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					Content and Audience

SBS is required to provide multilingual and
multicultural content over television, radio
and other platforms to an audience of all
Australians. Our content has to inform,
educate and entertain, and it has to reflect
Australia’s multicultural society.

                    Goal 1:
                    Increase our relevance
                    to all Australians

                    In reflecting Australia’s multicultural and diverse society, SBS will provide
                    content and services that deliver its Charter obligations, stimulate
                    interest and are unique, relevant and accessible to all.

                     Objectives                                            Strategies

                     Provide a service that is truly unique and relevant   Create, commission and purchase
                                                                           programming that explores a diverse
                                                                           range of perspectives

                     Stimulate audience interest in SBS services           Understand and anticipate audience
                                                                           interest across all SBS services

                                                                           Communicate SBS’s range and
                                                                           depth of services to audiences

                                                                           Express a powerful, clear, dynamic
                                                                           brand position for SBS

                     Make SBS available to all Australians                 Devise strategies for multi-platform
                                                                           delivery of SBS services

                                                                           Maximise the use of content rights
                                                                           when creating commissioning or
                                                                           purchasing programming

16   SBS Annual Report 08-09
1.1 Provide a service that is                             an additional $20 million over three years in the 2009
                                                          Budget to assist SBS to continue its investment in
    truly unique and relevant                             Australian drama.

                                                          In 2008/09 SBS commissioned a total of 208¾ hours
                                                          of Australian drama, documentary and entertainment
•	 Create,	commission	and	purchase		                      for production and development.
   programming that explores a diverse
   range of perspectives
                                                          Maintain multilingual programming across
•	 Employ	strategies	that	increase		 	                    TV and Radio
   opportunities for audience interaction
   with SBS
                                                          SBS Television
Performance                                               SBS strives to maintain a balance of English language
                                                          and multilingual programming on its main channel
Investment in Australian produced content                 SBS ONE. This commitment has been extended to
                                                          our new digital channel SBS TWO, which launched
SBS contributes to fostering social inclusion and
                                                          on 1 June 2009. SBS TWO offers the opportunity to
cohesion in the Australian community by reflecting
                                                          deepen the range of in-language content SBS offers,
the cultural realities of this country. SBS does this
                                                          including its world news service, films, documentary
through making locally produced content that has a
                                                          and entertainment programming.
multicultural emphasis.
                                                          In 2008/09 SBS maintained its level of multilingual
Since the end of 2006, SBS has been a significant
                                                          programming on SBS ONE. SBS broadcast programs
contributor to the independent production sector
                                                          in more than 47 languages representing more than
in Australia by commissioning all of our locally
                                                          136 cultures on SBS ONE (Appendices 1-2). Since
produced content externally, apart from news, current
                                                          its launch on 1 June SBS TWO broadcast programs
affairs and sport. This investment creates jobs and
                                                          in more than 28 languages, representing more than
fosters skills while at the same time preserving and
                                                          44 cultures (Appendices 3-4). Prior to the launch
promoting Australia’s cultural identity.
                                                          of SBS TWO, our World News Channel broadcast
By commissioning content from the independent             international in-language news bulletins in 20
production sector SBS can tap into the resources of the   languages from 21 countries (WorldWatch).
creative community and reduce the need for expensive
studio and technical facilities. It also recognises       SBS ONE (24 hours) – multilingual programming
the contribution that the creative industries make in     (broadcast hours)
Australia and broadens the pool of ideas from which
                                                                                        2007/08                2008/09
SBS can draw for its distinctive content.
                                                                                     Hours          %     Hours          %
The SBS commissioning model creates synergies
with federal, state and territory film and television      LOTE*                      3240         47%     3269      47%
funding bodies ensuring the Australian community           English                    3294         48%     3395      49%
benefits not only from the diverse and relevant            No Dialogue                 308          5%      273       4%
content that results, but also the development and
                                                           Total                      6842        100%     6937     100%
maintenance of a diverse, creative and successful
independent production sector.                            * LOTE: Languages other than English.

In recent times SBS has committed to investing more
funds in Australian content, particularly drama. This     SBS TWO* (24 hours) – multilingual programming
recognises the importance of ensuring the cultural        (broadcast hours)
realities of Australia are accurately reflected on our
television screens. In 2007, we committed to invest                                                      2008/09
at least $100 million in Australian produced content
by 2012.                                                                                             Hours               %

While SBS continues to make in-roads on that target,       LOTE                                          449         76%
it has been made more difficult by the challenging         English                                        56          9%
global economic climate which has impacted                 No Dialogue                                    88         15%
both our commercial revenues and the ability of            Total                                         593        100%
Government to deliver a significant increase in our       * SBS TWO went to air on 1 June 2009.
base funding. The Australian Government committed

                                                                                              SBS Annual Report 08-09    17
World News Channel/SBS TWO* – multilingual                                       cent when considering the responses from people of
programming (scheduled hours)                                                    a non-English speaking background (NESB). Ninety-
                                                                                 one per cent of respondents believe that SBS covers
                              2007/08                    2008/09                 topics that other networks won’t cover and the same
                                                                                 number thought that SBS provides a wide diversity of
                           Hours             %      Hours            %
                                                                                 viewpoints. Those numbers rose to 92 per cent and
 LOTE                        6400       98%          6238       100%             94 per cent respectively for NESB respondents. The
 English                      130        2%           0%          0%             vast majority of people who responded to the survey
 Total                       6530      100%          6238       100%             and considered themselves users of SBS believe that
                                                                                 we provide uniqueness, diversity, innovation, quality
* Prior to the launch of SBS TWO on 1 June 2009 SBS’s digital multichannel       and trustworthy news and current affairs.
operated as the World News Channel, broadcasting SBS’s WorldWatch
service. For the purpose of comparison with 2007/08 this table shows
figures for WorldWatch hours scheduled on the World News Channel (1 July         News and current affairs is considered to be
– 31 May) and SBS TWO (1-30 June).
                                                                                 impartial and independent
SBS Radio                                                                        SBS prides itself on maintaining editorial
SBS Radio is the world’s most linguistically diverse                             independence and impartiality, particularly as it
broadcasting service with programming in more than                               relates to news and current affairs coverage. In the
68 languages (see table below). In 2008/09 SBS                                   2009 Newspoll conducted by SBS, 87 per cent of
maintained its level of multilingual programming on                              respondents considered that SBS has believable
radio (Appendix 5). SBS is committed to ensuring                                 and trustworthy reporting and 88 per cent said they
its audio and language services meet the needs of                                thought we had fair and balanced news coverage.
Australia’s diverse cultural and language communities                            These figures were 91 per cent and 86 per cent for
while financial constraints and the finite nature of                             NESB respondents, People who tune into SBS also
the analogue schedule restrict our ability to make                               consider that we rate more highly than the free-to-air
wholesale changes, the introduction of digital radio in                          commercial networks in Australia when it comes to
August 2009 and the increasing popularity of audio                               fair and balanced news and current affairs coverage
services over the internet give us additional tools to                           and trustworthy reporting.
consider how best to meet the current and emerging
needs of Australia’s culturally and linguistically                               Audience engagement
diverse communities.                                                             According to recent research conducted by Newspoll,
                                                                                 65 per cent of respondents had used SBS’s services
Programming is considered to be distinct                                         in the past seven days. Sixty-four per cent of
and diverse                                                                      respondents said they had watched SBS television,
SBS Television is widely considered to offer                                     four per cent had listened to SBS Radio and five per
distinctive and thought provoking programming                                    cent had logged onto
that is unlikely to be seen on other networks.
                                                                                 SBS recently commissioned audience and
SBS’s Newspoll survey showed that 93 per cent of
                                                                                 industry engagement research around two of its
respondents believe that SBS shows the types of
                                                                                 locally produced dramas - East West 101 and The
programs not seen elsewhere; this rose to 95 per
                                                                                 Circuit. The independent research, conducted by

SBS Radio (Weekly*) – multilingual programming (broadcast hours)

                               Melbourne AM/FM                                 Sydney AM/FM**                        National
                             2007/08                 2008/09                 2007/08        2008/09        2007/08          2008/09

                           Hrs            %        Hrs          %      Hrs             %   Hrs        %   Hrs        %     Hrs        %
 LOTE                      216         86%        216        86%       216        86%      216   86%      105    85%      105     87%
 English                    34         14%          34       14%         34       14%       34   14%       19    15%        21    13%
 Total                     250       100%         250      100%        250       100%      250   100%     124   100%      126    100%

* 6am-midnight and excluding non-SBS produced programs (overnight schedule).
** Sydney, Canberra and Wollongong services.

