeared earlier, as television operated as a private entity.

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researcher(s) and the mode used for defining, distinguishing and, in a few cases, identifying with these two concepts. 1.5.1 The concept of pluralism The first resolution on pluralism at an EU level appeared along with the advent of private television in Europe showing its significant role in the sector13. Nevertheless, the significant role of pluralism in television is shown in Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, where the European Union confirms its commitment to the defence and promotion of media pluralism as an essential pillar of the right to information and freedom of expression enshrined in the Article14. The issue here is how pluralism is defined. Indicatively, two definitions are presented here. According to the European Commission, the definition of pluralism is as follows: Media pluralism implies all measures that ensure citizens’ access to a variety of information sources, opinion, voices, etc. in order to form their opinion without the undue influence of one dominant opinion forming power15.

13 The first resolution at EU level was made in 1988 through the advent of private television in certain countries; at this point, we should point out that Greece was not one of these countries, as private television in the country started in 1989. This resolution invited all European countries to respect media pluralism. See: European Policy on Mass Media Policy in an International Context, Resolution No. 1, Doc DH-MM (2000) 4, page 18. 14 Official Journal of the European Communities, Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, 18/12/2000, C 364/11; Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, Article 11, par. 2, “The freedom and pluralism of the media shall be respected”, consulted at http://www.europarl.europa.eu/comparl/libe/elsj/charter/art11/default_en.htm 15 Commission Staff Working Document, Media pluralism in the Member States of the European Union, Commission of the European Communities, Brussels, 16 January 2007, page 5. Consulted at http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/media_taskforce/doc/pluralism/media_pluralism_swp_en.pdf

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This definition is a simple, unsophisticated, definition of pluralism which, considering its reference to “measures�, may be used as a basis for discussion on different regulatory and legislative measures that refer to the preservation of media pluralism. Conversely, Gillian Doyle takes a different approach and philosophy regarding this concept and clarifies that pluralism and diversity are close as concepts: In the field of media, pluralism implies general ideas referring to the diversity of content and the diversity of ownership. By referring to pluralism we mean a number of different and independent voices in the media that express different aspects, points of view and perspectives that show all the different dimensions of culture (Doyle, 2007). According to Gillian Doyle (2002), media pluralism connotes the diversity of media owners, reflected both by the plurality of independent and autonomous media and the diversity of media content offering different and independent voices, diverse political opinions and representations of citizens within the media. The idea of pluralism embraces and requires both diversity of media owners and diversity of media content. Even though a multiplicity of suppliers is obviously desirable in many ways, it will not necessarily result in greater diversity. Pluralism, according to Doyle, also depends on the variety of media content and sources in order to avoid the uniformity of programmes and ensure transparency. Regardless of the definitions or similar interpretations that may be used, Doyle and the European Commission express doubts as to whether these concepts can be defined in a clear and unreserved way or if a distinction between pluralism and diversity can be made (Karppinen, 2006).

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Though an overall approach to the term is attempted, certain key issues are highlighted. In most approaches, especially in those developed up to the middle of the 1990s, pluralism seems to be closely associated with the ownership status of television stations; however, this situation has shown no sign of abating over the last few years (Media, 2004). These approachesto pluralism seem to give more emphasis to content issues as well. At this point, it should be pointed out that there is confusion related to the distinction between pluralism and diversity. When considering this confusion, it is necessary to realise that the models used for interpreting and defining diversity, such as those of Napoli and Tambini (2001), are deployed for pluralism as well, showing the inter-connectiveness of these two concepts. Pluralism is a more general concept dealing with what should prevail in the television landscape. In general terms, it is a theory that is influenced by pluralist theories on the state and democracy. In contrast, diversity is a methodological concept (or rather a measurable quantity) that is included in pluralism and, considering the models that are going to be presented in the following chapter, this concept is measurable. It is important to focus on a review on pluralism and the aspects of external and internal pluralism. According to this specific approach, external pluralism is associated with media ownership status in favour of the free market economy and free competition and against any restrictive practices related to the entry of new competitors in the field. According to external pluralism, the large range of suppliers and ownerships is a guarantee of pluralism. On the other hand, internal pluralism is associated with content and diversity itself, as it investigates the pluralism of opinion, the pluralism of ideas and the pluralism of manners that are promoted in the context of specific media. The more aspects and voices heard, regardless of their dynamics, the more pluralism will be

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introduced into specific media, provided that they use many sources and present the facts in a rigorous and transparent way (Porte, Medina and Sadaba, 2007). 1.5.2 The concept of diversity Diversity is a measurable concept associated with the assessment of media content, taking a number of parameters such as, the diversity of opinion, sources that are used and groups that are represented through media output. As in the case of pluralism, there are a number of interesting definitions within the literature. The definition of Karppinen (2006), based on the heterogeneity of media content, is one such example: In a wider sense, media diversity aims at finding the heterogeneity which may be defined in different ways and at the same time refers to different aspects of the media as sources, outputs, opinions and any other aspects related to the media (p.60). This means that diversity can refer to the extent to which media content reflects and serves various interests and opinions of the public, or it can refer to the general diffusion of media power in society on the level of ownership, economic structures and political influence. Elsewhere, this definition of diversity has been deployed: “By referring to media diversity, the researcher treats an abstract model of measuring the content that is produced by television, as it is diversified in order to consider the researcher. It is an ‘open’ measurement unit or, alternatively, a model that is receptive to additions and changes” (Masouras, 2008). Emerging from both definitions, diversity as a concept is governed by a broadness concerning the way it is approached, which is largely related to how the researcher

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defines it in his methodology. Nevertheless, diversity and quality should not be confused, since diversity is a measurable concept, as opposed to quality, through which the assessment of content quality is possible. In line with the discussion on pluralism, diversity is a significant research field, even within the European Union, due to their essential role within a democratic society. The European Union itself has considered that adequate media content regarding diversity could give the role of “public watchdog” to television; this aspect is largely based on the strong role of public television and investigative journalism16. Many different parameters (ownership, sources and represented groups), surrounding media content and at different levels (broadcasting hours, manner of promoting ideas and points of view), should be taken into account when measuring diversity. Besides, this attitude is consistent with a shift in the way the research on media pluralism and diversity is conducted, since, as it pointed out by many researchers, ownership pluralism cannot ensure the diversity of opinion and ideas in the media (OFCOM, 2006). The systematic and consistent research on diversity within the television landscape is closely connected with the broadness of this specific field. As far as this issue is concerned, Porto (2005), referring to the range of this concept’s meanings, drawn by examining the case study of the newscast Journal Nacional17, specifically during the news coverage of the 2002 presidential election, and being based on the notion of public interest, considers that this concept – the concept of diversity – involves three basic issues: a)

The role of content regulations (the third chapter examines the Greek regulatory system in detail);

16 Council of Europe, Media Diversity in Europe, Council of Europe, Strasbourg, 2002, pages 6-8. 17 Jornal Nacional is the most influential news programme in Brazil, aired by Rede Globo.

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b)

The changes in professional norms and routines – an issue that is also treated by Philip Napoli – and their role in schools of journalism and in communications schools in general, establishing a constructive dialogue on media diversity issues; and

c)

The development of the role of different non-governmental organisations (NGOs) involved in mass media issues through monitoring and analysing content systematically (Porto, 2005).

When referring to diversity, one of the most preoccupying issues – the main query of this research – is the measurement or assessment of diversity through the modelling or the formulation of issues, as dealt with above. Several other researchers share similar views on what diversity may involve (Koeman, Peeters and D’Haenens, 2007), although all of them converge on the conclusions that the author has presented. A more expansive conclusion is that diversity is a measurable size, a measurable idea. To be more specific, the degree of diversity, its intensity each time, is what can be assessed and measured. Nevertheless, the following difficulties are detected, regarding the definition of the concept of content diversity, as well as the applicational aspect of its study: (a)

Technology-based problems – from television to meta-television: The conversion of technologies and development of new communication tools lends a specific interpretation to the concept of diversity policy. The move from the classical study of television is a single means to a wider spectrum, since the televisual environment changes into the meta-televisual environment.

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(b)

Methodology-based problems: Methodological issues were developed and treated in Chapter 3 of this research, where the classification of the genres and sub-genres of content are referred to. This classification is considered as the starting point for the methodological discussion regarding the approach of content diversity. Therefore, the absence of a commonly accepted formula regarding the genre typology makes the approach of the diversity policy problematic

(c)

Multiplicity of players: The participation of many players in the shaping of television content leads to external and internal factors, making the development of a solid policy for content diversity difficult. In this research, all the players in this process are referred to. Starting from the channels, by analysing the environment where their sources – the production companies – act, the rationale of television audience measurement companies and advertisers is being developed. It has been perceived through my multilevel research that the different policy agendas, purpose logic and business targets shape the environment of content diversity, making its overall approach problematic due to its specificity. This problem is what this research is trying to solve – and it achieves it. In addition, the author considers that an official explanatory approach to diversity policy cannot be declared because the policies of the players and policymakers do not converge.

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(d)

Application-based problems: The analysis of those features that define the study of content between small nations and bigger ones. The author’s analysis was based on the special features of the television market of Greece, as well as on a smaller television market, that of Cyprus, and their relation, as well as their structures were viewed comparatively, based on their television environments. What the author would like to point out is the fact that there is no commonly accepted methodological approach for the research of television diversity due to the special features of each market. Even in the case of a commonly accepted formula for small nations, there are problems, since different factors play their own role each time, such as language or the particular habits of the audience.

1.6

Diversity models

1.6.1 Philip Napoli’s model The best known media diversity model was developed by Philip Napoli. According to the following table, Napoli (1999) considers that media diversity can be studied and measured in three different ways. Content diversity reflects the variety of programming, perspectives and viewpoints available to a media consumer. Exposure diversity, based on the fact that content available to an audience may not actually reach the audience, stresses that what the audience actually receives (or accepts) is equally important. Napoli delineates exposure diversity by differentiating between vertical exposure diversity – diversity of content within a particular channel or medium – and horizontal exposure diversity – diversity of content received by an

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individual audience member. Lastly, Napoli highlights source diversity as both ownership diversity – reflecting diversity in the ownership of both content and the delivery channels allocated for that content – and workforce diversity within specific media entities.

Diversity components, subcomponents and assumed relationships Content diversity

Exposure diversity

1. Format/programme type

1. Horizontal

2. Demographic

2. Vertical

3. Idea/viewpoint

Table 2: Elements that constitute Napoli’s model, Source: Napoli (1999, p.10)

Each of these three dimensions consists of certain features that contribute to the more complete description, the better conception and the easier assessment of diversity. Napoli argues that the only reason for considering these dimensions as significant is the fact that they substantially contribute to the more effective functioning of democratic procedures18. In addition, the author presents an assessment of the specific factors in order to find the most ideal method of measuring diversity. 1.6.2 Source diversity Source diversity as a phrase captures, simply, the diversity of sources available to ‘consumers’ or the public. As an answer to the question “Who is responsible for what

18 Napoli P. Personal interview, October 2008.

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it is broadcast?� source diversity may be distinguished into two basic categories: ownership and the workforce. In addition, ownership can be divided further into content ownership and the ownership of an outlet. Focusing on outlet diversity, the author19 refers to media owners who are responsible for what it is going to be broadcast. In this interpretation, diversity may refer to the different parameters a researcher wants to examine, such as whether the researcher wishes to examine the diversity of cable system owners (Horwitz, 2005) or the ownership status of each station that broadcasts via a specific cable system. Furthermore, content ownership is associated with producers and, specifically, programme production. This specific dimension is as important as the previous one, since producers who create these products are also responsible for what it is broadcast. Nevertheless, neither of these two aspects of ownership may be completely excluded, since media owners (outlet ownership) may be the producers of programmes as well. What is worth pointing out is the fact that media owners have the last word on programmes ready for distribution and/or and broadcasting (Napoli, 1999). Ownership diversity may be measured in two different ways, first by counting the number of different sources to which the programmes and outlets belong; in this specific case, the accessibility degree of sources to viewers cannot be depicted. Secondly, the measurement of sources based on their market share seems to be a better criterion in that it depicts in greater detail the dynamics of each source. In this model, as well as in the factors related to the sources, the media workforce plays a significant role. Diversity related to the workforce considers a media workforce as components of information; in this instance, this is the reason why larger potential diversity requires that the selection 19

Ibid.

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of personnel has to be made without any discrimination in relation to nationality, religion or sex. The idea is that a diverse workforce within a media outlet will provide for a more diverse product, such as programming content. In the case of Greece, it would be difficult to apply this specific parameter because its multicultural nature is still rather limited compared with other Western European countries, and citizens coming from non-EU and non-Western European countries enjoy limited rights. Consequently, the staff of a TV station can play a significant role in the way information is broadcast by a station20. In assessing this parameter, a major question arises regarding the correct way to measure it, since numerical criteria only may not be considered the most substantial (Napoli, 1999). 1.6.3 Content diversity Content diversity aims at a full description and analysis of the programmes that are broadcast by media outlets. With reference to this specific model, programme content should be split into three categories: the format/programme type, the programme’s demographic profile and, finally, the ideas or the views expressed. Diversity referring to format/programme type refers to the types of programming available and any issues surrounding them, such as policy implementation due to economic and social aspects and various types of assessment. The main issue here is the options available to viewers, as the more types of broadcast programmes, the greater prevalence of diversity. Of course, in order to estimate diversity based on the type of

20 As regards the media workforce, this specific parameter seems to apply undoubtedly moreso to multicultural societies such as the USA, where much importance has been given to the subject. Supervisory bodies in radio and television field, as the FCC's Equal Employment Opportunity has proceeded to certain measures against the discriminations related to the workers and provide at the same time incentives for promoting programmes aimed at minority groups.

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programme, other variables such as the broadcasting time of these programmes should be taken into consideration. Diversity could alternatively be described as the types of programmes provided in a specific television slot (morning slot, primetime slot). Nevertheless, the bigger problem here is the fact that no classification of programme is accepted by researchers (Napoli, 1999). Diversity referring to a programme’s demographic profile, and associated with the types of programme and workforce described above, refers to the demographics of the individuals featured within electronic media programmes and determines whether minority groups, their preferences and views are reflected in programme content (as well as whether they are defined based on criteria such as ethnicity, sex and religion). In this instance, the main subject of the investigation looks at whether these groups and standpoints are sufficiently shown compared to their position in society. The last element related to media content is diversity associated with the ideas and views that are shown (idea diversity). This parameter is the most difficult to digest, at least conceptually, and it is equally difficult to assess. Idea diversity refers to the diversity of viewpoints and of social, political and cultural perspectives represented within the media. Napoli feels this closely aligns with the “marketplace of ideas� metaphor. The main aim of idea diversity is the analysis of ideas presented at political, social and cultural levels, in order to find out whether they are represented in line with their position within society. This specific assessment and analysis is extremely difficult, especially when one realises that the element of subjective interpretation is

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inevitably included in any approach21. It is particularly interesting however, when studying the applicational aspects of diversity, that through the variables each researcher chooses to use, many individual questions that stem from the analysis of the concept can be answered.

21 The fact that in the USA diversity is assessed by using only quantitative criteria, when there was an effort of measuring and assessing the expressed and shown views aiming at increasing these views and their diversity, might indicate the difficulty in measuring it.

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1.6.4 Exposure diversity Exposure diversity is the produced output of a television product, as well as of media products in general, as perceived by media consumers. The definition of exposure diversity is close to a cornerstone of the communication process as the source-messagereceiver model. According to McQuail (1992), how the message “as sent” is perceived when it is “as received” is the underlying opinion here. The issue is also whether there is enough audience exposure to diverse content, and what researchers examine is how viewers perceive what they are shown and exposed to. For the most detailed compilation of viewer habits, Napoli adopts the distinction of Entman and Wildman, referring to horizontal exposure diversity and vertical exposure diversity (Entman and Wildman, 2006) . The former refers to the distribution of audiences across all available content options, while vertical exposure diversity refers to the diversity of content consumption for individual audience members and analyses the elements that make them opt for certain programmes and reject others. 1.7

Van Cuilenburg’s model

The second, and equally as important, model is that posited by Jan Van Cuilenburg. The author bases his study on the belief that media diversity is related to media content, and defines it as “the heterogeneity of media content in terms of one or more specified characteristics” (1999, p.188). Van Cuilenburg claims that diversity is one of the three main features to which the media have to respond in order to adequately fulfill their role. The other two features, involve media access and freedom22. Focusing, thus, on

22 Media freedom is associated with the freedom in media operation, so they do not accept any interference (censorship) from political power, lobbies or even financial interests. Nevertheless, media freedom also has a negative version that is mainly connected with the structure and ownership of the media, as well as with how certain issues are presented. In addition, freedom to access is related to the

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diversity, in order to analyse it effectively, two basic parameters should be taken into account: 1)

Reflection

2)

Openness

According to the author, these two features find it extremely difficult to coexist, as a number of conditions, which will be described in the next sections, should but do not concur. Nevertheless, media outlets often try to balance between these two options in order to cover conventionality and social change. 1.7.1. Reflection The first element of Cuilenburg’s model – reflection – activates wider issues about how the media engages with society in such a way as to reflect, pro rata, the distribution of preference, opinion, allegiance or other characteristics as they appear in the population. If this is the case, then the media adhere to reflection as the norm for media diversity. As it is easily perceived, media content proportionally reflects differences in politics, religion, culture and social conditions in society in a more or less proportional way. Although this reflection appears as a logical form of diversity, because it reflects reality as it is, nevertheless this criterion is rather weak and conservative because the reflective logic of the media is based more on major trends and views and on conventional perceptions, reinforcing substantially existing preferences and habits. That said, according to the author, even in this case the media can hardly reflect reality properly.

possibility of people, groups of people, organisations or institutions participating in the communication process and, specifically, the media content creation that is, finally, a process related to the possibility of sending and receiving messages.

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In addition, the quality of content is crucial in this model. Accordingly, another distinction based on quality deals specifically with expressive quality and cognitive quality23. In the case where the model that is applied is the one of the reflection, then the expressive quality of the media is reinforced, as the latter seems to comply with the existing proportional reflection and presents things in a way that contributes to their preservation (Van Cuilenburg, 1999). The more the media show reflective diversity, the greater their expressive quality for democracy, i.e. the more they politically express the existing opinions, goals and values in society. On the other hand, media being as open as is logically possible may increase the cognitive quality of opinions in society. Thus, media may sharpen people’s knowledge and opinions. Finally, another important issue related to this model is that it is associated with the marketplace of ideas, a theoretical approach that has its sources in market economics24. Anayiotos suggests that diversity best flourishes in a free marketplace of ideas25. On the other hand, he points out that media products have their own characteristics, particularly in relation to very high costs26. According to this concept, if people can freely enter this marketplace to exchange information and opinions, without any constraints issued by government or any other party, then cultural variety and diversity may be expected to happen. Moreover, according to Van Cuilenburg, diversity will only result from a marketplace of ideas if the number of different providers of information is large and competition between them is full and fair, so that power dominance does not exist. It also has to be

23 Expressive quality and cognitive quality are associated with the respective form of diversity. If, for instance, reflection is the form of existing diversity, then this means that it is the expressive quality according to which the major trends, views, rules and habits are reproduced. On the other hand, media being as open as is logically possible may increase the cognitive quality of opinions, discussions and debates in society. 24 Prof. George Anayiotos, George Washington University, personal correspondence, 2010. 25 Ibid. 26 Ibid.

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assumed that ‘buyers’ of information are fully informed about the marketplace. That is, the market must be transparent, so that viewers may get a clear concept of what information in media markets is available to them. As regards competition within the market, it may either be fierce (fierce competition) or moderate (moderate competition). Under conditions of fierce competition, media markets tend toward market conformity and consequently to reflective diversity. The imperative is to align media diversity with dominant ideologies, what are often termed middle of the road preferences and demand. This specific conclusion is due to the fact that fierce competition leads to minimum risktaking and market conformity. As it is easily perceived, this trend is closely related to expressive quality. This is characteristic of the media content case and it does not apply particularly to other market fields, namely to other products, consequently there should not be any comparison or confusion. The case of the media – and especially of media content that is essentially the product they sell – has its own features, which differ vastly from the cases of other products. One example is that content is not consumed in the same way as any other product. A television programme can be “consumed” gradually, since there is the option of consecutive rebroadcastings. 1.7.2 Openness Openness is the second diversity model where – contrary to reflection – media uniformity, in arithmetically absolute terms, provides perfectly equal access to channels for all people and all ideas in society. The issue here is whether content distribution within the media is such that perfectly equal attention is given to all identifiable preferences, streams, groups or positions in society. This specific form of diversity is extremely important, as it can contribute to social change through the

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promotion of minority ideas, views, groups or movements, thus contributing to the change of majority positions (Van Cuilenburg, 1999). Openness is consistent with cognitive quality, an attitude consistent with the thought that through this specific form of diversity social discussion and the exchange of different views have an impulse, providing more complete information, a condition that may lead to the amplification of existing views or to the adoption of new ones. As regards its connection with the market, openness is associated with the moderate competition that is a factor of change, as markets offer media professionals space to experiment, serve niches and minority preferences and take risks. Thus, moderate media competition aligns with market dynamics and provides a greater and more equal distribution of ideas and beliefs. Consequently, this specific attitude leads to cognitive quality within the media. 1.8

Valcke’s model or the “Chain of Diversity”

Valcke’s model (Valcke, 2007) is based on the principle that the factors that reinforce diversity at the level of providers are the same as those at the level of programme supply. In any case, the specific factors aim at boosting the diversity of ideas, content or sources. This model is similar to that proposed by Napoli and may be considered a variation of Napoli’s model. According to this specific model, three basic elements exhibiting diversity may be found within a television system: 1. Provider diversity 2. Product diversity 3. Exposure diversity

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Each form of diversity has its own quantitative and qualitative dimension. According to Valcke27 (Valcke, 2002), who elaborated upon the model, diversity is a concept that embraces many aspects, ranging from, for example, the diversity of providers, the diversity of media products, content diversity and the number of “consumed” products. By referring to the diversity of providers, Valcke encompasses programme producers and the media owners; when referring to the diversity of media products, he refers to the different available types of programmes and their content. With exposure diversity, Valcke addresses viewer habits and programmes “consumed”. 1.8.1 Provider diversity By referring to the provider, Valcke deals – as does Napoli – with two basic issues: programme producers and media owners. In this context, these two parameters in Valcke’s model have a quantitative dimension related to the number of programme productions and the number of media owners. As it is understood, the bigger the number of owners and programme producers, the higher the possibility of having a significant diversity level in television content. When discussing quality level, diversity refers again to ownership status, but by using a different approach. In this case, the media workforce is solely examined in order to establish whether there is any workforce diversity at any level, without any sex, religious or ethnic discrimination. This parameter seems to be close to what Napoli highlights regarding workforce diversity. However, Valcke proposes another parameter – that of the geographical distribution of ownership and, specifically, ownership at national and local levels, associating this factor with the power of the station and the region where it broadcasts.

27 Also, P. Valcke, personal correspondence 2009.

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1.8.2 Product diversity In its quantitative version, diversity (with regards the product) refers to the different available types of programmes. In order to consider these types, they not only be a part of the programme but a number of different parameters as, for instance, the time they are broadcast, into account. With regards to the qualitative dimension, this specific model focuses on a number of parameters, similar to those cited by Napoli. The first one is the form or type of programme. This dimension, closely related to the quantitative version, examines not the number but the form of the programmes available to viewers, overriding any quantitative criteria such as the importance given to each type. The second parameter, the demographic and social profile, examines whether programmes cover sufficiently issues dealing with the beliefs and preferences of minority groups in proportion to their position in society. Finally, the last parameter, diversity, examines whether the views represent society as a whole and whether, on the other hand, they are valid because they come, inter alia, from different sources (Stevens and Valcke, 2007).. 1.8.3 Exposure diversity Concerning its quantitative and qualitative dimensions, exposure diversity focuses on describing the habits of viewers. From the quantitative dimension perspective, the main issue is measuring television products consumed by viewers. In this way, one can ascertain whether or not viewers focus on specific programmes. Finally, as regards its qualitative dimension, the issue is a distinction, as in the model of Napoli, between horizontal and vertical diversity. In this instance, horizontal diversity, by approaching each TV audience, describes those factors that help the audience select a

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programme and reject another. Conversely, vertical diversity approaches the viewer individually, trying to interpret behaviour at an individual level. 1.9

The Stirling model

In this theory of diversity, Stirling proposes a model that may be applied to a wide range of disciplines, from sociology to economics, biology and environmental studies; it can be applied, of course, to communications studies as well (Stirling, 1999). The author finds three basic elements that have to be analysed in order to describe diversity. These elements are as follows: a) The variety of broadcast programmes28 b) Balance c) The disparity or heterogeneity of the types of programmes Even if the components of Stirling’s model seem, at first, to develop separately, they are interrelated through diversity theory. According to this specific theory, if one of these features changes, then the rest may also be affected (Ranaivoson, 2007). This hypothesis will be tested as these features are analysed. However, Stirling pointed out that the measurement of diversity cannot be made using one mode; it can be made being based on the context and object of each case separately29. Stirling’s proposal is quite interesting, and could be applied in most of the models presented previously, considering the features and elements of each model. 28 In order to illustrate them properly, the terms “variety” and “disparity” are presented in the abovementioned way. However, it is worth clarifying that this interpretation of these terms is related to the description of the diversity model as far as mass media and communication are concerned. The author here thinks that in this way both terms – where the first one refers to the quantitative presentation of the programmes and the second to the qualitative dimension as it is formed with the different types of programmes – may be perceived. 29 A. Stirling, Personal correspondence, December, 2008.

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1.9.1 The variety of broadcast programmes Variety refers to the quantitative dimension of this specific model, as it focuses on the number of different types of programmes broadcast. According to Stirling, variety is related to the number of categories that are examined (in this case, the programmes presented to the viewers). Considering the above comment on the location of these three elements, according to this specific model when the other two parameters of the model are fixed and equal, then the greater the variety of programmes, the greater the diversity. Stirling posits that ’variety’ responds to the question: “How many types of programmes

form

television

programming?”

(Stirling,2007,p.709).

Stirling’s

approach makes a rational distinction between variety and diversity, two concepts that have a common notional basis but with a different explanatory result. The following element, “balance”, reinforces and consolidates the distinction between these concepts and makes it even clearer. 1.9.2 Balance Balance analyses the extent to which each programme is broadcast. According to this specific theory, balance refers to how each one of these elements (the kinds of programmes in communications science) is distributed within a system (in this case, the media and, specifically, television). The balance has to respond to the questions, “How much of each type of programmes do we have?” and “To what extent is each of these programmes broadcast?” The general principle in this model applies to this parameter as well, since the more even the balance, the greater the diversity of the television system.

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1.9.3 The disparity or heterogeneity of programmes The last of the three parameters of the specific model is related to the differentiation of programmes. This parameter is the qualitative element of the specific model, as it aims at classifying and, consequently, assessing the features of each type of programme in order to establish any differences among them. It should be pointed out that this specific parameter is about to contribute to the classification of each type of programme, based on its features. This parameter, through analogy – not by contrast with the previous ones, is going to respond to the question, “How different from each other are the various types of programmes that are broadcast?�. As with the other parameters in this model, the more disparate the programme types, the greater the diversity30. At this point, it is necessary to configure and compile a comparative presentation of diversity models:

30 This specific model is described accurately through an example taken from the work of Ranaivoson. According to this example, let us suppose that a radio station plays 100 different French pop songs, five of which are played every hour and the rest less often. In order to increase variety, the station should increase the number of the songs from 100 to 150. If the station would like to achieve more balance, the frequency of the songs played more often should be reduced and the frequency of those played less often should be increased. Finally, to increase the disparity of the songs, the radio station should include other kinds of songs/music, i.e. folk music instead of playing only pop songs. Consult H. Ranaivoson, Measuring cultural diversity: a review of existing definitions, UNESCO, 2007, page 6.

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Model

Basic

model Common points for Different points Of

parameters

measuring

and for investigating

assessing diversity Napoli

A) Proportionality as A) Behaviour of

b) Content

regards the promotion the viewers

c) Outlet

of views, ideas, beliefs B) study of the preferences workforce

(content Valcke

interest to…

the models

a) Source

and

special

…media

of

a) Supplier

programmes)

A) Geographical

b) Product

B) Groups that are

dynamics of the

c) Outlet

represented

media

through

the views that are

and

ownership and production

the

Media ownership

presented Van

a) Reflection

Cuilenburg

b) Openness

C) Connection of the A) Connection …focus on the diversity with the with the importance of Market rules television quality the ideas Β)

Connection presented and

with the intensity the of

way

to

market present them

competition Stirling

a)

Number

of

programmes b)

Balance

between of

elements

programmes

basic

c)

parameters

of

Differentiation types

…the analysis

A) Interaction

the of programme of types

diversity

of

programmes Table 3: This table presents a brief comparative presentation of diversity models and approaches and comparatively reveal the constituent elements entailed in each.

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1.10 The three-faceted model for television programming – methodological approach to the research The three-faceted model presented (Masouras, 2009) in the context of this research refers in detail to the way diversity could be assessed, taking a number of different parameters into consideration. This model is based on the idea that television diversity is a multidimensional term, and this complexity must be both recognised and moderated through application. This methodological model applies in the case of television, especially in the structure of television programming. The fact that this model focuses on television programming is a significant element that distinguishes it from the others, since an analysis of the content of television goes beyond the content of programming, examining the habits and preferences of viewers which are reflected in television programming, thus creating a bidirectional relation. In order to assess diversity, this model mobilises three basic components, the drivers of assessing, which are broken into sub-drivers. The rationale for this specific model is based on the idea that in order to sufficiently define diversity in television, a number of factors – either external such as legislative framework, socio-political conditions or ownership, or internal such as the diversification of content or the television production sector – should be taken into consideration. The three basic parameters described in this model are as follows: 

Institutional diversity

Content diversity, as opposed to context diversity

Source diversity

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Figure 3: The three-faceted model of diversity where the drivers and sub-drivers of assessing diversity may be presented.

1.10.1 Institutional Diversity The origin of institutional diversity is the institutional theory and analysis that deals with the study and development of institutions function. As pointed out, institutions are the structural components of a society, and their analysis involves a number of parameters which can describe its conditions, socio-political and historical contexts and notions adequately (Peters, 2005; Aoki, 2001). In this model, institutional diversity in a theoretical setting requires the management of a range of issues that may affect and form the character of the television landscape’s diversity. The three components of this specific dimension are a) legislative framework b) socio-political context and c) indicators for the assessment of policies produced and legal tools used. The legislative

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framework and socio-political conditions of a society, as in the case of applying the model in Greece, are examined through the first two subcategories of this dimension. According to the following chapters, both of these subcategories are going to play a significant role. The legislative framework is going to be examined either historically or in its current condition, in order to examine all the instruments aiming at ensuring the greater possible levels of diversity and pluralism in television. Concerning sociopolitical conditions, these are examined in the light of their effect on the content and, consequently, diversity in television. Among these socio-political factors may be the minority groups of a society and their level of multiculturalism as well as customs. All these issues may lead to specific programming needs and forms and shape diachronically its nature. The so-called indicators for assessing diversity are the only non-theoretical tools estimating the level of institutional diversity under this model and in general. The IREX Index is typical of such an indicator. Even if this specific indicator focuses on the institutional diversity of journalistic practices, by taking a wide spectrum of parameters (such as, inter alia, legal and social models, the professional character of journalism, the multipurpose use of sources, the independence of editors from enterprises and those institutions which support the interests of the independent media) into consideration, it aims at giving a clear picture regarding the independence of the media (Becker, Nusser and Vlad, 2004). The parameters examined by this specific indicator are associated with the two previous categories of the specific dimension and the next parameters of this specific model.

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Figure 4: The two axes of the analysis, the socio-political and legislative/regulatory contexts, interact in order to form institutional diversity in the media.

1.10.2 Content diversity as opposed to context diversity This specific dimension is broken into three subcategories: a) television programme typology b) content diversity and c) context diversity. These subcategories are analysed in Chapters 4, 5 and 6. Television programme typology not only plays a very significant role in defining the attitudes and habits of viewers, but also helps us to organise and classify content and set the diversity level within measurable bounds. As it is easily understood, the typology of the programme is not widespread and varies, based on a number of parameters such as the size of the market, the habits of the viewers or even the research query that is set. Typology is associated with the diversity that comes from viewers and ratings, which are the main issues in the contemporary television environment. The correlation and interaction of diversity with viewing time through typology is one of the most interesting issues of the model and preoccupies me greatly in this research. A methodological approach to and interpretation of programme typology is attempted by using specific research studies that used the typology for assessing the diversity, the empirical approach of AGB in

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Greece for the programme classification for viewing measurement purposes as well as the AGB’s classification of the TV programme into zones for the benefit of the channels’ organisation and structure when studying their fluctuations and shifts of the viewing time compared to their competitors at a specific time as well as the form and nature of their programme’s diversity as well as the diversity of their competitors’ programme as a basis. The connection between diversity and TV viewing is presented through the analysis of AGB. The next two subcategories of the specific dimension are interconnected. At first, content diversity aims at a qualitative interpretation of different programmes, examining the content being based on programme genres, giving the entire research study a “qualitative” dimension31. In most of the cases, however, it is difficult to dissociate programme content, a trend that is consistent with the essence of Hotelling’s economic theory of minimum product differentiation, according to which, due to the intense competition in products (in this case, television productions), they tend to look alike, by minimising risk (Hotelling, 1929). As a consequence, specific theory is the concept of “minimum differentiation” where, as regards the media, television products are slightly distinguished through certain “unnatural” features (Esther and Dukes, 2003). This is achieved by using several techniques such as context diversity, or metamorphosis theory (Masouras, 2008) as this process is called in this research. According to metamorphosis theory, which plays a significant role in this model, there are two basic ways of differentiating television content. The first is based on the diversity in programme genres, their distribution and the breadth of their

31 The specific dimension is associated with the argumentation of Phillip Napoli as regards content diversity (see section 3.1.).

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content. The second is an artificial differentiation of programmes, according to which certain differentiation variable features that seem to be required are used in order to differentiate the content of the programmes and have advertising income, being, thus, a purely business option. This results in the expansion of the audience. These techniques for programme differentiation vary and cover a wide spectrum of practices, which is why these distinctions are defined by analysing the practices through three variables: morphology, chronology and topology. During the research on the promotion of channels’ programmes, Eastman (1998) refers to some of these parameters, among which are the programme that is used in order to present a promotional action, the number of promotional actions in a spot, their frequency, the identification of viewers with the programme and other similar variables. A few years ago, these parameters were enhanced even more and a differentiation made, breaking these 12 variables into three categories as follows: 1) factors externally associated with a promotional action such as position, frequency and programme 2) factors internally associated with a promotional action such as the duration of the spot, an exclusive promotion or the inclusion of other programmes within the same spot and 3) factors associated with the content of the programme such as the duration of the programme’s airing and the genre of programme (Eastman, 2001). The variables referring to context diversity vary according to what the researcher would like to achieve. Chapters 5 and 6 treat in detail the minimum differentiation of content and context diversity, respectively. This reference to the approach of Eastman is a description of what, according to this model, constitutes context diversity, since many parameters used by Eastman would be applied in this case as well. These parameters, according to which the programmes are

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classified, even if there is a case of minimum differentiation, are known as differentiation variables. The use of the theory of the metamorphosis of minimum differentiation by this specific model is quite significant, since it takes an established practice used by television stations to differentiate their programmes and compete with each other, in order to attract a higher number of advertising spots. The importance of this theory with regard to the assessment of specific aspects of the content, as well as the applicational features of this approach will be discussed in the fifth chapter, through empirical analyses of the experts. 1.10.3 Source Diversity The last parameter of this specific model is source diversity, which exhibits a number of similarities with Napoli’s model described above, and is broken into three main subcategories: a) the degree of influence, b) the degree of vertical market concentration and c) the topological features of the market, the so-called ecology of market. This specific parameter aims at describing a number of parameters which affect greatly the content that is broadcast. The degree of influence of a programme is associated with the ratings of this specific programme. In order to clarify this point, it should be pointed out that the producers themselves are influenced as far as their product, as they aim at attracting a higher television audience which shall, consequently, influence and form ideas, beliefs and habits. Besides, this is the reason for being interested in the power and role of programme producers (Medina, 2004).

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Power of Influence

vertical integration

Ecology of market

Level of source diversity Figure 5: The formula used for estimating source diversity level as it results from the three-faceted content diversity Model: The power of influence, the analysi of the vertical integration and the nature of the market, are the three factors that according to this theory should be examined to to derive at conclusions for the televiosion production market.

Vertical concentration in the media businesses refers to the ownership relationship between two or more elements of the production chain, as in the case of the ownership relationship between TV station owners and production companies (Doyle, 2002). In many cases, this relationship may affect the content that is broadcast, particularly if producers consider the beliefs, preferences and wishes of the media owners. Finally, the third feature of this model is market ecology, which deals with the special features of each market such as the number of networks and the geographic size of the market in order to determine possibilities and existing needs.

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1.10.3.1 Topography of the model and its application in the television field: a form-based approach32

As already pointed out in this research, this specific model is applied in Greek television and in its programming content. This fact lends this model its topographic features and the further prospect of it expanding in the television landscapes of other countries or in other forms of television such as pay-television (Herrero, 2003). In the conclusion chapter of this research, where the micro topography of the model is analysed and not its topography as in this sub-chapter, the author deals mainly with its methodological issues and queries. This model tries to associate diversity issues with localism principles (Napoli, 2007) by analysing and examining specific aspects of the content through specific evaluation indicators, the so-called drivers and sub-drivers of assessing which were mentioned and analysed previously. According to Hilde Van Den Bulck33, the drivers of assessing of this specific model, considering the country where this model is applied, may be developed in such a way so as to be used accordingly in order to adapt, each time, to the national features and prevailing market ecology, which is why special emphasis should be laid on the development and analysis of this model. The first pillar of the model, institutional diversity, is quite significant topographically, since it defines, a priori, the framework for the analysis and approach regarding the assessment of diversity. The approach of the issue through institutional analysis and development (IAD) is a complicated and interdisciplinary issue. For this 32 This topographic approach was developed and discussed for the first time during a research seminar that took place at the University of Antwerp: A. Masouras, ‘Media Diversity: A multi-level management analysis of TV output’, Antwerp University, 21st February 2008. 33 Prof. Hilde Van Den Bulck, Personal correspondence, 2008.

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reason, in this research study two approaches and analysis axes of institutional diversity are predetermined: the socio-political approach and the regulatory/legislative approach. These two approaches were selected as the main factors that form and gradually change the nature of media content, whereby the one axis interacts with the other. In brief, the topological features of the model focus on two levels: a) the medium this model examines, i.e. television and b) the country on which its application focuses, in this case Greece. This model, in line with the medium, focuses on television and its content, specifically approaching diversity through programming structure and television scheduling. Its main feature is its attempted extension beyond the classic approach usually followed through the genres. The option of using and interpreting scheduling as a basis for what follows has been chosen due to the extension of this model into other aspects of the content beyond the genres. In order to understand the role and positioning of scheduling in this research, the approach of Aroldi is utilised, according to which television scheduling consists of three basic elements: content, form of the content and its logic (Aroldi, 2001). Aroldi defines content organisation by the genres and the form factoring relation to time (the distribution of programming into time zones). Finally, the logic of scheduling is defined as follows: ‘Schedule logic is understood as the principle that rules the programming schedule, that is to say which effects organising the schedule in a certain way. Obviously, the first common goal in every television company, regardless of financing, is that the audience sees their programmes. Nevertheless, the logic that may rule this goal can be very diverse. (Aroldi, 2001, p.127). This philosophy, similar to my theoretical approach and presented in detail in Chapter 5 on programme morphology, topology and chronology

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(Masouras, 2008) as concepts used in programme typology, is a sophisticated approach for content, since it deals with other issues related to content such as time layout and programming logic that forms content on every occasion. This approach is used as a basis for the topographical application of the model, since its basic purpose is to assess and analyse content diversity through features set by indicators of the model. Thus, this model’s mannerisms lie on its approach to the content, as well as on the role that logic plays each time. As Aroldi does in his approach, here it is also attempted to differentiate content and form notionally, which has to be coherent from the very beginning since it encompasses the philosophy of the model. The content is based on genres only, and form is the extension of the content that deals with its topological and chronological features, for instance the different policies of programming differentiation presented above in detail as context diversity. This research addresses these policies in detail. In order to make a notional assessment of programme logic, it is defined as follows. By referring to programme logic, the author means the logic that guides the planning necessary for programme scheduling. The diversity level is defined as the business needs of the channels, which are implemented through the corresponding shaping of their content. Therefore, the diversity level is closely associated with content, being the outcome of the programming logic adopted each time. The logic of television programming has longterm as well as short-term goals, even if this philosophy does not operate in television as in the classic considerations of business sciences. Instead, it works in reverse, since the definition of the goals depends directly on television viewing ratings as well as the tendencies and the form of the television audience. The minimum differentiation, for instance, which is presented in detail in Chapter 4, is the outcome of the competitive

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logic that exists in Greece’s television landscape. This logic is known as ‘market ecology’ and is portrayed in the last section of the thesis, where source diversity is analysed in detail.

