Cpusat Essay, Research Paper
The times are changing…How France, Germany and Sweden introduced private,cable and satellite TV – a comparison over the past10 years. Why we have chosen this subject?Before starting to write about TV in Sweden, Germany and France, wewanted to compare French,German and Swedish media. But on account ofthe wideness of this analysis, we decided to focus on the evolutionof TV broadcasting during these last 10 years.The technical revolution which has appeared in this area since 1980is necessary to be understood to be able to follow and forecast whatwill happen in the future when multinational companies can take alook on pan-european broadcasting. In this paper we try to make thepoint on this changes. Furthermore as we came from differentcountries and live now in an other one, we found it interesting tocompare the three countries (France, Germany and Sweden) TV-broadcasting system. While we were searching for datas, we discovered the gap that existsin cable-covering between France and the two other countries. Whatare the main reasons of this delay? Are they political, financial orcultural? We will try to answer these questions in our paper. But wewill first define the different technical terms that weare going to focus on. Then we will developp the birth of privatechannels, their regulations, laws and financing in the differentcountries. In our paper you will find the following technical terms: terrestrial broadcasting: this is the basic technology used tobroadcast radio and TV. It s the use of radio-frequencies that canbe received by a simple antenna. The problem by using terrestrialbroadcasting is, that you only have a few (up to max. 7) possiblefrequencies and that you need to have expensive transmitters every100-150 kms to cover an area.Programms which are broadcasted terrestrical are e.g.: Swedish TV 1,2 and 4; German ARD, ZDF, 3. Programme and some private channels inurban areas; French TF 1, France 2 and France 3. cable TV: the reason why you have only a few frequencies byusing terrestrial broadcasting is that terestrial broadcasting isinfluenced by physical phenomens (bandwith) whereas broadcasting ina cable is shielded/protected from outside influences. So you canhave more channels on the same bandwith-space. For example: a cablemight carry 7 programmes catched with an antenna from terrestricaltransmitters and additional 25 satellite channels (maximum 30-35different channels in one cable). Instead of connecting to anantenna cable-households connect their TV-sets to the cable-network. satellite broadcasting: a satellite is a transmitter that ispositioned on a course in space 40.000 kms far from earth. Theadvantage of this technology is to cover a wide area with only onetransmitter. Modern direct broadcasting satellites (DBS, e.g. Astra)can be received by small (| 30cm) and cheap (| 2.000:- SKR)”satellite-dishes”. To connect a TV-set to the “dish” you also needa device that converts the received satellite-signals to signalsthat can be used by a standard TV-set.In the beginning (80s) this technology needed huge and expensivedishes and was only used to transmit signals to cable-networks.Newer technology is often cheaper than connecting a house to acable-network. In east-Germany the German PTT (Telekom) is competingwith their cable-network against the cheap satellite-dishes. The most tranceiver-signals on DBS-Astra are booked by British (NBC-Super, MTV…) and German (RTL, SAT-1…) broadcasters. Satellitescan also be used for telephone-connections, TV- or radio-broadcasting. TO BE FILLED WITH THE BEGINNING (PUBLIC TV 1930S – 1984)The first broadcasting tests happenned in the late 30+s like inGermany. It is only in 1945, after the second world war, that TheOrdinance formalized the state monopoly of broadcasting which wasassigned to Radiodiffusion de France. The Radiodiffusion de Francehas then included television in 1959 and became RTF (Radiodiffusion-Television de France). Established as a public company accountableto the Ministery of Information, RTF became an “Office” (ORTF) stillsupervised by the government. The events that happened in France inMay 1968, have then helped the government to liberalize the medium.The government of information was therefore abolished and in 1974,an Act divided the ORTF in seven different public companies whichformed the public broadcasting service : TF1, Antenne 2, FR3, RadioFrance, TDF, SFP, INA.Private channels emerge in France with Canal Plus the crypted-payingchannel in 1984. This terrestical channel is owned by Havas. CanalPlus has to broadcast a daily clear program lasting from 45 minutesto 6 hours, the average is 3 hours and a half per day. In 1985 seesthe birth of two new private channels France 5 and TV6 which wereforbidden to broadcast the year after. Finally in 1987, they haverefound the right to broadcast under the respective name La Cinq andM6. At this time, it already existed five public channels : TF1(which is since 1987 privatized), A2 (rebaptised France 2 ageneralist broadcasting television), FR3 (today called