J201 Media and Society
J201 Media and Society
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Date Created: 04/30/14
Chapter 8 Television Cable and Specialization in Visual Culture Terms Analog refers to a video display device that receives and displays broadcast television signals that are transmitted utilizing technology that is similar to that used in standard radio transmissions standard is a 525line image Prime time block of time 711pm with large viewer audiences CATV community antenna television that was the first small cable system Affiliate stations local TV stations that contract with a network to carr its programs each network has roughly two hundred af iliates around the country Kinescopes made by using film camera to record live TV shows off a studio monitor Sketch comedy a key element in early TV variety shows that included singers dancers acrobats animal acts standup comics and ventriloquists Usually an hour long and often required a whole new concept each week along with new characters and new expensive sets Situation comedy sitcom features a recurrin cast and each episcgtde typically establishes a situation comp icates it and reso ves it Anthology dramas brought live dramatic theater to relatively wealthy viewers and were influenced by stage plays Episodic series main characters continue from week to week sets and locales remain the same and technical crews stay with the program Story concepts are broad enough to accommodate new adventures each week Chapter shows selfcontained stories that feature a problem a series of conflicts and a resolution o S 199 9 399 d 9 d 9 ID i3 0 i c s h as a J i TV newsmagazines usually feature three stories per episode alternating from hard news to soft news 60 Minutes is an example Narrowcasting the delivery of specialized programming like the History Channel or the Food Network for niche viewer groups Basic cable offers numerous channels appealing to specific audiences interests that the broadcast networks don t offer Superstations basic cable also offers this It s an independent broadcast TV station linked to a satellite Premium channels features recent andclassic Hollywood movies as well as original movies and popular series without advertising Payperview offered recently released movies or special onetime sporting events to subscribers who paid a designated charge to their cable company Videoondemand customers can choose among hundreds of titles then download a selection from the cable operator s server onto their cable TV box hard drive for free or up to four dollars depending on popularity and how recently it had been released Network era CBS NBC and ABC dominated primetime TV programminV fciquotfTVi ned to a program in the total market being sampled DVRs digital video recorders let users download onto the DVR s computer memory specific shows or even types of shows that appear on any channel Direct broadcast satelliteDBS technology in which transmission was especially efficient in regions with rugged terrain or isolated farm regions where it s difficult or cost prohibitive to install cable wiring Allowed individual consumers to downlink satellitetransmitted signals to their homes without having them relayed through cable companies WiMax Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access conveys data over long distances through traditional cellp one connections as well as by linking mobile phones to traditional mass media Syndication leasing TV stations the exclusive right to air older TV series Barter deal where a program is given to a local station in exchange for a split in the advertising revenue Evergreens popular reruns Fringe time immediately before the evening s primetime schedule and following the local evening news or the network s latenight talk show Offnetwork syndication older programs that no longer run during network prime time are made available as reruns to local stations cable operators online services and foreign markets Firstrun syndication any nonnetwork program specifically produced for sale only into syndication markets such as the Oprah Winfrey Show Rating a statistical estimate based on a random sample expressed as the percent of househowi quotquot quot5 V i T Share gauges the percent of homes tuned to a program compared with those actually using their sets at the time of sample Deficit financing production company leases the show to a network for a license fee that is less than the cost of production Multiplesystem operators lVlSOs large corporations eager to cash in on the infrastructure of highbandwidth wires connecting households across the country Oligopoly handful of media megafirms control cable and DB8 programming Early History of Television 0 In the development state early inventors Zworykin and Farnsworth competed to establish a patent for the first electronic TV 0 In the entrepreneurial stage TV developed technical standards for product manufacturers and the FCC adopted an analog standard for all US TV sets 0 In the mass medium stage the FCC began assigning frequencies and introducing color RCA s color system sent TV images in color but allowed older sets to receive black and white became the color standard 0 Originally TV programs were developed produced and supported by a single sponsorcompany that gave the companies that controlled brandname products extensive control on what was shown on TV 0 Broadcast networks wanted more control so they lengthened program viewing times which raised program costs for advertisers and discouraged some from sponsoring programs 0 Two TV program types 1 Magazine format news talk comedy and music ran daily and made studio production costs much more prohibitive for a single sponsor instead of sponsoring the advertiser paid network for time slots during the show 1 the network now owned such programs T ti ax t T icigbspectacular networks bought programs on special topics from producer k H m a 39 39 n 39 4 p n i r 7 1 653 g r quot E 39v139 i 7 W was4 gx What is television 0 Changing Netflix Hulu 0 NBC CBS general audience versus specialized audience 0 How long episodes are vary 0 lndividual activity versus communal Half a billion people watched moon landing in 1969 lore than a billion watched opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics llost watched TV broadcasts of all time included the most recent Superbowls K i L 39x 39A