Castells, 'Murdochization, economic counterpower and livestreaming

David, M, Kirton, Andrew ORCID: 0000-0001-7934-0814 and Millward, P
(2017) Castells, 'Murdochization, economic counterpower and livestreaming. Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, 23 (5). pp. 497-511.

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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 ‘Murdochization’ or ‘the networking of networks’. Whilst Castells’ account of power has thus developed to acknowledge the integration of economic, cultural and political interests within networks, his account of ‘counterpower’ remains largely focused on cultural and political resistance in the form of protest. Here we explore a case of economic counterpower, the unauthorized livestreaming of digital sports broadcasts. Analysis of this particular case (of counterpower) is particularly significant, given the centrality of Murdochization in Castells’ account of power in the network society. Emerging out of, alongside, and in response to the growth of, Murdochized digital media sports networks, we explore the scope and limits of livestreaming as a form of economic counterpower and counter-Murdochization. In this article, we document Castells’ theory of network power, the centrality of Murdochization to that account, and the centrality of monopoly control over digital sports broadcasting to Murdochized 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 ongoing 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: BskyB, Castells, communication power, copyright infringement, economic counterpower, English Premier League (EPL), First Row Sport, global network society, intellectual property, livestreaming, Murdochization, News Corporation, News Corp
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2018 13:10
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 01:29
DOI: 10.1177/1354856515619247
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