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The economic reason to remove in-program advertising on SBS

Apart from ease of viewing, there are many reasons to shift advertising away from programs on SBS but until now, the economic benefits have not been explored.

SBS aims to inspire “inclusivity and social cohesion.” That’s what drives the broadcaster and this aim is articulated in its Corporate Plans, underpinned by its Charter.

Despite SBS’s aims, The Scanlon-Monash Index of Social Cohesion 2007‑2018 shows that social cohesion has been falling in Australia since 2007. The Index parallels the period of in-program advertising – commercial breaks disrupting every program – on SBS. But in 2008, 2013, and 2017, a total of 4,953 viewers from three different cohorts nationwide, assessed the broadcaster as being less faithful to its Charter since it introduced in-program advertising compared to before 2007 – when SBS did not interrupt programs for advertisements.

Let us not try to get the advertising revenue that will make the SBS another commercial channel. If we do, again, that will change its character were the cautionary words uttered by Ian Sinclair, former leader of the National Party, when he voted in favour of advertising on SBS in 1991. He was right. The culture of SBS changed in late 2006 when it ramped up its commercial arm disrupting programs for commercial breaks.

Skip to 2019 and The Economic Benefits of Improving Social Inclusion by Deloitte Access Economics. The report provides good evidence that improving social inclusion could generate $12.7 billion annually into the Australian economy.

Reflecting on all this, Save Our SBS President, Steve Aujard, said, “SBS could play a significant role in Australia’s future economic growth and prosperity but it will need to change the way it approaches advertising.

“It may be a curious coincidence that the fall of social cohesion covers the same period of SBS disrupting programs ad nauseam with commercial breaks, but the context of the decline is not surprising and should not be ignored. The absolute distress caused by SBS’s commercialisation policy over this period is very well documented.”

Looking at the Scanlon-Monash Index and Deloitte’s Social Inclusion report, it is obvious that not only will the federal government need to develop more supportive multicultural policies, advertising will need to be displaced on SBS as part of an overall mix in fostering social cohesion to unlock that $12.7 billion each year into the Australian economy.

When the 1991 Parliament legislated in favour of advertising on SBS, the legislators intended the placement of advertising would not disrupt programs, that ads would only appear between programs or in natural program breaks.

Back then, one Liberal MP, Warwick Smith, referred to a document about natural breaks supplied to him before he voted in favour of the Bill to permit advertising, that advertising on SBS would be limited to half-time in a soccer match … in effect what will happen is that advertising will top and tail programs.”

A number of other parliamentarians including Richard Alston, the late Bob Collins, and Michael Lee – all of whom were a communications minister at one time – were very clear that SBS would not present itself like a commercial broadcaster.

At the time, Liberal Senator Richard Alston said, “natural program breaks, one would think that it is not too difficult to identify … clearly the half-time break in football and other sporting programs is a fairly common occurrence. The topping and tailing of programs so that good quality films are not massacred by advertisements is something that most people will readily identify with and recognise the breach of very quickly.”

And Labor’s Senator Bob Collins said, “natural program breaks will be so unobtrusive on audiences as to be almost undetectable.”

Referring to a trial – to see how SBS would present advertising – conducted six months before the 1991 Bill was passed into law, Labor MP Michael Lee said, “advertisement—at the beginning and the end of the sponsored program. In that way the viewers were not disturbed and were not constantly interrupted, as is the case on some of the commercial television programs.”  The legislators believed the Bill they voted for limited advertising on SBS in the manner seen during the trial.

SBS operated exactly as the Parliament intended until late 2006. That’s when SBS discovered a loophole in the law and commenced its current practice of disrupting programs for commercial breaks. It became a commercial broadcaster by stealth. We now know that since then social cohesion has fallen.

The current SBS commercial model has the advertiser as the client and audience as the product to be onsold by SBS to the advertiser. This model is upside-down for a public broadcaster. No wonder viewers feel alienated and social cohesion has fallen.

Considering the Scanlon-Monash Index together with consistent viewer feedback of more than a decade and Deloitte’s recent report, it is obvious that advertising breaks disrupting programs on SBS must end so that audiences are no longer alienated. With a changed commercial culture, SBS Charter obligations will be fulfilled and social cohesion improved compared to the status quo. However, such changes require government investment in SBS and a whole of government approach to multiculturalism, from which we will all benefit economically.

John O’Mahony, Partner at Deloitte Access Economics said, “Improving social inclusion is a source of economic strength and higher living standards for all Australians. Having an inclusive society not only avoids the costs incurred when people are excluded, but harnesses our diversity, providing fuel for creativity and innovation in our economy.”

The Deloitte report quantifies, for the first time the potential lift to Australia’s economy that could be driven by improved employment and health outcomes, increased workplace productivity, and reduced costs of social services, as a result of greater social inclusion.

SBS’s Managing Director, James Taylor said, “Australia’s reputation as a successful and inclusive society can only benefit from further embracing difference in our teams, workplaces, and in our community. This report demonstrates that when we are all empowered and access to opportunity is more evenly shared, so too are the dividends for all.”

Dr Bulent Hass Dellal AO, SBS’s Chair proclaimed, “Australia’s rich cultural diversity is one of our country’s greatest strengths. We are proudly an inclusive society but as this report shows there are opportunities from fostering greater inclusion which all Australians can benefit from in a tangible way.”

Concluding, Mr Aujard said,Australia may be the most successful multicultural nation in the world so let’s celebrate our achievements, taking note of what needs changing too. I mean things have become so far out of whack that SBS even broadcast betting and gambling advertisements, a known contributor to isolation and antisocial behaviour. This is only a sign of a systemic issue of SBS chasing the commercial dollar more generally, for which we know why and the remedy.”

Study after study after study has shown that viewers very passionately want advertising moved back to where the legislators intended – between programs only – or if there really must be ads during programs, not more than one commercial break in each program on free-to-air and streaming. If in-program advertising were displaced on SBS in the way viewers demand, that will set the ground work for the broadcaster to claim back its rightful place in promoting social cohesion. Our wealth will increase too.

The SBS commissioned report by Deloitte is here.

To enable Save Our SBS to influence outcomes, please donate

213 comments to The economic reason to remove in-program advertising on SBS

  • I would watch far more SBS shows without commercial breaks disrupting programs (as currently).

  • Tina Theo

    The best station !!
    Love the few breaks
    Love the honest unadulterated news
    Love the programs
    Save and keep SBS and mostly support it

  • Angela

    I hate advertisements. It is particularly annoying on SBS because ads are played repeatedly and the program freezes, gets stuck, stops playing then I have to go back the the beginning and watch even more ads. I have given up and won’t watch SBS because it is too frustrating. Please get rid of the ads% I prefer foreign films because there is more diversity.

  • William Ian Brown

    I fully support the moving of advertising from within programs to between programs.

  • Jean Meredith

    I am not in favour of advertising on SBS, it should be independent of commercial influences and free of the interruptions caused by advertising.

  • Cuppa

    I find in programme advertising so irritating I choose not to watch SBS online any more. Without it SBS would be my primary channel.

  • Michael crofts

    Save our SBS

  • No advertising for SBS channels.
    It doesn’t work, is disruptive and SBS is a better channel than the actual rubbish commercial channels currently available.

  • Jenny lewis

    I absolutely agree, advertising should be between programmes like it once was. I prefer no commercials at all but I understand for financial reasons that can’t happen, so between programmes is the best compromise and has social benefits as well. I hope the change happens soon.

  • Alison Philippe

    I watch SBS a lot, it has the best news programme of all stations. The current affair programmes are very good as well. Their TV series and movies are exceptional.

