Thursday, April 23, 2009

What business should run for free?

The news from the NZ Herald that TV3 faces fines of up to NZ$300,000 because it broadcast advertising - its primary source of revenue on a Sunday morning should raise a more serious question.

Why should any privately owned broadcasters broadcast for free?

The laws restricting when TV broadcasters can broadcast advertising are a little recognised but very real limit on free speech. Why should the government dictate when a broadcaster can sell the only thing that broadcaster has to make money? Advertising.

Imagine a cinema that had to offer free tickets on a Sunday morning, or any other business that was told if it opened on a Sunday morning, everything would be free. Indeed, imagine the internet without ads on Sunday morning - um yes, got the point?

Of course look at who brought the case - the cheerless Ministry of Culture and the Arts. People who produce nothing, who risk nothing, but use your money to promote their view of what culture and arts should be subsidised. Not the culture and arts you consume and want, no. You're forced to pay for a statist view of the world. It's wrong, and the Ministry of Culture and the Arts should be disbanded.

Meanwhile, a small step forward would be to end restrictions on advertising on Sunday mornings, as well as Good Friday and Christmas Day (the only days radio stations cannot broadcast advertisements, but I doubt most of you even notice).

If you don't like advertising on TV on certain days then you can avoid it - do something else, turn it off.

No comments: