The Format Business: Franchising Television Content

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    The new millennium has seen the franchising of television content escalate. The trade in so-called TV formats, like Big Brother or The X Factor, sold internationally for local adaptation, has multiplied. This article aims to illuminate the development of the format trade and the reasons for its acceleration and globalisation in the early twenty-first century. It will be argued that franchising has come to play and will continue to play a prominent role in the TV content business: First, because of digital television’s highly competitive, commercial multi-platform ecosystem. Secondly, because ongoing internationalisation and gradual convergence of TV systems globally diminish national barriers of structure and agency; and thirdly, because of the popularity of light entertainment, coupled with formats' multiple advantages as compared to locally developed programming, specifically TV fiction.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)141-58
    JournalInternational Journal of Digital Television
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • TV Formats
    • franchising
    • globalisation
    • media management
    • reality TV

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