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Castells, ‘Murdochisation’, Economic Counterpower and Live-Streaming

Millward, P, David, M and Kirton, AW (2015) Castells, ‘Murdochisation’, Economic Counterpower and Live-Streaming. Convergence. ISSN 1748-7382

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In his Information Age trilogy, Manuel Castells documents the transformation of economic power by means of network affordances. In more recent work, he has built an account of the linking of economic power with cultural and political power through 'Murdochisation', or 'the networking of networks'. Whilst Castells’ account of power has thus developed to acknowledge the integration of economic, cultural and political interests and networks, his account of 'counterpower' remains largely focussed on cultural and political resistance in the form of protest. Here we explore a case of economic counterpower; the unauthorised live-streaming of digital sports broadcasts. Analysis of this particular case (of counterpower) is particularly significant given the centrality of ‘Murdochisation’ in Castells’ account of power in the network society. Emerging out of, alongside, and in response to the growth of Murdochised digital media sports networks, we explore the scope and limits of live-streaming as a form of economic counterpower and counter-Murdochisation. In this article, we document Castells’ theory of network power, the centrality of ‘Murdochisation’ to that account, and the centrality of monopoly control over digital sports broadcasting to Murdochised media empires. The scope and resilience of alternative streaming media in switching live sports programming from pay to view to free sharing is then examined. The failure to date of all attempts to prohibit free streams shows the on-going viability of such economic counterpower. However, whilst dominant actors cannot eliminate economic counterpower, where dominant actors choose not to broadcast, no switching of content can take place.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2001 Communication And Media Studies, 1902 Film, Television And Digital Media, 1505 Marketing
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
Divisions: Humanities & Social Science
Publisher: SAGE Publications (UK and US)
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2016 10:46
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 12:22
DOI or ID number: 10.1177/1354856515619247
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/4672
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