Fake News: Their ABC is not popular

Whenever anyone criticises the ABC a stock standard response is that Australians love the ABC.

Well do they?

It turns out that the ABC tell us that Australians love them. But the ABC tells us so many things that we simply do not believe, why should this be any different?

Chris Berg and I wrote about this in our book on the ABC: Against Public Broadcasting: Why and how we should privatise the ABC.

McNair and Swift point our attention to the ABC Annual Reports that usually contain survey data demonstrating how Australians perceive the ABC. The ABC’s satisfaction indicators are very impressive. A selection of those indicators are shown in Table 1. 

Eighty-six per cent of Australians value the ABC. Seventy-seven per cent think it is balanced and even-handed. Seventy-eight per cent think ABC television provides quality programming.
This rosy picture is complicated by the fact that ABC television only had a 17.6 per cent share of the primetime five-city metro market in 2015-16. Indeed, there is a huge gap between the number of people who claim to value the ABC, and those people who actually consume its services. It is also noteworthy that more people in the metro areas consume ABC radio than primetime television and the percentage of people who believe that the ABC provides quality radio programming is much lower (63 per cent) than those who believe the ABC provides quality television programming (78 per cent). It appears that the more people know about the ABC the less they value it.
This kind of result is not necessarily surprising—it is very likely that Australians have been socialised into believing that the ABC provides a quality service as opposed to having actually experienced that quality through their own viewing or listening.
It is true that the ABC has higher market share in regional areas than it does in metropolitan areas—yet even there the gap between what people say about the ABC and their actual consumption of ABC services is large. Unfortunately the ABC does not appear to publish market share data for its regional radio services. It is one thing to be assured by politicians that the ABC provides valuable services to the community but it would be even more reassuring to see the actual data supporting that claim.

Not even the Wikipedia reports the ABC as being popular.

The ABC has lower ratings than does subscription television. To put the channel 2 10% rating share into perspective The Greens got about 10% of the vote at the 2019 general election.

The ABC is a channel of Greens, by Greens,  and for Greens.

Paid for by the taxpayer.

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66 Responses to Fake News: Their ABC is not popular

  1. Mark M says:

    Their abc: More left turns than a Daytona 500.

  2. Rex Anger says:

    How about a hypothesis of the ABC’s alleged ‘value’ to society being its longevity and status as a national institution?

    I.E. Like QANTAS, Australians will proudly declare their affection for Australia’s ‘brand’ before the world, cos history, etc.. But damned if they will fly with it or use its services unless absolutely necessary…

    Its competitors far too often provde a much better service for a much better price. And with less lip.

    Parochialism (Nationalism is OK and agreat motivator for success, but not when stultifying) and legalism (Rules and regs are useful and vauable, but never to stifle others to your benefit)have no place in a pioneering and entrepreneurial society.

  3. Ronaldo says:

    I think that the value of the ‘satisfaction indicators’ is exemplified by the response to the question about whether the ABC is efficient and well managed. Unless respondents have actually carried out a detailed analysis of the ABC’s management, allocation of funding, etc. how would anyone answering this question actually know?

  4. PB says:

    A lot of people seem to hold a historically-based faith in the ABC don’t weight that against what the ABC has morphed into in recent years.

    Since the US vote was manipulated to look like a Biden win the ABC seems to have doubled down on PC. COVID, Climate, Trump as sore loser, migrant sob-stories and weather seems about the totality of News and Current Affairs.

  5. I strongly, intensely dislike the ABC. They are neither fair nor honest. They promote Left-wing agendas to the exclusion of all else. The ABC is no longer needed in Australia. I object most strongly to being forced to fund these Left Wing Idealists. $1Bn+ could be spent in many many other ways, all of which would be of great help to the recipients.

