No advertising on the ABC!!! : LUSENET : Friends of the ABC : One Thread

There is no need whatsoever for advertising on the ABC.

The ABC is extremely cheap to run. Its budget of $740 million divided among 20 million Australian averages out at less than $40 per person annually. For a television network and five radio networks that is very good value. $40 is equivalent to the price of FOUR CINEMA TICKETS!

For the price of four movies, we get to watch and listen to ABC television and radio whenever we want, all year round. The ABC budget could be doubled tomorrow, and the taxpayer would still get good value.

The government should stop trying to push the idea of advertising on the ABC, and simply provide the broadcaster with adequate funds.

Advertising is bad economics and bad public policy. Ads decrease consumer utility. We all pay for advertising when we buy goods and services – the cost of advertising is included in the price of the goods. In effect, we pay for ads twice, once by having to endure watching them, and a second time at the checkout till. Ads are annoying, and they’re an unnecessary impost on the viewer.

-- Anonymous, August 13, 2003



You are confused.

It is quite wrong to say that only 12.5% of people use the ABC. The well documented fact is that the great majority of Australians, somewhere between 70% and 94%, depending on which survey you rely on, use the ABC regularly.

What is the evidence for this? The evidence comes from a number of difference sources.

In 1990, Newspoll, a commercial opinion poll company owned by Rupert Murdochs News Limited (no friend of the ABC) found that 86% of Australians use the ABC each week. The survey concluded:

"The ABC has a genuine broad appeal to the community. The great majority of Australians in all demographic groups and in all parts of the country listen to or watch the ABC for some period every week."  Lest you say that 1990 was a long time ago, and anyway that was just one survey, we have more evidence.

In 1996 Bob Mansfield, the high profile businessman appointed by John Howard to review the ABC reported that in the five major capital cities 69% of people watched ABC TV each week. He also found that 41% of the population aged ten and over listened to ABC radio each week. You can't add these figures together, because many of those watching TV are the same as those listening to radio, but it is clear that when you take account of both TV and radio the audience is greater than 69%, and may easily be as large or larger than the 86% figure found by Newspoll.

More recently, between July and September 2001, OzTam, the company that uses "people meters" to measure TV audiences for both commercial audiences and the ABC, found that in the five major capital cities 12, 086, 211 people tuned into ABC TV over the three month period. This represents 94% of the population in these cities.

When you quote a figure of 12.5% cound not be talking about how many people are using the ABC. However you may be getting confused with the ABC's average share of audience which is around 14% for TV and 20% for radio.

There are two commonly used measures of audiences, commonly called "share" and "reach". Both are valid measures - they just measure different things.

The ABC has a large reach but a fairly small share. Enemies of the ABC often choose just to selectively quote the less favourable figure (share), and ignore the more favourable one (cumulative audience sometimes known as 'reach' or "cume")

If Station A has 300,000 viewers, who watch for an average of one hour, it will have 300,000 viewer hours.

If Station C has 100,000 viewers, who watch for an average of four hours, it will have 400,000 viewer hours.

Despite the fact that Station C has 200,000 fewer viewers than station A, it will have a higher audience share, because it has fewer people watching for a longer time. Despite the fact that Station A has three times as many viewers as Station C it will have a lower audience share, because its viewers don't tune in for so long. Station A will of course have a large reach.

Here is a current example. In the fifth ACNielsen survey of radio audiences in Melbourne for 2003 ( Melbourne.pdf), 774 ABC Melbourne (formerly 3LO) had a reach of 771,000. Its commercial rival, 3AW with a similar talk format, had a reach of 681,00. That is, 3AW had 90,000 fewer listeners than ABC 774. On the other hand 3AW had a larger share - 14.1% compared to ABC 774's share of 12.3%. Who has the most listeners - ABC 774. Who has the most 'listener hours' - 3AW.

The facts are that in the capital cities ABC TV has an audience share just over 14%, while ABC Radio has an audience share of just over 20%. The ABC's share figures are higher than this in regional areas. This is significantly higher than the 12.5% that you quote.

More importantly, survey after survey has demonstrated that the vast majority of Australians, almost nine in every ten, regularly use the ABC. The claim that only 12.5% do so is plain wrong.

-- Anonymous, September 13, 2003

The ABC TV already has ads - Its own products from the ABC shop.

-- Anonymous, August 17, 2003

The sooner the ABC withdraws it's long snout from the trough of automatic tax-payer funding and starts contributing towards it's own operation, the better. SBS can do it, what's so special about the ABC?

-- Anonymous, August 23, 2003

Kate writes: "The sooner the ABC withdraws it's long snout from the trough of automatic tax-payer funding and starts contributing towards it's own operation."

Kate, you are either a Liberal Party propogandist for Goebbels Alston, or you are stupid.

The reason why the ABC is funded by the taxpayer is because THAT'S WHAT TAXPAYERS WANT! Surveys of public opinion have shown that to be the case. Paying tax towards the ABC is no different from paying for anything that we want. It simply is done via the tax system collectively instead of each of us individually going to the shop and paying cash over the counter.

How can the ABC contribute towards it's own operation? That does not even make sense. The ABC provides a service for, and on behalf of the public. It is funded to proved that service. It is paid for that service through advertising, the money still has to come from somewhere doesn't it! Advertising is paid for by all of us when be by goods and services. The cost of advertising is included in the price we pay.

-- Anonymous, August 24, 2003

Well, it seems that the so-called "Kate" entity does not exist, and that whoever wrote the contribution under that name is likely to be, as I stated, a propogandist for Goebbels Alston.

I sent a direct reply to, the email address given by the so-called "Kate", and it does not exist.

Kate, as a propogandist, you are not worth the money that the taxpayer is giving you (given that in all likelihood you a member of Alston's staff).

-- Anonymous, August 24, 2003

How disingenuous, Tom. By now you will know that your claims re my email address are false, as are those suggesting that I have links with Senator Alston. Nothing could be further from the truth! Trust you will correct same.

You still don't answer my question: if SBS can help support itself through advertising, and still manage to kick the Howard government in the guts, why can't the ABC??

-- Anonymous, August 25, 2003

SBS is not the national broadcaster. The ABC is. The ABC has many more obligations that it is mandated to fulfill than SBS, and has many more viewers.

Of course it is POSSIBLE for the ABC to have advertising, many things a possible, but it would be a bad thing. People don't want it. Popele would PREFER NOT to have advertising on the ABC. Firstly, ads are annoying to watch, secondly, any savings would only be illusionary, thirdly, the ABC is already very cheap compared to the benefit derived by people being able to watch it, and fourthly, advertising on the ABC would compromise the editorial independence of the ABC.

-- Anonymous, August 25, 2003

Who are these "people", Tom, who don't want advertising. Do you refer to the 12%/15% of the population who listen to or watch the ABC? Is the ABC some trendy little club just for leftys who don't like ads? Give us a break Tom!

-- Anonymous, August 26, 2003

Who are these "people", Tom, who don't want advertising. Do you refer to the 12%/15% of the population who listen to or watch the ABC? Is the ABC some trendy little club just for leftys who don't like ads? Give us a break Tom!

Kate, you do not seem to understand statistics. It is not correct to state that only 12/15 per cent of the population listen to or watch the ABC. It is only true to say that 12 per cent of viewers /listeners are watching or listening to the ABC AT ANY ONE TIME! Over the whole week a far higher proportion of people watch and/or listen to the ABC at some stage throughout the duration of the week.

Your comment that only "leftys" are interested in the ABC, as well as being inane and stupid, is also factually incorrect. surveys have shown that a broad range of people watch and listen to the ABC, both rich, poor, well-educated, poorly educated, young, old and from rural areas as well as the metropolitan areas.

And the suggestion that only "lefty" don't like ads is entirely without evidence, and extremely unlikely to be true.

-- Anonymous, September 02, 2003

Goodness Tom, your comments contain far more assumptions than mine, and yet we are supposed to believe that yours are right!!

12.5% of the population probably agree with you. I don't.

-- Anonymous, September 09, 2003

Kate, if you want some EVIDENCE on how the people of Australia regard the ABC, here it is:

A Newspoll survey release on 9/9/03 found that:

- 89% of Australians believe the ABC provides a valuable service to the community.

- The percentage of Australians who believed the ABC does a good job of being efficient and well managed increased from 61 to 68% from the previous survey.

- 82% of Australians believe the ABC does a good job of being distinctively Australian and contributing to Australia's identity.

- Consistent with 2002, 89% of the ABC website users believe it provides good quality information, and the proportion who believe it is "very good" is up from 32 to 38%.

- Many more Australians (76%) believe the ABC does a good job covering country/ regional issues than believe this about commercial media (42%).

Assuming that you have the capability to read, Kate, these figures should be informative for you.

-- Anonymous, September 10, 2003

Keep your shirt on big fella! 12.5% of the population probably agree with you. I don't!!

-- Anonymous, September 10, 2003

89% of people agree with me.

-- Anonymous, September 11, 2003

Hey, Mr 89% of 12.5%, could you provide a link to your "Newspoll" poll? Have been to the Newspoll site and there's no sign of it!

-- Anonymous, September 12, 2003

Please, don't let me interrupt :) Personally I wouldn't like it if the ABC decide to go with advertising. I've had enough of it and I don't think I need our national broadcaster falls victim to ads. It's already on 7, 9, 10 and SBS (though it's less annoying on sbs). We get junk mails in the mailbox at least once a week. Train stations are plastered with humungous billboards. Buses and taxis are the moving and smaller version of those billboards. Some of us are carrying advertising with the "in-your-face" brand/logo on our clothing apparels. I'm going neurotic.

