Deploying Digital (Terrestrial) Television in Europe. Do we need Public Policy?

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Lecture at the Lecture Series “Talking about Europe”, organised by the Hamburg Universität & Hans Bredow Institut

Hamburg, December 2008.

Author: Roberto Suárez Candel

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Deploying Digital (Terrestrial) Television in Europe. Do we need Public Policy?

  1. 1. “ Talking about Europe” Lecturing Series Deploying Digital (Terrestrial) Television in Europe. Do we need public policy? Roberto Suárez Candel Researcher and Lecturer Department of Communication Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, Spain Universität Hamburg & Hans Bredow Institut December 2 nd , 2008
  2. 2. Let’s the market do it! “ Talking about Europe” Lecturing Series Roberto Suárez | Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, Spain Deploying DTV in Europe 1
  3. 3. Let’s the market do it! innovation free competition profitability diversity pluralism quality freedom to choose “ Talking about Europe” Lecturing Series Roberto Suárez | Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, Spain Deploying DTV in Europe 1
  4. 4. Sarkozy proclaims “the death of the market dictatorship and the end of the impotence of public policy.” La Vanguardia, 23/X/2008 “ Talking about Europe” Lecturing Series Roberto Suárez | Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, Spain Deploying DTV in Europe 2
  5. 5. Sarkozy proclaims “the death of the market dictatorship and the end of the impotence of public policy.” La Vanguardia, 23/X/2008 “ Talking about Europe” Lecturing Series Roberto Suárez | Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, Spain Deploying DTV in Europe 2
  6. 6. Broadcasting Public policy was legitimized by: Public Interest: Pluralism, diversity, social representativeness, culture, national identity, etc. Technical facts: Spectrum scarcity, infrastructures building and management, national security, etc. Market logics: Entry costs, oligopolistic tendencies, access control, etc. “ Talking about Europe” Lecturing Series Roberto Suárez | Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, Spain Deploying DTV in Europe 3
  7. 7. 50’s  70’s/80’S Paternalistic Public Policy Media Public Monopolies “ Talking about Europe” Lecturing Series Roberto Suárez | Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, Spain Deploying DTV in Europe 4
  8. 8. 70’s Crisis  A new economic model The peak of neoliberal ideology Power relationships between the State and the Media Internationalisation and convergence of markets Homogenization of public policy Information Society Agenda Repositioning of the media within society/economy 70’s/80’s/90’s Transformation Vectors “ Talking about Europe” Lecturing Series Roberto Suárez | Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, Spain Deploying DTV in Europe 1
  9. 9. 70’s/80’s/90’s Transformation Vectors Market Liberalisation/Competition Deregulation Non interventionism + co/self-regulation Evolution of the role of the State within society Provider Regulator Enabler “ Talking about Europe” Lecturing Series Roberto Suárez | Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, Spain Deploying DTV in Europe 5
  10. 10. What about DIGITALISATION? Technological basis for the Information Society Transforms broadcasting  convergence Raises questions about the legitimacy/need/contribution of public policy So it becomes a necessary / non reversible process “ Talking about Europe” Lecturing Series Roberto Suárez | Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, Spain Deploying DTV in Europe 6
  11. 11. What about DIGITALISATION? Are public interest goals still attributed to television after its digitalisation? Is that necessary? Does digitalisation transform television in such a way that public policy is not necessary to achieve those objectives? “ Talking about Europe” Lecturing Series Roberto Suárez | Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, Spain Deploying DTV in Europe 8
  12. 12. Policy legitimacy  WHY Policy need  HOW / WHO Policy contribution  WHAT “ Talking about Europe” Lecturing Series Roberto Suárez | Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, Spain Deploying DTV in Europe 9
  13. 13. Policy legitimacy  WHY Policy need  HOW / WHO Policy contribution  WHAT Depends on political ideology Depends on each platform particularities “ Talking about Europe” Lecturing Series Roberto Suárez | Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, Spain Deploying DTV in Europe 9
  14. 14. BUT… … digitalisation has become ‘necessary’… SO… … failing is not an option!! “ Talking about Europe” Lecturing Series Roberto Suárez | Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, Spain Deploying DTV in Europe 10
  15. 15. The terrestrial platform is technologically inferior to cable or satellite. Why should we continue using it? “ Talking about Europe” Lecturing Series Roberto Suárez | Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, Spain Deploying DTV in Europe 11
  16. 16. The terrestrial platform is technologically inferior to cable or satellite. Public good Public Service Universal Service / Access National market Why should we continue using it? “ Talking about Europe” Lecturing Series Roberto Suárez | Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, Spain Deploying DTV in Europe 11
  17. 17. … but the terrestrial platform has certain particularities that endanger the pace and the outcomes of its own transformation process… “ Talking about Europe” Lecturing Series Roberto Suárez | Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, Spain Deploying DTV in Europe 12
  18. 18. … nevertheless, market-led strategies were implemented… … but the terrestrial platform has certain particularities that endanger the pace and the outcomes of its own transformation process… “ Talking about Europe” Lecturing Series Roberto Suárez | Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, Spain Deploying DTV in Europe 12
  19. 19. … nevertheless, market-led strategies were implemented… … but the terrestrial platform has certain particularities that endanger the pace and the outcomes of its own transformation process… … but they failed! “ Talking about Europe” Lecturing Series Roberto Suárez | Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, Spain Deploying DTV in Europe 12
  20. 20. The terrestrial platform requires a different digitalisation strategy, which includes public policy. Governments and public administrations have accepted/assumed their responsabilities and DTT has become a case study of public policy within the neoliberal scenario. “ Talking about Europe” Lecturing Series Roberto Suárez | Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, Spain Deploying DTV in Europe 13
