Media: Fair shares in multiple markets

HOW can cross-media rules be relaxed to encourage media companies to grow and straddle TV, newspapers, magazines and radio without creating unacceptable monopolies, or allowing Rupert Murdoch to move into ITV? Thus goes one of the fears underlying the review being finalised by the Department of National Heritage.

An interesting paper sent to the department by the media consultant Richard Hooper, a non-executive director of MAI, and a key influence on Lord Hollick's thinking (see left), suggests a new methodology for defining and measuring media markets.

He says the markets for television (including cable and satellite), radio and newspapers should be divided into national, regional and local sectors. There would be between 12 and 20 regional markets and 50 local markets such as cities the size of Glasgow.

The review would simply measure how much newspaper circulation, share of television viewing and share of radio listening a company had in each market in order to meet the public policy objective of ensuring a diversity of view. This could be reinforced with the traditional Office of Fair Trading 'rule' setting a 25 per cent market ceiling whether it is share of advertising or other income.

The paper suggests that local and regional market shares should include all newspaper circulation (national newspapers, where Murdoch controls a 34 per cent share of the national market, makes up 19.6 per cent of the total UK newspaper market) and all radio listening.

Simple market share rules would say that no media company could control more than X per cent of the combined market share of radio, television and newspapers in these three defined market areas.

Setting X would be the key political decision. To reach a company's market share, all three figures would be added. (That means that the BBC, with a 42 per cent TV share and 50 per cent radio share, would breach it and would probably allow ITV companies holding two franchises currently some scope for growth).

The setting of X could allow for different weightings for television and newspapers because they are more powerful than radio.

The paper suggests tentatively that 8 per cent could be the maximum dominance for combined national markets (scope for 12 media barons), 15 per cent for individual regions, and 25 per cent for local markets.

The paper also suggests that new media operators can be encouraged by ensuring that existing large cable and satellite operators, such as BSkyB, cannot discriminate against new channels through control of decoders and subscription management systems.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark production team claims innocence of viewers' ab frenzy
Life and Style
Google marks the 81st anniversary of the Loch Ness Monster's most famous photograph
techIt's the 81st anniversary of THAT iconic photograph
News
Katie Hopkins makes a living out of courting controversy
people
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant - Immediate Start - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant - Immediate ...

Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer - Sheffield - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer position with a...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Advertising Sales Consultant - OTE £30k

£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Gloucestershire's most innovati...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Advertising Sales Consultant - OTE £40k

£18000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Gloucestershire's most innovati...

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders