Is Funding For Big Bird Necessary? http://usconservatives.about.com/od/economyta...
Perhaps this is the biggest and most obvious question that there is. Does the survival of PBS and friends depend on federal funding, and if they could be completely self-sufficient, should they be? We made the case for defunding public broadcasting in length already:
But would the CPB be able to replace their funding? This one is simple. Outfits such as PBS would run in the same way that most other television networks raise capital and start to run advertisements. Given the success of their programming, raising dollars in this capacity should not be difficult. On their website, PBS has a page dedicated to noting their successes and brags about their large audiences. Not only does PBS score big in the children’s market, but they have huge hits during primetime as well. They note:
“PBS' primetime audience is significantly larger than many commercial channels, including Bravo (PBS' audience is 104% larger), TLC (75%), Discovery Channel (70%), HGTV (58%), HBO (54%), A&E (36%) and History Channel (6%). In addition, PBS' primetime rating for news and public affairs programming is 60% higher than that of CNN.”
Federal subsidies for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will cost roughly $5 billion over ten years, and the only thing stopping them from being fully self-sufficient is their unwillingness to run commercials during ratings-strong Downtown Abbey.