Content

Form Schedule´s logic

Figure 6: The philosophy of the model’s topography in the case of television focuses on Aroldi’s triple concept of content, form and logic. The logic behind programming is the main driver for the final shaping of the content and for its diversity rate. In essence, it is a chain process where one element affects and complements another.

The model is applied in this environment, in the Greek television field, with all the special features described in the following chapters, and approaches diversity in a more specific and detailed content spectrum, based on a specific case of logic and comparing programming genres, considering content diversity in the classic way with the single policies of programming, which, in this model, are considered as context diversity and play their own roles in content shaping, since they arise from the need to diversify the homogeneity of the genres. In order to classify the usefulness and uniqueness of the model, a distinction is made between general and sector-based diversity models. Furthermore, another distinction is made between content and formbased approaches. The general models cover a broader part of the issue dealing with the relation of diversity with the digital era or the globalisation of media groups (Sangho, 2004). Sector-based models, among which we can count the model in this thesis, aim to explain how ‘diversity is moving’ as well as its form within the sectors

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screened. Many sector-based models correspond to more than one sector, usually in cases where approaches converge methodologically as, for instance, in the study of genres in television and radio or the printed and electronic press (Steiner, 1952). At this point, mix-sectors models are considered. The second classification that distinguishes content and form-based models is methodologically clearer, since it is made being based on how content is examined; thus, it is more complicated. The models that examine medium/content diversity based on programming genres are considered content-based models. Conversely, models that examine content in a multidimensional way that goes beyond the classic study of the genres are considered form-based models (Bae, 1999). This is achieved by using different variables considering what conclusions will be drawn from the content. This model examines content by mixing it through the genres and by using the form of the content for a more detailed analysis. In other words, both approaches are employed throughout the study of content’s minimum differentiation and end in differentiation policies. Therefore, this form-based model examines and further defines the content through multi-level dimensions as presented earlier, while describing the elements that constitute the model. The most representative models for content diversity were selected (besides the ones analysed above) and classified according to the above factors, based on general/sectorbased approaches and content-based/form-based approaches, and used in the following graph:

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Figure 7: In this graph, certain models or approaches for content are set out, classified into four categories: a) general approaches, b) sector-based approaches, c) content-based approaches and d) form-based approaches.

This chapter has dealt with the notional definition of concepts that are adjacent to the concept of diversity, which is the core of this research. Through a detailed description and analysis of the models that assess diversity – each with its own view – the author presents his model and its elements and drivers, explaining their operation as well as their coherence in detail. The originality of this research is shown in this chapter through the different nature and specificities of the model over other specificities presented earlier. In the following chapter, the Greek television field is presented and analysed through its social and historical dimension in the context of institutional diversity.

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CHAPTER TWO THE INVESTMENT IN ADVERTISING AND SALES PROMOTION ACTIVITIES: THE CASE STUDY OF PAY TELEVISION IN GREECE – AN EMPIRICAL ANALYSIS THROUGH MARKET DATA

2.1. Market Empirical Analysis In the previous chapter, some initial theoretical approaches and questions were discussed regarding the study of television content, before their application to the following sections and a model was presented for the assessment of content diversity degree through strategies that differentiate content from the competitive television products. In the case of pay television, the methodology of content study differs, since it entails its own distinct features compared with free-to-air television. Through this chapter one can extract useful managerial principles related to the decision making process of the subscribers contents, but also to the actions promoting them in the subscriber’s market (or potential subscribers). By studying pay television, the following dimensions become more eloquent: 1. Because of the special relation between the subscriber and television – a relation which is analysed through empirical data in the present chapter – the connection between content and viewer is perceived more clearly. In the case of free-to-air television this connection is indirect, understood

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only through viewing ratings. On the contrary, in pay television the connection becomes direct. Therefore it is possible to extract working differences of the television product between pay television and free-to-air television. 2. Content diversity is a broad concept which does not exclude the case of pay television. In the conclusive chapter of this research, a model extension is presented and discussed, which entails some hypothetical suggestions regarding this type of television for future research. 3. Another interesting point that derives from the following study of pay television is the comparison of the categorisation of programme types to the respective categorisation in the programme of free-to-air television, which is also analysed in the next chapters. One of the topics embaked in this research is the categorization of the programme since it entails one of the most important decision making stages taken by the programmers during the television design process; whether it relates to pay television, or free-to-air television. In respect of pay television, its relationship with the viewer is reduced to a purely commercial relationship related to the TV product direct being sold, rather than commercial air time being through through televisual viewing, as in public broadcasting and in “free-to-air� channels. The specific relationship developed between Pay Television and the viewer presupposes that there is corresponding marketing that is differently deployed when compared with the other two cases, that is public or private television. Essentially, the difference between pay television and

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free-to-air television is that the former involves a “locked” system, which the viewer has to be convinced to “unlock” in order to access it. This consequently means that programming, from the perspective of programme scheduling, is different analysed in the following application. This research focuses on the Greek Pay Television Channel FilmNet which is transmitted via the bouquet digital satellite platform NOVA, the only subscriptionbased digital satellite platform operating under private law in Greece at the time when this research work was conducted. There is also the digital platform funded by the state-run television. The research has been gathered in this chapter by means of interviews as well as through internal information derived from the Marketing Department of Filmnet. The information covers the period from 2004 to 2007. According to Filmnet's internal information, the advertising budget for self promotion is 5-6 million euros per year.

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Figure 8: The differentiation of pay teleivision is based on the relationship with the viewer. The process of acceptance by the viewer to buy the television programme content, is accompanied by a series of procedures on behalf of pay television to convince the viewer of the differentiation of its content.

The commercial relationship of the Pay Television Channel with the viewer is at two levels of communication approach: a) at the level of attracting new/potential subscribers and b) at the level of maintaining existing subscribers. In the battle for new subscribers, FILMNET creates a combination of communications strategies that include corporate communication aiming to the creation of a "love brand" image as well as the regular communication with the subscribers in order to promote the premium and exclusive contents (sports games that are exclusively broadcast by the channel and the digital platform NOVA in general, first screenings of movies or movie premieres, documentaries, etc) and sales promotion activities (making a discount on the cost of the equipment). Moreover, in the battle to maintain the existing subscribers, the channel adopts a relevant communication strategy in order to improve its relationship with them. At

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this level, a number of self promotion activities are adopted on a monthly basis: specifically, the channel proceeds to an on air promotion of the premium content in order to inform but create also a “buzz” for upcoming events. Another form of communication is achieved through monthly magazines and other special detached advertising inserts included in the monthly bills. Loyalty activities, gift drawings, contests and other forms of rewarding the “loyal” or fanatical subscribers were adopted as well. Finally, the telemarketing and direct mail communications are used in order to inform the prospective or existing subscribers on new programs and services.

• combination of communications strategies that include corporate communication, regular communication with the subscribers in order to promote the premium and exclusive contents and sales promotion activities Attracting new/potential subscribers

Maintaining existing subscribers

NOVA MAGAZINE, the monthly magazine of the digital platform NOVA GREECE includes:

• Self promotion activities on a monthly basis on air promotion of the premium content in order to inform but create also a “buzz” for upcoming events. monthly magazines and other special detached advertising inserts • Loyalty activities • Telemarketing and direct mail

• Detailed information on the daily programs of all the channels of the digital platform • Presentation, comments and summaries of the best movies, the special editions on the best films of the month with information referring to the films, the film directors, the film producers, the leading actors, etc. • Broadcast of sports competitions and events, shows and news from sports world • Articles and presentation of the shows and programs broadcasted via all the thematic channels of the NOVA GREECE bouquet • Presentation of the shows and programs of the Children's TV channels of NOVA GREECE as well as contests and offers form small children • Detailed information on the privileges and the provided services.

Figure 9: Ways of communication with the existing viewers of the channel.

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media. The channel's promotion via other Media always depends on the budget of each advertising "burst” and combines the following:

Television campaigns via all the “free-to-air” channels (Mega, ANT1, Alpha, etc).

Radio Stations (radio spots or sponsorships)

Advertisements and publications in newspapers and magazines

Outdoor advertising

Cinema advertising

Ambient media & Street promotions

Internet advertising (e.g. banners)

Creative media: According to the creative idea

Publicity events

Figure 10: Channel advertising through other communication media, in order to attract prospective subscribers.

The television product is characterized by seasonability and that is why the Pay Television Channel launches the corresponding advertising campaign, depending on the season. The television product’s seasonality is mainly determined by the beginning and end of the football season. Sports, especially football, are the main driver in the viewers' decision to choose Pay Television. However, the films and the premium content as well as the interactive services are the reasons for maintaining their subscriptions in FILMNET CHANNEL and NOVA digital platform. Consequently, the advertising campaign of Pay Television is launched, depending on the season and the goal that each time has to be served. If the goal is to increase the

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number of subscribers (new subscription accounts or reactivations) of the Pay TV services, then the advertising campaign is launched from the end of August to the start of October, or when the households' purchasing power is growing, that is at Christmas or Easter. If the goal is to maintain the existing subscribers, then the contact with the subscribers is made during the summer months. In detail, when the goal is mainly the increase of the channel’s subscriber base, then an extensive across-the-board advertising coverage (via Television, Radio, Newspapers and Magazines) is required. According to the channel's internal data, the 60-70% of the advertising communication is made during this period. During the April-June quarter, the marketing communication strategies aim to maintain and consolidate the subscriber base. During this period, a heavy-weight TV advertising campaign burst takes place; as for the remaining self promotion maintenance activities for the period that is left, the press inserts and the radio or cinema spots may be the proper action to take. The following tables illustrate the 2006 advertising campaign of MULTICHOICE HELLAS related to Filmnet Channel, SuperSport Channel and NOVA digital platform:

Month

Media

Event/Service

January

Television

Digital program presentation

February

Radio, cinema, newspapers

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March

No advertising. The first days of the month only continues the advertising campaign ----------------------that began on February

April

Television

Jennifer Lopez

May

Television, radio,

Summer offers

cinema, newspapers

June

---------------------

----------------------

July

---------------------

----------------------

August

Outdoor

----------------------

September

Magazines, cinema,

----------------------

newspapers

October

Television, magazines,

PVR service promotion

radio

November

Television, radio

PVR discount offer

December

Television, radio,

PVR discount offer

newspapers

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Table 4: Channel’s advertising per month and the product that is advertised. (own elaboration).

Month

Media

Event/Service

January

Television

All Star Game

February

Television

Football teams

March

--------------------

----------------

April

--------------------

----------------

May

--------------------

----------------

June

Radio

Greek Champion’s League

July

Greek Champion’s

Radio

League

August

Uefa Champion’s

Television

League + Football teams

September

Television, radio

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League + Football teams

October

Television, radio

Football teams

November

Television, radio

Football teams

December

Radio

------------------

Table 5: Channel’s sport advertisements per month and the product that is advertised. (own elaboration).

Magazines

September

October

November

December

◘ 4th

Down Town

Ok

◘ 18th

Table 6: Time periods of advertisements in magazines.

When advertised, the channel pays great attention on NOVASCOPE program. NOVASCOPE is the new, user-friendly service that provides the viewer with prompt information as, for instance, an updated entertainment guide, customer updating, lucky results for all football fans, etc. In essence, it’s an interactive program under development. It is considered as an underdeveloped, fledgling interactive feature as its

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interactive services are supposed to be interactive but they have not reached that point yet since there is not any return path. Moreover, significant new services as, for instance, the VOD service are not yet launched. The monopoly that prevails in the Greek subscription-based television services may be the reason why the interactive services have not yet been introduced in the specific platform, even if the company considers NOVASCOPE service as an interactive services program. The structure of NOVA digital platform bouquet is characterized by diversity and pluralism as it tries to meet the requirements and the preferences of the viewers. Particular emphasis is laid on the Sports Channels that broadcast exclusively the majority of sports events referring either to local championships or to major European and World championships. Moreover, the movie channels of the digital bouquet play a significant role, as we mentioned before, in maintaining the existing subscribers. The latest movie hits get their television premiere on these channels (FilmNet 1, 2, 3). Conversely, MGM movie channel and TCM movie channel of NOVA are dedicated to enduring, classic films that still move and excite, even today. NOVA digital platform offers news channels, lifestyle channels and kids’ channels. The program of the digital platform NOVA includes in brief: -

10 sports channels (Supersport1, Supersport2, Supersport3, Supersport4, Supersport5, Supersport6, Supersport7, Eurosport 1, Eurosport 2 and MOTORS TV ; The purchase of the exclusive broadcasting rights of sports events is the main advantage of the Pay Television since this is what attracting new subscribers depends on.

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-

5 movie channels (FilmNet1, FilmNet2, FilmNet, MGM, TCM).

The

premiering exclusive movie film screening play a significant role in the decision of the subscribers to maintain their accounts. -

One lifestyle channel: E!Entertainment

-

2 kids’ channels: Jetix and Cartoon Network Channels

-

6 news channels (Euronews, CNN International, BBC World, France 24, Bloomberg, TV5 Europe)

-

6 documentary channels (National Geographic, History, Discovery, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, Chasse & Pesche)

-

4 music channels and 5 interactive music channels

-

2 fashion channels

-

Retransmission of Greek and foreign radio programs

The two main goals of the Pay Television’s communication strategy – the acquisition of new subscribers and the improved communication with the existing subscribers imply the establishment of a complete commercial relationship between the channel and the viewer/customer and also the leading role of the viewer in the outcome of such relationship. That is a role created and developed through the interpersonal factor that was described in the previous section of this chapter. Moreover, the effort of the channel to reactivate old accounts implies the significance of this relationship

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for the channel as its economic viability depends on it. Besides, the subscription fees are the main source of income of the Pay TV operators as the commercials are the main source of income of the “free-to-air” channels. In a research carried out for the University of Navarra on the Spanish pay-TV channel Canal Plus Espana, Monica Herrero (2003) examines the Pay TV channel’s infrastructure groundwork aiming in the successful outcome of the TV products’ self promotion communication strategy. As the researcher points out in this study, the mechanisms that allow the channel to know the preferences of each subscriber should be examined; we refer to mechanisms as, for instance, the telephone assistance service or the customer service of the Pay TV channel that may record the preferences of the subscribers. Specifically, according to this study, “Telephone assistance service, enquiries about technical problems, invoice collection and other administrative task are an important part of this relationship” (Herrero, 2003, p.90). By examining the case of the Pay Television in Greece, we draw significant conclusions on the Pay TV market in Greece, a monopolistic market par excellence at the time of our research, with the relevant consequences of them. The reason for NOVA’s monopolistic status in the Pay TV sector is usually that the small Greek market cannot sustain two digital platforms. The unsuccessful effort of ALPHA DIGITAL TV to operate as a digital subscriber-based platform is a typical example of this situation. The monopoly in the Pay TV sector in Greece reflects on the marketing and self promotion policies of the Pay TV platform. Being based on the advertising statistics of this research, we remark that there are months without any advertising promotion,

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something which would not have happened if the Greek Pay TV market environment was more competitive. The case of the interactive services that are provided by the digital platform is a typical situation in the Pay TV field. The development of new digital interactive services is the big challenge for the contemporary world TV market. However, the digital subscriber-based platform that we examine, even though it promotes its interactive services, these services are not interactive as they do not have any return path. The absence of modern interactive services from the digital platform in question is considered as a consequence of the specific monopolistic status, which makes the development of new technologies of no interest. 2.2. The extension of the model to pay-television: An initial planning and resetting of the concepts of content homogeneity and heterogeneity One of the research topics the author has dealt with in previous research studies is the issue of pay-television, and specifically the issue of the diversity of its thematic content, an issue that appears extensively and systematically throughout this study. Pay-television does not have any resemblance to the model of television, examined in this research. It seems outside the parameters of the philosophy of this idea. However, a brief reference to the case of pay-television is made because the concept of thematic content in terms of diversity seems to be of interest. The interesting point lies in the rationale according to which the thematic content of a pay-television channel is formed and included in the channel’s programme. The key element in a study of paytelevision is that it could highlight the difference of the way content diversity develops between pay and free-to-air television. More specifically, the idea of thematic content is quite important, as it is associated with the degree of diversity, even though one could claim that no issue of content diversity was raised when

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examining this correlation in the very beginning. The reason why pay-television is discussed is that there is an interesting issue as far as the diversity of the thematic nature of the content is concerned. As pointed out earlier, as well as throughout this research, diversity is not considered as a static issue that exists or does not exist within the content. If that was the case, then the idea of the degree of diversity or intensity of diversity would not be discussed, as it happens many times throughout this research. This is why the author considers that the case of pay-television and the particular nature of its thematic content may provide – under certain conditions – new theoretical dimensions and hypotheses regarding the issue of diversity that arise from two conditions of diversity in television, the content homogeneity and heterogeneity, that should be clarified notionally. As argued, the issue of content homogeneity is dealt with in detail in a following chapter. Content homogeneity or heterogeneity can be notionally defined, but only if there is a precise definition of what is homogenous or not. Within the framework of this research, for instance, homogeneity is defined as over-concentration in specific types of programmes (genres). What is established is that homogeneity or heterogeneity may be found in other forms of content, such as the differentiation tactics of broadcast scheduling, an issue developed in the chapter where content “metamorphosis” is addressed. By placing the issue of the homogeneity of content diversity as regards programme genres within the cadre of pay-television, it is classified into three conditions: (a) the intensity of the diversity of pay-TV channel can have a form through the heterogeneity of its thematic content. Usually, the thematic content of pay-television does not have a strictly structured form as a programme genre, but there is an over-concentration in specific genres that are not more than three, such as sports shows and live or recorded broadcasts of sporting

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events, films and documentaries. It is the same method of over-concentration that is shown in free-to-air channels, and the specific difference lies in the frequency of airing certain genres or on the frequency of promoting certain genres to be aired in pay-television over other genres, creating a type of branding for the channel. There are, however, strictly structured thematic pay-TV channels that focus on more than one programme genre, without having to broadcast them excessively over other types of programmes. In other words, the matter of concern in this case is the assessment of the diversity degree of the horizontal scheduling of the pay-TV channel, meaning the assessment of the diversity within the channel only, (b) the intensity of the diversity of the pay-TV channel can take the form of the vertical assessment of diversity. When referring to the vertical assessment of diversity, the author means the diversity that is assessed in comparison with competitive pay-TV channels. By comparing two payTV channels operating and competing in the same market, their convergence with the diversity degree can be studied and assessed, as regards the genre they focus on, by broadcasting it more times compared to other genres that are broadcast less, purely in order to fill out their TV schedules, (c) the intensity of diversity in the case of paytelevision can be assessed in comparison with free-to-air channels, by comparing free content (basic programming) with paid content (premium programming). Such a comparative analysis of the degree of diversity between the free-to-air channels and pay-television is significant, since the different levels of competition between two types of content can be studied and the way they interact in the television market can be established. For instance, it is possible to examine whether competition is less effective in the case of pay-television compared to free-to-air channels, or examine the way content is formed and analyse the genres between the two types of content. In

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addition, the impact of advertising on the shaping of content diversity could be studied in a future research, since pay-television is not based on direct advertising revenue unlike free-to-air channels. The way of selecting and building the scheduling of content conducted by the programmers of the pay-TV channel partially reflects on the relationship between the channel and the potential subscriber – the viewer who pays a subscription in order to gain access to premium programming, content that is accessible against payment and diversifies from basic programming, meaning content that is open to all viewers. Harbord and Ottaviani (2001) examine the access of viewers to premium content and approach the issue through the process of contractual arrangements for the sale and resale of premium content. They point out that the differentiation of premium content from basic content lies typically in major sports events and Hollywood movies that diversify the content of pay-television and mainly refer to examples drawn from the UK market, such as the sale of the rights to air Premier League football matches to pay-TV channels. The above empirical analysis is based on empirical data which were drawn from the Greek pay-television market. These data where classified and analysed, contributing to the modelling of the whole procedure. Based on the researcher’s empirical background, the content of a pay channel and, consequently, the degree of its diversity arises from the association of the television production with the potential television viewer. The programmes and shows of paytelevision channels are considered a television product. The viewer who is approached by the pay-TV channel using different techniques to gain their subscription is considered a potential television viewer. The development of the association of

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content with the potential viewer is presented, illustrated and shown as an interactive circular process that leads either to the conclusion of a subscriber agreement and the consumption of the content of the pay-TV channel or the rejection of the proposal to enter into a subscriber agreement. What is shown from the development of this association, as regards the content of pay-television, is that the production and scheduling of its programming depend on the degree of its acceptance or non-acceptance. As in the case of free-to-air channels, where the production and scheduling depend on television viewing ratings, in the case of pay-television it depends on the degree of demand for subscriptions. Thus, through the empirical model for pay-television, an interaction between content and the potential subscriber/TV viewer is observed. This interaction is highly important, since it essentially is the basis that the content is constructed and formed on, according o the preferences of the subscribers and of the potential or future subscribers.

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CHAPTER THREE PROGRAMME TYPOLOGY AND ITS ASSOCIATION WITH THE STUDY OF DIVERSITY AND AUDIENCE VIEWING FIGURES: THE TYPOLOGICAL STRATEGY OF THE GREEK TELEVISION PROGRAMME 3.1. Genre typology and relevant definitions Chapter 4 sets out the methodological framework and philosophy on which the rationale of this research study is based. Programme taxonomy is used in order to show how the content of a programme may be organised considering the different forms and types. The typology of the television programme is one of the subcomponents of my model (typology issues), and it serves to organise and understand aspects of content via classification. One purpose of this chapter will be to argue, on the basis of my empirical study on Greek television developed in section 4.3, that programme typology can be viewed from two different perspectives: the taxonomy of the television programme into genres, into types of programmes or it may be seen as the spatio-temporal positioning of the programme within overall scheduling, i.e. how programmes are placed within time slots and overall time distribution, and thus how the different time slots are created in accordance with certain criteria. Next, by trying to create a submodel as a projection of the specific subcomponent, the author posits that typology as a methodological tool of organising Research Institute of Applied Communication

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and analysing content is inextricably linked also to its degree of diversity, since, in essence, the purpose of a programme’s classification – its division into types of programmes or into time slots – reflects diversity levels as well. In order to make the connection between typology and diversity more coherent, it is important to note that typology is not a peremptory process, but is instead based on content diversity. If, for instance, a local channel has poor diversity in programme genres, then it will be classified by the television audience measurement companies accordingly. Moreover, if a small channel uses music video clips in order to fill gaps between television slots or fill up viewing time, then its classification into zones will be different compared with the classification of other channels. This is why television audience measurement companies in Greece do not consider local television channels in their measurements, due to their incomplete programming schedules, since that would mean an extra cost for a television audience measurement company if it had to monitor variations in television channels that deviate from their methodological line. These associations with diversity and the distinction between the two types of classification (classification into genres and spatio-temporal classification) developed in this chapter are going to lead to a greater understanding of Chapters 5 and 6 that follow. One of the issues related to content diversity, and which has been insufficiently explored so far, is content typology and classification, i.e. the issue of content’s methodological organisation and taxonomy and how the typology is methodologically associated with the assessment of content diversity. The classification of a programme is one of the most important and yet most controversial methodological issues as far as the study of television is concerned. It is a controversial issue because, as argued throughout this chapter, there is not – at least not currently – any mutually agreed

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methodological typological classification formula. According to Braidt

(Braidt,

2002), who deals with the classification of films, this is due mainly to the difficulty of integrating any classification model or pattern in a specific historical context, thus making any study of the historical evolution of a specific genre and its standardisation impossible. Therefore, due to the existing problems of interpretation, the typology of a programme is one of the subcomponents of my theoretical context and, specifically, part of the second component that deals with content. The primary objective of the specific subcomponent is not to define the genre34 – besides, this is irrelevant for the purposes of this specific research study and certain existing conceptual approaches referring to this issue are going to be discussed – but to examine the different ways of the genres’ classification, correlation and how they are used as tools for the assessment of content diversity. As well as the broader methodological approach developed in the context of television programming, the author also approaches the method of typological analysis used by AGB for Greek television through empirical analysis. The central issues regarding the typology of a television programme and the classification of television scheduling in general are defining typology and programme classification and establishing why researchers consider types of programme, genres, as an indispensable tool. This typology and the classification of

34 The origin of the philosophy of classification can be credited to Aristotle's Rhetoric. Aristotle's Rhetoric and the theory of the classification of text types and speeches were one of the areas taught by Aristotle at Plato's Academy. According to Aristotle, there are three types of classification of rhetoric, which are based on persuasion: the appeal to the authority or the honesty of the speaker (ethos), the appeal to the logic or reason (logos) and the appeal to the audience’s emotions (pathos). Another approach of Aristotle is based on external and internal proof that possibly affects classification, such as the differences in purposes or goals that are approached by Aristotle through the distinction between rhetoric and poetry. The origin of the French concept of ‘genre’ can be credited to the Greek word <γένος> /ʝɛ.nɔs/ (gender), a wider concept that may be divided into partial concepts and types.

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television programmes allow researchers for the first time to set programmes zones, in order to examine programming in detail. As seen in subsection 4.3 of this chapter, and for classification purposes, the spectrum of the types of programmes and the range of their usefulness is so big that it is necessary to delineate certain boundaries. This boundary delineation is achieved by setting certain classification criteria35 regarding programmes, which will consequently help to further understand the types of programmes. Classification criteria, as they are called in this chapter, vary in line with the purpose of the potential classification. If, for instance, the classification refers to films, then the criteria regarding the classification of these films into main categories and subcategories are different from those used for the classification of music programmes/shows. Classification criteria are based mainly on the structure and the format of the programme, rather than on the technical features of the production. In most cases, a type of programme might be encountered in various categories using either the same designation or a similar one, which is something that can often cause methodological problems during classification and thus assessment and rating. A film, for instance, may be encountered in more than one classification subcategory, being a thriller and an action-adventure film at the same time. It also may be encountered in completely different categories as, for instance, a musical may be equally classified as a musical film or as a purely music show. Braidt (2002) considers the difficulty of classifying genres as an â&#x20AC;&#x153;empirical tautologyâ&#x20AC;? process, which presupposes that the classification of the genre is based on the basic features of the main category (such as film), and then its classification in a subcategory based on individual features (such as

35 By classification criteria, I mean criteria that are selected by each classification methodology and which define features based on which each type of programme will be put under a certain classification category or subcategory. There are no universal classification criteria. This is why these criteria vary.

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a musical). Therefore, the features that define the classification path of a certain genre or subgenre may compose a mĂŠlange of different subcategories, and it is therefore for the researcher to decide under which category the genre (or subgenre) in question is to be placed. The method of determining a genre in order to make these issues more tangible is dependent on the logic of classification followed, either as researchers or as programme directors. The research study of Ihlstrom and Akesson (2004) approaches genres in electronic media formats, especially online newspapers. Even though the topic of this research is related to television, in their research study the writers show the specificity of the approach of genres through the classification of their specific characteristics, a method that is mostly applied when examining television issues using, thus, a methodological framework. Specifically, their study focuses on the genre analysis of the front pages of 85 Swedish online newspapers, dividing the genres into three main categories: a) content b) form and c) functionality. Next, each category is divided into two subcategories, namely inheritance characteristics and new characteristics. The detailed classification of the genres of this research study (Ihlstrom and Akesson, 2004) appears in the following table. The classification is structured so as to render the terms more applicable to this research.

CONTENT

FORM

FUNCTIONALITY

Navigation (I)

TOC (I)

Interaction

Nameplate (I)

Menu (I)

Real time interaction

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Advertisement (I)

Logotype (I)

Personalisation

Classified (I)

Photograph (I)

Searching

News article (I)

Image (I)

Showing video

Feature material (I)

Section head (I)

Playing sound

Hard composite (I)

Body text (I)

Downloading

Soft composite (I)

Caption (I)

Emailing

Entertainment (I)

Headline (I)

Broadcasting

Traditional service (I) Date (I) Issue (I) Contact (I) Letter to editor (I)

Bar Tab Drop-down

Search item

menu

Video item

Link

Sound item

Icon

Web TV

Text box

Web radio

Radio button

News stream

Banner

News archive

Timestamp

Added service

Button

Poll

Email link

Forum for chat

Link list

Membership

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Debate Table 7: This table presents the method of classification of genres used by Ihlstrom and Akesson in their study (2004) of the electronic press. Genres that are marked with (I) are inheritance genres. The rest of the genres are new genres. In total there are 57 genres; 23 inheritance and 34 new.

The method of taxonomy used by Ihlstrom and Akesson (2004) focuses mainly on the relations between the three classificatory categories –content, form and functionality. In other words, what is quite important is the way that a genre may relate to another genre due to its characteristics and create, thus, ambiguity as far as their conceptual interpretation is concerned, an issue that is dealt with during the empirical studies in the fifth chapter of the present study, where the author has to decide on the taxonomy of TV programme genres, an issue that is further discussed in the conclusion of this study. The example the writers use in this study is related to the “search item” genre, which is placed under the “content” Category. However, this specific genre may be presented in other variations and by other names such as “textbox”, “button” or “icon” of the category of form or in the genre “searching” of the category functionality. By means of analogy for this problematic interpretational relation among genres, the same holds true in the field of television, with regard to television genres. If, for instance, three main, but general, axes were created (like morning shows and daytime television – music shows – films), into which different features would fall, then these axes would not be able to incorporate the features of each morning show/daytime television programme or music show or film, and such an approach would not resolve the taxonomy problem; on the contrary, it would complicate it further. In order to make the meaning and concept of a genre more tangible, the author employs the approach of Bordwell (1989), who, whilst analysing different types,

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inference and rhetoric in the interpretation of cinema in general, uses the term “theme” to denote the specific characteristics of a film genre and its subclassifications. According to this approach, a theme, a specific feature as regards style and technique, may “appear in any genre” (Bordwell 1989, p.147), leading to the grouping of themes into subcategories, into sub-genres and super-genres in line with their differences or similarities, thus creating a thematic grouping where the one genre (either sub-genre or super-genre) interferes with the other. Cinema is a significant reference point as far as the study of content taxonomy is concerned, since it preceded television and, therefore, researchers dealt with its taxonomy issues before the advent of television.

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Figure 11: This graph shows the taxonomy of film genres as perceived by Chandler, based on the classification used by the British television listings magazine “What’s on TV” from 1993 (Chandler, 1997) and influenced by the approach of Thomas and Vivian Sobchack who, in 1980, made a basic distinction between comedy and melodrama, thus starting the discussion on the methods of taxonomy.

According to William Adams36, three basic conditions have to be included in the planning of different programme content typologies and, therefore, in “typing theories” as William Adams calls them: a) typologies must be empirically structured and based on practice and thorough b) typologies must reflect the preferences and views of the audience and c) typologies must cover more than two programming zones and have broader methodological means of covering as much air time and space

36 William Jenson Adams, Kansas State University, personal correspondence, 2007 & 2009

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as possible, instead of just covering the prime-time zone, as in most studies examining content aspects. These methodological criteria are akin to the classification of the Q-sort methodology, a technique that uses a rationale of the classification of items based on relativity as well on certain criteria. This technique was first used in psychology and, later on, widely used in social sciences. A typical classification regarding types of programmes is, for instance, informationentertainment-education, a classification model based on the philosophy of state television monopoly37. The approach used in the following chapters regarding classification is based on the two main methodological axes â&#x20AC;&#x201C; television audience figures and diversity â&#x20AC;&#x201C; which are methodological extrapolations and ensuing research queries arising from the typology that could lead to further examination. Typology, however, is the methodological background for the study of television audience ratings and diversity in television, respectively. In this research four factors that contribute to the classification pattern and methodological analysis of television genres are detected. First is the taxonomy based on television viewing behaviour and the preferences of viewers38(Yun, 1993). Second,

37 Sophia Aslanidou, personal correspondence, 2009 38 The empirical study of Sug-Min Youn is based on the preferences and choices of viewers. Specifically, Sug-Min Youn uses four research hypotheses which help her find out how much classification is affected by the preferences of viewers. These research hypotheses are as follows: 1. Programme choice options will have a positive effect on preference gratification, 2. Programming awareness will have a positive effect on preference gratification, 3. Viewing group compromise will have a negative effect on preference gratification, 4. Strength of preference will have a positive effect on preference gratification. At this point, I should make a significant remark pointing out that the common feature of these studies is the fact that the interviewees are invited to think about preestablished programme types provided by television audience measurement companies. This fact significantly narrows the range of conclusions that can be drawn, even though most of the time a wide spectrum of genres is used for the studies. The writer is using the same method that I refer to and

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the taxonomy that serves the needs of television channels is examined, considering what they want to clarify through genre analysis, such as diversity levels or television viewing figures and wider competition issues39. Third, is the taxonomy based on specific characteristics of the medium such as the above parallelism as regards the study of the online newspapers, which is based on particular specificities of the medium. If, for instance, the taxonomy refers to pay-television, then the genres will go in a specific direction and are clearly different from those of free-to-air television channels. Fourth is the mimitism taxonomy. The fact is that in most television markets one or two classification formulas are set up and promoted by specific companies, in agreement with the television channels. As developed in Chapter 5, it is evident that the content is homogeneous and, therefore, classification arises, in essence, through a process of mimicking or copying between television channels. the author also calls this phenomenon ‘guided classification’ or ‘a priori agreed classification’. 3.2.

Television programming and content positioning

Besides programme classification per genre, if the typology issue is put in its spatiotemporal dimension, then the result is what is called in this research study ‘programme classification by positioning’. Such an approach falls within the theoretical framework of the so-called television programming that is treated in detail in Chapter 6, by analysing its different levels and forms and by developing my theory on content metamorphosis. The methodological approach of television programming

provides the interviewees with specific programme types and categories, and then they are invited to fill in likert-type scales. 39 See sub-chapter 4.3.

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theorisation40 is possible through horizontal, vertical and diagonal programming. Before investigating the different types of programming, it is worth giving a conceptual definition of television programming drawn from the researcher’s empirical findings. ‘Television programming’ refers to the process that is followed by television channels in order to build the scheduling of their content, their programming, on the basis of the viewing axis. In other words, television programming involves “building” a programming structure, selecting genres that are going to compose this structure, the spatio-temporal positioning of the programmes/shows and the policies used to attract more viewers. Television viewership plays its own role in the process, since planning in this context depends on television viewing behaviours and trends. In practice, horizontal programming is based on the creation of time zones within television programming. A daily TV series such as the hit US TV series “Friends” on the UK’s Channel 4, and different game shows, are aired throughout the week, every day at the same time. Even news bulletins may be considered under the category of horizontal programming, thus establishing a stable relationship with viewers who know that these programmes add value ‘across time’, compared to the other ‘unsustainable’ programmes that are not aired on a daily basis. Vertical programming refers to weekly programmes that are scheduled to be aired on a specific day and at a specific time of day. A typical

40 Papathanassopoulos refers to the concept of television programming in detail by arguing that television programming in Greece is influenced by American policies of television programming. Specifically, Papathanassopoulos argues that Greek television uses American policies and has been influenced by the American programming model as far as the scheduling structure is concerned, but not as regards programme production. Papathanassopoulos dissociates the production procedure from the scheduling procedure. He also argues that it was reasonable for the programmers of the Greek private television to follow the American programming model (i.e. lead in / lead out) because during the period of encompassing the deregulation of television broadcasting there was only this model and this was the model they applied. Stylianos Papathanassopoulos, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, personal correspondence, 2008.

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example of this type of programme is “PAME PAKETO”41, which is aired once a week on a specific day and at a specific time (Thursdays at 9pm). A third type of programming presented in detail in my article (Masouras, 2008) is diagonal programming. This type of programming refers to “new” programmes/shows such as reality shows. Specifically, diagonal programming refers to those programmes that are aired on a weekly basis at a specific time of day, as in vertical programming, but the sequences of the programme are distinguished into live and partially broadcast elements as seen, for instance, in the reality show “Fame Story”42, where the live broadcast of the show is scheduled at a specific time and on a specific day and moments inside the “house” and the “academy” are aired on a daily basis through a pay-TV channel holding the broadcast rights for sub-lease. To sum up, the division of television programming into horizontal, vertical and diagonal programming categories is a simplified and a practically usable methodological approach for diversity or television viewership and television viewing figures, which will lead to methodological extrapolations and queries that are developed in the following chapters; this approach is presented as a basis of this study. Chapter 6 deals with the issues of television viewership and viewing figures in the context of source diversity as a component that helps in what is called the ‘power of influence’ in the author’s model, where a particular method of television viewership

41 “Pame Paketo“ (The Package) – A show that deals with human interest stories such as reuniting people, fulfilling dreams and connecting individuals who want to correct past mistakes in their lives. 42 Fame Story was a Greek reality TV show that was a licensed version of Endemol’s Star Academy on the ANT1 Network. It has been one of the most successful Greek TV shows over the past few years. The contestants gave a weekly performance in a 2½–3 hour episode in which the contestants were judged and one contestant was voted off after a tele-voting during a week. On the other six days of the week, the best footage of the day were compiled in a late night episode from inside the academy's studios and from the adjacent house where the contestants lived for their entire stay on the show inclusively.

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measurement is analysed and certain individual issues are developed. In this chapter, television viewership and viewing figures are perceived as the factors that determine and reshape content scheduling. Even if programme production is a process different to how it is ordinarily perceived, at this point, as with scheduling, the spatio-temporal positioning of the programme and not the production, television viewership and viewing figures affect all stages and levels of television programming, from programme production to placement within scheduling. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Television viewership and television viewing figuresâ&#x20AC;? refer to the quantitative size of the study of the measurement and recording of TV viewing patterns of different audiences that are a priori defined by gender, age, education level, place of residence and other criteria, taking into account the purpose of the measurement based on the demographic profile of the viewers. Historically speaking, the need and demand for using a quantitative assessment of the viewing trends of the audiences is in line with the commercial character of television each time, the forms of ownership status in television and the requirements and needs of television channels and those of the wider television market, as defined by the relationship between advertisers, broadcasters and consumers. Besides, the media, especially commercially-oriented media outlets such as the television, depend on the measurement (the viewersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; habits, which are different in each country, play an important role as well) to attract new advertisers and not to look at the habits of the viewers. In reply to one of the two basic queries of this research, this programme classification contributes to the measurement and recording of different levels of television viewing, programme classification, as a methodological tool. It contributes greatly to the distribution of shows as well as to the organisation of their structure, aiming at their

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easier, total or partial measurement of viewing figures. The methods of programme classification for television viewing purposes differ according to the television system and the purpose of the television viewing measurement. In brief, certain main types of classification for television viewing purposes are empirically detected: a) vertical classification b) horizontal classification and c) diagonal classification. Vertical classification, or taxonomy, refers to the methods used to categorise or classify the programmes of one and only television channel aiming at the measurement of its total whole television viewership or individual programmes (total programming output) and specific time zones. On the contrary, horizontal classification refers to the method of categorising programmes of two or more television channels, aiming at their comparative television viewing measurement. Another methodological form of classification is diagonal classification, which focuses on specific programme types and not on total output. The purpose of this specific classification is to record the television viewing of similar programmes – usually prime-time programmes – in the prime-time zones of two or more television channels as, for instance, the recording of television viewing figures for reality shows that achieve high viewing figures, such as the “Got Talent” series. These methodological approaches are mostly empirical findings that may differ and change according to the expectations, requirements and needs of television audience measurement companies. In all cases, these approaches help us to set limits in our approaches and focus on the objective and logic of the prospective assessment and analysis. Another form of classification that appears frequently in studies43 is, for instance, the classification that examines either television viewing levels or levels of diversity, and also entails the element of 43 Consult Chapter 5, Sub-chapter 5.2. regarding the shaping the content under conditions of competition and the issue of homogeneity.