    I agree get rid of the ads, government should provide more financial support. Australia now has, what 15 or 16 TV stations now? Unfortunately most of those stations are either the same station but supposedly HD or Digital, many are just TV sales programmes selling cheap stuff that moat of which no one really needs, and the remainder stations are either showing repeats of serials that are between 20 & 50 years old. Any new programmes are US shows that in most cases spoon feed their audience. Crap is crap and I believe most of what is on the commercials comes under the heading of crap TV.

  • Julie M Bakalor

    A movie is an artistic creation. One should no more interrupt the flow of the creation than one would put an ad in the corner of a painting in the Art Gallery, or interrupt a concert in the middle of a concerto. It is uncivilised!

    I refuse to watch SBS unless I have already recorded the program and can fast forward over the ads, but even that is an affront to the movie producer,director, actors and all the people involved in creating this work of art.

    It is a pity, SBS has many programs of interest to me but since the start of ads within programs I have been forced to look elsewhere for my intellectual fare.

  • annette sheehan

    I used to watch SBS and ABC only – not just for the content but for the ad free programming. I have to say that in recent years even though i thoroughly LOVE SBS i just cannot stand the ads and end up turning it off. Even the catchup is so full of ads that it is not worth watching. I watch Aljazeera now as my second ad free channel. A lovely surprise to see Stan Grant on there presenting the news this week.

  • david james

    I find SBS these days as almost unbearably indistinguishable in terms of programming interruptions from the worst commercial tv stations. In fact I think an objective analysis would find the per hour advertisement could be even higher.

    Could that be the Machiavellian motivation in it all. Drive down the public viewing rates using the ad breaks as the tool and when audience spread inevitably drops off, flog it off.

  • Let’s go back to no ads like the ABC – will give SBS more credibility and make it more watchable

  • Anne McIntosh

    I have hardly watched the SBS since advertising began – tend to just watch the ABC or read a book! I do miss the many SBS programs I loved but refuse to have my viewing interrupted by commercials. Perhaps if there MUST be advertising (and I understand there has to be some form of revenue raising) then could it not happen prior and after each program? If that were to happen then SBS would have another viewer!

  • Dawn Colsey

    I fully support no advertising within programs.

  • Jim KABLE

    Take away the advertising within programs at the very least. Return it to the previous system or delete them entirely. I spent nearly two decades in Japan (1990s/2000s) and when I returned to Australia we’d all become “customers” – “private” was prioritised and its was a commercial and in-cofidence. An uglified version of the land I had left – just pre-Howard! Along with the commercialisation of SBS – the cuts after cuts to the great ABC – fills one with sadness and with a burning rage, too. Good luck in this campaign!

  • Tim Herring

    SBS has the best things to watch because of its diversity.
    I speak 3 languages reasonably fluently and love watching, especially if I can turn sub-titles on and off.
    Watching news from around the World gives a much wider perception of reality.

    If only I didn’t have to watch those damned ads, over and over again!

    I watch less SBS now, as I prefer to go directly to German, French, Spanish and Italian TV which don’t have these stupid ad rules that we have in Australia.
    These days I can ad the apps directly on my AppleTV – get rid of the ads and I will watch SBS much more.

  • Jim KABLE

    and SBS was commercial – and there was secrecy – “commercial in-confidence” gags…

  • Graeme Blyth

    SBS was brilliant. Until it was forced to advertise–which, that is. It seems quite perverse for a national, public-owned TV service to have commercial advertising. SBS is still a great provider, but only because of its fine programming and its outstanding staff. I support SBS in all its endeavours towards making it properly independent again. Please work hard with your sister-service, the ABC. Perhaps have adds with a difference; eg. advertise yourselves to the public, in prime time, about your current quest and the advantages of change. To become add-free once again. I for one will always be with you all.

  • Helen Nugent

    I fully support the moving of advertising from within programs to between programs.I also prefer no commercials at all but I understand for financial reasons that can’t happen, so between programmes is the best compromise. Alongside ABC 1, SBS would be my preferred viewing if not for the interruptions of ads

  • Angela

    Please stop advertising during programmes. It is a strong disincentive for watching SBS in spite of some excellent programmes. I frequently choose to read a book instead of enduring repetitious advertisements. SBS used to be my favourite TV station. Now I watch less TV.

  • Emma

    I stopped watching SBS all together with the onslaught of advertisements. It doesn’t matter whether the quality is outstanding or not, I will hands down look for another way to engage somewhere else.

  • Julia Woinarski

    I’m totally put off watching SBS because of the advertising which get faster and more often as the program progresses. Preferably there should be no ads, or only between programs

  • nicholas beauman

    The add breaks on SBS are as bad if not worse than those on the commercial stations.
    Whats more they throw them in willy nilly with no thought to the disruptive impact it has on the show you might be watching.
    I strongly support returning to the days of adds between shows not during.

  • Leigh

    Advertising within programs disrupts continuity, retention, deep thought and reflection. Many of the programs on SBS were not ‘made’ to have a commercial break so overwhelmingly, the program breaks ‘mid-sentence’ and the ‘flow’ is destroyed. Imagine going to an important talk /speech /performance /class and having the people leap up mid-sentence or mid-performance. That is what ad breaks within SBS content does. It is jarring, insensitive and takes away from the program content. Add this to the frequent technical difficulties and you have a once great station now reduced to being substandard to what it was even 20 years ago. In many, many regards we seem to be going backwards in Australia, not forwards. SBS programs are frequently my top pick for any television viewing and I’m sure I’d actually watch more SBS programming if it wasn’t such an arduous process.

  • Judith Leslie

    We watch primarily ABC and SBS for quality programming. We would watch SBS more without advertising

  • Ray Cas

    Because of the in-program ads, my wife anbd I do not watch any SBS programs live, in real time. We record, the fast forward through ad breaks, savihjng a lot of time on say an hour long program. So, we don’t watch the ads anyway. So, its wasted effort and a waste of time having them interrupt a program, because we don’t watch them. Remove them from programs.

  • Brian Salter-Duke

    The ads on SBS really annoy me and I very often do not watch it for that reason. At least go back to only have ads between programs.

  • (mrs) Y. Cooke

    All those years when I had my hearing (was not deaf) my late husband and I used only SBS news programs, and enjoyed wonderful SBS movies – When I lost my hearing I benefited from SBS programs and movies as they used subtitles. News programs were also great because there were no advertisements interrupting significant news items.

  • Madeleine Innocent

    When you rely on adverting for your income, you also open yourself up to censorship – what the advertisers don’t want you to show. We need new, challenging and often unpopular themes that help us think and grow.

  • Helen Holliday

    Hmpf! Ads! Put the mute on, at least you don’t have to hear them. An irritation I would be delighted to remove from my life. And I make it a practice that I would never buy any product that has been advertised on TV anyway.

  • Tom Jeffrey

    There used to be a real point of difference between SBS and the Commercial TV channels when SBS did not interrupt its programs with ad breaks. If is really necessary to have commercials, I strongly recommend they are screened between programs, not in them.

  • Robin Terry

    If SBS must have ads and I don’t think it should, they should only be placed before and after programs. There is a place for commercial TV stations and for publicly funded TV stations, let not confuse the two. The ad have become more intrusive as time goes by.

  • graham clarke

    I cannot watch the many excellent programs on SBS as the level on in-program advertising is ludicrous.

