The crisis of public local digital terrestrial television in Spain: The case of Catalonia

Josep Àngel Guimerà-i-Orts, Federica Alborch-Gil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The article describes and analyses the state of public local digital terrestrial television (L-DTT) in Catalonia just after the analogue switch-off in April 2010. The results show that only 12 of the 37 anticipated public television channels were broadcasting, and only five more were expected to do so in the medium term. These data indicate that public local television was experiencing a crisis in the context of the digital switchover process: while some digital programmes were finding it hard to get off the ground due to severe limitations, other historical analogue stations were disappearing. The article is grounded on qualitative research based on in-depth interviews with representatives of the 37 aforementioned channels. The objectives of the paper are: to describe the L-DTT model and its roll-out status in Catalonia as at May 2010; to provide interpretative elements to explain the crisis identified; and to provide insights for the formulation of hypotheses about the state of the sector in the rest of Spain. The results suggest that the problems of public L-DTT stem from the digital roll-out policies of the Government of Spain and the Government of Catalonia, neither of which - especially the first - seems to have taken into account the pre-existing analogue reality. In this respect, the Catalan case offers signs and evidence that can be extrapolated to the situation in Spain as a whole.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-313
Number of pages22
JournalRevista Latina de Comunicacion Social
Volume66
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Keywords

  • Catalonia
  • Communication policy
  • DTT
  • Local television
  • Mass media
  • Public television

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