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advertising (Cunninghman and Alexander, 2002). Advertisers are the final recipients of these assessments, and the approaches are, therefore, designed to meet advertisersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; needs. The second methodological axis of television programming classification is related to content diversity. As already mentioned in the first chapter of my study, as far as the definition of diversity is concerned, it is an abstract concept for measuring or assessing content that is produced by television, while it is modified according to the goals of the researcher. Essentially, it is an â&#x20AC;&#x153;openâ&#x20AC;? measurement unit or, alternatively, a model that is responsive to changes44. This interpretation is based on the doubleedged methodological approaches regarding the assessment of the concept I am going to discuss now. Programme classification or taxonomy is the most important tool for the study and, specifically, the measurement or assessment of diversity. As already mentioned, there is a commonly accepted approach among diversity studies because the scope of each study is different. Let us take two different studies on television programming diversity and examine how they approach methodologically their typology as an example. 1) The study of Yan and Napoli (2004) is related to the assessment of diversity on local broadcast television programming in the United States of America by using a sample of 285 full- power television stations. The typology used in this study is monothematic, since it focuses on public affairs programmes. To give a more concrete definition to this broad category (public affairs programmes), researchers use the FCC 44 Consult Chapter 1.

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definition: “Programmes dealing with local, state, regional, national or international issues or problems, documentaries, mini-documentaries, panels, roundtables and vignettes, and extended coverage (whether live or recorded) of public events or proceedings, such as local council meetings, congressional hearings and the like” (Federal Communications Commission, 1984, p.172). However, while examining and thinking about the programme typology used in this specific study, there appears to be some confusion over the programme types/genres that are going to be included. On the one hand, the “public affairs programmes” type/genre that is used is not monothematic but instead multithematic, since it embraces subcategories of types/sub-genres, a fact that is implied by the above definition. On the other hand, such an approach presupposes, from a methodological point of view, a detailed study and a thorough procedure of assessing which subcategories of types/sub-genres fall under the primary or main type/genre, a fact that will raise questions regarding the selected types/genres. 2) As far as the author’s research regarding the study of diversity in Greek television is concerned, a different typological approach is mobilised. At this point, the researcher, trying to examine programming as broadly as possible, defines, first of all, the typology into nine main categories. Moreover, twenty-one programme types/genres are set and classified into main categories, in order to facilitate control and cluster the sample. This approach is beyond the monothematic type of categorisation/classification and aims at studying diversity as broadly as possible by using the number of types required in order to cover – if possible – the entire programming flow.

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The different typological approaches imply the methodological gap that exists in scientific studies on diversity and the different approaches of television audience measurement companies, hence the variety of measurement patents, systems and methods. Categories of TV Programmes News information programmes / news bulletins Other information programmes or journalistic research programmes Entertainment shows Arts and culture shows Kidsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; shows & teensâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; shows TV series Films Documentaries Other shows Table 8: Grouped categories of TV programmes (authorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s elaboration, 2007)

The author deals with the choice to proceed to a classification of programme genres in order to assess diversity in the conclusion of this research, where the process of the empirical studies is analysed in order to select the genres and subgenres and classify them accordingly. 3.3.

A typological and taxonomic analysis of Greek television: genre positioning within television programming

One of the axes of this research focuses on the clarification and analysis of the typological approach used in Greek television. By making such an analysis, the author attempts to make the classification of Greek scheduling more tangible and approach

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the issue of positioning methodologically. Of course, there are different methodological approaches regarding the typology of Greek television that are used, but in this case the AGB HELLAS approach (pers.correspondance, 2009) is used, as a basis for this research, mainly due to its greater impact on the channels and advertising companies, since it is considered the largest market research company in Greece. According to one of the managers of AGB45, it is necessary to firstly define typology in order to discuss programme typology. The conceptual approach used by the company as far as programme typology is concerned is defined by using two primary criteria: firstly, the programme classification approach is made by considering the social characteristics of the television audience, the daily habits of the television audience and how these habits affect the exposure of the viewers to television (hours of TV viewing, preferences) and, secondly, considering what is more convenient for channels that are client-subscribers of AGB. The first criterion, the habits of the television audience, determines the division of the television programme into the socalled time slots for methodological purposes and for analysis purposes. By taking, for instance, the division of Greek television programming into time slots into account, the following classification is developed:

Time

slot/programming

zone Time positioning

designation

45 Sophocles Makrides, 2009, personal correspondence.

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Morning time slot

07.00 – 11.59

Noon time slot

12.00 – 14.59

Afternoon time slot

15.00 – 17.59

Evening time slot

18.00 – 19.59

Prime-time zone or main news bulletin 20.00 – 20.59 zone Nighttime slot

21.00 – 23.59

Post-midnight time slot

24.00 – 02.00

Graveyard

slot46

(no

measurement 02.00 – 06.59

collected) Table 9: The spatio-temporal positioning of programme zones, as specified by AGB. The hours where programme zones are set are related to the daily habits of viewers, the demands of television channels and television viewing figures (this table is based on a commonly agreed market standard).

The above division of television programming into zones is not a random choice by AGB, but it is based on different criteria related to particular features of the television audience, and they differ from country to country. By comparing the case of Cyprus, for instance, with the case of Greece, there is a time lapse regarding the time positioning of the zones of about three hours. This means that when the noon time slot in Cyprus is from 12:00 to 14:59 pm, in Greece it is from 12:00 to 17:59 pm, due to the different habits of the television audience of each country, since Cypriots go home at 13:00 pm and Greeks go home two hours later. According to viewing trends during the main news bulletins, different audience viewing behaviours are recorded in the afternoon and the evening. These habits affect the exposure of the audience to television, which is why television programming is divided into zones (time slots). In 46 The hours from late night until early morning, when the number of people watching television is at its lowest.

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essence, it is not television programming that is grouped into categories but the television audience itself and its habits, so that the channels, on the one hand, record the daily viewing trends of television and, on the other hand, readjust, modify and shape the structure of their television programming based on these habits. At this point, I would like to point out that the division of television programming into programming zones (time slots) is not a static procedure, and television channels do not follow any common spatio-temporal positioning. Each television channel, considering its needs and expectations, can shape the positioning of its programming zones (time slots) accordingly, regardless of the classification that is used by AGB, in order to cover the zones as broadly as possible. A private television channel, for instance, created a new programming zone (time slot) where it airs the new game show “Takeshi’s Castle”47 at 17:00 and “Inspector Rex”48 at 17:30. After that zone comes the prime-time zone of the main news bulletin. If this new zone is considered, taking the positioning of AGB into account, as the afternoon zone (afternoon time slot), then the channel seems to have combined the afternoon and evening programming zones (time slots). Another methodological division of programming that is made by specific companies is the compartmentalisation of television programming into quarter-hour segments.

47 Takeshi's Castle was a Japanese game show that aired from 1986 to 1989 on the Tokyo Broadcasting System. It featured the Japanese actor Takeshi Kitano (also known as Beat Takeshi) as a count who owns a castle and sets up impossible challenges for players (or a volunteer army) to get to him. The show has become a cult television hit around the world. A version airs on Skai TV, dubbed by Kostas Papageorgiou and Akindynos Gikas (Greek actors). 48 “Inspector Rex” (Kommissar Rex) is a popular Austrian-made police television drama. The original series is set in Vienna and focuses on the three-man staff of an office of the Murder Commission. In addition to the three policemen, the office is staffed by a German Shepherd dog called Rex. The show is scripted entirely in German; most characters speak with Austrian dialects and it is shot on location in Vienna and its surroundings, though the usage of areas in production is often geographically incorrect. Subtitles are used for some international markets (Australia, Belgium) while in others the series is dubbed (Cyprus, Greece).

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This means that television viewing figures and other measurements or assessments are made per quarter hour. This segmentation is more convenient for the channels, since in this way they can obtain a more detailed recording and micro-recording of their viewership and observe ratings trends and audience flow49 within a shorter time span. This AGB approach is based on several studies conducted on this issue. The study of Frank, Becknell and Clokey (1971) on the classification of programming types, for instance, is based on the preferences and habits of the television audience, which are used as the bases of their methodology. Specifically, they use variables such as the socio-economic and demographic profile of the viewers, ways they use the television set and the preferences of viewers for TV programme types, day or night, in order to classify programme types/genres. The methodological approach of Rust and Alpert (1984) follows the same path in the model they developed, in order to explain the issue of individual television viewing and the individual television viewing choice according to the daily habits of viewers. Specifically, this study illustrates the importance of programme genre in predicting programme viewing demand, and gives the researcher the opportunity to observe and assess the shifts in audience preferences

49

1) Gain or loss of the audience during a broadcast programme through turning the television on or off or through changing channels; 2) measurement of the traffic behaviour of the television household audience as reported by the rating and measurement services. Every programme has an audience flow that indicates where the audience came from before the programme and where they are going after the programme. There are three audience options: (a) the viewing audience who came from a preceding programme on a competing broadcast station, (b) the audience who came from a preceding programme on the same station, and (c) the audience who turned on their televisions for a specific programme. At the conclusion of a programme these audience options are reversed, becoming (a) the audience who will turn off their sets, (b) the audience who will remain to watch the next programme on the same station, and (c) the audience who will switch to another station. Audience flow data are important to the advertiser whose message is positioned in the time period between two shows. The fact that both shows have a high audience rating is not sufficient to assure that the message will be seen or heard. It is also important to know if both programmes share the same audience.

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and habits with regard to television programmes based on an empirical analysis 50. Specifically, the goals of this model are to: a) assess television audience behaviour by network and on different days, hours, seasons and time slots b) evaluate the behaviour of the television audience when viewers turn on or when they turn off the television set (turn on/turn off behaviour), c) examine audience behaviour when the structure of the programming changes d) examine the â&#x20AC;&#x153;lead in audienceâ&#x20AC;? strategy51, the role of a preceding programme in the decision of the audience to watch what is on next and e) examine the impact of different programme types on the audience and the viewing trends of these programme types within different time slots. This study of Rust and Alpert (1984)deals with issues that are also treated in the context of the conclusions of the authorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s empirical study on AGB and, in general, the classification of Greek television programming. By examining, for instance, the classification into zones made by AGB, this classification is made according to specific assessment and evaluation axes such as the habits of viewers as far as their daily schedule is concerned, or the issue of television commercials that appear between shows but also interrupt them at intervals. This issue preoccupies the channels greatly, so much so that have to decide when these commercial breaks should be scheduled in order to prevent the viewers from switching channels. Apart from programming zones (time slots), it is worth studying the typology of AGB as far as programme types (genres) are concerned. The issue here is on the number of programme types used by the company for their classification and sub classification 50 The data that were used in this empirical model were 5,652 respondents in the Fall of 1977; 5,652 among these respondents were usable respondents for the needs of this study. They were selected in a national multi-stage scale (cluster sample). 51 A lot of TV viewers will watch a programme and then decide to watch the thing that is on next. Therefore, having the right show before you can make a huge difference in your ratings.

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of these genres (sub-genres). This classification method of AGB into genres consists of three classification levels (1st level – 2nd level – 3rd level) and contains about 500 programming genres and subgenres. The volume of classification is due to the fact that the company wants to cover all possible programme types – even the most peculiar – in order to meet the requirements of the channels and respond to any issues as and when they arise. The following table shows an example of classifying the category of Films:

Films

1930 – 1939

ADV. (War, Spy)

Films

1930 – 1939

Comedy

Films

1930 – 1939

Musical

Films

1930 – 1939

Police

Table 10: The category of films according to the lengthy table of AGB. This table presents partial data and it is not the whole table (AGB, 2009).

This table presents a small sample of the programming genre classification of Films. This specific category actually consists of 50 subcategories. The types that do not fall under any category are considered as ‘other programmes’ and ‘unclassifiable’; in rare cases, however, these types are used for programme designation. As shown by the above table, the classification is made by film production date, as it helps the

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classification process when there are lots of subgenres, such as when dealing with films. The typology of AGB is characterised by a mixture of methodological viewpoints aiming at the pragmatic use of extracted data. In addition, the research dilemma is whether the typology is based on the habits of viewers or if the viewers comply with the prevailing logic and mentality of the media and television audience measurement companies, without taking their preferences into account. As there are two sides to the dilemma, only the systematic study of the interaction between the viewers, the medium and the television audience measurement companies can answer this quandary. By modelling these empirical data, which were the result of the study of AGB, and given the fact that AGB Hellas is the biggest market research and television audience measurement company in Greece, the author is going to set out a sub-model â&#x20AC;&#x201C; as an extension to this main model. This sub-model illustrates the association between the elements of the programming classification methodology and of television content in general, presenting, thus, the relevance of the objectives of this classification (habits of the viewers and demands of the channels) and the external factors that contribute to the process or classification methodology, such as the impact of the advertising market. The most significant outcome of such an analysis is the very process that is followed for the development of the methodology for programme categorisation, which has as an ultimate goal to measure and assess the programme.

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Figure 12: In this graph, which is considered a sub-model of the basic modelled approach of this study, the chain of the classification procedure used by AGB Hellas is presented. Other companies may use a different methodology, even if their philosophy is the same. A similar model of television programme choices, which gives more emphasis to the preferences of the audience, and not so much to the methodology for programme classification, was created by Webster and Wakshlag (1983). Specifically, this graph shows the spatio-temporal classification of television programming in zones, genres and other methodological sub-classifications such as the measurement of television viewing per quarter. This procedure is mainly based, on the one hand, on the daily habits of the audience and, on the other hand, on the utility of such a tool that may be useful for television channels and their programmers.

This chapter illustrates the significant role of programme classification as far as the study and assessment of the degree of television programmingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s diversity. In addition, this chapter examines the issue of television viewership, as well as television viewing figures, since they both are perceived and assessed methodologically through content classification. As pointed out before, especially through the empirical analysis of this research, there is more than one formula or widely accepted model or content classification method available. The methodological approach is the outcome of an â&#x20AC;&#x153;informalâ&#x20AC;? agreement between the channels, which are swayed by the measurements and assessments of the television audience measurement companies. Therefore, programme classification and the results of the measurements always serve a specific

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goal or need. In the following chapter, the different forms of content homogeneity and diversity are discussed and the homogeneous Greek television environment is analysed through empirical approaches.

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CHAPTER FOUR GREEK TV CONTENT SHAPING AND HOMOGENEITY

4.1 Globalisation, Americanisation and the globalised locality of television content After examining programme typology, this chapter will discuss an issue essential for the examination of content, namely content homogeneity in connection with the concept of diversity and contrary to it. Through the empirical analysis that will follow, the tendencies that exist in the programme of Greek television will be established and analysed; especially those of programme homogeneity. The globalisation that took place in the second half of the 20th century has undoubtedly had an impact on the development of mass media formats, contributing to their internationalisation. In this chapter, the issue of content homogeneity in Greek television is discussed, dealing initially with globalisation and political economy issues that, as mentioned in the two sections before the Greek case, are considered the pillars of thought and research on content uniformity and poor diversity52. Waisbord detects the features of globalised content in television formats, in those programmes that are characterised by content standardisation during their production53 and aim at broadcasting outside national frontiers. Through the detection of these features he analyses the different levels of interconnection among television industries worldwide (Waisbord, 2004). The above research could be the starting point for the present study, in order to give my own theory on the trend towards the internationalisation54

52 Uniformity and poor (or low) content diversity are more or less identical. If, for instance, there is a glut of Brazilian ‘soaps’ during the noon time slot, either in Greek Television or in Cypriot Television, then there is an homogeneity in programme types and, therefore, low diversity in television programming. Nevertheless, I do not think that by “homogeneity” we necessarily mean the same types of programmes but similar ones; the diversity level may, therefore, be shaped accordingly. 53 Consult Chapters 7 and 8 on source diversity. 54 In this research study the concepts of globalisation and internationalisation are confused.

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of programme formats and how these programmes contribute to the homogeneity of content. By the 1960s, McLuhan detected changes in content due to globalisation, and introduced the concept of the “global village” (McLuhan, 2001). According to this concept, the traditional print media promoting individualism and isolation are gradually replaced by electronic forms of media that are based on the aural/oral culture and contribute to the creation of a more collective identity with a “tribal base”. McLuhan does not lend any negative meaning to this concept; on the contrary, he lays emphasis on the otherness of the media – print or electronic – and subsequent changes as technology develops. Therefore, according to McLuhan, the use of new media involves an element of interaction and its difference regarding the content. The interaction of television content is not one of the issues in the current research; however, I refer to it as one of the features of internationalisation through new technologies, which definitely affect the production and promotion procedures of television products. On the other hand, Virilio (2002) researched globalisation, affirming the value of communication in real time and that the connection of television with the computer has led to certain overexposure and a lack of control. Virilio engages with the Foucauldian panoptic interpretation in the digital era – a correlation referring to panopticism theory, which supports the concept of “anonymous power”, namely the linking point of the theory with television – since he refers to tele-surveillance that finally leads to the “globalisation of the collective imaginary”55. Therefore, fοr

55 Ibid, page 111

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Virilio, even though he does not prove his views, he makes serious allusions to media product homogeneity and its catastrophic impact on society. Another approach regarding media globalisation is that of Adorno and Horkheimer, who use the term “culture industry” (Adorno and Horkheimer, 1972) in order to describe mass-produced product. Adorno and Horkheimer believe that the mechanically differentiated products of the “culture industry” – an opinion supported by the author’s theory on differentiation in Chapter 5 – are all alike in the end, since the big multinationals have specific procedures involved in planning and producing these products. That the difference between the Chrysler’s product range and General Motors products is basically illusory strikes the consumers with a keen interest in the car industry. The same applies to the “culture industry”, where mass-produced products such as commercial songs and films (Adorno and Horkheimer, 1972) are part and also examples of the wider concept of content. The outcome of this procedure, according to Adorno and Horkheimer, is “the rule of complete quantification” (Adorno and Horkheimer, 1972), where consumers are classified according to their purchasing power and each product that is launched onto the market targets a specific class of consumer. The television audience is much more solid, having common features compared to the wider consumer population at large, therefore making its classification regarding the standardisation of television product much easier. Following this line of action, Postman (1986) does not confine himself to describing mass-produced products these days as commercialised and homogeneous. Moreover, by studying further television product, he refers to the glut of low-cost and low-

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quality entertainment programmes – to the detriment of written speech. Postman thinks that the domination of the televisual image over written speech has led to the decline of television programming and a deterioration in political dialogue and the expression of views. Postman argues that television is undermining political discourse by making it less about ideas and more about image. In addition, he considers that the domination that television has over society is due to its power to entertain the masses without involving the same mental process involved in, say, reading a book or a newspaper. Reading, a prime example cited by Postman, is the subject of intense intellectual debate, at once interactive and dialectical, unlike television, which limits involvement to passivity. Moreover, as television is programmed for maximum ratings, its content is determined by commercial feasibility, not critical acumen. Television in its present state, he says, cannot sustain any of the conditions needed for honest, intellectual involvement and rational argument. Therefore, the homogenised television product leads, according to Postman, to amusement and, subsequently, intellectual death. Besides these studies, many scholars have dealt with the invasion of American TV programmes worldwide, whereby U.S.-based TV shows are broadcast around the world and content is “Americanised”. Schiller, for instance, by referring to the “cultural domination” (Schiller, 1969; 1984) of the United States of America after the Second World War across the world, even in prosperous countries and those that enjoy full freedom, emphasised the power of the American media and its commercialisation and the homogenisation of television programmes. Following the same line of thought, Boyd Barrett (1998) referred to the globalisation and domination of international news agencies and media conglomerates worldwide, thus

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not only leading to the commercialisation and mass production of television products, but also raising issues concerning the censorship, propaganda and financial interests of these companies. Moreover, Herman and Chomsky, in their “Propaganda Model”, present five filters which determine how, where and even if news items are presented in the media; one of these filters refers to “the size, concentrated ownership, owner wealth and profit orientation of the dominant mass-media firms” (Herman and Chomshky, 2002). Even though they do not carry out a quantitative study on the matter, Herman and Chomsky provide valid information regarding the concentration of media ownership by Americans, based on the fact that media formats which attract high readability or high viewer ratings, and do not affect any business interests, get more advertising income and may survive in a highly competitive market. Under these circumstances, the most influential forms of media become more and more concentrated in the hands of a few individuals; as for media sources with radical views, they are unable to find the financial resources required in order to survive. Therefore, according to Herman and Chomsky, the modern media landscape is an Orwellian “Ministry of Truth”, operating within its own laws and providing homogenised, propagandistic material. Great emphasis is placed on the concept of “glocalisation” – the globalised locality of the media – which also involves the issue of the homogeneity of content, due to the fact that it is one of the key aspects of homogeneity. Globalisation and the way content domestication versus content internationalisation affects the degree of diversity are discussed in the sub-chapter 4.2.

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According to the authorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s view, a dialogue is launched for content mimicking through media locality, so this issue is going to be treated in detail. The hermeneutic view of the globalised locality of content, which is apparent in this research and is supported by references, relies on two aspects: firstly, it is about mimicking foreign television programmes adapted to the needs of the channels and features of the domestic market; secondly, globalised locality is about purchasing the rights of a certain television programme concept, such as a reality show. A detailed reference will be made further below, as well as in Chapter 7, when examining source diversity. Tomlinson (1999) discusses this issue in detail. Specifically, he develops the argument that globalisation is a productive exchange of ideas, opinions and lifestyles rather than the imposition of an American lifestyle on other countries. As regards the media, Tomlinson discusses the power of Spanish-language television programmes compared to their American counterparts, and makes reference to the rise of Bollywood (Tomlinson, 1999). In general terms, he advocates mutual respect and is in favour of the exchange of views and opinions in a globalised environment, paving the way for theories on cosmopolitanism. Of note is the work of Tunstall, who, even though he used to argue about a media ownership concentration mainly by American networks (Tunstall, 1977), seems to have reconsidered his position. Tunstall now thinks that it is about an exchange of views and â&#x20AC;&#x153;media powerâ&#x20AC;? rather than about media homogenisation, taking into account socio-political developments such as the progress of China or India and the rise of the media in Muslim nations (Tunstall, 1977).

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With regards to glocalised television programmes – programmes that are exported to other countries and then adapted as far as their style and aesthetics (translation, script adaptation to local facts, actors, etc.) are concerned – Machin and van Leeuwen (2004) see generic homogeneity and discursive diversity. Specifically, Machin and van Leeuwen compare the strategy of the global media to that of McDonalds, citing the adaptation of the burger into a “sushiburger”, for instance for Japan, or a “curryburger” for India, considering the culture, traditions and preferences of the people of each country. The Colombian soap opera “Betty La Fea” has been adapted and aired in the USA (“Ugly Betty”) and in Greece and Cyprus (“Maria i Aschimi” – Maria, The Ugly One), thus making this point. However, the basic concept, story, plot and end scenario are the same, so the views of Adorno and Horkheimer regarding the butchering of art and a “culture industry” become timelier than ever. At this point, it should be noted that of particular interest is the empirical study on the homogeneity of television product by Straubhaar et al. (2002), as it presents certain subversive results. For instance, the authors propose a locality model of television programming, based on the dynamics and performance of the national television market of each country, such as the dynamics of exporting television programmes. In addition, they support the potential that may be created by national television submarkets, which address minorities such as Latinos in the United States. Nevertheless, it is not a global-level research but instead is targeted at the Latino market in the United States, in Mexico and in Venezuela; therefore, more generalised conclusions cannot be drawn. I deal with the Greek market dynamics in Section Three – when dealing with production companies – and also in the epilogue of my research.

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4.2

The political economy of the media: shaping content under conditions of competition

Media-produced product – content – appears, from an economic perspective at least, to be quite peculiar compared to other products. This fact encourages its wide dispersal and, consequently, content’s homogeneity even more so under conditions of competition. Specifically, according to the well-aimed remark of Doyle (2002), there are two different products as far as television media are concerned: the television programme that is broadcast to the television receivers of viewers and the television audience viewing that is measured and sold to advertisers. The paradox of the media lies, on the one hand, in the fact that it is not destroyed once “consumed” and, on the other hand, in the fact that, while initial production costs (first copy costs) are high, reproduction costs are low, almost approaching zero. Therefore, the higher the number of viewers for a television programme and the number of this programme’s re-broadcasts, the higher the profit margin of this product in the market. Gillian Doyle documented a strong correlation between the size of market share and operating profit margins. Moreover, according to Doyle (2002), even in the case of a television programme’s “reproduction”, costs are lower compared to the production costs of a brand-new television programme. Media globalisation, market deregulation and the advent of private television led to a significant increase in the number of television productions. Several economic research studies on this issue have identified that the higher the number of television channels provided to viewers, the lower the number of the viewers watching each one (Picard, 2001). Moreover, these research studies provide substantial and wellgrounded information regarding the reduction in demand for television programmes

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while supply increases. Specifically, Picard draws the conclusion that the outcome of the oversupply of channels and programming involves the fragmentation of the audience into different suppliers (fragmented audiences), the reduction of the channels’ economic gains and the respective increase in competition (Picard, 2001, p.7). The increase in competition can be largely considered “hypercompetition”. This term was introduced by Richard D’ Aveni (1994) as “an environment characterized by intense and fast movements where the competitors must move fast so that they gain an advantage over their rivals” (1994). Specifically, as regards the media, Jacobsson et al. define unreasonable competition as “a market where supply outweighs demand, where a significant number of productions show a loss and depend on external subsidies in order to survive” (Jacobson, et al., 2008, p.3). Therefore, Jacobsson et al. lay emphasis on the structure of the market, as opposed to D’ Aveni, who refers to the strategic behaviour of the participants. In order for the needs of this research to be met, the focus will be placed on competition in connection with the strategy that is followed by each television channel, especially regarding its programming, i.e. its content. This means that the analysis will not concern the structure of the market as regards its economic background but the behaviour of the medium as far as its schedule planning is concerned. The aim of this approach is to illustrate the strategy followed by the television channels regarding their programming under conditions of competition, particularly if they are going to introduce certain innovations in their programming or, in contrast, mimic others, in which case the overall television product turns out to

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be homogeneous. Clearly, as it is discussed further down in this thesis, as well as in the conclusions, the correlation between programming strategies and content diversity is a particularly useful tool, since the programmers and policy makers can better understand the way diversity degree is formed under the light of competitiveness strategies. The structural theory of television programming suggests that the programming strategy of each channel should aim at maximising audience size and, consequently, advertising profits (Eastman and Ferguson, 1992). According to this logic, television channels provide types of programmes that gain the highest possible television audience share figures, leading to a homogeneous result. In a relevant research study, Gal-Or and Dukes (2003) use a model to prove that media companies have no disincentive to reduce the homogeneity of their television programmes. Dukes and Gal-Or (2003) consider media firm decisions about the differentiation of programming content and the amount of advertising, respectively. According to the authors, when television stations differentiate products that they provide least of all, producers use less advertising for this product, resulting in less informed consumers and higher profit margins. In other words, when television channels launch homogeneous programmes, they do not advertise them in a way that turns viewers off. Thus, they increase the opportunities for high viewing figures and sell their advertising space more expensively, “muddying the waters” for the viewers and advertisers and, simultaneously, trying to find a way to keep up with the competitive environment of the media. The model of Gal-Or and Dukes is based on an empirical research study between two channels – called “stations” –, two

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productions, two brand producers â&#x20AC;&#x201C;advertisers â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and the audience, who are also the consumers of the products. The stages of this model are three-fold: first, each station decides on the structure of its programming; second, the stations negotiate with the producers on the costs and prices of advertising and the weight and importance that will be given to the advertisements by the stations as the price of each brand is also defined as well, and for the third stage of the model, it refers to the viewers, or consumers, and how they decide, for instance, on the viewing hours of a channel or how they perceive, understand, use and remember the information they are given about the products. The differentiation of the content of pay-television is an issue that has been dealt with in detail, by examining and analysing the case of the Greek pay-TV operator NOVA in a previous chapter. As it is pointed out in the second chapter, the case of paytelevision is indicative of the programming strategies, in the sense that it renders the various strategies more easily and directly comprehensible. The reason why this happens is that the coverage of pay-television, for example sports shows and gamesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; broadcastings, should be plainly differentiated both from competitive pay-television channels with the same coverage, as well as from free-to-air television, which also gives emphasis on sports content. The focus should be on the fact that pay-television not only has to differentiate from its competitors in the same sector, but also from the free-to-air television channels, and convince their viewers that it has more to provide. Moreover, through this research, it becomes evident that it is possible to detect genre differentiation in paytelevision compared to free-to-air TV. This is not an artificial hypothesis, as it will be

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shown in the following chapter. Specifically, as regards pay-television, emphasis is laid on specific genres such as sports TV shows or films, excluding other genres, therefore differentiating it qualitatively from free-to-air channels due to the fact that it lays emphasis on one or two types of programme. This results in very low or nonexistent diversity in programming genres (Masouras, 2007). In their research, Chae and Flores (1998) detected among programmes broadcast by free-to-air channels many features that are different from those of pay-television, based on economic criteria and arguing, in essence, that a programme is created and promoted considering the revenues it produces. In another empirical research study, comparing a pay-television channel and an advertiser-supported television channel, Bourreau (2002) concludes that a television station cannot be competitive when it depends purely on advertising revenue, and backs the conclusion that is drawn from the above-mentioned empirical model by claiming that pay-television channels are more differentiated as far as their television programming is concerned. On the contrary, advertiser-supported television channels adopt mimicking strategies in order to increase their audience, thus presenting a homogenous media product. Nevertheless, Boureau argues that programme quality is higher under advertiser-support than under pay-support, if advertising revenues are sufficiently high. Therefore, the Bourreauâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s research could be the starting point for future research studies on television programming homogeneity, taking the issues of state-supported public channels and subsidies for private channels into account. The various discussions with regard to content homogeneity, which also take place further down in this chapter, facilitate the better understanding of the way diversity degree is formed and of what is meant by referring to homogeneous or differentiated content.

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Since differentiation and programming strategies are being discussed, these two issues should be made clear from the beginning. By undertaking a secondary analysis of data gathered by the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX), Jacobson et al. (2006) draw the conclusion that media market competition has little effect in the emerging media markets studied, and even a negative one after a point. From the very beginning of their research, they argue that hyper-competition produces journalistic products that do not serve society well. Nevertheless, they think that the fact that many media companies compete for very limited resources is of crucial importance. Therefore, Jacobson et al. argue that competition forces media companies to provide homogenised media content. In addition, by analysing television homogenisation from a strategic point of view, Van der Wurff and Van Cuilenburg conclude that, up to a point, competition is productive, but after that it leads to the homogenisation of the television product. Therefore, the strategic options of a television channel under the conditions of competition are either to focus on a more specific market (niche), which is the case for digital television services, to raise their game, by investing in new productions, or to follow the well-trodden path of offering programmes similar to those of their competitors. The importance of this research thus lies in the finding that â&#x20AC;&#x153;catastrophic competitionâ&#x20AC;? is the basic cause of television content homogeneity. The author is of the opinion that, besides digital television, the niche policy also concerns certain paytelevision channels, which target a specific television audience. Following this school of thought, Michael Zhaoxu Yan and Yong Jin Park (2006) conducted, in 2003, an empirical research using a cross-sectional sample of 231

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randomly selected television stations, and concluded that programmes on television stations were concentrated in a handful of types, mainly talk shows, news and daytime soaps. In addition, their finding that market competition is inversely related to programme type diversity is very important. In other words, Zhaoxu Yan and Jin Park argue that the more competitive a market, the more homogenised the television programme types. This means that competition is inversely related to television programming diversity, which is the basic premise of this chapter. Therefore, considering the above researches and analyses regarding television programming diversity under conditions of competition, from a notional point of view the author views content homogeneity as a lack of diversity or low diversity in television programming as far as the variety of genres are concerned, rather than the increased number of channels. However, homogeneity can have different levels and intensity. This level of homogeneity is defined through the relationship of the degree of content homogeneity and the final output, which is defined as content diversity.

The forms of homogeneity level and intensity are summarised as follows: 1. Homogeneity in the entire television programming of a country, taking the available programme types that are broadcast by preference and those that are broadcast less or excluded from television scheduling. 2. Homogeneity which goes beyond the geographical frontiers of a country, where the television programming of two or more countries may be compared, taking the different programme types into account.

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3. Homogeneity in a specific programme type from different countries that is subtitled or dubbed, such as TV series like Friends and Sex & the City. 4. Homogeneity in a specific programme type from different countries that is broadcast after having bought the licensing rights to TV series or soaps – as a franchise – such as the soap opera “Betty La Fea” or reality shows like Big Brother (See Chapter 7). 5. Homogeneity in a specific programme type or in more programme types, in different countries, by “mimicking” successful TV series, mainly American ones, where the scenario is strongly based on the original series. This form of homogeneity is called mimetic homogeneity. 6. Finally, homogeneity in a specific type of television channel occurs in cases where the same television channel broadcasts a programme in different countries. MTV, for instance, is a music channel that produces programmes in many different countries, which are adapted to the language and the local musical tastes of each country. Nevertheless, a lot of MTV shows are the same worldwide and some of them have worldwide popularity – like the reality show “Pimp My Ride”. This kind of homogeneity can be observed in the so-called niche channels. The six forms of content homogeneity are shown in the following analysis of homogeneity in Greek television programming. What will be argued through the above six points is that content homogeneity has neither a specific form nor can be defined by a specific framework. In addition, homogeneity produces the respective

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degree of diversity. Homogeneity can have multiple forms, though, which work in different environments accordingly. As will appear further below through the authorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s different research studies, content homogeneity in Greek television has the forms that have been previously set out. In addition, it is going to be noted that the degree of diversity is the effect of these forms, which means that forms of content homogeneity and the proximate causes of this homogeneity lead to the final degree of content diversity. Thus, homogeneity and diversity are not considered opposite concepts; on the contrary, they work in parallel and, as a mathematical equation, provide the final result.

4.3

Analysis of homogeneity in Greek television

So far, two trends prevail in the researches regarding competition and how it affects television programming diversity levels, for instance the research of De Jong regarding diversity in cable television (De Jong and Bates, 1991) or the research of Gabszewicz, Laussel and Sonnac (1999) that treats the programming policies of two competitive television channels the results of the researches either give strong evidence of television programming homogeneity or suggest a â&#x20AC;&#x153;partial homogeneityâ&#x20AC;? and a kind of adaptation of international programmes to the domestic context. In essence, this deals with the shades and levels of diversity in connection with content homogeneity. The author argues that there cannot be any clear and totally accepted scale of different degrees of diversity, but there can be a certain scale which can compare the homogeneity of programme types with the final output of the diversity degree, and then compare the two notional approaches. This issue is treated in detail in the conclusion of this research.

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While examining the Greek case, certain other parameters must also be referred to again. These parameters, such as the institutional (external) factors that affect programme structure, had a vital role in the development of television programming. However, only the most important ones should be discussed in the first instance. Since the establishment of the National Radio Television Foundation, in 196656, the relationship between the state and Greek television, especially public television, can be considered paternalistic (Hallin and Papathanassopoulos, 2002; Papatheodorou and Machin, 2003). This fact has consequences on the programming of television channels, as, on the one hand, managers and producers of public television are favourably disposed toward the government of the day and will possibly present a homogeneous propagandistic product and, on the other hand, political parties in Greece have relations with all media authorities, thus raising media control and censorship issues in relation to Greek media. In addition, the deregulation of hertzian waves and the advent of private television channels in Greece took place hastily, on the hoof almost, due to existing sociopolitical conditions57(Papathanassopoulos, 1993). Therefore, private television channels, during the first years of deregulation, resorted to the easy option of broadcasting foreign movies, producing cheap programmes and broadcasting repeats or reruns58 in order to fill up viewing time without any high economic costs. At the

56 Consult L. Stergiou, “Η ιστορία της τηλεόρασης”, (The history of television), Kathimerini Morning Daily Newspaper, 4/4/2006, [in Greek] Available at: http://portal.kathimerini.gr/4dcgi/_w_articles_kathfiles_100030_04/04/2006_149723 [Last access: 14th of November 2009]. 57 The Green Paper on the Television Without Frontiers Directive, the neoliberal policies of the government of New Democracy as well as the strong pressure that was exerted by many municipalities of Athens, Piraeus and Thessalonica contributed to the deregulation of the hertzian waves. 58 A television programme that airs one or more times following its first broadcast is known as a rerun or a repeat. In order for a programme to be rerun it must have been recorded on film or videotape. Live

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same time, low ratings and reduced advertising revenue of public television disregarded specific programming policies. In this context, the strategy that Greek private and public television channels followed in order to be and remain competitive was quite interesting. Specifically, the following research studies show to what extent Greek television presents signs of homogenisation in its programming and its content in general, due to increased competition. 4.3.1 Analysis of the results The study of Koukoutsaki (2003) on Greek television series focuses on the production strategy followed by TV channels, analysing it both quantitatively, by using material dating from 1970 to 1997, and qualitatively, by using interviews with professionals within Greek television. This study was conducted by concentrating the classification of Greek television series into four basic categories: general drama59, soap opera, comedy and adventure. According to Koukoutsaki, the basis of the research study is the classification and notional interpretation of genres. The classification into the four categories is the result of a combination of classifications that were used in Greece by different public or private entities such as AGB Hellas (the Greek company specialising in television audience ratings), the Association of Greek Film Directors and Metrix S.A.

telecasts, obviously, can not be rerun. The use of reruns is central to the programming and economic strategies of television in the United States and, increasingly, throughout the world. 59 The general drama, as pointed out by Koukoutsaki, involves a variety of different programmes with social, historical or romantic aspects where the common feature is the main character development instead of action.

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As far as public television is concerned, Koukoutsaki looks at the years of the military junta in detail; during that time, the majority of the programmes were entertaining yet “neutral”, so as to promote the dogma of the dictators: “Nation, Religion, Family”. Therefore, as far as the Greek case is concerned, the homogeneity of television content is a complex phenomenon that existed before the appearance of competition. In addition, even though Herman and Chomsky refer to censorship and homogeneous “neutral” programmes in international media networks – a similar phenomenon takes place in radio, when dealing with a predefined playlist of the songs – public television in Greece did a similar thing during the 1960s with “ideological products of military propaganda aiming at the nation’s conciliation with the army” (Koukoutsaki, 2003, p.724). According to Koukoutsaki, the most expensive productions were general dramas and adventure dramas (2003). Low budget soap operas and comedies are connected to the advent of private television. The following table illustrates the increase of television series, both in terms of quantity as well as in terms of genre production, after deregulation (from approximately 15 hours maximum up to 65 hours per week maximum, representing an increase of approximately 433%). Specifically, this development is due to the appearance of soap operas and the expansion of comedies over the period 1990-1997. Koukoutsaki refers to evident signs of Americanisation and homogenisation in these two kinds of television series. As far as soap operas are concerned, and the potential homogeneity that they may cause to Greek television programming, in a related study Liebes and Livingstone (1998) observe that domestic soap operas in Greece, as well as in another four

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European countries, do not follow an unsophisticated American model, while Papathanassopoulos thinks the opposite by arguing that Greek Television uses American policies in order to attract the audience, but not the American form or nature of content60. As regards Greek soap operas, “The Brightness” (in Greek, Lamsi) and “Goodmorning Life” (in Greek, Kalimera zoi) for instance, the results mostly lead to the views of Tomlinson regarding the productive exchange and preservation of the national character of each country during the process of globalisation. With the deregulation of the hertzian waves, the strategy followed by television channels was not one of diversification and the provision of expensive qualitative programmes. On the contrary, by producing and broadcasting soap operas and comedies, the producers aimed at achieving the highest possible viewing figures against programmes made as cheaply as possible. The production cost of these programmes was much lower compared to the other series, thus leading to their rapid expansion. The comparative information provided by Koukoutsaki is presented in the following table:

Production cost of a television series (drachmas per episode) General Drama

4-7m in 1991-2, 14-18m in 1996-7

Soap Opera

2.5m in 1992-3

Comedy

3-4m in 1991-2, 6-8m in 1996-7

60 S. Papathanasopoulos, personal correspondence, 2008.

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Adventure

&

Crime 4-6m in 1991-2, 14-18m in 1996-7

Drama Table 11: This table presents the data provided by Koukoutsaki regarding the production costs of television series during the periods 1991-2, 1992-3 and 1996-7.

