No matter what form it takes, government regulation, co-regulation or self-regulation, the central issue will remain the quality of the programmes which are created by various broadcast stations. There can be two viewpoints taken on the subject, the first suggests that high-quality programs like the ones which were on the BBC during the golden decade of the 60s will be instantly popular and be watched with high a high number of viewers tuning. On the other hand, the other side of the argument suggests that the most popular programs are high quality, to begin with, and the masses should be given what they want not what the government thinks they should view (Dawtrey, 2004).
The numbers agree with the second viewpoint, viewers will always gravitate towards what entertains them and if the news and documentary shows produced by the BBC are not good enough to keep them on the same channel, the taste of the viewers or the quality of the program should not be blamed. The BBC can go on producing program after program which leaves the television critics in awe, but until the public actually approves of the programs shown by the BBC, all they would be doing is crowding the broadcast spectrum since the masses are watching something else.
This situation was clearly exemplified in 1999 when the government stopped forcing ITV to show a news-based programme during the prime-time television hours. Clearly, the government thought that the people should be made aware of the news for the day and nothing else could be better than to watch the prime minister and others in power perform their duties during prime time.
Once that mindset was changed a key time slot was available to the ITV to show whatever it thought would be most entertaining and it launched the famous show, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? (Economist, 1999). Even though critics have said that the show is intellectually challenged and is not really of the caliber of other British quiz shows like Mastermind and the like, the popularity of the show can not be denied and the figures speak for themselves.
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