Broadcasting deregulation in Western Europe with particular reference to Greece
While considerable divergencies existed among Western European countries in the broadcasting field until recently, all of them instituted a state monopoly. This traditional European pattern has recently been questioned with the emergence of the new phenomenon of 'deregulation'. This thesis looks at the main facets of W.European deregulation giving particular emphasis to the Greek case. It does not attempt to create a homogeneous notional structure covering all Western Europe, but to examine and uncover the antecedents behind broadcasting deregulation, which is taking place all over Western Europe, acknowledging the diverse paths through which this new phenomenon has taken place. The recent deregulatory evolutions, however, prove that most countries are now subject to the same international developments in technology, economics and politics. Broadcasting deregulation in Western Europe is closely wedded with the neo-liberal creed that appeared with new technological developments such as the 'new media' of cable and satellite and the investment opportunities they brought. Particular attention is paid to the principal connotations that technology had on Western European broadcasting and to the neo-liberal policy-making, concerning reduction in the level of regulation and introduction of deregulatory policies, based on arguments for business efficiency. effectiveness and enrichment of consumer's choice. These arguments are compounded by the growing internationalisation and interdependence of investment and broadcasting. Additionally, the Commission of the European Communities, particularly with its Directive 'Television Without Frontiers', seeks to establish a common market for broadcasting across the frontiers of the EC member states. In short, the main argument of this thesis is connected with the determining factors behind broadcasting deregulation particularly focusing on the Greek case. The thesis first gives a theoretical franîework for broadcasting policies and trends and then investigates the Western European broadcasting scene, taking an integral approach and making the connections, in order to focus on the Greek case, as Greece is part of this process. The second part of the thesis investigates and clarifies how broadcasting regulation has been abandoned in Greece in response to the influence of external and internal factors and tendencies.