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Stop the cuts

Despite Tony Abbott’s election promise not to cut funding to SBS, it seems highly likely our poorest broadcaster will be severely cut beyond the bone.

SBS has no fat to trim and although sketchy, the list of speculated cuts is frightening:-

SBS Melbourne studios and offices to go.
SBS and ABC to share technical facilities where possible.
SBS and ABC to join back house operations such as one pay office for both.
Anticipated effective cuts in the order of $40m to $60m p.a. to SBS.
SBS advertising quota to increase beyond the currently legislated cap of 5 minutes per hour.

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Survey: Should SBS have ads?

This single-screen survey asks for your views on SBS advertising, SBS Charter adherence, and public funding. The information collected may help better SBS and your viewing experience. All identifying personal details remain private and will not be published nor passed onto anyone.

Your views are important.

Five years after SBS began to disrupt all TV programs for commercial breaks, the Parliament has not required SBS stop the practice, allowing SBS to determine that matter themselves. Last year SBS was granted a 27% increase in base government funding over four years, the biggest increase ever and this

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End of ads on SBS: when?

You may be wondering what happened to the Bill introduced in the Senate last year to phase out disruptive breaks on SBS-TV. Following the campaign in April last year, organised by SaveOurSBS.org in which a confirmed 9,171 messages were sent from ordinary people like you, the government granted SBS the biggest increase in base government funding ever (27%) and decided advertising is a matter for SBS to now determine. Additionally, SBS will be granted three year funding this May but has no plans to move ads out of programs, believing that advertising and in-program disruptions are a non issue.

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Petition to SBS

Veteran activist Mannie De Saxe has launched an on-line petition to SBS requesting the broadcaster voluntarily cease in-program commercial breaks. The petition is independent of Save Our SBS and is the initiative of Mr De Saxe.

In a statement De Saxe said, "after years of frustration it seemed it was about time to try [a petition] because, we have all been complaining about this for so many years without any breakthrough". He said that in 2006 he put a petition on his blog together with some email exchanges between SBS and himself. He described it

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Why SBS received a funding increase

In the month before the May Budget some 9,171 messages were sent from 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. The general public sent emails to the finance and communications ministers, some members of Cabinet, and other politicians according to a preset method. SaveOurSBS.org provided background material about SBS’s finances and links to the Special Broadcasting Service Amendment (Natural Program Breaks and Disruptive Advertising) Bill 2012. 

Here we publish a representative sample of all emails sent.

The identities

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Campaign statistics

In the month leading up to the May Budget, Save Our SBS ran a campaign where supporters were given the opportunity to send a personal email to the finance and communications ministers and other politicians in the Make SBS Special Again campaign published on the SaveOurSBS.org website. The purpose was to press government for a steep increase in funding for SBS with the removal of in-program commercial breaks from SBS television.

On the campaign webpage visitors were presented with an example of an email text and asked to compose an email in their own words. Most

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Make SBS special

SBS needs your support before early May to secure increased funding and ensure the Special Broadcasting Service Amendment (Natural Program Breaks and Disruptive Advertising) Bill 2012 becomes law. The Bill has now been introduced to the Senate. If passed, this Bill will phase out in-program commercial breaks on SBS-TV by 2016 and establish a scheme for increased funding for SBS. SBS will be better off and so will you.

If the Bill fails to become law, the future of SBS will be uncertain but commercially driven and no longer special.

Funding for

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Email Minister before 8 May here

Government is to decide SBS’s funding fate for the next three years on 8 May. SBS needs more funding and your support for the Bill * now before the Senate to become law. If passed, the Bill will phase out in-program commercial breaks on SBS-TV by 2016 and establish a scheme for increased funding for SBS. Send your email here# to the Minister, Shadow Minister, Senators, & MPs urging them to vote in favour of the Bill.

for webmail users:minister@dbcde.gov.au,Senator.Wong@aph.gov.au,Stephen.Smith.MP@aph.gov.au,Chris.Bowen.MP@aph.gov.au,attorney@ag.gov.au,A.Albanese.MP@aph.gov.au,S.Crean.MP@aph.gov.au,Steve.Georganas.MP@aph.gov.au,senator.Cameron@aph.gov.au,Malcolm.Turnbull.MP@aph.gov.au,Senator.Ludlam@aph.gov.au,stats2012web1@saveoursbs.org

Say why you want increased funding for SBS and the Bill to become

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Outsourcing SBS

SBS staff are worried about loosing their jobs to outsourcing as the broadcaster ascertains whether it is more cost effective and technologically better to outsource their presentation and playout departments. Other areas could go. But a spokesperson for SBS said news, current affairs and sport would not be outsourced.

Meanwhile one of the unions representing workers at SBS, the Community & Public Sector Union (CPSU) is taking a multi-pronged approach to save jobs and address the underlaying issue, the commercialisation of SBS. With the slogan SBS – without the special…it’s

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Ensuring SBS’s survival without commercial breaks: Email your politicians here

After five years and multiple campaigns to end in-program commercial breaks disrupting SBS television programs, a Bill has been introduced into the Parliament that would achieve that, if passed. But the private Bill will only become law if several thousand people continue campaigning by writing to the Minister and Shadow Minister demanding they vote in favour of the Bill. An email to Senator Conroy at minister@dbcde.gov.au and a separate one to Malcolm.Turnbull.MP@aph.gov.au in your own words is needed saying why you do not want commercial breaks disrupting SBS-TV programs,

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