France 3, anational and regional TV), TV 5 Europe (European channel launched in1983, transmits programmes broadcast in French-speaking countries bysatellite) and RFO (transmits radio and TV programmes to Frenchoverseas territories and possessions). In may 1992, ARTE-La Sept,the Franco-German channel has started to broadcast on the French andGerman cable-net. Then when the private French channel, La Cinq,stopped broadcasting, ARTE was allowed to broadcast from 19h to 1hin the morning on this available frequence. The 13th of december1994, has appeared a new public channel “La Cinquieme” also called”channel of knowledge” (la cha ne du savoir) which is broadcastingon the same frequence as ARTE until 19h. To summarise, today the French TV-broadcasters are :public: France 2private : France 3M6 ArteTF 1 La CinquiemeCanal+ (pay-tv) RFO TV 53.2 CABLE/SATELLITE TVCable channels were launched in France in 1984, 2% of the householdswere cabled. This initiative came from Minister Mauroy who presentedcable as “a massive, consistent and orderly solution to satisfymultiple communication needs”. In fact this cable plan metopposition of several parties. This was representing to high costs,and the state organization (DGT) assigned of the overall controlcontrol of the implementation of the new technology antagonized themanufacturers of cable equipment who proved unable to produce whatwas required within the agreed price and time. In 1986, the cableplan was definitevly abandonned. Around 10 private companies are nowresponsible for promoting the cable, for instance la compagnieg n rale de videocommunication, la Lyonnaise Communication,Eurocable … It exists 25 local channels, 13 French channels are broadcasted,cable now reaches 25,3% of French households and the fee vary from115:SKR to 400:SKR on account of the number of channels you wishreceiving. It costs a lot of money for the company to share the cable in Franceas it requires the use of an expensive material such as the opticalmicrofiber. Because of this cost, the cable net is now set forcollectivity instead of individuals. Furthermore this installationcan only be achieved on the will of the county otherwise theautorisation can not be received by the cable company. thecommercial board of the cable society has to convince thesecommunities. France ownes two direct-diffusing satellites : TDF 1 and TDF 2, andone telecommunication one : TELECOM 2A. Most of the programmesdiffused through satellite are in fact the one you can get thanks tothe cable. —–3.3 LAWS AND REGULATIONSThe C.S.A. (Conseil Sup rieur de l+ Audiovisuel) is the authorityresponsible in France for broadcasting+s regulations. It is composedof 9 designed members :- three chosen by the President of Republique- three chosen by the President of Senat- three other by the President of National AssemblyThis institution is really politicised as we can see. It insures respect of pluralist expression of ideas, of Frenchlanguage and culture, of free competition, of quality and diversityof programs … It also regulates the frequences gestion. It caninterfer as well in the public as in the private sector. It givesthe autorisations of exploitation of cable networks, satellite andterrestrial Television, M6 and Canal Plus for instance are allowedto broadcast for 10 years, then tehy have to renegociate theirautorisation of broadcasting. Autorisations for CableTV last 20years and can be allowed to companies or “regies” on local electedpeople+s proposal. Furthermore French and foreign channels whichwant to broadcast on cable net need to sign a convention with theCSA. The implementation of the net is then under the Communeresponsibility. The CSA makes also policy such as advertising to be respected. Thetime of advertising per hours is 12 mns. TF1 for instance hasoverpassed this allowance of 81 secondes and 94 secondes an othertime and was therefore obliged to pay 2. 800.000,00 Ffr(4.000.000,00:SEK), which equals 16.000 Ffr per second(23.000,00:SEK). It also reuglates the political intervention on the public channeland made the law of the three third to be regarded. This regulationis that the channel in a political programm should respect 1/3 forthe government, 1/3 for majority and 1/3 for opposition. 3.4 FINANCING4. TV-BROADCASTING IN GERMANY4.1 HISTORYThe first TV-experiments in Germany were made in the 1930s tobroadcast e.g. the Olympic Games. After World War II the harbingerof the first German TV-station ARD began broadcasting under alliedcontrol in 1949 in northern Germany and Northrhine-Westfalia underthe responsibility of the NWDR-Laenderanstalt. The ARD is abroadcaster with only organizing functions for the “Laender”-basedproduction facilities (Laenderanstalten, e.g. NDR, WDR…). Everypart of the programm that is broadcasted under the label ARD is
