Today we read in The Australian:
“Back in 1987, your ABC famously cost each Australian eight cents a day. In 1987 dollar terms we now cost each Australian just four cents a day. In other words, our per-capita funding has halved in real terms,” Louise Higgins, ABC chief financial officer, told the first ABC annual public meeting.
Hmmmmmmmm. In nominal terms the ABC now costs us about 14c per day. In an analysis showing a willingness to pay comparison between the ABC and Foxtel, QUT academics Brian McNair and Adam Swift asked this question:
But who can seriously maintain, given around 2.5 million Australians pay nearly hundreds of dollars a year to Foxtel, that 14 cents a day for the ABC’s content is excessive?
When stated in those terms it seems almost churlish to resent being deprived of 14 cents per day to pay for the ABC. Yet this question itself is not the most obvious question to ask. Surely a far more interesting question to ask – and perhaps answer – is why do millions of Australians choose to pay hundreds of dollars per year to watch television when the ABC provides those services – and apparently more – for a mere 14 cents per day?
Answers coming soon.