Chile’s market orientated model of public television

Godoy-Etcheverry, S. 1998. Chile’s market orientated model of public television. PhD thesis University of Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design

TitleChile’s market orientated model of public television
TypePhD thesis
AuthorsGodoy-Etcheverry, S.

The main objective of this dissertation is to provide a comprehensive picture

of the evolution and current performance of the market-oriented model of public

service television in Chile. The focus is largely on the commercially-funded stateowned television network, Television Nacional de Chile (TVN). This thesis argues

that Public Service Broadcasting (PSB) is still valid and necessary, yet the means to achieve this ideal have evolved and require some fresh thinking; such as the

way forward provided by this case study.

This work attempts to describe TVN's main political, economical, and

managerial characteristics when delivering PSB according to television law,

considering the evolution of the media in Chile and Latin America. For this

purpose, the analysis integrates the political economy of the media from a

managerial and regulatory perspective.

The work is divided into two main parts. The first explains the current

situation of PSB in the industrialised world, and also deals with the peculiar

development of Chilean broadcasting within Latin America. The second part is the most important because it assesses the Chilean model at its present state.

Nowadays TVN is an influential counterweight to authoritarian entrenchments as

well as a booster of innovation and growth of the audio-visual sector. Its promarket orientation prevents traditional forms of government manipulation, it is

coherent with overall macroeconomic policy, and introduces awareness for the

audience's preferences. But this case also has important contradictions that need to be dealt with in order to enhance its contribution to social welfare and


The thesis assumes that PSB -a Western European concept- has been

possible in Chile because of a relatively extended republican tradition, and

because of the effectiveness and probity of its public institutions. Nevertheless, as a developing country Chile has also suffered poverty, economic instability, and a prolonged military dictatorship (1973-1990) among other problems. These factors

explain the differences between Chilean public television and its counterparts in the industrialised world, yet at the same time they reveal a special need for such a service despite all the technological changes that are taking place.

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