Policy and Practice in the Americas, Europe and Japan
Edited by Martin Cave and Kiyoshi Nakamura
Martin Cave and Kiyoshi Nakamura The purpose of this chapter is to set in context the contributions which follow describing the development of digital television in a range of American, Asian and European countries, and also discussing certain general issues in the development of broadcasting in the digital era, including the provision of spectrum, protection of property rights and containment of market power. The ﬁrst section outlines the development of digital television broadcasting globally. The second section describes the value chain in digital broadcasting, identiﬁes where market power might be exercised, and discusses possible remedies. The third section discusses some of the issues associated with providing spectrum for digital broadcasting, and the implications of digital switch-over. The ﬁnal section provides a brief review of the chapters which follow. WHAT IS DIGITAL TELEVISION AND WHO GETS IT AND HOW? Hernan Galperin’s book on digital television in the UK and the USA eloquently explains in its ﬁrst paragraph what digital television does: the transition from a world of spectrum scarcity, dumb terminals, and one-way services, to a world of on-demand programming, intelligent terminals, and abundant channels – namely, a transition from analogue to digital TV. Heralded as the most important innovation in the history of the industry, digital TV involves the reconﬁguration of a sector that, beyond its economic signiﬁcance, is central to the mechanisms of democratic politics and the evolution of popular culture. This is certainly not the ﬁrst time that the television industry faces reorganization on a massive...