    It gives me no joy to criticize but I would sooner pay a subscription than put up with the excessive and destructive level of advertising.

    kind regards,

    graham clarke

  • Pete

    Just like for most (all?) of the earlier respondents, ads drive me nuts but at least when they’re between programs they’d be easier to ignore – although advertisers know this of course so I can see this would become a revenue problem now SBS has got used to the income. If ads are to continue during programs can SBS please not continually advertise its own programs multiple times per program.

  • Julia Weisz

    I fully support the notion of no advertising on SBS. If it is absolutely necessary, only between programs please. I would pay a limited subscription for both ABC and SBS to make sure they continue as our broadcasters WITHOUT ADVERTISING.

  • Eva Cermak

    Apart from being annoying and disruptive the advertisements are absolute waste of money for the advertisers. We and the SBS watchers known to us use the remote control to eliminate the sound and leave the room during the ad breaks.

  • Doreen Hill

    I fully support the moving of advertising from within programs to between programs as it used to be.

  • Edward Primrose

    To the great annoyance of the Rinehart funded IPA and like many, many others, I am totally against public broadcasting being interfered with by profiteers and capitalist ideologues. We need the free flow of ideas, particularly from culturally diverse origins. SBS used to be at the forefront until advertising was forced upon it. To even contemplate advertisements interrupting a feature film is heresy, reflecting mediocrity and cultural ignorance.

  • John Spencer

    Despite turning off the mute button the intrusive and banal ads are a definite incentive to change channels.I would watch more SBS. Yes please proceed!

  • Lynn Lee

    No advertising on SBS please, then I can watch it!

  • Annee Lawrence

    I hate the ad breaks on SBS and often quit watching programs I would really enjoy otherwise because the ads come so thick and fast and disrupt the story telling. it seems they are designed to do that and I can’t be bothered with On Demand either for the same reason.
    If it weren’t for the ad breaks during programs I would watch many more programs on SBS. Even the news is broken up with advertising.

  • Christine Simons

    The SBS ads are extremely annoying . So annoying, I make a point of not buying any of the products advertised. Apart from that, I love SBS.

  • Elspeth Ferguson

    We (my husband and I) ONLY watch ABC and SBS. We hate advertisements as they are so disruptive and repetitive.

  • Steve

    SBS programming and advertising just don’t mix.

  • Jane Boswell

    as much as an SBS without ad breaks would be fabulous, I would be prepared to sacrifice this so that SBS can continue to show free to air fabulous programming that it currently does. We know this takes money, the money that advertising brings. I welcome the change but not at the sacrifice of programming

  • Karen

    I’m not in favour of advertising on SBS, it has changed the quality of watching time. I don’t watch free to air chanels due to poor programming and advertising. Let’s bring back the old look SBS .. ad free.

  • Carol van Gelder

    Love SBS hate advertising always mute it.

  • fabian gulino

    I just watched struggle strret on sbs on demand online,there are to many Ads.I want SBS to put less Advertising so that I watch my programs in peace.

  • V Prentice

    Advertising should be unnecessary on a public broadcasting channel, but, if there must be advertising on SBS then it should be between programmes, not during. The latter is tedious, disruptive, and off-putting. And we believe that it’s inappropriate that SBS should be airing ads for betting/gambling (we turn SBS off in protest when they are shown).

  • Gloria Kelly

    I love SBS on Demand but I hate the advertising and I refuse to watch it. I simply play a card game or go make a cup of tea, so the advertisers will never make any money out of me.

  • Hans Paas

    Why does SBS interrupt the World News with advertisements telling us how we can watch World News? Why do SBS repeat the same advertisement in the same ad break? Did SBS not know that less is more and we are more likely to watch fewer advertisements? Why does SBS interrupt programs with promotions for other programs? Why not do this between programs instead of, like commercial stations, going straight into the next program and then interrupting it with more advertisements? Soon the only watchable free to air TV will be ABC and SBS. Why is SBS trashing its brand by chasing the advertising dollar in a way that makes them more like the declining commercial networks? Where is SBS commitment to quality when it comes to its need for advertising revenue?

  • Ann Kent

    I was so disappointed when SBS brought in advertising. That act seemed to violate the implicit social contract that had been established as the result of the introduction of SBS. As a result, I turned solely to watching the ABC. Although I have modified my attitude in recent years, and enjoy the occasional french movie on SBS, I still watch the ABC by preference. Should SBS decide to remove advertising, I would rejoice. It would be one hopeful, positive development in this increasingly fraught world.

  • Carla van Raay

    SBS would see a huge surge of watchers if advertising were taken off. It could be a major influence for community cohesion, if it wanted to be, and avoid making us scared with awful news or programs that make us angry or sad and powerless. Happy people make a happy world.

  • Bes Marshall

    Let’s return to the goodish old days when commercials topped/tailed, and did not disrupt, shows. (In an ideal world SBS would be ad-free altogether.)

  • Robert

    Support ad breaks only at beginnings and ends of shows on sbs

  • Paula Thurston


  • Trish

    Having ads within a program detracts from the program and also the ads as frustration sets in. I absolutely support no ads at all like the ABC but certainly not within the program.

  • Chris McFarlan

    I only watch the ABC or SBS, it would be so much better NOT to have ads like it used to, ad free viewing, what more could you want except for the *f%7*@ repeat programs, so tedious and disappointing, surely there enough shows without repeats. It’s bad enough all commercial tv does

  • Isabella Moore

    It would appear from results re advertising, that advertising needs to be displaced from programs on SBS. Enjoy SBS programs which offer great diversity of viewing and information.

  • David

    The SBS news, which is by far the best news on Australian TV, has become virtually unwatchable due to the excessive advertising. After all these years of supporting SBS I’m on the verge of giving up.

  • I used to watch SBS regularly, they had many good programmes on it. Now it’s just the same as other commerical TV that I never watch now. I only watch now if a really good programme is on. I’ve even noticed a deterioration in the ABC since their budget cuts, the quality of that sevice is becomming just like the rubbish produced on commercial stations on top of the terrible ads.

  • John Bond OAM

    SBS was meant to be advertisement-free. We must make it so again.

  • Michael Kilpatrick

    I support complete removal of advertising from SBS. The modern “bellowing bogan” style of advertising is totally antithetical to the type of programming on SBS. I am in favour of SBS being publicly funded.

  • Sandy Sondreal

    Love SBS!!
    Browsing OnDemand I find extremely off putting because of ads.
    Whatever program I call up is preceded by at least one (often more)
    ads before even getting a sense that it’s something I want to watch.
    In frustration I switch to ABC iView or Netflix unless it’s something I’ve
    known in advance that I want to view so am willing to get through the ads.

    Compared to commercial stations, SBS does show fewer ads when broadcasting
    live, but I would still prefer them between programs.
    OnDemand,I definitely prefer them at the end or beginning of a program because often
    the reception is problematic when returning to the program after an ad.

  • KBob

    It is hard to see whom the advertising benefits in the case of SBS. SBS should be properly funded by the federal government. It would only take one less purchase of a joint strike fighter to ensure SBS survives ad free for the next 15 years. SBS is a great channel and content platform. It was so sad when SBS was forced to introduce advertising. Following the lead of the United States of America in these things just goes to show how important it is to remain Australian. Now I have dual citizenship in the USA and was born there, but Australia was a vastly superior country 20 years ago, and that edge has been progressively diminished by governments looking to their Big Brothers across the Pacific and the favouritism to big business that has now lead to a political revolution in the USA. Making Australia great again definitely means going back to the creation of the ABC and SBS, which could not have been better moves by a government to benefit all of its people. Having a clean place for content leads to citizens with clean minds and the ability to think, and that builds a strong nation.