According to Koukoutsaki, repeats or reruns of television series are proof of Greek television programming homogenisation. The following table shows quantitative data regarding the impressive increase of repeats or reruns of television series over the period 1990-1997, which is the last period included in her study. As far as the periods from 1970 to 1990 are concerned, repeats or the reruns of television series are low; as for the period of deregulation, the repeats or reruns of television series record an almost equal share of broadcasting hours per week as TV premieres, therefore depicting signs of homogeneity. Consequently, the general conclusions from the study by Koukoutsaki are that the total television product in Greece was homogeneous, even where there was no competition, with programmes aiming at the ideological guidance of the people. With the deregulation of the hertzian waves, soap operas and comedies were very popular and represented the ideal programme for prime-time viewers, complying with the mercantile spirit of private television which wished to attract the maximum audience by investing the minimum amount of money. So, most schedules were filled with cheap productions following the American formula yet reflecting Greek culture. A second study on programming in Greek television was conducted by the author on behalf of the Research Institute of Applied Communication (Masouras, 2007). This study examined the programming of private and public television channels over the periods 2004-2006. Specifically, the programmes were analysed considering their

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category61, type62, broadcasting mode (programmes premiering on TV/repeats or reruns of programmes) and if these programmes were Greek or foreign productions. The results as well as the data provided by AGB Hellas, set out a full picture of the contemporary face of Greek television. The first data from the research regarding programming categories show an overwhelming concentration of television products in private television from specific categories such as information programmes, TV series and entertainment TV shows. Public service broadcasters record significant viewing figures in these categories, as well as in kids’/teens’ shows, but they record certain viewing figures in all categories, even in educational and cultural programmes, where private television broadcasters record viewing figures approaching zero. Thus, the general picture from these data is that Greek private television broadcasters largely broadcast homogeneous programmes, while public service broadcasters have a wider range of distribution, covering all the categories of television programmes.

61 The programme categories are as follows: Information Television Shows/News, Other Information Television Shows or Journalistic TV Programmes, Entertainment Television Shows, Arts and Culture Television Shows, Educational Television Shows, Sports Television Shows, Kids’ shows and teens’ shows, TV series, Films, Documentaries and other programmes (such as telemarketing TV shows). 62 The types of programmes are as follows: Information or journalistic shows or programmes, Information journalistic research programmes, TV shows of general appeal covering a wider spectrum of topics, Information talk or panel shows, Shows on human interest stories, Light infotainment shows, Educational and instructional TV shows, Specialised TV shows, Personality-oriented shows (interviews/portraits), Entertainment TV shows, Arts and Culture TV shows/programmes covering and promoting arts, letters and cultural heritage, Sports shows/sporting events live or recorded broadcasts, Religious programming/broadcasts of religious services, Kids’ shows and teens’ shows, News bulletins, Game Shows, Reality shows, TV series, Films, Documentaries and other programmes (such as telemarketing shows).

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Private TELEVISION

television Public Service broadcasters

PROGRAMME broadcasters

CATEGORIES 2004 Informative Television Shows/News 31.4%

2005

2006

2004

2005

2006

33.4%

32.1%

23.3%

25.5%

27.3%

Other Informative Television Shows or Journalistic TV Programmes

2.4%

4.9%

5.2%

6.3%

8.7%

13.1%

Entertainment

17.5%

12.0%

20.2%

3.0%

6.5%

6.1%

Culture/Arts

0.2%

-

-

10.7%

5.3%

5.7%

Educational Television Shows

-

-

-

5.2%

1.1%

0.4%

Sports Shows

1.2%

2.0%

1.3%

2.6%

4.6%

7.8%

Kidsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;/Teensâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; shows

0.5%

2.2%

-

11.1%

22.8%

16.3%

TV series

32.2%

32.2%

27.5%

11.1%

9.5%

5.7%

Films

8.5%

6.8%

7.8%

7.0%

5.3%

5.3%

Documentaries

0.2%

0.2%

0.3%

18.5%

9.1%

9.4%

Other TV shows

6.1%

6.1%

5.7%

1.1%%

1.5%

2.9%

Total

100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%

Table 12: This table shows the figures for programme categories in private and public television, respectively.

In respect of the types of programmes transmitted by private and public television broadcasters in general, news bulletins and TV series are the only programmes that record two-digit viewing figures, reaching over 20% in some cases. Therefore, the

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picture that emerges from the Greek television programmes is that of the homogeneity. In fact, news bulletins that use the so-called split-screen and low budget series (analysed in detail by A. Koukoutsaki) are among the least expensive ways of filling up airtime. So, in a competitive environment, the strategy that was followed by the Greek channels was that of the structural theory, which suggests the broadcasting of cheap television programmes aimed at attracting the largest possible audience.

TYPES OF TELEVISION PROGRAMME

2004

2005

2006

Information or journalistic shows or programmes

7.9%

8.6%

7.1%

Information journalistic research programmes

0.4%

0.9%

1.0%

2.0%

3.7%

4.6%

Informative talk or panel shows

1.0%

1.6%

1.4%

Shows on human interest stories

-

0.7%

-

Light info-tainment shows

0.9%

2.2%

2.4%

Educational and instructional TV shows

2.0%

0.4%

0.2%

Specialised TV shows

1.0%

1.2%

2.5%

Personality-oriented shows (interviews/portraits)

0.9%

0.7%

1.1%

Entertainment TV shows

5.5%

5.5%

5.9%

TV shows of general appeal covering a wider spectrum of topics

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Arts and Culture TV shows/programmes covering 4.2%

2.1%

2.2%

1.7%

3.1%

3.8%

0.3%

0.3%

and promoting arts, letters and cultural heritage Sports shows/sporting events live or recorded broadcasts Religious programming/broadcasts of religious 0.3% services Kids’ shows / Teens’ shows

4.6%

10.2%

6.3%

News bulletins

18.9%

19.1%

20.8%

Game Shows

2.5%

1.0%

5.1%

Reality shows

3.0%

1.0%

1.4%

TV series

24.0%

23.3%

19.0%

Films

7.9%

6.2%

6.8%

Documentaries

7.2%

3.9%

3.8%

Other TV shows

3.9%

4.0%

4.3 %

TOTAL

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

Table 13: Total and gross figures for programme types for 2004, 2005 and 2006.

According to AGB Hellas data regarding the same time period 2004-200663, information TV programmes, TV series and films prevail. Nevertheless, by examining each channel, certain exceptions may be found as, for instance, viewing ratings of 10% were recorded for ET1 (Hellenic Television 1) for kids’ shows and sports TV shows. However, the fact that a share of over 50% of the total viewing share was 63 Consult AGB Hellas, TV Yearbook 2003-2004, Athens, 2004; AGB Hellas, TV Yearbook 20042005, Athens, 2005; AGB Hellas, TV Yearbook 2005-2006, Athens, 2006.

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recorded for ET1 through news bulletins leads to the conclusion that public television does provide homogeneous television products. There are certain differences among private television channels due to their strategy (since 25-30% of the programming of ANT1 and 10-15% of the programming of ALPHA consist of TV series); however, in general terms, the picture is homogeneous, even though public broadcasters have problems with their productions and rely on the broadcasting of sporting events and football matches, as well as on documentaries.

% of transmission time

TELEVISION STATIONS

TV TYPOLOGI

ALP ALTE SEASO

ES

MEG ANT1

HA

R

STAR ET1

NET

ET3

A

N ‘02-‘0364 10.0 6.7

27.2

16.9

15.6

14.9

0.2

2.7

’03-‘04

14.7 4.3

26.2

25.6

12.7

0.7

8.2

1.5

’04-‘0565 15.6 7.5

30.0

32.1

20.5

3.0

11.4

1.3

’05-‘06

14.2 10.3

25.8

35.5

19.4

5.3

7.1

5.4

‘02-‘03

13.2 26.9

15.5

17.8

28.2

9.3

5.7

6.6

’03-‘04

12.7 20.4

14.5

15.6

30.5

6.3

10.0

5.7

TV Series

Movie Films

64 These data refer to the period from 30-9-2002 to 30-6-2003 (TV season 2002-2003) and from 229-2003 to 4-7-2004 (TV season 2003-2004). As regards ET3 (Greek Television 3), the data for the TV season 2002-2003 refer to the time period from the 3rd February to 30th June.. 65 These data refer to the time period from 1st September to 31st August annually.

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’04-‘05

16.3 23.4

13.5

18.1

29.0

7.8

11.6

5.2

’05-‘06

9.8

24.8

12.6

16.6

32.3

7.1

8.3

5.9

‘02-‘03

2.8

11.7

10.2

9.7

7.0

3.0

0.9

0.1

’03-‘04

4.6

14.0

12.2

12.0

7.0

0.4

1.9

0.2

’04-‘05

6.6

7.2

6.2

6.7

2.6

0.2

0.3

0.3

’05-‘06

8.9

8.8

7.5

3.1

1.8

1.3

2.7

1.6

‘02-‘03

1.1

3.9

1.3

1.3

0.3

5.6

5.9

11.0

’03-‘04

1.7

2.1

1.8

1.1

0.3

10.4

2.6

9.5

’04-‘05

1.3

0.5

0.8

1.1

0.3

11.5

4.4

10.8

’05-‘06

0.7

3.7

1.9

1.7

0.2

8.8

3.7

8.3

’02-‘03

62.0 34.5

38.0

44.9

33.6

38.4

84.7

63.7

Newscasts/

’03-‘04

59.5 41.7

39.6

40.1

37.5

55.9

67.0

64.0

reporting

’04-‘05

52.2 43.1

42.0

36.4

31.2

50.2

63.9

64.2

’05-‘06

60.2 38.8

43.1

36.6

31.3

54.6

58.9

58.8

‘02-‘03

1.1

13.5

3.8

3.8

12.5

16.2

0.2

3.0

Kids’

’03-‘04

0.0

15.6

2.6

1.3

9.8

10.2

3.6

5.6

Programmes

’04-‘05

0.0

16.1

2.4

1.1

14.2

13.0

1.2

4.0

’05-‘06

0.0

14.1

2.5

1.3

13.6

6.1

7.1

2.3

Sports

’02-‘03

8.4

0.0

0.7

2.4

0.3

8.5

1.6

10.8

Programmes

’03-‘04

5.8

0.4

0.8

1.3

0.1

12.0

5.6

9.9

Light Entertainmen t Shows

Arts & Culture TV programmes

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’04-‘05

6.9

0.0

2.4

1.6

0.1

8.8

5.6

9.5

’05-‘06

4.8

0.0

4.0

1.6

0.0

11.4

7.6

13.4

‘02-‘03

1.4

2.8

3.4

3.2

2.4

0.7

4.1

2.1

Other TV

’03-‘04

1.0

1.5

2.3

2.9

2.1

1.3

4.1

3.4

Programmes

’04-‘05

1.1

2.3

2.7

3.0

2.1

5.4

1.6

5.0

’05-‘06

1.4

2.8

2.7

3.6

1.3

5.4

4.0

3.9

Table 14: This table shows the broadcasting times of each programme category per season and channel.

The fact that public broadcasters broadcast a very small number of TV series produced directly by themselves is illustrated in the following table, which includes data from AGB Hellas. Generally speaking, there is a fairly even split between Greek and foreign programmes, with the exception of series made for television or serials, which mostly are domestic productions, especially as far as private television channels are concerned. In addition, it is clear that television channels adopt mimicking strategies by providing similar programmes; it is worth pointing out that reality games recording ratings over 20% in all the private channels under examination are similar to foreign programmes, and many magazine programmes and game shows are copies or rip-offs of foreign TV shows or programmes.

Average TV viewing share

TELEVISION STATIONS ALPHA, ALTER, ANT1,

TYPOLOGIES

ET1 & NET MEGA & STAR

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’03-

’04-‘0567 ’05-‘0668 ’03-‘04

’04-‘05

’05-‘06

‘0466 Greek Daily TV Series

24.7

24.8

21.6

3.5

-

-

US Daily TV Series

7.3

3.5

-

9.1

6.9

3.8

12.9

12.5

9.5

3.9

4.7

6.4

12.2

9.7

7.3

5.0

5.9

5.9

22.5

22.9

19.4

7.4

21.9

5.3

13.2

12.6

12.2

4.1

5.1

3.6

22.0

19.7

27.1

6.9

4.8

5.4

Foreign Comical TV Series 14.3

14.7

14.1

-

3.9

4.5

Greek Movie Films

12.9

11.5

11.0

7.2

5.5

6.1

Foreign Movie Films

13.5

13.8

12.2

5.1

4.9

4.7

Newscasts

16.6

16.6

15.6

8.9

9.7

9.0

programmes and talk shows 20.6

19.8

18.2

11.6

12.6

13.6

Other foreign (Latin) Daily TV Series Foreign

Action-Adventure

TV Series Greek Weekly TV series and dramas Foreign Weekly TV series and dramas Greek Comical TV Series

Morning

magazine

69

66 These data refer to the time periods from 22-9-2003 to 30-6-2004. 67 These data refer to the time periods from 27-9-2004 to 3-7-2005. 68 These data refer to the time periods from 12-9-2005 to 9-7-2006.

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Midday

Magazine 19.2

16.9

18.0

6.3

6.1

6.4

17.1

14.8

16.6

4.0

4.9

5.0

13.8

16.2

17.8

7.1

6.6

7.7

Game shows

14.3

11.3

19.9

7.3

-

6.9

Reality games

27.0

23.5

20.0

-

-

-

Satirical TV shows

10.8

13.0

13.4

-

-

-

14.8

18.0

20.5

18.5

18.4

17.7

16.6

21.9

18.5

10.9

9.8

10.7

12.7

12.3

12.6

6.2

6.8

6.9

12.4

12.4

13.1

4.6

3.9

3.3

13.9

14.7

15.2

3.9

3.6

3.4

Kidsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; programmes & shows 10.1

10.3

9.6

3.1

3.1

6.8

Programmes 70 Magazine programmes in other time slots & variety shows 71 News-related and Information programmes

Other light entertainment programmes Broadcasts of sporting events Sports programmes Arts & Culture Programmes Documentaries

Table 15: This table shows average television viewing figures.

69 Including programmes broadcast from 06:00 to 08:29 am. 70 Including programmes broadcast from 09:00 am to 13:59 pm. 71 Including programmes broadcast from 14:00 pm to 23:59 pm.

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As far as the origin of Greek television productions are concerned, according to the findings of my research, there is a constant predominance of domestic productions over foreign ones. It is worth mentioning that, as far as private TV broadcasters are concerned, domestic productions prevail over foreign ones, in contrast to the situation with public service broadcasters, since the biggest part of their TV schedule consists of domestic TV series and information programmes, news bulletins and news-related shows. Therefore, the fact that the percentage of foreign productions in television programming is low compared to domestic shows is not reassuring. The high percentage of domestic productions in private television, focusing mainly on information, news and entertainment programmes, shows clearly the strategy of the channels in a competitive environment, which leads to homogeneity.

TYPE OF PRODUCTIONS 2004-2006 PRIVATE TELEVISION (TOTAL%)

82,5%

2004

78,5%

2005

21,5%

80,6%

2006

0%

17,5%

25%

50%

Greek productions

Research Institute of Applied Communication

19,4%

75%

Foreign productions

138

100%


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TYPE OF PRODUCTIONS 2004-2006 PUBLIC TELEVISION (TOTAL%)

69,6%

2004

2005

58,9%

41,1%

67,3%

2006 0%

30,4%

32,7%

25%

50%

Greek productions

75%

100%

Foreign productions

Figure 13: These graphs illustrate the numbers of domestic productions compared to foreign shows in private and public television, respectively, during 2004-2006.

As far as the frequency of TV programme reruns is concerned, this research clearly shows that it is the normal practice of TV stations to have a part of their programmes rerun, thus covering dead time slots. This practice is more frequent in private TV stations. It is worth pointing out that there is normally a rerun of popular Greek TV series during graveyard hours, at noon or during certain weekend zones, filling up most of the viewing time with the same â&#x20AC;&#x201C; mainly â&#x20AC;&#x201C; low cost productions. Conversely, public service broadcasters, in 2004, had a high percentage of reruns but during the following years, the percentage of reruns was much lower because in 2004 the TV schedule of public service broadcasters consisted mainly of general broadcast documentaries and educational programmes, which were often aired repeatedly. In any case, however, the percentage of 16.7% of the total viewing share over the period 2004-2006, where 8.5% was recorded for reruns and repeats of programmes, is an indication of homogeneity

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that is due to the policy of the channels filling out the schedules at the lowest possible cost, attracting the largest possible audience.

TYPE OF TELEVISION PROGRAMMES SCHEDULING FREQUENCY 2004-2006 (TOTAL%)

83,3%

2004

16,7%

2005

91,5%

8,5%

2006

90,3%

9,7%

0%

25%

50%

Regular/First view ing

75%

100%

Reruns

Figure 4.3: Frequency of programme airing as regards programmes premiering on television and reruns (totally)

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TYPE OF PROGRAMMES SCHEDULING FREQUENCY 2004-2006 PRIVATE TELEVISION (TOTAL%)

82,3%

2004

89,5%

2005

10,5%

87,0%

2006 0%

17,7%

25%

13,0%

50%

Regular/First view ing

75%

100%

Reruns

Figure 14: Frequency of programme airing as regards programmes premiering on television and reruns (private television).

TYPE OF PROGRAMMES SCHEDULING FREQUENCY 2004-2006 PUBLIC TELEVISION (TOTAL%)

84,8%

2004

15,2%

2005

94,7%

5,3%

2006

95,5%

4,5%

0%

25%

50%

Regular/First view ing

75%

100%

Reruns

Figure 15: Frequency of programme airing as regards the programmes premiering on television and the reruns (public television).

The results of the research conducted by the Research Institute of Applied Communication regarding Greek television over the period 2004-2006 may be

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summarised as follows, especially where a trend of TV programming homogeneity is evident: However, it is clear that after deregulation numerical variety – horizontal and vertical – is recorded, especially regarding public service broadcasting. On the contrary, private TV broadcasting achieves certain “quality homogeneity”, regardless of the significant variety of its programming. This homogeneity is related to programme distribution in the programme zones of private TV broadcasters. This homogeneous programming ends up limiting options, since viewers have to decide on various programmes of the same kind; this increases competition between the TV channels and does not contribute to the final quality of TV output (Masouras, 2008). In other research on Greek television before and after deregulation, which was conducted by the Research Institute of Applied Communication, the development of public services broadcasters examined through the periods 1984-1986 and 2004-2006 is quite interesting. Specifically, the following table shows that, during the period 1984-1986, public service broadcasters were airing mainly foreign series, movies, information, news-related and instructional programmes, documentaries, kids’ programmes and sports programmes.

TYPES OF TV SHOWS

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1984

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1985

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News programmes

0.36%

0.00%

7.17%

Journalistic research programmes

2.15%

0.49%

3.50%

spectrum of topics

0.00%

0.00%

1.42%

Talk or panel shows

0.66%

0.00%

0.88%

Shows on human interest stories

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

Light infotainment shows

0.36%

0.00%

3.12%

Educational TV shows

9.81%

11.69%

11.28%

Specialised TV shows

2.39%

1.46%

1.48%

TV interviews/portraits

3.29%

2.37%

2.79%

Entertainment TV shows

3.95%

2.56%

3.29%

Arts and Culture TV shows

7.78%

9.01%

4.49%

Sports shows

6.64%

5.84%

6.46%

Programmes dealing with religion

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

Kidsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; shows & Teensâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; shows

4.13%

9.62%

4.93%

News Bulletins

12.92%

14.06%

10.68%

Game Shows

2.93%

1.10%

3.72%

Reality shows

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

TV series

19.14%

16.07%

15.22%

Films

16.33%

18.26%

15.22%

TV shows of general appeal, covering a wider

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Documentaries

7.18%

7.49%

4.33%

Other shows

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

Total

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

Table 16: This table shows the programme types that were broadcast by public television in 1984, 1985 and 1986.

In addition, this research depicts a high percentage of foreign productions â&#x20AC;&#x201C; between 31.71 and 37.98% â&#x20AC;&#x201C; for Greek television before the deregulation of the hertzian waves. It is true that the percentage of domestic productions in Greek television increased dramatically with the advent of private television channels. Indicatively, the total percentage of foreign productions over the period 1984-1986 is 34.5% and the total percentage of foreign productions over the period 2004-2006 is 25.4% (19% for private television channels and 37.4% for their public counterparts). According to this research study, the 34.5% that corresponds to foreign productions aired by public broadcasters before deregulation includes not only commercial American or British productions, but also more alternative ones from countries like France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Poland, China or Japan. This strategy seemed to neglect the law of supply and demand. Public television enjoyed a monopoly status in Greece until 1989 and its revenue depended exclusively on advertising revenue and high viewing figures, leading to the broadcasting of quality and alternative programmes that did not attract necessarily large audiences. According to the information provided by the research, it is obvious that public broadcasters continued using the same strategy, even after the advent of competition. Private television channels resorted to producing low-cost domestic productions in

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order to deal in the competitive environment, while the public companies followed the same incorrect policy.

Types of television productions 1984 - 1986 (Total % )

68.29%

1986

65.92%

1985

34.08%

62.02%

1984

0%

31.71%

20%

37.98%

40% Greek production

60% 80% Foreign production

100%

Figure 16: Total recording of figures for domestic and foreign productions in 1984, 1985 and 1986. Types of television productions per period (% )

74.6%

25.4%

2004 to 2006

65.5%

34.5%

1984 to 1986

0%

20%

40%

60%

Greek production

80%

100%

Foreign production

Figure 17: Total comparative recording of figures for domestic and o foreign productions in 1984, 1985, 1986 and in 2004-2006, respectively.

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Types of television productions per period (%) Public television

65.3%

34.7%

65.5%

34.5%

2004 to 2006

1984 to 1986

0%

10%

20%

30% 40% 50% 60% 70% Greek production Foreign production

80%

90%

100%

Figure 18: Total comparative recording of figures for domestic and foreign productions in 1984, 1985, 1986 and in 2004-2006, respectively, for public television. Types of television productions per period (%) Private television

80.5%

19.5%

2004 to 2006

0%

10%

20%

30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% Greek production Foreign production

90% 100%

Figure 19: Total comparative recording of the figures for domestic and foreign productions in 1984, 1985, 1986 and in 2004-2006, respectively, for private television.

As far as the repeats and reruns of programmes over the period 1984-1986 are concerned, they constituted 3.88% of the total programming of public television, while they recorded 11.6% over the period 2004-2006. While examining in detail the two public broadcasters and the three private ones, a conclusion is drawn that the

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percentage of repeats or reruns of TV shows and programmes is lower for public broadcasters than their private competitors (4.9% and 9%, respectively). In this area, public broadcasters tend less towards homogeneity in television programming than private companies.

Types of programmes scheduling frequency (% ) 1984 - 1986

96.12%

1984 to 1986

0%

20%

40%

3.88%

60%

Regular/First viewing

80%

100%

Reruns

Figure 20: This graph shows the frequency of the reruns compared with the frequency of programmes premiering on television, as regards the period from 1984 to 1986.

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Types of programmes scheduling frequency per period (% )

88.4%

2004 to 2006

96.12%

1984 to 1986

0%

11.6%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

3.88%

60%

Regular/First viewing

70%

80%

90%

100%

Reruns

Figure 21: This graph shows the frequency of the reruns compared with the frequency of programmes premiering on television, as regards the period from 1984 to 1986 and from 2004 to 2006 comparatively. Types of programmes scheduling frequency per channel (%) 2004 - 2006

95.1%

NET

89.2%

ET1

10.8%

82.3%

MEGA

17.7%

86.3%

ANT1

13.7%

91.0%

ALPHA

0%

4.9%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

Regular/First viewing

9.0%

60%

70%

80%

90%

100%

Reruns

Figure 22: This graph shows the frequency of the reruns compared with the frequency of programmes premiering on television, as regards the period from 1984 to 1986 and from 2004 to 2006 comparatively and this comparative presentation refers to two public television channels and three private ones.

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Finally, the following table shows that the programming of Greek public television was modified after the advent of competition, recording an increase in the level of television viewing as regards information programmes and news bulletins, kids’ and teens’ shows and programmes, TV series, documentaries and TV shows of general appeal covering a wider spectrum of topics. This development was the result of a change of strategy by the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation in 1997, in order to prevent any further drop in TV viewing figures, which began with the advent of private television in 1989 (Papathanassopoulos, 2005). Specifically, since 1997, ET1 (Hellenic Television 1) took on an entertaining style and NET (New Greek Television) became an informative and news-related station, broadcasting different types of programmes compared to those broadcast by private television channels.

TV STATIONS TYPES

OF

TV 1984 – 1986

2004 – 2006

ET1

ET2

ALPHA ANT1

MEGA

ET1

NET

4.0%

0.8%

10.4%

9.0%

10.4%

0.0%

10.4%

3.1%

0.6%

0.8%

0.0%

0.9%

1.2%

0.9%

0.9%

0.0%

0.0%

2.0%

1.4%

11.5%

0.9%

SHOWS

News programmes Journalistic research programmes TV shows of general appeal, covering a

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wider spectrum of topics Talk or panel shows

0.9%

0.0%

1.9%

1.0%

0.9%

0.7%

2.6%

0.0%

0.0%

1.4%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

2.1%

0.0%

2.8%

3.8%

0.0%

0.0%

2.9%

17.4%

2.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

4.0%

0.0%

3.1%

2.8%

0.3%

3.8%

0.0%

1.2%

2.0%

3.9%

0.3%

0.0%

0.2%

2.1%

2.0%

3.2%

3.3%

10.5%

4.9%

6.7%

1.9%

3.5%

shows

6.9%

7.1%

0.0%

0.0%

0.2%

11.7%

1.4%

Sports shows

6.2%

6.5%

3.0%

1.2%

0.2%

7.3%

2.3%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

1.4%

0.0%

6.5%

5.6%

0.0%

2.8%

0.4%

21.7%

10.2%

Shows on human interest stories Light infotainment shows Educational

TV

shows

Specialised TV shows 0.8% TV interviews/portraits Entertainment

TV

shows Arts and Culture TV

Programmes dealing with religion Kidsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;

shows

Teensâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; shows

&

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News Bulletins

10.3%

15.5%

22.1%

19.5%

19.5%

7.2%

32.0%

Game Shows

2.5%

2.8%

4.8%

4.8%

1.7%

0.3%

2.6%

Reality shows

0.0%

0.0%

2.4%

6.1%

1.9%

0.0%

0.0%

TV series

11.6%

24.4%

22.3%

28.6%

40.2%

3.0%

16.2%

Films

14.3%

19.6%

8.0%

7.1%

7.4%

3.0%

9.6%

Documentaries

7.3%

4.8%

0.8%

0.0%

0.0%

21.1%

1.1%

Other shows

0.0%

0.0%

5.6%

8.1%

4.2%

1.9%

0.0%

Total

100.0% 100.0% 100.0%

100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%

Table 17: This table illustrates the programming of Greek television as regards programme types and the form of these programme types after the advent of private television.

By comparing these two research studies, it is clear that there were changes in public television before and after deregulation of the hertzian waves. The most important ones are the internal changes that took place after the advent of competition, in 1997, aiming at ending the drop in television viewing figures. From that point onwards, NET and ET1 operated in a complementary way, providing good quality television at such a level that none of the private television channels could match their output. So Greek public television ensured a balance between the marketability and public nature of its mission by producing its own programmes and experimenting with different types of programmes, providing rich and diverse multilingual television programming content. In a similar study related to the programming of Greek public television before and after the deregulation of the hertzian waves, Tsourvakas concludes that competition

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made public television follow a more commercial orientation72(Tsourvakas, 2004). Specifically, Tsourvakas examines the periods 1987-1989 and 1990-1992, providing limited and, possibly, out-of-date research results. According to his research findings, which are illustrated in detail in the following table, the TV schedules of public television was more homogenous compared to those of private television channels after deregulation. Consequently, the research studies of Tsourvakas and the Research Institute of Applied Communication provide a more complete picture about the course of Greek public television and point to the same conclusion that the strategy followed by ERT (the Hellenic Public Corporation) after deregulation led to a more homogeneous television product. In fact, according to a relevant research study of LĂŠon (2007) on the diversity of television programmes in different European countries, the results are rather disappointing. The Greek public television broadcasting of documentaries represents 59.2% of prime-time programmes, showing the lowest indices of diversity in the public sector compared to other European countries (Leon, 2007). In studies regarding Greek public television, a paradox emerges. Firstly, public broadcasters increased their information and news-related programmes following the strategy of the private television channels. Conversely, they broadcast a high percentage of documentaries and educational programmes, leading to the provision of a highly homogeneous television product.

72 Specifically, Tsourvakas points out that â&#x20AC;&#x153;The findings suggest public television channels were affected by competition and changed their strategy to offer types of programmes similar to their private counterparts, shifting the focus of their programming strategy from an informational direction to a more commercial orientationâ&#x20AC;?.

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The overall picture that emerges from the analysis of the research studies on Greek television is that the whole television product is largely homogeneous. During the years before deregulation and the advent of competition, the homogeneity of public television programming was due to political and ideological reasons. With the launch of private television channels and broader access, the Greek media landscape became even more homogeneous, following the law of Hotelling (1929) regarding minimum differentiation in a competitive environment73. In addition, the study by Van Cuilenberg, by adapting the law of Hotelling in the media, is confronted with a diversity paradox, meaning that more diversity entails less diversity. The findings of the research studies regarding Greek television clearly show that none of the channels examined follows any different strategy compared to the others. Private television channels broadcast a variety of information and entertainment programmes, confining themselves to low-cost domestic productions and commercially successful foreign programmes, as well as to a policy of reruns or repeats of programmes. With the advent of competition, public television adapted to the new conditions by enriching their programming with information programmes and foreign documentaries. Nevertheless, there are significant differences between the programming strategies of private and state television channels. The study of homogeneity in television programming, especially with reference to competition, is a quite complex issue when considering the different aspects of homogeneous programming that were analysed in the theory chapter of this study. In

73 Hotelling introduced the concept of the minimum differentiation in a competitive environment, proving mathematically that, in many markets, it is logical for a producer to produce programmes as homogeneous as possible. His work could be considered as a starting point for studying homogeneity in the media as well.

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addition, developments in the Greek media field are very rapid, which results in an urgent need to conduct new research studies. Moreover, when conducting more detailed research studies, it would be interesting to include private television channels attracting a smaller share of the audience, which may possibly provide a more differentiated product, such as SKAI TV74, as well as new channels, such as MTV Greece75. In addition, a study combining quantitative and qualitative research examining more types of homogeneous programming could be conducted as well. This specific research study aimed at showing the impact of competition in the Greek media field. A variety of foreign and Greek research studies has been analysed and the outcome was that competition had a negative effect on Greek television, an assessment that results from the homogeneous character of the programme types. The first and chief point of interest in this chapter is not the empirical findings and conclusions but the association and connection of content homogeneity with diversity, thus dealing with two interrelated and interactive concepts. As pointed out before, when referring to the relevance of these concepts, the author defined the homogeneity of content as the lack of diversity or low degree of diversity, which is interpreted by the quantitative assessment of programme types

74 Skai TV is a Greek TV station, based in Athens. It is one of the largest media groups in Greece. Skai TV was first launched in 1993 emphasising news and sports, but it was heavily criticised for its â&#x20AC;&#x153;yellow pressâ&#x20AC;? news coverage and low-budget programming. In 1999, it was sold and re-branded as Alpha TV. The new station had an entirely different programming perspective and opted for a more mainstream profile. In 2007, SKAI TV was launched again. At launch, it opted for dubbing all foreign language content into Greek, instead of using subtitles. This is very uncommon in Greece for anything except documentaries (using voiceover dubbing) and children's programmes (using lip-synced dubbing), so after intense criticism the station switched to using subtitles for almost all foreign shows. Skai TV programme emphasises entertainment and information. 75 MTV Greece is the Greek version of MTV, launched on September 1, 2008. MTV Greece broadcasts mainly English, American and Greek music, MTVâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shows are subtitled in Greek but there are also three Greek shows (Hitlist Hellas, MTV Pulse, MTV Take 20). MTV Greece is also available via NOVA Greece.

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(variety of types) available to the television audience. In order to make the correlation between homogeneity and diversity, the concept of type availability as a prevailing conceptual variable is going to be employed. The availability of programming types to the television audience is an issue that needs further discussion, since the high level of availability does not necessarily mean that there is a high degree of diversity. The availability of programme types may have different qualities and characteristics, as shown by the above empirical data and findings. Derived from these studies, certain correlations are set out as they arise through the nature of availability: a) if there are more than five of six programme types in specific genres or specific sub-genres fall under specific genre categories, regardless of their numeric availability, then the content is homogeneous and the diversity degree is at low levels and this kind of diversity is considered as homogeneous diversity or targeted diversity, as the diversity is concentrated within the narrow limits of specific programme types and b) another form of availability, resulting from the authorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s empirical studies, is the availability of repeats or reruns, a tactic that is widespread, especially as far as private television is concerned, but also one where the cost is negligible and television scheduling is easily filled up. In this case, the aim is to specify the proportion of repeats as well as reruns, as they present, in essence, existing programme types. Thus, if the original content is homogeneous, then the reruns and repeats will be based on existing homogeneous programme types, leading to a low degree of diversity. Conversely, if the content is not homogeneous, the repeats or reruns will not be homogeneous either, but this depends on this relevance: repeats and reruns fill up the air time and space, which means that the production of new programmes is greatly reduced and the promotion of new

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programme types is hindered. Reruns and repeats therefore contribute substantially to the sharp reduction of content diversity. The same reasoning applies to the case of foreign productions, either reality shows or series. Homogeneity as far as foreign production genres are concerned, for instance low-cost Brazilian soap operas, has a negative impact on the degree of content diversity. The use of the concept of availability is significant, as it shows the conceptual and methodological correlation between content homogeneity and content diversity. Thus, based on the above examples regarding the availability of programmes, availability as a concept is relevant. It may be homogeneous as regards programme types, as in the case of Greece where public broadcasting diversifies slightly, but it may not be homogeneous in some instances. The homogeneity or heterogeneity of the programme availability actually defines whether the programme and content in general have high, average or low degrees of diversity. In the following chapter the theory on content metamorphosis is being developed, which results from the homogeneous nature of the content and the need of the channels to diversify their similar, homogeneous programmes by using certain programming strategies and tactics.

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CHAPTER FIVE AN ALTERNATIVE METHODOLOGICAL APPROACH TO THE STUDY OF DIVERSITY IN GREEK TELEVISION: THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE THEORY OF METAMORPHOSIS AND PARTIAL CORRELATIONS

5.1.

The necessity and reasons for developing the methodological tool of metamorphosis

In this research, an analysis and presentation of previous studies examining the levels of the contents diversity in Greek television has been configured. The previous chapter concluded with the recognition that Greek television has a tendency to focus excessively on particular genres, with minimum differentiation of content between channels. This chapter provides an analysis and argument of the necessity to develop a theory of metamorphosis. The goal of the author is to establish a functional tool within the framework of the model, and to elaborate on the variation of the minimum differentiation of television content. This analysis requires engagement with a range of evidential bases and sources, ensuring that the myriad applications of diversity outlined in this thesis can be activated. While there are controversies and debates, it is imperative to use evidence and reasoning to support the development of this theory. This theory, although topologically developed as far as Greek television is concerned, could possibly be a wider application tool for the study of television diversity, which will be discussed in the conclusion of this research. The question to address not only in this research but also beyond it is whether this theory can become a model to be applied in other countries, with a concomitant risk-based analysis in place. The practical implications of this approach are also discussed in the conclusion.

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This chapter presents and analyses the theoretical structures that were used for the development of this new theory. The theory of metamorphosis is an alternative methodological framework for the study of diversity, as it moves beyond the narrow frame of the typological approach through programme genres, which is applied in the previous chapter. Τhe question that guides the development of the theory is as follows: Given the minimum differentiation of television content, how do the channels differentiate among each other to achieve competition with each other? This query is not a research question, but a strategic implication which will be further discussed in the conclusion of this thesis. In essence, what this chapter deals with is the fact that the diversification occurs through branding76 and programming tactics. This issue is placed on a theoretical footing and framework and its applications are illustrated and developed. What is interesting here is the fact that branding is associated with programming tactics and content diversity. I show how content “reacts” in the process. Although this research question is overarching, it promotes an original idea – indeed an original contribution to knowledge – about the use of the theory of metamorphosis as an analytical tool. According to Susan Eastman, what is important when studying the tactics of television scheduling, beyond theory, is the degree of usefulness 77 and

76

When referring to the concept of branding that is illustrated in several sections of this chapter, I neither define nor deal with it in this research study. By referring to branding, I define it as follows: in light of my analysis metamorphosis can be seen as a strategy of commanding audience attention in conditions of extreme competition and minimum / or pseudo-differentiation. 77 I refer to it in detail in my conclusive chapter.

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how variables are chosen by a researcher who aims to study those tactics78. A correlation between the degree of diversity and the tactics of television scheduling is therefore the most important issue of this theory. Diversification tactics modify the degree of content diversity, even artificially. The conversion and interaction between those elements is the topic of this chapter and a key issue in the theory of metamorphosis. 5.2.

The central idea of “metamorphosis” framework: from content diversity to context diversity

The metamorphosis theory of the minimum differentiation of television content between channels is based on the assumption that there are two main ways through which content can be differentiated and enable competition between channels. The first one differentiates the content, based on programme genre diversity. This means the development of rich distribution and a range of scheduling through programme types (genres diversity) and through classification into types of programme. The second differentiation type is separated from the first due to qualitative differences, and is in fact a “game” played out by channels around similar genres. The diversity formed in the framework of this axis of differentiation of content is what the author calls “context diversity”, in order to separate it from the classic concept of content diversity. At this point, the diversity paradox of this theory is detected , which postulates that as long as there is no diversity or, to be more precise, as long as there is a low degree of diversity in any television environment, then how can one refer to the diversification of content through the diversity of genres? Nonetheless, the author’s theory is based on this paradox, the essence of which lies in the fact that the

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Susan Tyler Eastman, personal correspondence, 2008.

