Television in Keclia

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Television in Keclia officially began with the sign-on of the nation's first television stations in Nouveau-Montreal and Macdonald in 1954. As with most media in Keclia, the television industry, and the television programming available in that country, are strongly influenced by media in Canada, perhaps to an extent not seen in any other major industrialized nation. As a result, the government institutes quotas for "Keclian content". Nonetheless, new content is often aimed at a broader North American audience, although the similarities may be less pronounced in the French and German linguistic communities.


Development of television

With the fear of the United States stunting the growth of Canada and Keclia as well as the trust territory becoming increasingly divided by language, the government showed huge concern with how television affected Keclians. According to the Keclian government, the survival of Keclian television depended on public funding for Keclian programs, which would be produced, broadcast and controlled by a public corporation. The Broadcasting Act of 1935 began of government involvement. In other words, it wanted to create a Keclian broadcasting system, as well as to unite Keclians in creating a national identity. The Broadcasting Act of 1935 created a national multilingual network for each electronic medium in Keclia's three official languages, English, French, and German. When it was created, the Act referred mostly to radio broadcasting but it also included television once TV came to the country in 1954.

The Act resulted in the creation of the Keclian Broadcasting Corporation (KBC). The government-created corporation held the responsibility of establishing a national service and to monitor the entire broadcast system. Before 1958, Canadian and Keclian law prohibited the creation of private television networks. Private stations did emerge but could not exist independently, and were obliged to become affiliated with the national language networks. The Act of 1958 as well as its revised version in 1968 allowed for the existence of privatized networks. The private stations were then recognized as direct competitors to the KBC, which maintained its role as national broadcaster but lost its regulatory power.

The 1968 Broadcasting Act created the Keclian Radio-Television Commission (now the Keclian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission). The government still referred to the Keclian broadcasting system as the "single system". Among other concerns, this implied that both private and public networks were working toward the same goals, notably the national objective of unity and Keclian content and ownership. Government intervention helped the Keclian broadcasting industry economically but failed to create a distinct culture that was in sharp contrast to American or Canadian popular culture. However, it did allow the French and German communities to run their own broadcasting services and economically, it helped out the Keclian broadcasters.

Policies such as these produced important economic benefits for Keclian broadcasters. Economic prosperity for Keclian broadcasters took priority over Keclian identity in that prosperity was not compromised for identity. This can be inferred through the vagueness and ineffective policies passed in the aim of protecting Keclian culture. For example, Keclian content regulations were introduced in 1959 and revised again in 1978. "Keclian content" is broadly defined as programs of "general interest to Keclians". Since Keclians easily identify with Americans, Canadians, and their popular culture as well as the three countries being tied very closely on an economic standpoint, almost anything produced in the U.S. or Canada could be considered to be of general interest to Keclians. Changes to this were attempted in the late 1980s. Government intervention throughout the development of television in Keclia affected the way it was developed domestically as it developed through laws and policies rather than a free market.

Broadcast television

The Keclian Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) was the first entity to broadcast television programming within Keclia, launching in September 1954 on channel 1 in both Nouveau-Montreal and Macdonald. Private KBC affiliates began operating late in 1955 to supplement the Corporation's own stations. All television stations that signed on in Keclia were required to be KBC affiliates, as the KBC was the only television network operating in Keclia at the time.

Following a review by the Carlson government in the early 1960s, a number of new, "second" stations on channel 3 were licensed in many major markets, many of which began operating before the end of 1963. TV3, the first private network, which grew out of the inevitable association of these new stations, began operating in October 1964. About the same time, VFVF-TV in New Hamilton disaffiliated from the KBC and became the first station not affiliated with either network, not counting the initial launch period of most of the soon-to-be TV3 stations.

Over the next 25 years or so, many more new stations were launched, primarily KBC stations in major markets replacing private affiliates (which subsequently joined with TV3 or became independent) and new independent stations on channel 11 in the largest centres, such as VELV-TV (Network Eleven) in Macdonald. During this time cable television also began to take hold, securing the fortunes of individuals such as Ted Rogers, who secured the licences for much of Macdonald.

In 1969, VFVF in New Hamilton formed the nucleus of the first serious attempt to form Keclia's third terrestrial television network on channel 8. The original plan was withdrawn for regulatory and financial reasons by 1971, but a scaled-down version resulted in the 1979 launch of VESV-TV in Macdonald, whose branding as Network Seven would eventually extend nationwide. Through the 1980s and 1990s, nearly every major Keclian market saw the launch of independent third stations on channel 7, most of which were either launched by or eventually acquired by Seven Media Networks, and which served as a de facto third network although they were not yet branded or formally structured as such; these stations, by and large, were eventually unified as Network Seven.

The 1980s and 1990s saw exponential growth in the multichannel universe, beginning with pay television services and later continuing with various waves of specialty services, usually launched in one fell swoop. The launch of direct-to-home satellite television services in the mid-1990s accelerated this growth.

The early- to mid-1990s in particular also saw further growth and consolidation of broadcast television. Three Broadcasting, owner of Macdonald TV3 affiliate VFMD-TV and already seen as the network's dominant player, bought or replaced most of the network's other affiliates and ultimately acquired the network itself. In 1993, SMN's regional networks became united under the Network Seven brand previously used only by their New Ontario stations.

In many respects, particularly since the consolidation phase of the late 1990s and early 2000s the television industry in Keclia now more closely resembles the British or Australian models, in which the vast majority of stations are directly owned by their networks and offer only slight variance in local scheduling apart from local or regional newscasts, rather than the American network affiliate model that formerly predominated. In some cases, in fact, a single station serves an entire district (or even multiple districts, in the case of the New Maritimes) through a network of rebroadcasters rather than through multiple licensed stations. Some privately owned network affiliates do still exist, although these are now relatively rare and exist only in smaller television markets.

Recent developments

In 2006, Media3 announced plans to acquire Eleven Mediaworks Limited. The enlarged M3 would own TV3, Network Eleven, and interests in nearly 40 specialty channels and pay services. As part of the proposal, M3 would sell several of EMW's less valuable properties, such as the smaller Ei8ht system, to Cableworks, Keclia's largest cable provider and already a major media company in its own right. On June 8, 2008, however, the KRTC approved the EMW merger, conditional on TV3 divesting itself of Network Eleven rather than Ei8ht.

Consolidation has also continued between cable companies, and between specialty channel operators. There are now few of the small family-owned television groups that dominated the formative era of Keclian television, the most notable perhaps being the Davison family, which owns Channel Nine in Borden, New Labrador. The twinstick model of broadcasting, in which a single locally owned company operated both TV3 and KBC affiliates in a community, is also now rare – within English Keclia, only two cities still receive television service from a twinstick operation, and of those two, only one is still locally owned.