Is Big Bird obsolete?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-12-2011
Is Big Bird obsolete?
Thu, 10-11-2012 - 12:45pm

Okay this is an interesting topic to me esp with the big explosion on Facebook and the converstaions on the News channels andf all. Plus now it seems Big Bird has now become a popular Halloween costume.

Is PBS becoming obsolote? With cable and the explosion of different types of channels that range from different specialties. Is PBS really not needed anymore? BBC can be found for the Englis/British programing. Nickalodeon etc. And I will be honest I did try to get my kids to watch Sesame Street growing up but they prefered Blues Clues. And alot of the programs I see on PBS are cartoons anyway now. And no more Mr. Rodgers and well we can forget Barney (although my oldest used to love him )

. And lets face it the specials PBS has only seem to come up when the station has  fundraising drive so we get multiple interupptions any way.

So again is PBS no longer needed. Is it worth not funding them any more?

 I am serious because this converstaion has struck a cord with me. I am not saying it is the final answer in my vote. Just as a whole I wonder.


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-11-2008
Mon, 10-15-2012 - 12:09pm

No! is my answer to your question.

I listen to NPR every day (I'm listening right now, in fact, an hour long Congressional debate) and watch public tv often. I think that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which is who funds PBS and NPR is essential for our democracy. Without the news, arts and educational  programs on PBS and NPR we would be a much poorer country.

(My local public radio station raised A LOT of money last week giving away Big Bird beanies with pledges of a certain level.)  I am a member of two public radio stations and one tv station. But there are stations that are not so well- supported by their listeners/ viewers; rural stations in particular, they are the ones who would have very little programming without CPB funds.


P.S. Big Bird's (and the rest of the muppets) money made on dolls and other merchandise does not support PBS in general, but CTW's educational programming, which is worldwide.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-22-2012
Sun, 10-14-2012 - 7:04am

NPR/PBS got $444 million dollars last year - taxpayer dollars... and those were dollars we borrowed from China. For every dollar we borrow it now costs us around SEVEN dollars, so $444 million costs us $3,108,000,000 - that is three billion with a B. They get around 90% of their funding privately, so why not allow them to allow viewers, grants and corporations sponsort them rather than the American taxpayer who is burdened with a ginormous dent that our grandkids will inherit. Sorry, Big Bird - "Sesame Street" brings in hundreds of millions of dollars annually in licensing fees, so use those, not our insanely overstretched taxpayer dollars.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Sat, 10-13-2012 - 11:01am
good point
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-1999
Fri, 10-12-2012 - 9:06pm
PBS is free. Not everyone can afford cable or satellite television. It is not obsolete.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Fri, 10-12-2012 - 12:25pm

I suspect that the funding is a very small. PBS does get funding via other sources-membership drives and endowments.

Those programs, I doubt, would not be aired on commercial channels because the advertisers want to make money and advertisers are very sensitive to that goal. The cable channels,except for a few, basically air programs at the same level. Look at the history channel. Most of the programs on that channel are well, have nothing to do with history. I think it has more to do with political posturing (ii.e. appear like you are doing something even though the cost savings are miniscule) and your republicans afraid of "liberal leaning" programming.

However, as a social democrat, I would not call what PBS airs as "liberal learning". It is intelligent programming; educational. It makes you think and it doesn't talk down to the viewer. Last night, I check out the series on the bible PBS has aired.. very interesting. The other channels,except for perhaps Discovery, are basically entertainment.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-11-2005
Thu, 10-11-2012 - 11:09pm
I love PBS & NPR {listen to NPR daily, I would say I watch PBS at least 3 to 4 times a week}. The money that our government gives to PBS/NPR goes to our local stations, and what our local stations raise is used to pay for programming. So no I don't want to see either of them defunded. I know all 3 of my grand kids have watched Sesame Street.
~~Sam stitches well with others, runs with scissors in her pocket. Cheerful and stupid.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-12-2011
Thu, 10-11-2012 - 6:22pm

I will be honest  don't know how much the goverment subsditzes PBS. And  don't watch that many of its programs. But I know it was brought up in the presidential debate how Mitt Romney was going to cut fiunding towards PBS.

And the firestorm it created here

. I know also PBS needs fundraisiing since it is commercial free. But couldn't all of the quality programs you mentioned move to other networks?

I guess I am confused as to why it is a big deal on either side. Hence the question with the choices on nowwith cable and it is not as hard as it used to be to find similar programming on cable and commercial TV is PBS becoming a thing of the past? Or are the Republicans more afraid of funding a liberal leaning part of the media?



iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Thu, 10-11-2012 - 3:21pm

Is not the funding provided to PBS from your government miniscule?

Should not the US have a public broadcaster like we have here in Canada (CBC, TVO etc..) and the Brits have (BBC)  not driven by solely commericial interests?

PBS is much more than children shows. What about shows like Nova,Frontline,American Experience etc..  It would be too bad if PBS went away; a sad day for quality television in your country. These shows help to educate the general population and also present a thoughtful view of your country, your history, and the world we all live in.