Singh and Kretschmer (2012)

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Advertising Architectural Publishing of books, periodicals and other publishing Programming and broadcasting Computer programming Computer consultancy Creative, arts and entertainment Cultural education

Film and motion pictures Sound recording and music publishing Photographic activities PR and communication Software publishing (including video games) Specialised design Television programmes Translation and interpretation

1. Relationship between protection (subject matter/term/scope) and supply/economic development/growth/welfare 2. Relationship between creative process and protection - what motivates creators (e.g. attribution; control; remuneration; time allocation)? 3. Harmony of interest assumption between authors and publishers (creators and producers/investors) 4. Effects of protection on industry structure (e.g. oligopolies; competition; economics of superstars; business models; technology adoption) 5. Understanding consumption/use (e.g. determinants of unlawful behaviour; user-generated content; social media)

A. Nature and Scope of exclusive rights (hyperlinking/browsing; reproduction right) B. Exceptions (distinguish innovation and public policy purposes; open-ended/closed list; commercial/non-commercial distinction) C. Mass digitisation/orphan works (non-use; extended collective licensing) D. Licensing and Business models (collecting societies; meta data; exchanges/hubs; windowing; crossborder availability) E. Fair remuneration (levies; copyright contracts) F. Enforcement (quantifying infringement; criminal sanctions; intermediary liability; graduated response; litigation and court data; commercial/non-commercial distinction; education and awareness)

Source Details

Singh and Kretschmer (2012)
Title: Strategic behaviour in the international exploitation of TV formats: A case study of the idols format
Author(s): Singh, S., Kretschmer, M.
Year: 2012
Citation: Singh, S., Kretschmer, M. (2012). Strategic behaviour in the international exploitation of TV formats: A case study of the idols format. Chapter 1 in edited volume – Idols: Authenticity, Identity and Performance in a Global Television Format (eds. Koos Zwaan and Joost de Bruin), Farnham: Ashgate.
Link(s): Definitive , Open Access
Key Related Studies:
Discipline:
Linked by: Bechtold (2013)
About the Data
Data Description: 32 interviews with media sellers and buyers at three international television trade fairs (Discop East Budapest in June 2008, Asia Television Forum Singapore in December 2008 and NATPE Las Vegas in January 2009). One researcher (Singh) was placed with FremantleMedia for a period of 2 months during which a further 13 interviews were conducted.
Data Type: Primary data
Secondary Data Sources:
Data Collection Methods:
Data Analysis Methods:
Industry(ies):
Country(ies):
Cross Country Study?: Yes
Comparative Study?: Yes
Literature review?: No
Government or policy study?: No
Time Period(s) of Collection:
  • 2008-2009
Funder(s):
  • ESRC (UK) Grant No. RES–186–27–0012

Abstract

Television formats have become a major export industry for Britain and the United States (who together account for nearly two thirds of all format hours broadcast annually worldwide). Yet, there is no such thing as a television format right under copyright law. Any producer is free to develop game, reality and talent shows that are based on similar ideas. This case study documents the exploitation of one such format, Idols, based on semi-structured interviews with format sellers and buyers at international media trade fairs, and senior managers at Fremantlemedia, the television production company that developed Idols into one of most successful global format franchises (broadcast in 43 territories).

Main Results of the Study

The results reveal a combination of legal and non-legal strategies that in effect create an intellectual property (IP) regime that stands in place of formal television format rights (“IP without IP”). Empirically, format developers use three groups of strategies to exploit TV formats internationally:

  • TV format producers formalize and sell know-how which cannot be easily gleaned from watching the show. This knowledge may include how to source contestants and organise audience participation, as well as specific production elements. The format is codified in a so-called ‘production bible’, supplied under confidentiality agreements and licences, and supervised in implementation by ‘flying producers’.
  • Careful management of the brand image makes it difficult to copy a show successfully. Sub-strategies include the registration of relevant trade marks, localisation of the brand, and extending the brand by merchandising.
  • Having an established distribution networks and international production bases allow for speed to market, and retaliatory measures against copycat producers. Retaliation includes the bilateral threat of non-supply of other programmes, and negative reputation effects in the social network constructed around trade fairs.

Policy Implications as Stated By Author

A format licence buys insights and implementation expertise that is only available from the format's originator.



Coverage of Study

Coverage of Fundamental Issues
Issue Included within Study
Relationship between protection (subject matter/term/scope) and supply/economic development/growth/welfare
Relationship between creative process and protection - what motivates creators (e.g. attribution; control; remuneration; time allocation)?
Harmony of interest assumption between authors and publishers (creators and producers/investors)
Effects of protection on industry structure (e.g. oligopolies; competition; economics of superstars; business models; technology adoption)
Green-tick.png
Understanding consumption/use (e.g. determinants of unlawful behaviour; user-generated content; social media)
Coverage of Evidence Based Policies
Issue Included within Study
Nature and Scope of exclusive rights (hyperlinking/browsing; reproduction right)
Green-tick.png
Exceptions (distinguish innovation and public policy purposes; open-ended/closed list; commercial/non-commercial distinction)
Mass digitisation/orphan works (non-use; extended collective licensing)
Licensing and Business models (collecting societies; meta data; exchanges/hubs; windowing; crossborder availability)
Fair remuneration (levies; copyright contracts)
Enforcement (quantifying infringement; criminal sanctions; intermediary liability; graduated response; litigation and court data; commercial/non-commercial distinction; education and awareness)

Datasets

Sample size: 45
Level of aggregation: Qualitative interviews
Period of material under study: 2008-2009