Friday, December 3, 2010

Is a Global Entertainment Network the Next Step? I Hope So

Transnational entertainment is on the rise with shoes like Sesame Street, the Biggest Loser and American Idol being sold and reformatted everywhere.  CNN, Fox and Al Jazeera broadcast to a huge international audience, but they are news networks.  When will there be a completely transcontinental popular music or children’s network?  It might seem like a pipe dream, but with the growing number regional shows, bridging this gap might just be the next corporate step.  Instead of sending or importing shows to other networks, an international network would made its own programs and partner with production companies everywhere for content. 
I’d like to spend a Sunday watching a line up of Jersey Shore, Lake Shore (Canada) or maybe Bosporus Shore (not actual, yet).  Instead of hunting on the internet for foreign music, I could watch music videos from Mali, Portugal or New Zealand.  World Idol, would be on there.  And of course, a Big Brother World.  If I were creator of this station, I would make sure there was a strong outreach and development component to reach undeveloped entertainment pools.  There might be a lot of opportunities for soft power diplomacy to take root here.  If people became exposed to each others cultures and began to understand their thinking, there would be greater international cooperation.  In the privacy of a living room or in front of a lap top, a person could open their mind about another culture.  It might solidify negative preconceived notions of a culture to (lazy, greedy or impolite), but at least the strange customs would be humanized and therefore less scary. 


  1. I think this sort of network would be wonderful. Your commentary here goes with my idea that shows that have different versions around the globe, but on the same premise/with the same character types, could ultimately bridge cultural differences and bring people closer together by having something in common in the form of favorite entertainment. Gaining exposure to other cultures like this would indeed be a great conduit for soft power diplomacy - I mean, I know I shudder when I think that some people may think Jersey Shore is representative of all the US...but I'd also love the chance to gain insight into other countries and groups through pop culture.

  2. I'll admit, watching the 9 minute trailer for Lake Shore made me feel better about America. I love the idea of having a network devoted to broadcasting international shows, and not just ones from the UK (though I do love me some period dramas), but real shows that highlight other cultures and use them as a way to dissolve the stereotypes we have about the world. Granted, Lake Shore does nothing good for Canada, but I'd love to see how my peers around the world look at themselves as individuals and nationals.