produced under the responsibility of a state-based station. Thesecond german broadcaster ZDF is different from ARD. The ZDFproduces TV on its own but the station is indirectly controlled by aconference of the states. There are also several regional “third”channels bound to the culture of one or more states which are onlybroadcastet within the states and are produced by the”Laenderanstalten”. Private TV-programmes were introduced in 1984. You will find moreabout the introduction on the following page. There were 15 Germany-based TV-broadcasters in 1994. To summarise, today the Germany-based TV-broadcasters are :public: ARDprivate (general interest): ZDFRTL Arte (with F)Sat 1 3-Sat (with AU + CH)Pro7 DW-TV (foreign service)private (special interest):private (pay TV): Kabel 1Premiere Vox Viva RTL 2 DSF n-tvDefinitions on the next page!4.2 CABLE/SATELLITE TV The German PTT developed as one of the first PTT s in Europestandards in cabling private households. But in the late 70 s thesocial democrats (SPD) blocked the PTT because the Bonn governmentwas afraid that cable technology would lead into private TV. Afterthe changing the government in 1982 the new conservative government(CDU) and the minister for post and telecommunication Schwarz-Schilling invested in the new cable-technology. The first private TV-broadcasters (SAT-1 and RTLplus) got theirlicense for a cable-trial-project in Ludwigshafen in 1984. Afterstarting the Ludwigshafen project (estimated for 3 years duration)the countries with conservative majority allowed the PTT tobroadcast the trial-programmes from the trial-projects in theirregular cable-networks. This was the beginning of private TV inGermany and a trial-project became regular-service within a fewmonths… . After a decision from the highest court in 1986commercial TV was legal. The social democrats (SPD) changed theirpolitics against private TV in the late 80 s and gave licenses to afew of the most important private broadcasters in states with a SPDmajority. Now Koeln (Cologne) in the state of Northrhine-Westfalia(SPD) is one of the most important places for German media (RTL,Viva-TV, Vox) among the traditional “media-capitols” Hamburg andMuenchen. After unification in 1990 the PTT Telekom invested in cable Networksin the former GDR. But 1994 only 14 percent of all east-Germanhouseholds were connected to a cablenetwork and even terrestricalbroadcasting still has not reached the “western” standard. Foreastern Germany satelite-TV is very important. For this reason theGerman public broadcasters ARD and ZDF decided in 1992 to broadcastvia the ASTRA-Sat to reach the eastern population. In 1993 the PTTsigned a contract with the Luxemburg based ASTRA-Enterprises tobecome a associate member of this commercial organization. Since1995 the Telekom is a private company and there are plans to providetechnology for digital and pay-TV in the future. 17 % of all east-German households and 11% of all west-German hhhave a satellite-dish (1993). More than 90% of the german-sat-dishesare focused on the Astra-Sat. Connected to a cablenetwork are 48%(west) and 14% (east) of all households. In some urban areas free terrestrial frequencies are licensed to afew private channels (RTL, Sat 1, Pro 7). Local TV is very new in Germany, the first License was given by thestates Berlin and Brandenburg to “1A-Brandenburg” in 1993 for thetowns Potsdam and Berlin. There are also some projects in statefinanced open channels in several cable networks. 4.3 LAWS AND REGULATIONSAmong the three countries we compare, Germany is the only countryrunning a “federal system”. Media in general are underlying rulesand laws by the decentralized several state-governments within theFederal Republic of Germany. Also the public broadcasters are ruledby the several states (Laender) and the private channels get theirLicenses from the states.The reason for the decentralized broadcasting system in Germany isthe German “Grundgesetz”, the Basic Law that guarantees the”cultural sovereinty” of the staates. This Basic Law protects themedia from possible political interests a central (Bonn or Berlinbased) government might have. Even the fees for the public-broadcasters are fixed by decissionsfrom a conference of the federal states. The only exception now isthe Deutsche Welle (DW-TV), a broadcaster for foreign countrieswhich is used as a “ambassador” for german culture and is underspecial government-regulation. In the 80s all German states drafted private-media laws. Now everystate has the legal possibility to give licenses to commercial TV-stations. The supervisory body for Licenses in each state is called”Landesmedienanstalt”. Because of the decentralised German systemall laws and regulations concerning commercial broadcasters areconnected to the “cultural sovereinty” of the states. To avoid thata private broadcaster has to license his programm in every of the 16German states all states signed a contract (Staatsvertrag). Thiscontract guarantees e.g. that each state will accept the licensegiven by a Landesmedienanstalt in a single German state. In thiscontract are also fixed regulations about ownership, content ofprogrammes and the possibility for each “Landesmediananstalt” toaccuse decisions made in an other state. Each Landesmedienanstalt is also responsible for the decission whichprogrammes