  6. Rorschach says:

    Be interesting on how radio compares… I’d bet similar (10%) Australia wide [a quick looksee gives]:

    http://www.radioalive.com.au/RA/media/General/Documents/Surveys%20for%20Metro/GfK_Summary-Report-Sydney_Survey-1-2020.pdf?ext=.pdf

    http://www.radioalive.com.au/RA/media/General/Images/GfK_Summary-Report-Newcastle_Survey-1-2020_1.pdf?ext=.pdf

    And playing classical music all day does not need a billion dollar budget …

  7. Davey Boy says:

    It’s been said elsewhere, worth repeating – the ABC is beyond biased, it is partisan. It takes every opportunity to denigrate, belittle, sneer at, insult and demean Australia and citizens. Even my father, now in his 90s, recognises that that the ABC hates him, his generation and the achievements of his cohort.
    F the ABC. The gloves are off. Constant agitation against the sanctimonious pricks and their enablers is my recommendation, being nice will achieve nothing against the ABC-holes.

  8. Bronson says:

    Don’t watch it, don’t need it, object to paying for it.

  9. Ƶĩppʯ (President Elect) says:

    The ABC provides services that the Australian inner city greenspublic love.

    covffereeeeeee

  10. Rorschach says:

    Also – these percentages are based on total people using media (100%). What is missing in any surveys are people who can’t be bothered with any of the media and are out enjoying time in the sun… so the 10% type viewership / listeners are HUGELY overstated. Anyone care to guess how low a % of total Australians actually use the ABC … 1% … Less?

  11. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha says:

    ABC should be subscriber only.

  12. Roger says:

    It would appear Mr Grudnoff is inhabiting an alternative reality.

    Why, I imagine he also believes a modern society can be powered 100% by RE and other fantasies.

  13. Tom says:

    The ABC is a channel of Greens, by Greens, and for Greens.

    Fact check: true.

    To verify, watch any edition of the ABC TV 7pm news and see if you can find a “story” that couldn’t also be a press release by the Greens.

    There aren’t any.

    As Professor Davidson points out, many of those who say they value the ABC don’t watch or listen to the ABC. In other words, the findings of opinion polls about the ABC are self-serving propaganda by the ABC — which is why they’re included in the ABC’s annual report.

    Why not ask Australians: taxpayers spend $1.5 billion p.a. on public broadcasting. Do you think that money could be better spent on other priorities, such as health and hospitals?

    The results of that opinion survey would be radically different from the ABC’s propaganda polls.

  14. mem says:

    Zulu Kilo Two Alpha
    #3671481, posted on November 26, 2020 at 11:30 am
    ABC should be subscriber only.

    excellent idea!

  15. Mother Lode says:

    When I saw those levels of confidence I assume they were the results from the grotesquely amateurish ‘Vote Compass’ which constantly finds that people are actually opposed to the policies that get a government in, and in favour of policies of parties that are not voted in.

    They assured me something like 90% want the borders opened up again.

  16. Spurgeon Monkfish III says:

    I strongly, intensely dislike the ALPBC.

    I despise it with an unrelenting passion and want it utterly obliterated. Hence, The Mantra™:

    Shut it down
    Fire them all
    Out of a cannon
    Into a wall
    Salt the earth
    Mound of skulls
    Nuke from orbit

  17. thefrollickingmole says:

    2 5 minute samples from driving to site and back.

    #1: Refugee court case
    #2: Army, Banks, Church, all failed institutions, with Ms Crumpetperverts, Fr F Brennan and another tool from an insurance mob to speak for the banks.

    Anybody want to guess the editorial line from “FRAN”?

  18. NuThink says:

    When flying into Chicago on United, an announcement came over the speakers to say that we might like to know that the crew on this flight had been voted the best airline crew in the World.

    Then she added – we have just taken the vote amongst us.

    Do ABC submit their Q&A audience lists (with phone numbers) to the pollsters?

  19. Mother Lode says:

    I will give ABC fans this much: They are shameless in a way that you ordinarily would only expect from a politician.

    When challenged on why the ABC should not be a subscription service, rather than people who don’t like it and don’t use it having to pay for it, they don’t squirm or cavil. They switch it up a notch. They inflate like puffer fish and exhale a putrid stinking stream.

    There is simply no questioning their right to other people’s money for their pastimes.

  20. Spurgeon Monkfish III says:

    something like 90% want the borders opened up again

    Yes, being 91.3% of the 200,000 or so irredeemable imbeciles that actually watch read or listen to the ALPBC.

