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International Journal of Digital Television Issue 7.1, "Regulating Digital Television".

 International Journal of Digital Television Issue 7.1, "Regulating Digital Television".

Publishing date March 2016.

Guest-Edited by Dr. Gali Einav

Principal Editor: Professor Petros Iosifidis

Deadline for Proposals: 30 June 2015
Deadline for Full Papers: 30 October 2015

The internet has drastically accelerated the rate of disruption facing the television industry. Younger viewers in particular have become platform-agnostic, consuming video over multiple devices, mainly TV, Laptop, Mobile and Tablet. At the same time, digital distribution networks like YouTube, Netflix, HBO Go and Amazon have overtaken legacy broadcast and cable networks in audience size. From modest beginnings, these digital players are now producing award-winning, professionally produced TV series and films, delivered "Over the Top" (OTT) directly to consumers via the internet, while bypassing traditional content provider infrastructure such as cable or satellite. The viewing experience is more personalized, cheaper and on-demand, meeting the expectations of the constantly connected consumer. 

In this special issue, we set out to investigate to what extent digital television content and distribution can and should be regulated.

There is much dispute over the question if the internet should be regulated. There are many factors to take into consideration when examining this question in regards to the television industry.  It is imperative to examine what can be the likely impact of regulatory change on traditional providers, content producers and distribution models.  Allowing entry of new players can result in loss of viewers and revenues for incumbent providers and as such may jeopardize their ability to produce content adhering to acceptable standards.  Algorithms used by OTT providers such as Netflix to track viewing preferences may result in exposure only to limited scope of content.  The regulatory challenge is to encourage greater consumer choice without jeopardizing the existing economic model. The question is how can that goal be achieved; should the new OTT networks adhere to the same regulatory framework as their cable and satellite peers or should the playing field transform completely? Who should absorb production costs for original content, the "pipe" or content provider? 

In this context, a regulatory regime that categorizes "television" as a single, monolithic industry, without distinction for distribution platform, has come under scrutiny. For example, reallocating existing broadband spectrum for digital distribution platforms can be depicted as either consumer friendly or anti-competitive, depending on the perspective of the industry advocate. In this high-stakes, zero-sum scenario, regulation has the potential to fundamentally alter the breadth, cost and modality of television.  The difficult task is in understanding the unexpected consequences of regulation in order to increase the likelihood of achieving desired outcomes.

In line with this theme, indicative perspectives include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Alternative models for regulating digital television 
  • Case studies from different national contexts
  • Impact of emerging digital technologies on the future of the television industry
  • Likely scenarios for the future of television consumption
  • Optimal sequencing for effective implementation of regulatory reform
  • Clarification of desired outcomes for regulatory reform
  • Impact of regulatory changes on content production

The International Journal of Digital Television will describe and explain the transition to digital TV and wider trends in television. As switchover happens across the globe and television's operations and audiences are transformed, the International Journal of Digital Television will be at the forefront of efforts to understand the changes and developments. The Journal will bring together, and share, the work of academics, policy-makers and practitioners, offering lessons from one another's experience. Content will be broad and varied, evolving as the focus shifts from switching off analogue TV to the challenge of exploiting digital television's convergence with the Internet and telecommunications. National case studies and comparative studies will be a feature, accumulating the evidence for authoritative global analysis of the economic, political and cultural factors accounting for common principles and national differences.

Please send an abstract of up to 500 words or questions to the guest editor by June 30 2015: einav.gali@idc.ac.il . Invited authors will be notified by July 30 2015 and full articles of up to 8,000 words will be due on 30 October 2015. All submissions will be subjected to double blind peer-review. 

More information about the journal and Notes for Contributors: http://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/journals/view-Journal,id=175

 

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