18    SBS Annual Report 08-09
Entertainment Insights, found that SBS content could            In 2008/09, SBS Public Relations received a total
be a ‘force for social change’ and that by seeing               of 563 letters. Of these: 173 were requests for
the cultural diversity of the Australian community              information about various SBS programs, including
reflected on Australian television that it: ‘could              the availability of DVD copies; 33 requested the
achieve awareness, acceptance and tolerance of                  repeat of a documentary, film or series; 134 were
cultural diversity…awareness leads to understanding             complimentary about SBS programming; 123 made
leads to tolerance leads to acceptance - this is the            broad comments about SBS programming or the
benefit of showing cultural diversity on television.’           corporation in general; 134 were informal complaints
                                                                about SBS programs or other aspects of SBS; and
The independent research found that the cultural                another eight were of a miscellaneous nature.
diversity messages of these programs were ‘potent
and necessary’. Focus groups which included                     Some critical feedback may be received as formal
culturally diverse, Arabic speaking and Indigenous              complaints, which are complaints that allege that
Australians, as well as interviews with independent             SBS has breached its Codes of Practice. These
producers, revealed that SBS was presenting a                   complaints are processed by the SBS Ombudsman
different and more balanced perspective on Muslim               (see p. 72).
and Indigenous issues than other media, in forms that
are especially missing from commercial television               TV viewing and Online metrics
screens and the ABC.
                                                                The popularity of our content is a measure of its
Participants said that by credibly portraying their             quality and relevance. SBS monitors television
cultures on television screens, this SBS content had            audience viewing figures on a daily basis using
the potential to increase awareness, acceptance and             OzTAM, the official source of television audience
tolerance of cultural diversity. They called the content        measurement covering the five city metropolitan
‘realistic’ and said it didn’t airbrush any of the social and   areas, and RegTAM, which covers regional areas.
cultural issues present in Australian society. This content
                                                                The top 50 programs shown on SBS ONE this year
contributes to promoting the reality of the Australian
                                                                are listed in Appendix 6. Our top ten websites are
community and complements content sourced from
                                                                listed in Appendix 7. Our audience share and reach
overseas that reflects the world to Australia.
                                                                results are detailed below under ‘Stimulate audience
                                                                interest in SBS services’ (p. 43).
Evaluation of critical and positive feedback

Feedback                                                        Industry and community awards
The SBS Public Relations team remains a major                   A list of industry and community awards is set out
conduit for viewer feedback for the organisation, as            in Appendix 8. The number and type of awards won
well as a means of providing members of the public              by SBS and its journalists and program makers is
with current information about SBS programming and              an important measure of our quality and relevance,
product availability.                                           especially in respect of our Charter obligations to
                                                                make use of Australia’s diverse creative resources
Relevant comments about SBS programming                         and promoting understanding and acceptance.
received through our switchboard and via the
‘comments@sbs’ email address are distributed to
relevant SBS staff and management. Emails received              How we have achieved this objective
through the ‘comments’ e-mail address average
around 40-50 per day.                                           Programming in a range of genres and languages
                                                                SBS broadcasts programs in a range of genres and
These numbers, however, can double during busy                  languages to provide all Australians with a diverse
periods - especially when SBS is screening its                  range of perspectives, allowing audiences to identify
popular sporting events such as the Tour de France              or engage with different cultures and build on and
or Ashes cricket, or during one-off specials like World         extend awareness, understanding and acceptance
Youth Day or Eurovision Song Contest.                           of diversity.
SBS Public Relations supplies courteous responses               SBS Television and SBS Radio are Australia’s, if
to general comments and informal complaints it                  not the world’s, most linguistically diverse media.
receives via email. It also seeks to provide suitable           In-language content is also made available on SBS
answers to basic programming enquiries received via             Online via video streaming, podcasts or
email or phone - although resource considerations               audio streams.
may limit the amount of research it can undertake for
individual viewers.

                                                                                          SBS Annual Report 08-09     19
Multilingual programming 2008/091
                                            SBS ONE                    SBS TWO2                        WNC3                     SBS Radio4
 Number of languages                                        47                            8                         20                             68

 Programs in LOTE (hrs)                         3240 (47%)                    449 (76%)                         6134                     537 (86%)

 Programs in English (hrs)                      3294 (48%)                        56 (9%)                            0                    89 (14%)

 No dialogue                                       273 (4%)                     88 (15%)                             –                              –

1. 24 hour schedule over 2008/09.
2. SBS TWO went to air on 1 June 2009.
3. Prior to the launch of SBS TWO on 1 June 2009 SBS’s digital multichannel operated as the World News Channel, broadcasting SBS’s WorldWatch service.
4. Total hours SBS-produced programming (6am-midnight; excluding overnight schedule) across SBS Radio’s five networks.

SBS Television                                                                subtitling programs is exacting and time-consuming.
                                                                              It involves translation first, and then the production of
SBS Television broadcasts Australian and imported                             on-screen titles.
content across a range of genres (pp. 21-22). During
the year SBS Television broadcast programs in more                            SBS predominantly uses subtitles as they remain
than 47 languages on SBS ONE. This represents                                 faithful to the original dialogue and are mindful of
over 136 cultures from around the world and within                            cultural nuances. In some cases we re-version non-
Australia (Appendices 1-2). SBS TWO broadcast                                 English language documentaries through re-narration,
programs in more than 28 languages, with 44 cultures                          making them more accessible to English language
represented (Appendices 3-4).                                                 audiences and preserving their original format.

                                                                              SBS’s Subtitling Unit, created in 1980, is one of the
SBS Radio
                                                                              largest and most well regarded language services in
SBS Radio broadcasts 70 programs, consisting of                               the world. As well as regularly subtitling all the major
68 language programs, World View – its multicultural                          world languages and community languages spoken
affairs program and Alchemy – its multicultural youth                         in Australia, SBS’s subtitlers have successfully and
affairs and music program (Appendix 9 – SBS Radio                             consistently risen to the challenges presented by
schedule).                                                                    languages encountered less frequently such as
                                                                              Mongolian, Wolof, Haitian Creole, Esperanto and
SBS Radio’s 68 language programs provide listeners
                                                                              Zulu, among many others.
with a wide range of in-language content (Appendix
10). Each program includes local, national and                                SBS broadcast 1,439 hours of subtitled programs
international news and current affairs, information                           during the year, of which 95 per cent were subtitled
on topics of importance to each community such as                             by the SBS Subtitling Unit.
health and settlement issues, community information
such as news about government services and                                    SBS Subtitling also coordinates the provisioning of
community events, cultural content such as music,                             closed captioning services for the deaf and hearing
and sport. SBS Radio also broadcasts acquired                                 impaired. SBS closed captioned 3,003 hours of
international programming on its overnight schedule.                          programs during the year, including news and current
                                                                              affairs programs.
Subtitling non-English language TV content to
make it available to all Australians
Programs in a language other than English broadcast
on SBS ONE and SBS TWO (other than our
WorldWatch schedule of in-language daily news
bulletins from broadcasters around the world) are
made accessible to all viewers through English
language subtitles by SBS’s Subtitling Unit.

Subtitling non-English language content enables
audiences, regardless of their cultural provenance
to access programs in-language, while maintaining
the cultural integrity of each program. The process of

20    SBS Annual Report 08-09
SBS ONE – 24 hours – program hours by genre, run and source

                                                     Local                                          Imported                                  Total

                                    First      Repeat         Total           %        First    Repeat        Total           %         Total              %
                                    Run                                                Run
 Animation / Shorts                    10             5          15        1%           41            25        66          1%            81             1%
 Comedy                                 6            23          29        1%           28            62        90          2%           119             2%
 Documentary                           90           196         286       13%          342           411       753         16%          1039            15%
 Drama                                  5            18          23        1%           85           220       305          6%           328             5%
 Entertainment1                        84           104         188        9%          104            66       170          4%           358             5%
 Movies                                18            16          34        2%          295           530       825         17%           859            12%
 News / Current Affairs               541           144         685       32%         2431             0      2431         51%          3116            45%
 Sport2                               623            28         651       30%          124            10       134          3%           785            11%
 Other3                               252             0         252       12%            0             0         0          0%           252             4%

 Total                              1629            534       2163       100%         3450         1324       4774       100%           6937          100%

1.   Entertainment includes entertainment series, arts, performance and variety and factual entertainment including educational programs.
2.   Local sport includes all sport produced by SBS covering Australian events and international events where a significant proportion of the event is produced
     by SBS (commentary team, analysis, journalists) and the program is tailored for an Australian audience. In previous years we have reported only Australian
     based events and SBS Sport programs such as The World Game under local. In 2008/09, 139 hours of first release Australian based events and SBS
     Sport programs were broadcast (6 hours repeat).
3.   WeatherWatch & Music (from 5am) and WeatherWatch filler used in the event a program (mainly WorldWatch news bulletins) cannot be broadcast as
     scheduled. WeatherWatch Overnight not counted

SBS ONE – 6pm to midnight – program hours by genre, run and source

                                                      Local                                         Imported                                 Total

                                      First                   Total           %        First    Repeat        Total           %         Total             %
                                      Run                                              Run
 Animation / Shorts                      6            0           6        1%            19            2         21         2%             27           1%
 Comedy                                  6            9          15        2%            17           13         30         2%             45           2%
 Documentary                            88           22         110       12%           310          164        474        37%            584          26%
 Drama                                   5            7          12        1%            71           86        157        12%            169           8%
 Entertainment1                         52           23          75        8%            44            4         48         4%            123           6%
 Movies                                 18           12          30        3%           271          261        532        42%            562          25%
 News / Current Affairs                500            0         500       53%             0            0          0         0%            500          23%
 Sport2                                193           10         203       21%             7            0          7         1%            210           9%
 Other3                                  0            0           0        0%             0            0          0         0%              0           0%

 Total                                 868           83         951      100%           739          530      1269       100%           2220          100%

1.   Entertainment includes entertainment series, arts, performance and variety and factual entertainment including educational programs.
2.   Local sport includes all sport produced by SBS covering Australian events and international events where a significant proportion of the event is produced
     by SBS (commentary team, analysis, journalists) and the program is tailored for an Australian audience. In previous years we have reported only Australian
     based events and SBS Sport programs such as The World Game under local. In 2008/09, 4 hours of first release Australian based events and SBS Sport
     programs were broadcast during 6pm to midnight.
3.   WeatherWatch & Music (from 5am) and WeatherWatch filler used in the event a program (mainly WorldWatch news bulletins) cannot be broadcast as
     scheduled. WeatherWatch Overnight not counted.

                                                                                                                         SBS Annual Report 08-09            21
SBS TWO – 24 hours – program hours by genre, run and source

                                                      Local                                          Imported                                 Total

                                      First     Repeat         Total           %        First     Repeat       Total           %          Total            %
                                      Run                                               Run
 Documentary                              0             0           0       0%            20              0       20         4%              20         3%
 Drama                                    0             0           0       0%           127              0      127        28%             127        21%
 News / Current Affairs                  30             5          35      27%           313              0      313        68%             348        59%
 Short Films / Fillers                    0             7           7       5%             0              0        0         0%               7         1%
 Sport1                                   0             4           4       3%             0              0        0         0%               4         1%
 Other2                                  87             0          87      65%             0              0        0         0%              87        15%

 Total                                 117            16         133      100%           460              0      460      100%              593       100%

1.   Local sport includes all sport produced by SBS covering Australian events and international events where a significant proportion of the event is produced
     by SBS (commentary team, analysis, journalists) and the program is tailored for an Australian audience. In previous years we have reported only Australian
     based events and SBS Sport programs such as The World Game under local. In 2008/09, 4 hours of first release Australian based events and SBS Sport
     programs were broadcast during 6pm to midnight.
2.   WeatherWatch & Music (from 5am) and WeatherWatch filler used in the event a program (mainly WorldWatch news bulletins) cannot be broadcast as
     scheduled. WeatherWatch Overnight not counted.

