TC 456.  MULTICHANNEL TV.  F99.  (revised 10/5/99)

Instructors:  Tom Baldwin, MSU (tbaldwin@msu.edu, phone 517 353 6336, fax
  517 355 1292, office 413 CAS, office hours W 3-5 p.m.)
                     Anne Hoag, PSU (amh13@psu.edu, phone 814 863 5678, fax 814 863
  8161)

Assistant:    Delphine Puuget (pougetde@msu.edu, phone 517 355 4451, fax 517 355       1292, office 436 CAS, office hours 2-4 p.m., Thur.)
 
 
Technical Coordinator for eclassroom:  Erik Wenzel (exw147@psu.edu)
 
Course website:

  http://www.courses.psu.edu/comm/comm488_amh13/fall992/eclassroom.shtml
 

This course is about the technology, economics, services, public policy and social impacts of the multichannel television industry.  This means the cable business, and to a lesser degree, the DBS (or DTH), MMDS and SMATV businesses.  The multichannel industry also includes television, movie and other types of producers of television programming; program distributors (programmers); equipment manufacturers; the computer software industry; and television broadcasters, telephone services and internet access providers; and of course, multichannel delivery systems and satellite companies.

It is an interesting time for the study of this area because the multichannel television industry is now making a transition from simple one-way transmission of video signals to an integrated telecommunication service with digital signals and high-speed data…"convergence."  In the last few months the value of cable systems has gone from about $2,000 per subscriber to about $5,100 per subscriber, reflecting market assessment of the prospects for the expanding industry.  Consumers are using multichannel provider services more and paying more.  International conglomerates are coming to dominate the industry.

We will be doing a major project on the introduction of digital television within a cable system in the fictional town of Greenville.  You will work on this multistage assignment with students from Penn State University, online.  In this work you will have e-mail access to several working industry experts and substantial background information.  Therefore, you will also be learning to work with others is cyberspace--peers and professionals.
 

Text:  Convergence:  Integrating Media, Information and Communication by Baldwin,
          McVoy and Steinfield.

Daily schedule

M, Aug 30 -- Introduction, Technology

W, Sept 1 --  Technology, Chs. 2 & 5

W, Sept 8 -- Franchising, pp. 341-349

M, Sept 13 -- Franchising

W, Sept 15 -- Programming, Chs. 4 & 7

M, Sept 20 -- Programming

W, Sept 22 -- Programming

M, Sept 27 -- Programming

W, Sept 29 -- Audiences/subscribers, Ch. 8

M, Oct 4 -- Business operations, Ch. 7

W, Oct 6 -- Marketing

M, Oct 11 -- Marketing, review Greenville case, e-classroom procedures

W, Oct 13 -- Review for test and Greenville case.

M, Oct 18 -- TEST 1,  Begin Part I, Greenville case, franchising problem

W, Oct 20 --  Franchising problem (debate)

                       10:20 - 10:35  Team A, Room 413 CAS
            10:35 - 10:50  Team B, Room 413 CAS
                       10:50 - 11:05  Team C, Room 413 CAS
            11:05 - 11:20  Team D, Room 413 CAS
            11:20 - 11:35  Team E, Room 413 CAS
            11:35 - 11:50  Team F, Room 413 CAS

NOTE:  These meetings will be brief.  Plan to be on time.  Be prepared to ask questions that have arisen and report on your progress.
 
 
 
 

M, Oct 25 -- Franchising problem

                       10:20 - 10:35  Team G, Room 413 CAS
            10:35 - 10:50  Team H, Room 413 CAS
            10:50 - 11:05  Team I, Room 413 CAS
                       11:05 - 11:20  Team J, Room 413 CAS
            11:20 - 11:35  Team K, Room 413 CAS
                       11:35 - 11:50  Team L, Room 413 CAS

Tu, Oct 26 -- Final posting, 2nd round, Franchising problem

W, Oct 27 -- Programming problem

            10:20 - 10:35  Team A, Room 413 CAS
            10:35 - 10:50  Team B, Room 413 CAS
            10:50 - 11:05  Team C, Room 413 CAS
                       11:05 - 11:20  Team D, Room 413 CAS
                       11:20 - 11:35  Team E, Room 413 CAS
            11:35 - 11:50  Team F, Room 413 CAS

M, Nov 1 -- Programming problem

                      10:20 - 10:35  Team G, Room 413 CAS
                      10:35 - 10:50  Team H, Room 413 CAS
                      10:50 - 11:05  Team I, Room 413 CAS
                      11:05 - 11:20  Team J, Room 413 CAS
           11:20 - 11:35  Team K, Room 413 CAS
           11:35 - 11:50  Team L, Room 413 CAS

W, Nov 3 -- No class.  Meeting if desired (team make appointment, 10:20 to 12:00)
 
F, Nov 5 -- Final posting, Programming problem

M, Nov 8 -- Marketing problem

          10:20 - 10:35  Team A, Room 413 CAS
                     10:35 - 10:50  Team B, Room 413 CAS
                     10:50 - 11:05  Team C, Room 413 CAS
                     11:05 - 11:20  Team D, Room 413 CAS
                     11:20 - 11:35  Team E, Room 413 CAS
              11:35 - 11:50  Team F, Room 413 CAS
 
 
 
 

W, Nov 10 -- Marketing problem

           10:20 - 10:35  Team G, Room 413 CAS
                      10:35 - 10:50  Team H, Room 413 CAS
                      10:50 - 11:05  Team I, Room 413 CAS
                      11:05 - 11:20  Team J, Room 413 CAS
                      11:20 - 11:35  Team K, Room 413 CAS
                      11:35 - 11:50  Team L, Room 413 CAS

M, Nov 15 -- Marketing problem, Meeting if desired (Team make appointment 10:20 to
                      12:00)

W, Nov 17 -- Final posting, Marketing problem

M, Nov 22 -- Advertising, Ch. 9

W, Nov 24 -- Advertising

M, Nov 29 -- High speed data, telephony, Ch. 5

W, Dec 1 -- Competition, Ch. 10

 M, Dec 6 -- Public policy, Ch. 11

W, Dec 8 -- International and impacts, Chs. 12 and 13

M, Dec 13 -- 10-12 a.m. FINAL EXAMINATION
 

PLEASE NOTE:  This schedule is only tentative.  Dates for topics may vary according with  progress.  If we get too far off this schedule, a new schedule will be distributed.  Deadlines for project submissions will be added later.
 

Grades

 Test 1 -- 20%
 Final Exam -- 30%
 MSU/PSU project -- 50%
 

Policies

Attendance is expected.  The project grade will be affected by attendance and participation.  Missing of project deadlines or examinations must be arranged in advance to avoid penalty, except in the case of documented emergencies.