Uncovering the Audience Models from Social Values and Economic Efficiency Perspectives on Media Policy: Light Shed on the Debate over Exclusive Cable Television Franchising


Ting-yu Tiffany Wang


Audience models, media policy, social values, economic efficiency, exclusive cable television franchising


This paper begins with a review of the literature on the main approaches to regulating cable in general. The arguments for and against the policy of exclusive franchising in cable television, in particular, are examined respectively from the perspectives of economic efficiency and social values. The evaluation of these pros and cons centers on how to apply the newspaper model, the broadcast model, a common carrier model, functional approach, or public forum analysis to cable regulation adequately.

The aim of this paper is not to prioritize one over the other perspective on media policy, but to propose an expanded research agenda designed to enrich policy dialogue in an attempt to develop more effective communications policy. In closing, we suggest researchers to clarify further the complex linkages between and among perspectives on media policy, the implied audience models, and the rhetoric of advocates of specific policies.