SBS TWO – 6pm–midnight – program hours by genre, run and source

                                                       Local                                          Imported                                Total

                                      First     Repeat          Total          %        First     Repeat        Total           %        Total            %
                                      Run                                               Run
 Documentary                              0              0          0        0%            20             0        20        14%            20         11%
 Drama                                    0              0          0        0%           127             0       127        85%           127         67%
 News / Current Affairs                  30              5         35       86%             2             0         2         1%            37         20%
 Short Films / Fillers                    0              1          1        4%             0             0         0         0%             1          0%
 Sport1                                   0              4          4       10%             0             0         0         0%             4          2%
 Other2                                   0              0          0        0%             0             0         0         0%             0          0%

 Total                                   30            10          40     100%            149             0       149      100%            189        100%

1.   Local sport includes all sport produced by SBS covering Australian events and international events where a significant proportion of the event is produced
     by SBS (commentary team, analysis, journalists) and the program is tailored for an Australian audience. In previous years hours of Australian based events
     only have been reported as local.
2.   WeatherWatch & Music (from 5am) and WeatherWatch filler used in the event a program (mainly WorldWatch news bulletins) cannot be broadcast as
     scheduled. WeatherWatch Overnight not counted.

22     SBS Annual Report 08-09
Hours subtitled / captioned / renarrated programs    Providing a diverse range of perspectives and
broadcast                                            interacting with audiences
                                                     A fundamental part of delivering on our Charter is that
 Service                                     Hours
                                                     SBS acknowledges, considers and responds to the
 Subtitled                                    1439   factors that make people vulnerable and undermine
 Closed captioned                             3003   their ability to access services. SBS’s in-language
 Re-narrated                                    94   programming is responsible, balanced, independent
                                                     and has editorial integrity; every attempt is made to
 Total                                        4536
                                                     present a wide range of points of view and engage
                                                     with the complexity and sensitivities of language and
                                                     cultural communities. SBS’s expertise, particularly
Languages and major dialects subtitled               in radio, is to bring the professional standards of
 Akie                Georgian         Penan          a national public broadcaster to issues relevant to
 Albanian            German           Polish         diverse communities. This includes national news
 Anuta               Greek            Portuguese     services and forums as well as discussions about
 Arabic              Haitian Creole   Punjabi        international and Australian issues. SBS prides
 Arabic (Moroccan)   Hausa            Rajasthani     itself on inclusiveness and impartiality and unbiased
 Arabic (Sudanese)   Hebrew           Romanian       discussions about policy and public issues.
 Bambara             Hindi            Russian        But SBS must also contribute to fostering social
 Belarusian          Hungarian        Serbian        inclusion and cohesion in the Australian community
 Bengali             Icelandic        S’gaw Karen    by reflecting the cultural realities of this country. SBS
 Bosnian             Indonesian       Sinhalese      does this through making locally produced content
 Bulgarian           Ingush           Slovak         that has a multicultural emphasis and acquiring the
 Buryat              Italian          Slovene        best of the world’s content and making it accessible
 Cantonese           Japanese         Somali         to all through the use of English language subtitles.
 Catalan             Kabyle           Swahili
 Cromorian Swahili   Khmer            Swedish        By exploring Australia’s cultural diversity SBS
 Croatian            Korean           Swiss German   creates opportunities for inter-cultural understanding,
 Czech               Layakha          Tagalog        facilitates better participation in Australian public
 Danish              Macedonian       Tamil          life and provides accessible information about local
 Dari                Malagasy         Thai           and international issues that are under-represented
 Dutch               Malay            Tigrinya       in an increasingly mono-cultural Australian media
 Farsi               Malayalam        Tok Pisin      environment. In order to provide a service that is
 Finnish             Mandarin         Turkish        truly unique and relevant we understand that it is
 Flemish             Marathi          Uighur         important to engage with our audience. Our radio
 French              Matis            Urdu           services provide opportunities for our audiences to
 French Canadian     Moldovan         Vietnamese     participate in civic life and public debates. Online
 Fulani              Nenets           Wolof          tools also enable SBS to interact with our audience
 Gaelic              Norwegian        Xhosa          by engaging with them through contributions to
                                                     program discussions, comments on our blogs, telling
                                                     us about ideas for a show or contributing their story
                                                     to a program, or providing feedback.

                                                     SBS works with the Australian independent
                                                     production sector to develop high quality and
                                                     distinctive local programming for broadcast on SBS
                                                     Television and SBS Online. SBS-commissioned
                                                     programs are resourced using the general funds
                                                     of SBS, derived principally from SBS’s commercial
                                                     activities. In the 2009/10 Federal Budget SBS
                                                     received an additional $20 million over three years in
                                                     Government funding to enable it to provide more new
                                                     Australian content. Quality content from international
                                                     and domestic suppliers is also acquired. SBS attends
                                                     major content festivals and markets in Australia and
                                                     overseas to ensure that our programming exposes
                                                     audiences to a wide range of cultures, languages and

                                                                                 SBS Annual Report 08-09    23
Programs commissioned for production                      Immortal (1 x 1 hr)
SBS commissioned a total of 208¾ hours of                 The fountain of youth - reality or myth? Could
Australian drama, documentary and entertainment for       the biggest scientific prize on earth be awarded
production and development.                               to an Australian woman who cracked the critical
Documentary                                               Jobs For Junkies (Secrets & Lives Initiative) (4 x ½ hr)*
Are You My Mother? (2 x 1 hr)                             This series aims to show that anyone, even those
Children adopted from overseas go in search of their      who have hit rock bottom, with the right help, can
parents and their heritage.                               find and stick to a job they’re good at.

Asylum FC (1 x 1 hr)                                      Kill or Die (1 x 1 hr)
The Zimbabwe Homeless World Cup football team             Stand-up comedy is a ‘Kill’ or ‘Die’ affair and 46 year
competed at the Homeless Soccer World Cup                 old comedian Simon Palomares is going back to
in Melbourne in December 2008. All nine team              Spain, a country he left when he was 10, to try his
members failed to board their flight home, instead        hand at comedy in his native tongue.
applying to stay in Australia as refugees. With not
a penny to their names and put up in emergency            Lani’s Story (1 x 1 hr)
shelter, each player must present their case as to why    Lani’s Story is a compelling tale about an Aboriginal
they cannot return to Zimbabwe, a country in political    woman’s experience of domestic violence and sexual
turmoil and facing a humanitarian crisis.                 assault and her transformation from a victim to
                                                          someone who believes she deserves justice.
Big Rodney (NIDF Loved Up 2) (1 x ½ hr)
                                                          Last Chance Saloon (4 x ½ hr)
A story about the crippling effects of obesity and
                                                          This documentary goes inside a rehab centre to
diabetes seen through the prism of 37-year-old
                                                          reveal the devastating effect alcohol can have on
Aboriginal man Rodney Ardler’s experience with lap-
                                                          people. But this is a different sort of rehab facility,
band surgery.
                                                          managed by rough and ready Brian Cox.
The Craziest Band in Australia? (3 x ½ hr)
                                                          Law and Disorder (3 x 1 hr)
An observational documentary series following
                                                          Law and Disorder delves deep into the murky world
Melbourne rockers the ‘Bi Polar Bears,’ a band made
                                                          of government misconduct, crime, corruption and the
up of sufferers of schizophrenia and bi polar disorder.
                                                          ordinary citizens who try to expose it all.
Dave in the Life of… (10 x ½ hr)
                                                          Murundak – Songs of Freedom (1 x 1 hr)*
Like an Australian Louis Theroux, Dave Zwolenski
                                                          A journey into the heart of Aboriginal resistance
investigates social issues and social groups that are
                                                          music, featuring protest anthems performed by
largely ignored by the mainstream media.
                                                          a gathering of Australia’s legendary Indigenous
disAble-bodied Sailors (Secrets & Lives Initiative)*
(4 x ½ hr)
                                                          The Nest Series 2 (4 x 1 hr)
David Pescud, captain of the Sailors With disAbilities
                                                          Season two of this popular series, which will focus
yacht, is leading a disabled crew in the world’s
                                                          on the problems associated with achieving work-life
toughest ocean race, the Sydney to Hobart. The
                                                          balance all while trying to keep up with the Joneses.
series will have a unique view on being disabled in
                                                          The Naked Lentil (Secrets & Lives Initiative) (3 x ½ hr)
                                                          Sri-Lankan born Shanaka Fernando was homeless
Friday on My Mind (The Easybeats) (1 x 1 hr)
                                                          when he started his restaurant, Lentil As Anything, in
The history of the Australian band the Easybeats.
                                                          St Kilda in 2000. Seven years later, he operates four
Heartbreak Science (1 x 1 hr)                             restaurants and a school canteen under the unique
New scientific developments that proves the heart,        ‘pay as you feel’ philosophy. It has also become a
like the brain, is also affected by emotion and           home for over 60 refugees and new migrants from a
memory - giving new resonance to the phrase ‘a            dozen different cultures, who rely on the organisation
broken heart.’                                            for food, work, training, accommodation and
                                                          counselling, even driving lessons.
Honeybee Blues (1 x 1 hr)
There’s a crisis in the bee world. Over the past year
bees have been disappearing and scientists can’t
work out why.

24   SBS Annual Report 08-09
Nin’s Brother (NIDF Loved Up 2) (1 x ½ hr)                 The Trial (1 x 1 hr)
A personal and emotional story that brings together        The inside story of Australia’s biggest terrorism trial to
family legends and stories as one Aboriginal family        date. In February 2008, 12 Muslim men went on trial
journey from NSW to South Australia to unravel the         in Melbourne for terrorism offences. The trial ran for
fate of their brother and uncle.                           nine months, heard 482 secretly taped conversations
                                                           and was presented with 66,000 pages of evidence.
Not to the Manor Born / Glynt Manor (5 x ½ hr)             With unique access to Greg Barns, the key defence
Greek hairdresser and make-up artist Dimitri (Jimmy)       barrister representing Ezzit Raad, and the family of
Sideropoulos and his Macedonian wife Lila dream            Abdullah Mehri (the youngest accused) The Trial is
about opening a luxury retreat.                            compelling viewing.

The Pacific Solution (1 x 1 hr)                            Who Do You Think You Are? Series 3 (6 x 1 hr)*
A group of islanders from an impoverished and              Well-known Australians play detective as they go in
remote Pacific nation affected by severe climate           search of their family history, revealing secrets and
change are imported to work on farms in rural              surprises from the past.

Rainman Goes to RocKwiz (1 x ½ hr)                         Drama
Mark Boerebach is 80 per cent blind and suffers
                                                           Freaking Funnies (1 x 13 minute – pilot)
from Asperger’s Syndrome. He has the ability to
                                                           Pilot of a comedy sketch show featuring a series of
recall hit songs of the 70s and 80s and is heading to
                                                           animated ‘sketches’.
Melbourne to appear on RocKwiz.
                                                           Swift & Shift Couriers Series 2 (10 x ½ hr)
Salam Father (1 x 1 hr)
                                                           Australia’s least successful and most controversial
Salam Ziusudras returns to Iraq to investigate the
                                                           courier company Swift & Shift Couriers returns for a
disappearance of his father in 1982 and unravel the
                                                           second series.
mysteries surrounding the event.
                                                           Wilfred Series 2 (8 x ½ hr)
Sales, Seduction and Sex (2 x 1 hr)
                                                           Angry, lovable, hate-filled, sad, gorgeous Wilfred
Focusing on the birth of the department store, this
                                                           returns with his fighting gloves on for a second series
series examines how the retail phenomena spread
                                                           as does his owner, Sarah, and her boyfriend, Adam,
its tentacles from Paris to Australia and became a
                                                           who stagger toward their wedding day.
catalyst for social transformation.

The Science of Self Harm (1 x 1 hr)
In any one month 200,000 Australians commit self
harm. This documentary follows one of the most             ADbc (26 x ½ hr)
groundbreaking scientific investigations in to the         A comedy panel show based around world history
causes of self harm in teenage girls.                      which freely mixes factual information, intelligent
                                                           discussion and blatantly stupid behaviour to deliver a
Shintaro! (1 x 1 hr)                                       highly entertaining format providing laughs.
In 1964 a sensation swept through Australian lounge
rooms leaving an indelible impression on the children      Costa’s Garden Odyssey (10 x ½ hr)
of that generation. That sensation was The Samurai,        A water whisperer with a passion for his community,
the first foreign cult television series from Japan.       Costa spreads his green wisdom, celebrating
                                                           cultures and community at a time of global climate
Skin Deep (1 x 1 hr)                                       uncertainty, when water conservation and its
Skin Deep will be a HD documentary telling the global      management has never been more important.
story of evolution of human skin colour. It will draw on
exciting scientific research that not only sheds new       A Delicious Life (13 x ½ hr)
light on the human rainbow, but challenges traditional     This series will follow well known food critic Matthew
notions of ‘race’.                                         Evans through his culinary and personal sea change
                                                           in Tasmania.
Street Soccer (6 x ½ hr)
In December 2008 Australia and Zimbabwe                    Eurovision (6 ½ hrs)
competed in the Homeless World Cup. This series            Coverage of the three finals of the 54th Eurovision Song
will follow the lives of these men and women in            Contest with video diary inserts, segments, promos
their journey.                                             and a commentary box. Contestants from 43 countries
                                                           will be performing. This year SBS will send its own
                                                           commentators Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang to Moscow.

                                                                                          SBS Annual Report 08-09   25
Food Investigators (10 x ½ hr)                              Most popular SBS-commissioned programs
Factual entertainment series exploring the science
of food.                                                     Program                                Genre                    Total
Food Safari Season 3 (9 x ½ hr)                                                                                             (000s)
A third series of this successful format sees Maeve          Top Gear Australia                     Entertainment             940
O’Meara leading viewers on a culinary discovery
                                                             Swift and Shift Couriers               Comedy                    511
through the countless international cuisines that
thrive in our own backyard.                                  Eurovision Song Contest
                                                             (Julia Zemiro/Sam Pang)                Entertainment             507
Food Safari in Italy (10 x ½ hr)                             Food Safari                            Entertainment             502
Maeve O’Meara and Melbourne chef, Guy Grossi                 Carla Cametti PD                       Drama                     458
travel through urban and regional Australia in search
of the best producers, butchers, etc whose focus is          Best Undressed                         Documentary               448
Italian food.                                                The Passionate
                                                             Apprentices                            Documentary               419
My Family Feast (13 x ½ hr)                                  First Australians                      Documentary               382
Part cultural profile and part cooking show, My
                                                             Bogan Pride                            Comedy                    376
Family Feast will ask Australians with diverse ethnic
backgrounds to invite us into their homes, introduce         Desperately Seeking
us to their families, share their cultural traditions and    Doctors                                Documentary               374
teach us how to cook a family feast for their favourite
                                                            Source: OzTAM – 5 City Metro; Total Individuals Incl Guests.
occasion.                                                   * Only top rating episode of a series shown.

RocKwiz Series 6 & 7 (52 x ½ hr)
Two more series of Australia’s unique musical game          Ground-breaking Indigenous content
show.                                                       In 2002 SBS commissioned a series of one-hour
                                                            programs exploring the history of Australia’s first
The Squiz (13 x ½ hr)                                       Indigenous nations and chronicling the birth of
A studio based quiz show about sport featuring a            contemporary Australia as never told before, from
clever format, quirky questions, stunts and lots of         the perspective of its first people. Six years in the
humour. Sports featured will range from popular SBS         making, exhaustively researched with a stunning
fare such as cricket, soccer and cycling to more            compilation of archival footage and photography,
obscure world sports such as Sumo and Kabbadi.              complemented by interviews with esteemed
                                                            historians and Aboriginal leaders, the series was
Top Gear Australia Series 2 (8 x 1 hr)
                                                            broadcast as First Australians in 2008. It has
Top Gear Australia takes a unique, entertaining,
                                                            been received as a ground-breaking historical
engaging look at Australia’s love of cars – at the same
                                                            documentary series. Its broadcast represented one of
time delving into the ‘secret world of men’s business’.
                                                            the most significant moments in Australian television
* Subject to contract as at 30 June 2009.                   history. Over seven episodes, it depicts the true
                                                            stories of individuals – black and white – caught in an
                                                            epic drama of friendship, revenge, loss and victory in
SBS-commissioned programs broadcast                         Australia’s most transformative period of history.
A total of 434½ hours of SBS-commissioned
                                                            First Australians was produced and directed by some
programs were broadcast on SBS ONE in 2008/09,
                                                            of Australia’s finest Aboriginal filmmakers: Rachel
of which 142½ hours were broadcast for the first
                                                            Perkins (writer, producer, director), Darren Dale
time. First run programs broadcast are detailed
                                                            (producer), Beck Cole (director), Warwick Thornton
in Appendix 11 and comprised 55 hours of
documentary, 51 hours of entertainment and 20 hours
of drama (including comedy, movies, animation and           During its making First Australians developed into a
shorts).                                                    multi-platform project. A substantial online site – the
                                                            most ambitious website ever built by SBS Online –
                                                            was developed with the series’ producers, Blackfella
                                                            Films. The website features over ten hours of content
                                                            not seen in the television series, with hundreds
                                                            of mini-documentaries bringing to life the stories
                                                            that formed part of the series, as well interactive
                                                            elements enabling users to share their stories, dig
                                                            deeper to pursue their own interests, or participate

26    SBS Annual Report 08-09
in discussions around the stories and history of First     Documentary Fund Loved Up initiative of Screen
Australians. Archival images and historical timelines      Australia, follows a personal story that brings
also feature on the website. Catch-up episodes of the      together family legends and stories to finally lay them
series were also provided on the website, extending        to rest.
the availability and reach of First Australians beyond
its television broadcast.
                                                           Indigenous programs commissioned for production
The creators of First Australians have also engaged
with educational and library organisations to develop      Documentary
educational resources around the series, including an
                                                           Lani’s Story (1 x 1 hr)
educational DVD. A retail DVD and a hard cover pictorial
book were also produced to support the series. A           Life, Love and Hope (NIDF Loved Up 2) (1 x ½ hr)
community outreach program was also developed.             Murundak – Songs of Freedom (1 x 1 hr)
                                                           Nin’s Brother (NIDF Loved Up 2) (1 x ½ hr)
First Australians has received audience and critical
•	 Silver	Logie	for	Most	Outstanding	Documentary	          SBS-commissioned Indigenous programs broadcast*
   Series.                                                 (first run)
•	 Two	episodes	nominated	for	the	Australian	
   Writers’ Guild Awards in the Documentary – Public       Animation / Shorts
   Broadcast category.
•	 First Australians website named as one of the           A Bit of Black Business (Series 1) (4 x 5 min)
   Interactive Media Awards’ Top Ten Sites in
   the World.                                              Documentary
•	 Website	nominated	for	three	Australian	Interactive	
                                                           Alive and Kicking (3 x ½ hr)
   Media Industry Association awards – Best News,
   Media or Reference; Best Cultural, Lifestyle or         A Northern Town (1 x 1 hr)
   Sport; Best Learning & Education.                       Cracking the Colour Code (2 x 1 hr)
                                                           Embedded with Sheik Hilaly (1 x 1 hr)
The first episode had an average audience of
352,000, one of our top 50 most popular programs           First Australians (7 x 1 hr)
for the year. The average audience for the series was      Lionel Rose (1 x 1 hr)
293,000.                                                   Not Forgotten (1 x 1 hr)

During the year SBS broadcast a total of 19 hours of       One of the Lucky Ones (1 x ½ hr)
first run SBS-commissioned Indigenous programs,            Pilgrim’s Walkabout (3 x ½ hr)
exploring the experiences, history and culture of          River of No Return (1 x 1 hr)
the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of        Road Trip Nation (3 x ½ hr)
                                                           Walk Like a Man (1 x 1 hr)
A Northern Town looked at the overt and covert             When Colin Met Joyce (1 x 1 hr)
racism and the poverty and oppression in Kempsey,
northern NSW, where a third of the population is           Drama
made up of Aboriginal people. A Northern Town
also had a screening at the Sydney Film Festival           Night (1 x 1½ hrs)
and was shortlisted for the 2008 Dendy Awards for
Australian Short Films. Lionel Rose traced the story       Entertainment
of Australia’s first Aboriginal boxing champion. River
                                                           Cannot Buy My Soul (1 x 1 hr)
of No Return chronicled how Frances Djulibing (the
Yolngu star of Rolf de Heer’s Ten Canoes) from the         * This category includes productions involving Indigenous Australian
                                                           personnel and productions with Indigenous Australian content.
remote community of Ramingining in North East
Arnhem land, is challenging entrenched cultural
values. Cannot Buy My Soul celebrated the life of Kev      New talent and shows – taking risks
Carmody and his songs, which draw on his unique
life experience.                                           SBS strives each year to deliver original Australian-
                                                           made content and introduce new talent to audiences.
Our new Indigenous commissions focus on personal           Our new shows look at Australia and the world in
stories and music. Murundak – Songs of Freedom             a way that audiences might not otherwise have
will take audiences on a journey into the heart of         contemplated, promoting understanding and
Aboriginal resistance music with the Black Arm             acceptance of Australia’s diversity in clever and
Band. Nin’s Brother, part of the National Indigenous       entertaining ways.

                                                                                                SBS Annual Report 08-09           27
SBS, in joint initiatives with both Film Victoria and      Thought provoking Australian documentaries
the NSW Film and Television Office, will fund factual      Each year we commission and acquire a range of
programs in a new documentary strand for SBS               high quality documentaries that reflect a diversity of
called Secrets and Lives. The aim is to use humour         experiences, beliefs, cultures and languages within
and innovative approaches to factual story-telling to      Australia and show the changing nature of Australian
document tough subjects, entertaining and engaging         society. This year, as well as our documentaries
journeys and tackle major social issues. The series will   covering Indigenous issues, we broadcast a range of
also have a strong and innovative online presence.         Australian documentaries as varied in style as they
                                                           were in subject matter.
Embedded with Sheik Hilaly used comic
observational moments, created by a clash of               In The Miscreants, acclaimed director George Gittoes
cultures, to examine some of the bigger issues that        teamed up with Pashto action and comedy stars
have, and continue to, divide the community. In            making a ‘telie movie’, an over the top action drama,
the show Dave Zwolenski, a 26 year old who was             in the no-go zone of the Taliban controlled tribal belt
raised as a Catholic, moves in with Australia’s most       of the North West Frontier of Pakistan. Interspersing
controversial Muslim figure, Sheik Taj El Hilaly, to       the telie movies with the real life drama of Gittoes’
learn more about the Sheik, Islam and the Australian-      extreme journey on location, the docu-drama played
Muslim community. It was the fourth most popular           with the question of what is real and unreal in a post-
documentary broadcast in our Cutting Edge stream.          digital world. The Miscreants screened at the 2009
                                                           Adelaide film festival.
We took this idea of being embedded as a way of
discovering and learning about different lifestyles a      As part of our Inside Australia strand we broadcast
step further when we commissioned a ten part series        the final two episodes of The Passionate Apprentice
Dave in the Life … also starring Dave Zwolenski. In        about the passing on of skills, secrets and passions
this series Dave submerses himself in the life of a        of bee keeping and bread making to a new
politician, a homeless person, a sex entrepreneur,         generation of apprentices in a small community
a pensioner, a radio shock jock and a controversial        in Tasmania. mY Generation put Australian youth
artist for television broadcast, and more online.          under the microscope to reveal what they really think
Dave’s approach represents a new way of exploring          and feel about the big issues of religion, politics,
serious social issues and myths of Australia.              adulthood, housing and community engagement.
A new studio based sports quiz show went to air            We looked at the sustainability of Australian society
this year. The Squiz, hosted by comedian Anh Do,           in a number of documentaries. The Nest explored the
joined by comedians Amelia Jane Hunter and Jordon          social impact of young Australians still living in their
Raskopoulos, uses a clever format, quirky questions,       family home and the effect it may have on their ability
stunts and humour to look at a range of sports from        to cope with real independence. Commissioned for the
popular SBS fare such as soccer, cycling and cricket to    Saturday night 7.30pm slot, it had a strong debut and
more obscure world sports such as sumo and kabbadi.        managed to retain audiences across the series, bringing
                                                           a broader audience to the timeslot, including women.
We also commissioned a comedy panel show
                                                           The Nest also generated good press and online activity.
based around world history hosted by Sam Pang
                                                           A second series has been commissioned.
for broadcast in 2009/10. AD/BC mixes factual
information, intelligent discussion and some silliness     Through experts and interviews with residents in
to deliver a highly entertaining format providing          Japan, China, Italy and Australia Baby Boom to Bust
laughs and learning.                                       explored the impact of the world’s ageing population
                                                           on our social systems. Desperately Seeking Doctors
Salam Café finished its broadcast season in 2008/09.
                                                           followed the experience of three doctors living in the
The comedy panel show, filmed in front of a live
                                                           bush to highlight the effect of the shortage of doctors
studio audience in Melbourne and Sydney, featured
                                                           in rural communities, revealing some of the personal
young Australian Muslims discussing the humorous
                                                           stories behind the crisis.
side of current issues. It proved successful with
audiences. Web traffic for catch-up episodes               I’ll Call Australia Home, an intimate documentary
was also strong. The series was screened at the            filmed over six months, followed two refugee
International Public TV Screening Conference INPUT         families who escaped civil war and violence in
in Warsaw in May.                                          their homeland to resettle in Australia and tackle
                                                           new life experiences. The documentary was made
                                                           with the cooperation of the United Nations High
                                                           Commissioner for Refugees and the Australian
                                                           resettlement agencies. Another point of view is that of
                                                           asylum seekers whose applications for asylum have

28   SBS Annual Report 08-09
been rejected. A Well-Founded Fear followed the                       A variety of perspectives from around the world
work of a group of Australians who have made it their                 Our documentary strands provide a great range of
mission to find them as they return to locations such                 perspectives on topics covering history, politics,
as Afghanistan and the Middle East.                                   conflict, finance, science, technology, and other
                                                                      topical events.
In Mr Firth Goes to Washington, a comedy
documentary, Charles Firth explored the relationship                  In the Cutting Edge strand, top programs included Bill
between politics and Hollywood in America, looking                    Gates: How a Geek Changed the World, Wall Street:
at the campaigns of the candidates in the 2008 US                     The Meltdown; and Pakistan’s Taliban Generation.
presidential election. The program was nominated                      Lost Worlds took audiences back to The Roman
for a Logie Award for Most Outstanding Comedy                         Empire, The Forbidden City and Cities of Light:
Program at the 2009 Logie Awards.                                     The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain. As It Happened
                                                                      covered Hitler’s Museum, The Rise of Man, Behind
Other documentaries broadcast (Appendix 11)
                                                                      the Dracula Legend and Darwin’s Lost Paradise. Our
covered subjects as diverse as self-discovery on
                                                                      Hot Docs strand included The Seven Sins of England,
a road trip around Australia, a trek with camels in
                                                                      The Life and Time’s of Harvey Milk and The Road to
northern India, Australian country football, gay rugby
                                                                      Guantamo and the US Presidential Election in The
union teams, the pinup girls of the Second World War,
                                                                      Choice 2008. Other documentaries included Richard
Charles Darwin, the memorials and monuments of
                                                                      Hammond: Engineering Connections, James May’s
the First World War, and personal stories of success
                                                                      20th Century and Trawlermen.
and struggle.

More great documentaries will follow as new                           Most popular international documentaries
commissions are delivered. The Trial will give
audiences the inside story of Australia’s biggest
                                                                                                                      Total people (000s)
terrorism trial to date. Salam Father will follow Salam
Ziusudras as he returns to Iraq to investigate the                     Bill Gates: How a Geek
disappearance of his father in 1982.                                   Changed the World                                             522

We’ll have a third series of Who Do You Think You                      Tales from the Palaces (Rpt)                                  475
Are? where well-known Australians go in search                         Trawlermen                                                    469
of their family history while in Are You My Mother?                    Long Way Down                                                 465
children from overseas search for their parents and
                                                                       The Roman Empire (Rpt)                                        427
their heritage.
                                                                      Source: OzTAM – 5 City Metro; Total Individuals Incl Guests.
The fate of the Zimbabwe Homeless World Cup                           * Only top rating episode of a series shown.
football team will be covered in Asylum FC. Science
documentaries will range from Honeybee Blues
looking at the crisis in the bee world, to Skin Deep,                 Australian comedy and drama
which will tell the global story of evolution of human                Our new six part drama series Carla Cametti PD went
skin colour. Last Chance Saloon will look at the                      to air this year setting a bold new direction in local
devastating effects that alcohol can have on people                   drama. Australian favourites Diana Glenn and Vince
from inside a rehab centre. The Science of Self Harm                  Colosimo starred in this drama series about crime,
follows a groundbreaking scientific investigation into                friendship and family set in the Melbourne Italian
the causes of self harm in teenage girls.                             community. It premiered with an audience of 458,000,
                                                                      a big increase on the usual audience for its timeslot.
Most popular SBS-commissioned documentaries
                                                                      Catch-up episodes were available online.

                                                                      The creative production team behind Carla Cametti
                                                                      PD received industry acknowledgment for this
                                                Total people (000s)
                                                                      high quality drama series, with nominations for
 Best Undressed                                                448    Outstanding International Producer, Outstanding
 The Passionate Apprentices                                    419    Actress and Outstanding Actor at the 49th Monte-
                                                                      Carlo TV Festival. Episode 1, To Have and to Hold,
 First Australians                                             382
                                                                      has been nominated for a 2009 AWGIE Award.
 Desperately Seeking Doctors                                   374
                                                                      SBS has commissioned for development Dusty, a
 The Nest                                                      340
                                                                      new 13-part crime drama series, set in Australia’s
 Mr Firth Goes to Washington                                   282    Top End based on the character of Dusty Buchanan,
Source: OzTAM – 5 City Metro; Total Individuals Incl Guests.          star of Australian writer Phillip Gwynne’s novel The
* Only top rating episode of a series shown.                          Build Up. Second series of SBS’s acclaimed drama
                                                                      series EastWest 101 and The Circuit also went in to

                                                                                                           SBS Annual Report 08-09      29
production in 2008/09. Both will be broadcast in the                  acclaim for its historical authenticity and visual style.
second half of 2009.
                                                                      Other international drama broadcast included
Two new Australian comedies went to air, with                         perennial favourite Inspector Rex as well as the Rex in
websites also rolled out for each program. Rebel                      Rome series, and continuing series of Skins and Big
Wilson created, wrote, produced and starred in Bogan                  Love. New crime series included the French drama
Pride, a musical comedy series set in a fictional ‘bogan’             Spiral, and the Swedish Kurt Wallander. Cult series
suburb of Australia, based on her experience of growing               included South Park, Flight of the Conchords and The
up in Sydney’s western suburbs. Original musical                      Mighty Boosh.
numbers featured in each episode.
                                                                      Most popular international comedy and drama
Swift and Shift Couriers, from the makers of the
popular television series Pizza, parodies the people,                                                                 Total people (000s)
the politics and the outrageous events of a working-
class courier business. Swift and Shift Couriers was                   Inspector Rex (Rpt)                                           443
the most popular comedy series broadcast by SBS                        South Park                                                    434
this year, in the top ten of our most popular programs.                Rex in Rome                                                   427
A second series has been commissioned. A second
                                                                       Mad Men                                                       410
series of one of our quirkiest comedies, Wilfred, was
also commissioned this year. Wilfred (series one) was                  Flight of the Conchords                                       308
nominated in the Comedy – Situation or Narrative                      Source: OzTAM – 5 City Metro; Total Individuals Incl Guests.
category of the AWGIE Awards for the episode Dog                      * Only top rating episode of a series shown.
Eat Dog. A third series of the satirical news program
Newstopia went to air in late 2008, anchored by                       Reflecting the diversity of Australian cultures and
comedian and slapstick intellectual Shaun Micallef.                   lifestyles
Newstopia has been nominated for an AWGIE Award for
Comedy – Sketch or Light Entertainment.                               Our highest rating local food show, Food Safari,
                                                                      returned for a third series on SBS TV. In this latest
Australian animations featured in our animation
                                                                      series Maeve O’Meara looks at more cuisines from
season in early 2009 with SBS commissions
                                                                      passionate chefs and home cooks around Australia,
Chainsaw, an animated chain of stories using news
                                                                      ranging from Egyptian to English, Syrian to Jewish.
reports and newsreels mixed with fictional stories,
                                                                      The new series was popular with audiences,
and The Safe House, filmmaker Lee Whitmore’s
                                                                      averaging 379,000 viewers. The highest rating
true story of growing up during one of the most
                                                                      episode attracted 502,000 viewers.
talked about events in Australian history - the Petrov
Affair. Chainsaw won both the Grand Prix and the                      New this year is our new 10-part series Food
Critics Prize at the Spanish Huesca International                     Investigators. Doctor and actor, Renee Lim and
Film Festival, and also screened at the Annecy                        food scientist and stand up comedian Joe Avati use
International Animation Festival in 2007/08.                          cutting edge science to take viewers through food
                                                                      debates and health scares.
Most popular SBS-commissioned comedy and drama
                                                                      One of our new commissions is My Family Feast
                                                Total people (000s)   which will go into the homes of Australians with
                                                                      diverse ethnic backgrounds and ask them to share
 Swift and Shift Couriers                                      511    their cultural traditions and show how they cook
 Carla Cametti PD                                              458    a family feast for their favourite occasion. Also
 Bogan Pride                                                   376    commissioned this year was Costa’s Garden Odyssey
Source: OzTAM – 5 City Metro; Total Individuals Incl Guests.
                                                                      in which Costa, a Greek gardener and a water
* Only top rating episode of a series shown.                          whisperer shares his wisdom on water conservation
                                                                      and management.

Quality international comedy and drama                                To support our food and lifestyle programming we
SBS Television has been a major supporter of                          launched a new global cuisine web portal which
quality as well as quirky and cult dramas since it                    features catch-up episodes of Food Safari and an
began broadcasting in 1980, enabling it to broaden                    extensive library of references from SBS’s food
its audience base and attract viewers to its diverse                  programs. The new SBS Food portal contains
range of programming.                                                 hundreds of recipes and includes videos, country
                                                                      profiles and interactive elements including Chef’s
In 2008/09 we broadcast the stylised and provocative                  Blog and Ask Chef. SBS Food was nominated for an
cult drama series Mad Men about the world of                          AIMIA Award for Best Cultural, Lifestyle and Sport
advertising in the 1960s. Mad Men received wide critical              website. SBS Food email alerts are also available.

30    SBS Annual Report 08-09
Music                                                      Most popular entertainment
An upgraded version of the RocKwiz website was
launched during the year, featuring: seven day catch-                                                      Total people (000s)
up episodes; a video clip archive; a new RocKwiz            Top Gear                                                      1060
game; and expanded functionality for audience
                                                            Top Gear Australia                                             940
interaction through comments and blogs. Users can
also subscribe to the RocKwiz newsletter for news           Mythbusters                                                    510
and updates.                                                Eurovision Song Contest                                        507

Following the retirement of the much-loved British          Iron Chef (Rpt)                                                436
commentator Terry Wogan, SBS seized the                    Source: OzTAM – 5 City Metro; Total Individuals Incl Guests.
opportunity to put its stamp on the globally acclaimed     * Only top rating episode of a series shown.
Eurovision Song Contest. This year we sent RocKwiz
host Julia Zemiro and ADbc host Sam Pang to Russia
to front SBS’s coverage of the legendary song contest.     Movies
The hosts commentated on the finals, met all the key       SBS continues to be a strong supporter of the
contestants and fronted our popular on-air and online      Australian film industry and an important vehicle
coverage of Eurovision. Audiences for Eurovision were      for the promotion of local and international
up 13 per cent on 2007/08, which is the best result        film. The launch of SBS TWO in June increased
since 2004. The final peaked at 699,000 viewers and        our commitment with film a central part of our
reached 1.35m people.                                      programming strategy.

This year we broadcast series two of Great Australian      Stanley Kubrick and Australian movies were
Albums, going behind the scenes in the creation of         highlights of our film seasons this year. SBS-
four classic albums by The Go Betweens, Hunters            commissioned films Look Both Ways, The Home
& Collectors, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and              Song Stories, Noise, Night and Saved as well as
Powderfinger.                                              Three Dollars and Candy were featured. Saved, about
                                                           a woman who becomes the advocate for a young
We also commissioned a range of music-related              Iranian refugee held in detention, has been nominated
documentaries that reflect on the different effects        for an AWGIE Award for Telemovie Original.
of music in people’s lives. The Craziest Band in
Australia?, commissioned as part of the Secrets            Top performing movies in our Kubrick season were
and Lives initiative, follows the Melbourne rockers        Full Metal Jacket and A Clockwork Orange.
the Bi Polar Bears, a band made up of sufferers of
schizophrenia and bi polar disorder. Rainman Goes to       SBS continues to broadcast the best of the world’s
RocKwiz follows Mark Boerebach, who is 80 per cent         films and in 2008/09 films broadcast came from
blind and suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, but has        Argentina, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile,
a specialist recall ability for hit songs of the 70s and   China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt,
80s, as he prepares to appear on RocKwiz.                  France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary,
                                                           India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico,
                                                           Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania,
Popular/Factual                                            Russia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain,
SBS continued its support of popular, factual              Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, UK, USA and Venezuala.
programming with the UK and Australian versions of
popular motoring franchise Top Gear having broad           SBS Online completed the new SBS Film portal
appeal. The UK version of Top Gear was the most            which features coverage on the latest world,
watched program on SBS while Top Gear Australia            independent and art house cinema including
was the highest rating locally produced program.           reviews, blogs, feature articles, video interviews and
                                                           international festival coverage. The entire Movie
A promotional website was launched in the lead-up          Show archive – covering almost 3000 titles – has
to the first episode of Top Gear Australia. In spite of    also been integrated into the site as a video review
limited rights, the site achieved significant audience     service. The site covers all SBS TV world movie
figures – over 150,000 video streams – through             programming and aggregates video documentaries
‘sneak peek’ videos for each episode and ‘behind-          on cinema and filmmaking. It provides niche content
the-scenes’ specials of the launch. Fans can also          for our core audience members especially in the
subscribe to the Top Gear email newsletter.                areas of world, art-house and cult movies. SBS Films
                                                           email alerts are also available.
Scientific boffins on Mythbusters continued to attract

