SBS 2009 Budget: Proper Funding & No Ads email the Treasurer & PM

Save Our SBS has launched a campaign to see SBS better funded in the 2009 triennial federal Budget and as part of an ongoing objective that would enable SBS to be the public, non-commercial, multicultural ‘special’ broadcaster it once was. The Budget is the time to right recent past policies and prohibit the interruption of programs for advertisements. Save Our SBS has been lobbying for sometime with the support of thousands of concerned persons for this change followed by an eventual phasing out of all commercials on the SBS.

On 5 August 2008, Save Our SBS Inc made a recommendation to Senator Conroy that the Budget for SBS for the years 2009 to 2012 be set at not less than half that provided to the ABC and indexed annually in the usual manner and that the interruption of programs by advertisements should be prohibited by amending section 45 (advertising) of the SBS Act. We further recommended that the prohibition on interrupting programs for advertisements should be followed by a complete ban on all advertising on the SBS. The full report can be read at https://saveoursbs.org/archives/323 or https://saveoursbs.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/sbs-triennial-funding-submission-from-2009-to-2012-proposed-by-save-our-sbs-inc.pdf

Email Wayne Swan & Kevin Rudd here: SBS Budget Increase & No Ads

We urge all concerned persons to email the Treasurer & Prime Minister from here before the May 2009 SBS Triennial Budget is delivered. Demand SBS receives increased funding and without commercials. Insist Labor’s pre-election sentiment is honoured: “Labor has opposed and continues to oppose the decision by SBS to introduce in-program advertising” (saveoursbs.org/archives/165). Act today to see our public, multicultural broadcaster is once again ‘special’ and funded fully by government with an end those annoying advertising interruptions. Prior to the Nov 2007 election Labor was committed to ensuring “adequate funding and support for the SBS, to enable it to continue to provide Australians with high quality services, free from political and commercial interference” (alp.org.au/platform/chapter_16.php) then in the lead up to the Nov 2007 election the ALP publicly stated “Labor has opposed and continues to oppose the decision by SBS to introduce in-program advertising” (saveoursbs.org/archives/165). But nothing has changed. In Oct 2007 Senator Conroy wrote: “The introduction of in program advertising to the SBS in effect makes the SBS a de facto fourth free-to-air commercial television station and serves to erode the fundamental tenets of public broadcasting- that is, that it should be free from commercial and political influence” (saveoursbs.org/archives/127). The May 2009 Federal Budget is the time to restore SBS to the multicultural broadcaster it was supposed to be. Many are now demanding that the government to live up its pre-election sentiment to support and fund SBS adequately, with an immediate end to interrupting programs for commercial breaks followed by a phasing out of all advertising on SBS. In these economic times it is more important than ever to support our public, multicultural broadcaster so it may once again be a special broadcaster not reliant on advertising. Click http://sbsbudget.saveoursbs.org and wait while you are redirected to part 1 (send an email to Wayne Swan) then follow the links to proceed to part 2 (send an email to Kevin Rudd).

1 comment to SBS 2009 Budget: Proper Funding & No Ads email the Treasurer & PM

  • Save Our SBS

    Following the Budget, an email was sent from an Advisor for the Minister to people who participated in the campaign. Some participants did not receive that email. A copy is below.

    OFFICE OF SENATOR THE HON STEPHEN CONROY
    MINISTER FOR BROADBAND, COMMUNICATIONS AND THE DIGITAL ECONOMY
    DEPUTY LEADER OF THE GOVERNMENT IN THE SENATE

    Funding of SBS

    Thank you for your correspondence to the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy concerning funding for the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) and advertising on SBS television. The Minister has asked me to respond on his behalf.

    The SBS is one of Australia’s most important cultural institutions. In October 2008, the Australian Government released a public discussion paper aimed at stimulating ideas and comments about the future roles of SBS and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

    The ideas contained in the 2431 submissions received were invaluable in informing the Government’s consideration of funding for SBS and the ABC over the next triennium.

    In the 2009-10 Budget, the Government announced additional funding of $20 million over three years to SBS to enable it to provide up to 50 hours of new Australian content annually.

    This funding will allow SBS to build on its established track record for innovative and cutting edge Australian multicultural stories by commissioning a mix of drama, documentary comedy and entertainment programming.

    In the Budget, SBS also received ongoing operational base funding of $118.7 million in 2009-10; $120.6 million in 2010-11; and $123.3 million in 2011-12. In addition to ongoing operational funding, SBS will receive ongoing transmission funding for the triennium of $249.2 million.

    Advertising

    SBS is permitted under its legislation to operate on a hybrid funding model which includes up to five minutes of advertising per hour during periods before programs begin, after programs end or during natural program breaks.

    In 2008-09, SBS is expected to realise $68.3 million from the sale of goods and services, primarily television advertising revenue. Along with the free-to-air commercial broadcasters, SBS’ advertising revenue is likely to be affected over the short-term as a result of the global economic downturn. A new restriction on in-program advertising would substantially reduce the amount of funding available to SBS to support the provision of high quality and diverse programming. In the current economic climate, it is not proposed to require SBS to change its approach to advertising at this time.

    Thank you for bringing these important matters to the Government’s attention.

    MINISTER FOR BROADBAND, COMMUNICATIONS AND THE DIGITAL ECONOMY
    Parliament House, CANBERRA ACT 2600
    Email minister@dbcde.gov.au