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Précis of Survey 2017 about SBS

95% of SBS viewers nationally do not want increased advertising on SBS and say that if there is an increase in ads, then the law ought to restrict advertisements to before or after programs only – except in sport – like SBS used to be.

The results are in of the Survey 2017 about SBS. It is the third in the series of periodic surveys undertaken about SBS.

Across all three surveys, three different cohorts totalling 4953 SBS viewers nationally have been surveyed from every State and Territory.

In this latest survey, 1176 people answered 47 questions in 21 categories.

The online survey was open to anyone and was conducted over a one week period in April 2017.

Key points

Of the 1176 people who participated in the survey—

93.76% say that SBS is very important to them.

87.10 % would be very concerned if SBS were merged with another broadcaster.


91.00% say that most in-program advertising breaks look forced or artificially contrived and it would be misleading to describe these as natural program breaks. A similar finding (91.7%) was found in the 2013 survey from a different cohort.

Upon reading the Charter, 72.74% said SBS is less faithful to the Charter since it introduced in-program advertising. This is the third cohort surveyed on this and replicates the 2008, n=1733 (71.6%), and 2013, n=2044 (72.1%) survey findings.

The two most wanted television programs types in peak viewing periods are:-

Foreign language movies (subtitled) 77.20% ;

Foreign language series (subtitled) 57.80%.


70.50% want SBS to establish a new free-to-air channel in which a very high proportion of primetime and other programs are exclusively or predominantly in languages other than English (subtitled) – ‘LOTE TV’ – and 77.50% say it is important or moderately important that advertisements are scheduled between programs only on LOTE TV, should SBS create a LOTE TV channel.


84.68% say SBS asks for too much personal information to sign into the SBS On Demand service while 91.12% want the service to operate as it did previously without requirement for a user account.


97.05% are opposed to increased advertising in any part of the schedule.

If there is to be an advertising increase in some or all parts of the schedule 94.10% regard it as very important or important for the law to restrict advertisements to before or after programs only – except in sport – like SBS used.

94.1% want the Australian government to invest a significantly greater portion of funding in SBS as security in maintaining and improving a socially cohesive multicultural society.

Breakdowns of the above and other topics are covered in detail in the full report which is here.

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