Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers,
Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics

No 02-2006: Public and Private Activity in Commercial TV Broadcasting

Bodil O. Hansen and Hans Keiding
Additional contact information
Bodil O. Hansen: Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School, Postal: Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School, Solbjerg Plads 3 C, 5. sal, DK-2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
Hans Keiding: Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School, Postal: Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School, Solbjerg Plads 3 C, 5. sal, DK-2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark

Abstract: We consider a model of commercial television market, where private broadcasters coexist with a public television broadcaster. Assuming that the public TV station follows a policy of Ramsey pricing whereas the private stations are profit maximizers, we consider the equilibria in this market and compare with a situation where the public station is privatized and acts as another private TV broadcaster. A closer scrutiny of the market for commercial television leads to a distinction between target rating points, which are the prime unit of account in TV advertising, and net coverage, which is the final goal of advertisers. Working with net coverage as the fundamental concept, we exploit the models of competition between public and private price and quantity in order to show that privatization of the public TV station entails a welfare loss and results in TV advertising becoming more expensive.

Keywords: TV broadcasting; imperfect competition; Ramsey pricing; welfare comparison

JEL-codes: L11; L33; L82

23 pages, September 14, 2006

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