Commercial Media Costs More
The cost of the ABC is cheaper than the commercial media, in which the cost of advertising is incorporated into everything we buy – even if you do not watch or listen to the commercial media.
In 2005-6 figures published by the Australian Communications Media Authority indicate that the combined income of the three commercial channels was $3738 million. (Commercial Television Industry Financial Trends 1978 -2006/6 viewed 28 July 2008.) Therefore the average income of a commercial channel was $1246 million, compared to the ABC’s $850 million from government. Moreover this money covered the cost of ABC TV, as well as the ABC’s five domestic radio networks and radio Australia.
The money received by the ABC from government amounts to approximately $41.50 per head per year from everyone in Australia.
Given the large range of services – radio, television, comprehensive web site an extensive overseas bureaus and general quality of programs, this is value for money. (Background Briefing Sept.2008 p 5)
The ABC is also poorly funded when compared to most European countries, which spend much more per head of population than the ABC. (See http://www.friendsoftheabc.org/issues costs compared to overseas public broadcasters). For example in 2005-6 government funding for the BBC was $107 per head of population, while at the same time government funding for the ABC was $41.50 per head.
The ABC is rightly regarded as a National Treasure and is an essential part of our democracy and guardian of our cultural values and the performing arts.