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100-507 1916-18 Radio patents suspended during hostilities.
Global Media Governance 1918 US Navy unable to maintain monopoly on patents
encourage general Electric to buy out US arm of British
Marconi in order to maximise use of Alexanderson alterna-
2 The Market: the USA 1919 GE, Marconi and Navy stations form Radio Corpora-
tion of America with monopoly on radio technology.
1921 Jack Dempsey-Carpentier fight. AT&T supply landline
connections to transmitters and receivers; Navy Secretary
FD Roosevelt makes navy transmitter available
1926 RCA establishes National Broadcasting Company
NBC. Bases of network transmission establiished. Sponsor-
ship and advertising stabilise as major economic drivers
1927 CBS founded in buy-out of network established by tal-
ent agent and Columbia Records
1933 Edwin Howard Armstrong patents FM radio; first
of 31 ‘fireside chats’ delivered by president Franklin D.
1943 FCC anti-trust decision breaks up NBC into Red and
Blue networks: NBC retain Red; Blue will become ABC
1945 FCC bow to RCA lobbying and allocate TV waveband
in the FM zone
Edwin Howard Armstrong in 1920
1948 TV broadcasting begins in 23 of 25 largest cities; FCC
freeze on new licenses in November, in place till July 1952
1949 Research Company of America publishes “Forgotten 15
milliion” report on advertising to African Americans
1952 Governor Talmadge of Georgia threatens boycott of
“race-mixing” stations; Eisenhower victory in first “TV elec-
tions”; National Pubic Radio launches on FM band
1953 I Love Lucy reaches 66% of households
1951-4 formation of Top 40 radio format
1954 Edwin Howard Armstrong commits suicide
1955 car radio sales outstrip domestic sets
1956 Nat King Cole first African American TV show
1959 Charles van Doren testifies in the “quiz show scandals”
1962 XERA-AM “rip and read” goes into profit: first all-news
1966 all three networks in colour
1967 Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour launched; Supreme
Court award Armstrong’s FM patents to his wife Marion
1975 Sony introduce Betmax video cassette; first television
satellite transmissions; HBO launched with Ali-Frazier fight
c. 1979 FM radio overtakes AM as medium of choice
1979 C-SPAN launched during discussions with Congress of
1980 CNN launched
1982 AT&T lose antitrust case: end of “natural monopoly” on
1984 NBC premiere The Cosby Show
1985 E.T. earns $150m in rentals (four times ticket sales)
1987 Murdoch completes 20th Century Fox and Metromedia
purchases, Fox network debuts primetime programming,
benefitting from ‘must-carry’ rules
1989 100,000 video rental stores in the US (and 25,000 cin-
1990 Three quarters of US homes have cable
1993 Mosaic web browser released
1996 Telecommunications Act removes one-to-a-market and
Issues in deregulated commercial broadcasting
brakes on innovation
profit maximisation vs journalism
normative power of advertisers
relations between manufacturers and content providers
mutual assistance of government and broadcasters
electoral vs civil politics
$2 billion expected from spectrum sale held spectrum if it does not co-operate.
The Age, January 6, 2010 To maximise its revenue, the Government will be
keen to entice other players to the auction,''What
COMPANIES as diverse as Google and Woolworths you'll probably see will be some new entrants get-
could become key players in a multibillion-dollar ting in, the likes of new media,'' said one analyst. He
auction of wireless spectrum, soon to be freed by the nominated online search company Google as a con-
move to digital television. tender.
The Federal Government yesterday announced that Broadcasters were unlikely to be among the bidders,
the switch-off of analog TV signals by the end of 2013 he said.
would make available 126 megahertz of spectrum The spectrum could be used for a new free-to-air tele-
once the restacking of remaining broadcasters was vision channel, although present market conditions
completed. would not support it.
The spectrum will be sold off in the next four But NBN Co, the Government-owned company es-
years and could raise about $2 billion for the tablished to build the broadband network, could use
Government.A similar auction in the US garnered the spectrum to provide fast internet to the 10 per
$US19 billion. cent of households not served by fibre.
The most obvious contenders are existing mobile A second analyst said Woolworths might bid in an
operators Telstra, Optus and Vodafone Hutchison effort to expand its Everyday Mobile product, which
Australia. Analysts expect each will require about 40 now relies on the Optus mobile network.
megahertz to provide the next generation of mobile
services. The plans for the new spectrum were outlined in the
''Digital Dividend'' green paper released yesterday by
Telstra's involvement in the auction will be compli- Communications Minister Stephen Conroy.
cated by the deal it reaches with the Government
over its separation, which follows a threat of with-
But if anyone thought the new regime at Telstra was going to take things lying viable prospect, it could even prosper without Telstra.
down, the supposedly more touchy-feely team now in charge of Telstra, Th-
odey and the chairman, Catherine Livingstone, certainly dispelled that notion Then again, they would say that.
NBN Co needs to be profitable enough to attract telecom industry vendors as
Draft legislation released by the government opened up the possibility for the shareholders in the venture and eventually be attractive enough to allow full
first time that the NBN Co's "wholesale only" network may dabble in a bit of privatisation according to draft legislation released last week.
All the angst over the retail clause in the draft legislation has overshadowed
Telstra exploited this unexpected opening. the implications of a $43 billion monopoly infrastructure asset being com-
pletely privatised for what will certainly be considerably less than this amount.
"We are very concerned about this potential change in the government's posi-
tion. If enacted, we would need to factor this into the financial consideration ....
required to achieve an agreement It does nothing to hide the bottom line for Recent comments from Telstra's disastrous interim results also strike a concil-
Telstra though. The longer it can hang on to its traditional phone line business, iatory tone from Thodey.
where its near-monopoly accounts for 75 per cent of revenues and 90 per cent
of profits, the better. "We remain very constructively engaged with both the government and NBN
Co, and we do remain committed to try to find a mutually acceptable outcome.
As long as these customers hang on with it. But I have to stress, these are very complex considerations. Very complex. We
need to move slowly and very deliberately".
It is in no hurry to move to the broadband network unless the established tele-
phony business dwindles to the point where the costs of maintaining the vast Thodey may have turned up the pressure a notch by suggesting Telstra is
copper network chew up most of the profits. prepared to wait six months if that's how long it takes to nut out a deal he is
prepared to take to shareholders.
It has not stopped some analysts from speculating – tentatively – that the telco
may be better off testing the government's mettle and continue on its own path With three downgrades in two months on his watch, and more bad news ex-
as a rival to the NBN. pected from Telstra's fixed-line business in the full-year results – which will
further weaken his bargaining position over the network – it's either another
...... bluff, or yet another example of how any misstep in the agreement could have
In October last How is the government going to get an economic return on a huge implications for the telco as he pointed out last month.
bare-bones network even if its cost does come in well under the $43 billion
mark as expected. "I am not going to be driven into a short-term decision and we've got to be
very clear about all the considerations, because you could miss one little thing
A study by McKinsey and KPMG assessing the feasibility of the NBN Co's that would have and enormous impact to the future of the business", Thodey
business plan was due this week and while no details have been announced said.
word has been quietly spreading that the report says that not only is NBN Co a (The Age, Saturday 6 March 2010)