Watching Foreign TV in an Age of Online Sharing: The cultural implications of cross-border television experience

Tse, Yu-Kei. 2016. Watching Foreign TV in an Age of Online Sharing: The cultural implications of cross-border television experience. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

In recent years, unofficial and/or illegal forms of online file sharing have been increasingly used by audiences worldwide to consume foreign TV programmes which would not previously have been available to them at the time when such shows were first broadcast in their original regions. This form of consumption shortens the time-and-space gap between foreign broadcast and local consumption, highlighting audiences’ desires for borderless, transnational viewing. Taking Taiwanese audiences as an example, this research studies the implications which transnational foreign television consumption via online sharing may bring. Based on in-depth interviews with thirty-six audience members conducted from 2010 to 2011, I focus on two issues:

1. The meaning of television for its audiences:

This research examines how and why audiences employ online sharing to bypass temporal, spatial and legal constraints on consuming foreign programmes, and elaborates the ways in which such consumption is becoming an emerging norm of television experience. It sheds light on how our existing understandings have changed, regarding what is meant by “watching TV”, and what television’s role is in providing a sense of liveness, shaping audiences’ sense of social togetherness and their cultural identity.

2. Transnational media flows and cultural power relationships:

This research looks at the implications of this cross-border Taiwanese consumption of television for transnational media flows in the post-colonial East Asian contexts. It examines cultural power relationships between East Asian countries, as well as those between the East and the West. Furthermore, by elaborating how audiences’ sense of co-temporality with (and understanding of) other cultures develop via their consumption, this research analyses how such consumption shapes the direction of media flows and cultural power relationships of Taiwan with other countries and thus offers a contemporary understanding of what television means as a cultural form, and what features television audiences have, in the post-network era today.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):


Audience, Coevalness, Cultural flow, Cultural power, File-sharing, Media flow, Narrowcasting, Online viewing, Post-network, Power geometry, Space-shifting, Streaming, Taiwan, Television, Togetherness

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


29 February 2016

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

21 Mar 2016 14:18

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 13:54


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