Quality Assessment of Television Programs in Israel: Can Viewers Recognize Production Value?
Television programs' production value is highly regarded by professionals as a crucial dimension of program quality. This study examines the degree to which lay viewers, rather than professionals, are sensitive to television programs' production value as a distinct evaluative dimension, their ability to pass educated judgments on production value, and the impact of these judgments on their overall program appreciation and quality assessment. Based on a large-scale survey of television viewers in Israel, we find that production value makes up a distinct evaluative dimension, indicating that viewers are sensitive to production considerations. Production value assessments also explain television program appreciation and quality evaluations. On the other hand, there are indications that lay viewers are not very good at discerning gradations of production value among different programs and genres. These findings are discussed in the context of the conflicting interests among Israeli program makers and television channel franchisers to cut costs or to invest in the quality and production value of domestically produced programs. Based on the findings, a deliberative procedure is suggested which can accommodate these conflicting interests by combining lay viewers' quality assessments with professionals' more considered and informed judgments.