Media of the United Kingdom consist of several different types of communications media: television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and Web sites. The country also has a strong music industry. The United Kingdom has a diverse range of providers, the most prominent being the state-owned public service broadcaster, the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation). The BBC's largest competitors are ITV plc, which operates 11 of the 15 regional television broadcasters that make up the ITV Network, and News Corporation, which holds a large stake in satellite broadcaster British Sky Broadcasting and also operate a number of leading national newspapers. Regional media is covered by local radio, television and print newspapers. Trinity Mirror operate 240 local and regional newspapers in the United Kingdom, as well as national newspapers such as the Daily Mirror and the Sunday Mirror.
In 2009 it was estimated that individuals viewed a mean of 3.75 hours of television per day and 2.81 hours of radio. The main BBC public service broadcasting channels accounted for and estimated 28.4% of all television viewing; the three main independent channels accounted for 29.5% and the increasingly important other satellite and digital channels for the remaining 42.1%. Sales of newspapers have fallen since the 1970s and in 2009 42% of people reported reading a daily national newspaper. In 2010, 82.5% of the United Kingdom population were Internet users, the highest proportion amongst the 20 countries with the largest total number of users in that year.
Media centres and organisations 
Greater Manchester 
Greater Manchester is also a significant national media centre and is historically considered the London outpost for television and newspaper activity. The Guardian national newspaper was founded in Manchester in 1821, and was known as the Manchester Guardian until 1959. In the 1950s, coinciding with the growth in television, the Granada Television franchise was set up by Sidney Bernstein. Consequently, the Granada Studios were the first purpose-built television studios in the United Kingdom. The franchise produced television programmes such as Coronation Street and the Up Series. Both the BBC and ITV will base a number of departments such as BBC Sport and ITV Studios at the new MediaCityUK facility in Salford and Trafford from 2013.
Key centres 
Edinburgh and Glasgow, and Cardiff, are important centres of newspaper and broadcasting production in Scotland and Wales respectively.
The BBC, founded in 1922, is the United Kingdom's publicly funded radio, television and Internet broadcasting corporation, and is the oldest and largest broadcaster in the world. It operates numerous television and radio stations in the United Kingdom and abroad and its domestic services are funded by the television licence.
Other major players in the United Kingdom media include ITV plc, which operates 11 of the 15 regional television broadcasters that make up the ITV Network, and News Corporation, which owns a number of national newspapers through News International such as the most popular tabloid The Sun and the longest-established daily "broadsheet" The Times, as well as holding a large stake in satellite broadcaster British Sky Broadcasting.
The United Kingdom print publishing sector, including books, server, directories and databases, journals, magazines and business media, newspapers and news agencies, has a combined turnover of around £20 billion and employs around 167,000 people.
Traditionally British newspapers have been divided into "quality", serious-minded newspapers (usually referred to as "broadsheets" because of their large size) and the more populist, "tabloid" varieties. For convenience of reading many traditional broadsheets have switched to a more compact-sized format, traditionally used by tabloids. In 2008 The Sun had the highest circulation of any daily newspaper in the United Kingdom at 3.1 million, approximately a quarter of the market. Its sister paper, the News of the World, had the highest circulation in the Sunday newspaper market, and traditionally focused on celebrity-led stories until its closure in 2011. The Daily Telegraph, a centre-right broadsheet paper, is the highest-selling of the "quality" newspapers. The Guardian is a more liberal "quality" broadsheet and the Financial Times is the main business newspaper, printed on distinctive salmon-pink broadsheet paper. Trinity Mirror operates 240 local and regional newspapers in the United Kingdom, as well as national newspapers such as the Daily Mirror and the Sunday Mirror.
Scotland has a distinct tradition of newspaper readership (see list of newspapers in Scotland). The tabloid Daily Record has the highest circulation of any daily newspaper outselling The Scottish Sun by four to one while its sister paper, the Sunday Mail similarly leads the Sunday newspaper market. The leading "quality" daily newspaper in Scotland is The Herald, though it is the sister paper of The Scotsman, and the Scotland on Sunday that leads in the Sunday newspaper market.
A large range of magazines are sold in the United Kingdom covering most interests and potential topics. British magazines and journals that have achieved worldwide circulation include The Economist, Nature, and New Scientist, Private Eye, Hello!, The Spectator, the Radio Times and NME. This is also true for the page 3 magazine
Radio in the United Kingdom is dominated by the BBC, which operates radio stations both in the United Kingdom and abroad. The BBC World Service radio network is broadcast in 33 languages globally. Domestically the BBC also operates ten national networks and over 40 local radio stations including services in Welsh on BBC Radio Cymru, Gaelic on BBC Radio nan Gàidheal in Scotland and Irish in Northern Ireland. The domestic services of the BBC are funded by the television licence. The internationally targeted BBC World Service Radio is funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, though from 2014 it will be funded by the television licence. The most popular radio station by number of listeners is BBC Radio 2, closely followed by BBC Radio 1. Advances in digital radio technology have enabled the launch of several new stations by the Corporation.
Rather than operating as independent entities, many commercial local radio stations are owned by large radio groups which broadcast a similar format to many areas. The largest operator of radio stations is Global Radio, owner of the major Heart and Galaxy radio brands. It also owns Classic FM and London's most popular commercial radio station, 95.8 CapitalFM. Other owners are UTV Radio, with stations broadcasting in large city areas and Bauer Radio, holding radio in the North of England. There are also regional stations, like Real Radio and the Century Network, broadcasting in some main parts of England, Wales and Scotland, and a number of licensed community radio stations which broadcast to local audiences.
Analogue terrestrial television in the United Kingdom is made up of two chartered public broadcasting companies, the BBC and Channel 4 and two franchised commercial television companies, (ITV and Channel 5). There are five major nationwide television channels: BBC One, BBC Two, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5—currently transmitted by analogue and digital terrestrial, free-to-air signals with the latter three channels funded by commercial advertising. The United Kingdom now has a large number of digital terrestrial channels including a further six from the BBC, five from ITV and three from Channel 4, and one from S4C which is solely in Welsh, among a variety of others. The vast majority of digital cable television services are provided by Virgin Media with satellite television available from Freesat or British Sky Broadcasting and free-to-air digital terrestrial television by Freeview. The entire country will switch to digital by 2012.
The BBC operates several television channels in the United Kingdom and abroad. The BBC's international television news service, BBC World News, is broadcast throughout the world. The domestic services of the BBC are funded by the television licence. The international television broadcast services are operated by BBC Worldwide on a commercial subscription basis over cable and satellite services. This commercial arm of the BBC also forms half of UKTV along with Virgin Media.
Channel 4 is similarly chartered to the BBC, with a remit to provide public service broadcasting and schools programs, however it runs commercial advertisements to provide a revenue stream. It produces a single analogue channel, currently branded as Channel 4.
The commercial operators rely on advertising for their revenue, and are run as commercial ventures, in contrast to the public service operators. The ITV franchise transmits the analogue channel known as ITV1 (in England, Wales, Scottish Borders, Isle of Man and Channel Islands), STV (In Central and Northern Scotland), and UTV in Northern Ireland. Channel 5 transmits one analogue channel.
All the major analogue broadcasters provide additional channels on the free-to-air Freeview digital television service, and all of these channels can be accessed via a cable or satellite provider, such as Virgin Media or BSkyB. The entire country will switch to digital by 2012.
See also 
- Ofcom "Communication Market Report 2010", 19 August 2010, pp. 97, 164 and 191, retrieved 17 June 2011.
- "Social Trends: Lifestyles and social participation", Office for National Statistics, 16 February 2010, archived from the original on 17 June 2011.
- "Top 20 countries with the highest number of Internet users", Internet World Stats, archived from the original on 17 June 2011.
- D. William, UK Cities: A Look at Life and Major Cities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (Godfrey Mwakikagile, 2010), ISBN 9987-16-021-2, pp. 22, 46, 109 and 145.
- Newswire7 (13 Aug 2009), "BBC: World's largest broadcaster & Most trusted media brand", Media Newsline, archived from the original on 17 June 2011.
- "TV Licence Fee: facts & figures", BBC Press Office, April 2010, archived from the original on 17 June 2011.
- "Publications & Policies: The History of ITV", ITV.com, archived from the original on 17 June 2011.
- "Publishing", News Corporation, archived from the original on 17 June 2011.
- "Direct Broadcast Satellite Television", News Corporation, archived from the original on 17 June 2011.
- "Publishing", Department of Culture, Media and Sport, archived from the original on 17 June 2011.
- "ABCs: National daily newspaper circulation September 2008". The Guardian (UK). 10 October 2008. Retrieved 17 October 2008.
- Phone-hacking probe: 'Thank you & goodbye', says NoW, BBC News, 10 July 2011, retrieved 11 July 2011.
- Lyall, Sarah (24 February 2010). "British Panel Condemns Media Group in Phone Hacking Case". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 December 2010.
- "Trinity Mirror plc: Annual Report and Accounts 2010", Trinity Mirror, 2010, archived from the original on 24 June 2011.
- Tryhorn, Chris (9 May 2008), "Scottish Sun pulls further ahead of Record", guardian.co.uk, archived from the original on 24 June 2011.
- "News and Analysis in your language". BBC. Retrieved 30 December 2010.
- "TV Licence Fee: facts & figures". BBC Press Office. Retrieved 30 December 2010.
- "BBC Funding Settlements: the details". OFCOMWATCH. October 2010. Retrieved 30 December 2010.
- "BBC7 radio launches with comedy", BBC News, 16 December 2002, retrieved 10 July 2011.
- "What is digital switchover". Directgov. December 2010. Retrieved 30 December 2010.
- "CHANNELS". BBC Worldwide. Retrieved 30 December 2010.
- "Top Sites in United Kingdom". Alexa. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
Further reading 
- Harcourt, Alison (2006). European Union Institutions and the Regulation of Media Markets. London, New York: Manchester University Press. ISBN 0-7190-6644-1.
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