The Programming Strategies of Satellite TV: The Perspective of Cultural Proximity


Shu-chu Sarrina Li


According to the study by Hoskins and Mirus (1988), it showed that when a TV program rooted in one culture was transmitted to another culture, the attractiveness of that program diminished. The reason for the diminished appeal of the program was that the viewers could not identify with the style, values, beliefs and behavioral patterns of the program. Hoskins and Mirus called this phenomenon cultural discount. Therefore, when all other things became equal, audiences will prefer the programs which are closer to their culture than those which are not. This is how cultural proximity influences the popularity of a TV program. Using the perspective of cultural proximity, this study attempted to examine the feasibility of running transnational TV stations in the Asian-Pacific region.

Among the TV companies which are running transnational TV stations in the Asian-Pacific region, Star TV, TVBI, and CTN are the most influential. By means of intensive interviews, content analysis, and literature review, this study explored the localization strategies used by the 3 companies in their various channels. The findings and results were discussed in the paper.