  21. cuckoo says:

    Nice to see that the absolute wooden spooner in that chart is SBS’ dedicated koori/BLM channel, NITV.

  22. Old Lefty says:

    Here is the ABC, as usual in its coverage of NSW, acting as a mouthpiece for David Shoebridge of the Rhiannon Stalinist wing of the Greens.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-11-26/nsw-shredded-documents-recovered-in-gladys-berejiklian-office/12922132

  23. Old Lefty says:

    Not, by the way, that I think the Photios Liberals are above porknarrelling.

  24. Fred says:

    If the ABC didn’t exist you wouldn’t invent.

    Imagine there was never an ABC and someone running for Parliament proposed spending a billion dollars a year on television and radio shows, even though we already have 10, 9, 7, Foxtel, Netflix, Stan, Disney+, Binge, YouTube, endless FM radio stations, spotify, iTunes.

    They’d be laughed at.

  25. Epicurious says:

    Obviously the surveys are taken in inner city Sin-dney and Mel-bums. If they went subscription then the only unit that might make a go of it would be Classical with volunteers manning, oops no-gendering the console. No stuff it, if Classical were cast free from the yoke they’d value the term manning.

  26. Spurgeon Monkfish III says:

    porknarrelling

    To purvey a “porknarrative”, such as Keane’s wondrous ruinable energy strategy about to inflicted on NSW.

  27. Lee says:

    But a certain commenter here, named after the chemical element of atomic number 85, thinks that the ABC is unbiased, does a great job, and we shouldn’t call it nasty names, like “cancerous”, so who are we to argue otherwise?
    Needless to say he espouses the usual leftist talking points, especially global warning.

  28. Lysander says:

    I’d sell* it all. Some proceeds could go to ABC regional radio where they do an honest day’s work and actually represent the people they live and work closely with (ABC Geraldton for example).

    And I’d keep Classic FM (cos I’m a snob) but the rest of it could be sold.*

    *In the highly likely event nobody would buy it, I’d turn Ultimo in a homeless hospice and leftover funds returned to any taxpayer who earned over $30K for at least five years in a row.

  29. Simple Simon says:

    Lee
    #3671529, posted on November 26, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    But a certain commenter here, named after the chemical element of atomic number 85, thinks that the ABC is unbiased, does a great job, and we shouldn’t call it nasty names, like “cancerous”, so who are we to argue otherwise?
    Needless to say he espouses the usual leftist talking points, especially global warning.

    Would that be the element that could not be found in nature and was made in a lab, is very unstable and breaks down quickly, and was named from the Greek astatos (ἄστατος), meaning ‘unstable’?

  30. thefrollickingmole says:

    3rd session after another 5 minutes driving:

    Archie Roach, stolen generators….

    They are nothing is not entirely predictable in their monomanias.

  31. EvilElvis says:

    Having breakfast on Murray St in Perth CBD. A vibrant hub that drives our economy with diversity, equality and virtue.

    Completely dead on the street. More punters in our laneway cafe than going to work. Go Aussies!

  32. EvilElvis says:

    Epic thread fail!

    I’m sure the people that are here are watching and listening to the ABC…

  33. dopey says:

    For every hour of ABC, nearly 10 minutes is telling us how wonderful they are. Works like hypnosis and been going on for 50 years.

  34. WX says:

    Continually fronting a strong opponent on ground of their choosing, using rules of their choosing, armed with the equivalent of a fly swatter, is getting us where, exactly?

    Weaken the enablers. Otherwise, this is simply posing.

  35. Lee says:

    Would that be the element that could not be found in nature and was made in a lab, is very unstable and breaks down quickly, and was named from the Greek astatos (ἄστατος), meaning ‘unstable’?

    Yes!

  36. Fair Shake says:

    I’m not sure those numbers are strong enough to force change. I have family and friends who are rusted on ABC green left supporters. They cannot and will not accept how shyte it has become over the years. How their ABC does not support or like them back. Family will never appreciate they are despised by their ABC.
    With recent COVID restrictions and hearing their responses it has drilled home to me how few in number are people who support small government… and the CAT. The outlook is bleak.

