Government backs down on SBS advertising Bill

Former SBS World News Australia presenter, Mary Kostakidis and Save Our SBS today thanked thousands of ordinary people who opposed a government Bill to further commercialise SBS.

Save Our SBS President, Steve Aujard said, "The government has killed the Bill. The Minister’s Office phoned me a short while ago."

Ms Kostakidis said, "We are pleased the government has listened to SBS viewers; all were strongly opposed to the Bill.

"We now call on the custodians of SBS to also take note of viewer concerns and wipe out in-program commercial breaks. The idea that a public broadcaster should emulate commercial television is a destructive policy.

"The focus of SBS should now be returned to fulfilling its Charter obligations, not pursuing the commercial path."

A couple of weeks ago Ms Kostakidis and Save Our SBS commenced a campaign called, Preserve our media diversity: Don’t turn SBS into Australia’s fourth commercial TV network. In the campaign, thousands of SBS viewers emailed their MP and Senators. 

Ms Kostakidis said, “Save Our SBS and I launched the website campaign so that SBS viewers could voice their concerns about the government’s plans to make SBS even more reliant on advertising.

“If the government Bill had become law, not only would advertising have become even more intrusive, it would have driven future programming decisions. SBS would have been manoeuvred further away from its Charter obligations.”

Mr Aujard said, “In 2015, 62,000 people signed a petition opposing more advertising on SBS. We hope this is the end of the matter”.

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