According to a recent study on per capita spending for public television across 18 western countries, the U.S. comes in dead last, at number 18. Norway, on the other hand, comes in first.
The study was commissioned by CBC/Radio-Canada. Canada itself fell at no. 16 in the list, beating only New Zealand and the U.S. in per capita spending.
The average spending per inhabitant across the countries was U.S.$70.5.
In Canada, spending per inhabitant is C$33 (U.S.$28). The number in New Zealand is U.S.$18 per inhabitant, and the U.S. has an amazingly low spending figure of $2.6 per inhabitant.
While CBC Radio/Canada is often compared to the U.K.’s BBC, it only has a third of the level of per capita funding as public broadcasters in the U.K. (who spend U.S. $83 per capita).
Norway, the leading country in terms of public funding, receives the equivalent of U.S.$155 per capita.
And, according to DocumentaryTelevision.com, CBC/Radio-Canada’s funding will decline even more as a result of the upcoming federal deficit reduction action plan. “When the cuts are fully implemented in 2014/15 fiscal year, CBC/Radio-Canada’s per capita funding will decline from C$33 to C$29,” the site reports.
The incoming U.S. Congress is also expected to make major uts to PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Interestingly, seven countries of the total 18 — Canada, Spain, Italy, the U.K., the U.S., Ireland and New Zealand — rely on commercial activities to generate one-third or more of their total public broadcasting revenues, according to the study.
But public broadcasters do not earn any commercial revenues in Sweden, Norway and Denmark — all of their income is derived from public funding sources, namely TV and radio license fees for households and businesses, the site reports.