Some facts about the ABC...

THE ABC

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) is Australia's national public broadcaster. With a total annual budget of A$1.03 billion (May 2013) the corporation provides television, radio, online and mobile services throughout metropolitan and regional Australia, as well as overseas through the Australia Network and Radio Australia.

Founded in 1929 as the Australian Broadcasting Company, it was subsequently made a state-owned corporation on 1 July 1932, as the Australian Broadcasting Commission. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act 1983 changed the name of the organisation to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, effective 1 July 1983. Although funded and owned by the government, the ABC remains editorially independent as ensured through the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act 1983. Source: Wikipedia

The legislative framework that the ABC operates within can be seen [here]

The ABC's Annual Report 2015 is available [here] PDF 252pps 7.6Mb

The late K. S. Inglis has written the definitive history of the ABC in two volumes:
'This Is the ABC - The Australian Broadcasting Commission, 1932 -1983'. Melbourne University Press (1983).
'Whose ABC? - The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 1983 - 2006'. Black Inc. Melbourne (2006).

ABC FUNDING

The ABC is funded on a triennial basis which is important to enable the ABC to plan ahead. Triennial funding is also meant to help to maintain the ABC’s independence from government.

Details of the ABC funding allocation in the 2016 budget [here] PDF 21pps 228KB.

On page 75 you will see "Total funds from Government 2015/16 = $1,084,413,000 and 2016/17 = $1,036,090,000" - a $48,323,000 cut!

The ABC's FactCheck traces the governments broken promises on ABC funding [here]

The cumulative cuts to the ABC since 2014, according to the ABC in a February 2016 parliamentary submission is available [here] PDF 24pps 637KB

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The ABC was allocated $1,113.6 million in the May 2014 Federal Budget. This was reduced by $0.4 million in the Additional Estimates process in respect of Communications and Public Affairs Function Targeted Savings, with the revised allocation totalling $1,113.2 million for 2014-15. The ABC also received $155.4 million from other sources, including ABC Commercial. Source: ABC's Annual Report 2015 page 134

COALITION’S PRE-ELECTION PROMISE: "NO CUTS TO THE ABC AND SBS"

Before the last federal election, Tony Abbott categorically ruled out cuts to the ABC. He replied "no cuts to the ABC and SBS" when asked by Anton Enus for SBS World News on 6.9.2013 if the ABC and SBS would be in the firing line. Source: SBS News Video

ABC FUNDING CUT OVERTIME

As a share of government spending, ABC funding almost halved between 1996 and 2013. Source: Business Spectator

The 2015-16 operational revenue from Government of $867 million represents a decrease in real funding of $299 million or 25.6% since 1985-86. Source: ABC's Annual Report 2015 page 136

Yet during a period of funding decline, ABC services have had to expand for the ABC to remain relevant.

The public broadcaster now provides TV channels ABC1, ABC2, ABC3 children’s TV, ABC News 24, iView catch up TV, an extensive range of online services as well as apps for mobile services and the ABC Open website for regional Australians to contribute their stories.

The ABC also has the nation’s largest radio network with ABC Local Radio available from 60 locations around Australia, ABC RN, ABC News Radio, ABC Classic FM, triple j and numerous digital stations such as ABC Dig Music, ABC Jazz, ABC Country etc.

COST TO AUSTRALIANS

The ABC cost taxpayers less than 10 cents per Australian per day. The 2015-16 operational revenue from Government is $867 million (see above). Divide this by 365 days and again by the current population of 24 million.

For three times the population of Australia, the BBC receives six times the funding of the ABC.

SNAPSHOT OF THE ABC IN 2014-15

Source: ABC's Annual Report 2015

84%

Australians believe the ABC provides a valuable service to the community (page 26)

71%

Estimated reach of ABC services via radio, television and online (page 26)

98.49%

Percentage of Australians who can access ABC’s digital television services (page 76)

9.4 million

ABC Television’s average five-city weekly metropolitan reach (page 39)

4.4 million

ABC TV’s total weekly regional reach (page 39)

4.8 million

ABC Radio’s average five-city weekly metropolitan reach (page 49)

$1.55M

Net profit generated by ABC Commercial which was returned to programming (page 134)



WHO OWNS THE ABC TRANSMITTERS?

NATIONAL TRANSMISSION AGENCY

The NTA was established in July 1992 by the Australian government to supervise the operation of the National Transmission Network (NTN). The NTN was, and still is, the network of radio and television transmitters that broadcast the programs of Australia's national broadcasters, namely SBS and ABC. More details [here]