V I F 1 I 39 I V 39 4 it What does television tell us about society What do we learn about ourselves 0 Different Lifestyles 0 Types of Characters 0 Competition shows either gain money or fame Depictions of Class 0 Video Three kinds of class Economic income level Political how much influence cultural lifestyle tastes Depiotions of Race 0 Video Hispanics contribute to a large population in the USA the misrepresented in shows largely unrepresented men typically drug dealers or gang members women sexual and pompous Depiction of Class and Race 0 Reality TV 0 Sitcoms 0 Dramas On Network NBC CBS ABC Fox 0 Dramas On premium cable HBO Showtime etc How characters make a living What housing do they have do they own buy i W 09 Q I e v F s 1 F A p Corruption of quiz shows tainted TV s reputation and further altered the power balance between broadcast networks and program sponsors For the next 40 years quiz shows were kept out of primetime Introduction of cable provided access for communities that couldn t receive airwave based broadcast signals but also posed a threat to broadcast television The first small cable systems were CATV community antenna television Evolution of Network Programming 0 Broadcast networks still controlled most TV programming in the 1950s It began specializing in different types of programming Information in the form of news became popular The major networks ABC NBC and CBS were the first to run a news show videotaped for rebroadcast on affiliate stations 0 Also experimented with entertainment programming Used kinescopes to preserve shows Comedy became popular as I Love Lucy was captured for future generations 0 Two varieties of comedy became popular sketch comedy and situation comedy sitcoms 0 Drama also became popular with entertainment programming There were two major types 1 Anthologies brought live dramatio theater to wealthy viewers who could afford to buy TV sets Problems with anthologies were advertisers started avoiding them because their simple ads contrasted with the dramatic portrayal of life s complexities Also the middleolass found the dramas unfamiliar and they were expensive to produce as well as politioally oontroversial 2 Episodio series where main characters continued from week to week and the sets and looales remained the same There were two types The first were ohapter shows and the second were serial programs 0 Talk shows Game shows and TV Newsmagazines became popular Talk shows emerged to satisfy viewer s curiosity about celebrities and politicians and to offer satire on politics and business Game shows provided people with easy to digest currentevents and history quizzes families could enjoy together TV Newsmagazines such as 60 Minutes features three stories per episode with hard and soft news 0 Reality TV became popular it introduced characters and people who seem more like us and less like celebrities There weren t actors the sets were cheap and the scripts were inexpensive 0 Public television became popular it targeted children Sesame Sfreefand Barney older Americans and the educated Evolution of Cable Programming Offered greater variety of content and services thanks to satellite technology more convenient TV access and narrowcasting Basic cable composed of local broadcast signals nonbroadcast access channels and regional PBS channels including superstations Offers numerous channels appealing to specific audiences interests that broadcast networks didn t offer for a basic monthly fee Digital cable made cable systems capable to expand their offerings beyond basic analog channels Typically uses settop cable boxes to offer oatscrelen program guides and additional payperview and audio music c annes Specialized information CNN was the first 247 cable TV news channel Mastered continuous covera e of breaking news events and featured live unedited coverage of news ommitted to maintaining international bureaus Dominates international TV news coverage Specialized entertainment MTV initially played popular music videos and then started providing original programming such as Jersey Shore Critics if T worr about encoura ed vul arity and overt sexism Advocates maintai T TV created a g obal vi lage by giving people a com P H They have special progra mpo i i teii 0 Premium cable offered premium channels that featured recent and classic Hollywood movies as well as original movie and popular series with no advertising Examples include payperview on demand and interactive services The oldest premium cable channel is HBO lt pioneered original uncut movies and series on cable It remains the dominant premium channel 0 Some other innovative viewing options were payper view and videoondemand Payperview offered recently released movies or special onetime sporting events to subscribers Ondemand allows customers to choose among hundreds of titles then download a selection from cable operator s servers onto their cable TV box hard drive Regulatory Challenges facing Television and Cable From the late 1950s to the 1970s the network era and CBS NBC and ABC dominated primetime TV programming Due to worry that power and profits were rowing increasingly concentrated in fewer and fewer industry players hands and o ensure that local broadcasters and traditional TV networks adrevenue streams were not harmed the FCC passed regulations Prime Time Access Rule PTAR reduced networks control of primetime programming from 4 to 3 hours in an effort to encourage more local news and public affairs programs Finsyn has been eliminated Reining in cable s growth for a while the FCC put into place mustcarry rules that mandated access channels and leased channels Because the Communications act of 1934 hadn t anticipated cable the industry s regulatory status was unclear Were they considered electronic or common carriers Finally the industry was defined as a form of electronic publishing Congress rewrote the nation s laws in the Telecommunications Act of 1996 which brought cable under federal jurisdiction Television in the Digital Age 0 Thanks to new technologies Americans can watch the visual content they want when and where they want 0 Home video and recording VCRs and DVRs have they shattered the idea of primetime because viewers can watch anytime 0 Websites like Hulu have full episodes available for free with ads for a limited time with more programming and viewing options offered