Monday, June 26, 2006

CBC Pay TV

If the latte-swilling Volvo-driving upper-middle class parlour pinks of the land can't live without CBC, Andrew Coyne has a suggestion for them: pay for it yourselves!

This won't fly, of course. The people who watch it the most are those who would support this concept the least. They genuinely believe that without the CBC, there would be no Canadian television programming, even though they watch dozens of cable channels that demonstrate otherwise.

But CBC is not a broadcaster like any other to its most loyal viewers: it is a symbol of their belief in the power of the all-encompassing state.

It is not so important that we watch CBC so much as we should pay for it, because it is for our own good.

People will fight to the death over symbols.

And they will fight to keep CBC mouldering in the status quo.

5 comments:

Classic said...

_Actually top CBC (english) Television programming is currently available on Viewers' Choice ($9.99).
_Its called Air Farce.

Anonymous said...

CBC should be downsized and turned into a true public broadcaster that does not compete with the private sector broadcasters. More importantly it should be paid for by its viewers i.e. the artsy fartsy crowd. Like Coyne says put it on as a pay channel. No more taxpayer money subsidizing something most of us don't watch.

Ouimet said...

But CBC is not a broadcaster like any other to its most loyal viewers: it is a symbol of their belief in the power of the all-encompassing state.

Oh, please.

And they will fight to keep CBC mouldering in the status quo.

A good point and a real danger. Some who are so anxious to "save the CBC" are actively working to keep it from moving forward as it tries to save itself.

classic - interesting find. I wonder if any viewer has demanded it? I may blog it, if you don't mind, fully crediting you

Surecure said...

Did you guys know that the total operating budget for PBS in the US -- including radio, et al -- for the year 2001 was $340mil? That was including all the money collected by individual stations for broadcasting rights.

Why is it that in a country with a population 1/10 the size of the US, we need to supply 3 times the funding for public TV/radio? Does this seem even remotely outrageous to anybody else around here?

I've written to Bev Oda with my opinion: if you want to solidify Canadian culture, the CBC isn't the way. They should be taking a huge chunk of the CBC's operating budget (at least $100 mil) and use that to fund and promote Canadian artists internationally. Culture doesn't thrive unless it thrives outside of a country's own borders. We all recognize the cultures of the Irish, British, Spanish, Jamaican, etc. The only way for a culture to thrive is when it is embraced outside of its own borders.

And after all, it would be the most brilliant coup of the arts community in Canadian political history. The arts community would have to admit that the Conservatives are better for the arts than any government in history. Can you imagine what it would say to have the arts community having to say that?

As for a realistic budget for the CBC? Even at $340 million (matching PBS's total budget) the CBC would be doing pretty damn nicely. And with $100 mil moved to the arts community, you'd still be cutting the CBC's operating budget in half. Talk about savings.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

It's an outdated media anyway. Time to cut them loose.