I got this interesting e-mail message today from the cable company talking about some kind of bailout package that TV stations are asking for and how it believes that it is not a good idea. This was the message:
A television bailout is Bad TV.
CTV, CBC and Global TV are trying to convince Canadians that local TV is in trouble. What they’re really doing is trying to push through a TV tax on all Canadians for programming you get for free today.
They want this extra charge because they’ve misspent the hundreds of millions of dollars they’ve already received from taxpayers, cable and satellite companies.
In total, cable and satellite companies pay $250 million a year in program funding to assist local broadcasters in producing Canadian television programs â€“ as much additional funding as is provided by the Canadian government. Where does that money come from? It comes from the Canadian taxpayers.
The major broadcasters won’t even commit to using the new money to produce new local content. That’s why the CRTC has already turned them down twice. None of us can afford to keep bailing out companies who don’t know how to control their spending. Help us hold the broadcasters accountable.
I must be out of the loop as locally I only heard of one station that was trying to get public support to maintain operations financially. What this message did get me interested in was the whole notion of a bailout and how it raises the question where should bad company decisions or management be a reason to get money in this fashion?
For most types of businesses it is normally a â€œtough luckâ€ type of scenario if factors like the economy or company expenses are eating into your profits. In many ways I would tend to agree that this should just mean that the stations should have to try and adapt to the times.
Would this bailout money really help companies though? I was looking at some of the companies in the US that got this type of benefit and it looked like for the most part it didnâ€™t do much as many companies kept doing what they were doing. Itâ€™s interesting to see who the real innovators are during times like this too. Iâ€™m personally not too in the favor of an extra tax myself if it is just a matter of an organization needing to restructure itself.