Unit 7: Understanding the Creative Media Sector 1 Understand the structure and ownership of the media sector

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NDY1&2 Creative Media Production

Unit 8 & 7: Understanding the Film and TV Industries,

Understanding the Creative Media Sector

Tutor: Faustina Starrett

Student: Natasha Curry

Unit 7: Understanding the Creative Media Sector
1 Understand the structure and ownership of the media sector

Sector: television, radio; film; animation; interactive media; computer games; publishing; press;

photo-imaging; advertising and marketing

Structure and ownership: private ownership; public service media; multinationals; independents;

conglomerates; voluntary; cross-media; diversification; vertical and horizontal integration; share of

ownership; mergers and takeovers; cross-media regulation; sources of income; product diversity;

profitability of product range; performance against financial concerns; organisational objectives; licenses

and franchises; competitors; customers; national and global competition and trends
Understanding the Film and TV Industries

Combined report on the differences between Commercial broadcasting (Sky TV) and public broadcasting (BBC), and my personal Media story.
Throughout this report I will be discussing the difference between Sky and the BBC, I will also include why I prefer SKY and including the event that first got me hooked on media, the technology that I embrace and my favourite form of media.

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Major event that got me hooked on media - The first major event that had me hooked on media was 9/11, I remember returning home from school and switching on the TV to Sky news, that’s when I seen a video on repeat of the first plane hitting one of the twin towers. As it was 2001 I would have only been 8 at the time, I didn’t fully understand what was happening but I remember feeling scared for those that were trapped in the building. It was 4 years later when I heard the news of hurricane Katrina destroying New Orleans, again my chosen broadcaster was sky as I felt that they were giving much better coverage of the events than the BBC. It was because of these disasters that my interest in media peeked and that’s when I discovered that Sky was my preferred broadcaster, for me Sky give their audiences more coverage of world events, whereas BBC show small snippets of world events and seem to give us full coverage of events that happen closer to home. Although I prefer Sky to BBC, this in no way reflects the capability of the BBC.
To get a better understanding of the difference between these two broadcasters I will be taking an in-depth look at various aspects of each broadcaster.
Ownership Models

Sky TV – A commercial broadcasting company owned by shareholders and investors. SKY makes their revenue through a subscription-based service, of which the subscriber can customize their own package and the channels they want to have.
BBC – A public service broadcaster owned by the British public. The BBC makes their revenue through an annual TV licensing fee, which is charged to all British households, the British Government sets the fee and it is agreed by Parliament.
History of Companies

Sky TV – formed by *Rupert Murdoch and Sam Chisholm in 1990 by the merger of Sky television and British Satellite Broadcasting, *BskyB became the UK’s largest digital subscription company. In 1993 BskyB launched Sky Multichannel, this was a package that not only gave access to Sky’s own channels but also those of third party broadcasters. This service continued until the closure of BskyB’s analogue service in 2001, due to the launch and expansion of Sky digital platform. By mid 1994 BskyB reached 3.5 million households in Britain. The Sky empire has continued to grow throughout the years and in 2010 Sky had 10 million subscribers and was installed in 36% of UK and Irish households. Sky also has various apps for smart phones tablets and gaming consoles, making it easier for subscribers to access news, movies and TV programmes

*BSkyB (British Sky Broadcasting)*

*See Key Players for more information on Rupert Murdoch*

BBC – The worlds oldest national broadcasting organization was founded in 1922 by John Reith was to be financed by a royalty on the sale of BBC wireless receiving sets and by a licence fee. In 1955 competition to the BBC was introduced with the commercial and independently operated television network of ITV. However in 1962 as a result of the Pikington Committee report in which the BBC was praised for it’s quality and range of it’s output and ITV was heavily criticised for not providing enough quality programming, this resulted in the BBC being awarded a second broadcasting channel known as BBC2 renaming the existing channel BBC1. From July 1967 BBC2 was broadcast in colour, followed by BBC1 and ITV in November 1969. Since the deregulation of the UK television market in the 1980’s the BBC has faced increased competition from the commercial sector and from the advertiser public service broadcaster channel 4. In 1997, BBC News 24, a rolling news channel launched on digital television. Throughout the years the BBC continues to grow with a number of television channels and radio stations and like SKY the BBC have launched apps for smart phones, tablets and gaming consoles making it easier to access news and programmes. The BBC continues to be the largest broadcaster worldwide by reaching 300 million households and 1.8 million hotel rooms worldwide. *See references at the end of report*
Key Players