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research does not concern diversification through the enrichment and accession of other genres, but diversification through existing genres. Thus, fundamentally, the degree of diversity does not change; it is the way of promoting and expanding the genres that changes. As an example of such a procedure, the approach developed by Iosifidis, Steemers and Wheeler (2005) in their study on the European television industry is mobilised. Specifically, it is noted that commercial channels tend to present informative and political programmes enriched with entertainment characteristics, thus creating a particularly interesting genre, that of “info-tainment”, which gives feedback for further discussion related to content’s formation – a discussion developed in this chapter. Ellis also refers to this genre, that is infotainment, when he discusses scheduling formation tactics. However, an interesting article that completely focuses on the study of this genre is written by Geoffrey Baym. Baym argues that this genre mostly concerns news bulletins and that it essentially supplements newscasts with some distinct features, such as TV news magazines that quite often replace newscasts. Newscasts have a specific structure and clear distinction between topics, while the structure and coverage of a TV news magazine can be less clear cut. These qualitative adaptations of the content, combined with the mixture of genres, are a content differentiation policy between channels of similar content. In other words, it is an arbitrary intervention in the content, an artificial interference on the genres, aiming at differentiating it from the content of a similar type. Through his theory, the author puts forward my viewpoint that there is a further differentiation beyond the genres. In other words, what is claimed here, and it is further developed in the conclusion, is that content differentiation does not occur only by including different genres in the programme scheduling , but it can also be

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achieved among same programme genres. For example, when examining the morning programming block of Greek television, all the programmes are of a similar type, the so-called “morning shows”. Especially interesting are the ways these programmes and their content in general are diversified, based upon a framework of techniques such as using partial programme-building tactics, to differentiate the content among channels and achieve televisual competition through virtual context diversity. In other words, this is a form of “quality-orientated” differentiation according to a programme’s genres and a forged differentiation, using several techniques that are analysed further below in the chapter – according to the content. The concept of metamorphosis configures an interpretative role in this theory. According to the theoretical framework developed in this study, the formalistic and common-type character among the channels, according to content’s genres and the over-concentration of particular types of programme, makes programmers investigate and discover new ways of differentiating programming. This differentiation – although forged – is a necessary business choice for the channels if they are to diversify with each other and compete for high audience ratings and as many advertisements as possible. Ansari, Economides and Steckel developed a theory about the product differentiation principle developing a theoretical framework, designing several levels of differentiation. By naming their theory “The Max-Min-Min principle of product differentiation” (1994) they support the argument that the differentiation between two products can appear reduced. In other words, X is increased in regard to factor Y or, alternatively, differentiation is not exclusively about just one characteristic of the product but instead is a combination of differentiated characteristics that aim to make the product competitively differentiated. It is clear that such a case can only be

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studied and compared by determining certain variables, which will differ each time, depending on the findings the researcher wishes to draw. By transposing this principle formulated by Ansari, Economides and Steckel (1994) to television products, the author believes that it is the approach itself that plays the main role. For example, if there are two entertaining programmes (programmes belonging to the same genre) on two different channels at the same time (in the same programme zone), then those programmes, in spite of being of the same type and of the same content, must be differentiated with regard to some of their partial characteristics. In order to further elaborate on this, if the question is reversed, namely, if diversity exists in this case or not, the differentiation process of the television product is mapped, tracked and interpreted through the theory of metamorphosis. The author developed this theory, enhancing and supporting the thesis of those researchers who argue that differentiation may have different levels depending upon more than one of the characteristics of the product. The word “metamorphosis” is a Greek word derived from three other Greek words: meta-morph-osis = meta-morphe-phasis. “Meta” means “after”, “morphe” means “form” and “phasis” means “phase” or “stage”. When these three words are aligned in English, the conceptual result is translated as “change of shape”, a change or alteration of the form or the landscape. This linguistic combination also embraces the word “morphing”, which can be combined with a wide range of words such as, for example, the words “euromorphing” and “mediamorphing”. The author believes “mediamorphing” is a concept that will be greatly discussed by researchers in the field of communication within the next decade. In this theory, the term “telemorphing” (which derives from “television”) is used, to define the process

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through which each channel transforms a television programme. In fact, what is transformed is the minimum and relatively humble diversity of the programme’s genres, which is turned into a forged diversity using partially the tactics of the present research established through questionnaires. According to this theory, the process of the metamorphosis of content’s diversity is called “telemorphing”.

Figure 23: The figure presented above shows the three stages of the process of content metamorphosis. In the first one, there is a low level of diversity regarding the genres. In other words, there is a homogenisation of the content. The first stage is also a prerequisite for the whole process to start. The second stage is the procedure itself – the telemorphing process – during which the channels determine their tactics of content differentiation, and the third and final stage is when the differentiatied product is produced, although the genre does not change. This artificial diversification of the content is what is called context diversity. (own elaboration, 2009).

The ‘change of shape’ is the main interpretation of the word “metamorphosis” and to some extent of this approach. The change in the form of the content that results from a certain situation to another, and the placement of the content’s diversity level to a new analysis, approach and interpretation framework, is the topic of this approach. Research Institute of Applied Communication

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genre genre 1 genre 2

Figure 24: The metamorphosis process is actually a “game” based upon similar genres, aiming at their partial differentiation from each other. If channels x, y and z broadcast the same programme genre during the same time period, then x-channel will broadcast the genre, y-channel will broadcast genre 1 and z-channel will broadcast genre 2. In other words, it is the same genre that changes in shape through the use of several scheduling tactics (author’s elaboration, 2009).

One of the research queries set by this theory is also the correlation between artificial differentiation and the diversity of genres – a correlation, thus, between context diversity and content diversity, and an issue that will be explored through an examination conducted in this chapter based upon the differentiation strategies of Greek television. To be more specific, the question that arises is whether, when there is a low level of diversity (genres diversity) with regard to content, it results in a higher level of differentiation through other types of tactics in television scheduling, and if this also happens in reverse. At this point, the issue is whether, when there is heterogeneity of programme types, differentiation is aimed through other tactics, or even if differentiation is necessary, then the issue is where heterogeneity appears and for what reason.

Let us now assume that there are two channels that compete with each other, possess types of programme that are identical during the same time period (same television

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slot) and use differentiation tactics to attract audience ratings. The following issues now arise: 1. Differentiation ≠ audience ratings: If homogeneous content is not accompanied by partial differentiation tactics, and generally does not enter the telemorphing process, then how will the audience be distributed between those two channels and what criteria will be taken into consideration? Given that audience ratings is the determinant factor that affects channels’ programming and consequently their differentiation from each other. 2. More players = similar positions: One of the issues that the theory of metamorphosis deals with is how the degree of intensity between the context’s homogeneity and differentiation tactics is defined, and how this re-modifies the degree of diversity. Is the intensity between the two factors defined by the number of channels that compete with each other? Is it possible to determine that the higher the number of the channels, the more homogeneous the context is likely to be? This issue does not stem from the theory of content metamorphosis, but is a query that is nonetheless indivisible from the theory. 3. Differentiation variables: These deal with how scheduling tactics are selected and upon which criteria they are based. Is there any homogeneity between the scheduling tactics followed by the channels or does each channel use its own scheduling tactics? In the following sub-chapter, the issue is approached from an applicational perspective, using three descriptive indexes: topology – morphology – chronology.

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Establishing solutions to these issues will make it easier to understand the range and formation of content diversity beyond the typical classification and the standardisation achieved by genres. Furthermore, this approach will make the action of diversity within a competitive or multichannel environment more comprehensible. 5.3.

The methodological approach of the theory of diversity’s metamorphosis and the question of the concept: topology-morphology-chronology (diversity over time and space)

Before continuing to the methodological framework, it should be clarified that changes in the content cannot be estimated in numbers. In essence, when assessing and estimating numbers invokes TV viewing figures or the number of the players who produce or distribute the content illustrating the market trends. Changes in the content, though, are of a qualitative nature. However, this issue shall be addressed in the concluding remarks of this thesis. Given what has been configured, the changes in content are defined in a clear, conceptual and methodological way in the framework of metamorphosis and, in fact, what can be done here is an attempt to approach and indicate the general tendencies of those changes – what is referred to here as metamorphosis – during a specific period, and comparing particular channels with one another. Approaching the metamorphosis of content diversity in television, one of the basic questions that should concern scholars, which has already been discussed in the first chapter, is the conceptual definition of diversity itself, treating how it is defined in content and how diversity can be located in the television schedule. At this point, the determining issue is whether diversity’s metamorphosis is an abstract concept or something more particular and measurable. The theory behind the metamorphosis of the minimum differentiation uses three variables to approach methodologically the conceptual question. These variables are the topology, morphology and chronology of

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diversity and are placed in the wider context of the horizontal, vertical and diagonal79 scheduling of the television schedule.

Morphology

Chronology

Topology

Figure 25: The three methodological variables are morphology, chronology and topology. They form the author’s approach to content’s metamorphosis, as they are the basic elements of this approach (author’s elaboration, 2009).

Morphology is the variable that assesses the metamorphosis of content in terms of its form and structure. For example, so-called ‘people diversity’80 is a policy in the context of morphology, a policy that enriches the split screens of television channels – especially when dealing with newscasts – by including personalities able for several reasons to attract high or at least good audience figures. To make the concept of morphology clearer, it is governed and defined by the programme’s agenda. For example, two programmes may be of the same type, such as two entertainment programmes. They are broadcast simultaneously by two competitive channels and will define through their agenda the limits of their differentiation.

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I will provide this definition when presenting the methodological axes regarding the split of scheduling. 80 Petros Iosifidis, personal correspondence, 2008

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Chronology deals with the duration of the programmes, not only their total duration but also the duration of the advertising breaks during the programmes. Good planning of the duration of the programmes, as well as the duration of the advertising breaks during the programmes, may be the reason for viewers to switch channels. According to AGBâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s regional director, Sophocles Markides, channels pay particular attention to the distribution of time, as it is an element of imponderability that might change continuously in relation to how competitors react81. The third methodological variable is the topology of the content that also results from chronology, since topology is actually the extension of chronology. More precisely, the author considers it the arrangement of chronology. Typology is defined as the process of placing programmes into zones. This presupposes a number of options as a prerequisite, for example against which programme our programme will be broadcast, in which zone will this get higher audience ratings and how many days a week should the programme be aired?

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Sophocles Markides, personal correspondence, 2008.

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Figure 26: This diagram illustrates the correlation of chronology – topology and that of time – space. In essence, it is the same philosophy and rationale. As regards television programming, great emphasis is placed on how time is arranged against the space in which it is scheduled. In fact, it is an indissoluble association between chronology (time) and topology (space), where these two elements give the final form to the morphology of programming.

Having revealed the concepts dealing with organising scheduling tactics, it is at this point worth making a distinction between variables and scheduling tactics. Variables are defined as the wider methodological axes of the author’s approach, as opposed to scheduling tactics, which are subcategories of variables, meaning that they constitute the applicable aspect that is theoretically defined by variables, morphology, chronology and topology. This means that variables set the parameters of the methodological approach, while the scheduling tactics are the measurement units. Particular attention has been paid to the clarification of the three variables – topology, morphology and chronology – and how these variables can be applied in practice through the model. The scheduling tactics are partial, non-stable units, since they may change according to each channel’s needs and the particularities of the viewers each time. They are also influenced, to some extent, by the national characteristics of television. Given this instability of scheduling tactics, they are not analysed in this

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chapter but the main tendencies of these tactics in Greek television shall be discussed in the next chapter at a content production level. The three methodological variables of this study aim to define a particular methodological framework, which is also open to interpretations and options, that will enable a researcher to approach the issue between conversion and correlation of content diversity and context diversity and define and locate it based on its form (morphology), its place in the wider context of the programme zones (topology) and, finally, its distribution of time (chronology). The â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;open to applicationsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; methodological framework, an issue that has already been discussed in the introductory chapter, is mainly due to the object and the aim of measuring diversity. This variable changes from research to research and is the main reason for not having, even today, any commonly accepted methodology. An initial longitudinal study that actually defines the diversity of content through a measurable logic within the framework of time, place and form, based on business options and the needs of stations was carried out by Steiner (1952), whose work is considered the first thorough study to place programming on a structured and rational footing, even though it could not be applied in a hypercomposition environment at the time of its writing. Specifically, this study (Steiner, 1952), which refers to radio broadcasting, though it can be extended to television, defines the concept of diversity within the framework of scheduling, and particularly within the framework of the planning of the television programming timeline. However, a more careful look at the Steinerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s model provides important insights into the form of the content and its topological placement in the programme, and deals not only with issues related to

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time distribution of the programme. Briefly, the research query that may be raised – combining the methodological approach of this chapter with Steiner’s study – is how the business preferences and options of a channel may affect the morphology82 character of the content (diversity) and how this combination may be approached methodologically. In the framework of a more general analysis, the planning of diversity is methodologically approached under the scope of horizontal and vertical scheduling. The author believes that Steiner’s model is an initial approach to horizontal and vertical scheduling, since it actually organises and places content chronologically and topologically. According to Papathanassopoulos83, horizontal scheduling is in fact based on the creation of zones in the television schedule. It is a serial or a show that develops through the week every day and at the same time, creating a feeling of habit in the mind of the spectator. Vertical scheduling deals with the placement of programmes similar84 to each other immediately after the central news programme, though on a weekly basis and at a particular time (not every day, unlike with horizontal scheduling).85 The author’s article detailing the theory of metamorphosis also refers to a third type of scheduling – whose definition is something that is still being elaborated –diagonal scheduling. This results from the modernisation of television content during the last decade, particularly the reality show, and a specific genre among the most profitable genres due to its high audience rates as well as low production costs. Steiner’s second model, the ‘over time’ model, partially defines the concept used by the author as diagonal scheduling. The following

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The concept of content’s morphology is presented here as a methodological indicator. Yet, this particular question considers content characteristics in the frameworks of morphology, chronology and topology as morphology. 83 Stylianos Papathanassopoulos, personal correspondence, 2009. 84 The placement of programmes of similar kinds aims to create zones within the zone’s programme. 85 Stylianos Papathanassopoulos, personal correspondence, 2009.

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figure employs examples to explain how the concept of diagonal scheduling is being approached.

Horizontal scheduling •Every day of the week, at the same time

Vertical scheduling

Diagonal scheduling

•Once a week •Within a paricular zone

•combination of the two tactics

Figure 27: The figure displays series broadcast daily, for example “Maria i Aschimi” (Maria, The Ugly One) is broadcast every day of the week, at the same time. However, the crime fiction programme “Light in the tunnel”86 is placed within a particular zone (after the main news programme) only once a week. These cases are examples of horizontal and vertical scheduling, respectively. Horizontal/vertical scheduling is an approachable methodological criterion of the programme’s assessment. As shown by the figure, diagonal scheduling could be added to the related terminology. It is a hybrid technique made up of the two aforementioned types of scheduling. For example, the well-known TV show “Fame Story”87 could be considered vertical, since its live broadcasting took place every week, but it could also be considered horizontal, since the scenes were shot during the week inside the academy’s studios and the house where the contestants lived were broadcast both by the pay-tv channel and by the channel that was holding the rights. The combination of the two tactics aims at creating tension and anxiety in the spectator’s mind. The combination resulting between horizontal and vertical scheduling is something the author calls diagonal scheduling (author’s elaboration, 2008).

In fact, Steiner suggests two models for diversity’s timeline order: a) a period model and b) a model over time. The first model notes the broadcasting of a show on a 86

“Light in The Tunnel” is a TV show of social substance. During the multihour broadcast the presenter-coordinator of the show, Aggeliki Nikolouli, and her team search for fellow human beings who went missing under unusual circumstances and their disappearance was reported to the police being assisted by the viewers (http://www.anikolouli.gr/Content.php?PageId=1&Language=en). 87 Fame Story was a Greek reality TV show. It has been one of the most successful Greek TV shows over the last years. The contestants gave a weekly performance in a 2½–3 hour episode in which the contestants were judged and one contestant was voted off after a week long televoting. On the other six days of the week, the best footage of the days were compiled in a late night episode from inside the academy's studios and from the adjacent house where the contestants lived for their entire stay on the show inclusively.

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particular date and at a specific time, aiming at increasing the audience rating88 during a particular period and not during the programme in general. The notion of monolateral (or simple) time diversity is used for this kind of programme’s timeline order, for the difference between simple and complex time distribution to be more easily understood. Specifically, the second model develops the timeline order of diversity through time. Diversity is developed, thus, during the duration of the whole programme and not only in the bounds of a single show, leading to a form of horizontal and vertical timeline arrangement in the scheduling that affects the form and , content’s topological location or operates interactively with them. Beyond diversity’s timeline arrangements – this diversity should be interpreted either from the perspective of the show’s duration (chronology) or by the specific time (the time zone where the show is scheduled, that is its topology) of its broadcast – Steiner’s study raises questions related to programme morphology. Steiner, referring to an oncoming analysis, discusses the issue of differentiating the content, as it is referred to in the analysis of this study. Specifically, he raises the question as to whether any future analysis could discern the types of differentiation of content and miss only from the quality-related diversity (genre diversity) analysis framework, as has happened so far: “Is there a meaningful distinction that can be made in the area of product differentiation between imitative product differentiation and changes in quality of product?” Steiner (1952) suggests the word “change”, which as has been mentioned is the central conceptual core of this approach. What we both examine, as regards the issue of metamorphosis, is the change in content in order to 88

Actually, Steiner suggests a particular cost strategy aiming at increasing the audience though maintaining the production at low and beneficial, for the channel, cost.

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differentiate it. Moreover, Steiner uses the concept of ‘product variation’ (Steiner, 1952) to interpret the process of content’s differentiation. Steiner’s model specified that time duration applies to any programme. This duration gives diversity its chronological feature (diversity over time). According to metamorphosis theory, the chronological feature of content’s diversity does not focalise merely the programme’s duration (chronology). One of the programmer’s main strategies is also the proper placement of the show in one of the zones, after another show or the show which is going to follow. This is the time arrangement that deals mostly with the placement of the show within the framework of the programme in general, and it is therefore defined as topology. The chronological and topological features of scheduling converge conceptually. The features that are related to the time –what the author calls chronology – are classified based on the duration of the programme. The contribution of Steiner with regard to the duration of the programme is enriched with its topology as to how a programme or even a programme’s zone can be placed in a way so that it can be organised chronologically and can compete with other channels’ programmes broadcast within the same time period. With regard to content’s homogenisation, from the very beginning Steiner (1952), taking the general development of the programme into consideration, takes for granted that all the channels produce the same or similar kind of shows, and the result is that they share the number of the viewers. This is also his first conclusion as far as his approach is concerned, and this is also the first conclusion the author drew after examining Greek television diversity through his own studies. According to the metamorphosis theory, when considering that the supposed channels produce the

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same types of programme, those types, when exposed, do not have the same features. The result is that their type-image differs and in this way they attract different viewing ratings. This approach is concluded the same way it commenced: content’s homogenisation is the driving force that changes the shape of content, leading to its overall metamorphosis in order to prepare it for competitive consumption (diversity as received).

Figure 28: The factors that Steiner refers to during his analysis and in the end influence the final form of the channel’s content.

Based on the philosophy of the model of Steiner, and influenced by the distribution of time and the way content is ordered, Nilssen and Sorgard (1998) try to prove the correlation between time scheduling (Nielssen and Sorgard, 1998), the genre of the programme – programme profile (Nielsen and Sorgard, 1998), as they name it in their approach – something that is not clearly attempted by Steiner. In this approach, the authors follow Steiner’s way of thinking, according to which the audience decides a

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priori on the time period during which it is going to watch a programme and, building upon the zone 18.00-23.00, the audience tries to choose between two television channels that compete with each other but in two different genres (between crime and politics as the typical top story). A similar study, published by Barros (2008), deals with news programmes, and is a particularly interesting case since it occupies one of the most important prime-time zones of the Greek television, a zone whose application is something going to be discussed in the third sub-chapter. 5.4. Programming tactics, context diversity and the production of pseudocontent (content pseudo-differentiation) This sub-chapter extends the function of programming tactics as tools that work out the process of content metamorphosis within the context of the three methodological programming variables developed above, namely morphology, chronology and topology. The clarification of its concept is mainly made through the presentation and discussion of concepts that approach the same issue, and particularly through methodological approaches trying to deal with its application. As pointed out in subchapter 6.2 of this chapter, the author believes that programming tactics are non-static methodological units and programming strategies change according to the needs of current planning. When it comes to application, instability causes methodological questions that I am going to deal with in the last chapter through some final remarks. Content diversity results from the fusion between the three metamorphosis variables and the use of programming tactics that aim at differentiating the television product, first to get differentiated in the wider environment of competition and second to gain a larger audience. This phenomenon should be called context diversity because, through this strategy, differentiation is not achieved through the quality features of content.

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This describes the qualitative essence, or to be more precise – referring to the qualitative essence – through programme genres differentiation, but through general tactics (or techniques) that mainly deal with matters of branding and the foundation of values about the channel or about the programming zone where the programme belongs. These techniques are so-called programming tactics, which do not produce quality-orientated89 or really diversified content but a ‘heterogeneous’ pseudocontent, which is, firstly, easier to consume and, secondly, more profitable regarding advertising. In short, it serves the channel’s commercial goals. The application of this approach with regard to is discussed further down. Papathanassopoulos90 refers to differentiation tactics by using the term “television scheduling tactics”. When mobilising this kind of diversity, heterogeneity or homogeneity audience tactics and – to a lesser degree –content heterogeneity or homogeneity can be revealed, since the essence of content is of secondary importance. Some scholars refer to this type of diversity using the term ‘structural diversity’ (Man Chan, 1996) – in contrast to content diversity – defining with this term the programme structure, its ‘puzzling’ nature instead of content’s diversity, although research about this type of diversity has been limited and mostly concerns marketing techniques aiming to increase audience ratings, as analysed below. Eastman & Newton (1998), for example, in their research on ‘salience theory’, approach methodologically the several ways of counting types of scheduling tactics, and particularly those of on-air promotions, via two methodological variables: content

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Conceptually, the concept of quality is not quite approachable. This study, when referring to the concept of quality in relation to the programme, means the rich diversity in programmes’ types. 90 Stylianos Papathanassopoulos, personal correspondence, 2009.

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variables, which calculate or describe the content of the programme, and more particularly according to the genres of on-air promos and structure variables – a term that refers to the concept of structural diversity – which calculates the tactics used to promote and present the programme to viewers. Such tactics are, for example, the broadcasting frequency of the on-air promotions or the broadcasting time segments chosen by the channel. In another study, which is an extension of the above study, Eastman (2001) uses also the concept of “promotional variables”, referring to the methodological variables that assess the tactics of programming promotion. Through these promotional variables, the mode of television programming diversification may be shown, even through its self-promotion schemes. Eastman, uses variables such as “construction”, which indicates the number of programmes promoted in the spot (whether single or multiple), or the variable of “frequency”, which indicates how often a programme is promoted. In another study, Eastman, Newton, Riggs and NealLunsford (1997) examine partial scheduling tactics such as audience variations according to season, a subject analysed extensively by several studies. The season as a criterion for the selection of a scheduling tactic can affect not only the form, but also the topology and chronology of the content. The nature of scheduling as regards the season is treated in Chapter 9, the conclusion of this research. Thinking along the same lines, related to the differentiation of television, Pilavios91, as far as Greek Television is concerned, points out that the private channels Mega, Alpha and ANT1 do not differ from each other as regards their programming; according to Pilavios, STAR Channel, on the other hand, broadcasts children’s programmes, family series and movies, and most of the channel’s newscasts feature 91

Nikos Pilavios, personal correspondence, 2008.

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lifestyle, showbiz and fashion news (80% of its content). Public television differs from private television channels, as its programming includes certain shows related to the church and religious issues or the army and military issues, or shows covering topics that are not aired by private television channels. It is worth mentioning that public television should not try to imitate the other channels in order to enter the competition. In the following section, the three variables of the author’s approach are applied, in order to examine how the homogenised programming of the Greek television is organised and placed in the context of its metamorphosis. Specifically, the focus is placed on the main news bulletin of the channels in order to draw certain conclusions as regards the policies of their differentiation. Eastman92 points out that the author’s approach, through chronology, morphology and topology, is ideal for small nations such as Greece or Cyprus, where the television market is set, and these variables may be used reasonably and practically. On the contrary, in cases where there are wider television environments, as in the United States where there are about two hundred television channels, such an approach would run counter to the homogeneity of the channels, as well as to the policies of their “differentiation”, and thus this issue would not have any practical effect 93. Eastman’s remark is quite significant, as what she basically claims is that the approach presented in this research can be applied to specific television contexts and in particular to small markets, where the content is more easily controlled, in the sense of categorisation and observation. 92 93

S. Tyler Eastman, personal correspondence, 2008. S. Tyler Eastman, personal correspondence, 2008.

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5.5.

Qualitative content analysis of television news: the utility of morphology, chronology and typology as a tool

This sub-chapter examines empirically the content metamorphosis theory developed in this chapter which, as analysed above, is created through its homogeneity. Utility is developed as a framework and the application of the metamorphosis is effected by using its three methodological axes – morphology, chronology and topology – as a basis. These axes are analysed and developed through questionnaires that concern policy and programme makers from the largest Greek television channels, who interpret these three axes through their empirical participation in television programming. The use of the news bulletin as an example in order to analyse their diversification, and to detect what metamorphosis in television programming, trying to find out how and in what way the programme differentiates through its own homogeneity, is not something incidental but it is based on specific pillars that are used in order to show the specificity of news bulletins compared to other types of programmes such as films and entertainment programmes. Therefore, the author’s choice regarding the study of the diversification of news bulletins is not made randomly, but is a targeted and thorough choice. Specifically, news bulletins have the following features: 1.

Their style and content reflect the image of the television channel. This is where the metamorphosis of the channel is based. Through a television channel, the factors that may create a notional background showing the status of the channel’s programming are promoted. In simple words, the issue here is not that the entire programming is based on the image of the news bulletin, or that the news bulletin is based on

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the entire programming, but that the news bulletin is used as a vehicle to show the image of the channel to the viewer. If may be, for instance, a “serious” and reputable TV channel, a “primarily news-oriented” channel that is a power newsmonger, a “light info-tainment” channel94 (Graber, 1994) or a channel with other features used to describe its profile. Diversification between television channels – the variation between content and tactics as defined and analysed in this chapter – is pursued through the brand positioning undertaken in news bulletins. I consider that a television channel can easier define its diversification through news bulletins than through any other programme, since news bulletins are more “flexible” as far as their format, structure and purpose are concerned.

2.

The main news bulletin usually attracts higher viewing figures compared to other programmes. Due to the high TV viewing figures programme makers schedule the main news bulletin as an independent programme zone. This means that the main news bulletin zone does not include other programmes or shows other than this programme, the average length of which is about forty-five minutes. According to research on Greek media referring to the connection of young people with information-related programmes, the respondents expressed a

94

In her research, Doris Graber discusses the new trends in television programming referring specifically to the term of ‘Infotainment’. Specifically, Graber examines to what extent do television channels supply citizens with essential political information or if they use other techniques as well such as factual reporting and dramatization of news .

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marked preference for television news bulletins over the press and radio. Specifically, according to the research conducted by Aslanidou (2000), televised news bulletins are the most common and most popular source of news, since young people prefer television (79%) to radio (7.7%) or printed press and newspapers (13.3%) as their source of news and information. Aslanidou considers television a primary source of information for young people â&#x20AC;&#x201C; even though I should point out that she refers to the pre-internet era â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and believes that family environment greatly affects how the source of information is chosen (Aslanidou, 2000).

3.

Fundamentally, the author considers that the main news bulletin is the build-up of shorter news bulletins broadcast throughout the day, and constitute the backbone on which the entire programming of the channel is based. Therefore, news bulletins give programming coherence and cohesion, building up to the main news bulletin. The repeated advertising spots that show through the main news bulletin what it is going to be broadcast later keep the viewer alert and watching the same channel for as long as possible. This is usually the role of newsflashes, the average length of which is two minutes.

4.

Televised news bulletins consist of messages that are decoded and presented to the viewer through morphological, topological and

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chronological techniques, and the author refers to them when treating their application and utility as tools. It is what Fields (1988) considers when claiming that news bulletins consist of words, voices, visual symbols and techniques related to the shooting and the camera. In fact, Fields considers that a fully qualitative analysis of the different levels of messages may give us information presenting all the elements that constitute a message. In an effort to isolate and classify the elements that constitute a televised news bulletin, trying to create an electronic formula for recording these elements, Ide and Tanaka (1998) distinguish

these

elements

into

two

categories:

grammatical

characteristics and semantic characteristics. Elements related to language such as the composition of sentences and specifically the omission of the subject or the use of a noun at the end of a sentence are classified in the first category. Elements related to technical issues such as live links, the news in brief and the organisational structure of the news bulletin are classified as semantics. This research of Ide and Tanaka (1998) distinguishes the televisionary elements aimed at creating an electronic data classification formula. This modifies this research study (Ide and Tanaka, 1998) up to a point, since it aims at data analysis automation and not at a primary qualitative or quantitative analysis of the content of the news bulletins. In this research, the semantic elements of the content are not dealt with, which is why there is no reference to them as such. They are merely described as partial content diversification tactics (for instance, the process of the

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dramatisation of news is mentioned, where the programmers in order to achieve the right effect use specific words such as ‘crime’).

5.

The economic aspect of a televised news bulletin is quite interesting, as it usually has fixed expenses – as it shall be discussed in detail through empirical analysis – even though it includes live exterior links. TV station owners control the budget of their news bulletins do not, expenditure-wise, cross the red lines drawn by the TV station owners, over against a TV series, for instance, that includes imponderables such as the low audience figures and the fiasco.

6.

Televised news bulletins have specificities related to their diversity level as regards their range of topics. The main specificity over the other programme genres is the fact that one can refer to the content diversity of a news bulletin. Conversely, one cannot refer to the content diversity of a film, since it has no specific topics, so one should refer to the diversity of technical features and not content diversity. For instance, documentaries may also present viewpoint, hence diversity is then determined, based on the researchers’ framework. Therefore, televised news bulletins differ from other programmes due mainly to their range of topics as well as to the diversity of ideas developed throughout the bulletin.

Research examining the diversification of televisionary elements was carried out by Lozano (2004); this research comparatively looked at the content of Mexican,

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Canadian and US news programmes and bulletins, highlighting a range of variations between the programmes either to a smaller or a larger extent. Specifically, Lozano’s research indicated the following issues. Firstly, all the programmes in the sample taken from the three countries showed the same trend as far as news personalisation. This trend appears either with public opinion polls or with political events, and in general with reference to public personalities. This trend reaches up to 80% of the sample examined. Secondly the ‘fragmentation95’ of information in sound bytes is an issue also examined by Lozano. As regards this diversification element, US news bulletins and programmes have the highest percentage (71%), with Canadian news programmes at 20% and Mexican news programmes in between. Thirdly, the dramatization of news is another issue examined by the researcher, and it is worth pointing out that the Mexican news bulletins and news-related programmes differ from their US and Canadian counterparts, as they have a low level of dramatisation compared to the high levels seen in the US. Fourthly, discussion and news-related background information presented during news bulletins is quite interesting, since discussions may be needed in order to fill up air time without being categorical or specific. Lastly, in this research, Lozano uses the word “sensationalism” in order to show that the diversification of a programme’s content, specifically that of the news bulletin, is based on the impact of the use of words such as “crime”, which excites the viewer’s imagination. The research of Lozano (2004) is used because it includes specific televisual elements used in order to show the diversification between

95

The writer defines the term of ‘fragmentation’ as follows: ‘’Fragmentation was defined as the presentation of facts in sounds bytes according to the fast tempo of television news. It refers to stories that do not offer information about the complex positions about issues, ignoring or minimising facts that viewers, as citizens, should know to be able to exert their democratic rights.’’ (Lozano, 2004)

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channels, making a comparative analysis of the differentiation of news bulletin content in different countries. In this sub-chapter, based on the specificity of televised news bulletins, several empirical examples shall be set out on how the metamorphosis theory and indicators can be applied, based on the methodological triptych presented in Chapter 3 of the morphology, topology and chronology of content. In addition, through empirical analysis, the elements that diversify the homogenised content of televised news bulletins shall be discussed. News bulletins are an indicative example of how to apply my theory, not only for the reasons analysed above, but also when there are specific indicators it is easier to approach methodologically a news bulletin than any other programme genre. In the following graph, those elements are set out that, according to the empirical analyses that follow, differentiate televised news bulletins from one another.

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Figure 29: Elements of the diversification of televised news bulletins, distinguished into the three basic axes of the author’s analysis and related to content metamorphosis: morphology, topology and chronology96.

The range of topics, journalistic sources used97, the delivery and general bearing of the newscaster, the role of other journalists, news reporters and correspondents and the elements that constitute title sequences such as the opening sequences and signature music refer to the morphology of the content of news bulletins. When referring to the topological elements of a news bulletin, the author considers the general configuration of the zone, the lead-in98 and the lead-out99 of the programme. Finally, as far as the chronological elements are concerned, through this research three 96

My reference to ‘journalistic sources’ has nothing to do with source diversity that I treat in Chapter 7. Journalistic sources are related with the journalistic information that is collected by the journalists in order to “build” reportage. 97 A recent research attempts to apply some of these parameters through the meaning of the viewpoint diversity of the news content (Masouras,2013). 98 The programme that is scheduled to precede another programme, in this case the news bulletin. 99 The programme following another programme, in this case the news bulletin.

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elements related to the parameter of time are detected: the author wishes to determine is the importance of the total length of a news bulletin compared to rival news programmes, whether it is a significant diversification element or not. In addition, the amount of time newscasters are on screen, either individually or with regard to the total length of the news bulletin, has a significant role to play. According to the editor-in-chief of the news programmes aired by ANT1 TV, Lefkos Christou100, the main news bulletin of a TV station should be a reflection of the station itself. The reliability, validity and objectivity of the main news define the identity of the channel. ANT1â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s main evening news bulletin reflects the integrity of the TV station. As regards ANT1 TV Cyprus, this channel does not give the green light to any radical news bulletins that may upset viewers, because Cyprus is a small, deeply conservative society. Therefore, there should be a balance between the parent and the subsidiary television network. The answer to the question of how the main news bulletin builds the branding of the overall content of the channel is reliability. A news bulletin should be reliable, valid, timely and objective, and it should provide pluralist news coverage of the latest current affairs at a local or international level101. Christou102 considers that the main news bulletin is shown at the heart of the primetime TV viewing period because this is when the overwhelming majority of the viewers are tied down to watch the daily news. For this reason, companies that record overall viewing figures for television stations consider the viewing figures for news bulletins the most important factor when measuring ratings. Besides, main news

100

L. Christou, Editor-in-chief of the news programmes of ANT1 TV, personal correspondence, 2010. Ibid. 102 Ibid. 101

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bulletins are broadcast in the prime-time slot, usually starting at 18:00 and ending at 24:00103. In addition, the editor-in-chief of ANT1 TV104 points out that, during the Gulf crisis, CNN played a leading part in the live broadcast of allied forces removing Iraqi troops from Kuwait, and this was a small revolution in the television field: the live broadcast of significant events at a place where events were actually happening was established. With respect to production, the news bulletin has moved beyond a single image, since all television channels, with the support of technology, have introduced the splitscreen view. The American way of newscasting has also affected Europe, even the BBC â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a conservative broadcaster. A main news bulletin will always try to find ways of attracting more viewers in order to achieve high viewing figures and reach an identifiable audience. These days, Cypriot viewers are hard to please, as they are aware of what is going on all over the world due to satellite television. Therefore, any positive change in or innovation of a news bulletin is used by rival channels. In Cyprus, all television stations follow the same path: announcement of the news bulletin menu through trailers and the presentation of headlines or other information through news tickers or â&#x20AC;&#x153;crawlersâ&#x20AC;?. All news reports are accompanied by titles, so that the viewer knows what is going on in cases when he has no sound. The accompanying video material of a news report is richer and the news report is combined with these televised scenes. During the last few years, news reports have been interlarded with cards, as appropriate. This innovation is used in news reports related to statistical data or written statements. Objectivity, reliability and validity are

103 104

Ibid. Ibid.

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essential for a news bulletin. Timely news reporting is very important, as viewers give credit to the channel that is the first to inform them about an important event105. These elements, as well as modern news coverage, are determinant factors in identifying a high-flying TV channel. Finally, Christou106 considers that the diversification tactics and methods of a channel are inherent in the economic cost of a main news bulletin, which constitutes about 65% of the total expenditure of a TV station. Imponderables are inevitable, since the news bulletin is a live information tool and news reporting is unpredictable. A news bulletin can change dramatically even on air due to breaking news. Furthermore, technical problems may occur and “blacken” the screen temporarily. However, there are safeguards such as the operation of a generator in the case of a power cut. As far as the item used for productions, it depends on the identity of each television station. One channel may be “news-oriented” and focus on the analysis of news building, impacting on its branding. Conversely, another channel may be “lighter” in its approach. During the last few years, based on empirical approaches, television channels in Cyprus have increased the number of domestic productions, since the audience prefers domestic over foreign television productions. The foreign news chief editor of the Athens News Agency, Michalis Psilos107, who cooperates with the news department at ANT1 TV, has the same philosophy regarding content diversification. He states that diversification is achieved through the people who appear in a televised news bulletin, referring to those who make comments 105

The viewer acknowledges/recognises the fact that he is being informed quickly of important events (and as a result, rewards the channel by being a faithful viewer). 106 L. Christou, Editor-in-chief of the news programmes of ANT1 TV, personal correspondence, 2010. 107 M. Psilos, Foreign News Chief Editor of Athens News Agency and works for the news department ANT1 TV, personal correspondence, 2008.

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through the split-screen. Moreover, Psilos108 outlines the diversification of Greek TV channels as follows. Information and news-related programmes at MEGA TV account for about 20% of output, since this TV channel aims at covering major political events through unbiased and serious reporting. ANT1 TV is not as interested in promoting political issues; on the contrary, this channel is interested in promoting social issues highlighting the social unrest of citizens through its news bulletins and using most of the bulletinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s length for discussions instead of broadcasting video material. ALPHA TV tries to imitate the style of MEGA TV, but, according to Psilos109, this channel does not have the same validity and prestige as MEGA TV. Finally, the apolitical news bulletin transmitted by STAR CHANNEL does not deal to a great extent with political or social issues, as it is not interested in politics or politically neutrality; most of the channelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s news bulletins feature lifestyle, showbiz and fashion news, leaving many serious subjects either completely out of the newscast or with very little broadcasting time. This news programme targets a dynamic audience aged between 15 and 30 years old and has the highest rating among all other news bulletins, since it differentiates completely110. Nonetheless, this should not be confused with the correlation between competition and programme homogeneity. Previously, the view that competition leads to programme homogeneity was presented. However, homogeneity was conceptually defined regarding the genres of the programme, not the internal differentiations of genres which are achieved through the programming strategies analysed here.

108

Ibid. Ibid. 110 Ibid. 109

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The news department director for Mega Channel, Pavlos Milonas111, clearly follows the philosophy of the axes of morphology, topology and chronology. Specifically, when referring to the morphology of diversification, he considers that it is closely related to the people involved with the news bulletin, especially the journalists, news anchors and commentators. Milonas points out112 that the parameters of the ideas of the journalists, the interests of the channel and the bulletin’s style define the content of the news bulletin, thus outlining its morphology. As regards topology, Milonas113 points out that the channel’s decision about the programmes that precede and follow the news bulletin is significant, as the channel’s prime-time zone is built in this way; moreover, the starting time of the news bulletin is essential, since if it starts even a few minutes earlier than the news bulletin of the rival channel, it captures the attention of a significant part of the television audience due to this diversification. Finally, Milonas114 points out that in MEGA TV the total timing of the anchors’ delivery with regard to the total length of the news bulletin is longer compared with the respective timing in ANT1 TV, since ANT1 takes the utmost account of videos and news reports and MEGA TV is interested in the comments and the views of the anchors, journalists, correspondents or commentators involved with the news bulletin115. Through the above empirical analyses regarding the diversification of news bulletins, the author arrives at his original assumption about the theory of metamorphosis, whereby content diversifies on the basis of various diversification tactics and methods 111

P. Milonas, News Department Director in Mega Channel, personal correspondence, 2010. Ibid. 113 Ibid. 114 Ibid. 115 Ibid. 112

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and not on the basis of its qualitative diversity. The time distribution of a news bulletin, for instance, that is used in order to differentiate it from a rival news bulletin and attract the viewersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; attention, tying them down even for five minutes, is considered a diversification method that has nothing to do with the programme content itself. Therefore, this process is termed content metamorphosis because it refers to the form, to the context and not to the content. The above empirical analyses show how a televised news bulletin is shaped and how it diversifies within the framework of competition. As mentioned before, in the beginning of this sub-chapter, news bulletins have specificities that enable us to spot diversification tactics and methods more clearly and to discern the diversification of the content from that of the context. Although policymakers occasionally refer to diversification in a range of topics, as Psilos116 does, for instance, when speaking of a news agenda and specifically about the different range of topics selected and used by STAR CHANNEL compared to its rival channels, this does not represent a diversification on content diversity. When referring to diversification in a range of topics, it may actually mean two things: first, a complete diversification of the news topics as evidenced by STAR CHANNEL, which has a low diversity level and aims to be a thematic channel and, second, a partial or artificial diversification of the topics, the main feature of which is the variability in news topics. This means that two channels may, for instance, have the same topics in their news bulletins, but in a different order as far as their importance and priority are concerned. Therefore, even if the topics are the same, their presentation is different and the viewer perceives them in a diversified way. 116

M. Psilos, Foreign News Chief Editor of Athens News works for the news department in ANT1 TV, personal correspondence, 2008.