  • Robert

    Ahead to the past, please. Seems that the people now running SBS don’t watch it. If there must be ads — why in a program? Just because the In Business sales channels do whatever it takes?

  • John Anderson

    Does anyone actually watch advertising on TV?
    Certainly not SBS viewers I assume.
    My mind either goes blank or I get up and walk out of earshot whenever they’re on.

  • Cynthia

    I would watch SBS much more often without the disruptive, frequent and poorly timed ad breaks. I refuse to buy any of the products advertised. The commercials undermine the role of SBS as a public broadcaster.

  • I am not sure about the economic benefits and social cohesion but the least that management can do IS to limit the advertising to in between programs or natural breaks in the case of sports. I do HATE the interruptions and they are even more annoying on SBS on Demand!

  • Richard Upton

    I watched SBS avidly every day until the ads started – now I never watch it.
    Which is deeply sad as it used to be my favourite station – such wonderful and diverse programming!
    If the ads go I’ll be the first to watch it again. Especially if we don’t see those awful ‘what’s up next’ ads that shatter the atmosphere and art of a show.
    Please please PLEASE return SBS to the wonderful (world’s best?) TV channel it used to be.

  • WOLF schoen


  • Robert N Sulzberger

    I haven’t watched SBS ( or the other commercial channels) for years, apart from occasionally catching the first 10 minutes of news at 1830, due to the Ads. I make a note of SBS programmes highlighted in the Age Green Guide that interest me and eventually can get most on DVD from my local Library. I will only return to SBS when its Ad free.

  • Paul Martin

    YES !!! Restore the original SBS!!!

    Advertising spoils programs SO annoyingly, and we pensioners can’t afford to buy anyway !

  • Meryn

    Most of the so-called ad breaks within programmes are actually SBS promotions rather than sponsored adverts and these are repeated at nearly every break. I’m sick of seeing the same promo over and over and over again. Yes, I was going to watch ‘The Name of the Rose’ but not be told to do so every twenty minutes. It would be great to have no ad breaks in the middle of programs but if SBS must have ads, can’t they be ones that actually bring in money?

  • Julie emery

    I stopped watching SBS when the ads invaded that space.
    SBS and ABC and NITV are the most important channels in Australian Television and should be supported for the genuine products that they are and support and produce.
    Please do not adulterate nor waterdown, rather strengthen and direct the proportionate funding that these stations received 30 years ago. They are the backbone of Australian television. Keep it that way.

  • Doris Kerner

    Yes and yes again, put the ads between the programs – great move if it is possible. Love SBS!!!!😘

  • Patsy Lisle

    I watch far less SBS because of the ads. It’s clear the original agreement to allow advertising envisaged far less intrusive practices than the current ones. I hope the playing of ads during shows will cease.

  • Jim Leigh

    SBS is now actually WORSE than many commercial and Foxtel chennels.

    On SBS on Demand movies the ads are automatic at every 15 minutes, absolutely insensitively placed , even in films like The Passion of the Christ.


    1. they can not be fastforward over as they automatically repeat
    2. they are played at increased volume.

    I understand the social advantage of not having them and also (possibly) the economic advantage of not having them, as argued.

    mercifully the foreign language news , one of the main things I watch, has no internal ads

    I would be prepared to pay a licence fee for SBS ad-free.

  • Tamas Pataki

    I’m not able to judge the economic issues concerning advertising but I can say that the intrusive, frequent, repetitive advertising – often with crude repellent content – hugely diminishes the viewing experience. It was once possible to contemplate, to be absorbed in, ENJOY a movie or documentary on SBS. No longer. SBS is now little better, and often quite a lot worse, than the the commercial stations. It’s hard now to think of a justification for it.

  • Larney Grenfell

    I love SBS but the ads drive me crazy when you see the same one multiple times in one break that is when I turn off. That is a stupid tactic, I don’t have to be told over and over and over and over. They also make watching a movie difficult when they won’t let you find your place if you can’t watch it is one sitting. Back to the old way please and I will be there more often. Love the content.

  • Eddie H

    I absolutely love SBS.

    I only watch the commerical stations for occasional sports and the ABC for some news, documentaries and current affairs. The rest of my viewing is catered for well by SBS.

    One thing that I hate however is, among the ads, the way too regular promotion of future SBS shows on a boring and mind-numbing basis.

    As far as the ads are concerned, I don’t mind them so much if it helps with the SBS finances. I would ask that ads be restricted to “decent” products leaving out ads for fast foods, sugary drinks, gambling and other “anti-social” products.

    Keep up the mostly good work SBS.

  • Zsolt Platthy

    I would watch SBS more often if ads/commercials are placed between programs only. I find them intrusive and disruptive when they interrupt a program at random places. Often they even break into the middle of a scene and spoil its continuity or suspense. Because of these constant interruptions within SBS programs, I have subscribed to streaming services that don’t have these interruptions.

  • M Wallace

    Public broadcasters funded by taxpayers should be ad free. I avoid watching some programs because I dislike advertising interruptions . Another option is to record the program then fast forward through the ads.

  • Jane Jones

    Advertisements which interrupt programs are really annoying! I’m sure we would watch more of SBS if we didn’t have to put up with ads which constantly break up the flow and /or tension of programs.

  • Bruce Walker

    Whilst advertising raises revenue it would be great if shows could be viewed without them. I offer full support to such a move by SBS

  • Janice Caulfield

    My husband and I were once avid watches of SBS. Since the new commercialism we have stopped watching altogether. Sad.

  • Rita Camilleri

    Ads on SBS Online really spoil the show, they stick and stop. On Tv the ads would be better at the end or beginning of a programme.

  • Margaret

    SBS should be advertisement-free. There are some great programmes on SBS which are ruined by the interruption of banal advertising. I want dramas and documentaries to be a total pleasure from beginning to end. Often I give up and switch off rather than having to watch adverts. Please give up advertising. Your audience would increase hugely by many people who think like me.

  • Jill Brown

    Love SBS but hate hate hate HATE! the ad breaks. I recently started watching Harlots Season 3 – wonderful show, check it out if you haven’t seen it – but I’ve given up. I’ll wait for the release of the DVD so I can watch it without the constant interruptions of AD BREAKS!!!!

  • I watch programs on SBS on Demand which are interesting and often requiring concentration. Then suddenly there is an advertisement. SBS on Demand should be fully financed by Government funding and should not require commercial advertising.

  • Sahndra Nelson

    Me too!!

  • Gregory John Olsen Esq

    I agree 100% with this proposal! :-)

  • Part of the problem since the introduction of advertising has been the programming shift to more English/British derived shows. This has meant that rather than SBS showcasing the best television the non-English speaking world has to offer( Japan’s Oshin, France’s Spiral, Scandi-noir’s The Bridge, Italy’s Inspector Montalbano and many other shows) we are left with stale railway journeys across the length and breadth of Britain, endless British programming on “Hitlers War” with little if any programming from Germany, only neighbouring Austria’s Rex appears. Current British programs deal with its canals, emergency workers, Victorian history, such that SBS seems less about Australia’s and the World’s multicultural diversity of community and more about reinforcement of a Little Britain’s Australia still a colony, and don’t you forget your allegiance to the Queen.

    A better selection of international programming would far outweigh the better managed advertising on SBS than any of the commercial stations offer. And let’s not forget it is ONLY SBS that is prepared to do the hard yards translating works from other countries, the rest of our vast television “free to air” is tragically, overwhelmingly English speaking programming, completely at odds with our multicultural population. All this despite the additional stations they have and the unbelievable amount of time they devote to advertising.

