Television production crossing media boundaries. The case of Televisió de Catalunya, the public television broadcaster of Catalonia
Television broadcasters are modifying and redefining their formats and their relationship with viewers and other media. The notion of television along with the concept of programming, distribution and flow, as well as audiovisual consumption itself has substantially been transformed (Uricchio, 1999; Zaragoza, 2002). During the last three decades, among the most evident examples of innovation have been the rise of channels, the emergence of digital reception systems and interactive services. Nowadays, consumption is no longer merely attached to the television set. Rather, it has reached computers, mobile phones and other kinds of handheld devices. This thesis seeks to discern possibilities of developing crossmedia production practices and identify the features and technological tools mediating the work process. Specifically, it acknowledges the fact that the development of cross-media products constitutes a challenge for media companies in terms of organisation patterns; thus, this research project endeavours to pinpoint the main transformations resulting from the emergence of new media. This research presents the findings of an empirical study on Televisió de Catalunya (TVC). This public broadcaster was selected because it has been a pioneer in technological development in both Spain and Europe. TVC was the first company in Spain to launch interactive applications for Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT). It was also the first in the country to broadcast programmes on the Internet, develop an online video broadcasting service, offer television services for mobile phones and transmit in High Definition Television (HDTV). The research formulates three main questions: What kind of products does TVC offer via multiple media (DTT, Internet and mobile phones)? How does the cross-media environment affect the organisational culture? And what kind of strategies have the programmes implemented in order profit from the potential of new platforms? Endeavouring to answer the above questions, I have followed a linear development through four main stages. First, I defined general patterns in the existing cross-media television research in order to find the most suitable theoretical framework and methodology, which helped me deploy a first draft of the project. Second, I interviewed professionals from TVC to ensure the possibility of carrying out my research by adopting the participant-observer role in the channel. Third, I conducted a study of the cross-media offer, taking a sample of the TVC programming on DTT, Internet and mobile phones. Finally, I performed participant observation and semi-structured interviews at TVC and reviewed internal documentation, adopting a methodology associated with ethnographic studies.