Save PBS!

I’ve always wondered why, if PBS receives millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies per year, presumably to create an atmosphere conducive to winning football games, how they can go and charge the local stations a fee to air that program? Or black it out at will?

Well +22 years of public broadcasting and the nefarious impact is what exactly? Maybe it’s an American thing but I would have used cautious instead of distrustful. Fantastic resource that could be abused but, as far as I’ve ever seen or heard, hasn’t to any noticable degree.

Well, to be fair no one should have to sit through the awfulness that is typically found in PBS in the first place :slight_smile:

This x 2

Back in the day when there were only the 2-3 other networks, I would probably have thought otherwise. However in today’s world of 100s of networks - they need to be able to survive on their own. I’m sure there would be lines of sponsors wanting to pay for advertising on much of their programming. They don’t need Uncle Sugar to survive on the open market.

there are people for whom cable is not available. even if available it might not be affordable. on other boards there is a lot of discussion where people have dropped cable because of not being able to afford it.

When I was young there were only 5 channels available and PBS was the only place to see nekked boobs on TV(Benny Hill). The need for PBS to recieve tax dollars is long, long past. If you think it’s a really important channel, send them some money. I know I send money to HBO every month.

Sure, PBS puts on some goods stuff sometimes but that doesn’t excuse “Are You Being Served” and similar. I can’t imagine why our taxes should be spent delivering cheaply made British sitcoms to the masses, unless it’s someone’s idea that even crappy British TV is somehow more uplifting than regular old American TV.

Uh huh… Is that just common knowledge, or is it chiselled in stone somewhere?

PBS sucks* and needs to let out to pasture to survive or die on it’s own.

*Except Rick Steves travel shows. The government needs to give him 20 billion dollars and his own tv station.

PBS and NPR are some of the least expensive educational resources this nation has. The USA is getting dumber and dropping in its position in the world. I think they are needed more than ever.

Yes commercialism. That totally won’t reduce PBS to the lowest common denominator.

I’ve had satellite and I can’t think of one program on it’s 150+ channels that had the same impact as Lafayette: The Lost Hero.

The guy was George Washington’s right hand man, a brave, daring, soldier and tactician ,and a fervent American patriot to the ideals of the revolution. He fought tenaciously for American freedom. He knew the importance of liberty for all, and that it meant freeing the slaves. He lived an interesting life born of French aristocracy, and was very helpful getting French aid during the American Revolution. When he went back to France, trying to keep the peace he got caught up in the middle of the French Revolution in a bad way and spent a good chunk of time imprisoned.

When he died he had arranged for American soil to be brought in for his French grave and the flags of both countries to be flown above it. His patriotism to both countries strong as ever.

The guy was 10 kinds of cool and for some reason commercial media never saw fit to mention him much, if it all.

One thing I’ve noticed with PBS is that in some densely populated areas of the country there are multiple competing PBS stations. For example, where I grew up in Connecticut, we had WEDW (Connecticut Public Television) on Channel 49, WNET on Channel 13 out of Manhattan and WLIW on Channel 21 out of Long Island. Would it be less expensive to run public television if there were fewer overlapping affiliates? Would it be desirable to do so?

you might have had overlapping coverage. people on the other side of each of those three stations may have only had the one station. the FCC licenses stations in an attempt to give everyone coverage without stations interfering with each other.

For me, the fundamental question is - why have none of the commercial stations/networks that were devoted to intelligent programming survived? Does the need to derive revenue from advertising automatically cause Network Decay?

I’m not sure it is possible for PBS/NPR to survive without the government funding, and, in my opinion, US society is better off for their existence.

One way or another, I still watch PBS and listen to NPR regularly after 35 years since I first encountered them. In that time, The Learning Channel, the History Channel, Discovery Channel, ScyFy, A&E have all morphed into pointless shit.

I’m a Canadian, so I can’t really influence US institutions like Congress. It would be a real shame if PBS/NPR were to disappear or to suffer demolition by neglect, though.

We have our own struggles with the CBC and its long, painful slide from robust to underfunded to who knows what?

That doesn’t mean it’s the tax payer’s responsibility to subsidize your viewing pleasure. Where I grew up we could only receive an occasional snow storm quality image of PBS. If it’s that important to you, you’ll figure out a way.

Pfft, like dependence on Government funding has no effect :rolleyes:

Of course not. Tounge planted firmly in cheek for **PunditLisa **as she lives 'round these parts…

Luckily I’m 100 feet from Hamilton County, so I’m personally spared the PBS taxes. But there’s no doubt that the Hamilton Co taxpayers are getting hosed!

I’m glad they black out local games that don’t sell out, though. Because eventually the other owners are going to start balking about the unfairness of a profit-sharing arrangement when one team doesn’t bring any profits to the table!

Yea we’ll write our representatives. It’s a public good that’s too important to risk.

I love that. Completely reduce my post to one line so you can dismiss it with a one liner. I give an example and you edit it out so you can give a sound byte. If you’re an example of commercialized media success, you clearly, and desperately needed some PBS growing up.

I’ll take your lack of counter example as clear proof you have no counter example to shows like Lafayette: The Lost Hero.
Nor have I seen continuing long lasting series of the quality of the PBS series American Experience on commercialized television.

Quality entertainment that CAN survive with commercial sponsorship instead of taxpayer funding

i don’t think it’s the tax payer’s responsibility to subsidize the air travel system for people’s travel convenience. people should use the rail and highway system which are already tax payer subsidized.

Yeah, plus (being the rabid fan I am regardless of how bad the team may be at any given moment) there’s mysterious internet ways to watch the blacked out games anyhow if I can’t manage to get to a game in person. And I live in Hidden Valley in Indiana, so…I’m with you on dodging the tax burden of Hamilton County. I do my part though…spent a lot of money on the Brown family over the years.