    But i will never ever surrender!

    ABC should be a subscription model if it is so adored. Let them drink that in.

  37. Phill says:

    I listen to ABC radio when driving. It is always good to know what the enemy are thinking.

  38. RJH says:

    Nothing will change until the NSW Liberals unchain themselves from the Green Left Photis Liberal faction endorsers who daily prostitute themselves to the Ruinables Industry in their pursuit of a dollar. No one has yet convinced me as to why I should fund the viewing/broadcasting habits of others in the 21st Century when there are a plethora of options available with heaps more honesty & credibility than their ABC. If these bludgers are so keen on their ABC, privatise it & let them fund it from their own pockets? Only then will the frightening reality appear for them see the actual confirmation as to its true following/interest by Australian consumers

  39. Spurgeon Monkfish III says:

    privatise it & let them fund it from their own pockets

    It would go tits up within six months.

    Sell off any useful infrastructure and then implement The Mantra™.

  40. egg_ says:

    these percentages are based on total people using media (100%). What is missing in any surveys are people who can’t be bothered with any of the media and are out enjoying time in the sun…

    +1

    Looks like Aunty is dwindling the most of the dwindling steam meeja audience, and aren’t they accused of cannibalising the Leftoid online patronage of Fairfax, et al?

    Daytime numbers down relative to the Commercials because they’re airing sh1te no one watches, even in the Regionals?

    They’re supposed to be turning their largely unwatched “Comedy” channel into a Documentary channel, but SBS seems to have covered that market pretty well in recent years – on a relatively shoestring budget and with Advertising.

    Makes Aunty look sad in comparison.

  41. Cassie of Sydney says:

    “They’re supposed to be turning their largely unwatched “Comedy” channel into a Documentary channel, but SBS seems to have covered that market pretty well in recent years – on a relatively shoestring budget and with Advertising.”

    Yep…I never watch their ABC…well maybe Australian Story once a year…but I frequently watch SBS. SBS always has interesting documentaries and movies. Even SBS news is a lot better than the ABC crap.

  42. Boambee John says:

    They’re supposed to be turning their largely unwatched “Comedy” channel into a Documentary channel, but SBS seems to have covered that market pretty well in recent years – on a relatively shoestring budget and with Advertising.

    I watch some of the SBS documentaries (but they are obsessed with Nazis, and often roll the Japanese in with them) and also find some interesting shows on World Movies. Nothing else though.

    Their ABC? Meh!

  43. H B Bear says:

    Trouble is most people who don’t watch it (that is the vast majority) have a rose coloured glasses, 1960’s view of the ALPBC when talk turns to doing something about it.

  44. H B Bear says:

    It is simply not a first order issue for most people.

  45. PoliticoNT says:

    Couldn’t we stop whining, and just defund them by 90% and let them go off and quietly masturb8te each other in their hand job circle? On a positive note it wouldn’t be hard to secure bipartisan support.

  46. H B Bear says:

    On a positive note it wouldn’t be hard to secure bipartisan support.

    Both branches of the UniParty are content to leave the staff co-op to its many devices. Why do you think nothing has ever been done about it?

  47. Texas Jack says:

    I liked the suggestion of “nuke from orbit” and if I were Emperor for a day I’d shut it in the first hour, but I’d settle for “defund and move to a subscription model.”

  48. vlad says:

    The ABC of boyhood was a different creature.

    “For schools” in the daytime.

    The music for schools on the radio, with the textbooks you followed along with.

    F-Troop, The FBI, Julius Sumner Miller and Dr Who.

    Very different days.

    I’d say the rot started with the “8 cents a day” campaign in 1987 – incidentally the year Countdown ended.

  49. Gerry says:

    The questions they ask in the surveys are wrong….. are there any parts of the ABC you like ? yeah, the rural programs radio and TV

  50. vlad says:

    EG Whitlam wanted to start up a government-owned newspaper, just like Pravda (only less truthful, I’m guessing).