    A return to real, World’s Best television programming is what SBS really needs and not the current soporific British overreach, dare I say it propaganda, avoiding the real composition of the Australian and global community.

  • Walter John Ferrell

    Each movie or programme on TV is a work of art. As such it should not be contaminated by extraneous matter which detracts from the work as envisaged by the artist. There is ample opportunity to advertise before and after programmes. Please remove all ads from interrupting the sequence of the show.

  • Kate Hoffacker

    Love SBS – content, app, ethos, expressing Australia’s multiculturalism
    Hate Ads and hate the Liberals for tinkering with our SBS. We don’t want another mindless commercial channel 7, 9, 10.
    Sign me up for whatever it takes to keep ads to a maximum of one ad per show, one at half time in a movie.

  • Bruce Laidlaw

    No ads during the programs, please. I hate them!

  • Helga

    yes, please! Get rid of the ads.

  • Caryl Bajrai

    I also hate #$&$# ads I still love SBS but haven’t watched for 2 yrs because ads came in
    and most friends agree. It started as ad free. Why do you think we won’t allow ABC to be privatised.

  • jim Rasmussen

    I very rarely watch the commercial channels as the breaks every ten minutes really frustrates me as soon as the adds appear i’m on the remote looking for another channel.
    I’m completely ok with a few adds at the beginning and end of a program but disrupting a program to try and sell some rubbish is not required.

  • Lyndel Prott

    When I first found SBS it was by far the best television channel bar none: films from all over the world with translated texts. It was an education for all. The loss to advertising has been disastrous for serious watchers and even the reduced number of informative items is a serious loss.

    Please remove all advertisements. I know that advertising was forced on to SBS. Let us all do as much as we can to get back to its original quality.

  • Robyn

    I stopped watching SBS TV when the ads started, and have never watched online with ads either. Let me know when the ads are gone and I’ll happily tune in to this great station.

  • Harry

    SBS should be a total Public Broadcaster, remove ALL commercial content now and fund the programming and the structure itself from consolidated revenue…that’s the reason that I’m happy to pay tax.

  • Hamish Foster

    Removing advertising from SBS…particularly inta-program advertisements would be a quantum leap forward in the quality and continuity of SBS dramas and documentaries, in fact all shows.

    Ads. drive away many potential viewers and are certainly a BIG negative as far as I am concerned.

    More varied and best quality foreign shows woild also be much appreciated

    ? how to fund these improvements?? I certainly would be delighted to pay more tax to fund a quality, ad-free GBS

  • SBS is the best thing on australian tv….please keep it ad-free. we payfor this with our taxes….lit shouldn’t have to “show a profit”. its “profits” are intangibles like inclusiveness, representation, and happy communities involving everyone, particularly minirities who often don’t get a look in on commercial tv.

  • Dion Channer

    Please attempt to have ads removed from programmes and, if they are absolutely necessary have them placed between programmes as was once the case. Personally I watch far less because of ads and have even abandoned the ABC because of the continuous promos. What a waste of one’s life! Thank you, in kindness,

    Dion Channer

  • Paul S

    In-program ads deter me from SBS on-demand services. They also encourage me to record and delay my TV program watching, fast-forwarding through the ads. Longer between ads should attract a premium price and be more noticeable.

  • John Cogley

    SBS ads are the legacy of John Howard, who knew “the price of everything and the value of nothing”. Who, like many on the right of politics, was blind to the benefits of a society prepared to seek understanding with other cultures and distance itself from commercial contamination, attributes which an ad-free SBS propagates. It is about time we returned SBS to the golden pre-Howard era.

  • Fiona

    SBS advertisement free please!
    At least show ads in-between programs.
    No pop-up caption messages while programs are running.
    I watch far less SBS because of the ads. Have turned more to ABC and rarely watch other channels.

  • Lis.

    LOVE SBS!!!! HATE ads!!!! We leave the room anyway, do something else until we hear the program recommence. Ads take away the independence of SBS – and lower the inclusivity of its brief.
    We will never buy the products that are sponsoring the programs – sorry SBS! But we can’t stand the manipulation and fakery.

  • Jane

    I agree with you 110% Angela , I realise this is a technical issue with the SBS streaming site but if the ads were not there it would still help enormously!

  • Simon Davis

    Good luck trying to get any funding out of the LNP government who would rather you watched the commercial channels , learn nothing from the ABC and SBS and just be a happy moron.
    In this case it seems the only way to keep SBS going is funding through advertising as much as I hate it.

  • Deborah Carpenter

    Love SBS. Get rid of the Ads. Support it thoroughly.

  • Jane

    I don’t watch it any more because of the ads.

  • Bob Clark

    Sadly we have recently stopped watching SBS, great content sadly ruined by commercial ‘breaks’- Please if they have to, just keep the ads and promotions to between programs. Often ads are inserted within programs that were actually never meant to be interrupted, the result is often a gross and sudden intrusion to the enjoyment of any particular program, plus the break in concentration, plot development etc. I do not want to be encouraged to buy a new car in the middle of a show. We have always supported SBS and hoped that SBS would remain above this crude and intrusive advertising style. Enough please!

  • John Reid

    I watch an occasional special event on SBS but have pretty much given up my general viewing because of the in-program advertising. Instead, for a while, I turned to SBS On Demand, in the expectation I’d be able to fast forward through the ads. I can’t. The setup will not allow them to be fast forwarded, so there’s no advantage to be gained in doing this. Solution? Turn away from SBS entirely. I can live very well in an ad-free world, except perhaps for those between programs. They are a handy break to head to the toilet and/or make a cuppa (much like the twixt-program breaks on Auntie, I guess).

  • Jennifer Richards

    SBS is such a brilliant channel. So much to love about it, apart from the wretched ads. I don’t support it as I used to for this reason. There is a lot of other ad-free tv to watch now.
    Please bring back our old beloved SBS, an icon of Australian television.

  • DeQuincey

    Remove ads from the SBS.

    There was a time when SBS limited its advertisers to hi-status products, at least then good production values made the viewer feel a cut above. There were relatively few repetitions and we were saved the obnoxious incongruity of the standard commercials it now screens. Any ads need to be screened for their compatibility with the program (I’ll always remember the shower ads in the middle of a doco about Auschwitz).

    And what is it with the repeats of World Movies, at least spread re-screenings over a few months.

  • Rochelle England

    The SBS is a very important cultural educator and support for a multicultural society. The ads are extremely annoying. Particularly worrying are gambling ads. Haven’t seen any alcohol ads lately, thank goodness.

  • Jan

    I support ads on SBS being moved back between programs. It would be even better to have no ads as the SBS has a responsibility as a public broadcaster. It is important to maintain this level of independence in the current climate of commercialisation and reporting that lacks rigor. I watch SBS news, some programs such as Insight and international series

  • Judith Rafferty

    I tolerate the advertisements because I find the programs very worthwhile. But the ads are very intrusive and spoil the continuity of programs. Ads in between programs would be tolerable if advertising is essential to the funding of SBS, but advertising should not be acceptable as SBS was never meant to be a commercial channel.

  • Kelvin

    Government should fund the SBS sufficiently to eradicate ads or at least ads only between programs

  • R McNaught

    I totally agree that advertising should not interrupt the program.
    If there must be adds, please only between programs.

