The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
The Forum - On Line Opinion's article discussion area


RSS 2.0

Main Articles General

Sign In      Register

The Forum > Article Comments > Government’s 'gift' to commercial TV > Comments

Government’s 'gift' to commercial TV : Comments

By Vincent O'Donnell, published 19/2/2010

The government's planned rebate of TV licence fees is a great way to line the pockets of foreign equity investors and Australian media moguls.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All
This article should have been about the state of Australia's film and TV industry and the dire rubbish it has produced in the last 20 years. Masterchef and Big Brother may indeed be the highlights. I would pay the producers $230M NOT to make The Oyster Farmer and all those C grade films of angst-driven heroin addicts, wandering lonely as clouds around Fitzroy or Darlinghurst.
Posted by Cheryl, Friday, 19 February 2010 8:57:10 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s $250 million gift to the commercial television stations could have removed all obstacles to them providing 100%, 24-hour captioning (and audio description too) for their programs

The technology is available and now so is the funding, so there is no longer an excuse for this discrimination to continue.

The Federal Government should step in and make 100%, 24-hour captioning a binding provision of this $250 million windfall.

Overseas eg America and UK are virtually at 100% captioning. Here in Australia, we have about 75% of 6am to midnight. Sport is not included. Too bad if you are a sports lover who relies on captions. Denying Deaf and hearing impaired viewers the right to enjoy the same television programs as any other viewer is blatant discrimination.

So you can imagine our dismay, and in fact anger, last week with the announcement of this big fat juicy rebate. On some rough calculations that buys total access (everything captioned and audio described) on all commercial free-to-air channels, 24 hours a day for the next 5 years or so.

Makes asking them to spend 1% of turnover on access not a big call really. A simple message - spend 1% of turnover on access - you just got nearly 5 times that in rebates with no conditions attached - here is a fair condition that gives some taxpayer return.

We would expect that with a subsidy the free-to-air networks have no grounds for denying full access as the cost of achieving this would be a small fraction of the reduction in their license fees. This would be a good social policy outcome for government providing financial support for industry.

Instead, there was no requirement to spend even a portion of this rebate on access. Once again people with disability are left out in the cold, without access the things other Australians take for granted. Where is the social inclusion agenda now Mr Rudd?
Posted by nickolodeon, Friday, 19 February 2010 9:29:50 AM
Find out more about this user Visit this user's webpage Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
I'd be happy with an electronic program guide that is not a joke.
Of course they will never do it so long as some poor suckers are willing to pay for what used to be an expected part of the service.
It does look pretty bad in an election year but the real question is why all these so called industry regulatory bodies are allowed to get away with not reporting their finances. WTF??
Is there no accountability *anywhere* these days?
And who is "FreeView". Last I heard all they have done is insist that HD recorders are crippled to dis-allow ad skipping technology and Open Standard video codecs...If all they are doing is stifling technology then "FreeView" is a total waste of everyone's money!
Its kind of like horse breeders insisting that all cars consume hay and are limited to 1 Hp.
Biggest problem with all the extra channels is that it is time consuming!
Congrats to the ABC, SBS, and even the commercial channels. TV is much better than 5 years ago. I suspect the "FreeView" folks had little to do with this though.
Posted by Ozandy, Friday, 19 February 2010 10:38:14 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Hello everyone. First, we must maintain a keen eye on the current regulations by the DBCDE's office of Senator Conroy, where they stipulated that they would ensure that the commercial television networks raise their local program airing above or continually meeting past requirement for them in reaching a 55 percent of their air time to be dedicated to more local Australian program content. This might be a real challenge for the federal government, due to their continual lack of demanding that federal regulatory principles are being met. Oh, they might threaten the commercial television networks, but how much power does the federal government have when it comes to corportations that have great knowledge in tying up in court or parlimentary investigations; So who can win this battle? I can tell you, it won't be the public's taxs that will additionally pay for these proceedings taking place either through costs going up for products that advertisers will conduct, or paying for the federal government's quest to ensure the commercial television networks adhere to the regulations they will release soon concerning the demanding rules of increasing local Australian program content on mainstream television's airwaves at or above their already 55 percent maintaining over the many years of operations. It is my believe that if the experts of the television industry continually lobby the commercial television networks on what programs they would like to envision on mainstream free-to-air digital channels, to where the primary creative thinking, concepts and development of newly-Australian content doesn't just come from the think tanks within or directly supportive of the mainstream television networks. If the public is forced to pay for this new Australian program content and development that also is supposed to be relevant to the many culture's stories, comedic situations, drama and more produced with a Australian focus, then "by-gum-by-dern", let's make sure we know where our public taxes are meeting what we also tell the federal government in ensuring that that they continue in fighting our causes and desires, instead of working for corporate interests. Who's running this ship?
Posted by Media Researcher, Friday, 19 February 2010 11:18:00 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Is the government’s motive support of ‘quality’ (good quality or bad quality?) TV, or is the real motive an expectation of a payback from the networks via support for Labor? Politicians rely heavily on the electronic media (radio networks are now asking for handouts) for their propaganda, particularly as elections draw near.

At the risk of being branded a nitpicker, I have to say that I would really like people to stop using the word ‘quality’ as though the word on its own meant good quality. There is good quality and poor quality. “Quality” needs an adjective.

If better programmes are the aim, the commercial channels certainly seem to have enough advertisements to pay for them. The ABC is a subject all of its own! But, to believe that lowering licence fees will attract anything but the same garbage we get now is to believe in fairies. Even the local content of Australian TV is based in truly awful ‘reality’ programmes from overseas to give a few tired old ‘hacks’ work. How many more cooking programmes can they put on before people complain! And what about all the ‘new, fee-to-air’ channels with repeats of shows already repeated a couple of times on their parent channels!

As far as I’m aware, there was no great clamour from the public for digital television or digital radio. Surveys show that, even now with TV analogue switch off imminent, Australians' take up of digital is the lowest in the world.

The push obviously came from big business – big FOREIGN business. We manufacture no TV sets in Australia, nor any radios since AWA went under decades ago.

There is nothing in this government ‘gift’ for Australians. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Opposition offered to match this ‘gift’, which stinks to high hell. There is nothing wrong with a government charging licence fees for networks to make huge amounts of money. But reducing those fees when politicians use the media more and more is very, very suspicious.
Posted by Leigh, Friday, 19 February 2010 12:08:23 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
If the money is going to be spent on TV then it should have gone to the ABC and SBS so that the former can get rid of all the cheap quiz games and put on serious works and leave 'entertainment' to the commercials.

I would have preferred the government put the funds into hospitals rather than spend my money ($10+ per Australian) on something I will never watch. And not put it into the pockets of CEO's.

Big business still in control or is it 'Bread and circuses'
Posted by PeterA, Friday, 19 February 2010 12:35:00 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All

About Us :: Search :: Discuss :: Feedback :: Legals :: Privacy