Commercial Directors

Rupert Murdoch - Is the Chairman and CEO of News Corporation (1979-2013), Executive Chairman of News Corp (2013-present), Chairman and CEO of 21st Century FOX (2013-present) and founder of Sky in 1990. Murdoch helped build the Sky empire from scratch since 1990 and pushed it to become one of the most popular subscription services in the UK and is considered to be the 33rd richest person in America. In 2011 Sky suffered a 15% fall in profits, with only 40,000 signing up in 3 months which was its lowest in five years, this was due to the phone hacking scandal that Murdoch had been reportedly involved in. Despite all of this happening Sky still managed to have a great year, with the help from shows such as Game of Thrones. Despite Murdoch’s discrepancies he was the one that invited this commercial giant that continues to be one of the leading subscription services in the UK. *Referenced from Wikipedia*macintosh hd:users:cur07015429:desktop:rupert-murdoch-pensive-data.jpg
Richard Branson - Is the founder of Virgin Group, which comprises of more than 400 companies and according to Forbes 2014 list of billionaires, Branson is the 7th richest person in America. In 1970 Branson set up his own mail-order record business, this then stemmed into him opening up a chain of record stored in 1972 known as Virgin records, which was then changed to Virgin Megastores. Branson’s Virgin brand expanded rapidly during the 80’s when he set up Virgin Atlantic and expanded his Virgin Records music label. In 1993 Branson took a risk and entered into the railway business creating Virgin Trains. Virgin Airlines was followed that and was born in 1996. In 1999 he launched Virgin Mobile and Virgin Blue in Australia (now known as Virgin Australia). As well as Murdoch’s discrepancies Branson has also had his own, as Branson was convicted of TAX evasion. Branson’s Virgin Media company is one of SKY and the BBC’s leading competitors with some of Sky subscribers switching to Virgin Media, as it is cheaper and a lot of people preferring the commercial broadcaster to the public broadcasting giant BBC. Despite all of this Branson’s Virgin Media Company is one of Sky and the BBC’s leading competitors with some of Sky subscribers switching to Virgin Media, as it is cheaper and a lot of people preferring the commercial broadcaster to the public broadcasting giant BBC. *Referenced from Biography.com*
BBC Director-Generals

Greg Dyke – A British media executive, journalist and broadcaster, most notable for his tenure as Director-General of the BBC from 2000 until 2004. In 200 Dyke took over the helm of the BBC from John Birt and he famously promised to “cut the crap”, the “crap” he so famously referred to was the complex internal market, which turned employees away from making programmes and into managers. Dyke reversed this trend and reduced the administration cost from 24% of total income to 15%. Dyke also laid claim to two major achievements during his office, in 2002 he introduced the Freeview digital transmission platform with six additional BBC channels, and persuaded SKY TV to join. Dyke resigned in 2004 after the publication of the Hutton Report, in which Hutton described Dyke’s approach to checking news stories as “defective”. Mark Thompson latter replaced Dyke after his resignation. *Referenced from Wikipedia*macintosh hd:users:cur07015429:desktop:24-greg-dyke-pa.jpg
Mark Thompson – A British media executive and current CEO of the New York Times Company. A former chief executive of Channel 4, he is best know for his role as Director-General of the BBC from 2004 to 2012. In 2007 it was reported that the BBC had been involved in a number of editorial guideline breeches. Thompson investigated these breeches. On 18 July 2007 Thompson presented his report to the BBC Trust and outlined the action he would take to restore confidence in the BBC. After the proceedings that followed every member of the BBC staff including Thompson undertook a safeguarding trust course. In 2009 it was suggested that Thompson had taken a pro-Israeli editorial stance, this surfaced after he supported the controversial decision by the BBC not to broadcast the DEC Gaza appeal. In 2011 Thompson also ordered that the lyrics “free Palestine” be removed from a rap on BBC1 Extra. At the end of 2012/the beginning of 2013 Thompson made the decision to step down from General-Director, saying “it’s the appropriate time to hand over to a successor”.

*Referenced from Wikipedia*
My Opinion - The one thing we can learn from this is that both the Commercial and BBC directors have been surrounded by controversy at some point in their career and this should not be reason for the public to stop using any of the services, as it does not affect them in anyway.
Technologies of Production – Emerging Markets macintosh hd:users:cur07015429:desktop:sstv5.png

Sky TV – In recent years Sky have been keeping up with the technology movement. By introducing apps for smart phones, tablets, smart TV’s and gaming consoles, Sky have been able to reach a wider audience, with the general public being able to download apps such as: Sky on the go, Sky news, Sky sports, Sky movies etc.. Sky have also reached out with their advertising campaign, with advertisements popping up on Social Media Networks, such as: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube etc.. Sky has made it so that no matter where you go they will always be accessible.
BBC – The BBC has also been keeping up with the technology movement, just like their competitor the BBC have also introduced apps for smart phones, tablets, smart TV’s and gaming consoles, this allows the general public to keep up to date with world news and catch up on programmes they may have missed. With apps such as: BBC news, BBC sport, BBC iPlayer, BBC weather and BBC CBeebies playtime. However unlike their competitor Sky the BBC has not reached out to many Social Networking sites for advertisement, the BBC has a Twitter and a Facebook but you will not see pop up adds on YouTube or Instagram. macintosh hd:users:cur07015429:desktop:058d69f579bff0de79ba55fd51bc5a36cca5598c.jpg
My Opinion - Although with other emerging markets such as: subscription sites and streaming sites, the total of people watching either Sky or BBC could face a downfall. With sites such as: Netflix and Amazon Instant Prime, more and more of the general public are switching over as these sites a much cheaper monthly.

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Technologies That I Embrace - My personal preference of the technologies that I willingly embrace are: Facebook for keeping up with events such as: The LGBT Foyle Pride Festival, The LGBT Belfast Pride Festival, Tattoo Conventions throughout the UK and Ireland and other events such as concerts or performances. Twitter to keep with celebrity gossip and Instagram to keep on top on Tattoo artists work. When it comes to serious news I would use both the Sky and BBC news apps and if I am looking for a weather report I would use BBC weather. However as for other apps such as BBC iPlayer and Sky on the go I do not use either of these, as I am a monthly subscriber to Netflix I do not feel the need to use anything else.
Income Generation

Income Generation is simply how the company makes their money. There are many ways I which the company can make their money between subscriptions., sales, merchandising and pay per view programmes. For example: Sky’s profit will come from their customers with the subscription fees, they would also make money from advertising revenue.

Sky TV - A public satellite broadcasting company, which operates throughout the UK and Ireland. SKY is the largest subscription based broadcaster in the UK with over 10 million subscribers.


£1.6 Billion (2011)

Net Income

£11.7 Million (2010)


25,356 (2014)

Depending on subscription Sky customers will pay between £18 - £68 per month for their Sky packages. The various things that SKY offer are:

  • SKY TV

  • SKY+

  • SKY Sports

  • SKY HD

  • SKY Box Office/Movies

  • SKY News

  • SKY Broadband & Line Rental

  • SKY On Demand

Sky’s financial statement and annual review of 2010 revealed that Sky had made almost £1.2billion in that year, which had risen by 11% from 2009. In 2010 Sky had 10.86 million subscribers and with many people switching to HD Sky’s profits had almost doubled in that year. Overall Sky make over 75% of their profits from subscriptions and each customer now spends an average of over £500 per annum on Sky.

*Referenced from Academia.edu*
BBC – A public service broadcaster, which operates throughout the UK and BBC news operates globally. BBC’s income is based off of TV licence sales. On average the BBC has 46.8million viewers per week and BBC news on average have a quarter of a billion people tuning in globally.

Licene Fee Revenue

£3,722 Million (2013/2014)

Net Licene Fee

£3,726 Million (2013/2014)


23,000 (Globally)

The TV Licensing Fee on average costs £145.50 per year. The channels that the BBC has to offer are:


  • BBC One

  • BBC Two

  • BBC Three

  • BBC Four

  • BBC Parliament

  • BBC News

  • CBBC Channel (8+ year olds)

  • CBeebies (1-7 year olds)

  • BBC Alba

BBC Radio UK

  • BBC Radio 1

  • BBC Radio 2

  • BBC Radio 3

  • BBC Radio 4

  • BBC Radio 5 Live

BBC Digital Radio

  • BBC Radio 1Xtra

  • BBC 6 Music

  • BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra

  • BBC Radio 4 Extra

Programming Platforms and Development Channels/Flagship Programmesmacintosh hd:users:cur07015429:desktop:o-game-of-thrones-facebook.jpg

Sky TV – The development of channels from Sky over the years has been tremendous. Sky began with four channels and has now grown to have over 900 channels, ranging from Movies, Sports, Music and various others. For me personally Sky comes out on top with the programmes they show, such as: Game of Thrones, Greys Anatomy and The Walking Dead. If I were to stick with the BBC I wouldn’t have the ability to watch these shows or record them to be watched at a later date.
BBC – The development of channels from the BBC has also been great over the years, however they are nowhere near as advanced as Sky. The BBC started with one broadcasting channel and now they have over 16 television channels and have over 15 radio stations. The BBC has a few great flagship programmes, the most popular ones being Eastenders, Doctor Who and Strictly come Dancing. macintosh hd:users:cur07015429:desktop:new_logo_1440.jpg

*Referenced from Independent.co.uk*
My Opinion (My Favourite form of media) - When it comes to these to broadcasters my personal preference would have to be Sky as they show some of my favourite TV shows such as: Game of Thrones (Sky Atlantic), The Walking Dead (FOX) and Greys Anatomy (Sky Living). However despite this, my favourite form of media would have to be Netflix and other streaming sites, e.g. onlinemovies.pro. The two best things that I have watched recently on Netflix or another streaming site would have to be Tim Burton’s Big Eyes (onlinemovie.pro) and Pretty Little Liars (Netflix). macintosh hd:users:cur07015429:desktop:netflix_200x200.jpg
Regulations (Self-Regulation/Statutory Regulation/Ofcom)

Sky TV – Regulations and Evaluations are carried out by their own committees. Some of these committees are:

  • Adult Committee

  • Remuneration Committee

  • Executive Committee

The main control group of regulations is their board. Ofcom also still regulates and takes complaints in regards to Sky.
BSkyB’s watershed is lifted at 8pm, however since Sky works on the pin programme they can broadcast adult material at anytime. The way this works is a parental control pin blocks the programme until 8pm so children cannot view these programmes, only adults who know the pin may view these types of programmes.

*Referenced from ukpracticallaw.com*
BBC – Operates under the Royal Charter, this sets out the public purposes of the BBC and guarantees its independence, and this also outlines the duties of the Trust and Executive Board. The current Charter runs until 31 December 2016. An agreement with the Secretary of State sits alongside the Charter and also covers the BBC’s funding and its regulatory duties. This agreement together with the Charter, helps establish the BBC’s independence from the government.
The BBC is subject to but not all of the requirements of the Broadcasting Code. For example, it is not subject to the rules on impartiality and accuracy, which are covered by the BBC’s own Editorial Guidelines and complaints about the BBC’s standards comiance are dealt with by the BBC’s editorial complaints unit.
The BBC like all other UK broadcasters are also regulated by Ofcom (Office of Communications). They ensure that any programmes that broadcast offensive or harmful material are reprimanded in the correct manner. Ofcom’s responsibilities include the managing of licensing, creating codes and policies, addressing complaints and looking into competition. *Referenced from ukpracticallaw.com*
Criticisms and Controversiesmacintosh hd:users:cur07015429:desktop:iphone_1954850c.jpg

Sky TV - In 2011 Sky was bombarded with news reports about the phone hacking scandal that their founder Rupert Murdoch was reported to be involved in. This resulted in Sky having a drop in subscribers over a 3-month period. However despite this drop Sky still managed to have a great year and their subscribers began to grow again.
Over the last decade Sky have also been accused of tax evasion, as they are a group that is affiliated with/owned by Newscorp. *Referenced from mirror.co.uk*
BBC - In 2004 the BBC had seen more controversy from the Hutton Report, which was looking into Dr. Kelly’s death (A ministry of defence scientist), and how his suicide resulted in an escalation of the conflict. The report was extremely critical of Andrew Gilligan (BBC) and of the Corporation’s management processes and standards of journalism. In the aftermath of the criticisms, the Chairman of the BBC Gavyn Davies and the Director-General Greg Dyke resigned, followed by Gilligan himself.
In 2007 it was revealed that the phone-in competition supporting Unicef, which was held by children’s programme Blue Peter in 2006 had been rigged. The winning caller had been said to be a visitor to the set who pretended to be calling from an outside line to select a prize. It came to light that the competition was rigged due to a technical issue of not being able to receive outside calls. This was the beginning of many more controversies involving other broadcasters who had been accused of rigging telephone competitions.
In 2008 Russell Brand made several phone calls, along with guest of the show Jonathon Rodd, to the home of actor Andrew Sachs, claiming that Brand had sexual relations with the actors granddaughter Georgina Baillie, along with further derogatory suggestions. The Daily Mail’s coverage of this led to a number of complaints about the show, Brand and Ross, this ultimately resulted in both Brand and Ross leaving the broadcaster.macintosh hd:users:cur07015429:desktop:brand_ross_1378462c.jpg
Between the years of 2007 – 2011 the BBC was accused of ageism and sexism when news presenter Moira Stuart the first black female television newsreader was fired in 2007 after more than two decades of presenting, despite many of her male co-presenters being allowed to continue in their jobs. In 2008 another four female Countryfile presenters Michaela Strachan, Charlotte Smith, Miriam O’Reilly and Juliet Morris, all in their 40s and 50s, were dismissed from the show. This issue returned in 2009 when Arlene Phillips (66) was replace on Strictly Come Dancing panel by Alesha Dixon, a pop star half her age. Her male co-stars Len Goodman (65), Bruno Tonioli (53), Craig Revel Horwood (44) and Bruce Forsyth (81) where allowed to continue in their roles. Miriam O’Reilly former Countryfile presenter claimed that she was “warned about wrinkles” and took her complaint to a tribunal of which she won on grounds of ageism and victimization. *Referenced from Wikipedia*
My Opinion - By looking at the controversies that surround both the BBC and Sky it is evident that the BBC face much more controversy than Sky. Despite the phone hacking scandal involving Rupert Murdoch, the sexism and ageism reports from the BBC seem to much worse in my personal opinion.
Strengths_and_weaknesses)__Sky_TV'>Audience Feedback Channels (Positive and negative/Strengths and weaknesses)

Sky TV – As a subscriber of Sky I can honestly say that it is the stronger of the two broadcasters and offers much more than BBC. Sky has more flagship channels such as Sky1 and Sky Atlantic, however they do not have many origin flagship programmes.

Strength: Sky has a lot of channels and something for everyone no matter what age.

Weakness: Most of Sky’s subscription revenue comes from sport or films: unlike

the BBC and ITV, Sky does not produce or commission many original programming.

BBC – As well as being a Sky subscriber I also from time to time watch the BBC. I feel the BBC is the weaker of the two broadcasters, as they do not offer much for people of my generation. The only thing I would watch on the BBC would be the BAFTAS once a year.

However they do offer more flagship programmes such as Eastenders and Casualty.

Strength: The BBC offers more flagship programmes that are very popular with


Weakness: The BBC has a lot less to offer than Sky, with only 9 channels compared

to Sky which has over 900 channels including: movies, sport and radio stations.

In conclusion I feel that both Sky and the BBC have their strengths and weaknesses, they have also had their fair share of controversies between them, and they both offer a good range of various kinds of programmes for all ages. Although I feel that Sky is the stronger broadcaster as they offer so much more than the BBC, however I would never dream of paying a possible £60 per month for something that I would only watch a possible 2/3 times per week. I feel that the use of this form of media is more appealing to an older generation, the generation of today (13-30 year olds) seem to prefer to pay for a subscription based streaming service such as Netflix (£7 per month for HD), which is much cheaper than a Sky subscription, or various other free streaming sites such as onlinemovies.pro. I don’t feel that this kind of media will disappear anytime soon, but I do feel that we have grown into a generation where everything is done online.
SKY references

  • Sky TV Ownership Models – Wikipedia


  • The History of Sky TV – Manchester evening news


  • Commercial Key Players – Rupert Murdoch – Wikipedia


  • Commercial Key Players – Richard Branson – Biography.com


  • Sky TV Income Generation – Financial Analysis 2011 – Academia.edu


  • Sky TV Regulations – Broadcasting regulation: a quick guide – uk.practicallaw.com


  • Sky TV Criticisms and Controversies – Sky TV suffers slowdown – mirror.co.uk

BBC references

  • BBC Ownership Models – Wikipedia


  • The History of BBC – teletronic.co.uk


  • BBC Director Generals – Greg Dyke – Wikipedia


  • BBC Director Generals – Mark Thompson – Wikipedia


  • BBC Income Generation – Independent.co.uk


  • BBC Regulations – Broadcasting regulation: a quick guide – uk.practicallaw.com


  • BBC Criticisms and Controversies – BBC Controversies – Wikipedia


Creative Media Production Understanding Film and TV Industry

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