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Lecture 10

Media, Information and Technoculture 2000F/G Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Big Country, Canadian Content, Celebrity Culture

Media, Information and Technoculture
Course Code
MIT 2000F/G
Daniel Robinson

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015
MIT 2000 - Week 10
TV History: Part 2
Television in Canada
- no Canadian broadcasting stations or networks before 1952
- 100,000+ watching U.S. TV
- business complaints
Massey Commission (1949-1951)
- Vincent Massey
- the Commission emitted federal cultural policies
- caused the delay of the emergence of television in Canada
- concerned about what type of culture should be promoted by the fed government and
how this culture will impact national sovereignty and identity
- high culture was thought to serve some positive benefits of society
- thought to promote democracy, critical-thinking citizens
- this type of contrast was seen as a contrast to U.S. mass culture
- public broadcasting: CBC-controlled
CBC: Broadcaster/Regulator 1952-58
- after the report, broadcasting comes to Canada
- extension into the CBC
- public-private model similar to radio (hybrid of these 2 things)
- 2 CBC stations in Toronto & Montreal
- private affiliates would be part of that network
- why team up with these private affiliates?
- geography: big country, would be expensive to reach many people
- demography: 30% population is French speaking therefore creating a need/
demand for a parallel system offered in both French and English
- proximity of U.S. TV seemed to increase the pressure that there had to be a television
presence in Canada quick or people would become accustomed to seeing American
- TV productions costs proved massively expensive compared to that of radio
production (7 times as expensive as an hour of radio content)
- CBC had to massively expand its budget for the cost of television
Rapid Growth
- growth in the 1950’s in both Can/U.S. is faster than any new media has ever expanded
- 1960: 6 CBC stations with 41 private stations
- TV signals in reach of 90% of population
- 1961: 83% homes had a TV set - more TV’s than furnaces, cars, baths, and toilets
- 6 hours daily viewing
- high cost of TV set (around $400) yet people were willing to spend the money
- it expanded so quickly as the federal government implemented a rule that would only
allow one station per city
- CBC is only network until 1961
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Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Cable TV
- used to receive televison though signals
- television now coming through a wire
- antennae/co-axial cable bring signals to home
- 1950s: rural areas were too far beyond the broadcasting signals therefore causing the
creation of a local cable provider
- in 1964 only 4% of homes had cable televison
- slow growth due to costing
- made sense to run these wire lines alongside phone lines
- Bell was unhappy about this, wanted to charge a lot of $ to do this
- state/CRTC regulation: the government was suspicious about cable as it could bring
signals from all over, it was concerned that it would fragment audiences, feared for the
decrease in sovereignty
- most places would only have 4-5 channels
- most broadcasting is done through a government entity being the CBC
Cable TV: Growth Years
- cabled households: 1970 42%, 1974 61%, 1985 77%
- slower growth in U.S.
- cable/network transmission allowed in early 1970s
TV Viewing (1960’s)
- CBC: 48 hrs/week of programming
- affiliates carry CBC service
- CBC also carried popular US shows (Walt Disney, Leave it to Beaver)
- Canadian shows such as Don Messer, Hockey Night in Canada
- time regulator/ “dayparts”: daytime; after-school; primetime
CBC & Advertising (Rutherford)
- advertising was not a huge part of the CBC
- early 1950s: limited role
- do not see advertising on CBC’s news shows, religious shows, etc., as it was thought
to compromise the integrity of the content and the experience of watching
- growing reliance by late 1950s
- half of the shows became ad sponsored
- advertising pays 41% of expenses
- this shift and increasing reliance happened due to expensiveness of production,
needed more & than anticipated
- TV set tax waning - 15% of what was spent on TV sets went to the federal
government, most of which was sent to the CBC
- could not sell/export their program content to other countries (few foreign sales)
TV Advertising (Rutherford)
- “‘show window” in home - intrusive
- personalized, ‘face-to-face selling
- steady growth
- 1971: 12% of total advertising came from TV ads
- national, not local
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