Budget Has Level Funding for Noncom Broadcasting

The President's 2017 budget showed some love for noncommercial television.

It did not cut CPB funding, which stayed level at $445 million for FY 2019—it is forward funded in an effort to depoliticize the process, though it has been something of a political football over the past decade anyway as Republicans alleged liberal bias and attempted to cut funding or defund some programs, including the Ready to Learn preschool educational effort with the Department of Education.

But more recently, and despite pressure to cut budgets overall, Congress has come around to something of a bipartisan consensus that noncommercial broadcasting should get continuing financial support.

RTL funding remained in the budget, as did $50 million for an ongoing public TV interconnection tech effort.

All that was music to the ears of the Association of Public Television Stations, which advocates for noncom station funding.

CPB was the independent entity created by Congress to disburse federal noncommercial TV funding.

"The Administration has been a faithful supporter of public television’s mission of education, public safety and civic leadership, and we very much appreciate this steadfast support," said APTS president Patrick Butler. "We are also pleased that the President included $50 million in his budget for FY 2017 to support public television’s new interconnection system – the backbone of both our education and public safety missions," and "are delighted that the President’s budget includes $25.7 million for FY 2017 for Ready To Learn, public television’s unique national-local partnership with a proven record of helping to close the educational achievement gap between children from low-income families and their more affluent peers."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.