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 2016-17 Vol 1 & 2 are available [here]

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).

The Real Facts about your ABC - A two page flyer produced by ABC Friends you can download & print [here] (300KB PDF)

Contact the ABC - the ABC welcomes and encourages your feedback about its programming and services [here]

If you have feedback specific to ABC Classic FM you can do so [here]

Subscribe to the ABC's range of email newsletters, email alerts and listener feedback clubs [here]

2018 ABC Annual Public Meeting - View the video of the event and read the keynote speeches [here]

 

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 2017 budget [here] PDF 18pps 626KB.

The Financial Summary extracted from Vol 2 of the 2016/7 ABC Annual Report can be downloaded [here] 54pps 1.9MB

The ABC's FactCheck traces the government's 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

 

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 OVER TIME

Funding cuts 2017

The 2017-18 operational revenue from Government of $865 million represents a decrease in real funding of $336 million or 28% since 1985-86. Source: ABC's Annual Report 2017 Vol 2 page 84


COST TO AUSTRALIANS

The ABC cost taxpayers less than 10 cents per Australian per day. The 2017-18 operational revenue from Government is $865 million (see above). Divide this by 365 days and again by the current population of 24 million.

Back in 1987, your ABC famously cost each Australian eight cents a day.  In 1987 dollar terms we now cost each Australian just four cents a day.  In other words, our per capita funding has halved in real terms. ABC CFO's speech 2018 ABC Public Meeting.

Our per capita funding is 34% lower than the average of other public broadcasters, including the BBC. In fact, we serve a population one-third the size of the UK, but do it with a budget one-eighth that of the BBC. ABC CFO's speech 2018 ABC Public Meeting.

SNAPSHOT OF THE ABC IN 2016-17

Source: ABC's Annual Report 2017 Vol1 Pages 28-30

80%

of Australians trust the ABC

83%

of Australians believe that the ABC performs a valuable role

81%

of Australians believe that ABC TV provides good quality programming

72%

of Australians believe ABC Radio quality is good

78%

of respondents believe the ABC does a good job of being distinctively Australian

74%

of respondents believe the ABC does a good job of being balanced & even-handed

80%

of weekly viewers believe ABC news & current affairs on TV is fair and balanced

85%

of weekly viewers believe ABC news & current affairs is high quality

70%

reach achieved to national audiences in Television, Radio and online. Digital gains countering declines in broadcast television reach

39%

of online Australians (7.7m people) represented the reach to ABC Online, 2% increase from previous year

2.9M

Australians accessed the ABC on smartphones - up 9% on previous year

More from the 2016-17 Annual Report...

Did you know that in NSW & ACT that the ABC has 15 offices? 1 in Canberra, of course, and the Head Office in Sydney at the Ultimo Centre, but also in Broken Hill, Wagga Wagga, Dubbo, Orange, Muswellbrook, Tamworth, and Lismore inland, and then down the coast at Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Newcastle, Wollongong, Nowra and Bega. (p25)

From those places, as well as reporters and bureaux overseas and the other states, the ABC is committed to quality distinctive programming, and providing independent news and information to enrich communities in Australia: a statement that derives from the Charter under which the ABC operates. (p27)

In content, some highlights were:

  • The War on Waste campaign garnered 1.9m viewers each episode on tv and iview. The spin-offs from this on various other ABC programmes along with the original Craig Reucassel series has been pivotal in inspiring community action such as major supermarket chains phasing out plastic bag usage, and the Keep-Cup campaign suddenly went ballistic - crashing its website in the take-up rate increase. Sales reportedly increased >400% (pp32-33)

  • Stargazing Live reached 2.7million viewers, with spin-off events in Melbourne and Launceston attracting >5,000 attendees at pop-up science festivals. Huge uptake with user-generated content - >3,700 items submitted boosting the content on the broadcast programme. Stargazing online reached >2million, with more than 300,000 video views. And a new four-planet solar system was discovered in the process! On our ABC. (pp34-35)

  • Federal Election 2016 - across all of ABC’s platforms - analyses and interviews around the country, and Vote Compass attracted over 1.23million responses. (p36)

  • National Reconciliation Week - the ABC told the story of the 1967 Referendum and the its impact over the past 50 years. The ABC was granted access to all the National & State Archives to glean the background information, as well as collaborating with representatives of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. Right Wrongs and Mabo featured, as well as Counted, hosted by Stan Grant. (p38)

  • Science - ABC Radio featured strongly with increasing audience on ABC Science - up 8%. And just short of 1 million fans on ABC Science Facebook Page. ABC Radio covered the World Science Festival in Brisbane, with a special focus on women in science chaired by Geraldine Doogue. (p41)

  • ABC Splash is growing - audience and reach increased by 24% this last year. Great articles on all sorts of topics here: www.splash.abc.net.au educational, fascinating, historical, scientific, fabulous resource for teachers on our ABC. (p43)

  • ABC Splash partnered with First Languages Australia to bring 100 fifteen-second soundbites in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, which were then aired and allowed ABC audiences to connect with some of the oldest spoken languages in the world. (p43)

  • Arts and Culture: The ABC broadcast many educative programmes this past year - Man Up, Howard on Menzies, Stories of Australian Cinema - David Stratton, Building Modern Australia, Catalyst, Todd Sampson’s Life on the Line, Life of a Universe - Brian Cox, Ask the Doctor, Streets of Your Town, Stargazing Live, The Word. (p44)

  • Religion & Ethics: RN broadcast a wide selection of programmes including God Forbid, Philosopher’s Zone, The Minefield, The Spirit of Things, The Religion & Ethics Report. Compass continues its wonderful variety of programmes though the hosting baton has now passed from long-time host Geraldine Doogue to Kumi Taguchi. Wide ranging topics as has always been its style included Sikhs, Coptic Christians, Lutherans, Defence Force Chaplains, a Muslim stand-up comedienne, homelessness, faith healing, and drug rehabilitation. (p45)

  • ABC Kids: 30 million plays on the iView app - that’s pretty cool! (p46)

  • ABC NEWS ranked #1 (p50)

Just a few highlights...


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]