facebook.com/SaveOurSBS        twitter.com/SaveOurSBS

Page Archive: FAQ What Else Can I Do?

Sign the petition to protect SBS, stop the ads and maintain our multicultural public broadcaster funded fully by government. Click http://petition.saveoursbs.org and wait while you are redirected to the petition server.


FAQ What else can I do besides sign the petition?

Below are a series of suggestions that you can do to help save our SBS.

Tell all your friends and colleagues to visit www.SaveOurSBS.org (all lower case, no spaces) and sign the petition.

Send letters of less than 50 words to the Editor of your daily newspaper. Present your argument against SBS running ads clearly. Ask other readers of the newspaper to voice their objection and tell their local MP to stop SBS-TV interrupting programs for ads by changing the legislation.

Phone talkback radio and say that you do not like SBS-TV interrupting programs for commercials. Explain to the radio audience that it is against the spirit of public broadcasting to interrupt programs for commercial breaks. Tell the radio audience that there is nothing in the SBS Charter that says it should interrupt SBS-TV programs for commercial breaks because that’s the job of commercial TV. Explain that a change is needed in legislation to prevent SBS from interrupting programs on SBS-TV. Ask other listeners to phone in and say how they feel. Do they feel annoyed? Did they prefer it when the ads were between programs only and not in them?

Tell the audience the SBS website states they are allowed to interrupt programs for ‘natural breaks’ and SBS argue that this will improve the ‘viewer experience’ however you believe the breaks are an intrusion and not natural. They looked like they are ‘forced breaks’.

Ask the radio audience “Has running ads during the programs improved your viewer experience?”

“Are interruptions into program natural?”

Tell the radio talkback presenter that you don’t think interrupting SBS-TV programs will improve things and that SBS should think again if they think more people will watch just because they interrupt programs.

Tell the audience that “we can’t afford to lose this valued public broadcaster” and that people should let their politicians know about this and amend section 45 of the Special Broadcasting Service Act to stop SBS from getting away with their actions and ignoring public opinion.

Tell the radio talkback audience to write to the SBS Board and say that their decision is counter productive and decision making process flawed in the extreme and cite programs they have stopped watching because of the interruptions with ad breaks.

Phone talkback radio again and again and get all your friends to phone to. It’s a very strong medium.

Make an appointment to see your local Federal Member for Parliament and voice your objection. Follow up with a letter to the same effect. Keep phoning your MP to ask how much progress is being made. Ask others to sign the petition.

Read Help Promote Us In Your Community on this web site where you can copy and paste the words to insert into an email to send to all your friends to promote Save Our SBS. You can also download and print a double sided brochure then ask retail outlets if they will allow you to leave copies of the brochure to promote Save Our SBS.

Write to SBS. There are two ways to do this: informal or formal. Whichever method you use, your letter needs to be well written, with clear arguments that are well articulated and in a business-like-manner.

1) Informal Complaint

The Chairman and the Board of Directors of SBS,

SBS Locked Bag 028,

Crows Nest, NSW, 1585,

OR FAX: (02) 9430 3047.

OR SEND TWO SEPARATE EMAILS (even if they both have the same content)



If sending by email only send in text format NOT rich text or html. Do not include attachments except .PDF attachments. At the top of the email or letter, make certain that you write “TO: The Chairman and the Board of Directors of SBS”. If by email type in the Subject line “TO: The Chairman and the Board of Directors of SBS” too, as well as the body of the email. Ask for a reply. There is no legislative requirement for SBS to reply or even read an informal complaint.

2) Formal Complaint

Formal Complaints,

Special Broadcasting Service,

Locked Bag 028,

Crows Nest, NSW, 1585,

OR FAX: (02) 9430 3047.



A Formal Complaint needs to be in a particular format to carry any weight. SBS is required at law to read and respond to all Formal Complaints if they are identified as such (except if SBS considers your compliant to be frivolous or vexatious) and provided you include your name and street address, even if you send by email. However you must name at least one program (we suggest 5 to 10 programs) and the actual date and time they went to air. Your complaint must be received by SBS no more than 6 weeks from the date of broadcast of the named offending program. As your complaint is primarily about the advertisements interruptions into those programs, you should ask a series of questions to SBS so that they have something to respond to. We suggest 5 to 20 questions per program but they need to be well thought out and should be related to possible breaches of the Act, their Codes or their (advertising) Guidelines. Before doing this, please read Special Broadcasting Service Act 1991 (PDF) SBS Codes of Practice 2006 (PDF) (SBS) Guidelines For The Placement of Breaks in Television Programs September 2006 (PDF).

The SBS phone number is: 1800 500 727.

SBS state that a Formal Complaint should be addressed to their Office of Audience Affairs. However if your complaint contains issues that are outside the SBS Codes of Practice, then the Office of Audience Affairs may not deal with your complaint adequately or at all. To overcome that problem we do not recommend addressing your complaint to the Office of Audience Affairs. We do recommend addressing your complaint to Formal Complaints and commencing with the two paragraphs below.

Please pass this my Formal Compliant onto the appropriate person(s) within SBS who are able to adequately respond in writing to the points and the questions that I raise herein.

This complaint is made pursuant to the Special Broadcasting Service Act 1991; the SBS Codes of Practice 2006; and, the (SBS) Guidelines For The Placement of Breaks in Television Programs September 2006.

The body of your complaint may be a few pages and should refer to facts with references to evidence to support any allegations that you make. You may also wish to ask a series of questions on issues the that you discuss in your Formal Complaint.

As SBS is not required to respond to frivolous or vexatious complaints, it would be advisable to conclude your complaint with the “in good faith” sentence and other concluding paragraphs below.

I write in good faith and look forward to a detailed reply to all my questions and comments from SBS.

Please acknowledge that you have received this complaint on the day that you do receive it. Following your acknowledgement, I shall look forward to your detailed reply with answers to all my questions, at a later date.

Yours Faithfully,

If you feel you cannot do any or all of the above, you might be able to inspire someone else to do some or all of the above. Either way don’t forget to sign the petition yourself.

Save our SBS (SOSBS).

Links Section

Click on the links below (opens a new window on another web site) to obtain further information:

The regulator of broadcasting is The Australian Communications & Media Authority (ACMA)

Read what others have said about SBS having commercials

A short history of ads on SBS Portable Document File

Dear SBS: ad breaks just don’t hold water “The Age” February 10, 2007 by Michael Shmith senior writer at The Age. 25 years ago SBS began interrupting movies part way through for a promo break. That stopped due to public pressure.

A web-blogger

Come Clean On Commercialisation” (mid year 2007) Quentin Dempster, ABC journalist, previews the policy debate about the future of public broadcasting for the Walkley Magazine.


Sign the petition to protect SBS, stop the ads and maintain our multicultural public broadcaster funded fully by government. Click http://petition.saveoursbs.org and wait while you are redirected to the petition server.


Comments are closed.