-- Anonymous, September 12, 2003

I entirely agree with you Ollz San. Advertising is unnecessary. We pay for it anyway via consumer items that we purchase.

Kate, the information is available at:

Please have a look!

-- Anonymous, September 12, 2003

You are right there, Tom. The CONSUMER pays for advertising out there in the real world. The consumer has a choice!

The TAXPAYER funds the pathetic bias, the self promotion and the looney left at OUR ABC! The taxpayer has no choice!

Get real Tom!

-- Anonymous, September 13, 2003


I think it is you who should take the reality check.

How do I, as a customer, avoid paying for advertising? If I became a a hermit and lived in a cave, perhaps I could. But for ordinary Australians we pay for commercial broadcasting every time we enter a supermarket, every time we buy a packet of soap (which is why TV serials a called 'soap operas') and every time we use a telephone (phone companies are some of the biggest advertisers). The only practical way to avoid paying from commercial broadcasting is to resign from the world.

-- Anonymous, September 14, 2003

Yes Darce, it's a novel and extremely successful concept known a capitalism. At least all the products it advertises are useful, and the consumer gets to choose!

I have the luxury of turning the AB silly C off, regularly. I just wish I had that choice when it comes to my obligatory funding it.

Which brings me back to my original post. If SBS can carry ads and still kick conservatives in the guts, why can't the AB silly C?

-- Anonymous, September 14, 2003


You're trying to change the subject. You were suggesting that we all paid for the ABC, but that we had a choice about paying for commercial broadcasting. My point was that unless you live in a cave like a hermit you can't avoid paying for commercial broadcasting - you pay every time you pick up a telephone or buy something in a shop.

You are now saying that the consumer can choose which brand of soap to buy. Yes, he or she can. But that's not the point. There is no real choice about paying for commercial broadcasting because we pay for it every time we buy something advertised over the air.

You now seem to be suggesting that advertisers do not influence programs. Have you already forgottenthe Australian Broadcating Authority's Cash for Comment report? Or the Australian Broadcasting Control Board's "Soap Suds Inquiry". Read Erik Barnouw's history of broadcasting in the United States and then tell me advertisers don't influence programs.

-- Anonymous, September 15, 2003

Of course the abc is prohibited by an act of Parliment from having any part in form of Advertising...

Their are orchestrated wails of shock and horror at the very thought of it

But this has never stopped the ABC from broacasting an endless barrage of exclusive tax payer funded self promotion for some favoured bookshops.,'s own!

Wherever you are in Australia you are not far and only minutes away from and ABC Station and their their frequent and sometimes tiresome Advertising Spots

Payola? of course not ...but in fact the ABC is also not shy of giving lots of prime time airplay for its own record label. Pity if you are an artist on Bullamakanka records or some record label not owned bvy them... Dymocks, Angus and Robertsons..even your local Newsagent cant buy advertising in the amount of the millions splurged on ABC stations. And neither could the ABC bookshops either if the ABC charged itself a true cost of the spots.

But.. Advertising is NOT ALLOWED is it on the ABC,,,, ?????

Is the ABC an effective marketing organisation in getting a message out to thecommunity? Is it allowed to engage in Advertising or Marketing and promotion?

Well.,.certainly one of the most succesful australia wide promotions has been for their own cause... of course!

Does Your ABC cost you 7c a day?

Simply divide one billion dollars by 2 million,then by 365 For true answer...then get ready for a shock

Why should 90 percent of Australians be slugged one billion follars a year for just ten percent of the population..,.. Thats all the ABC reaches

And is that 10 percenty wanting to hear jokes on CNNN on ABCTV] about Sept 11 and the 88 Australians who died at Bali ?

I say the government could well use the SBS,Community and Commercial media toget us away from these horrible people

-- Anonymous, September 15, 2003

Keitha, you are obviously not a friend of the ABC, so why are you contributing to the Friends of the ABC website? Furthermore, you can't add up. The ABC budget is approximately $740 million. The population of Australia is approximatley $20 million. Thus, the ABC costs each person in Australia about ten cents a day, or $37 a year.

$37 is less than the cost of four movie tickets, and is less than a tenth the cost of pay TV.

The ABC provides a much cheaper service than the commercial television networks, mainly because it does not have to pay for the cost of making expensive television advertisements.

Your statement that only 10% of Australians benefit from the ABC is a lie, given that the latest Newspoll on how people view the ABC indicates that 89% of Australians think that the ABC provides a valuable service.

Apparently, Keith you are speaking for the 11% of people who do not value the ABC.

Finally, if the ABC was properly funded by the government then it would not have to have so many promotions.

-- Anonymous, September 16, 2003

Typical arrogance and hypocracy from Tom, as usual. If you don't want the great unwashed contributing to your forum, Tom, then make it subscription only, accessible by a password. While your'e at it, make the ABC itself subscription only, paid for by those that can stand it's appalling bias and blatant hatred of anything to do with the democratically thrice-elected Howard government.

-- Anonymous, September 16, 2003

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