In order to understand the advent and consolidation of the independent television production industry, it is necessary to consider the essential role that quotas have played. This article offers a comparative empirically grounded analysis of the impact generated by a variety of quotas applied to independent production in the UK and Spain. First, it describes how quotas originating from the Television without Frontiers Directive are implemented in different ways. Second, through a sample of prime-time television in both countries, and in-depth interviews, the article analyses the strength of independent producers, their regional diversity and, in the Spanish case, the volume of investment in them by broadcasters. The results highlight the limitations of quotas and the need to intervene in different areas with alternative tools if the objectives originally pursued by the Directive for this sector are to be achieved. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
- independent television production