Save Our SBS – friends of SBS – joins all supporters and every friend of SBS in celebrating SBS radio, television, digital and online services. We are a not-for-profit association of ordinary people defending the original special purpose of SBS. DONATE here.

Minister asked to limit gambling ads on SBSMinister asked to limit gambling ads on SBS

Today, Independent MP Andrew Wilkie and Senator Nick Xenophon gave notice of a joint motion calling on the Minister for Communications Senator Mitch Fifield to limit gambling advertisements on SBS. The motion comes on the back of SBS broadcasting Sportsbet ads in the mid-year UEFA Cup. In July, Save Our SBS called for a total ban of all betting and gambling advertisements on SBS. In a statement Mr Wilkie said, “The new Parliament presents a perfect opportunity to… »

Gambling ads ought have no place on SBSGambling ads ought have no place on SBS

Forever chasing the commercial dollar, SBS has succumbed to broadcasting advertisements that promote betting in their sporting programs. Viewers watching the recent UEFA Cup competition would have seen Sportsbet ads on SBS at 5:30pm on Sundays and 6:30pm on weekdays. The broadcaster has proceeded down this path under the SBS Codes of Practice and as an associate member of Free TV Australia, under the advertising and betting restrictions contained in the Commercial… »

What will the Parties do with SBS after the election?What will the Parties do with SBS after the election?

Save Our SBS put six questions - the same questions - to the Coalition, Labor and Greens parties about their policies for SBS. This is what they promised. The full unedited answers are in the Q&A section lower down this screen. The Greens are the only party who will move advertising away from programs on SBS. Labor does not plan to alter the advertising arrangement at all. The Coalition have already introduced a Bill to… »

SBS funding business as usualSBS funding business as usual

Triennial funding for SBS was announced tonight. SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid has welcomed an additional $15.1m in funding for SBS on top of its base funding allocation over the next three years. SBS will receive $814.2m to 2019 in base operational funding, plus $6.9m in 2016‑17 to replace revenue that could not be raised due to the "delayed passage" of the Communications Legislation Amendment (SBS Advertising Flexibility and Other Measures) Bill… »

SBS to focus on its special CharterSBS to focus on its special Charter

Following talk last month of an ABC-SBS merger and ongoing public concern that SBS had deviated from its Charter, SBS has announced changes on how it will commission programs so they reflect the special nature of the broadcasting service and the SBS Charter. Next month, the SBS commissioning team will become two teams, scripted and non-scripted. The non-scripted team will be responsible for documentaries, food, entertainment and factual programs, while the scripted team… »

New SBS radio station: Arabic24New SBS radio station: Arabic24

Today, Save Our SBS President Steve Aujard welcomed the introduction of SBS Arabic24, a new 24 hours a day Arabic digital radio service and an online hub for Arabic speakers. Mr Aujard said: Arabic speakers are the third largest group in Australia and its very pleasing to see SBS providing this service which is spot on charter. SBS radio broadcasts nationally in 74 languages. The station will deliver the latest Australian and international news, information and… »

Why the proposed takeover of SBS failedWhy the proposed takeover of SBS failed

Although SBS is currently without a permanent chairman, this week high profile supporter of multicultural broadcasting and former chair of SBS Joseph Skrzynski AO spoke out against the idea of an ABC-SBS merger. Mr Skrzynski wrote in Fairfax Media that for every $1 SBS spends to reach each TV audience member, the ABC spends $3, and SBS delivers double the amount of TV per TV employee compared to the ABC. The former SBS chairman detailed why a merger made no economic sense and… »

Why the ABC wants to gobble SBS, not save itWhy the ABC wants to gobble SBS, not save it

This opinion piece by Save Our SBS President Steve Aujard, was first published on 23 February 2016 in the New Daily, here.  ANALYSIS: A merger of Australia’s two public broadcasters would spell the end of multicultural programming in this country. While ABC chief Mark Scott is prone to talking up the idea of merging Australia’s two public broadcasters, he has never been able to justify how multicultural broadcasting would be improved under ABC control. Let’s be… »

Don’t merge the ABC and SBSDon’t merge the ABC and SBS

A 40-page report released today raises the possibility of niche programs being relegated to internet, apps and catch-up platforms as part of an ABC-SBS merger. Niche programs are central to SBS. Commenting on the report, Save Our SBS President Steve Aujard said, “This is deeply disturbing. The SBS and NITV free-to-air broadcast channels could cease to exist as we know it.” The Australia Institute’s report, titled, “I want my ABC (and SBS and NITV)” claims to… »

