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Government 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.

“Basically we examined various options ranging from no commercial activity at one end, to limiting advertising to

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Eclectic 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 shows. 

The Family Law is not another series featuring lawyers. It’s a comedy series about a lively, contemporary Chinese-Australian family.

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MYEFO 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 the Abbott government be returned to SBS.

Save Our SBS welcomes the $4.1m one-off grant but notes it is

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SBS 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 different cultures”. Ebeid said SBS’s locally commissioned cooking programs that are currently shown on SBS ONE, will be repeated on the new

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SBS cooking channel created for commercial return

When SBS unsuccessfully argued for the parliament to amend the SBS Act to double the hourly advertising limit – a move that Save Our SBS and 62,000 petitioners opposed – SBS forecast the increase would raise an extra $28.5m over four years. The commercial networks Free TV Australia (channels 7, 9 and 10) also opposed the move saying SBS would generate around $148m in the first four years. Back then, the forecasts were based on ad revenue from SBS-ONE, SBS 2, and NITV as SBS did not reveal they

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Senator 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 Services and Manager of Government Business in the Senate.

One of the issues potentially facing Senator Fifield will be how to deal with the $28.5m

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Abbott’s broken SBS promise two years on

Two years ago Tony Abbott told the nation there would be no cuts to SBS. Abbott made the announcement on SBS World News Australia in a live interview with Anton Enus the night before the election. But since then $53m has been slashed from SBS.

Part of the Prime Minister’s broken promise includes $28.5m in an agreed funding arrangement between SBS and government that that amount would be removed from SBS’s budget with a guarantee that the SBS Act would be amended to increase the five minute hourly advertising limit to

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Disconnect Foxtel, don’t sack SBS staff

Joint statement by Save Our SBS President Steve Aujard, and public broadcasting advocate Quentin Dempster.

The budgetary ‘haircut’ now under consideration by the SBS Board and management should come from Foxtel carriage charges and not SBS staff or commissioned Australian content.

Federal Parliament’s decisive rejection of the SBS advertising and product placement Bill last Wednesday was motivated by a widespread concern that SBS would be turned into Australia’s fourth fully commercial TV network while favouring advertisers ahead of Charter obligations and at a time when free-to-air networks seek all the local advertising revenue they can get.

Now SBS has responded that

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Save Our SBS and supporters thank senators for saving SBS from itself

The Parliament has rejected the Bill that would have increased primetime advertising on SBS.

The majority by which the SBS advertising amendment Bill has been rejected in the Senate has rescued SBS from itself.

Save Our SBS thanked the majority Senate view for rejecting the Bill to further commercialise SBS and in holding the line for SBS’ raison d’être: a multilingual and multicultural public broadcaster committed to serve audiences, particularly from non-English speaking backgrounds, as citizens in a robust democracy and not as ‘ethnic’ consumers to be delivered up to advertisers.

Save Our SBS President, Steve Aujard said, “In a national campaign

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62,000 sign petition opposing more ads on SBS

Today, Independent Senator Nick Xenophon received from Margaret Pomeranz (left) & Quentin Dempster (right) the Save Our SBS petition of 62,000 SBS viewers who do not want the law changed to double primetime advertising. The Bill, which allows product placement in SBS programs, would result in 14 minutes of commercial breaks per hour 6pm to midnight and in sport.

Last Tuesday in the House of Representatives Minister Turnbull defended his Bill saying it was a recommendation of the efficiency study that advertising flexibility be given to SBS. However Shadow Minister Jason Clare said page 85

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Senate told of SBS hush plan to double ads before government cuts were announced

Last week, Save Our SBS President Steve Aujard told a Senate inquiry into a Bill that would double primetime advertising on SBS, that the broadcaster had wanted to increase advertising before the government announced cuts to SBS. Save Our SBS gave evidence opposing the Bill, which if passed, would see increased commercial breaks and 14 minutes per hour of non program matter from 6pm to midnight and in sport.

Mr Aujard said that in mid 2012 SBS’s Managing Director, Michael Ebeid, had told Save Our SBS that-

[SBS] could make twice the money from having twice the number of

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Government wants to fully commercialise SBS with new law

Today the government decided to proceed with the Communications Legislation Amendment (SBS Advertising Flexibility and Other Measures) Bill 2015 to double advertising on SBS and allow product placement. Minister Turnbull is expected to introduce the bill tomorrow. 

Save Our SBS President, Steve Aujard said, “If passed, SBS will look no different from commercial TV. It will broadcast 14 minutes of disruptive commercial breaks per hour, mostly in primetime and sport.

“Despite some 50,000 people signing a petition against the bill, the government is still putting this forward. There will not be a debate when the

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Why SBS should not be further commercialised

by Margaret Pomeranz and Quentin Dempster

Now is the time for all good Australians to stand up to fight for a sustainable public broadcasting system in our country, in particular SBS.

There are forces at work out to further commercialise SBS through an amendment to the SBS Act and through the dishonouring or an election commitment not to cut funding to SBS (and the ABC).

SBS is unique. It emerged in 1978 as an initiative of the Fraser Government because of the perceived deficiency of the ABC in servicing the needs of increasing numbers of non-English speaking newcomers.

In 2015 the raison

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Petition opposes more ads

Margaret Pomeranz & Quentin Dempster with Save Our SBS and GetUp! have launched a petition opposing the government’s proposal to increase advertising on SBS. The online petition is on GetUp’s community campaigning website, CommunityRun getup.org.au/saveoursbs

Late last year the communications Minister announced the government will introduce a bill in 2015 that effectively doubles advertising on SBS through a system known as ad-averaging.

Campaign spokesperson, journalist and public broadcasting advocate, Quentin Dempster said, “Margaret and I join this campaign to try to save SBS from forces and strategies which can only destroy it. More advertising will

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Why more ads will be bad for SBS

Last December, Save Our SBS was invited to appear before a joint Party Senate Select Committee looking into the budget cuts imposed on SBS and the government’s proposal to increase SBS advertising. Save Our SBS gave oral evidence having made a written submission to the Committee.

Save Our SBS President, Steve Aujard addressed the Committee-

Thank you for inviting Save Our SBS to this hearing.

Save Our SBS has a dual purpose—advocating as a supporter and friend of SBS and also for consumers of SBS. Whilst we put the case for greater public funding for

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