Current Online

Six in 10 pubcasting dollars now come from private sources

Originally published in Current, March 26, 2001

Public broadcasting's latest comprehensive revenue figures indicate that the field grew 6.5 percent to $2.146 billion in fiscal 1999. If you add in stations' "entrepreneurial revenues" that CPB counts separately, the total reaches $2.278 billion. Fiscal 1999 ended a year-and-a-half ago, in September 1999.

Private, non-tax-based funding hit the 60 percent mark for the first time. The biggest revenue category, subscriber or member income, reached 25 percent.

Most revenue lines were up. Capital fundraising for public TV's digital transition apparently swelled the catch-all category of "all other" revenues, which grew $84.48 million or 46.9 percent. The category includes gifts and bequests, Friends groups revenues and other forms of fundraising not counted as "membership" revenues, according to CPB spokeswoman Jeannie Bunton.

In one of the biggest tumbles, public TV's corporate underwriting revenues were down $39.1 million (15 percent). In public radio, however, underwriting was up $16.7 million (21 percent).

Revenues from station auctions were down $3.9 million or 18.5 percent. A number of stations have cut back auctions, which often have high costs that eat into the revenues.

The federal commitment to CPB held steady at $250 million in fiscal 1999. By this year, fiscal 2001, it had risen to $340 million.

. To Current's home page
. Earlier news: Latest figures and how they compare with past years.
. Outside link: Acrobat file of entire fiscal 1999 report, on CPB's site.

Web page posted March 13, 2001
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