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 Minster

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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Government breaks promise: SBS funding slashed and more ads to come

SBS’s budget from government will be slashed by $53.7m which includes $28.5m from additional advertising. SBS’s operating budget will be reduced by $25.2m over five years. The revised budget for SBS will be $1.39b for the same period.

The Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull said that the government plans to introduce legislation to parliament in 2015 to amend the SBS Act to allow SBS to change its advertising arrangements, generating $28.5m over the five years. This will occur by permitting SBS to effectively double its advertising quota to 10

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SBS preparing to double advertising and slash services

In a recent Politics in the Pub talk by public broadcasting advocate Quentin Dempster, the extent of government cuts to the ABC and SBS were outlined. Whilst his talk was mainly about the ABC, chunks of it covered the impact of cuts to the SBS. The cuts are a result of the Communications Department’s Efficiency Study into SBS & the ABC conducted earlier this year. Here is an edited version of his talk – the sections that deal mainly with SBS.

The ABC and SBS are in no man’s land at the

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Liberal Party donor appointed as SBS Chairman

Nihal Gupta is the new Chairman of SBS. He takes over more than six months after Jo Skrzynski concluded his five year term.

For more than a week it was understood that Gupta would fill the vacancy of Chairman. Gupta, widely reportedly a donor to the Liberal Party, is understood not to have been the first choice nor made it onto the Nomination Panel’s short list of recommendations.

Other than the Managing Director, who is appointed by the Board, the SBS Chairman and Directors are required to be appointed under a merit based system

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SBS-ABC merger cuts $43.5m

SBS will have its annual funding cut by $2m each year for the next four years while the ABC will face cuts in the order of $9m per year. Both broadcasters will merge their "back office" operations and eight people at the ABC will lose their jobs as a result. The Budget papers show no reduction in SBS staffing levels.

The cuts to be shared by SBS and the ABC total $43.5m over four years which is equal to a one per cent reduction in base government funding of the ABC

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