through HuuPus 0 Television programs are no longer restricted by network scheduling 0 Cable TV iants like Comcast and Time Warner are making traditional network programs available as part of their videoondemand services through which we can buy shows and watch them when we want 0 Streaming digital recording and ondemand programming can limit the exposure of advertising because viewers can fast forward 0 DB8 Direct broadcast satellite allows individual consumers to downlink hundreds of satellite channels and services for a monthly fee Two US based companies 1 DirecTV 2 DISH Network carry between 350 and 500 basic premium and payperview channels that customers can buy in various packages Also have the ability to get sports nationwide and can bundle highspeed internet and telephone service with their video programming so consumers pay one bill for phone TV and internet needs 0 Cell phones mobile video and WiMax change how visual content is delivered In 2008 major cable phone and internet companies all began talks to create a US wireless network to link computers televisions and cell phones Personal viewing and buying habits tracked by advertisers and marketers TiVo The Economics of Television and Cable Both broadcast networks and cable programmers make money from syndication Every year executives from thousands of local TV stations gather at the world s largest TV supermarket convention and the NATPE acquires programs that broadcast networks have put up for syndication Either do this through cash or barter deals Advertising TV shows live or die depending on how satCisfied advertisers are with the quantity and quality of au ience Nielson is a major organization that tracks and rates primetime viewing which is based on ratings and shares Audience aimed for are 1849 year olds J Eat 7 p n cable and DB8 earn revenue frost 40 of a new pro ram s production budget goes to below the line costs such as equipment specia effects cameras and crews sets and designers carpenters electricians art directors wardrobe lighting transportation 60 goes to above the line costs such as actors writers producers editors and directors Many primetime pro rams today are developed by independent production companies owned or acked by a major film studio such as Sony or Disney They providerent production facilities and serve as a bank Money spent on production and distribution of programs often involves deficit financing Cable companies rely on subscriptions to fund distribution of content Broadcast networks pay affiliate stations a fee to show the programs the networks have created or have licensed from independent production companies in return networks have right to sell the bulk of advertisements and time during shows Local stations receive income and get national programs that attract large local audiences to the local ad slots they retain as part of contracts with network Networks don t usually own affiliated stations they sign contracts with local stations to rent time on these stations to air their network programs Ownership and ConsoHdaHon 0 Consolidation broadens offerings expands market share and lowers expenses 0 Industries are acquired by media conglomerates or large companies 0 Cable systems are being bought up by llSOs and suggests a move toward oligopoly Television in a Democratic Society Cable channels help specialization and allows rebranding Broadcast networks appeal to broader audience ler ers and consolidations in TV and cable have worried critics who thin these trends will ultimately limit political viewpoints programming options and technical innovation thus damaging democracy Some fear that giant companies merging cable DB8 computer and phone services will fix prices preventing consumers from getting low prices that come with competition Television can still unite large audience regardless of specialization Example Superbowl internet helped views with live streaming twitter and facebook have solidified views Super bowl has become showcase for superstars and super consumerism Quiz 1 Describe the developmental entrepreneurial and mass medium stage of television Answer 1 In the development state early inventors Zworykin and Farnsworth competed to establish a patent for the first electronic TV In the entrepreneurial stage TV developed technical standards for product manufacturers and the FCC adopted an analog standard for all US TV sets In the mass medium stage the FCC began assigning frequencies and introducing color RCA s color system sent TV images in color but allowed older sets to receive black and white became the color standard d B 2 What are some fears for television in our democratic society Answer 2 Mergers and consolidations in TV and cable have worried critics who think these trends will ultimately limit political viewpoints programming options and technical innovation thus damaging democracy Some fear that giant companies merging cable DB8 computer and phone services will fix prices preventing consumers from getting low prices that come with competition 3 What are some popular types of TV shows Answer 3 Talk shows Game shows and TV Newsmagazines Talk shows emerged to satisf viewer s curiosity about celebrities an politicians and to offer satire on poli ics and business Game shows provided peo le with eas to digest currentevents and history quizzes families could enjoy o ether T Newsmagazines such as 60 Minutes features three stories per episode with ard and soft news Reality TV It introduced characters and people who seem more like us and less like celebrities There weren t actors the sets were cheap and the scripts were inexpenswe Public television It targeted children Sesame Sfreefand Barney older Americans and the educated Drama There were two major types 1Anthologies brought live dramatic theater to wealthy viewers who could afford to buy TV sets Problems with anthologies were advertisers started avoiding them because their sim le ads contrasted with the dramatic portrayal of life s complexities Also the midd eclass found the dramas unfamiliar and they were expensive to produce as well as politically controversial 2Episodic series where main characters continued from week to week and the sets and locales remained the same There were two types The first were chapter shows and the second were serial programs we 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