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In this chapter, the importance of content metamorphosis theory was analysed. The most significant finding is how this metamorphosis is achieved through the patterns and tactics referred to before affecting the overall degree of diversity and the total output of the content. In the following two chapters, source diversity is analysed, as well as the programme production sector as one of the basic elements/components of the authorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s methodological model.

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CHAPTER SIX RESEARCH IN THE FIELD OF TELEVISION PROGRAMME PRODUCTION 6.1.

An initial depiction of the issue

The production of television programmes is a field of research that attracts the interest of researchers, mostly because of the study of diversity and pluralism. The extensive study in this sector has been carried out due to the interest the EU has shown in television productions since the early years of deregulation, as well as the impact of television programmes on culture and customs. In this chapter, two axes will be discussed: the wider context of the field of television productions will be presented, by outlining and analysing the European television production industry as well as the Greek television production industry. In the second axis, the author is going to show the methodological approach for the modus operandi of the formula used to assess the source diversity that is part of his model, as shown in a previous chapter of this study. 6.2.

Outlining the source

Very little research has been conducted focusing upon Greek productions. In contrast, at international level, an important number of studies refer to the production of programmes, either by analysing the case in a particular country (case study), or by analysing fundamental policies adopted internationally, using cases observed in several countries. A description of these studies in the framework of this particular study is essential, because that is how the role of television production in the promotion of ideas, perceptions and customs within society will become clearer. Moreover, in this way, diversity in the televisual field can be determined.

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To be clear, and before referring to the related studies, it is worth pointing out that the study of production companies is, in essence, a study of source diversity, or to be more precise a very significant part of the sources, which is why it is essential to understand how production companies act and the framework for their action. Source diversity, however, is not confined to television or production companies. Instead, it is a field that, even 20 years after deregulation, keeps on developing new parameters such as internet or mobile telephony117 (Carpenter ,2008). Medina (2004), who approaches the field of television production by discussing the sufficiency of European and the international laws, while also using examples taken from particular countries, states that, for the goal of achieving diversity and pluralism in television, further factors should be taken into consideration such as the influence exercised by vertical concentration and television audience measurement ratings. In her study on television production in Europe, focusing on the historical framework of laws developed in the EU (Medina, 2004)118 and the way of thinking developed because of those laws, she emphasises upon their content. According to the writer, the main goal of these laws was to boost the national television production of each country. In this way,

117

As far as this last finding is concerned, the two documents referring to the impact of the new concept of journalism on source diversity are quite interesting. These two documents by Carpenter and Braman cover a wide number of topics mainly related to the role of the Internet. Specifically, special emphasis is laid on the broader source diversity since the “amateur” or “citizen” journalists and the alternative Media discredit the traditional journalistic values, such as the excessive use of official sources in order to obtain information or even the independence from the interests of the big news providers. There is reference, of course, to potential negative points such as the unreliability of specific issues as in many cases there are not any sources or the sources are questionable. 118 As far as the European Directives are concerned, Amsterdam Protocol referring to the system of public broadcasting in the Member States (1997) as well as the “Television Without Frontiers” Directive (TVWF Directive) that is the cornerstone of the European Union's audiovisual policy are quite interesting. In addition, each country has adopted provisions regulating this field, such as the British Communication White Paper in Great Britain, the Independent Broadcasting Authority Act of 1993 in Ireland, the Administrative Law 1265/2001 in Portugal, Law 25/1994 (as amended by Law 22/1999) in Spain, the Radio and Television Act of 1996 in Sweden, Law 27516/2003 in Belgium, Law 1052/2002 in Denmark, Law 119/1999 in Italy, the Dutch Media Act Section 54.2 in Netherlands, Law 3166/2003 in Greece. Medina

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the national culture of each country would be protected against a full-scale invasion launched by American programmes, a treaty that took place during the early years of the denationalisation of television in European countries. This particular practice can make possible an increase of the diversity and pluralism of television programmes. The writer, having studied the cases of several EU member countries, drew some considerably important conclusions. One of the basic arguments mentioned by the writer is that the development of local production does not lead to a high degree of diversity and pluralism. This happens because of two basic reasons: the first involves vertical concentration in the field of the media, a field where the larger television networks own production companies, ensuring a major role in the selection, content and opinions promoted by the programmes produced. The second reason has to do with the fact that large production companies, which cooperate with many nets and especially when dealing with programme zones of high television audience rates, achieve high television audience ratings, this way actually creating a specific form of concentration in the field119. Although the European Union accepted the opinions above related to production companies, there are still a number of issues to solve in order to deal with the problem sufficiently. Such issues are, for instance, under which circumstances it is possible to consider that a production company associates the direct relation of ownership with a particular television network or how the magnitude of influence upon the audience can be measured securely. According to the writer, and the policies promoted by the EU, the role independent producers must play in the functioning of the field is of major importance. Their role,

119

O. Kliamaki, personal correspondence, 2010

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under conditions and according to the conclusions drawn by Medina, can be catalytic in avoiding the concentration of ownership as well as promoting programmes that would be selected more freely than those selected by the production companies owned by television networks. For her part, Doyle (2002) studies the issue related to the production of television programmes through the examination of the broader field of media enterprises development. Based on the communication field in the UK120, Doyle refers to the main ways of growth of media enterprises and, more particularly, to horizontal, vertical and diagonal growth. The two latter cases of media enterprise growth are related to a greater (vertical growth) or lesser extent (diagonal growth) with the production of television programmes. In more detail, the writer submits that vertical concentration in the the media is responsible for the ownership relationship between the distributors (television networks) and producers of television programmes (production companies). As the writer points out, having a wide variety of programmes to choose from a significant number of production companies is an essential element that can boost pluralism and diversity. That was the main topic of related laws in the UK that finally had an adverse impact121. Doyle believes that the vertical concentration between television networks and production companies is largely due to the guarantee that the programmes will be profitable through the vertical shareholder structure of the companies. So, by having an ownership relationship with a television network, production companies distribute their 120

The expression “communication” field instead of “television” or “radio and television” field is used intentionally, as the writer includes in his study the ensemble of the Mass Media, referring to the part of the diagonal concentration where media such as the newspapers can own production companies. 121 I specifically refer to the Communications Act of 2003, which reviews the previous regulatory framework of the UK regarding the shareholder structure of the media companies.

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programmes to their audience, minimise the risk related to economic conditions (as there is no actual danger for the programme not to be distributed) and at the same time enjoy the possibility of wider distribution to foreign networks and therefore increasing profit. For their part, in some cases, independent producers can play an important role within the market in the UK. However, the danger they have to deal with is significantly larger. Diagonal concentration, which is related to independent producers, stipulates that there can be an ownership relationship with other forms of media besides television for a production company, a usual practice in the UK market. According to the writerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s conclusions, the situation is a result of the laws and developments at the level of ownership, either at the level of distribution (channels) or at the level of production outlets, leading to the limited number of companies that have a significant impact on the television field, the consequence of which is relatively limited diversity and pluralism within UK television (Doyle, 2002). Tunstall (1993), when studying television production in Great Britain, focused mostly upon the historical framework surrounding the development of the field and the changes that took place up to the early 1990s. In a text belonging to the ensemble of the earliest works focusing exclusively on television programme productions, he opted to study how the field was shaped through a large number of interviews with producers who were or had been active in the field. The writer did not focus greatly on legal framework issues or those related to the development of the media industry. On the contrary, he focused on the way the field was developed, the genres of the programmes to be broadcast and the role they played in television, as well as the staff in this particular

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field. Moreover, it is worth examining the classification of the networks into public and private ones with regard to programme production and broadcasting. According to the writer (Tunstall, 1993), the largest proportion of producers had previous experience with the two largest television networks in the country â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the BBC, the public service broadcaster, and ITV, the private broadcaster, since these two broadcasters were the first to be established, in 1922 and 1954, respectively, when the deregulation of television in the UK took place. Programmes were produced within the networks (vertical production, not concentration between the production and the broadcasting of programmes). This practice was largely modified in 1982, when the newly founded network Channel 4 started cooperating with other independent networks in order to produce its programmes. This practice, combined with laws adopted by the Thatcher government, resulted in a change in the structure of the field. Percentages for programme broadcasting were imposed for those programmes created by independent producers on ITV and BBC (at 25%, although both networks passed over this percentage by developing further their cooperation with independent producers). These two steps radically changed the landscape. To give an example, although in 1980 independent production companies were mostly active in the production of advertisements and cinema movies, in 1990 there were about 1,000 television programme production companies. Channel 4, in 1991, was cooperating with 668 different television programme production companies. This change in the field also brought many other important changes. Firstly, the two large networks that used to produce their own programmes (in-house production) were obliged to suspend the operation of certain studios and dismiss a proportion of their

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personnel. At the same time, the production field, in its broader sense, was obliged to lose some of the important advantages it used to have up to that point, such as increased potential as far as personnel, premises and technical support were concerned, strict cost control and independence from production indexes and audience preferences. On the other hand, there were some important advantages such as the possibility of production companies specialising in particular programming genres, as well as for diversity and pluralism in the programmes to be improved. Tunstall, having assessed the changes that occurred, refers to the ways the programmes were produced and the requirements of each programming genre, a quite significant parameter in order to sufficiently assess the broadcasting genre. This parameter is very interesting in the light of the analysis that will be made in the following chapters. To explain, the most difficult programmes to produce are documentaries and research programmes, because they require long-term and detailed research and difficult â&#x20AC;&#x201C; frequently exterior â&#x20AC;&#x201C; filming. The production of drama and comedy is also quite difficult because of the economic demands of actors, technicians and the planning and design of the programmes. Sports programme productions, especially football shows, are quite profitable, even though they may be covered live and so need a lot of people to deal with them; in practice, these pr6LGEJQogrammes may cover many hours of television programming. Finally, the writer approaches the issue of promoting and presenting programmes as well as how the existing framework for the production companies is formed. According to the writer (Tunstall, 2003), the support offered to a programme by other media formats such as radio and print is very important, so that the programme has a strong

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impact upon the audience122. Furthermore, the role of producers who cooperate with television networks and largely act as gatekeepers is very important, as they have the important task of finding shows that will find a place in the television programming of a channel123. These two analyses, performed by Doyle and Tunstall, describe the development of the British field of television production, though from different points of view. It would also be interesting to add more details by studying a relatively recent report made by the competent, commission OFCOM (2005), which deals with the control of communication media. This particular report gives the time framework for the intervention and adjustment of television production, and then analyses the reasons for the measures taken by the state. It focuses mainly on the work and important changes that can be made as a result of attempts aimed at boosting independent producers124. According to the report, intervention in the field was mainly positive as regards most of the points it aimed at. The volume of production of independent producers increased

122

A programming policy used by the groups that own other media besides a television network, such as, for instance, a newspaper or a radio station. In this way, they can promote their programming through other networks and at no extra cost. 123 According to the writer, independent producers classify productions into two main categories: a) producers that still work in some of the networks and play an important role in the selection of the programmes that will be broadcast by the networks and b) independent producers that produce programmes aiming to sell them. Practically, the relationship between those two categories is that the producers belonging to the second one aim at becoming customers of the producers of the first one. Tunstall J. as above, p. 158. 124 According to the report, changes independent producers could contribute to are a) promotion of novelty, creativity and adoption of more extreme ideas, b) rise of the competition and the quality and a simultaneous fall of the prices c) improvement of the diversity and the size in terms of programmeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s genres and geography d) the creation of a new team of specialised personnel and work power that would be activated in the field e) assistance to new television channels to enter the field f) creation of new employments in a large part of the British dominance g) creation of a base where international success could be built upon. It should however be underlined that there is some doubt regarding the possibility of the independent producers to contribute substantially in many of the elements mentioned above.

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greatly, in fact more than expected because of recent changes 125 in the field, such as the creation of satellite and digital networks. At the same time, many networks, such as BBC, went a step further than their conventional obligation required by broadening their cooperation with independent producers even more. According to OFCOM, these practices resulted in the development of the field and an improvement of the services provided, thus assuming an important role in the field. However, this important report also highlights some less positive aspects. First, the initial goal to decentralise this sector, carrying it away from the London area, doesn’t seem to have been achieved, as only four of the 30 large companies that are active in this field are established in other cities. At the same time, ten of the largest companies in the field (out of an ensemble of about 600 companies) make up 50% of the market in terms of programmes broadcast and in terms of broadcasting. The majority of these companies seem to be involved in the production of most of the programme genres provided to the nets with which they cooperate. Smaller companies tend to specialise in particular genres. However, the field is generally deemed to have developed positively, particularly when taking into consideration the expense involved in producing domestic/local programmes. Koukoutsaki (2003), in the only analysis that studies the production of television programmes in Greece, focuses upon fiction programmes in Greek television, and studies the development of the field from the 1970s to the late ‘90s, giving a brief description of the situation. By studying the quantitative elements of the production of 125

The specific report points out – as regards technological changes in the television field – that the increase of the digital channels leads to the increase of the independent productions since what it is all about is the increase of the distribution platforms that are a new tool in the hands of the programme makers. These changes lead to the modification of the sector’s structural forms of the sector since the role of the independent productions within the business structure is set again. Ibid.

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the entertainment programmes from the 1970s to 1997, she draws some important conclusions on how the field was developed. According to the writer, the deregulation of television during the late 1980s had no significant impact on the production sector. Public channels used to broadcast their own productions, whilst private channels controlled directly or indirectly, via satellite companies, the major part of all domestic drama production. This is an important issue that should be observed, as the sector used to depend on the habits and interests of the owners of television channels. Furthermore, according to a study conducted by the writer focusing on television production in Greece, there is no common definition of the genres of the programmes broadcast on television. The few exceptions of some people that study the science of television and try to classify programmes are estimated as insufficient as, while trying to classify some types of programme, they also mix factors from outside such as the frequency of broadcasting or the means of production (â&#x20AC;&#x153;externalâ&#x20AC;? productions). Presenting the results of her research on entertainment programmes in Greece during the three most recent decades, she ends up concluding the presence of four fundamental types of programme: a) dramatic serials b) soap operas c) comedies and d) adventure and crime drama. Each one of these categories has got its own specific features based on duration, broadcasting hour(s), origin before entering the Greek radio and television system and the number of episodes. Through a study of these programmes, Koukoutsaki divides the history of television production in Greece into five different periods. The first ends during the mid â&#x20AC;&#x2122;70s, when production companies were barely active in the field of programme production

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and mostly active in other procedures such as the import of foreign programmes and the production of television game shows, advertising spots, movies and plays. According to the writer, the majority of these companies produced only one television serial during the year. According to information provided by the writer, these companies used to be owned by directors, actors, scriptwriters, advertisers or businessmen, who had acquired some experience from Greek cinema in the 1960s or had studied abroad. During the second period, up to 1981, there was significant growth, as the production of programmes increased significantly and at the same time technical equipment improved, something that facilitated exterior filming, improved acoustics and generally improved quality in terms of technical support. From 1982 to 1989, programme production was in the process of being reduced due to two main parameters. The first involved negative changes in the field of television production globally, and the second the negative way the government of that time dealt with television by considering it an ideological means and a tool of propaganda with a pedagogic character. From 1989, after denationalisation, to 1994, television production in Greece experienced previously never seen before development regarding both the production of programmes and the genres produced. This upward course changed in 1994 due to several conditions, mainly financial, which made production companies look for more economical solutions such as the production of reality and talk shows. An article written by Sora and Hyun Mo (2006) approaches Korean television production in the light of accomplishing goals set when a quota for the broadcasting of programmes by independent producers was applied in 1992. This measure aimed at increasing the number of producers in the market, balancing the development of

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production companies and improving the programmes broadcast by the networks in terms of diversity. This quota was adopted, first, because of the enormous power of the large television networks that produced the programmes and, secondly, because of the need to increase the number of producers in the market. The goal adopted by the Korean television market was to boost the number of independent producers by allowing them easier access to television networks. The writers, by studying the number of producer-providers for television networks, the genres of the programmes produced and broadcast and the way the market for producers developed, had an overview of the way the field developed. Consequently, according to the conclusions drawn by the two writers, the number of producers that provided programmes to television networks increased, firstly fulfilling the particular criterion. The term â&#x20AC;&#x153;firstlyâ&#x20AC;? is used because the author views that in practice many independent producers cannot find a way to sell their programmes to television nets (about half the number of production companies in an ensemble of 400). Furthermore, the television networks would select their programmes in strict cooperation with their own production companies. Consequently, this situation created vertical concentration. However, according to the two writers, nobody could say that there was no important improvement regarding this particular parameter. As far as the diversity of programmes is concerned, according to this study very few changes were related to the genre of the programmes, which remained the same compared to programmes from the previous period. In other words, according to the writers, they did not fulfill that particular and very significant goal, the failure of which was due largely to the structure of the market as well as the habits of consumers.

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Finally, the changes did not even have the desired result upon the sharing of the cost required by the production of programmes. Although the percentage of expenses involved in buying programmes from independent producers increased, it was still low compared to the percentage spent by the channel for their total programme production. Television production has preoccupied the international academic community, as it can be examined thoroughly. Consequently, collective volumes should undoubtedly be written approaching this issue as far as television is concerned. In a collective volume, Cottle (2003) approaches the organising practices of the media as well as the way programmes are produced. Although the studies discussed in the book examine a wide range of issues, some seem to be quite interesting in the framework of this study. First, Cottleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (2003) foreword presents an interesting overview of the field. The writer in the first paragraph of the article submits that the operation of the media, and especially the programme production sector, is based on the theoretical models suggested by the Frankfurt School Political Economy and Cultural Industry of the media. The adoption of those practices resulted in the domination of commercial and predominating models in the programme production. Moreover, this opinion is directly related to the logic of vertical and horizontal concentration promoted in the field. Although it is generally stated that the field should be examined much further, there is an exception regarding the production of newscasts, news-related and other informative programmes, where research should be more detailed. After reviewing these particular studies, a more detailed reference to the current conditions is made. According to that text, those conditions are based on particular requirements. The main conclusion, thus, is that particular types of newscasts and news-related programmes reproduce

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predominating ideas. Furthermore, the majority of journalists merely reproduce already existing and dominant ideologies126. According to the conclusion, two main parameters should be examined, which could bring significant improvement in television production. The first is detecting and studying new types of news-related programmes, which must not relate to the predominating ideology or the logics of commercialisation and â&#x20AC;&#x153;popular consumptionâ&#x20AC;?. Second, oncoming changes in the field of communication should be studied in depth in the light of the advent of new digitally convergent technologies, with particular relevance to satellite television. Baltruschat (2003), while studying the Canadian case, analyses the practices of production companies globally in which they use international co-productions as a means of attracting investors and to boost their competitiveness nationally and internationally. According to the writer, this specific tendency could be interpreted by taking into consideration existing economic developments as well as the changes that took place after the deregulation of television. As pointed out, the basic logic of the role of television changed. Instead of promoting culture as a public good, television broadcasting turned into a means of promoting the culture of the product. This change led to a market that, instead of being local/national, went global, following international models. According to the writerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s research, Canadian television hugely increased its coproductions, especially during 1990-2000, in order to adapt to the international

126

As regards the journalistic practices referring to the content, I treat them in detail in the concluding chapter of my research study.

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environment. This change, of course, contributed to a modification of the content produced, as the broadcast programmes presented cultural similarities and, at the same time, lacked political content to a great extent. Also, programmes focusing on human relations, as well as emotional stories (drama, adventure, science fiction, documentaries) tend to be more popular and are likely to attract more attentions than other similar genres. In addition, there is an obvious reduction in the number of programmes referring to local issues, as they are replaced by programmes referring to issues of international interest. The conclusion is that this tendency cannot function positively in relation to the role television plays within society. The cultural character is quite limited and, at the same time, a large concentration is formed in the field. What is suggested is a shift from the culture of the product to the pre-existent culture of a public good. This practice could contribute to the improvement of diversity and pluralism. Also, as regards the question “how could this be achieved?” the solution appears to be independent producers, who have to be supported by the respective legal framework as well as by cultural institutions. These practices, in combination with powerful public television can create a structure that could boost the whole attempt, which is deemed completely necessary. Otherwise, the public sphere of participation and information for citizens in the framework of an effective society will be spoilt. One article written by Besio, Hungerbühler, Morici and Prario (2008) is quite interesting, as it actually discusses the consequences of the imposition of quotas on television networks, as provided by the “Television without Frontiers Directive” issued in 1989. The writers, having studied cases in five European countries (Germany,

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Austria, Italy, France and Belgium), and having conducted several interviews with experts in the field, decided to study the changes that took place in terms of both production and the ways media organisations used to operate. The researchers focused on two main points, namely the distinction between large and small television organisations and the distinction between large and small countries, which are also related to the respective size of the market. This research focused on the impact of specific arrangements on the programme production market. According to the results of the study, the effects in the five countries examined differ and are strongly related to the measures adopted in each country as a result of the application of the directive. For example, in Belgium, Germany and Italy the arrangements applied as a result of the directive also contained arrangements for minority programmes that would be produced by independent producers. The aim to increase the number of programmes provided by independent producers was achieved to a great extent, and quotas imposed according to the country were achieved as well. However, those arrangements are considered an intervention that also influences the way the media operates as companies and the negative consequences that arise, respectively. Television modifies decisions according to the programme that will be broadcast by being based upon three different parameters: the profile that should be shown, the possibilities to produce programmes and, finally, the planning undertaken that also includes the quotas adopted. These principles largely influence the operation of each channel, while at the same time the specific features of each market are not taken into consideration.

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First of all, small as well as new networks had to deal with more serious problems, as they have to spend large amounts of money, which is very often hard to find127. On the contrary, large networks, in order to cope with the new requirements, on the one hand increased in-house productions and on the other hand entered into broader cooperation agreements with independent programme production companies. As far as the last parameter is concerned, it seems that the operation was ambiguous, as in most cases television networks prefer cooperating with subsidiary production companies that belong to the same group of companies or media conglomerates. At the same time, according to people who are active in the media business and work in small countries and small markets, it is difficult to fulfill their obligations because no production companies are active in specific production genres. Similarly defective is the specific directive dealing with those media outlets with specific contracts with non-European companies (the Italian MTV or the French Disney Channel). Networks that are required, due to socio-cultural reasons, to buy programme productions from non-European companies (like networks in Portugal or Spain that import a large part of their programmes from Latin America) experience similar problems. Even thematic channels, such as Germanyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Phoenixâ&#x20AC;?, the programming of which consists of documentaries, news broadcasts, special events coverage and discussion programmes, deals with a similar situation. Finally, the author would like to emphasise the difficulty that networks have in keeping their systems up-to-date with the measures imposed, as well as coping with the administrative and financial consequences of being in the world of television (Hungerbuhler, Morici and Prario, 2008).

127

Prof. G. Anayiotos, personal correspondence, 2010.

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For his part, De Nooij (2008) studies the Dutch case. After the mid â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;90s the strictest measures regarding programmes that were produced by independent producers were imposed in the Netherlands. The â&#x20AC;&#x153;Television without Frontiersâ&#x20AC;? Directive provided that production by independent producers should make up at least 10% of broadcast programming. This practice was applied in most countries, although there were some small differences and even fewer exceptions. The respective percentage in the Dutch case, which reached 25% of the broadcast programmes, was the highest in the EU and could be compared to the UK, which, according to the BBC Television Statement of Operation, was at least 25%128. This study, however, examines only state television stations, since private television networks were not bound by the adopted laws. The writer, by analysing all the television programmes during 1996-2000, concluded that the policy being followed did not deliver the required results. Approaching the basic position and reasoning of the political power before that particular quota was imposed shows that the basic goal was to improve programme quality and the overall market. As previously mentioned, quality is based on two main factors: technical quality and compliance with the requirements of network managers. Although the first part can be easily estimated, the second is more difficult to assess. What is important, however, is the fact that in many cases production companies can hardly comply with the requirements of the networks, though the responsibility lies also with the networks. This law led to the overall development of the field through the establishment of many production companies. It could be pointed out that this trend was also boosted by certain additional measures adopted by the Dutch government, such as the fact that the quota

128

Television Statement of Operation, BBC, 11 June 2007.

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for television programmes did not include European productions not made for the network in question, or that somebody who used to work as an employee of a network cannot be considered an independent producer earlier that two years after the establishment of his/her company. However, all of these measures do not seem to have been really effective, since, despite the foundation of a significant number of companies (about 400 were established from 1996 to 2000), the majority specialised in specific programming genres and did not actually distribute material to television networks. Also, according to De Nooij, the compulsory broadcasting of programmes made by independent producers did not actually contribute to a larger number of productions or to television programmes of higher quality, since there is always less pressure upon the producers because their programmes will be sold anyway, a tactic that has an impact on the economic aspect of the issue because they there is no pressure for them to reduce their prices. Actually, in some cases, the programmes that are produced by independent producers are much more expensive than they would have been if they had been produced by the networks, due to the fact that independent producers are skilled and appropriately equipped.

6.3.

Assessing the source: from theory to the process of making correlations and from correlations to practice

In the first chapter, the three pillars upon which the methodological formula of the assessment of source diversity is based were presented (power of influence X vertical integration X ecology of the market = level of source diversity). The main particularity of this formula is its obvious application for the programme production market; this means that, in this case, an assessment of source diversity is made through a study of the

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production sector, which is considered the source. It is not always clear that the source of content refers to its production, but it can be conceived in a different way in several studies. For example, the distribution or content broadcasting sectors can also be considered a source. Ferguson and Weigold defined source diversity as all types and categories of media, printed or electronic, that produce content (Ferguson and Weigold, 1986). Consequently, there should be clear classification according to the concepts of the source so that any confusion related to its approach will be avoided: the source is classified according to content production, and the production companies, regardless of whether these are independent, subsidiaries or even in-house departments, are included contrary to the source of distribution or broadcasting. Nevertheless, although in many cases those procedures are followed by the companies themselves, since the latter also bear the responsibility of product production, the author still considers those procedures as a separate process. After an analysis of the relevant empirical studies in the previous sub-chapter, useful elements and tools are drawn that could enrich the formula of the source through further interrelated extensions and correlations. A series of similar issues emerge, beyond the three main elements of the formula, such as the creation of a national culture through related productions such as a strategy (a goal that is also frequently set as a rule), the way the programmes are produced and the several different requirements of the production that also have an impact on the budget of the production, the reforms made in the agendas of the producers as well as of the channels, according to which genres “sell the most”, “bring in the highest ratings” or are most cost-efficient or attract higher audience shares. These and other single characteristics are included in the following graph to show how they correlate, revealing how a component influences or has a

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relation with another component in the wider chain of the formula in the assessment of source diversity. The author distinguishes these elements, which complete the formula for assessing the source, into external and internal aspects. This distinction is based upon the process of production. As internal elements are defined those that directly deal with the process of production, for example the technical requirements of a programme, its budget or the timelines that influence the production process. Conversely, external have an indirect influence, not that much on the production process itself, but mainly on the trends in the market. The domestic-national strategies in forging a national culture through productions, for instance, do not have a direct impact on the production process but, on the contrary, they have a long-term impact on future goals and create the conditions for a gradual shaping and development of a national culture by the producers and their productions. These features compose the broader context of the market, which the author refers to as â&#x20AC;&#x153;market ecologyâ&#x20AC;?. All of these features can be used as basic tools for a study regarding the single characteristics of a particular market; in this case, they are going to be used in order to study those of the Greek market. This is the approach used in the next chapter, where the national characteristics of the market are analysed in the light of production. As this point, the power of influence should be explained, since it is one of the main components of the formula and needs further clarification. The power of the influence of a producer is, at this point, interpreted considering the audience viewing ratings for his/her programme and, therefore, the power a producer gains from the television viewing index. This power can be exchanged through its proportion of the market.

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Consequently, what is most important at this point is the issue of audience data measurement and its relation to content diversity. Since high viewing ratings give power to the producer of the programme and a strong position in the market, then the share of his/her productions – through cooperation with the channels – increases and defines the levels of diversity. A typical example is the case of the production company Endemol, which, through a global distribution129 and branded entrainment130 strategy, covers a large part of the programmes that are broadcast by Greek television. It would be particularly interesting to study the trends of those practices, in the Greek television field for instance, in order to determine the level of influence on television scheduling and, to some extent, content diversity. It is possible to classify the following hypotheses and trends. Could, for example, a production company (a) cover programming hours on more than one channel with different programming genres, (b) cover programming hours on more than one channel, especially during the prime-time zones, with different programming genres and (c) cover programming hours on more than one channel, either in a prime-time zone or in any other zone focused on a single programming genre, such as an entertainment programme? Those hypotheses should also be accompanied by the viewing ratings of the programme so that it will be finally verified if high viewing ratings give the producer the flexibility to apply such practices. Consequently, what is actually examined in the following chapter is the correlation between television viewing

129

Terms such as global distribution and branded entertainment belong to the vocabulary of production, and their definitions differ according to how each company uses them. Taking into consideration the definition given by Endemol, global distribution is the ensemble of the content’s distribution services offered to third parties and the content can be either in-house content of the company or content whose distribution rights are possessed by the company (http://www.endemol.com/what/distribution, September 2009). 130 Branded entertainment is mainly defined as the sale of a programme’s franchise, i.e. the programme’s ideas and structure and the final goal is to attract the interest of large consumer brands. For example, the programme ‘Deal or No Deal’ is a branded programme (http://www.endemol.com/what/branded-entertainment, September, 2009).

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ratings and the shaping of content diversity through the practices of production, which is a part of the suggested model and, in particular, of the formula for the assessment of source diversity (production). To clarify the methodological approach where AGB is based on a worldwide footing â&#x20AC;&#x201C; regardless of the national features in each country â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the author sets out the following methodological axes of the company as they were given to him for the purposes of this study131. First, before building a methodology to gauge TV viewing behaviour, it is necessary to create a pool of households, the basis of the study which is useful for the quantitative assessment of the population. These households, which make up the sample in the research, use an audience measurement device, also known as a peoplemeter, which actually collects the primary data required for an assessment of viewing behaviour. Next, all of these data are processed so that they will be useful for the parties concerned, such as the television stations and agents who sponsor the research in order to draw the conclusions they need more concretely, for analysis purposes, something already mentioned in Chapter 3 in the treatment of typology. The final stage of the methodology for measuring television viewing behaviour is the extrapolation from the sample to the population the research is conducted on; there is an attempt to even out the differences between the research sample and the actual population of the research so that the sample will correspond as much as possible to the real world and be as objective as possible. Heretakis (2006) dealt extensively with the issue of television viewing behaviour, focusing his study on Greek facts during the last two decades. The writer specifically

131

Sophocles Makrides, AGB Director, personal interview, 2009

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refers to doubts on the measurement of television viewing behaviour in Greece that made the channels turn against private audience measurement companies and form an apparently open attitude, especially for AGB, describing the behaviour of some television stations that contested these measurements as erratic. Heretakis, in his study on television viewing behaviour, did not rely upon empirical data but mainly upon information published casually in the press,132 which placed doubt upon specific reports written by the Television Audience Research Monitoring Committee (T.A.R.M.C.)133. In the next chapter, the methodological formula is applied in order to assess the source in practice on Greek television programming, in order to determine the effectiveness of such an approach, as well as to show the most recent trends as regards the production of programmes in Greek television. After setting out the quantitative data, the single features that are drawn from this approach shall be analysed, such as the market ecology.

132

For example, “Vima” newspaper on 26th January 1997 in a related article titled “Focus targeted – the war of the measurements” doubts that some radio station figures expressed for radio measurements conducted by the Focus Company. The reason was that “the reliability of the scientific method used by the company has never been officially proved and consequently it cannot be actually verified”. Focus, for its part, in the same article says “…the research is conducted with specialised questionnaires based upon a pre-selected panel, every three months, and 20.000 people participate from every part of Athens. The people asked are within an age range of 13 – 70 years old and the selection procedure is based upon information provided by the National Statistics Service”. See also article published in the newspaper “To Paron” on 19 Μay 2009 titled “Doubt about the measurements”, which says: “…the measurement gives emphasis upon those who watch television for long and those who select a particular type of programme. This kind of measurement gives a tarnished image”. 133 This Committee was formed in 1992 aiming at continuously controlling the research upon television audience measurement. The Committee conducts control regularly after a request made by any person that has accepted the Committee’s rule of functioning. Nowadays the Committee is under the regime of urban company bearing the name Control Company of Mass Media Measurement Research. Also, in 2001, a Committee was formed whose name was Radio Research Control Committee and aimed at regularly controlling research upon audience rates (Law 3592/2007 providing for “Concentration and Licensing of Mass Media Enterprises and Other Provisions”).

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CHAPTER SEVEN APPLYING THE SOURCE DIVERSITY FORMULA TO THE CASE OF GREEK TELEVISION 7.1.

Questions as they result from the source’s formula

In this chapter we practically apply the part of the model that undertakes the work source, in other words the production section. As already emphasised at the beginning of this research it is important to give the market a model – tool that the programmer can use to estimate the versatility of the content but also to appreciaite the content of the competitive channels. The fourth chapter has already used the suggested model to estimate the distribution of the programme’s genres whilst here the source formula is used for the content, in other words the production sector. Television programme production companies are an important part and variable for the study of source diversity in television and in radio and television in general. They are the only methodological way that can serve as a basis or this study and, combined with television channels, facilitate the study of the degree of diversity in television source. A representative example indicating the importance and the role they play in influencing the television field are the directives adopted by the EU, which largely aim at providing practical guidelines and principles for effective operation of the sector (see Chapter 6 &, where those directives are mentioned, taking the case of independent producers as an example). The study conducted by Crawford (2005), which was also reviewed by Napoli on account of the Donald McGannon Communication Research Center 134 – which also conducted several studies with regard to source diversity – precisely examines this interaction between ownership status and the status’s structure and

134 The Donald McGannon Communication Research Center, Fordham University, http://www.fordham.edu/academics/Office_of_Research/Research_Centers__In/Donald_McGannon_C omm/

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content, if such a relation actually exists. Although this study, conducted by Crawford, focuses upon the case of the United States, it suggests important methodological approaches with regard to source passing through the prism of a correlation between ownership status and content. The following application which is based on the model philosophy that is evolved in this research aims at describing the television programme production field in Greek television, approaching a series of questions such as how many production companies cooperate with television nets? What is this proportion in relation to in-house productions? Can the existence or non-existence of vertical concentration between television stations and production companies be proven? What role do independent producers play? Is there a predomination of particular production companies in terms of television audience measurement? These questions constitute the research queries of this study as regards source diversity. These research questions are framed by particular cases dealing with work issues that result from the theoretical approach of the question examined. According to the theory presented in the first chapter, the domestic production of television programme does not always lead to diversity, as there should be vertical concentration in the field of production and some specific production companies could score highly on television audience ratings. Following the previous hypothesis, when dealing with production companies that follow the logic of vertical concentration, it is expected that the relation of ownership should also be â&#x20AC;&#x153;confirmedâ&#x20AC;? by strict cooperation when it comes to broadcasting the programmes produced. Programmes made by a particular company should be broadcast by the station(s) to which the company is linked through an ownership relation. At the same time, it is accepted that many production companies specialise in specific types of programmes and (in some countries) there is a tendency

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for international co-productions to be realised, to improve strategic and financial coalitions. There is a reduction of television audience rating for programmes possessing a cultural character while, finally, experience gained by international examples has shown that in many cases the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Television without Frontiersâ&#x20AC;? Directive can be applied when dealing with the minimum quota of programmes produced by independent producers. Finally, the author expects that high television audience rates (from about 9:00 to 11:00 for the Greek case) will witness the most expensive productions (fiction, comedies, drama and documentaries) being broadcast. The analysis of this application will facilitate the process of answering key questions related to diversity, pluralism and concentration (diagonal or vertical in the field of media), the role and the power of independent producers (which is one of the most fundamental principles set by the EU), the predomination of specific types of programme, the degree of cooperation between channels owing to an important number of production companies as well as the level of cooperation a production company has with more than one television network. Other key areas revealed through this research include the specialisation of production companies in specific programme genres and, naturally, the power that some production companies may acquire because of the number of programmes they produce or because of the television audience ratings they score. 7.2.

Description of the study

7.2.1. Data collection To conduct this study, the author selected a quantitative description of the programmes broadcast from an ensemble of stations on a national scope, and particularly the state

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television nets GRT1, ΝGΤ and GRΤ3 and the private television nets MEGA, ANT1, ALPHA, ALTER, STAR and SKY. The first three, i.e GRT1, ΝGΤ and GRΤ3, are state channels (see Chapter 2) and the last ones are private channels. The selection of the channels was based upon the contrast between public and private television and upon the national television audience rates of the stations. In order for the highest possible number of programmes to be part of the research135, the description covers two different periods across the 2008-9 television season. The first is extended from the last week of November and the first week of December (24.11-7.12.2008) and the second from the last week of February to the first of March of 2009 (23.2- 8.3.2009). A programme total for the four-week period was selected. These periods are widely representative of Greek television, as after September and particularly at the end of the month, the new television season begins and consequently in November the new television landscape shows whether a new programme has been successful with regard to television audience rates. In addition, in February there were some modifications in the programme. These dealt with moves of some programmes in time and space so they would score higher audience levels. It should also be pointed out that the months of summer and particularly from mid July to mid September are relatively “dead”, as programmes are mainly repeats136.

135 This reference has to do with the fact that it is a common practice of the Greek television nets to change during the television season a part of their programmes for several reasons, such as low audience rates of some programmes, their high cost of production or even a series that has been designed to be of a short duration and it is usually replaced by a new one. The selection of these two periods mentioned above is not occasional, but the authors believe that they fulfil some basic conditions. First, the first of the two periods is situated at the beginning of the television season and it is very unlikely that a series would have been competed or “removed” from a television network. Regarding the second of the two periods, the selection has to do with the fact that the television nets start broadcasting new episodes instead of repeating earlier ones, something they do usually after the 1st of the New Year. At the same time, if a new series is going to be broadcast, then this series will have already been included in the schedule. 136 In a recent research more recent chronical periods were selected and it actually showed how the Greek television today has changed due to the economic crisis in Greece (Masouras,2013).

