A study of the evolution of make/buy contracting for UK Independent Television (ITV), 1954-2001
This study is an account of how the interplay between socio-political concerns and economic objectives shaped programme supply make/buy decisions for establishing UK commercial television and the ongoing programme supply arrangements of its main terrestrial operator ITV (Independent Television). A main interest is to build a credible explanation of why make/buy decisions for programmes shown on ITV diverged from initial expectations that they would be determined on a competitive basis. The enquiry examines the underlying reasons that affected these decisions to show how socio-political fear of the potential impact commercial television might have on UK society impinged on the outcomes that prevailed and how changes occurred as this fear diminished. To achieve this aim, the investigation first focuses on the make/buy conditions impinging on decisions that led to the start up phase of UK commercial television. It is followed by a detailed examination of how programme supply make/buy arrangements for ITV evolved in the initial (1954 - 1964) and later (1990 - 2001) contract periods. These two contract periods are focused on as distinctive points of reference for guiding and containing the research within practical boundaries. The first represents a time when programme supply make/buy options were first established and the second when these options were substantively modified. An historical case study approach is applied, drawing upon state archives, interviews and programme supply statistics to explain the outcomes that prevailed.