SBS funding business as usual

Triennial funding for SBS was announced tonight.

SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid has welcomed an additional $15.1m in funding for SBS on top of its base funding allocation over the next three years.

SBS will receive $814.2m to 2019 in base operational funding, plus $6.9m in 2016‑17 to replace revenue that could not be raised due to the "delayed passage" of the Communications Legislation Amendment (SBS Advertising Flexibility and Other Measures) Bill 2015.

Last year, SBS had forecast it would have generated $6.9m in 2016-17 if the advertising bill had not

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SBS to focus on its special Charter

Following talk last month of an ABC-SBS merger and ongoing public concern that SBS had deviated from its Charter, SBS has announced changes on how it will commission programs so they reflect the special nature of the broadcasting service and the SBS Charter.

Next month, the SBS commissioning team will become two teams, scripted and non-scripted.

The non-scripted team will be responsible for documentaries, food, entertainment and factual programs, while the scripted team will be responsible for drama and comedy.

“The SBS Charter is at the heart of SBS commissioned content and these changes

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New SBS radio station: Arabic24

Today, Save Our SBS President Steve Aujard welcomed the introduction of SBS Arabic24, a new 24 hours a day Arabic digital radio service and an online hub for Arabic speakers.

Mr Aujard said:

Arabic speakers are the third largest group in Australia and its very pleasing to see SBS providing this service which is spot on charter. SBS radio broadcasts nationally in 74 languages.

The station will deliver the latest Australian and international news, information and analysis to Arabic-speaking Australians.

Commenting, SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid said:

SBS Arabic24 delivers on our commitment to provide balanced and

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Why the proposed takeover of SBS failed

Although SBS is currently without a permanent chairman, this week high profile supporter of multicultural broadcasting and former chair of SBS Joseph Skrzynski AO spoke out against the idea of an ABC-SBS merger. Mr Skrzynski wrote in Fairfax Media that for every $1 SBS spends to reach each TV audience member, the ABC spends $3, and SBS delivers double the amount of TV per TV employee compared to the ABC. The former SBS chairman detailed why a merger made no economic sense and echoed concerns of the wider community opposed to a merger of the

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Why the ABC wants to gobble SBS, not save it

This opinion piece by Save Our SBS President Steve Aujard, was first published on 23 February 2016 in the New Daily, here

ANALYSIS: A merger of Australia’s two public broadcasters would spell the end of multicultural programming in this country.

While ABC chief Mark Scott is prone to talking up the idea of merging Australia’s two public broadcasters, he has never been able to justify how multicultural broadcasting would be improved under ABC control.

Let’s be realistic about what Scott is proposing. It is not a merger of equals but a takeover of SBS and National Indigenous Television (NITV).

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Don’t merge the ABC and SBS

A 40-page report released today raises the possibility of niche programs being relegated to internet, apps and catch-up platforms as part of an ABC-SBS merger. Niche programs are central to SBS.

Commenting on the report, Save Our SBS President Steve Aujard said, “This is deeply disturbing. The SBS and NITV free-to-air broadcast channels could cease to exist as we know it.”

The Australia Institute’s report, titled, “I want my ABC (and SBS and NITV)” claims to have examined the risks and potential benefits of a merger.

The report was written by former ABC digital manager, Fergus Pitt.


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SBS a remarkable institution, part of Australia’s multicultural success

SBS – the Special Broadcasting Service – is the world’s first broadcaster established solely as a multicultural, multiethnic broadcaster. Prior to SBS, other broadcasters including the ABC had aired various foreign language programs (on Sunday mornings) but the Anglo-centric monoculture of the ABC hampered the full potential of multiculturalism in all its glory. The need for SBS to exist in its own right was soon realised.

Established by the Fraser Coalition government, SBS began its own TV transmissions in 1980 broadcasting on channels 0/28. SBS-TV was built on the back of the publicly funded multilingual radio stations

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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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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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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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