  21. 21. CAUSES & OBJECTIVES of digitalisation Legitimation for Public Policy Lack of coherence in the political discourse Hidden agendas “ Talking about Europe” Lecturing Series Roberto Suárez | Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, Spain Deploying DTV in Europe 14
  22. 22. Supranational vs National Two public policy levels “ Talking about Europe” Lecturing Series Roberto Suárez | Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, Spain Deploying DTV in Europe 15
  23. 23. EU policy for DTT: guidelines, coordination and subsidiarity Polyhedral nature of television Multiplicity of policies and institutions Variety of intervention perspectives and mechanisms Diversity of policy instruments Lack of consistence, coherence and effectiveness ?? “ Talking about Europe” Lecturing Series Roberto Suárez | Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, Spain Deploying DTV in Europe 16
  24. 24. Policy affected by neoliberalism and non interventionism, so focused on infrastructures and market behaviour  interoperability, competition. Harmonisation and soft policy instruments Subsidiarity EU policy for DTT: guidelines, coordination and subsidiarity “ Talking about Europe” Lecturing Series Roberto Suárez | Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, Spain Deploying DTV in Europe 17
  25. 25. Coordination of the switch-off process in order to ensure the creation of a single European market Ideological framework Certainty and guidelines EU policy for DTT: guidelines, coordination and subsidiarity “ Talking about Europe” Lecturing Series Roberto Suárez | Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, Spain Deploying DTV in Europe 18
  26. 26. Sweden and Spain, two necessarily different approaches to a common issue Why Sweden and Spain? “ Talking about Europe” Lecturing Series Roberto Suárez | Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, Spain Deploying DTV in Europe 19
  27. 27. Sweden and Spain, two necessarily different approaches to a common issue Galperin (2004) / Hallin & Mancini (2004) Why Sweden and Spain? “ Talking about Europe” Lecturing Series Roberto Suárez | Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, Spain Deploying DTV in Europe 19
  28. 28. <ul><li>Legitimation of DTT and public intervention </li></ul><ul><li>Policy decision-making structures </li></ul><ul><li>Licensing and definition of a business model </li></ul><ul><li>Planning of the transition from analogue to digital </li></ul>Issues compared Sweden and Spain, two necessarily different approaches to a common issue “ Talking about Europe” Lecturing Series Roberto Suárez | Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, Spain Deploying DTV in Europe 20
  29. 29. <ul><li>Legitimation of DTT and public intervention </li></ul>Similarities Objectives: competition, pluralism and diversity PSB and Universal Service Hidden agendas  maintain control over the television market Differences Public policy ethos Sweden and Spain, two necessarily different approaches to a common issue “ Talking about Europe” Lecturing Series Roberto Suárez | Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, Spain Deploying DTV in Europe 21
  30. 30. <ul><li>Policy decision-making structures </li></ul>Lack of ARN Political confrontation Several political levels Media parallelism SPAIN SWEDEN Distribution of responsibilities Transparency Collaboration Sweden and Spain, two necessarily different approaches to a common issue “ Talking about Europe” Lecturing Series Roberto Suárez | Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, Spain Deploying DTV in Europe 22
  31. 31. <ul><li>Licensing and Business Model </li></ul>Certain lack of transparency Clientelism Replication of the analogue market Post-switchover already defined SPAIN SWEDEN 6 licensing contests Short licenses Transparency Sweden and Spain, two necessarily different approaches to a common issue “ Talking about Europe” Lecturing Series Roberto Suárez | Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, Spain Deploying DTV in Europe 22
  32. 32. <ul><li>Licensing and Business Model </li></ul>From Pay-Tv to FTA Different regional markets Uncertainty about the future: Pay-tv? FTA + Pay-TV (from encrypted to non encrypted) Competitive and attractive offer Sweden and Spain, two necessarily different approaches to a common issue SPAIN SWEDEN “ Talking about Europe” Lecturing Series Roberto Suárez | Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, Spain Deploying DTV in Europe 23
  33. 33. <ul><li>Planning of the transition </li></ul>Regional basis Focused on DTT Public and Private players Communication needs to be improved Regional Basis Platform neutrality Independent Authority Focus on Communication Market collaboration Sweden and Spain, two necessarily different approaches to a common issue SPAIN SWEDEN “ Talking about Europe” Lecturing Series Roberto Suárez | Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, Spain Deploying DTV in Europe 24
  34. 34. Final remarks <ul><li>DTT implies a re-birth for national public policy </li></ul><ul><li>Political tradition determines public intervention </li></ul><ul><li>National media particularities are still relevant </li></ul>One international issue, several national approaches “ Talking about Europe” Lecturing Series Roberto Suárez | Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, Spain Deploying DTV in Europe 25
  35. 35. <ul><li>Terrestrial television still maintains its link to public interest </li></ul><ul><li>Public policy is still necessary </li></ul><ul><li>Industrial mechanisms to achieve social goals? </li></ul>Final remarks “ Talking about Europe” Lecturing Series Roberto Suárez | Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, Spain Deploying DTV in Europe 26
  36. 36. Comparing national experiences allows detecting best practices, key drivers and obstacles. Adaptation to national scenarios Final remarks “ Talking about Europe” Lecturing Series Roberto Suárez | Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, Spain Deploying DTV in Europe 27
  37. 37. <ul><li>Independence of policy actors </li></ul><ul><li>Transparency </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Communication </li></ul>Common key elements of successful migration plans Final remarks “ Talking about Europe” Lecturing Series Roberto Suárez | Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, Spain Deploying DTV in Europe 28
  38. 38. IAMCR 2008 - Stockholm Comparing Public Policies for DTT DANKE! Roberto Suárez Candel Researcher and Lecturer Department of Communication Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona, Spain www.robertosuarez.es [email_address] “ Talking about Europe” Lecturing Series Deploying DTV in Europe

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