Ep 211: Biggest Loser, TV Licenses and Freebies for Networks

It’s all in the title.

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Here are some things we mentioned during the show:

Gorge Yourself

It’s like Hulu but we can see it in Australia. But for how long?

Take a look at TV Gorge.

Thanks to Lovely Loyal Listener Lyndal for letting us know about that one.

If You Watch One Thing

  • Brett and Nelly: Australian Story, ?Samuel?s Story? – ABC1 – 8pm Mon, 8 Feb – Repeated: 12:30 Sat, 13 Feb
  • Josh: Elvis Costello with Bill Clinton – 11:25PM, 11 Feb 2010, ABC1

Questions for the Communications Minister’s Office

Firstly, have a look at the media release sent out by the Stephen Conroy’s office.

After reading that media release I had the following questions:

  1. How does a 33%-50% rebate ensure continued Australian content on television? Isn’t that what local content regulation is for?
  2. Where does the money from licenses normally go? Who is going to be missing out over the next two years?
  3. Is this just the government buttering up the networks prior to the upcoming election? The television networks, while a little less well-off than in past years, are hardly in danger of collapse. We can infer from what the networks tell us that a little bit of proper management and some elbow grease could get them out of this slump. So how can the government justify such a huge discount?

This was the reply from the Minister’s office:

The rebates recognise the importance of Australian content on TV and the increased pressures facing commercial TV.

The licence fees are a tax which goes into general revenue.

As stated in the media release, the rebates build on the Government’s funding increase for the ABC and SBS in the 2009-10 Budget to fund Australian content on the national broadcasters.

As also noted in the media release, one of the factors considered by the Government in providing the rebate to commercial TV broadcasters, was the costs they will incur in rolling out new digital multichannels and extending the coverage of those channels across Australia.


  1. Errr… for whatever it's worth guys, Elvis Costello is quite an experienced host-slash-interviewer. Saw him hosting (not guesting, HOSTing) the Letterman show the first couple of nights after Dave had his heart attack, and he was tremendous. Well worth checking out on Channel Bittorrent/ YouWhobe. Add to that all the SNL stuff Elvis has done…

    … and Brett, I thought we all agreed – we NEVER mention the pitch competition again?!

  2. Rob Boxcutter says:

    That Senator Conroy is a cunning fellow. He obviously delayed this media release until AFTER his 2-hour long grilling by Hedley on last Week's RRR Party Show.

  3. John Richards says:

    Facebook connect isn't working for me, for some reason, so just assume there's a cat on the side here…

    That Conroy statement is hilarious in that it's pointlessly vague AND passive aggressive all at the same time! “As stated in the media release…” and “As also stated in the media release…” are one step away from “you never listen to me! you never listen!” while mascara runs down Conroy's face. Why does no-one understand him?

    The award for meaninglessness goes to this: “The licence fees are a tax which goes into general revenue.” Thanks, that really cleared things up.

  4. Ian Boxcutter says:

    Excellent episode. I especially enjoyed Nellie's thoughts on The Biggest Loser. It's still not going to get me to watch the show, but now I know what's going on in it.

  5. Well, I'm glad someone enjoyed the Fatty Loser segment. Not that I didn't love the show, I just hate reality tv that much that even having to listen to people talking about it seemed to annoy me.

    Also, since I sorta poo pood Nelly a while back let me say, she is very enjoyable. Still seems like a guest a little, being new and all, but things are getting there.

    Very much looking forward to “Boxalution” which Dan gets it online.

  6. @IArea,
    well sure, Nelly still has a touch of the *guest host* (ie taking feels the need to respond to every comment spoken a la “Boxcutters + 60% Nelly”; as opposed to “Boxcutters includes 33.3% Nelly”; but then again it's been 5 or so years now and Josh still hasn't got out of the habit of trying to have the last word/ yell down the opposing view, even when he's 100% wrong. Some things you just have to put up with…

    That said, allow for 4-7 shows tolerance whilst everyone adjusts to the new team. God forbid “NewTeam = NewDynamic”. Frankly, having listened back to some old shows (intermittently ep40-80ish) over the summer break, “I STILL MISS ROSS as the only sensible one”

    /end of 'I like yer old stuff better than your new stuff rant.

  7. darrenboxcutter says:

    I like the concept of the Government Rebate to Commercial TV licenses. However can we take it a step further. If the government give me a rebate on my Income Tax I PROMISE to build the Australian economy by purchasing more products that are Aussie made.

    At this stage I can't define what “more” means but I am sure I can hel put.

  8. FB Connect is back in action, John's cat can return.

  9. Thank goodness.

  10. I loved hearing you guys talk about Biggest Loser-most of my friends are addicted to it, and no matter how many times I go “Do you not see? It's shit! Shit I tell you! Shit!” Before crawling off to a corner to cry, they refuse to listen. It was nice to hear all of my arguments distilled into a much more comprehensible package.. Maybe next time the fight is between Biggest Loser and a documentary about badgers, I'll just play this.
    But I suspect it will still be Biggest Loser that wins. 😉

  11. I actually like it when the show runs ridiculously long, because I listen to it when I'm on the rowing machine, and I don't let myself stop till it's over- so the longer the show is, the longer I work out.

  12. darrenboxcutter says:

    Hey if you like Reality TV you will love a book by Ben Elton called Chart Throb. Its so funny and although its fiction and exaggerates the truth there is quite a bit of truth to it.

  13. Fatty Loser news. Apparently those weekly weigh-ins aren't weekly:


  14. Have you seen the latest license fee news;

    And Bigest Loser attrocities;

  15. I just went to TV Gorge and it has had to take down all the indexed content and now just points to services such as Hulu. Well, it was good while it lasted. Back to Brett's special fancy

  16. I just went to TV Gorge and it has had to take down all the indexed content and now just points to services such as Hulu. Well, it was good while it lasted. Back to Brett's special fancy

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