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The use of international television formats by public-service broadcasters in Australia, Denmark and Germany

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Today, the use of internationally licensed television formats, developed in one market
and sold for local adaptation, is a widespread practice amongst commercial broadcasters
around the world. But how has this trend impacted on public service broadcasting?
Public service stipulations include the provision of content that informs and
educates, helps imagine the nation, enriches the lives and culture of its citizens and
provides an inclusive public sphere to support democracy. Can internationally franchised
programmes fulfil these remits? And to what extent are they employed by
public service broadcasters? Responding to criticisms of the international, commodified
character of formats in general and their staple, reality TV and lifestyle entertainment
more specifically, this article provides a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the use of
international formats by Australian, Danish and German public service broadcasters.
The article hopes to contribute to media policy debate and concludes by arguing that,
even in the relatively few instances where formats have been employed, the benefits
outweigh the concerns raised.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe International Communication Gazette (Online)
Pages (from-to)359-383
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015

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