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Reading Between the Lines: a Transnational History of the Franco-British ‘Entente Cordiale’ in Post-War Television

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Author(s): Andreas Fickers | Andy O'Dwyer

Journal: View : Journal of European Television History and Culture
ISSN 2213-0969

Volume: 1;
Issue: 2;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Transnational history | BBC | RTF | Eurovision | experimental television

ABSTRACT
In 1950 and 1952, the British Broadcast Corporation (BBC) and Radio Télévision Française (RTF) realized the first transnational television transmissions ever. The so called “Calais Experiment” (1950) and the “Paris Week” (1952) were celebrated as historic landmarks in European television and celebrated as a new “entente cordiale” between the two countries. This article aims at highlighting some of the tensions that surrounded the realization of these first experiments in transnational television by embedding the historic events into the broader context of television development in Europe and by emphasizing the hidden techno- political interests at stake. In line with current trends in transnational and European television historiography, the article analyses transnational media events as performances that highlight the complex interplay of the technical, institutional and symbolic dimension of television as a transnational infrastructure.
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