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SBS to double primetime advertising if bill passes

At Senate Estimates today, the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Communications & The Arts, Nerida O’Loughlin said that the government would soon introduce a bill to increase advertising on SBS.

Later, SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid acknowledged the advertising bill remark.

Last year Save Our SBS gathered 62,000 signatories in a petition opposing the bill that would have increased commercial disruption on SBS to similar levels as seen on commercial free-to-air television.

Currently SBS airs 5 minutes of advertisements per hour – limited by legislation – plus about 4 minutes of promos each hour. The duration of promos is not regulated.

Save Our SBS President, Steve Aujard said, "If the legislation were changed, advertising in primetime would double to 10 minutes per hour and SBS would maintain their 4 minutes of promos hourly. This would result in 14 minutes of commercial breaks every hour from 6pm to midnight. That’s a minute more than that seen on commercial television.

"There was a time when advertisements were only televised between programs on SBS.

"Viewers do not want more commercial breaks.

"Save Our SBS does not support any law that will see more commercial breaks on SBS.

"There is very good evidence from a number of studies that show that since SBS television introduced in-program advertising a decade ago, it has steadily paid lip service to its Charter and increasingly is ignoring the very reason it was established. The proposed bill will only undermine SBS further." 

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