chapter  10
26 Pages

The developing world

The television industries that serve the 3 billion people who constitute the Third World are characterized by the following common features. First, there is an inadequate advertising market to allow television to be viably financed commercially. There must be some sort of government financial support. This may take the form of state finance and control, state subsidies and grants, or a state-granted monopoly. Second, there is a high degree of government control and interference in the supply of television programming. The prerequisites of democratic traditions and affluence which permit television to operate free of government interference in much of the developed world do not generally exist in the developing world. Third, governments in the developing world often have some secondary goals, for example education for the masses, which they wish to achieve through television. Government influence on structure, conduct, and performance is therefore pervasive. Finally, VCRs are widely used to enable customer demand to be satisfied in spite of governments' desire to control what people see. Their impact has been greatest in Africa, the Middle East, and the Far East wherever electricity is available.