MIT 2000 Lecture: TV History Part 2

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Western University
Media, Information and Technoculture
Media, Information and Technoculture 2000F/G
Daniel Robinson

TV History Part Two November 22, 2011 - Slide 2: Television in Canada - No TV stations in Canada before 1952. They were only able to watch American TV before 1952. - People weren’t able to get into the TV business because the government delayed acting on television - Slide 3: Massey Commission (1949-1951) - In 1951 published report that said federal government should expand it’s view extensively. - Only high culture was valued. The report contrasted vision of cultural identity with American version (being a part of mass culture) which wasn’t uplifting. Promoting high culture in Canada to be a defense against US mass culture. - Slide 4: CBC Broadcaster/Regulator 1952-1958 - CBC would be broadcaster but also regulate the network. - Essentially they have to form a network using private affiliates. - Why were they not able to spend money to establish CBC network across the country? Because the geography of Canada sucks for that kind of thing: very large, most pop. is strung out in thin line, so in this sense it’s not a cohesive grouping of population; demography of the country, at the time ⅔ were english speaking and ⅓ french speaking; proximity to US, because we can get American signals in canada which made canadians job hard; also tv was more expensive than thought. - The CBC budget increases 10 million to 100 million from 1949 to 1959 - Slide 5: Rapid Growth - TV experiences same growth in Canada as it did in US but a bit later. - Huge expansion of TV stations and 90% of the population are within reach of signal by 1960. - 83% of homes in 1961 had TV sets. More than homes with indoor bathrooms. - Average TV cost $452 in 1960, which equates to $3000 today - Uptake of TV was faster than broadband internet in the 1990s. - Slide 6: Cable TV - Cable started up slowly. - Why slow growth? Bell Canada didn’t want companies to piggy-back along with their phone lines, saw this as competition. When they did allow it in the 1970’s, they didn’t allow two-way like phones. - The government was worried about cable because they thought it would reduce Canadian viewing of CDN programming. Cable would provide more choice of American programming. Broadcasters were leary about the possible negative affect of cable. - Slide 7: Growth Years - Once Canadians get the option of cable it is taken up quickly. By 1985 77% of homes had cable. - Reception with cable is better, and range of channels increase with cable access. - Slide 8: TV Viewing (1960) - Just because the network is set up to promote CDN content, there isn’t a solid wall that prevents American stuff from getting in. Walt Disney was regular programming on CBC. - Slide 9: Advertising and CBC Rutherford - Up until 1961 the only network broadcaster is CBC. CTV didn’t start til early 1960’s. - Very limited role for advertising. None allowed on public affair shows, news, religious programming. - Advertisers were not producing shows like they were in US. - Growing reliance on advertising as years go on. By 57 half of the shows on CBC were ad sponsered. By 59 40% of CBCs expenses are covered by advertising. - The production was expensive so advertising helps to pay bills - Pay for television by putting 15% tax on TV sets. When everyone has TVs, they weren’t generating revenue from sales anymore, so they had to get money from advertising. - Slide 10: TV Advertising - Championed because it was seen as a way to get imagery into people’s homes, a ‘show window’ into the home. It can be ‘personalized’ ‘face to face selling’ - Newspaper advertising was still bigger than tv advertising. Economically it wasn’t as important as it was culturally. - There’s a limit to how much you can advertisers: government put in regulation. Finite commodity in this sense. In Canada it’s 12 minutes an hour right now. Basically can’t expand publication the way you can with a newspaper, which can just publish as many pages of ads as they want. - You can charge more for advertising because it is a fixed commodity. For 30 seconds you can charge as high as 50 000 in 1960’s. - Transition from indirect to direct advertising. Indirect: a company sponsoring an entire show. Direct advertising: 30 second spot advertising which is what we’re familiar with today. -Slide 11: McLuhan - Slide 12: Oral Culture - Ear culture is an emphasis on hearing and speech. - In this society there was no writing, no literate possibilities of expression. It’s a fundamentally different way of experiencing senses. Hearing is multidirectional, fluid. Y
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