Friday, September 5, 2008

Why Can't Public TV Makers Resist Adverts?

A lot of TV is commercial. It is paid for through advertising and sometimes through fees. The adverts are too numerous and generally repetitive and annoying.

However there are a class of TV channels free from such a hindrances to the quality of their programming. Namely public and state TV stations. The ones I'm most familiar with being the BBC in the UK and public television in the USA.

Why is it then, that when given control over the airways, and with no need to waste their on air time with advertising to pay their wages they can't help themselves but create advertisements anyway? They advertise themselves. I've just sat through 10 minutes of OPB (Oregon Public Broadcasting) advertising its own shows on the create channel. I've seen them take a commercial break in the middle of a show and advertise the show I'm watching. What do they expect me to do? Make the decision to watch the show? I'm already watching it. It takes a special kind of stupidity to advertise a show during the show and the people at OPB clearly are swimming in that special kind of stupidity.

The BBC are no better. They do exactly the same thing.

What's worse is that unlike commercial advertisisers, they don't have to pay huge fees to for access to the air time. So they make one advert and run it for month after month, year after year as if somehow, through repition, we will finally crack and watch the channel we've been watching already. Odd that.

In the UK I saw the BBC run a series of adverts about how great they were because they don't have adverts. They seemed quite proud of their no-advertisment lie.

So when I'm in charge of the world, rest assured I'll pass an edict that channels can't advertise themselves at all. Punishment would be harsh and might involve forcibly watching old Coronation Street episodes.

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