(Re)defining public service media from an economic perspective: Damned if they do, damned if they don’t

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review


Public broadcasters have held an important position in European media markets ever since their creation in the 1920s and 1930s. While their economic impact on media markets was perceived as market distortive and negative in the 1980s and 1990s, the position of policy-makers on this has gradually changed in an era of plat- form domination. Nowadays, policy-makers also emphasize the potential of public broadcasters’s investments in audiovisual production and innovation. The aim of this chapter is to discuss the role of public broadcasters in media markets, devoting attention to issues of market distortion and European State aid control, public broad- casters’ contributions to domestic audiovisual production, and their investments in innovation. We argue that public broadcasters can indeed contribute to the sustaina- ble development of media markets, but that such an objective should be subordinate to their societal role.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationManagement and economics of communication
EditorsM. Bjørn von Rimscha, Stephanie Kienzler
Place of PublicationBerlin
PublisherDe Gruyter Mouton
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-11-058954-2, 978-3-11-058720-3
ISBN (Print)978-3-11-058716-6
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2020

Publication series

NameHandbooks of Communication Science [HoCS]


  • public service media
  • media policy
  • media ecosystems
  • economic impact
  • audiovisual industry
  • media markets

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