It is almost unrecognizable to the common mortal. From 2025, he should pay for public television 25 crowns more per month, ten crowns for radio. It’s a small thing against the diet the government prescribed him with his package. One coffee in a restaurant or one beer in a store. Still, it’s a problem. Why?
Public media operate in a market where private companies also operate. And they don’t have a cushion of around two billion for radio and six billion for television. Let’s put the radio aside for now and focus on Czech television. Competing stations such as Prima or Nova draw attention to the fact that Czech Television produces commercial programs such as detective series, for example Octopus or the show StarDance. It is sometimes difficult to distinguish between what is in the public interest and what is a money machine. In these cases, it is clear.
Israel, Palestine, Compassion
The upcoming amendment to the law is accompanied by another injustice. The TV fee is to be paid by everyone who owns something that can receive the CT signal. Especially the cell phone. It has a lot of young people who wouldn’t think of turning on the TV. They look for news quite differently. Maybe they would understand the tax on public media. However, “mobile” is hypocritical.
Ok, but no ads…
But let’s get back to the competitive environment. Let’s say that’s fair. Czech television is only allowed to have advertising on the second program, which then goes to God-loving purposes (that is, if someone considers a Czech film to be God-loving). However, CT found a loophole in the law and broadcasts so-called sponsorship messages. This is advertising, just with a different name. And it impoverishes private companies that do not have that comfortable state sofa from fees.
However, it is not just competition in the “airwaves”. Publishing houses are moving to the Internet. Sales of printed newspapers continue to decline. Serious news sites, which are often, to put it mildly, a beacon in a sea of misinformation, live off advertising. However, it annoys readers, or let’s say clickers. Television and radio do not need advertising and build websites that have an advantage. And similarly to unsuccessful detective stories on CT, it is doubtful whether all published articles are in the public interest. What with this?
We will beat the Czech children
It would be simple by increasing fees to cancel all advertising by ČT and CRo, including sponsorship messages. This would at least straighten out the market environment a little. The second and more difficult thing is that we, who pay for the public media, have more insight into their internals. According to current laws, not even the relevant councils have it. The average viewer would surely be interested in how much TV stars earn. And why they have the opportunity to improve when moderating private events. Or whether employees of ČT and ČRo do not receive a salary and still get paid for private services for the same work. And certainly also what is the key according to which the television supports Czech film, and why it chooses even scrap.
But let’s not be one-sided. The television fee did not increase for fifteen years, the radio fee even longer. During that time, inflation nearly halved it. Both media therefore try to save as much as possible. This is commendable, but at the same time it tells how exorbitant the fees used to be.
To summarize: The current proposal for a small increase would be acceptable if all advertising were banned. And if the public service media had to perform a “striptease” in front of those who pay them. Integrate them into decision-making processes and publish salaries and rewards.