Balancing the relationship between the commercial mandate and public service obligations is a difficult one especially considering the amount of emphasis and control large networks have over what was broadcasted in the early and later years of radio and television. If it were not for government policy creating specific needs for public service obligations then there would be little to no incentive for profit seeking media corporations to provide such content if there was not overwhelming public demand. As a result of the profit seeking motive of large corporations sponsored and sustaining programs took on a similar business model. Sponsored programs were produced to gain the most amount of revenue from sponsors, and subsequently draw in more audiences in order to gain those sponsors.
Hilmes, I believe, argues the same business model for those sustaining public service programs. When large corporations became the “gate keepers” of airwaves and television time, they were able to dictate which sustaining programs would be able to be broadcasted to local and national audiences. While media corporations were not making a monetary profit from these government mandated sustaining programs, they were making a profit in terms of how the company benefited in terms of connections with powerful organizations, and the government. By only playing the sustaining programs with such powerful relationships and government connections these corporations were following the same business model for the companies greatest profitability. By creating these powerful relationships through sustaining programs corporations were ensuring that the commercial mandate of sponsored programs would be even more successful because of their good standing and sway with the government.