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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Preserve its Integrity! Don’t Increase Advertising on SBS

PETITION The Australian Parliament: Members & Senators, SBS Board & CAC

Do not amend the SBS Act 1991 to permit advertiser-averaging, which will see a doubling of ads and commercial breaks on SBS. This will mean that during primetime & sports broadcasts, SBS will look no different from the commercial networks.

Increasing ads will seriously threaten SBS’s ability to comply with its Charter obligations.

If the law is amended, eventually SBS will broadcast 14 minutes of disruptive commercial breaks per hour in peak viewing – 6pm to midnight and in sport (10 minutes of ads plus 4 minutes

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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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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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Ads to double in SBS primetime

Moves are afoot that could see advertising soon double in primetime programs on SBS but government taking the proceeds of the extra revenue from the increased ads as a payment in efficiency dividends.

Effectively, the current cap of five minutes advertising per hour will increase to 10 minutes.

But an increase in one hour will mean a decrease elsewhere. ‘Ad averaging’, as it is called, is a possible outcome of the Communications Department’s Efficiency Study into SBS that was conducted earlier this year. A draft copy of the Study has been given to SBS.

Currently, SBS retains all

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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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New Codes defy SBS community

When SBS released their new Codes of Practice at the end of February, they ignored 90 percent of viewers by refusing to include SBS’s definition of a natural break, the insertion of commercial breaks into TV programs.

The Codes are supposed to outline the practices and principles the broadcaster follows in consideration of community concerns and the SBS Charter. Should the Codes be breached, a viewer may take a complaint to the regulator, the Australian Communications & Media Authority (ACMA). But ACMA has no power to review any guidelines that are

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Efficiency study of SBS

The Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has announced an enquiry into the national broadcasters. The ABC and SBS Efficiency Study will not review the broadcasters’ charters, or its editorial and programming decisions.

The study, to be conducted by the Department of Communications, will conclude in April and the findings given to the Minister. The SBS Chairman will also receive a copy.

The last departmental review of SBS was the ABC SBS Review which allowed direct input from the public.

The current study will include a review of advertising on SBS and operational, governance, structural, financial and

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Précis of a study of 2044 viewers of SBS television on advertising, Charter, relevance and other matters

Earlier this year, Save Our SBS undertook a study of 2044 viewers of SBS television. Those studied came from every State and Territory. More than a third were not born in Australia. The findings of the study form part of a detailed submission to the SBS Community Advisory Committee & the SBS Board. The full submission may be read in HTML or PDF format. Five recommendations are made.

The study found that SBS had not been inclusive of a significant portion of its television (SBS ONE & TWO) audiences, giving preference to advertisers over audiences.

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