  • Annie

    Looking at the Scanlon-Monash Index and Deloitte’s Social Inclusion report, and the fact that SBS is in a prime position to foster social inclusion to unlock some of that wonderful $12.7 billion back into our economy, this is a no-brainer!
    It is obvious that the federal government need to develop more supportive multicultural policies, and withdraws advertising that interrupts program delivery. Administering the SBS as it promised and signed off on back in 2006 would be a win-win for government, our economy and SBS – bring it on SBS

    By the way all other channels have advert interruptions so this has never stopped me watching SBS, BUT why waste a crack at that $12.7 billion Scott Morrison, read the report and maybe you will see what the rest of us see, get those adverts out of SBS programs.

  • As a long-time supporter of public broadcasting such as SBS, it saddens me that successive governments, in particular over the past decade, have seen fit to operate SBS like a commercial broadcaster with annoying ads not only at front and end but within programs, creating annoying interruptions.These myopic people in Canberra choose to ignore the fact that the public expects nothing less than a completely free broadcaster, unencumbered by financial and political restraints. Of course the public also understands the importance of careful budgetary restraints.
    Australia should be proud of both SBS and the ABC for the highest standards of broadcasting, recognised not only by Australians but around the world and should not be restrained by ham-fisted political and financial pressure from government.

  • It’s always challenging to measure prevention but the idea of economic savings through preventative measures, and measuring cultural and social resilience (as well as individual) could prove worthwhile in arguing for adequate funding to meet the Charter requirements. To have gambling ads on SBS is insulting for the viewers, staff, programs and other sponsors … lets fight for the integrity of SBS!

  • christopher baker

    Advertising only advertises the fact that the government cannot understand or does not care that SBS, like the ABC are vital public services which, if they are going to achieve and maintain the highest quality standards, (which I assume is what Australians deserve,) need to be fully funded rather than sold off to companies selling products.

  • Deb Campbell

    CLOSE THAT LOOP HOLE and take the ads off SBS I watch less SBS on Demand because of them.

  • Sean

    ‘No ads please’, is my vote.

  • Louise Hay

    Would love the ads to be gone but at the beginning and end would be better. The current system particularly on the on demand platform is really disruptive. It has the start of a scene then pauses to play THE SAME ADS each time. It makes me tune out and very much aware that I will never buy the product that is being advertised.

  • Colin

    Ads should not be o a public broadcaster

  • peter

    many of the ads are about SBS programs so what a waste of time and subsequent disruption to the programs. Also I turn the audio off and leave the room – the adds are far far too long

  • peter moylan

    Of course the SBS should be add free

  • Lenore Grunsell

    The ads are so disruptive, and also I suspect not financially necessary as many are repeated continually, even within the same slot!! I would like to return to an ad-free SBS.

  • Cher Schoenfelder

    I love the diversity of programs on SBS On Demand however I would watch far more on this channel if it weren’t for the in-program advertising. These are an immense source of frustration as often the show I’m watching will get stuck at the ad points, won’t move back or forwards, repeats the ads and just starts the program from the beginning again. I have completely abandoned shows I really wanted to watch as a result of this. Aside from this, I find the majority of TV advertising vulgar and such a waste of my life to sit through, as well as being very disruptive; please get rid of in-program advertising!

  • Geoffrey Brown

    Is there a petition I can sign? If not, why not?

  • Bruce Hellyer

    Please remove in-program advertising on SBS. It was a much better station before there were so many ads, and research shows that more benefits result without those ads.

  • Peter Lawrence

    I am a global citizen who acts locally for future generations. SBS provides honest global news. The advertisements are a nuisance, I do not watch, and they have no influence. I would watch more SBS if advertisements were removed.

  • Linda Raymond

    I also love SBS but make it a rule not to buy any products I see advertised while I am watching programs. The intrusion into storylines, important dialogue and significant dramatic moments is appallingly random, and I find it bizarre that the products that are advertised seem to have no relationship to the viewing audience for those programs. It’s awful. I won’t stop watching SBS but as I noted previously, will continue to ignore all of the advertising on principle. Tell that to your advertisers.

  • Nick Martin

    I stopped watching SBS when they started interrupting programs for ads. Inever watch commercial TV for the same reason. It’s too rritating.

  • Angela Vagulans

    I was very disappointed when ads were inserted. My ideal is zero advertising and perhaps only previews of upcoming shows once an hour and varied. SBS is a quality channel.

  • Veronica Waugh

    Would love to see the ads disappear from SBS. Often record programs so I can fast forward thru ads but it still interrupts viewing.

  • Tracie Hendriks

    I value SBS for many reasons, the quality and variety of programs as well as the social diversity they represent. I like ad breaks because of my need to get up to do various things (eg bathroom) on a fairly regular basis. I would be happy for the ad breaks to be between programs so that the flow of the program and connection to the story or information is not interrupted.

  • Jonathan Price

    At least please limit ads to between programmes. We watch few shows on the excellent SBS TV because of those seriously frustrating breaks. Ad free would be best but appreciate the problems.

  • Jane Bringolf

    After watching programs on iView and Netflix it is very annoying to get the ad breaks in the program. SBS has some of the most interesting and diverse programs – we need more of them. It is a real pity they had to go to ads within programs. What’s most annoying is seeing the same thing over and over – even in the same break. Aggghhh!

  • Jean Maxwell

    I am not in favour of advertising on SBS, it should be independent of commercial influences and free of the interruptions caused by advertising.

  • There is a determined attempt by the LNP government to disrupt free and uninterrupted communication in all formsts , the reasons are not hard to perceive.
    We have a would be authoritarian government whose nefarious aims are not coincident with the ideals or for the benefit of the community at large in any shape or form .

  • eric

    There should be no advertisements on SBS. It is a special service, not a commercial service. Its programs are insightful and high quality unlike anything channels with commercial advertising. SBS should not be degraded with advertising.

  • John Truman

    SBS on Demand is the one bright spot in free to air viewing except for the infernal ads which are mainly for other SBS shows. How crazy is that!

  • Sue

    Agree – advertising really impacted sbs and I’d be happy to see it gone. It’s an irritant and nothing that ever compels me toward a product or service despite the lengths some ads go to. They are kind of handy for a snack dash but all they really do is make me scramble for the remote to mute something I don’t want to hear thats yelling at me for attention. Why are they always louder than the program anyway? So keep up the good fight and. Ads don’t suit your programming or audience.

  • Sue

    I love SBS but I am definitely watching less since the number of ads has dramatically increased. I understand the reasons for advertising but put them between programs, not every 10 mins on streamed shows. I will continue to watch SBS primarily but support every move to decrease the number of ads.

  • Prue

    SBS would be our station of choice if they did not have breaks during programs. As is is my husband and I do not watch it at all any more because the brake are so annoying. GET RID OF THE ADS please

  • Tony

    No ads please . SBS would be our station of choice if there were no breaks during programs.

  • James Walter

    I join with many in endorsing the social cohesion objective and moving SBS away from the commercial/advertising model that has been imposed by government..

  • Julie

    I am watching far lees of SBS because of the ads. They have ruined SBS and if the government gets its way they will do the same to the ABC just to keep the commercial networks happy.

  • Betty & Geoff Coles

    As an elderly couple who rejoice in the rich and diverse culture that Australia’s multi-culturism has brought to us, my wfe and I set great value on SBS programming. We remember how Limited and bigotted our outlook was during the war years and through the post-war and “Cold War”
    Eras. SBS helped to dispel and enlighten our attitudes to the point of whole-hearted support and enjoyment of such diversity.
    We were dismayed when SBS was forced to rely on advertising for survival; but we accepted the harsh reality. We still find the interruptions and tedious repetition so off-putting and irritating to the point of switching off! Advertising would be more tolerable and more effective
    confined to blocks between programs. This should also apply to the channel’s self-promotions. Better Still – raise a public campaign for greater government funding to reduce the necessity for commercial advertising!

