In 2010, Americans rated public broadcasting as an “excellent” use of taxpayer dollars, second only to defense spending. 80% of those polled said funding for public broadcasting is money “well spent.” (1)
Federal funding is the “lifeblood” of public broadcasting, providing critical seed money and basic operating support to local stations, which then leverage each $1 of federal funding to raise over $6 from local sources -- a tremendous return on the taxpayer investment. Federal funding provides the margin of revenue needed by local stations to produce quality local programs and to make a market for national producers.
Federal funding provides essential support for public broadcasting’s mission to ensure universal access to high-quality non-commercial programming that educates, informs, enlightens, and enriches the public, with a particular focus on the needs of underserved audiences, including children and minorities.
Rural public broadcasting stations are even more reliant on federal funding than urban stations, and many would be forced to dramatically cut programming or go off the air if federal funds were cut.