                                                                                                 SBS Annual Report 08-09     31
                                                          Leste, for service to humanity in May 2009. The
                                                          citation that accompanied the award said in
Global Village – Thalassa                                 part “…The SBS has provided a brand of ethical
Perennial SBS television favourites are Global Village,   leadership that espouses the journalistic principles
fronted by popular presenter Silvio Rivier, and           of truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality,
Thalassa. These programs include acquired material        fairness and public accountability….SBS’s
that SBS collates, edits and presents for viewers.        commitment to world news and social progress not
Global Village takes us to the far corners of the globe   only reflects Australia’s multicultural society, it plays a
where we discover the world really is an amazing          key role in the development of multicultural Australia.
place. Thalassa (meaning ‘sea’ in Greek) brings our       SBS continues to maintain the highest standards of
audience stories of the seas of the world and their       journalistic independence and integrity”. The award
effect on people and places.                              was accepted at SBS’s Sydney headquarters by
                                                          Managing Director Shaun Brown.
News and current affairs – local and international        Auskar Surbakti won the Television News Award for
Our News and Current Affairs division produces            his video-journalism series Rebuilding Aceh at the
SBS’s daily news service World News Australia, the        2008 United Nations Association of Australia Media
current affairs programs Dateline, Insight and Living     Peace Awards which seek to promote understanding
Black and news services for SBS Radio and SBS             and awareness about humanitarian and social justice
Online. SBS News and Current Affairs also acquires a      issues by recognising journalists who stimulate public
range of overseas news services for our international     awareness and influence policy change. SBS’s World
television news service WorldWatch. Online News           News Australia website was an honoree in the 2009
complements SBS’s news and current affairs                Webby Award’s news category.
programs with unique content, updated news stories,
the latest from the news wire, videos – including the     Coverage highlights include comprehensive coverage
latest World News Australia bulletins and current         of the bushfires in Victoria in February, including live
affairs programming – and special coverage of             updates. A one-hour news special was produced
important events and issues as well as providing          to cover the memorial service held on 22 February,
opportunities for audience interaction. Our audience      hosted by Anton Enus and Brian Thomson.
can also subscribe to SBS News and Current Affairs
                                                          Wide-ranging coverage of the Federal Budget in
email alerts.
                                                          May included a special updated 6:30 news bulletin
                                                          for SBS’s West Australian viewers, and a range of
World News Australia – SBS’s world news service           stories in the 9:30 bulletin, including an interview with
World News Australia provides up-to-date reports          the Treasurer.
and analysis of the major national and international
news stories of the day in Australia’s only world news    World News Australia was the first national television
service in its daily hour-long 6:30pm bulletin, and in    bulletin to cover the problem of attacks on Indian
the half-hour 9:30pm weeknights bulletin on SBS           students in Melbourne, first breaking the story in May,
ONE. World News Australia is complemented by              providing extensive coverage of the issue as student
World News Australia Online and SBS Radio News.           protests spread.

A team of talented journalists and presenters produce     Other highlights during the year included a series
and collate SBS’s coverage of local and world affairs.    of exclusive special reports filed by junior reporters
Anton Enus and Janice Petersen regularly present the      Yaara Bou Melhem, from the Middle East, and Yalda
6:30pm edition of World News Australia with Craig         Hakim, from Afghanistan; and in February, a series
Foster and Mike Tomalaris covering sport.                 of previews of the Israeli election, and live interviews
                                                          from Jerusalem on the eve of the election and on
The principal back-up presenters are Ben Fajzullin and    election day.
Neena Mairata, who also present the 9:30pm bulletin.
Lee Lin Chin presents the weekend edition of the          The one hour 6:30pm bulletin attracted an average
6:30pm hour-long bulletin. World News Australia’s         audience of 182,000 viewers in 200/09. This is in line
senior correspondent, Brian Thomson, anchors              with the average for 2007/08. the 9:30pm bulletin
coverage of major events in the field while SBS’s chief   averaged 179,000, up slightly (3 per cent) from
political correspondent Karen Middleton and political     2007/08 levels.
reporter Richard Davis cover national issues from         During the year a new website was built for
Canberra and on the road with Australia’s politicians.    World News Australia. Benefits of the new site
The President of East Timor, His Excellency Dr Jose       include: incorporation of news feeds from both
Ramos-Horta, presented SBS with his country’s             Reuters and AAP to diversify the third party mix of
highest honour, the Medalho de Merito de Timor-           content; improved photo gallery, voting, and blog

32   SBS Annual Report 08-09
components; integration of user comments as part         to protect them from honour killings. Yalda Hakim
of all news stories; and an improved ‘information        from Dateline was also a finalist in this category. Both
architecture’ and navigational construct which will      are past participants in SBS’s journalism cadetship
allow users to more easily find the content they’re      program. In November, Dateline reporter Sophie
interested in. The website was nominated for a 2009      McNeill was chosen as Young Australian Woman of
AIMIA Award for Best News, Media or Reference            the Year by Yen magazine.
website. SBS News can also be followed on Twitter
and email alerts.                                        Dateline covered some particularly significant stories
                                                         during the year.
A major highlight of the new World News Australia
site was its coverage of the Victoria bushfires, with    Mark Davis’ remarkable Diary of a Coup provided
an online reporter sent to cover the devastation first   an intimate view of the toppling of Madagascar’s
hand and provide unique content including stories,       government. For three weeks, Davis followed events
blogs and images for the photo gallery.                  in the Madagascan capital as 34-year-old ex-mayor,
                                                         former DJ turned media magnate, Andry Rajoelina
World News Australia site is one of SBS’s top ten        manoeuvred himself into power. This gripping story
website, with an average of 173,146 monthly unique       was video journalism at its best – showcasing the
browsers.                                                advantages of a single-person reporter/cameraman
                                                         crew in a fast-moving and volatile environment.
Dateline – international current affairs
                                                         In his confronting story Bali’s Shame, David O’Shea
Our multi-award winning international current            exposed the appalling handling of hundreds of
affairs program Dateline has a brief to provide          mentally-ill people in the popular holiday destination
stories for Australians about life beyond Australia’s    of Bali. O’Shea followed a psychiatrist into remote
shores. Dateline is presented by George Negus,           villages on the island, where he found people being
one of Australia’s most respected journalists, and       held in chains and cages because their families
is produced by a team of acclaimed producers and         were too ashamed to bring them to the island’s only
video journalists. Dateline reporters are considered     psychiatric hospital for treatment. His story captured
pioneers in video journalism, travelling alone on        a confrontation between the psychiatrist and Bali’s
assignment to film and report stories. Using small,      medical administrator over the issue, and recorded
lightweight cameras and minimal sound and lighting       efforts by the psychiatrist to persuade villagers to
equipment, our reporters are able to gain unique and     administer medication to the mentally ill – and to
independent access to people, places and stories.        release them from captivity.
Dateline was again recognised for its journalistic       On the eve of Afghanistan’s elections, Sophie
excellence at the 2008 Walkley Awards. Ginny Stein       McNeill travelled to the city of Herat to report on the
was a finalist in two categories for her coverage of     treatment of women there. Her report gave gruelling
Zimbabwe, winning the 2008 Walkley for International     details of young girls being forced into marriage and
Journalism. John Martinkus was a finalist in the         of women being held in prison for ‘adultery’ after
Coverage of Asia-Pacific category for his report         being raped. On this highly dangerous assignment,
Afghanistan 2008: Guns, Drugs and Suicide                McNeill focused on the efforts of one of Herat’s
Bombers. For Mugabe’s Calling Card, Ginny and her        leading women’s rights activists who is now facing
fixer ‘Dee’ were nominated for the Rory Peck Sony        death threats for offering comfort and shelter to
Impact Award, an international award which honours       hundreds of abused and frightened women. It gave a
freelance journalists whose work raises awareness        rare voice to those who are bravely calling for change
of global humanitarian issues and contributes to a       to Afghanistan’s laws – and attitudes
change in perception or policy. Mugabe’s Calling
Card was also nominated for a Logie Award in the         Coverage of the US Presidential election was also
Most Outstanding Public Affairs Program category.        one of the highlights of Dateline’s programming
                                                         this year.
Aaron Lewis won the Television Documentary award
for The Heroes are Tired (Africa’s Deadly Brain          Dateline grew its audience by 5 per cent in 2008/09
Drain), about the flood of doctors leaving Africa for    with an average of 209,000 viewers per episode.
lucrative jobs overseas, at the 2008 United Nations
Association of Australia Media Peace Awards.

Yaara Bou-Melhem won the Television category at the
2009 Australian Young Journalist of the Year awards,
sponsored by the Walkley Foundation and the Media
Entertainment and Arts Alliance. Yaara won for a
Dateline story about women under guard in Jordan

                                                                                    SBS Annual Report 08-09    33
Dateline – top rating programs 2008/09                                   Brockie, Lisa Main and Anne Worthington winning
                                                                         the Promotion of Multicultural Issues Award at the
  Main topic                          Date                       Total   2008 United Nations Association of Australia Media
                                                               people    Peace Awards for Another Country, a program
                                                                (000s)   that investigated the tensions between Sudanese
 Dateline in America:                                                    migrants in Australia and the wider community. The
 Election Panel; The                                                     Awards recognise journalists who stimulate public
 Battle for Pennsylvania;                                                awareness and influence policy change.
 Pennsylvania Decides                 5 November                  260
                                                                         During the year an upgraded version of the Insight
 The Smugglers Trail;                                                    website was launched incorporating additional
 Bali’s Shame; The                                                       features to provide a more accessible way for
 China Syndrome                       31 May                      241    audiences to interact with the topics covered in the
 Cambodia’s Home                                                         program, including the ability to submit questions for
 Boys; Jamaica’s Killer                                                  the TV show itself. The new website features seven
 Cops; Interview – Nouri                                                 day catch-up episodes, improved chat and comment
 al-Maliki                            22 March                    238    features, and more effective promotion for upcoming
 Inside Mississippi;                                                     topics and audience generation. Viewers can also
 Washington Insiders                                                     subscribe to the Insight email newsletter and follow
 Part II                              29 October                  235    Insight on Twitter and Facebook.
 Tales from Karrada;                                                     Insight is leading the way in audience interaction, with
 Spain’s Water Crisis;                                                   all live programs responding to instant feedback from
 Treasures of Timbuktu;                                                  users of Twitter, while live chats online after each live
 Interview – John                                                        program keeps the issues alive.
 Nichols                              27 August                   234
                                                                         The new website has broken all previous traffic
Source: OzTAM – 5 City Metro; Total Individuals Incl Guests.             records, especially as a result of a very popular
                                                                         debate following a program on birthing, with more
Dateline’s website was upgraded this year and was                        than 800 comments on the subject posted.
launched with great success. Benefits of the new
site include: inclusion of all video stories from 2006                   Insight averaged 259,000 viewers per episode in
to 2009; classification of stories by issues, countries                  2008/09, similar to 2007/08.
and tags to aid their discovery; integration of user
comments as part of all news stories; an improved                        Insight – top rating programs 2008/09
‘information architecture’ and navigational construct
which will allow users to more easily find the content                     Main topic                  Date              Total people (000s)
they’re interested in. Audiences can also subscribe to
                                                                                                                         5 Capitals     Regional
the Dateline email newsletter and follow Dateline on
Twitter and Facebook.
                                                                          $2 a Litre – The
A highlight for the website during the year was the                       Price of Petrol              8 July                  368          212
huge spike in traffic over a story on the Tamil Tigers                    Executive Pay –
in March. The site saw its biggest traffic ever, with                     Are executive
36,000 people visiting the site, viewing 98,000 video                     salaries justifiable?        24 March                306          167
streams, and there were 145,000 page impressions.                         Sleep – how much
More than 1200 comments on the story were posted.                         sleep do we need             28 April                303          150
                                                                          A Gutful – Children
                                                                          of 14 are having
Insight – a current affairs forum                                         weight loss surgery          24 March                298          169
Insight, SBS’s current affairs television forum show, is a                Finding Courage –
leading forum for ideas. Each week, host Jenny Brockie                    The pros and cons
uses her unique skills to guide a lively debate on a                      of being brave               16 Sept                 293          180
single topic. The format is a great leveller, no one has
special status. Politicians, business leaders and experts                Source: OzTAM – 5 City Metro; Total Individuals Incl Guests.
sit alongside community members, swapping stories
and arguing about a wide range of topical issues. Each                   Indigenous current affairs – Living Black
debate continues online after the broadcast.
                                                                         SBS’s Indigenous Media Unit produces Living
Insight’s contribution to national and international                     Black, Australia’s premier Indigenous current affairs
debates was recognised this year with Jenny                              program, the only show on prime time television

