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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 public broadcasting advocates Margaret Pomeranz & Quentin Dempster gathered 62,000 signatures on a petition calling on the Federal Parliament to reject the Bill which would have doubled prime time advertising on SBS television and formalised product placement within programs. The Bill was introduced by Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull ostensibly to help SBS claw back revenue lost through the Abbott Government’s dishonouring of its election commitment not to cut SBS funding.”

Margaret Pomeranz said: “I’m very happy that the visionary concept of SBS has not been further diluted with more advertising. The onus now is on the Government to reinstate SBS’ depleted funding to enable it to deliver on its Charter by producing programs that explore and celebrate our multicultural society in entertaining and significant ways, leading to greater social cohesion, a role that has been pivotal to the organisation.”

Quentin Dempster said: “Grateful thanks to supportive senators for their action. SBS has now been told by the Parliament to get on with multicultural broadcasting and immediately desist with its fourth commercial network ambitions.”

Steve Aujard added, “The Parliament has now sent a clear message to SBS to get back to its Charter and stop pursuing the commercial path. If the Bill had passed eventually SBS would have looked like a commercial broadcaster with 14 minutes of commercial breaks per hour in peak viewing”.

Comprehensive information about how this defeated Bill came into being and why it was bad policy for SBS here.

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