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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Graham Bradshaw Why is there never Folk on TV? (86* d) RE: Why is there never Folk on TV? 14 Jan 07


'A channel dedicated to folk music'. Anybody from the BBC (Ralphie)listening, how about it?

This has been mooted on many occasions over the years, but it never happens. I wonder why not? There are plenty of people with the necessary enthusiasm and ability in the media to make this happen.

I'll give you some reasons.
1. The BBC do not believe there is sufficient interest, given that the existing progs don't get good enough listening/viewing figures. (OK, I know this is because you are all out experiencing real live music, and anyway most of the existing progs are just not that good).

2. The commercial channels can't see a way of making any money out of it. This is of course a missed opportunity on their part - witness the vast amount of money that the folk festival circuit generates. This audience is generally in the ABC1 groups, and has larger than average disposable incomes. So why have they not cottoned on to it yet?
Of course, we don't really want them to, do we? They would only dish up a watered-down lowest common denominator version of folk music, that would resonate with the advertisers. And all us Mudcatters would endlessly moan about what a load of crap it is/was.

Back in the 80s, I used to do a weekly folk programme on local commercial radio in the UK. It had tremendous listening figures, second only to the drivetime programme. As soon as the requirement on commercial stations to provide 'community broadcasting' was removed, they immdediately axed it along with all the other specialist progs. There was a huge campaign to try and keep it, but to no avail. I said to the Station Controller, "What about this huge audience that abviously want this stuff?" He said, "Despite the large audience, it doesn't generate enough advertising revenue to justify keeping it. If you want to get together with like-minded people and start your own radio station, we will lease the studio and transmitter facilities to you. All you have to do is to sell enough advertising to pay for it!"
Well, I thought about it for 5 minutes, and then realised that I didn't want to be an Advertising Sales Executive, and didn't take it any further. (The Sales force at the time had no understanding of either the music or who the audience was, and had no clue how to target the advertsing accordingly.)
However, I suspect the same opportunities would still exist elsewhere today, if anybody wanted to proceed with such an idea. At the end of the day, it all comes down to being able to fund it.
Radio BritFolk have done something similar on the web, with limited success, and I'll bet they will tell you that funding is a continual problem.


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