Thursday, October 20, 2005

the cost of CBC

From today's Globe:
The BBC lays down a signal in one time zone in a country smaller than Alberta. The technical infrastructure costs of the CBC are immense, and unknown in Britain. It costs money to broadcast every CBC network program five times in five time zones.

And then there's the Arctic. It cost as much to lay down a satellite signal for 2 or 3 per cent of the population in the Canadian North as it did to bring satellite service to all the rest of Canada.

As a die-hard libertarian, I am prompted to sneer that it’s unconscionable to ask taxpayers to subsidize those living the North – if it’s not economically viable then too bad – no TV. And if they can’t live without TV – well, people from the North are more than welcome to move south into our aging cities. However we all understand of course that it’s not just ‘people’ there but aboriginals and a politician cuts the cable, the next day the Red Star and the Globe will accuse him of racism. So it would be a politically suicidal move.
On the other hand, perhaps it’s not so bad to subsidize TV broadcasting to those areas. After all, those people live in Canada and it’d be only fair if the public broadcaster served them too on the same level as the rest of the country. So I might curb my social Darwinist instincts :-) for a moment and endorse the idea.

But what made me smile ironically during the lockout was the duplicity with which CBC proponents put forward the argument regarding CBC’s special mission in relation to those remote communities in order to justify its overall existence and continuous funding. Hardly anyone would oppose to that. But once you cast your vote in support of remote communities and their access to CBC what you’ll invariably get alongside is the Passionate Eye, the Current and a myriad of other CBC shows with a heavy left-wing slant to them. Go figure!


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