SBS a remarkable institution, part of Australia’s multicultural successSBS a remarkable institution, part of Australia’s multicultural success

SBS - the Special Broadcasting Service - is the world’s first broadcaster established solely as a multicultural, multiethnic broadcaster. Prior to SBS, other broadcasters including the ABC had aired various foreign language programs (on Sunday mornings) but the Anglo-centric monoculture of the ABC hampered the full potential of multiculturalism in all its glory. The need for SBS to exist in its own right was soon realised. Established by the Fraser Coalition government,… »

Government asked to increase SBS funding tied to charter compliance by a reduction in commercial breaksGovernment asked to increase SBS funding tied to charter compliance by a reduction in commercial breaks

Save Our SBS has called on the federal government to hand back a significant portion of the funding to SBS that was cut from the national broadcasters under the previous prime minister. In May, the federal government will hand down funding details for SBS over the next three years. Save Our SBS President, Steve Aujard said, “In our pre-budget submission we outlined a series of options to Treasury that would assist SBS to better fulfil their Charter obligations.… »

Eclectic programming this year on SBSEclectic programming this year on SBS

There is excitement in the air at SBS for its 2016 program line up. SBS goes back to its Charter with multicultural diversity and a boost in local Australian productions at the forefront of its programming. In contrast one could have mistaken 2015 as being monocultural fixated on all things royal and British. But this year SBS will have 24 new Australian documentaries, including 10 Indigenous productions, two new Australian dramas and five new locally made food… »

MYEFO grants partial restoration in SBS fundingMYEFO grants partial restoration in SBS funding

The Turnbull government gave $4.1m to SBS today. This one-off Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook equates to the revenue SBS forecast it would have raised in the 2015-16 year if the parliament had not rejected the bill to double primetime advertising. SBS funding was effectively cut by the same amount last July. Communications Minister Senator Mitch Fifield was influential in this partial restoration of funds but the question is - will the full $53.7m of cuts announced under… »

SBS foodie channel soon to premiereSBS foodie channel soon to premiere

Foodies across Australia are counting down the days to Tuesday 17 November. That's when SBS will launch their new TV channel - the Food Network - a 24 hour, seven days a week food channel. It's an Australian first. The channel will broadcast nationally. Some of the imported programs will not be in English and SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid said that SBS has a “proud reputation for delivering distinctive food programming that allows Australians to delve into… »

Senator Mitch Fifield: Communications & Arts MinisterSenator Mitch Fifield: Communications & Arts Minister

Liberal Senator for Victoria, Senator Mitch Fifield is the new Minister for Communications & the Arts.  He replaces former Communications Minister - now Prime Minister - Malcolm Turnbull, and Senator George Brandis who was Arts Minister; communications and arts have been merged into one portfolio. Before Tony Abbott lost the prime ministership last week in a vote of 54 votes to Turnbull and 44 to Abbott, Senator Fifield was the Assistant Minister for Social… »

Save Our SBS – friends of SBS – joins all supporters and every friend of SBS in celebrating SBS radio, television, digital and online services. We are a not-for-profit association and defend the original special purpose of SBS. We advocate greater public funding for SBS, value multilingual & multicultural programs, and treasure the diverse culturally rich service intended for SBS – without in-program commercial breaks.

When the 1991 Parliament incorporated the phrase “natural program breaks” into the SBS Act it intended the placement of advertising on SBS television would not disrupt programs, that SBS not present itself like a commercial broadcaster and that “natural program breaks” would be restricted to:-

  • Mr SMITH Liberal  half-time in a soccer match … in effect what will happen is that advertising will top and tail programs  
  • Sen ALSTON Liberal  natural program breaks, one would think that it is not too difficult to identify … clearly the half-time break in football and other sporting programs is a fairly common occurrence. The topping and tailing of programs so that good quality films are not massacred by advertisements is something that most people will readily identify with and recognise the breach of very quickly  
  • Sen COLLINS Labor  natural program breaks will be so unobtrusive on audiences as to be almost undetectable
  • Mr LEE Labor  advertisement–at the beginning and the end of the sponsored program. In that way the viewers were not disturbed and were not constantly interrupted, as is the case on some of the commercial television programs
  • Mr SINCLAIR National  let us not try to get the advertising revenue that will make the SBS another commercial channel. If we do, again, that will change its character, and I do not think that is really what we are about