Friday, November 20, 2009

European Entertainment Media



Author Papathanassopoulos summarizes the state of European media:

Digitization has increased the overall number of channels
Subscription channels are a US invention. HBO appeared in 1972 and established the precedent for channels like Sky 1 which came to the UK in 1982. Canal+ then appeared in France in 1984.
During the 1990’s Europeans increased familiarity with American thematic channels. Thematic channels succeeded in Europe because

-customers wanted what the US had

-increased satellite/digital ability

-subscriptions were desired by customers and more profitable for companies

The main groupings for channels are news, sports, music, children, and adult.
The main point for the author is the general increase in themes as well as the role of localization or customizing global broadcast. Even globally distributed theme channels are customized. The “glocal” trend is not only language but also technology, transitional segments (interstitials), local segments and completely local versions.


French Entertainment Media:


Canal+ is similar to HBO. While it features many US films it also funds and supports French cinema. In 2008, Canal Plus plowed e173.96 million ($256.6 million), a record, into pre-buying 142 French films. Canal Plus pre-bought 64% of all French-originated films. Recently in a story in Variety magazine producer Djamel Bensalah ("Neuilly samere") explained: "You can make a film without (French broadcasters) TF1, France Televisions or M6, but not without Canal Plus." Watch a commercial showing Canal+ support of screenwriters.


The Cannes Film Festival is one of France’s biggest moments in entertainment each May, mainly because it attracts global releases.



• The festival was established in 1946
The “Official Selection” are films screened for a competition however many films not selected also have screenings and press junkets
•In sympathy for the students and workers, the 1968 Cannes Film Festival was halted on 19 May. Leading filmmakers Truffaut, Godard and Roman Polanski spoke to the press. The president of the French Cinema association was replaced and the Film Directors Society of France was founded (SRF).

Truffaut announcing the closure of Cannes in May 1968

France has a tradition of more serious cultural media. They started Arte in partnership with Germany and have the state funded radio channel France Culture. The station is similar to NPR and has a variety of programs.

The privacy laws in France decrease celebrity-paparazzi style entertainment. Paris Match, E! News France and Oops! focus on American celebrities and place minor emphasis on French celebs.



•By contrast to France, the UK and Sweden have excessive paparazzi style press with many magazines and websites devoted to both celebrities and royals. Netherlands based “Royal Press Europe” tracks their every move.


•Like the US, Europe has supported reality television. Duvuna Frau-Meigs describes in her essay "Big Brother and Reality TV in Europe," the increase of reality television and many of the social factors that generate both similar and different types of European reality shows from US counterparts.



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