    And we shudder at the thought of that as a bullet dodged, until you realise that we read newspapers for the most part online now and the ABC is cranking out online news stories as a major part of its operation.
    So we do now effectively have a government newspaper.

  51. Spurgeon Monkfish III says:

    Crudlin running the editorial line tonight reflecting the Perfesser Davidson proposal.

    “What do you think?”

    I hope someone texted her the original version of The Mantra™.

  52. Squirrel says:

    Those audience statistics support the points which have repeatedly been made on this site – i.e. if there is not the political will to close down the ABC, then there could, at least, be big savings by cutting it back to provide only that programming which has solid support from the public (i.e. voters).

  53. PoliticoNT says:

    Humph – call me an optimist but the ABC et al are overplaying their hand by such a vast margin that were a pollie to call for this course of action the nation might be gripped with a momentary & crazy sense of lunacy; and run with the idea. Australians will only swallow so much partisan shiite.

  54. Splatacrobat says:

    The only unbiased transmission the ABC ever made was the test pattern. They don’t even play that anymore even.

  55. Terry says:

    Well, they’ve conducted the polls and it is undeniable, TheirABC is absolutely loved by more than 350% of the population.

    Time to test the theory. Everyone that loves TheirABC can log into ATO.gov.au and make their voluntary subscription payment. Do not delay. As of Monday, the sum of donations represents the ABC’s entire operating budget.

    Hurry, or Peppa Pig gets it.

  56. Splatacrobat says:

    10 minutes of news interspersed with 40 minutes of of diversity puff pieces from every minority victim group registered with Centrelink.

    I saw one story where a woman burnt out from corporate life discovered basket weaving as a therapy for stress. She now makes a living out of teaching it. The story was presented like this was an innovative approach.

    I’ve still got my waste paper basket I made when dealing with the angst of Judy Hudson not sharing her lunch with me in grade three.

  57. David Brewer says:

    Judy Hudson was just a mole so you dodged a bullet there as far as I’m concerned, Splatacrobat. Got a damned durable basket out of it too.

  58. PoliticoNT says:

    The real problem is that the ABC is our enemy.

    They shit on our culture, our history, our schools and our churches. The shit on our children, our friends, our families and theirs. The ABC shits on our communities, our language, our nation. They revel in the inane, the ugly, the profane and the fleeting. They are a collective and tedious windbag of little merit and zero sophistication. The consider themselves elite yet are barely ordinary.

    They shit on us because boasting rights at their high table is all they care for.

  59. W Hogg says:

    I love getting a BJ. Thus far, the govt has not considered that a sufficient reason to spend $1.2bn of taxpayer money providing them.

  60. Mother Lode says:

    The questions they ask in the surveys are wrong….. are there any parts of the ABC you like ? yeah, the rural programs radio and TV

    Could ask questions about specific programs – the point being that very few people who answered that it was trustworthy and good value would have any idea what the programs are.

    Most will have heard of Q&A as it is referred to in the papers, but likely not much more than that.

  61. Bernie Harrington says:

    From my experience listening to ABC local radio on motoring trips across Australia, it is by far way above the poor commercial offerings.
    As a wide reader of local, state, national and international affairs – it produces a fair and balanced report.
    TV is not bad but SBS excells, mostly.
    They do have the occasional poor local presenter but please keep it up.

  62. Habib says:

    It’s popular with the sub-10% of the population who are batting mad, and vote green. Why should we subsidise these imbeciles? I’d kick in toward their confinement, otherwise they can eat shit and die.

  63. Habib says:

    Barking. Fucking auto-correct.

  64. Habib says:

    “From my experience listening to ABC local radio on motoring trips across Australia, it is by far way above the poor commercial offerings.
    As a wide reader of local, state, national and international affairs – it produces a fair and balanced report.
    TV is not bad but SBS excells, mostly.
    They do have the occasional poor local presenter but please keep it up.”

    So pay for it yourself, champ. Why should I fund your delight in delusion?

  65. John says:

    In Queen Street Mall in Brisbane, there is a big tv screen. For years it showed Sky News. Now it has gone to the ABC news channel. How can this happen while we have a Liberal Lord Mayor and council? They must be weak as.

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