Depoliticise ABC Funding

ABC is launching a dedicated Comedy channel.

Due to comedy having the potential to attract a large audience from both sides of the aisle, it has the potential for revenue raising from commercials.

If ABC could sustain itself as raising funds from both private commercialisation as well as some funding from the government directly/only from the rents due from other networks usage/monopoly/pollution from EMR wavelength usage/license, this could pay for a minimal non-bloated, less “biased” ABC and thus depoliticise the issue of it’s funding.
Therefore, by design, it would be perceived more as representing the interests of both the private and public sector.
And the only public funding would be seen as paid only by the rents owed by the other networks, that is, the dues owed from their imposition, and not by the taxes of ordinary citizens.

Do you think this would be a better way of funding the ABC?

  • YES
  • NO

0 voters

I’m pretty concerned about the implications of the ABC switching to a self funded/for profit model actually. It replaces the the spectre of political bias with that of acting in self interest. It’s a debate which one impinges more greatly on the common good :slight_smile:

Well, doesn’t this simply have the potential of turning the ABC into a bigger arm of the SBS?

Shortly: ABC Viceland?

When LNP took power in 2013, first thing they did was threaten ABC with budget cuts, and then the whole reporting narrative changed. For example, JJJ were pretty critical of the LNP’s NBN plan, but after that they started accepting it at face value without any challenge.

Personally I am not against new funding sources (like they have done with ABC shops) as long as it doesn’t impinge on their core content. Comedy is not core.

SBS aren’t that bad either and they do advertising. As long it it supplements rather than replaces funding then it’s fine.

Advertising as a funding model is cancerous. Nobody wants it, everybody hates it, and yet somehow people just accept it as “necessary” or some other nonsense and it gets spread everywhere. I’d sooner support a TV license like the BBC to keep politics at arms length, even with the enforcement issues of such a thing.

Can the public funding level be legislatively entrenched somehow, to make it more difficult for future governments to meddle if they don’t have overwhelming support to do so? That could be another option.

1 Like

I like this option, don’t make it a ridiculous license, just make it a “Tax” and this funding goes directly to the budget of news and current affairs programmes.

I don’t think that there is anything wrong with advertising when it comes to entertainment programming - that is for the free market as bias does not come into it.

Perhaps some kind of restructure would be necessary to make that happen. Maybe put all news & current affairs under ABC and entertainment under SBS, for both stations. The actual broadcast spectrum could either be re-distributed or become “virtual” where either entity and book timeslots for airtime (i.e. Triple J which is mostly entertainment with a small amount of news/current affairs in their news bulletins and the Hack programme… ABC would book in timeslots for their news/current affairs onto Triple J).

Of course Triple J playing ads would obviously suck a lot. I am an avid listener. It doesn’t mean that they can’t receive public funding, but they should a;sp be free to find other ways to fund it (eg: Donations, Publishing Australian Artists, a small amount of Ads instead of so many self-promoting segments)