  • Fiona Ninnes

    I used to love watching SBS when there were no ads. Advertisements drive me insane. I almost never watch SBS now because of the ads. SBS should be fully funded by the government so that it can go back to its core function of improving social inclusion within this multicultural society. I would definitely watch more SBS if ads were removed altogether and possibly more if they were only between programs.

  • Ann

    SBS is a great station but be improved with fewer ads and even better with no ads. I can only watch films by recording and watching later with fast forward.

  • cherry lee

    I agree Edward Primrose. Why should our viewing be interrupted by profiteers and capitalist ideologues? Unfortunately our whole lives are interfered with by these people. The world is ruled by multi-national corporations who do not wish us to have free flow of ideas or any independent thinking whatsoever. That would ruin their ulterior motive of of having a world full of mindless consumers. It is such a shame that SBS has sunk to this level and has become a lackey of this agenda. However excellent a programme may be on SBS its contents are sadly diminished by this inane advertising. It is a complete contradiction. I hope they see sense and will stop it, but I doubt it.

  • Liz

    Would prefer no ads but could cope with them in between progams rather than during them. Also minimising the endless repetition of upcoming programs would be most welcome. Drives us nuts.

  • Doreen Davidson

    I watch so little on SBS simply because of the adverts interrupting otherwise excellent programs. The adverts take away the continuity of whatever is showing and therefore the interest of the viewer by changing the mindset to something trivial. If adverts are needed because of financial backing please show at end of program which might be a win win situation. Otherwise I can only see it becoming less popular so please do something before we get to that point as we do need a viable option to the ABC.

  • Dene McMillan

    Fully support this proposal!

  • Dene McMillan

    I fully support this proposal.

  • Dallas Robson

    Both my husband and I enjoy all the SBS programs including the newer Viceland which is very quirky and thought-provoking. We started watching SBS from the beginning of its broadcasting. We were saddened to see it begin to use ads during the programs. I wonder if others – like us fast forward them too? Thankyou SBS for continuing to provide such an excellent multicultural view of Australia. We fully support this proposal.

  • Pam Maegdefrau

    Advertising is just that!

    It is only geared to benefit the advertiser; it has no place in contributing positively to the ‘culture’ of a society.
    The focus on advertising that has crept into the SBS is very damaging to everyone, except perhaps the advertiser… who we know has no commitment or respect for anything other than THEIR bottom line.

    Communities are important and they need to be protected. They are also their best if they are not exploited or ‘sold off’. Anti-social advertising has no ethical place in an icon like SBS.
    SBS programs have the opportunity to make us a better society by extending our knowledge of our diversity, and respecting and exploring that diversity. Good programming can demonstrate the best in our world. Greed and exploitation (gambling noted here) have no place in building a better society.

  • Jean Gladman

    I have been watching SBS since it’s beginning and will continue to do so, though now I tend to record programmes in order to fast forward through the tiresome advertising. It would please me greatly if this proposal is successful.

  • Leonie Annan

    I do my best to avoid watching programs with ads. Ads are mind-numbing, annoyingly rude interruptions. They make me feel like never ever buying the products. I would rather record shows and fast-forward ads. I wrote submissions years ago against SBS ads but sadly the anti-SBS Government and $$$$ won.

  • Robert Briggs

    We watch SBS on Demand, but the ads are unbelievably tiresome and repetitive. Our mute button gets a good workout!

  • Anne Watson

    I no longer watch long programs on SBS – the ads are too distracting and sometimes it is hard to tell if it is an ad or just part f the program, which is thoroughly confusing. I only watch short programs or news and current affairs, and this is a real pity – SBS used to be a wonderful channel, with all the diversity we expect from a national broadcaster, but the constant, repetitive and often really cheap and nasty ads have spoilt it for everyone. Please get rid of ads within programs

  • Jon Cook

    I would return to watching SBS if within-program ads were removed.

  • Michelle falzon

    I still watch SBS but agree the ads are really annoying and interfere with viewing enjoyment. I tend to look away or do something else while their on as I still remember how satisfying it was to fully settle into a film or show without it being continually interrupted. I fully support the proposed changes to ads being in blocks rather than in current form.

  • Lis

    SBS is my nightly lifesaver from the crass commercialism and mindless twaddle of the ‘Reality’ channels! There should NEVER be advertising on such a valuable national ICON!

  • Audrey

    I used to practically only watch SBS, now I do so reluctantly and not very often as I so hate the interruptions by ads. I can’t believe that SBS would choose to sink to that ghastly commercial level. OK in between programmes is JUST acceptable if not too long, but it is NEVER acceptable during a programme. Please stop such advertising and I will be back in a shot.

  • Wayne Bourne

    I love SBS, its world class movies, news reports and drama programs.
    Ads between programs is just OK but please keep them off during programs. It is spoiling an otherwise excellent and outstanding TV channel.

  • Yes this is beyond the necessity to even discuss, making money is one thing, but serving humanity with good quality movies is another, and having the ads in between would work just fine.
    We have to return to the days when some thing called “common sense” was widely used

    We are only here on this earth to serve the creator and each other, to be kind and make decisions for the highest good for all concerned,not for the few with vested interests.
    My TV days are in decline due to the fact it is being destroyed by stupid ads!

  • Leo Boersma

    This is a no brainer…..if the viewers out there do not appreciate breaking up good movies, it is the duty of SBS to serve that community the best way it can

    And if ads can be put where they belong, between movies we would all be happy.
    Maybe we can go back to the good old days when we used something called “common sense” rather than follow the American way!

    There is only hope for this world, if people think less of money and more of people concerns, this is the realty.

  • Peter and Ruth Biddles

    Both Ruth and I would be most happy for SBS to return to the old format of ads between programs rather than the present program format. We have kept a rough log of the timing and frequency of not only ‘product’ ads but station program ads and the frequency has increased along with the increased number of ad breaks during screening time of a movie and even during the news programs. SBS is our most watched station with ABC second (we never watch and of the commercial free to air stations and do not subscribe to pay networks).Apart from the increase in ad frequency and the time taken to show sometimes 10 ads of various types what is most annoying is the the number of times the same ad is screened a couple of times. We wonder just how many people this annoys to the extent that we make a deliberate choice in avoiding those products advertised.

  • Alexander

    I rarely check the SBS schedule, and only look up OnDemand if I hear of a film worth watching. Breaking up programs with ads was never part of the original legislation, or the vision of those who set it up, and that’s when I stopped watching it.

  • Paul Munro

    I had been a binge watcher of SBS On Demand programs and I miss having recourse to the services. I stopped cold turkey some months ago in the early stages of a series I liked because I could no longer stand the ill placed interruption for repetitive commercials, many of them about SBS programming. I still miss the option to look through their offerings but I will not relent unless and until I hear there has been at least a revision to showing ads onlyend or beginning of a program. I still use SBS Free to Air news services but I am unable to see the economic benefit of ad breaks that essentially drive watchers and listeners away. I support the retention of a strong and well resourced SBS, in principle, but the more it commercialises its offerings the less reason I find to keep it on the roster.

  • Norm Bennett

    I support this proposal.

  • Geoff Dowsett

    WHAT ACTION ARE YOU TAKING TO LOBBY SBS and the minister responsible to stop the polluting advertising ? What action do you want us to take. Which minister should ewe write to


    We record programs we want to watch on SBS so we can skip the ads. Liked it before when ads were only at start and finish of programs.

  • I have already commented on the horror of in-program advertising. The result is (decision makers and advertisers, take note) that we NEVER watch the SBS programs when they are screened: we record them and fast forward through the ads when viewing the recording. Slightly inconvenient, but nothing compared to having to watch the ads or the repetitive program announcements in the middle of a good program.

  • Paul Michael Saxby

    I’ve said from the outset that advertising on SBS is the thin edge of the wedge and that the ABC is next. In NZ it’s all gone, kaput and the standard of TV and radio there is appalling. And that’s just the way the conservatives want it. To make the media more beholden to private enterprise and to avoid scrutiny. It’s all tied in with governmental secrecy and Scott Morrison’s avoidance of accountability. We still haven’t got to the bottom of why he was sacked by Tourism Australia because the evidence is buried under the deliberate stifling of freedom of information. It’s the same with Dutton and his henchman Mike Pezzulo. But they’ll get theirs. These things are not unrelated. In fact it’s all part of the master plan . Why do you think Peter Costello is on the board at nine? To turn it and the SMH into malleable mouthpieces for the rich and privileged and their ability to get away with anything that suits their grubby selfish agendas. See also, Rinehart, Barnaby Joyce and Angus Grassgate Taylor…. et al.

  • R. Longhurst

    I watch ABC and SBS only. Love the SBS documentaries (esp historical)! Hate the repetitious ads and promos! Ideally I record & fast forward the breaks but there are more & more per programme. Much better without breaks in the programme, even better with no ads. Promos are as bad – far too many & repeated too often on both channels so might as well be commercials. SBS provides a wonderful multi-cultural service to help migrants so deserves better govt funding as it’s doing govt work.

  • Kit Devine

    I HATE the ads!
    I am very happy for my tax $$ to support SBS!
    STOP the ADS!!!!

  • Suzanne Coutanceau

    I have recently stopped watching SBS on Demand because I and am sick of the ads. They’re repetitive and disruptive, and some are much louder than the program. I am never influenced by ads anyway, as I always mute them. Please get rid of ads and go back to ads between programmes if you can’t ditch them altogether!

  • G

    I much prefer SBS without ads interrupting programs and I remember Steven Conroy vowing to remove the intrusive ads.
    So much for the promises of politicians of all stripes.

    I hate ads and never watch commercial TV. I Watch SBS often but always “mute” ads and /or leave the room.
    Doesn’t everyone?

  • Terry

    I won’t buy anything advertised on SBS.

  • Silvio Ofria

    SBS was by far my favourite TV channel if not, my only TV channel for years, loved World movies, docos, programs, news ect…my wife and I can’t stand commercial television. Unfortunately SBS has now become another commercial television, so now I just go to the library and borrow DVD’s… Pity c’est la Vie! but it doesn’t have to be!

  • Joachim

    If I really wanted to watch ads I’d watch commercial TV stations more. It is bad enough that the commercial TV stations have a lot of rubbish TV in their programming, the ads just compounds the insult. Let The SBS be The SBS of old..NO ADS!

  • Peter Strous

    Income from ads leads a commercial distortion of what really should be common good
    Whose bread one eats, whose word one speaks

  • Warwick Hempel

    Fewer within program adds equals more viewers!

  • Ray Crampton

    Remove the advertising from SBS

    It is an abrogation by Government to the commitment to “Public Broadcasting” and an erosion of the independence and a slow subservience to commercialism.

    $M150 spent on SBS (and) ABC would be a much better pulic service than sending someone to the Moon/Mars.

    However Government do not wish scrutiny so under funding of the SBS and ABC is the slow demise for political purposes.

    Maybe I should redact that last bit!!!

  • Kate McDonald

    I could not agree more Angela.

  • Vince

    Boycott the ads by recording programs you want to watch, then skip the ads or use the SBS catch up service via a smart tv or any external web interactive device eg: mobiles phones, tablets, laptops, pc’s which can be connect to most tv’s with the various adapters.

  • Mark Streten

    I fully agree with the following statement:
    “The current SBS commercial model has the advertiser as the client and audience as the product to be onsold by SBS to the advertiser. This model is upside-down for a public broadcaster. No wonder viewers feel alienated and social cohesion has fallen.”

    For a public broadcaster, the viewer is indeed the client. Australia requires at least 2 public broadcasters – with 1 (SBS) focussing on ethnically diverse programming.

  • George Campbell

    Remove advertising completely. I would rather pay a subscription than subject myself to the brain damage of advertising. Why don’t we have a choice? I record everything and fast-forward through the ads. I never watch SBS online because I can’t control the ads.

  • Mina Hilson

    The advertising interruptions on SBS on Demand are ridiculous. Not only do they suddenly appear sometimes in the middle of a character’s sentence, they often appear at the most inappropriate times in the arch of the story. SBS and the ABC are public broadcasters OWNED by the Australian public. Commercial advertisements have absolutely no place on either. What’s more I deliberately would not support any product that insists on blasting its way onto my TV screen on what should be a no commercials station.

  • With the severe cuts this government has made to public broadcasting they probably have no alternative. We want to know what has happened to the Premier League not being shown. Love SBS and NITV.

  • Andreas Wagner

    Like many commentators before, I used to like SBS but stopped watching with the advent of the incessant ads. Cut out that nonsense and a lot of viewers will return, I guess.

  • Stan Hunter

    Advertising is an abomination of effectively censorship of SBS. Unshackle our public media!!

  • Greta Clogan

    I agree with all of the above comments.

  • Caroline Harry

    Drop the advertising – are us from the commercialism!

  • Jan S

    I only watch SBS and the ABC and strongly support no ads at all. But if SBS has to have ads, then they should revert to in between programs only. I especially find frustrating the ads that pop up on SBS On Demand programs which often stall or freeze. Short sharp ads at the start and end would be preferable.

  • Steve Bowman

    The majority of SBS commercial breaks ARE NOT paid advertising – mostly NON REVENUE station promotions repeated
    so often to the point that personally I’m too annoyed to actually watch the program.

    Find out the stats on content PAID COMMERCIALS v Satation Promotions FOC
    Be also helpful to know what it costs to have a sales force SELLING space

  • Gordon Poschalk

    I fully support this proposal.

  • Kelvin Merriman

    Rarely watch commercial TV due to the adverts. Love the SBS but detest the ads that interrupt the flow of the doco or show. (and so tend to avoid even good shows). Also, I have problems with SBS promos that also are placed within the show time!

  • Iva

    – I watch primarily ABC and SBS for quality programming
    We need new, challenging and often unpopular themes that help us think and grow
    We need the free flow of ideas, particularly from culturally diverse origins. SBS used to be at the forefront until advertising was forced upon it.
    Making Australia great again definitely means going back to the creation of the ABC and SBS, which could not have been better moves by a government to benefit all of its people. Having a clean place for content leads to citizens with clean minds and the ability to think, and that builds a strong nation.

  • Cathy McNIcol

    It would defintitely be better to have SBS programs without ads in the middle. It interrupts the program and diminishes the watching of the program. I tend to record the program and watch it later so I can pass over the ads quickly. I don’t watch them. Put the ads between programs only.


    As well as the advertising issue can you tell us why you’re axing The Marngrook Footy Show?! It has everything: presenters who are intelligent, passionate and know their stuff; excellent guests and a great topic!
    I hear that it still rates well…please don’t tell me that it’s fallen victim to the rugby, soccer, Aussie Rules code wars….

  • ezuk viox

    In my sincere opinion overall ozzie television is cursed with advertising and SBS is even worse when compares to Foxtel Australia