Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2439

Article | Open Access

Commercial Television as a Blind Spot in Emerging Media Systems: Romania and Bulgaria’s Cases

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Abstract:  This study explores TV in Romania and Bulgaria, both considered “emerging” media systems in post-communist studies (Sparks, 1995). It uses Hallin and Mancini’s (2004) framework to analyze the central aspects regarding the configuration of commercial TV. The study offers an institutional perspective on TV by exploring the licensing frame and the TV offer. The interaction between commercial TV, politics, and the state underlines the intricate relations through powerful and influential networks involving the interests of a variety of individuals and groups. Currently, commercial TV is the most developed type of media in both countries. Through its empirical contribution, this study fills in the blind spot of media research, aiming to contribute to the understanding of the Romanian and Bulgarian media landscape. It offers a critical perspective on TV systems in relation to the polarized pluralist/Mediterranean model of Hallin and Mancini, considering its explanatory function within the analysis of Eastern European media systems. Elements of the national markets revealed particularities of the TV business, synchronically connected to the contemporary “hyper-television” vision (Scolari, 2009) and the “informational disorder” paradigm (Tambini, 2020).

Keywords:  audiovisual; Bulgaria; commercial TV; Hallin and Mancini’s model; media market; media system; Romania



© Mădălina Bălășescu, Vyara Angelova, Romina Surugiu. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.