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SBS hour logged with 50 percent more ads than allowed

SBS appears to have 50 percent more advertising in some primetime hours than the SBS Act permits according to a series of findings carried out by Save Our SBS from 2009 to 2020.

Promos were not counted. Nor were classification announcements, community service announcements, sponsor billboards and sponsored promos.

Under section 45* of the Special Broadcasting Service Act 1991 advertising is limited to “not more than 5 minutes in any hour of broadcasting”. Promos do not count as an advertisement and the Act excludes them from counting in the 5 minute hourly

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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

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Law to limit gambling ads but Labor wants SBS exempted

The Government has introduced a Bill that would regulate gambling advertisements on radio, TV and online.

If passed gambling advertisements could be limited on SBS, commercial operators, and other outlets.

However, Labor has proposed an amendment to the Bill that would exempt SBS from the provisions of the Bill.

The Bill supports the best interests of children under Best interests of the child: Article 3(1) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by providing mechanisms to ensure, if required, that broadcasters and online content service providers respect community standards and reduce

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Advertising bill will manoeuvre SBS away from its Charter obligations

by Mary Kostakidis

The relentless push to further commercialise SBS has been ramped up yet again with SBS management and government set on increasing advertising within programs. This destructive policy will ultimately make the public broadcaster – SBS – indistinguishable from mainstream commercial television.

Not only will advertising be more intrusive, it will also increasingly become the driver of programming decisions and the public broadcaster will continue to be manoeuvred away from its Charter obligations.

When SBS first accepted limited advertising between programs, both the Managing Director and then Communications Minister told me this would not result

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Identity theft or giving up on Charter: how the ramping up of commercialism has weakened SBS a decade on

A couple of months ago, when the ABC’s 4 Corners program broadcast the excellent but heart wrenching documentary titled “Children on the Frontline: Escape from Aleppo“ by Marcel Mettelsiefen, something was inadvertently portrayed about SBS – what it is not doing.

The entire Children on the Frontline program was in a language other than English (LOTE). All this occurred in primetime.

Children on the Frontline was told through the eyes of four children filmed over three years in Syria and Germany. Fleeing the Syrian conflict, the four siblings and mother eventually take refuge in Germany.

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Gambling ads ought have no place on SBS

Forever chasing the commercial dollar, SBS has succumbed to broadcasting advertisements that promote betting in their sporting programs. Viewers watching the recent UEFA Cup competition would have seen Sportsbet ads on SBS at 5:30pm on Sundays and 6:30pm on weekdays.

The broadcaster has proceeded down this path under the SBS Codes of Practice and as an associate member of Free TV Australia, under the advertising and betting restrictions contained in the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice. The Code permits betting and gambling advertisements in all sports and news programs, irrespective

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Parents and teachers to join the fight to protect and enhance the ABC and SBS

Quentin Dempster recently delivered a talk to the Ryde-Macquarie Teachers’ Association Annual Dinner about the threats facing the ABC, SBS and NITV. Here is an extract of his talk.

"The public broadcasters are in grave danger. These institutions – the ABC with an 83 year legacy; SBS with 36 years, have legislated Charters requiring all program makers to regard their audiences as citizens in a robust democracy … and not consumers to be delivered up to advertisers. Programs should be commissioned on the basis of their creative merit, sometimes with risk. On-air conversations should

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Ads to double in SBS primetime

Moves are afoot that could see advertising soon double in primetime programs on SBS but government taking the proceeds of the extra revenue from the increased ads as a payment in efficiency dividends.

Effectively, the current cap of five minutes advertising per hour will increase to 10 minutes.

But an increase in one hour will mean a decrease elsewhere. ‘Ad averaging’, as it is called, is a possible outcome of the Communications Department’s Efficiency Study into SBS that was conducted earlier this year. A draft copy of the Study has been given to SBS.

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Free speech law will affect SBS

Last month the Attorney General, Senator George Brandis, QC, said, “People do have a right to be bigots you know. In a free country people do have rights to say things that other people find offensive or insulting or bigoted.” He was defending the Abbott Government’s proposed repeal of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 in the Freedom of Speech Bill 2014.

Section 18C currently makes it “unlawful for a person to . . . offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people .

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Skrzynski could have done more

The first two Directors ever appointed based on merit to the SBS Board of Directors were SBS’s Chairman, Joseph Skrzynski AO, and Director, Elleni Bereded-Samuel. Their term on the SBS Board is due to expire next month.

The Skrzynski story

In the lead-up to his five year anniversary, Save Our SBS concludes our series on the historic first ever merit-based appointments to the SBS Board. 

Last month we profiled Bereded-Samuel. Now Joseph Skrzynski

Skrzynski entered the world of broadcasting five years ago with experience as a viewer, listener and financier.

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New law deregulates ads

Although the government withdrew its controversial media reform bills package, the legislation that related to SBS passed both Houses.  

The new law guarantees an Indigenous Director to the SBS Board which Save Our SBS welcomes and incorporates most of the SBS Charter to digital services (online).

In applying the Charter to online, the package did not require SBS online services be "diverse" nor use "innovative forms of expression". These unique Charter obligations will remain on SBS free-to-air but need not apply to SBS online programs and internet only streamed radio or TV services. SBS

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Budget review: ads to stay

The significance of the funding increase to SBS will be lost on the electorate due to a failure of government to address the commercialisation of SBS. The spirit, the very essence of public broadcasting has been lost to the ongoing commercial influence and interference which now has such a strong foothold that any notion of SBS resolving this themselves is fanciful. Until such time as viewers see a less commercial looking SBS, one without in-program disruptions, the government will have failed to gain support from a significant cohort of electors.

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Parliament did not intend in-program breaks

When the SBS was established as a corporation under the SBS Act in 1991, the Parliament granted SBS the right to broadcast advertisements before and after programs, and in “natural program breaks”. Although the Act did not define that phrase, the Hansard of the day clearly shows the Parliament intended that “natural program breaks” meant “half time in a soccer match”. No other definition was given.

On this basis, advice was provided to the SBS that it was not allowed to place ads in programs except sport. Ads only appeared between programs – except for sport

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Election promises for SBS

The Greens have promised the most for SBS. Labor more of the same – perhaps, and the Liberals and Nationals are not saying.

SaveOurSBS.org approached the four major parties for their SBS policies. The Greens and Labor parties responded whereas the Liberals and Nationals did not. An overview is provided in the table below – for the SBS policies of the Greens and Labor parties only.

Our analysis and opinion is below the summary table followed by the full text of each party’s SBS policies.

Summary of party policies at a glance

Support SBS as a strong

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“We Don’t Believe You Shaun”

SBS BOSS ADDRESSES THE NATIONAL PRESS CLUB: Shaun Brown, Managing Director of SBS has felt under fire recently. So much so that Brown, who usually avoids talking to the media, felt the need to tell his side of the story at the National Press Club on 29 August 2007. However, the public now see straight through his cunning move to commercialise SBS and dumb it down.

Let’s look at what the quietly spoken Brown said when he put his spin to the National Press Club.

Government Funding:

The SBS Managing

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