The price we pay for free-to-air TV

Crikey readers talk commercial TV, the Prime Minister as a cat and leaving Rupert alone.

No such thing as free media

Philip Bell writes: Re. “ABC efficiency — how well does it stack up against its rivals?” (Friday). Like the ABC, all so-called “free-to-air” media are also funded by taxpayers. The commercial networks are different only in that they are also paid for by those citizens whose incomes are not sufficient to pay direct taxes. This is because the billions of dollars that fund sit-coms, “reality” shows and sports broadcasting come from advertising. Whenever a viewer sits through an ad for a car, beer or hamburgers, the viewer is working with the broadcaster to pay for the programs that the ads so annoyingly interrupt. It’s just that the transfer of cash is hidden as part of the purchase cost of the vehicle, slab or burger. In effect, advertising is a hidden surcharge on everything — a bit like the GST. And even those of us who choose not to consume commercial media are obliged to pay for the programs, because we all must purchase goods and services. We can choose not to watch Channel 9 or Ten, but we can’t choose not to pay for their advertising.

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5 thoughts on “The price we pay for free-to-air TV

  1. Gavin Moodie

    I’m also unsure about the Scott Morrison animal: rat or snake in the grass?

  2. zut alors

    The best TV advertising I recall was a Neil Diamond concert from Sydney which Channel 9 televised live back in 1976. During the entire show there were only two sponsored ads, one from each sponsor ie: Cadbury and Pioneer. Behold the impact of ‘less is more’ as I remember the brand names 38 years later.

    Due to their non-invasive advertising I was favourable towards the Pioneer brand & ultimately purchased their hi-fi. These days the more a product is advertised the more resolved I become never to buy it.

  3. Brian Williams

    I think Morrison would be better served with the image of a dung beetle.

  4. Horowitz

    No – Dung beetles actually clean up the sh*t…

  5. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Leave the beetle out of it.

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