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The programmes selected were broadcast during the prime-time zone, from 18.00 to midnight. To make it clearer, it has to be mentioned that the selection includes programmes starting before 18.00 in the afternoon that end after that time, as well as programmes starting at 00.00 and obviously ending later. The prime-time zone should also be further explained. As indicated by several books worldwide and a number of studies conducted (Futch, et. Al, 1984) the time-length of this particular zone may vary depending upon the researcher and the data in the study, as well as upon the country selected, since the audience in each country has different television habits. Consequently, for the needs of this study the period between 18.00 and 00.00 is defined as the prime-time zone. This zone includes the channelsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; main news bulletins which are not examined with regard to source diversity in this research, because they vary from other programmes and productions and present completely different features. The choice of this particular selection of programmes is based both upon the goals of the present research â&#x20AC;&#x201C; study of the programme produced instead of a mere description of the television audience rates â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and upon the fact that in most cases the television nets during that particular period and later broadcast new programmes, most of which are external productions and not repetitions or in-house productions. Philip Napoli supports the opinion that the prime-time zone is important, because during that period television audience rates are higher than those during other zones and, besides, that is why the policymakers select this period as a representative sample to study television flow in general137. On the other hand, Napoli expresses his doubts about this particular volume of programme types broadcast during the prime-time zone, as this entails the fact that some programme types broadcast outside this zone are not included in the research 137 Philip Napoli, personal correspondence, 2009

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field138. The methodological issue dealing with the selection of the zones and the time periods selected in general by the researchers, or by policymakers, to be used as a representative sample in the several researches or studies is something the author pays particular attention to, because he believes this is an issue whose usage directly influences the results and television measurement in general, regardless of whether it has to do with the degree of diversity or television audience indicators. This question and the methodological issues of approaching diversity will be dealt with in the final chapter’s concluding remarks. The analysis of programmes within this study excludes in-house productions (although later there is going to be a brief comparison between the total number of in-house production programmes and external ones), foreign programmes that have been imported from abroad and were not products of co-production or products produced with contribution from a Greek production company, programmes broadcast as repetitions and advertisements. This exclusion does not create any problem regarding the calculation of diversity degree of the production companies, since a comparative analysis is conducted afterwards. 7.2.2. Classification and typology issues To give a detailed description of the data of the research, a series of variables has been elaborated such as the titles of programmes, the channel that broadcasts the programmes, the production company, the time the programmes start, the programmes’ duration, the programmes’ genres – according to the typology presented in the end of this chapter – and, finally, the television audience rates that a specific 138 Ibid.

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programme scores in comparison to other programmes broadcast at the same time (something the AGB Television Audience Measurement Company also calls television audience share)139. Each programme was recorded once, as the study’s aim was not to record their volume (in hours), but rather their number and diversity with regard to choices made by the production companies. As in the case of defining the prime zone and designating programme genres, there is no commonly acceptable typology that could apply globally in the television field of every country, an opinion presented in the fourth chapter. As mentioned, a definition of those programmes’ categories should be according to the needs of each research, as well as to the particularities the television programme has in each country140. For the needs of this study programmes are classified in two different categories – general and specific (Koukoutsaki, 2003) (see Figures 12 and 13). The first, which largely follows general classification techniques found in studies conducted abroad, consists of the three following programme categories: Α) Information Β) Entertainment C) Culture

139 AGB calculates the television audience share (A.S.) by dividing the average number of viewers per minute that have watched a programme by the average number of total TV viewers per minute along the duration of that specific programme, and then multiplying it by 100. It is expressed as a percentage and is also called TV-share. It indicates how competitive that specific programme was against other programmes broadcast during the same period. AGB Nielsen, Television Audience Measurement Units of the TV-barometers, 2009, available at http://www.agb.gr/gr/data/default.htm, as it was accessed on 15 Νοvember 2009. 140 Characteristic of the definitions of the programmes’ genres which differ from country to country are the tables provided by Medina (2004).

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The second specific category, which is adapted to the conditions in Greece, and based upon the database provided by AGB Hellas, consists of: a) Information b) Comedies – Satirical programmes c) Drama – Reality d) Light Entertainment e) Documentaries f) Culture According to the classification technique followed, the first group of programmes, information, belongs to the first general category, that of general information programmes. The three programme groups that follow (comedies-satirical, dramareality and light entertainment) belong to the second general category of entertainment programmes and, finally, the two last groups belong to the category of culture. 7.2.3. Companies’ ownership status In the previous paragraphs of the current chapter, the goals and main research questions of this thesis were described. The author is interested in studying whether a vertical concentration among television stations and production companies actually exists. To prove such a relation, it is also necessary to study ownership between

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television stations and production companies. This aspect is one of the axes of the source diversity formula, which is a part of the model suggested in this research. Regarding the status of ownership of television stations, the information was taken from the National Radio and Television Council and theist public archives related to the shareholder structure of TV channels. Regarding production companies, finding relevant information was naturally more difficult, as on the one hand no information was available and on the other hand the retrieval of such data varies according to their activities and legal form. In order for the research to be as complete as possible, the author visited the National Press Office and studied archives that also contained information about companies existing during the period to which this study refers. For cases where data could not be collected through analogue records, the web was deployed to locate digitised data. In most cases the research was fruitful, as information was collected from most of the production companies. The fact that in few cases this was not possible does not have any important influence upon the research conclusions, as the information collected covers all the largest companies in the field, which produce most of the programmes broadcast, and also the total collection of information about all the companies irrespective of the size of the company refers to the overwhelming majority of the programmes broadcast. At the same time, in order to verify the information acquired, The author attempted to gather information related to the business activities of mass media associations and their possible engagement in production companies, though this research did not produce any information beyond that already gathered, largely

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proving that television networks did not engage in production companies beyond those in the cases already spotted. According to the analysis of the data collected, a total number of six production companies are related to television nets through a status of ownership. Particularly, the companies Studio ATA141, ANOSI PRODUCTIONS, Television Companies â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Peanias Studio and ON Productions seem to be related through some Mega Channel shareholders, while the last one seems to be owned by both MEGA and STAR Channel. Also, the ENA Productions Company seems to be owned by ANT1 Television Network, while Plus Productions Company seems to be owned by ALPHA Television Station. A more detailed analysis regarding co-operation and vertical concentration in the field of the television productions will be provided in the presentation of the results, although they will be expanded upon in the conclusions developed in the next chapter. Currently, it can only be stated that the companies mentioned produce a total number of 31 out of 72 programmes of external production of the period under examination, a percentage about 43% of the ensemble of programmes. For the needs of this study, the necessary information was gathered from 136 different programmes, in-house and external productions, from the nine Greek channels which broadcast nationally. Seventy-two of those programmes are external productions (percentage 52.9%), while 64 are in-house productions (percentage 47.1%, Figure

141

STUDIO ATA has produced some of the most memorable and celebrated television series, successful extravagant live variety shows and internationally well-known reality & TV games shows in Greek television history. Source; http://www.studioata.gr/eng/page.aspx

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30). These programmes belong to the channels’ schedules and were broadcast between 18.00 and 00.00, as explained above.

In-house or external production

Figure 30 In – house External The split of in-house and external programmes.

The 72 external productions come from 37 different production companies, but, as shown by the figure, two of them do not participate equally in the production procedure of the programmes broadcast. The majority of the productions come from Studio ATA, as ten productions belong to this company (percentage 13.9% of the ensemble of the external productions), and then ON Productions Company follows with seven productions (percentage 9.7%), then ENA Productions with five productions (6.95%) and PLD and Anosi, both of them with four productions (percentage 5.5%). Then, the Television Enterprises SA142 follows with three

142

Television Enterprises S.A. (TVE) is one of the most successful independent television production companies and television studios in Greece. It has an outstanding reputation for producing innovative, high quality and popular programmes for the Greek and international markets. Television Enterprises and the Paiania Studios, located in the outskirts of Athens, were established in 1975, and were the first colour TV studios in Greece. Operations started in 1977, with two fully-equipped studios, along with several audio and editing suites, that were producing TV programmes for 20 different TV stations throughout Europe and the Middle East. The success of TVE is not only due to the state-of-the art high tech equipment or the experienced personnel. Television Enterprises, with its many years of experience, offers full support in all phases of production– from the script to the final programme. Television Enterprises produces a broad range of programme genres including lifestyle, talk shows, game shows, sitcoms, crime series and social dramas, in addition to documentaries and films. Source: http://www.tve.gr/About.aspx

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productions (4.2%) and Lynx Productions, Studio Alfa, KaBel, Cinegram, Plus Productions143, Noir Productions, Frenzy Films and JK Productions with two productions (percentage 2.8%). Finally, 23 companies follow, having offered one production each to the zone of the television programme already studied.

Figure 31: Quantitative analysis of productions per television production company. 143

Plus Productions, a television and cinematographic production company was founded in 2004, and in a short time succeed to be one of the biggest audiovisual production companies in Greece. The excellent combination of technology, creativity and celerity are some of the main features of the company. The continuous upgrade of its infrastructure, the professionalism of the experienced crews and the breadth of the production services, delineate the actual face of a company that knows and can correspond to the high requirements of an avant-garde production industry. The company owns equipment for ON-AIR Broadcasting, maintains in-house post production facilities for the creation of advertisements, TV talent shows and cinematography films. Till now has produced different kind of programmes, including daily - weekly and talent shows, on behalf of the biggest TV networks in Greece. Consult: http://www.plusproductions.gr/profile_en.html

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A significant finding of the content at the production level (programmes) is how the classification of the programmes broadcast (in-house and external productions) is defined into genres, according to the general categories already defined (information, entertainment, culture). A cross-check of the variables shows a statistically important relation between the programmeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s general category and whether the specific programme is an in-house or external production (chi-square test p-value < 0.05). Consequently, whether a specific programme is an information, entertainment or culture production is also influenced by whether it is an in-house or external production. This also reflects upon the percentages presented in the figure. Concerning in-house productions, information comes first, but only marginally in respect of entertainment and culture (percentages 42.2%, 31.3% and 26.6%, respectively), while external production entertainment programmes come first with a percentage of 75%, compared with 16.7% for culture programmes and 8.3% for information programmes (Figure 32).

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Figure 32: Comparative analysis of in-house and external productions per programme category.

A further analysis of the two variables (programme general category and type of production) after the intergration of a third variable, related to the status of ownership of the television station, shows clearly that private stations prefer entertainment programmes, both as in-house and external productions. On the other hand, public stations prefer the external production of culture programmes, while regarding their internal productions there is a â&#x20AC;&#x153;balanceâ&#x20AC;? between information and culture programmes. Furthermore, as shown by Figure 33, entertainment programmes predominate in the private stations, both as external productions (percentage 87.5%) and as in-house productions (percentage 53.8%). Public stations give more importance to culture, as shown by the fact that the relative programmes take first place regarding external productions (percentage 62.5%), while as in-house productions they share first place with information programmes (percentage 42.1% percentage 42.1% for each of the two categories) (Figure 33).

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Figure 33: Comparative analysis of in-house productions and external productions in public and private television.

The predominance of entertainment productions for external productions is also confirmed by the relation between general programme categories and production companies. An obvious conclusion is the predominance of entertainment in the production companies that produce most of the productions existing in the television programmes already studied. On the other hand, companies with less productions (one or two) seem to be activated – or at least partially activated – in the field of culture or information. At the same time, almost every company – except Plus and ENA Productions – “specialise” in either culture, entertaiment or information. This argument is used sparingly when referring to the smaller production companies – for a separation between the small and large production companies, see the next figure – and particularly those that offer one only programme. It is not possible to state that they are specialised in a particular genre, since we have no more information available (this statement also applies in cases of companies that offer two programmes) (Graph 34).

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Figure 34: General analysis of programme categories on culture, entertainment and information per television production company.

To continue the presentation of the results, it is necessary to classify the production companies into large and small ventures according to the number of productions each company offers. Large companies â&#x20AC;&#x153;offerâ&#x20AC;? more than 5% of the ensemble of 72 external productions. This percentage shows a tendency for the production of television programmes to be concentrated, as the total number of production companies is 37 and a theoretically equal distribution of the production of 72 programmes would result in a percentage figure of 1.95% per company. Based upon this separation, five production companies (Studio ATA, On Productions, Ena Productions, PLD and Anosis) make up more than 40% of the total number of

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external productions (30 out of 72 productions, percentage 41.7%). This shows a clear concentration with regard to the participation of production companies in television programming, which undoubtedly has a direct effect on the development of content diversity degree. In order to find out whether production concentrated in the five large companies has an influence upon the distribution of the television audience, it was necessary to determine a relationship between the variables of television audience rates and the size of the production company. Next, a statistically important relation was found (p < 0.05), showing that a programmeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s audience rates144 are influenced by whether the programme is made by a small or a large production company. With regard to this observation, there is some kind of interaction, as it would not be a mistake to support the opinion that large companies focus upon the production of programmes which aim at scoring high audience rates. Naturally, in order for such a conclusion to be drawn, other parametres should also be taken into consideration such as the channel that broadcasts the programme, its content, its genre, the hours during which it is broadcast and a series of respective similar factors. Generally, the observation made above seems to apply in a wide range of cases. Figure 6 shows that 50% of the programmes produced by small enterprises scored audience rates no higher than 10% (0-5% scored by the 31% of the ensemble of the companies and 5-10% scored by 19% of the enseble of the companies). Conversely, 50% of the programmes produced by large companies scored audience rates about 15-30% (23.3% of the programmes score 15.1-20%, 16.7% score 20.1-25% and 10% score 25.1-30%).

144The audience rates scored by the productions were collected by the websites www.agbnielsen.com, www.enimerosi24.gr and www.zougla.gr

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Audience rates scored by external productions in relation to the size of the production company

Figure 35: Comparative graph that illustrates external productions’ television viewing ratings.

At the same time, the large production companies seem to cooperate almost exclusively (there is only one exception) with private television stations, whereas small companies almost exclusively externaly supply programmes to public television stations (Figure 36). This figure shows how external productions are distributed to specific channels. Private stations MEGA and ΑΝΤ-1 seem to have had most of the external productions during the period studied (21 and 17 respectively), followed by ALPHA with 13 productions. Following are GRΤ-1 with nine productions, ΝΕΤ and SKY with four, GRΤ-3 with three and STAR with one only production. ALTER, for the hours studied (18.00-24.00), broadcast no external productions. This figure actually interprets a doubtless predominance of entertainment programmes as external Research Institute of Applied Communication

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productions, as the large production companies which specialise in the production of such programmes cooperate almost exclusively with private stations. Although the large companies produce about 41.7% of the entire production output, this particular rate increases by 10 degrees (51.7%) when focusing on private stations and the production of their programmes, according to whether these programmes have been produced by a small or a large production company (Graph 35).

External production broadcasting channels in relation to the size of the production company

Figure 36: Comparative analysis of the external productions of channels considering the figures for the production companies

Regarding the audience rates scored by different types of external productions, entertainement also plays the â&#x20AC;&#x153;protagonistâ&#x20AC;? role here, as shown by Figures 5 and 6. As large production companies focus almost exclusively on entertainment and score high audience rates, entertainement also takes first place within the audience rates scored. As shown by Figure 37, external productions belonging to the sector of culture generally score low audience rating (75% of the programmes score 0-5% and 25% score 5.1-10%,). External information-based productions seem to score slightly

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higher audience rates, as five out of six programmes (percentage 83.5%) may score up to 10.1-15% of the audience viewing share. On the other hand, 66.7% of the information programmes generally score audience rates higher than 15%, whereas 80% of the programmes score audience rates from 10% and above. The statistical importance of the relation between general category and viewing share is also proved by the value of the statistical test used (p value < 0.05).

Audience rates per general external production category

Figure 37: Comparative analysis of external productions per viewing figure for programme categories

One of the reasons why external entertainment productions score high audience rates is the time at which they are broadcast. As shown by Figure 38, external productions are usually broadcast between 9.00 and 9.59 p.m., 10 and 10.59 p.m. and in some cases, though fewer, 11 and 11.59 p.m. During that period, higer audience rates are noticed, as between 9 and 9.59 p.m. a total of 14 productions score audience rates higher than 10%, between 10 & 10.59, a total of 15 productions score audience rates

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higher than 15% and between 11 & 11.59 six productions score audience rates higher than 10%. Almost half of the external productions (35/72) broadcast during that period score audience rates as high as 10% at least, something that proves a larger television audience. On the other hand, during the period between 6:00 p.m. until even after 8:00 p.m.. only 17 external productions are broadcast, eight (47%) of which score audience rates of about 5% and below.

Figure 38: Comparative graph illustrating television viewing figures for external productions considering their broadcasting time.

To return to the issue of the production companies owned by channels, and to complete the task related to television viewing share, the author examined the television audience rates scored by the programmes produced by those companies. As shown in Figure 39, 19 out of 31 (percentage 61.3%) score audience rates higher than 15%, while almost every company (except ENA Productions) produces a programme scoring audience rate higher than 30%.

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Figure 39: The quota of television production companies owned by television channels.

These figures indicate that the companies are owned (completely or partially) by channels, resulting in a priviledged cooperation between the company and the station participating in the company’s directorate, as the majority of the programmes produced are broadcast by the station owners. Mega receives the largest proportion of programmes produced by “sister” companies Anosis (2 out of 4 productions), Studio ATA (5 out of 10 productions), Television Enterprises (2 out of 3) and ON Productions, which only produces for MEGA (5 productions) and STAR (1 production), as it is connected to both television nets. ENA Productions, which acts in the interest of ΑΝΤ-1, produces programmes only for the station already mentioned and, finally, Plus Productions “gives” two productions to its brother ALPHA and one to ΑΝΤ-1. Generally, the percentage of the ensemble of programmes destined for channels that own the production companies is about 71% (22 productions out of 31).

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Figure 40: The quota of productions in relation to television stations that own the production companies.

Because of an increased “demand” for programmes, television stations “answer” by broadcasting almost exclusively entertainment programmes (comedies and drama series), and for this reason the specific hours at which the programmes start (from 9 to nearly 12) are the only hours during which mostly entertainment programmes are broadcast. The relation between these two variables (broadcasting time and the programme’s general category), as shown by the figure, is statistically important, a fact also proved by the value of the statistical test already used (p < 0.05) (Graph 41).

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Figure 41: External productions in relation to broadcasting times.

A further examination of the relation between programme genre and broadcasting time is given by Figure 42 as from 9 p.m to 12 p.m the predominance of entertainment programmes is translated as a large number of comedies and satirical series, which take first place during the hours 9-9.59 (9 programmes) and 10-10.59 (10 programmes). Also, drama and social series (a subcategory of entertainment) predominate during 11-11.59 with five programmes, though they move to second place during the 10-1.59 slot with six programmes. The “predominance” of entertainment output during these hours is accompanied by light entertainment programmes, which are found in the first place – together with comedies – for the time segment 9-9.59 (9 programmes) and in third place during the time segment 1010.59 with three programmes. Documentaries – though they usually belong to “expensive” productions – are broadcast either before 9 (2 productions), or after 11 (5 productions).

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Figure 42: Comparative analysis of external productions assessed by programme genres, in relation to their broadcasting time or broadcasting slot.

In all the cases of television production examined, there are no international coproductions or instances of cooperation between the production companies, a practice widely used in Europe. 7.3.

Ecology of the market: some further methodological issues

Before discussing the conclusions drawn by these applications, it would be useful to refer to some methodological thoughts and extensions. This sub-chapter aims at describing some of the partial methodological issues that deal with the way source diversity is approached. The present sub-chapter is a critical methodological extension of the subcomponent which deals with source diversity, and particularly through this analysis it is attempted to make clearer the structures of the relation between the television production industry and television content and to develop further through this relationship some methodological thoughts related to the formula applied above. Consequently, the ideas stated in this sub-chapter result from the application of the

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sourceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s formula and from the collected data. By extending the methodological thoughts, it also extends the elements that make up the formula for future use and application, though this is going to be discussed in detail in the next chapter as part of the concluding remarks of the study into the framework of the modelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s microtopography. In the present chapter two conceptual considerations are revealed through the Greek case. These two considerations involve a) defining the market in which the television product is going to circulate geographically and b) defining the television product itself. The research then discusses how these two conceptual approaches configure what is called an ecology of influence â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the influence upon the character of the content brought by the type of market and product. This chapter focuses on the concentration of production companies and television channels in relation to content diversity. Afterall, the rationale of this model is the correlation of content diversity degree with the source of content, namely production companies. Focusing upon the relation between the market and content, the frames of this specific market have to be initially defined by using two axes: the marketplace, as defined geographically, and the definition of the product, the content. When focusing upon levels and issues dealing with market concentration, the methodological formula that is used through the vertical concentration requires a clear definition of the framework in which the concetration takes place. The definition of these parameters can be achieved by spotting them geographically. The geopgraphical definition is not a mono-dimensional concept; it is treated separately from the geographical definition of the region in which the product is re-broadcast or resold. The broadcasting

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geographical definition refers to the geographical borders of the region within which the television product is going to be initially broadcast. For example, if the television product, the programme, has been built with the aim of being watched by a Greek audience with a national scope, then this is what defines its specific geographical broadcasting borders, as the programme is addressed to the Greek television audience and has to possess particular characteristics according to their specific needs such as the language and culture of the players, the actors and generally the participants. On the other hand, the geographical definition of the place where the product is going to be resold refers to those programmes which have been designed and produced with the intention of being broadcast within the borders of the internal market and abroad, or even only abroad. In this case, the television product obtains the characteristics necessary for it to become competitive both in the country of origin and abroad. As shown above, the Greek market does not have an important share in the market of exporting programmes,

as it only participates in several co-productions.

Consequently, Greek productions are geographically adressed to an audience living within Greek geographical borders. A possibly important issue and representative example to discuss, which relates to the geographical definition of the Greek market, is the line followed commonly by Greek television productions and Cypriot television productions. Those two countries, which share a common language and culture and have common characteristics related to everyday life, also possess similar and specific business practices. The practice most widely used is that of franchising, or branding. To specify, the Greek private television stations ANT1 and MEGA also broadcast in Cyprus as Cyprus ANT1 and Cyprus MEGA. The programmes broadcast by these stations are based upon

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programmes produced by Greek parent stations, although as time passed they started also basing their programmes upon their own productions. However,

the

stationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

identity and character is defined by the parent station, as the same programmes and the same productions and series are broadcast, though they differ in time scheduling according to Cypriot audience characteristics, an issue discussed in the fourth chapter. The scheduling in this case is based upon Cypriot audience characteristics â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the most important difference between the Cyprus and Greece audiences, as it has already been mentioned, has to do with matters of habits of the everyday life. For this reason, the Cyprus prime-time zone is placed 2-3 hours earlier than the Greek one. This means that if the prime-time zone in Greece begins at 18.00 and in some cases at 17.00 and ends at midnight, in Cyprus the prime-time zone begins at 20.00 with the main news programme and ends about 23.00, usually with a series or reality show. Beyond these two channels, there are also other channels in Cyprus that cooperate with their Greek counterparts by broadcasting programmes of the latter, though of a different kind. For example, a recently founded channel in Cyprus, particularly CNC TV PLUS, cooperates with the Greek television channel Alter by broadcasting several programmes produced by the latter, but this does not mean that Alter defines the identity of CNC TV PLUS. They have a purely financial relationship, as the Cypriot channel pays broadcasting rights to the Greek channel. This tactic of broadcasting programmes already broadcast by other channels, as the General Director of the Cyprus Broadcasting, the Cyprus public radio and television broadcasting, said145, is on the one hand a tactic that costs less than each channel producing its own

145 Report written during the conference of the Cyprus Parliamentary Committee of Finance in the framework of the discussion related to the state budget of 2010 on public radio and television. The conference was held on Monday 15 February 2010.

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programmes and on the other hand itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an easy way to fill the scheduling hours without requiring special scheduling tactics146. In order for the ecology of the market to be defined more clearly, it is not only the geoghaphical definition that has to be defined, but also the genre of the product. As it has already been supported above, the characteristics of the television product are largely related to the characteristics and borders of its geographical definition. In other words, there is some kind of interaction between the geographic area in which the product is broadcast and the definition of the productâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s genre. The main characteristic of the Greek television product is that it is mostly made for a Greek audience and is not exported abroad except to Cyprus, as there are huge similarities between the two audiences. Consequently, the television product is defined conceptually according to the audience the product is addressed to, as the author believes that during this process there is some interaction between the characteristics of the audience and those of the television product. On the other hand, Iosifidis conceptually defines current media content according to its technological origin by initially dividing media into electronic and non-electronic formats, though this is an approach that has nothing to do with the domain of television, or the productâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s financial nature: whether the product is funded by advertisements or licence fee and consequently whether this product can be broadcast by free-access channels or pay-tv channels.

146 Ibid.

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7.4.

Conclusions drawn after the source formula has been applied

At the beginning of this chapter, some task hypotheses and some basic research questions that needed to be answered by the present study were stated. In this subchapter, the conclusions, drawn after the results of the previous chapter have been presented, are commented on. As regards the balance of in-house and external productions found in the time zone examined, external productions predominate in the schedule, though they are only slightly more numerous than in-house productions (Figure 1). This specific statement is anything but casual. This specific zone can be claimed as an â&#x20AC;&#x153;entertainment zoneâ&#x20AC;? because of the high audience rates it scores. The overwhelming majority of this specific category of programmes, as expected, is mostly made up of external productions, something which is quite normal due to the series of reasons mentioned in the first chapter147. When exploring external productions, entertainment predominates throughout the two-hour period 21.00-23.00 (Figure 10) at night and during that period there is a higher concentration of viewers. This information supports the recognition that although an important balance between external and in-house productions has been achieved, the concept of diversity in terms of programme types is absent, as three out of four external production programmes have an entertaining character. On the other hand, the television nets seem to trust the in-house productions that are information programmes, something that it found to be normal as the directors of the channels want to have control over the news programmes they broadcast. Here, emphasis should be placed upon an important 147 Among the most important ones are the specialisation, know-how and economic prerequisites for a programme to be produced.

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factor that influences diversity in news programmes and is also a source that designs the form of the channelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s news programme agenda. This factor involves the relationship political parties or groups have with the channels. This is the issue that is discussed in the concluding remarks. The category more balanced than any other category is that of culture (Figure 3). However, diversity with regard to production companies should also be studied through a series of additional parameters such as the number of companies the television stations cooperate with, a parameter also linked with specialisation in specific programme genres. Although, as noticed, the television nets cooperate with a wide range of production companies (Figure 5), in most cases they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t produce more than one programme. On the other hand, there is a fairly important degree of concentration as to the production of programmes, as more than 5 out of 37 companies in total produce more than 40% of the programmes, creating an important concentration in the field in terms of the size of the production companies. It is obvious that this conclusion is the beginning of a process aiming to answer a series of questions related to the place the programmes are produced such as the specialisation of those companies in specific programme genres, owner status between the companies and television nets, the power they obtain in terms of television audience rates and, consequently, the power they already have in order to exercise influence upon the cultural habits, ideas and opinions. With regard to the specialisation of companies in specific categories of programmes, the focus can be upon those that contribute an important number of programmes. Focusing upon the larger companies as well as upon the only company not among the

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large ones, even though it contributes more than two programmes, all the companies, except two (Ena Productions and Plus Productions), specialise in one only programme genre, no matter whether discussing larger companies or companies that contribute two programmes. This observation leads me to the conclusion that there is a high degree of specialisation in specific programme genres, which enables me to accept the relative project hypothesis stated in the previous chapter (Figure 5). A relationship can be observed among the television nets related to company size and the field in which the production companies are active. To expand on this point, the private television nets that cooperate with production companies (Mega, Ant1, Alpha, Star, Sky) almost exclusively broadcast programmes produced by the large production companies, this way covering at the same time an important part of the programmes produced by small production companies. On the other hand, the three public nets cooperate almost exclusively with small production companies. This is natural, as private television nets are clearly more orientated towards entertainment than public nets. As a result, they cooperate with the large production companies, which specialise in one or all of the genres of entertainment, according to the classification outlined in the previous chapter. A unique exception to these rules is the SKY television station, which despite the fact that it is a private television station trusts small production companies for most of its external productions (Figure 7). This argument can be supported by the fact that fiction programmes, most of which have an entertainment character, are quite expensive, as mentioned before. As a result, large companies specialise in these types of programme. Naturally, this observation is mentioned in a scrupulous way, as it is not possible to know the exact reason why

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those companies specialise in specific types of programmes and whether the programmes are the reason why those companies do not produce programmes that belong to other genres. This particular parameter could be a suggestion that more research should be done in the field of programme production, for which specific qualitative methods should be used. The concentration observed in television audience rates achieved by the productions of five particular companies is also mutually connected with the concentration of a large amount of external productions concentrated in the hands of those companies, and with an almost exclusive level of cooperation between the two sets of industry players. As shown in Figure 6 the productions of the five large companies gather importantly higher television rates in comparison to the productions of the small companies, whose rates remain at quite a lower level. The result is a concentration in the field of external productions with regard to the production company – with the quantitative “predominance” of the five large companies – as to the genre of the programmes produced – with the predominance of the entertainment genre – and as to the television audience measurement – with the predominance of the productions of the large companies – conditions that make entertainment predominant in television audience rates (Figure 8). This relation leads us to largely accept the first project hypothesis, which defines that the domestic production of television programmes does not necessarily lead to diversity, as there can also be concentration in the field of production and concentration – achieved by large production companies – of high television audience rates.

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At the same time, the predominance of entertainment programmes also means a reduction in the television audience rates of culture programmes, a fact that leads us to accept the relative project hypothesis offered. Entertainment programmes and their subcategories, fiction (comedies and drama), predominate in the period between 9-11 p.m. (Figure 11), which is also a high television audience rating period, as shown by Figure 9, leading us to partially accept the project hypothesis regarding the qualitative predomination of “expensive” programmes (as the number of programmes broadcast) during the hours of high television audience rates. The author says partially, not entirely, because during the hours of high television, the audience rates fiction “in unison” with the less expensive light entertainment programmes, while documentaries, although classified as expensive productions, are not broadcast during the hours of high television audience rates. To examine the hypothesis of this project, dealing with multi-level concentration in the field of external productions, determining whether external productions can also be considered as independent, the ownership status of the companies that participate in the production of external productions was examined and presented in the previous chapter. With regard to this topic, there are some very interesting conclusions. In the previous chapter, large production companies in the field were conceptually defined as those that represent at least 5% of the total production of programmes. Focusing upon those companies, the author ascertained that, with one only exception (that of PLD Productions), the remaining companies are owned by a television network, a fact that generates an important degree of vertical concentration in the field. Also, if this

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relationship of ownership is extended to small production companies, then the degree of concentration becomes even higher, as 31 out of 76 programmes (40.7%) are produced by six production companies that are owned by television networks. However, ownership does not necessarily seem to mean any cooperation with the television network concerned. Although, as expected, there is a predominance of cooperation with the nets to which the companies belong, about 29% of those programmes (Figure 11) are broadcast by another television network, something that indicates a noticeable independent activity of those companies. To give an example, the ATA Studio produces the highest number of programmes (ten programmes) but only half of them are broadcast by Mega Channel, the television network that owns the company. A similar dispersion is also noticed in Anosis. In the rest of the production companies there is either stricter cooperation (Television Enterprises, On Productions) with the television network concerned or an exclusive cooperation with it (Ena Productions, Plus Productions). Obviously, this project hypothesis can be partially accepted because of the relatively important degree of activity of those particular production companies. At the same time, as strongly stated in the two previous sub-chapters, the important power production companies have in terms of television audience rates scored may substantially influence culture in general and, more specifically, habits and ideas. Focusing upon the conclusions drawn by this study, it could be said that no company plays a privileged role regarding television audience rates. Furthermore, this specific observation would rather be assessed after the total dynamics of the specific production companies has been taken into consideration. In more detail, it is observed

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that more than 60% of the programmes produced by those companies score television audience rates higher than 15%. At the same time, if Ena Productions is excluded, each company has at least one programme that scores rates higher than 30%. When taking into consideration the fact that most of these specific companies are large ones in the field in terms of the number of programmes produced, then they could highly influence the formation of cultural habits and ideas. Naturally, this conclusion is not absolute, as the formation of those habits is also influenced by other factors, and if such a conclusion could be drawn then it would apply to not only the content produced but also the consumers. The television audience should therefore be examined. In Greek television there seems to be an almost total absence of the concept of coproduction of television programmes, should this be international or between channels that exist in the country. This is simply put here as an observation, since in this research there was no discussion of such concepts and correlations. It is just mentioned here as a thought for future application and working use. For every programme examined, it was evident that no co-operation between production companies existed, while a respective practice was also observed between production companies and television networks, though there is one only exception in one or two cases, where some of the public networks co-operate with production companies for the production of some programmes related to culture, a fact that leads to the rejection of the relative project hypothesis.

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CHAPTER EIGHT

How the model fulfills its aims: a discussion about its application to television market and recommendations for further research

8.1. Certain general considerations and comments From such a study, it is important to gather conclusions without losing the specificity of the argument. With regard to this research, a quote relevant to the rationale of this study by Tara Brabazon says: â&#x20AC;&#x153;By revolution, I mean a capacity to diagnose social problems and a desire to intervene to bring about changeâ&#x20AC;?.148 That is the basis and philosophy of this research. The elaboration and development of the model in this research is neither a revolution nor a great achievement in the field of television, but a useful tool for the market. Television is a communications tool that has been studied in detail throughout time. However, this research, especially the suggested model, is a diagnostic tool for a significant social issue, that of television content which is approached and illustrated through its degree of diversity. The use of the degree of diversity helps to clarify further and illustrate the problematic aspects of the issue related to television content in depth and place it on a fresh, alternative, theoretical and methodological footing. Moreover, an issue raised at the beginning of this research should be clarified, regarding the evolution and development of Greek television, which is treated when addressing the issue of institutional diversity; this issue has been a long-standing position: it is extremely difficult or even impossible to assess the historical changes that took place in television and have them analysed at 148

The Guardian, Education, Tuesday 22 January 2008, available http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2008/jan/22/academicexperts.highereducationprofile

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the level of variables and other measurable units. Through this research, a new conceptualisation to determine the various components of diversity in Greek television, as well as in small nations, has thus been created. In this research, as well as in the following sub-chapter, the study of media content in small nations has been dealt with extensively, because an interpretative approach on the features of small nations is used as regards the study of the media within their territories. In essence, the author responds to the methodological query of the assessment of content diversity in small nations.

The philosophy of this research, which now resonates within its conclusion, is the issue of diversity within the study of small nations. The examination of the issue within this context is important mainly because of the fact that even though the suggested model can be applied in different television environments (an issue that is examined in the case of Cyprus as well), it is characterised by specific application restrictions that refer to the cases of small nations such as, for instance, Greece, Cyprus, Malta and Luxembourg149. The research sets these notional restrictions in this research based on specific criteria that, when combined, lead to the notional approach of what is considered a ‘small nation’ in mass media and communication science. These criteria used in order to define the idea of ‘small nations’ are the size of the market (the geographical limits of the market) that is measured by the participation, the proportion of the population in the media, that is the slice of the ratings pie (as far as the television is concerned) that corresponds to each channel. A typical feature of these small markets is the difficulty they experience in developing a wide range of

149

The cases of these countries are mentioned as examples in order to define this idea notionally.

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domestic productions that consist of multiple genres, since the market cannot consume them. Another criterion for setting a notional context as regards small nations is the issue of language, which is directly related to the construction and shaping of content diversity150. Small nations have the disadvantage of not being able to expand their media content, whether it is television content, news-related content or content of any other type, contrary to the Anglophone countries that are able to provide their content and services worldwide due to the internationalisation of their language. The case of CNN, which is aimed at a wide range of audiences, either through its television broadcasting or through the internet due to its news portal, or the case of the BBC or Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ABC that lay emphasis on the coverage of global news in order to â&#x20AC;&#x153;internationaliseâ&#x20AC;? their services are typical examples of this situation. Another criterion used in order to approach the idea of a small nation notionally is the establishment and development of the institutional framework of these countries through time, meaning the historical and socio-political factors that affect the gradual progress of the media and that of the shaping of content. Particular emphasis is laid on this criterion in this research study, which is referred to as institutional diversity. Specifically, when referring to the case of Greece, the procedures that were used in order to manipulate the public radio and television broadcaster in an unstable political climate, the course towards its deregulation, the role of the political parties and the advent of private television with the legislative and regulatory gaps, and the failure to establish an independent regulatory body, have greatly affected television content. Finally, a fourth criterion considered in the cases of small nations is what is called the

150

P. Iosifidis, personal correspondence, 2008.

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centralisation of content151. In small countries such as, for instance, Greece or smaller ones such as Cyprus or Malta, information is more controlled because the level of media concentration is low and there is an excessive concentration of media ownership of conglomerates in the hands of a small group of businessmen. This is what the study on source diversity in Chapters 6 and 7 shows. The result of the excessive concentration of media ownership of conglomerates is that information is controlled by a small group of people and content shaped considering their own needs and interests. This trend, which is typical in small countries, is known as the centralisation of content.

market size = audience

insitutional processes (institutional diversity)

small nations and media content

language = productions

centralization of the content

Figure 43: This circular graph shows the criteria used in order to approach notionally the idea of small nations as regards media content, i.e. in what way these criteria characterise small nations, have an impact on the shaping of media content and, consequently, on the degree of this contentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s diversity.

151

L. Malenis, personal correspondence, 2010.

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The queries raised in this research study are, on the one hand, the way in which content diversity can be managed and developed by the channels, that is the way that diversity is developed when planning and scheduling television programming in the context of a business option that leads to competition and diversification among the channels. These queries are also raised in the research and specifically in Chapter 3, which treats the issue of programme classification. The query regarding the management of content diversity by viewers, that is how they perceive the diversity of programming and handle its consumption, is also raised. Another issue that arises through this research is if and how the diffusion of television content should be regulated. In other words, the question that arises is why regulate media content diversity. The first main focus of this research is how content diversity is managed and developed by the channels. As pointed out, the research considers the suggested model a business-based model, since it reflects and examines the business practices of the channels as regards content being, which makes it a useful methodological tool for television programmers and policymakers who wish to probe rapid changes as far as content is concerned, as well as the current needs for new programming and scheduling policies. This philosophy lies in the fact that the scheduling of television programming changes so rapidly in the competing channels that programmers need easy-to-use and comprehensible methodological tools that are going to be used in order to analyse developments and changes at any time. This is where the model that has been developed aims.

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The purpose of this conclusion is not to summarise the different aspects of the model as they were analysed and developed in the previous chapters, but mainly to define the framework and the limits of its application, as well as to show its methodological flaws and strong points in order to illustrate its usefulness as a tool for future research studies. The entire research consists of five research dimensions â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the description, the interpretation, the realisation, the sense-making and the future prospects. As regards the description, it is based on displaying the suggested model; this is achieved in the first driver of the model, that of institutional diversity. The description of the television field contributes to the detailed presentation of the field and that of the environment on which the whole philosophy, effectiveness and performance of the model is based, as well as to perceive the topological features that under examination. Next, the interpretation of the issue that the author deals with is, in essence, its description in a more specific, detailed and comprehensive context, moving, thus, from the descriptive analysis of television, either historically or socially or in any other form, to its reduction to a more specific analysis such as, for instance, the classification of content. Essentially, Chapter 3 investigates classification. The authorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s imperative was to stop describing the issue and instead place the research within its applicable context. Further, the practical applications of an often abstract and ill-defined variable are addressed. Through the dimension of understanding, emphasis is laid on the dimension of interpretation by probing into developing the aspects of the issue in detail. The development of the authorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s theory related to the metamorphosis of the content that is discussed in Chapter 5, for instance, adds a new slant on the entire issue, enabling the researcher who studies the research to read it. Finally, the research elaborates on this concluding chapter, based on the dimensions

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of sense-making and future prospects. Thus, the basic sense and future prospects of the model shall be brought out through this analysis and the first bases set for any improvement or expansion of the model as regards other television environments and fields such as, for instance, the assessment of the diversity of digital platform content, an issue that concerns greatly the companies that provide television audience measurement (TAM) services, or the case of pay-television, which has been discussed in detail. Even though a view that there is no question of diversity as regards paytelevision has been established, however – as pointed out by this research – the author holds the view that diversity may exist even in the “tightest” television programming, and the degree and intensity of diversity are defined depending on the availability of the existing programming types. Therefore, it is argued that, whether low or poor diversity or high or rich diversity is discussed, there is always an intensity of diversity that it may be assessed. As regards the case of pay-television –a completely different television field to that examined in this research – the concept of thematic diversity could be used just to present the author’s opinion, which was developed in the introduction to this research study by stating that diversity may exist in every television content type – either in free access content, pay-television content or digital platform content – and that the matter of interest is the degree and intensity of diversity, how low or high its intensity is and not whether there is any intensity or not. Furthermore, in this chapter a number of other issues have also been dealt with, such as the potential future application of the driver of institutional diversity, as well as with certain further methodological considerations regarding the application of theory of metamorphosis of the minimum differentiation of content.

