Paying For Serious News, Ctd

A reader counters Tim Lee:

CNN and the BBC aren’t free.

While it’s true their websites make money, those ventures are re-appropriating content paid for by their respective cable channels. In the United States if you get cable you’re paying a monthly fee of about $.48 cents a month. The only reason this is so low is because every cable operator carries them, so 60% of the country is paying this monthly fee. 

Just look at this chart from Time Warner. CNN is in the subscription business, with other incomes secondary, exactly like the New York Times. The BBC is a combination, with US revenue being primarily carriage fees and the UK model being solely taxed based. 

He also fundamentally don’t understand the actual cost of reporting. While there is no question some of the Times content is replaceable consider their war coverage. In Iraq the Times is “spending more than $3 million a year to maintain a heavily fortified Baghdad bureau.” This is the same as easily 40 reporters stateside.