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State of PlayContemporary 'High-end' TV Drama$
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Robin Nelson

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780719073106

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719073106.001.0001

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“Quality TV” in context

“Quality TV” in context

(p.161) 7 “Quality TV” in context
State of Play

Robin Nelson

Manchester University Press

This chapter revisits questions of quality and the cultural implications of ‘quality TV’. There has been a complex interrelationship between economic values and aesthetic and cultural worth as advanced capitalism has developed. Commercial forces can conspire to promote aesthetic values, and regulatory interventions may work to ensure provision where market failure might be insensitive to local cultural needs. Significant numbers of people already access television through broadband PC connections and the possibility of view-on-demand access through the internet to programmes, and libraries of past programmes, makes broadband the likely future distribution method for television. However, technologies (such as PVR and TIVO) which allow viewers completely to bypass advertisements threaten to destabilise a long established relationship. Should advertisers ultimately decide that television is no longer a fruitful outlet for their purposes, revenues may dry up. By then, however, television distribution may have migrated to the other distribution platforms noted, to which advertisers will themselves turn.

Keywords:   commercial forces, quality TV, economic values, cultural worth, aesthetic worth, broadband PC connections

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