European television has a double connotation: it characterizes both the history and current existence of multiple television institutions and channels across Europe as well as the phenomenon of transnational, European television. Reaffirming the concept of Europe as “unity in diversity” and acknowledging the contested nature of Europe as a discursive character, both television and Europe can best be defined as projects that need to be continuously renegotiated and reinvented. Both “Europe” and “television” as concepts are constructed entities whose identities vary depending on the topic of inquiry and the roster of questions of those investigating the phenomena. Europe as a discursive construction has been instrumentalized from a multitude of angles (historical, religious, geographical, political, and cultural), and television has been approached as being essentially a technology, an institution, an art, or simply a form of popular entertainment. Historically speaking, the first regular television services started before World War II in Germany (1935) and Great Britain, but the late 1950s and early 1960s marked the real take off of television as a mass medium in most European countries. Transnational television in Europe started with the launch of Eurovision, the organization for the exchange of television programs within the European Broadcasting Union. Until the advent of the so-called dual broadcasting systems in the 1980s, most European countries had public service television institutions, financed by broadcasting fees. The start of commercial television and the advent of satellite broadcasting in the 1980s radically changed the European television landscape. This bibliography aims at offering guidance to the technical, economic, political, and cultural factors that shaped European television since its emergence in the late 1930s. It tries to pay equal attention to both important transnational developments and to specificities of national television cultures.

http://hdl.handle.net/10993/9971