Who Are We?
Save Our SBS is a not-for-profit organisation formed in January 2007 by a group of loyal viewers of SBS-TV. We care passionately about public broadcasting and SBS in particular.
We are members of the public who appreciate the unique and important role which SBS plays as a public broadcaster that has reflected and enriched Australia’s multicultural society.
Although we may choose to work with various bodies that have similar aims and interests to ours, we are not aligned with, nor a member of or beholden to any political party, politician, lobby group, union, organisation or person. As a stakeholder in SBS we are part of the SBS Ambassador program however remain independent of SBS. Sometimes we agree with SBS and at other times disagree. Either way, we are not afraid to publicly voice our views.
What Do We Want? Our Aims?
Statement of Purposes
Save Our SBS (SOSBS) defends the independence and integrity of Australia’s multicultural public broadcaster, the Special Broadcasting Service Corporation (SBS). In particular we seek:
Adequate funding for the SBS by government;
An immediate end to the interruption of programs by non-program-content, followed by the abolition of all advertising on the SBS;
Adherence by the SBS to its original purpose as a specialist and distinctive multicultural broadcaster which has meaningful consultation with ethnic communities in particular;
An SBS Board appointed on merit and consisting of people with a strong commitment to multiculturalism; and,
To work with like minded persons and or organisations in furtherance of this Statement of Purposes.
How Are We Structured
Almost a year after we commenced, Save Our SBS had grown to the point that we needed to formalise our structure.
In early 2008 Save Our SBS became an Incorporated Association under the Associations Incorporation Act 1981. That Act was repealed in November 2012. Today we operate under the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012 and the Associations Incorporation Reform Regulations 2012. The (old) Rules that applied when Save Our SBS Inc was incorporated were replaced in November 2012 by the (new) Model Rules under the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012. We are strictly a not-for-profit organisation in accordance with the Act and Regulations. We have national registration and as a Registrable Australian Body. There are no shareholders nor directors being paid a dividend or the like. At law, that is not allowed. No member is benefiting financially from our activities. Quite the opposite in fact.
Our operation depends entirely on the support of active participants.
Donate To Us
If you would like to help us survive so that we can continue to do the work we commenced, please read the Donate to us page.
We have a good working relationship and engage with the SBS often.
We have made formal submissions to government for SBS to be better funded.
We often meet with politicians and their advisors from all sides.
We involve the wider community from time to time in public campaigns in support of SBS.
In 2007 some 1,119 people emailed politicians seeking more funding for SBS and legislative change to end disruptions into programs on SBS television.
In 2008 more than 7,500 people signed a petition to the Minister requesting an end to the disruptions into programs by an amendment to the SBS Act coupled with full funding for the SBS.
In a small on-line study we conducted when SBS had been interrupting all television programs for just on two years, 96.3 percent of the 1,733 participants said they wanted “SBS-TV to stop interrupting programs for commercial breaks” and 95.9 percent said they wanted “government to legislate to prevent programs from being interrupted on SBS-TV”.
In 2008, more than one-thousand public submissions were made to the DBCDE ABC SBS Review. Of those that commented on the SBS only, almost all expressed the view of wanting the government to legislate to prohibit SBS from interrupting programs for commercial breaks.
By 2010 more than 15,400 had directly asked their parliamentarians to increase public funding for SBS so that it would be free from advertising, to amend the SBS Act accordingly, saying – an investment in SBS would be an investment in Australia’s future cultural diversity.
Just before the 2012 May Budget we ran the shortest on-line campaign ever where some 9,171 messages were sent from ordinary people in every State and Territory to selected politicians urging government to steeply increase public funding for SBS and remove the disruptive commercial breaks from SBS television. Subsequently, SBS received the biggest funding increase ever but the adverts remained.
By any measure there remains a ground swell of electors who wish the SBS to operate the way the Parliament intended – without breaks in programs – and with greater public funding.
|Save Our SBS favours programs in languages other than English (LOTE) and applauds SBS for its direction of social inclusion and engaging with the Australian public and ethnic communities in particular.|
If you would like to be informed of our activities or campaigns you can subscribe free of charge to the Save Our SBS occasional eNewsLetter at http://lists.saveoursbs.org/?p=subscribe, regularly visit http://www.SaveOurSBS.org or subscribe via our free syndicated RSS feed at http://saveoursbs.org/feed displaying stories (posts) and http://saveoursbs.org/comments/feed displaying comments (feedback).
Why do viewers want programs without disruptions?
In late 2006 SBS-TV began interrupting programs for commercial breaks. That was a fundamental departure from its past practice of screening advertisements between programs only.
Commercial/promo break interruptions into program are annoying and not natural. Many breaks now appear forced. SBS maintains all breaks are natural. Either way the interruptions disregard the viewer experience and destroy the program integrity. Ads and commercial sponsorship are against the spirit to which all public broadcasters should aspire and are not part of the SBS Charter.
SBS is a tax-payer-government funded public broadcaster.
The need to appease advertisers seeking to maximise audiences affected SBS programming. Until the introduction of in-program disruptions, the character of the SBS was highly regarded as unique being the first multicultural broadcaster anywhere. It was admired around the world.
Financially, post 2010, SBS suffered as the revenue growth from television advertising was negative.
Since the introduction of in-program advertising the federal government has not offered to grant SBS funding in-lieu of advertisements interrupting program.
Even though SBS would now prefer to trade revenue from advertising for government funding, the SBS experience has demonstrated that once the commercial foot is in the door, its presence grows.
We believe that SBS ought to be properly funded, by government. SBS should be independent from government and commercial influence or interference.
Without disruptive in-program commercial breaks, the distinction that once separated SBS television, and On Demand catch-up services from commercial Networks, would again be realised. The longer term financial security of SBS would be clearer allowing it to resume its rightful place as a special and unique multicultural broadcaster no longer subject to juggling audience with advertisers.
A Chronology of Advertising on SBS
A chronology of advertising on SBS by Darce Cassidy documents the history of the slippery slope from non-commercial to commercial (up to 2008).
More information about Save Our SBS is available at www.SaveOurSBS.org
Save Our SBS is sometimes referred to as SaveOurSBS.org or SOSBS. Our full name is Save Our SBS Incorporated.
SaveOurSBS.org.au redirects to SaveOurSBS.org which is the official web site of Save Our SBS Inc. The URL SaveOurSBS.org is viewer friendly on both desktop and mobile devices with the mobile site displaying pages in a simpler and different format from the desktop version.