This study enquires: whether there is scope or, indeed, a need to consider public policy issues in the modern multimedia age; are the funding and transmission privileges of the BBC, Channel 4 and, to some extent, ITV and Channel 5, still justified by the contribution they make to people's lives; or, will the expanding broadcast market, left to itself, meet all the cultural, social and political expectations people might have of it? The book makes a strong case for a clear set of functions that only free-to-air, public networks can provide. It explores cultural, social, political and economic needs that will not be met by commercial services, whether network or subscription. The authors show that, contrary to the conventional wisdom, new technology increases rather than decreases the need for public service television and they put forward fresh thoughts on how such public service television might be funded. The balance and purpose of public and private provision in crucial service like health, education and broadcasting is a key issue of today. The book provides an intellectual and economic approach to broadcasting, with relevance beyond a single industry.
The book should be of interest to media/communications students and academics, and those with a particular interest in public service broadcasting.