ISSN: 20404182
First published in 2010
3 issues per volume
Volume 4 Issue 2
Cover Date: June2013
The format business: Franchising television content
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Authors:  Andrea Esser 
DOI: 10.1386/jdtv.4.2.141_1

franchising,international programme trade,television formats,audience ratings,programme effectiveness,internationalization,commercialization,management strategy

The new millennium has seen the franchising of television content escalate. The trade in so-called TV formats, like Big Brother or The X Factor, sold internationally for local adaptation, has multiplied. This article aims to illuminate the development of the format trade and the reasons for its acceleration and globalization in the early twenty-first century. It will be argued that franchising has come to play and will continue to play a prominent role in the TV content business: First, because of digital television’s highly competitive, commercial multi-platform ecosystem. Second, because ongoing internationalization and gradual convergence of TV systems globally diminish national barriers of structure and agency; and third, because of the popularity of light entertainment, coupled with formats’ multiple advantages as compared to locally developed programming, specifically TV fiction.
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