What makes for prize-winning television?


Sara Connolly

Chris Hanretty

Shaun Hargreaves-Heap

John Street


April 15, 2015


We investigate the determinants of success in four international television awards festivals between 1994 and 2012. We find that countries with larger markets and greater expenditure on public broadcasting tend to win more awards, but that the degree of concentration in the market for television and rates of penetration of pay-per-view television are unrelated to success. These findings are consistent with general industrial organisation literature on quality and market size, and with media policy literature on public service broadcasting acting as a force for quality. However, we also find that ‘home countries’ enjoy a strong advantage in these festivals, which is not consistent with festival success acting as a pure proxy for television quality.


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Hanretty, Chris, Sara Connolly, John Street, and Shaun Hargreaves-Heap. 2015. “What Makes for Prize-Winning Television?” European Journal of Communication 30 (3): 267–84. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0267323115577304.