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The most significant element of the research is the creation of a new conceptualisation to understand the changes on content. Specifically, the originality of this research rests on the following five pillars: a)

The provided model has mainly a utility as a tool and an application besides its methodological approaches; this model can examine television content in depth, in all its phases, as it is homogenised into genres up to the phase where it is “consumed” by viewers, being modified and diversified by using different tactics and strategies.

b)

In essence, it is a business-based model rather than a policy model or framework. The author deals, thus, with the business options of the television channels and their television undertakings (including production companies) regarding their content. In other words, what is attempted to be achieved by presenting this model is to perceive the process of “building” content through programming strategies used by the television undertakings.

c)

The components the model consists of, the so-called drivers and subdrivers of assessment, provide new mechanisms for examining content from a new perspective, just as in Chapter 3, where programming typology and classification are discussed and developed and become a major issue as regards content diversity. The author’s effort to correlate the classification methods used by the television audience measurement companies with the assessment of the degree of diversity gives the entire process a new methodological dimension.

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d)

The development of the metamorphosis of minimum differentiation of content theory is one of the strong points and originalities of this research study. Through the development and application of the theory, the author proceeds from the stage of content diversity to context diversity. This new type of diversity that is conceptually created makes the stages of the metamorphosis of content understandable and new variables may be found that may be used for examining the changes taking place at the same time.

e)

The development of the formula for the assessment of source diversity is a significant issue in this research, since it also develops other issues that affect the process of assessment, such as the role of television viewing ratings as regards the scheduling planning process undertaken by the channels.

Apart from the components that determine the originality of this research, the significant role of the model should be emphasised, with regards to radio, a communications tool that is treated theoretically and historically in the context of institutional diversity in the first section of this research, since in Greece â&#x20AC;&#x201C; as in many countries â&#x20AC;&#x201C; both types of media have a common course, even though radio was the forerunner of television. Although radio is not discussed in detail, any potential application of the model in the case of radio would not require any extensive change of the drivers or sub-drivers that constitute the model, and the author would definitely employ different approaches as far as its applications are concerned. The main difference lies in radio programming classification compared to that of television, as

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neither exactly the same genres nor the same selection methods are used. In addition, there is a substantial difference regarding the source diversity of radio, since the procedures as well as the production patterns of radio programmes are completely different from those of television programmes considered low-cost productions, and therefore there is a different view as far as the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;buildingâ&#x20AC;? of its scheduling is concerned. In a research (Masouras, 2013) that is already in progress, in cooperation with the Research Institute of Applied Communication, on the subject of song diversity in Greek and Cypriot radio, programming is not classified into genres of songs but there is a classification of singers, a certain glut of specific genres and an overconcentration on, as may be observed in television programming. The method used in this research regarding the classification of songs is not a classification of songs by genre but by top radio station song playlists as published in different magazines. Therefore, it is clear that only one radio programming genre is referred to, the song, and its different subgenres, which do not have a wide range. The query that is set in this research study is whether the concentration of ownership in radio has an impact, either positive or negative, on radio playlist diversity. In this case, record companies that are related to radio stations or online music distribution sites, directly or otherwise, are considered content production companies. The model suggested in this research cannot be directly applied to the case of music diversity but there could be points of comparison regarding genre categorisation and classification. The reason the example of the radio is used is twofold. On the one hand, it intends to show the dynamics of the model being applied in radio â&#x20AC;&#x201C; this was the standpoint from

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the very beginning in this research, in that this model may be applied in other types of media, from the television environment to radio â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and, on the other hand, to lay emphasis on the fact that the taxonomy of the programme is an open methodological issue and not a generally used unilateral and narrow methodological approach or procedure. As analysed in Chapter 3, the programming classification and content classification procedures are more elaborate and complex, and the selection of programmes or content always depends on the existing conditions and objectives of the research. Another issue that should be discussed in this sub-chapter, before making more precise references in the following sub-chapters, is the issue of the parallel programming of the Greek television with channels in Cyprus, an issue that has been treated in previous chapters. This point is considered because there are types of cooperation regarding programming content â&#x20AC;&#x201C; depending on the channel â&#x20AC;&#x201C; even though the television of Cyprus is mainly based on domestic, local and in-house productions. This is mainly due to the common language and features in the television-viewing habits of audiences152, especially regarding the preferences that are related to the productions and not the day-to-day lives of the viewers and the hours and zones of television viewing. At this point, the study revisits the issue of relevance of this study against the backdrop of the wider research of media in small nations. Cyprus is such a case. The special features of television in Cyprus arise from the criteria referring to small nations that were analysed at the beginning of the conclusion. Specifically, the

152

Consult Chapter 4 and Chapter 8.

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readjustment in genre classification, the different ranking of programming zones and changes in the structure of the market – features that are mentioned below – arise from the basic criteria that are presented in the conclusion and set the notional framework of small nations. This is what is pointed out in this research study. The model may be applied in the case of Cypriot television, since the philosophy of its components is almost the same. However, what should be stressed – in the case of the model’s application to television in Cyprus – is the much smaller television market size and the different division of the ratings pie. Therefore, television programming is different on certain points compared to Greece, as it is adapted to the needs of a smaller country. At this point, the most important features of television in Cyprus compared to Greek television should also be confirmed, as well as the parameters required in order to give guidelines for a potential application of the model in this television environment in the future: 1.

Readjustment of genre classification: there are certain significant differences as far as the classification of programming for television in Cyprus is concerned, compared to the classification for Greece. Besides the similarities that have been discussed in this research study, the particular features of certain programming genres of television in Cyprus that do not exist in the programming genres of Greece should be taken into account in case of any application of the model to the programming of Cypriot television. Specifically, the author refers to the genre of the Cypriot dialect sketch, a particular genre that has been created and developed under special conditions; this genre has a significant part in the country’s television programming and its origins in traditional folk

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theatre. The sketch format was adapted for the radio under the form of 30-minute dialogues in the Cypriot dialect, and then for television as an ethnographic genre written in the Cypriot dialect and describing the customs of the country, usually in the form of self-contained episodes153. Its significant role in television programming lies in the fact that, so far – being full of humour – it is one of the most successful genres of television in Cyprus, since it has high viewing figures. 2.

Reclassification of the zones of programming: Following the taxonomy of programming, a reclassification and reassessment of the zones of programming should be made as well. This issue has already been developed in Chapter 4 of this research, where the everyday habits of viewers and their impact on the wider structure of scheduling are also discussed.

3.

The structure of the market and source diversity: it should be pointed out that significant differences in the structure of the Cypriot television market compared to the Greek television market were detected, due to the smaller size of the former. This fact changes my initial thoughts and could somehow modify the approach of the formula for the assessment of source diversity, taking the indicators and figures of each market – in this case, those of Cyprus – into account. The formula as regards the source may be applied on a much smaller scale compared to that applied

153

Leonidas Malenis, Personal correspondence, 2010

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to Greece, with different specifics as far as concentrations of the production companies and television channels are concerned. Therefore, what is revealed as far as the study of diversity is concerned is that the potential examination of diversityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree and intensity, through the model that the author proposes and develops, or through any other methodological approach, is not a static procedure that may be applied globally and in different television environments planned or designed in the same way, in the same approximate view without any modifications or changes. On the other hand, it is believed it should get away from the whole idea of approaching the elements of the model. This is what the parallel study of the cases of Cyprus and Greece shows. The original design of the approach is the same, but its application is different where needed.

8.2. The theory of Metamorphosis and its future prospects: its utility as a tool for the programming industry Windeler and Sydow (2001) point out that the practices of programme production have changed over the last two decades for three reasons. Firstly, change in the content production industry moved from a national to a global footing. Secondly, digitisation enabled a range of new goods, services and audiences. Thirdly, television was privatised. By using the explanatory axes of Windeler and Sydow (2001) in the

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case of the Greek programming, the following can be stated: The change in the content production industry, turning from national to global mode, is shown through the “foreign” and franchise effects (Negrine and Papathanassopoulos, 1991) on a big part of the television programming, mainly during the last decade. These trends are presented in Chapter 7 as regards the television production industry in Greece, where domestic productions are compared with foreign productions. In addition, it is worth referring to the opinion of Papathanassopoulos: “Since its advent, television in Greece was based on the American television programming model. During the post-junta years, television in Greece was greatly influenced by the European television model, laying more emphasis on its intervening cultural role. With the advent of private television channels, television in Greece focused on the American model”154. At this point, it should be clarified what the author means by “programming model”, a concept mentioned by Papathanassopoulos, who consents to this approach. By referring to a programming model it means modelling as regards the structure of scheduling and not programme production or any other discipline. This clarification is important in order to avoid any misunderstanding as regards the impact of the European television environment on Greek television. Papathanassopoulos considers that the programmers of Greek private television channels were influenced by the American programming model, since “it was the only model existing at that time and that is why they used it”155. Second, the question as to whether technology – also discussed in the last sub-chapter –

is redundant in programming strategies or,

alternatively, an integral part of scheduling programming should preoccupy researchers, since so far there has been little research on this issue. An issue for future 154 155

Stylianos Papathanassopoulos, personal correspondence, 2009. Ibid.

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examination and research is, for instance, new platforms for broadcasting television content – digital or internet – and whether they influence the planning of scheduling and in what way they do it. The content of the internet is an issue which has not yet been widely studied. The privatisation of television had a clear impact on television programming, since new rules related to the building of scheduling, especially programme convergence and programme differentiation between channels, were introduced. These approaches indicate the author’s initial finding and belief that television programming or schedule building are not considered a one-dimensional issue that refers to one aspect of programming the genres, as was the case so far. The building of programme scheduling is something more complex and wider, which is based on many factors, external and internal and this is exactly what the variables of the suggested model illustrate. In essence, the approach to what is defined as the theory of metamorphosis156 examines in depth conversion and diversification tactics regarding television programming and the structures of the scheduling beyond the simplified and already much-talked about content diversity that mainly focuses only on the study of the genres that constitute the television programme. The study of television diversity, which focuses only on the classification of programme types, the genres, does not contribute greatly to the clarification of the degree and documented intensity of content diversity. This is why the concept of context diversity was used in this research – a concept that particularises the author’s approach as regards the theory of metamorphosis – in order to underline the hallmark of the entire approach, either 156

See Chapter 5.

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theoretically or methodologically. The author’s research on the content homogeneity of Greek television, as defined in Chapter 4 (Masouras, 2007; 2008), was the starting point for the development of this approach. Through these studies157, the need to analyse further television programming and its content became apparent, as well as that this analysis should examine content beyond its homogenous features as regards programming genres. Thus, an analysis would enable the researcher – by selecting those variables – to approach the content during its diversification and deal with the tactics that break down homogeneity and provide television viewers with a competitive television product and content. This is where the concept of context diversity used in this research arises from, in order to indicate the specific difference from content diversity. As already disclosed, the specific difference lies on the following issue. Context diversity assesses and examines scheduling at the point where its homogeneity ends. It is an extension of the study of content beyond the methodological barriers that focus on the classification per genre, as well as on the classic programme typology that examines types of shows; this is what content diversity deals with. This is what Napoli claims: “Personally, I always thought there was a limit to the kinds of questions that could be answered by studying genres, at least from the standpoint of making and assessing policy or by studying programming tactics and methods in the business perspective”158. Context diversity is going to respond to deeper and more specialised queries, so this approach examines the diversity of the content diversification tactics, where diversification arises from homogeneity itself; from the need to diversify the programme, to make it competitive

157 158

Ibid. P. Napoli, personal correspondence, 2010.

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and have it consumed successfully â&#x20AC;&#x201C; as shown by the television viewing ratings â&#x20AC;&#x201C; by existing or potential television viewers. The necessity to develop context diversity as well as the theory on content metamorphosis, as it is developed and analysed in this research and specifically in Chapter 5, lies on the urgency to study television content in depth by using alternative methodological variables and applications. The estimate of content diversity concerns only the study of the congruence between programme genres, but it refers to a number of other parameters that were examined through the theory of content metamorphosis in Chapter 5 of this research. This is the central idea in the development of this theory as an alternative tool of assessing the degree of television diversity. Content diversity should be studied during the process of its metamorphosis, based on its morphology, special features and elements (such as, for instance, cinematography159, direction, visual elements and signature tunes160), which may vary from channel to channel in order to achieve content diversification. It should also be studied based on its chronology, the type of diversity related to the duration of the programmes or its partial chronology, such as the time of appearance of the hosts of the shows or programmes161. Finally, it should be studied based on its topology, the type of diversity that is related to the process of placing the programme in zones, its distribution into sections that are in sequence and are designed in such a way so as to be competitive with each other. Based on the above issues, as well as on my analysis that was made in Chapter 5, the methodological variables are based on

159

The shots. The tune that is used to identify or open and/or close a radio or television programme. 161 This refers to the anchormen or anchorwomen, the presenters of shows, the interviewers, the announcers, the newscasters or the newsreaders. 160

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three main axes: the morphology, chronology and topology of content. These axes facilitate focusing on specific issues, since the study of television content is a broad issue that may lead me from the subject of the initial objective of studying the intensity of the diversity of television content as regards programme genres, as well as the diversity that is produced through diversification tactics through content metamorphosis. This research extends beyond the traditional confines of the study of content and examines it from a different angle. It is important to disassociate the two concepts, the metamorphosis and context diversity, as pointed out in Chapter 5. Metamorphosis is the process that is why the author’s entire theoretical approach is called like this. The metamorphosis, or the modification of homogenous – as far as the types of television programmes are concerned – television content and its structural upgrading to a “second” level, aims at its diversification without ignoring the genre homogenisation. In the author’s theoretical approach, the type of diversified diversity that is created through the process of metamorphosis is called context diversity. Aslanidou (2000) employed a similar approach to Greek television and specifically news bulletins having, however, a different reasoning and scope. The reasoning behind Aslanidou’s study as regards the content of news bulletins involves the levels and idea of the television audience’s passivity quotient162, and the viewers are separated into four categories: active TV viewers, critical TV viewers, distanced TV viewers and selective TV viewers. Even though the scope and reasoning of the research of Aslanidou are completely different from those of my research on the

162

The extent to which the viewer watches TV passively

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intensity of diversity, both of us use similar methodological variables and approaches. Aslanidou employs them in order to decode the significance and semiology of TV news bulletins and how they are perceived by viewers. They are used here in order to track down diversification techniques among TV news bulletins through a “second” level of intensity of diversity – which, in Chapter 5, was referred to as context diversity – that develops, as already pointed out, a whole number of televisual and directing elements that constitute the function of mediation in TV communication. The parallel examination of the two research studies is significant and quite interesting, as they both have a concurrent reasoning and similar methodological way of approaching the issue, since they examine content through the elements that constitute the content for two different hypotheses and research queries. This issue could be food for thought so that the theory of metamorphosis and the concept of context diversity are the background for future applications on other hypothetical research queries and dimensions. It is worth referring to the approach of William Adams163, who considers that the way television viewers watch television is the outcome of the programming and structure of scheduling. Specifically, William Adams thinks that it is up to the TV programme schedule of the channel to develop strong bonds with its viewers and provide popular shows and programmes in order to raise its television viewing ratings. In addition, Adams also lays emphasis on a number of extrinsic factors that are discussed in this research and which affect programming and television viewership. Adams refers to extrinsic factors such as the habit of the viewer watching specific programmes, zapping – the process of channel selection – and the daily habits of viewers that specify the hours of TV viewing. This

163

Prof. William Jenson Adams, Kansas State University, personal correspondence, 2009.

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approach is considered the golden mean between the two aforementioned research studies, as it combines issues related to the levels of viewers’ activity that affect the “building” of the television programming of a channel164. Chapter 5 referred to the seasonal character of TV scheduling and the author would like to deal with it in this chapter, too. This issue is included in the theory of metamorphosis purely because the seasonal character of TV scheduling is part of the broader philosophy of building scheduling and is taken into account by broadcasters before airing a new television programme. The seasonal character of TV scheduling, as a methodological variable and a tool in general, could be the issue of the broader philosophy of the theory of metamorphosis in an extended form as an element that could contribute to the diversification of television product. The season or period selected to form the new programming structure of a television channel, or to launch a new television programme or show, is based on two main axes: first, the season during which the new programme will be structured should score high audience rates. The new programme, for instance, should not be launched during the summer months, as most viewers do not watch television. Second, the new structure of broadcast programming165 depends on the broadcast programming of the competitive channel or channels. A competitive channel’s scheduling looks like that of its rivals, strives for a competitive advantage over its rivals and poses a threat to them as regards audience viewing ratings. Based on this reasoning, methodological variables should be related to the seasonal character of broadcast programming in order to find differentiations

164

Ibid. Broadcast programming, or scheduling, is the practice of organising television programmes in a daily, weekly, or season-long schedule. Modern broadcasters regularly change the scheduling of their programmes to build an audience for a new show, retain that audience, or compete with other broadcasters' programmes. 165

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among the channels as far as the season when they choose to schedule their new programmes and show the similar features and differences among competitive programmes during their first appearance in the broadcast scheduling of the channel and how they “react” or how they are rescheduled – for instance, if they are cancelled or cut from the schedule or if they are restructured – considering the television viewing figures as well as the cost of production. Thus, the seasonal character of broadcast programming is a multifaceted and complicated issue and cannot be examined one-sidedly based on only one variable, but the development of a methodological formula considering all the elements – such as the television viewing figures of new programmes, the cost of production of the programmes – that form the seasonal character of the broadcast programming is required; these elements are related to activities concerning the rescheduling of the competitive channels and the depiction of the new trends in the television productions. The approach to the metamorphosis of content is multidimensional and functional, providing the context for analysing even the most obscure aspects of television content diversity. Many formulas aiming at assessing and describing changes in television content may be developed through such an approach.

8.3. Comments regarding future research on television This sub-chapter probes future research possibilities for television or the media field in general. In addition, certain significant issues that may give answers to many

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methodological parameters should be revealed. Even if there is a view in the prevailing atmosphere that television has been studied in detail throughout this research, it is clear that the different aspects regarding television content change so rapidly that a continuous study regarding television considering the rapid changes – either technological or social changes – in the television field is required. During the author’s lecture at Fordham University (Masouras, 2010), the students asked if this was the end of an era as far as television is concerned. The author’s answer was that this was not the case. Television changes and develops. At this point, emphasis should be laid on the most significant elements that form the diversity of television content; these elements could be used as drivers and sub-drivers of the model in future research projects and be its extension, even though many issues have been dealt with in detail and others treated briefly throughout the chapters. The first element to emphasise is the role of journalistic practices that shape content, since they constitute a significant content parameter. The role of journalists, as well as journalistic practices, could be included in the driver referred to as institutional diversity, since the practice of journalism acts within the institutional bounds of society and state. News reports cover a significant part of broadcast programming, as shown during the recording of the genres in Chapter 3, including that of news bulletins and different information-related and news-related programmes and shows. At this point, diversity may have two forms with a different starting point and the same denominator: on the one hand, diversity refers to the genres of informationrelated and news-related programmes and shows, as analysed in Chapter 3, as well as in Chapter 5, where the primary role of news bulletins in the process of content diversification between the channels is illustrated, as well as their broad importance in

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the process of “building” the image of a channel. This genre analysis –considered a separate procedure (the theory of metamorphosis gives us such an opportunity) – does not lead to a thorough examination of the content. On the contrary, it is the newsrelated diversity of the content of these shows and programmes, the diversity that is related with the topics of their content; this is why it is called the diversity of the topics or agenda of the programmes. This reveals a significant parameter that should be taken into consideration by future researchers when examining the metamorphosis of the content in news bulletins, even though, Chapter 5 introduces relevant variables in the basic tracer of morphology. The importance of this parameter is shown through the interviews with policymakers presented in Chapter 5. At this point, the role of journalistic practices on the shaping of content should be emphasised, as the topics are set by sources that are used for the coverage of the news. Therefore, the diversity of issues can be assessed through the use of journalistic sources as well as other parameters such as, for instance, the assessment of the frequency of the representation of politicians or political groups in information-related and news-related programmes and shows, i.e. the assessment of the degree of diversity known as people and groups diversity (including the political parties), a parameter which has been treated in my research. In addition, the classification into secondary topics of programmes and shows – the study of the subcategories of issues covered by the news, such as local news – is another parameter that could lead to the assessment of the degree of diversity of the topics. Therefore, the system and the method of the work of journalists in a television station, and the orders they probably receive regarding a specific ideological or journalistic stance, contribute greatly to the content and style of the programmes in general. An opinion is that schools of journalism – whether they

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are university schools or not, especially now that the television field changes so rapidly â&#x20AC;&#x201C; may and should play a determinant role for the creation of a proper journalistic culture and the promotion of a qualitative school of thought for the production of programmes and the production of media content in general. Therefore, another issue that could be treated in the future, as it has a direct impact on the journalistic practices referred to above, is the technological growth and development of television and how these changes that occur affect its content and diversity. It is, however, a wide issue and although it is not going to be discussed in detail here, a brief reference should be made â&#x20AC;&#x201C; as an extension of Chapter 3 on the classification and categorisation of the content â&#x20AC;&#x201C; examining, specifically, how the digital convergence of television affects the content classification methods of the companies that provide television audience measurement (TAM) services. Specifically, Chapter 3 analyses the techniques that AGB uses in order to classify and categorise programming either for television viewing measurement and assessment purposes or for analysing the different categories of genres and subgenres of programming for the benefit of the channels and their programmers, so that they can analyse the options of their competitors. The author focused on the method used by specific company, since it is the main source for channels and advertising companies and a method that is widely accepted. The application of the AGB method refers to analogue television, and during the last five years company specialists have tried new methods of classifying the programming of the digital platforms166. The approach shall be, however, quite different, since there are new television broadcasting used that extensively change the wider philosophy of programming, while the number of 166

S. Makrides, personal correspondence, 2009.

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channels which are going to have access to the platforms is going to triple. At this point, three examples for future thought and examination should be referred to. The first methodological query refers to the classification of programming into genres, as well as to television viewing measurement, which lies on the different services – such as, for instance, the time-shifted programming –provided by the digital television to the viewer. Time-shifted programming could be considered a programming policy rather than a service; this is clarified this as follows: The wide range of frequencies provided by digital platforms turn the owners of television stations on to the policy of time-shifted programming, a low-cost policy that gives them the opportunity to gain more television frequencies. In essence, a time shift channel167 is a television channel carrying a time-delayed rebroadcast of its “parent” channel’s output. In addition, the same advertisements are broadcast many times. This policy is not incidental. First, the owners of the television stations cannot broadcast their programming through another frequency without any cost by “advertising” their “parent” channel. Second, the owners of the television stations provide the advertised entities with “extra space”, at no extra cost. The facility to have access to additional frequencies that is given by the digital platforms raises a new issue as regards television viewing measurement, since, in essence, it is about the assessment of the television viewing of the same programming into a different time and space – as well as the assessment of diversity. What criteria are going to be used in order to include 167

A time-shift channel is a television channel carrying a time-delayed rebroadcast of its “parent” channel’s output. This channel runs alongside their parent: the term “time-shift” does not refer to network broadcasting at a later time to reflect a local time zone, unless the parent is also available. Often the time-shift channel's branding and advertising will be the same as that of the parent, with the channel number and respective timing being the only distinction between the two, but some, such as Channel 4+1 in the United Kingdom, will overlay a different digital on-screen graphic to distinguish the two channels. A few channels, like Film 4+1 in the United Kingdom, do not carry a digital onscreen graphic on its regular channel or its time-shift channel.

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time-shift channels in our wider methodology and how will these criteria affect the assessment of diversity, since, in essence, there is a repeated broadcast of the same genres? This is an issue that should be dealt with. Second is the digital service of video on demand168, the service that lets the viewer watch older television programmes and shows or watch other programmes in addition to the current scheduling of the channel. Therefore, the question of how the television viewing of a channel that provides this service can be recorded is raised. In addition, the question as to whether such a service is going to be included in the methodology assessment is raised. Another issue that is going to be set is that of the huge number and variety of channels that emerge through digital platforms. The wide range of channels, where most are thematic, changes the whole philosophy of the study of content diversity. At this point, the author states indicatively that even web-based television stations, those that broadcast via the Internet, may, by using digital technology and by entering into a relevant agreement with the digital platform provider, broadcast their programme through television receivers. In the digital television environment, there are no specific channels that share the same viewing ratings pie. In the new digital setting, television viewing is defined and assessed by using other rules and factors such as, for instance, the distinction of the channels into parent and time-shift channels, as previously mentioned. However, a radical classification of the channels, considering their type and thematic content, should be made and television viewing per category

168

Video on Demand (VOD) is a system which allows users to select and watch to video content on demand.

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should be assessed separately. It also considers that such an approach may contribute greatly to the assessment of the intensity of diversity in the right direction, since with the advent of the digital television the genres are reshaped, new genres are invented and the proportion between them changes qualitatively.

Figure 44: The advent and establishment of digital television have had an impact on approaches regarding the study of television content and its diversity so far. In this graph, the most important factors are shown that, according to this research, contribute to the reshaping of methodological approaches.

In addition, new technologies create new ideas, concepts and practices as regards the television industry and form a new idea as regards the viewer. The viewer is not perceived traditionally through digital reality as â&#x20AC;&#x153;the person who watches televisionâ&#x20AC;? but as a content user and consumer.

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Finally, a third dimension is related to certain issues around media ownership research, or source diversity. Throughout the study on source diversity in Chapter 6, Philip Napoli drew certain significant conclusions. First, he considers that the collection and classification of data that refer to ownership status is a quite difficult issue, since ownership relations and composition of the shareholders are not clear and accessible. According to Napoli, integrated and renewable databases should be created, which should be widely accessible to academic, industry, public interest, and governmental policy researchers. The research objective of the section of this research for the assessment of source diversity is the impact of the shareholders structure of the channels and the production companies on the content and its diversity. It is what Napoli refers to as media performance, which is influenced by ownership status. It is at this precise point that a methodological and research gap can be detected: this is the case where the non-structured recording of ownership relations impedes the further study of certain specificities as regards the performance of content. The study wishes to touch on a new concept regarding content diversity introduced by Napoli. It is the concept of ‘participation’ in content and how it may shape diversity within content. During a recent discussion with him, he pointed out the following: “I know some scholars have addressed the notion of participation as it relates to television in terms of things like reality television. This isn’t an angle that interests me much, only because I don’t think it has a tremendous amount of policy relevance. I do think that at this point the notion of participation is quite a bit more resonant in the Web space, but in the TV space I think notions of participation that might be relevant would be the extent to which there are systems in place that allow for citizengenerated content (I’m thinking, for instance, of public access television channels), or

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the extent to which programmers solicit and act upon input from their audiences 169”. The Internet is a space for the development of such a concept, and television is moving towards this field. This does not mean that the television space is in crisis. On the contrary, it is in a “safe mode” condition – and this is not the case with the press, for instance – and it is the mode of shaping and reproducing its content and not the degree of content diversity changes. The author believes that we are not going to have, for instance, new genres. Besides, it is a list that is now ‘closed’, a list that is not subject to any further change. In essence, what happens is the reproduction of television content in the Web space. Therefore, it is worth sitting tight to watch the lines of relevance between television space and Web space, as well as the new programming techniques that are going to back this relevance. As is clear and perceived throughout this research, television content diversity is a wide and multi-level issue which has no fixed features and cannot be studied based on a concerted approach. The different television environments, different specificities of television audiences and different needs of television enterprises make the application of a concerted methodological constant for the assessment of content diversity difficult. The suggested model provides a rational and practicable basis on which to create the conditions required for the establishment of a common philosophy regarding the approach to this issue. The application of the model in Greek television, as well as in Cypriot television, gives me the opportunity to proceed to future research regarding its application in other television environments, too. The concluding comment reached through this research is that the area of the television content enters

169

P.Napoli, personal correspondence, 2010.

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a meta-television era that will not render the degree of content diversity any higher or richer.

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Κamtsidou, Ι., “Η έκθεση πεπραγμένων του ΕΣΡ για το έτος 2004: Η ανεξάρτητη αρχή σε διαρκή απόσταση από τη ρυθμιστική αποστολή της, στο Δίκαιο Μέσων Ενημέρωσης και Επικοινωνίας” (NRTC Annual Report for 2004: The independent authority in a continuously long distance from its supervisory mission, in Law of means of Information and Communication), 3/2005 [In Greek] Karakostas, Ι., Tsevas, A., “Η νομοθεσία των ΜΜΕ” (MASS MEDIA Legislation), Ant. Sakkoulas, Athens, Komotini 2000 [In Greek] Κarakostas, Ι., “Δίκαιο των ΜΜΕ” (ΜΜΕ Law), page 27, Sakkoula Publishing, 2005 [In Greek] Kiki, Y., Δίκαιο της Πληροφόρησης. Αναλύσεις-Κείμενα (Information Rights, Analyses-Documents), Προσκήνιο, (Proskinio), 1998, page 37 [In Greek] Kiki, Y., “H ελευθερία των οπτικοακουστικών μέσων (υπό το πρίσμα και της Συνταγματικής αναθεώρησης του 2001)” (The freedom of the audiovisual media), Σάκκουλας, Αθήνα-Θεσσαλονίκη, 2003 [In Greek] Κirtsos, G., “Ο Μυστικός Πόλεμος των Εξουσιών” (The powers secret war), p. 240, Kastaniotis Publishing, Αthens, 2003 [in Greek] Kliamaki, Ο., “Ινστιτούτο οπτικοακουστικών μέσων: ο οπτικοαουστικός τομέας στην Ελλάδα” (Audiovisual Media Institute: The Audiovisual Sector in Greece), European Commission-Representation in Greece, Athens, 2003 [in Greek] Kliamaki, O., Το ραδιόφωνο στην Ελλάδα (The Radio in Greece), ΙΟΜ, Αthens, 2006 [in Greek] Kokkalis, Α., “Οι επιδράσεις της κρατικής ραδιοτηλεόρασης στην εξέλιξη της ελληνικής κοινωνίας” (State Radio and Television Influence on the Greek Society Evolution), in S., Notaris, R., Panayopoulos, P., Rigopoulos, M., Rigos «Η

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‘Κατασκευή’ της πραγματικότητας και τα Μέσα Μαζικής Ενημέρωσης’ (The “making-up” of the Reality and the Mass Media), Alexandria, Athens, 1997 [in Greek] Komninos, M., “Ο ρόλος των ΜΜΕ στη Τρίτη Δημοκρατία: 1974-1994” (“The role of the MASS MEDIA in the Third Republic”), in Kh, Lyrintzis - Il., Nikolakopoulos – D., Sotiropoulos, “Κοινωνία και Πολιτική: Όψεις της Γ’ Ελληνικής Δημοκρατίας 1974-1994” (Society and Politics: Sides of the 3rd Greek Republic-1974-1994), p. 225 [in Greek] Κontiadis, X., “Η οριοθέτηση της σχέσης πολιτικής εξουσίας και μέσων μαζικής ενημέρω��ης. Πλουραλισμός και διαφάνεια στο επικοινωνιακό σύστημα κατά τα άρθρα 14 και 15 του νέου Συντάγματος” (Spotting the relation between political authority and mass media. Pluralism and transparency in the communication system according to the articles 14 and 15 of the constitution) in volume: D.Th. Τsatsos/Εv. V. Venizelos/X.Ι. Κοndiadis, Το νέο Σύνταγμα (The new constitution), Αnt. Ν. Sakkoulas Publishing, Αthens-Κοmotini 2001 [in Greek] Kyriazis, N., Η Κοινωνιολογική Έρευνα, Κριτική Επισκόπηση των Μεθόδων και των Τεχνικών (The sociological survey: Critical Review of the Methods and the Techniques), Athens: Ellinika Grammata Publications, 1999 [In Greek] Law 2328/1995 (Gazette Α'159/3-8-1995), Chapter Α, Article 3, paragraph 20 [in Greek] Leandros, N., “Κομματική χειραγώγηση και οικονομική χρεοκοπία: η περίπτωση της δημόσιας Ραδιοτηλεόρασης στην Ελλάδα” (Party handling and financial bankruptcy the case of the state Radio and Television in Greece), in “Όρια και Σχέσεις Δημόσιου και Ιδιωτικού” (Borders and Relations between State and Private Sector), Ίδρυμα

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Σάκη Καράγιωργα (Sakis Karagiorgas Foundation), Αθήνα (Athens) 1996, p. 559 [In Greek] Manthoulis, R., “Το κράτος της τηλεόρασης” (The State of the Television), Themelio, Athens, 1981 [In Greek] Masouras, A., Τηλεόραση: Δημόσιο αγαθό ή εμπορική βιομηχανία; Η ελληνική περίπτωση, (Television: a public good or a commercial industry? The case of Greece), Cyprus, Research Institute of Applied Communication, 2008 [in Greek] Μοuzelis, Ν., “Νεοελληνική κοινωνία. Όψεις υπανάπτυξης” (Modern Greek society. Signs of underdevelopment), Exandas Publishing, Athens, 1978 [in Greek] Mparmpoutis, Kh, Klontzas, M., “Το φράγμα του ήχου: η δυναμική του ραδιοφώνου στην Ελλάδα” (The sound’s threshold: Radio Dynamic in Greece), Papazisis, Athens, 2001 [in Greek] Panayotopoulou, Ρ., “Η τηλεόραση εκτός των τειχών” (Television outside the walls), Kastaniotis Publishing, Αthens, 2004 [in Greek] Papathanassopoulos, S., Απελευθερώνοντας την Τηλεόραση (Liberating Teledvision), Kastaniotis Editions, Athens, 1993 Papathanassopoulos, S., Η τηλεόραση και το κοινό της (Television and its Audience), Αθήνα: Kastaniotis, 2000 [In Greek] Papathanassopoulos, S., Η τηλεόραση στον 21ο αιώνα, (Television in the 21st Century) Kastaniotis Editions, Athens, 2005 [in Greek] Petrakis, M., “Ραδιόφωνο και Προπαγάνδα στη Μεταξική Ελλάδα” (Radio and Propaganda in Metaxian Greece) in Kh, Mparmpoutis, M., Klontzas, “Το φράγμα του ήχου: η δυναμική του ραδιοφώνου στην Ελλάδα” (The sound’s threshold: Radio Dynamic in Greece), Papazisis, Athens, 2001 [in Greek]

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Plekhova, O., “Tο πρώτο ελληνικό ραδιόφωνο… και το πρώτο των Βαλκανίων” (The first Greek Radio… the first in Balkans, Mparmpounakis, Thessaloniki, 2002 [in Greek] Psykhopedis, K., Khalaris, G., “Τηλεοπτικός χώρος και κοινωνική αλλαγή”, Κοινωνική Αλλαγή στη Σύγχρονη Ελλάδα, 1980-2001 (“Television field and social change”, Social change in contemporary Greece), Sakis Karayorgas Foundation, Athens, 2004, p. 325 [in Greek] Psikhoyos, D., “What are the MASS MEDIA?”, σελ. 139. Kastaniotis Publishing, Αthens, 2003 [in Greek] Roumeliotis, Α., “Είμαστε στον αέρα” (We are on air), Paratiritis, Thessaloniki, 1991, p. 253-261 [in Greek] Serafetinidou, M., “Ο ρόλος του κράτους στα ραδιοτηλεοπτικά Μέσα Επικοινωνίας: Μύθος και πραγματικότητα”, (“the role of the state in Radio Television Mass media: Myth and reality), στο Ελληνική Επιθεώρηση Πολιτικής Επιστήμης, (in Greek Review of Political Science) τ.16 (vol. 16) Θεμέλιο (Themelio Editions), Αθήνα (Athens), 2000, p. 116 [in Greek] Sofos, S., “Λαϊκή ταυτότητα και πολιτική κουλτούρα στη μεταδικτατορική Ελλάδα: προς μια πολιτισμική προσέγγιση του λαϊκιστικού φαινομένου” (Popular identity and political culture in Greece after dictatorship: towards a cultural approach of the populist effect) in N., Demertzis «Η Ελληνική Πολιτική Κουλτούρα Σήμερα» (The Greek political culture today), Οdysseas, Athens, 1994, p. 133-152 [in Greek] Stergiou, L., “Η ιστορία της τηλεόρασης” (“The history of television”), Kathimerini Morning Daily Newspaper, 4/4/2006 [in Greek] Available at:

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Vouidaskis, V., «Το Δικαίωμα της ελευθερίας της έκφρασης και τα Μέσα Μαζικής Επικοινωνίας: ιστορικο-κοινωνιολογική προσέγγιση» (The right of the Freedom of Speech and the Mass Media: A historical and social approach), Papazisis, Athens, 2001, p.258-259 [in Greek] Yannas, P., “O ρόλος των συμβούλων πολιτικής επικοινωνίας στην Ελλάδα” (The role of the consultants of the political communication in Greece), in Frangopoulos, X,. “ΜΜΕ, Κοινωνία και Πολιτική: ρόλος και λειτουργία στη σύγχρονη Ελλάδα” (Mass Media, Society and Politics: Role and Function in Contemporary Greece), Ι. Sideris, Athens, 2005, p. 138-139 [in Greek] Yaitsis, P., Kh., Mparmpoutis, “Τα πρώτα ραδιοφωνικά βήματα” (The early Radio steps), in Kh, Mparmpoutis, Klontzas, M., (ed.), “Το φράγμα του ήχου: η δυναμική του ραδιοφώνου στην Ελλάδα” (The sound’s threshold: Radio Dynamic in Greece), Papazisis, Athens, 2001 [in Greek] Ζeri, P., “Θεσμοί εποπτείας στο ραδιοτηλεοπτικό σύστημα” (Supervisory Institutions in the Radio and Television Field), Editions Odysseas Publishing, Αthens, 1996 [in Greek] Ζeris, P., “Θεσμοί Εποπτείας στο ραδιοτηλεοπτικό σύστημα: στόχοι, διαδικασίες, δυνατότητες δράσης” (Supervision Institutions of the Radio and Television System: Goals, procedures, action’s possibilities), Odysseas Editions, Αthens, 1996, p. 241246 [in Greek] Personal Interviews

Adams, William Jenson, Kansas State University, personal correspondence, 2007 & 2009 Dr. Angeli, I., Cyprus University of Technology, personal correspondence, 2008

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Prof. Anayiotos, G., George Washington University, personal correspondence, 2010 Aslanidou, S., personal correspondence, 2009 Brabazon, T., personal correspondence, 2010 Christou, L., Editor-in-chief of the news programmes of ANT1 TV, personal correspondence, 2010 Eastman, S.T., personal correspondence, 2008 Epaminondas, N., personal correspondence, 2010 Iosifidis, P., personal correspondence, 2008 Kliamaki, O., personal correspondence, 2010 Makrides, S., personal correspondence, 2009 Malenis, L., personal correspondence, 2010 Milonas, P., News Department Director in Mega Channel, personal correspondence, 2010 Napoli, P., personal interview, October 2008 Papathanassopoulos, St., National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, personal correspondence, 2008 Papathanassopoulos, St., National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, personal correspondence, 2009 Pilavios, N., personal correspondence, 2008 Psilos, M., Foreign News Chief Editor of Athens News Agency and works for the news department ANT1 TV, personal correspondence, 2008 Tagmatarxis, L., CEO of Nova Greece, personal correspondence, 2007 Valcke, P., personal correspondence 2009

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Public Lectures Masouras, A., The interactive model of pay-television, presented during a research seminar of the Research Institute of Applied Communication, April 2007, Cyprus Masouras, A., “Media Diversity: A multi-level management analysis of the TV output”, Antwerp University, 21st February 2008 Masouras, A., “Pay-television programming and sales promotion activities”, seminar presented on 4th June 2008 at University of Brighton Μasouras. Α. Presenting and Discussing the Television Metamorphosis Theory: From Homogeneity to Diversity and vice-versa, Public lecture. Nicosia University, Nicosia, Cyprus. 29 March 2010 Masouras, A. “Global Media: A Myth or a Fact?” Lecture at Fordham University, Tuesday, 7th December 2010, New York

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