are allowed to be broadcasted in the PTT-cable-network intheir state (normally: 1. stations licenced within the state, 2.stations licenced in other states, 3. foreign stations).Another important assignment of the Landesmedienanstalt is to watchthe german media-ownership-regulations. There are special quotationsin ownership which have to be controlled. The strongest regulationis that no one is allowed to hold more than 50% on an broadcaster.An other important mechanism is the declaration of a channel, thereare declarations as “special interest” (only one topic, e.g. sport,movies), “general interest” (with information/news) and “pay TV”. The most important german media-investors are Bertelsmann (RTL,Premiere) and the Kirch-Group (Sat 1, Kabel 1, Pro 7). Both groupsare accused to violate the ownership and monopoly-law that will berenewed within this year. Because of the relative liberal-license-law in 1994 more than 10 newentrepeneurs anounced to apply for a german TV-license (e.g.Disney). 5. SWEDEN5.1 HISTORYUnlike Germany and France where they started with experimental TV-broadcasting in the late 30 s Sweden launched its first channel in1956. But like in France and Germany the state had a monopoly onbroadcasting. The first Swedish channel was Channel 1 the secondchannel (TV 2) was launched in 1969. Since 1987 the two publictelevision channels have been organized in such a way that TV 1 isbased on programme production in Stockholm and and TV 2 onproduction in ten TV districts in the provinces. The first two private Swedish channels where introduced in Sweden in1987 by satellite and cable. TV 3 and Filmnet-pay TV are swedishowned but were not allowed and licensed to send on terrestrialfrequencies so they transmit via satellite and cable. In 1989 thethird satellite broadcaster the Nordic Channel was launched and twomore pay-TV channels, TV 1000 and SF-Succ where introduced to themarket. TV 1000 and Succ merged two years later. The first privatechannel licensed to transmitt terrestrial within Sweden was TV 4 in1991.To summarise, today the Swedish TV-broadcasters are :public: TV 1private :TV 3 TV 2TV 4 TV 5 Nordic (pay-tv) TV 1000 (pay-tv)5.2 CABLE AND SATThe construction of cable networks begann in 1984. This share wassupposed to bring 3 000 employments perr year for 7 years and was amean to protect telephone monopoly. Now Sweden is among theeuropean countries with the most cable subscribers (B, NL, CH). Upto 50% of all households in sweden have acces to the cable and 7%own a satellite-dishLike in France the cable-networks gave a chance for local stations.Advertising is not allowed for these local stations so they have alack of money and often broadcast only a few hours a day. Local-TVis provided in circa 30 towns and can be seen by 16% of all Swedes(1993). Satellite installation was given birth in the middle of the 1970+sthrough an agreement among the five Nordic countries to launchNORDSAT. This satellite would inforce the cooperation between thesecountries and also helpes to promote nordic culture. In fact thisproject died and a Tele-X was launched by Sweden and Norway, thenFinland joined the project. Nowadays 60 % of the Swedish householdshave access to the satellite channels. 5.3 LAWS AND REGULATIONS-cable transmission legislation 1992In Sweden, the Radio Act and the Enabling Agreement between thebraodcasting companies and the State are leading broadcastingpolicies The State exercise no control over the programms prior tobroadcasting. However a Broadcasting council is empowered to raiseobjections to specific programms. The Cable Law -The two Swedish public channels are financed by a license fee. 6. CONCLUSIONIn the times of public-tv the few possible frequencies forterrestrical-broadcasting where used by the very few public channelsin each country. These channels were under control of the state andnot connected to financiel interests of owners or investors. Withthe beginning of the 80s the invention of cable TV made broadcastingfrom up to 30 channels possible. Our governments had to face thedemand for TV-licenses and also had to invest in cable-infrastructure. In the late 80s new direct broadcasting satelitesgave the same number of channels to households in less developedregions. One thing we found out and can face now as a major fact is thatthere is no cable-infrastructure in France and only a few commercialchannels (compared to the 57 million inhibitants). The market seemsto be influenced by the default of the state to provide cableaccess. For some reasons we can t evaluate from sweden in a fewweeks how the “sleeping beauty” France managed not to develop acable-network. But we can compare the facts for all three countries and conclude:-dual system in all 3 countries (public and private tv since mid80s)-tv is important in all countries 97% (see chart)-pay tv is introduced in all countries7. QUESTIONS TO THE CLASS-maybe there is no demand for cable in France?-will the public channels survive?-we only evaluated quantity and historical information and facts-what about quality?