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Friday, April 19, 2024
The Eagle

It's time to cut PBS funding

I love PBS! I grew up with “Sesame Street” and “Mr. Rodger’s Neighborhood;” I ardently watch “American Experience,” “Frontline,” “PBS Newshour” and “Masterpiece Theatre.”

However, it is absurd that $430 million is annually anointed to PBS when the federal government is $18 trillion in debt. PBS could be self-sufficient, though, if it makes one small concession: initiating in-programming commercials.

The average cost for a 30-second TV commercial on ESPN is about $54,415. PBS has the most popular documentaries, popular children’s shows and “Masterpiece,” which is considered the American point of access to British television. As a result, PBS will be able to charge about as much as ESPN. To replace its $430 million in funding, 7,902 30-second commercial slots would be necessary, found by dividing $430 million by the standard $54,425 set by ESPN. If we divide that by 365 days a year, it means that PBS will have to show a little more than 10 minutes of commercials each day in order to be able to be self-sufficient.

When “Downton Abbey” airs on PBS in January, millions of people, myself included, are going to tune in, and a lot of money could be generated by having one or two commercials in the middle of each episode. As much as I love “Downton Abbey,” I would rather endure 10 minutes of commercials than have the federal government continuously borrow money to pay for subsidies that I can’t afford.

During the 2012 presidential election, candidate Mitt Romney exclaimed, “I’m sorry, were going to have to cut funding for PBS; I love Big Bird … but I am not going to keep borrowing money from China to pay for it.” While I think he should not have mentioned Big Bird, he is right about how China owns $1.2 billion in U.S. bonds; China should not have that influence over us.

Zachary Andrews is a junior in the School of Public Affairs.  

Section 202 host Gabrielle and friends go over some sports that aren’t in the sports media spotlight often, and review some sports based on their difficulty to play. 

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