Monday, 27 August 2007

Do we need SBS?

The Sydney Morning Herald has published an opinion piece by Paul Sheehan pondering the issue, do we need SBS?

Mr Sheehan is of the opinion that SBS, created at a time when there was little alternative media available, and which continues to cost taxpayers many millions of dollars a year for something that is only watched by around 4 per cent of the population, has now been made obsolete by the plethora of specialist news, sport and entertainment channels now available by other media such as pay-TV. A nice idea, for those that have or can afford pay television.

For the rest of us without pay-TV - and at this point that still makes up the vast majority of households in Australia - does SBS still have a valid place in society as an alternative to ABC and commercial free-to-air television? Or should the government, as Mr Sheehan suggests, disband SBS and sell of its valueable broadcast spectrum to the highest bidder?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, in other countries around the world there is a much bigger choice in terms of tax-paid channels (public channels).
One is Italy, for instance, where there are 3 public channels (RAI) + other 5 big private channels (owned by the famous Berlusconi) + something like 10 to 15 minor channels, all full of blockbuster movies, documentaries, TV series, etc...all for "free"...MTV is among those.
Then there is the Satellite TV, which for just a once-for-all reasonable cost (for the decoder and the antenna) allows people to watch all the public TVs around the world...for free.

You might question the quality of this TV? Well, AU TV is not much better and with much less choice...

Mr Sheenan, there is no record that any country has ever gone bankrupt because of public TV...
let's improve the service instead.