34    SBS Annual Report 08-09
tackling contemporary issues affecting Aboriginals         Amongst the highlights for the year were world
and Torres Strait Islanders. Hosted by Karla Grant,        exclusive phone interviews with a representative of the
the half-hour show provides timely, intelligent and        Tamil Tigers in the Sri Lanka conflict zone in February
comprehensive coverage of the issues affecting the         and March. Both interviews were widely quoted by
Indigenous community and reports on many stories           international media, and attributed to SBS.
largely ignored by the mainstream media.
                                                           Radio News also had a phenomenal output during
Living Black is not just for Indigenous viewers, its aim   the Beijing Olympics in August, producing 550
is to inform a wider audience about contemporary           stories, including 58 features and 20 interviews. The
Indigenous issues, and why they matter to all              Melbourne newsroom spearheaded the coverage,
Australians. Living Black is committed to giving all       working long hours to meet the needs of SBS Radio’s
Australians a place to learn about Indigenous issues       World View program and the SBS Radio language
                                                           programs. Radio News also provided comprehensive
and giving Indigenous Australians a chance to
                                                           and timely coverage of Victoria’s bushfire disaster
speak their mind and has both Indigenous and non-
                                                           early in 2009.
Indigenous staff members, one of the many ways it
works to promote understanding of Indigenous issues        SBS Radio news journalist Peggy Giakoumelos
to all Australians. Living Black’s video journalists       was awarded a Silver World Medal in the National/
traverse Australia searching out stories. They work        International Affairs category at the prestigious New
solo and are deliberately unobtrusive, to bring out the    York Festivals, for her documentary The Paper Trail
best in their interviewees.                                which explored how Greece, historically a country of
                                                           emigration, is dealing with modern immigration.
This year, Living Black went to far north Queensland
to cover the roll out of new welfare reforms in four
Indigenous communities and the establishment of the        International events – US Presidential Election
new Family Responsibilities Commission. The program        October and November saw unprecedented
broadcast on location from Broome, Western Australia,      coverage of the US presidential election across
with a feature story on the controversial Kimberley        our news and current affairs programming. Insight
gas hub. Shows were also presented on location from        kicked off our special coverage of the US presidential
Adelaide, Melbourne and Tasmania.                          election in mid September by recording two election
                                                           forums in New York. The first featured a diverse
Other issues covered this year include Aboriginal          group of opinion leaders and ordinary Americans,
homosexuality, the impact of mining at the McArthur        and discussed the candidates, their policies and the
River in the Northern Territory, alcohol restrictions in   impact of the downturn on the US economy on the
the Kimberley region of Western Australia, the future      outcome. In the second show young New Yorkers
of outstations in the Northern Territory and the high      talked about what they wanted from their leaders.
rates of dementia in Aboriginal communities. A story
which brought to light a major asbestos problem in         World News Australia’s Brian Thomson headed a
Wallaga Lake on the NSW south coast was followed           three-person crew which travelled through the swing
up by several other media outlets around the country.      states, providing special reports on how voters were
                                                           reacting to the global financial crisis and other issues.
Living Black was a finalist at the 2008 Walkley
Awards, with Emma Cook being shortlisted for               All three presidential debates were broadcast live.
her story Community Voices in the Coverage of              The surge in public interest following Sarah Palin’s
                                                           selection as the Republican vice presidential
Indigenous Affairs category. It is the first time Living
                                                           candidate resulted in SBS also broadcasting the
Black has had a finalist at the Walkley Awards.
                                                           vice presidential debate live. This live coverage was
Living Black averaged 40,000 viewers per episode           very successful, with good ratings as well as record
during the year, remaining stable with 2007/08.            numbers of hits for the live online streaming on World
                                                           News Australia Online.
The Living Black website contains videos, a forum
for contributors to comment on Living Black stories        World News Australia’s online coverage of the US
and blogs from the Living Black team. Users can also       presidential election was enhanced through the use
subscribe to the Living Black email newsletter and         of several new multimedia applications for audience
                                                           interaction and engagement including a live blog, an
follow Living Black on Facebook.
                                                           interactive quiz, a candidate tracker and an election
                                                           predictor. The World News Australia website ran live
Radio News                                                 video streams of all the US presidential and vice
SBS Radio News provides updated hourly breaking            presidential debates and ran a live blog feature for
radio news bulletins for World News Australia Online       users to log real-time comments on the progress of
and SBS Radio’s language programs.                         each debate.

                                                                                       SBS Annual Report 08-09    35
Dateline broadcast two programs from the US, in the       WorldWatch (SBS ONE) – languages and hours
week before the election and on election day. From        scheduled 2008/09
Washington DC George Negus led a panel discussion
on the election. Two features were devoted to how           Language                        Hours       % LOTE          % Total
the presidential campaign had impacted on ordinary         Arabic                             156            6%             5%
Americans. Special coverage was provided on                Cantonese                          144            5%             4%
election night out of Washington DC, with links to the     Croatian                            26            1%             1%
candidates’ headquarters in Chicago and Phoenix.           Dutch                               26            1%             1%
                                                           French                             208            8%             6%
On election day, World News Australia devoted
                                                           German                             156            6%             5%
more than five and a half hours to special coverage
                                                           Greek                              312           12%            10%
of the election. The special was hosted by Anton
                                                           Hungarian                           26            1%             1%
Enus, with a panel of experts, and live crosses to the
                                                           Indonesian                         156            6%             5%
candidates’ headquarters, and to our correspondent
                                                           Italian                            156            6%             5%
in Washington DC. In January we covered the
                                                           Japanese                           156            6%             5%
inauguration of Barack Obama as President, with a
                                                           Korean                              26            1%             1%
one-hour news special also anchored by Anton Enus.
                                                           Maltese                             26            1%             1%
                                                           Mandarin                           312           12%            10%
WorldWatch – international news bulletins                  Polish                              52            2%             2%
                                                           Russian                            208            8%             6%
SBS acquires a range of overseas news services
                                                           Serbian                             26            1%             1%
for WorldWatch, our unique international television
                                                           Spanish – Chile                     26            1%             1%
news service of daily and weekly bulletins from
                                                           Spanish – Spain                    234            9%             7%
broadcasters around the world in their original
                                                           Tagalog (Filipino)                 130            5%             4%
language. WorldWatch is provided to cater for
                                                           Turkish                            130            5%             4%
the needs of the individual language and cultural
                                                           Total LOTE                        2692          100%            83%
communities within Australia, providing a window
                                                           English (Germany)                  154              –           12%
into events in their homelands and regular access
                                                           English (USA)                      380              –            5%
to services in their language. The service offers
                                                           Total English                      534              –           17%
Australians information not offered by any other
                                                           Total                             3226              –          100%
broadcaster in Australia. In fact, this kind of service
is unique in the world as no other broadcaster unites     World News Channel / SBS TWO* – languages and
so many news sources under the umbrella of one            hours scheduled 2008/09
                                                            Language                                 Hours             % LOTE
The WorldWatch schedule is broadcast on SBS ONE
                                                           Arabic                                       444                 7%
and, from 1 June, on SBS’s new digital multichannel,
                                                           Cantonese                                    205                 3%
SBS TWO. Prior to the launch of SBS TWO, SBS’s
                                                           Croatian                                     100                 2%
digital multichannel operated as the World News
                                                           Dutch                                         52                 1%
Channel which repeated or updated the WorldWatch
                                                           French                                       416                 7%
bulletins. All the in-language WorldWatch news
                                                           German                                       444                 7%
bulletins previously transmitted on the World News
                                                           Greek                                        600                10%
Channel are now available on SBS TWO, time-shifted
                                                           Hungarian                                    101                 2%
between 8am and 6pm in order to provide audiences
                                                           Indonesian                                   444                 7%
with a choice of viewing times.
                                                           Italian                                      312                 5%
While most of the largest non-English language             Japanese                                     548                 9%
communities are served by regular news programs,           Korean                                       144                 2%
negotiations are being conducted with a number of          Maltese                                      100                 2%
broadcasters for the introduction of news programs         Mandarin                                     500                 8%
from countries where technical or administrative           Polish                                       128                 2%
problems have prevented such a service in the              Russian                                      416                 7%
past, including India and Macedonia. Regrettably,          Serbian                                      100                 2%
acceptable independent services are currently not          Spanish - Chile                              100                 2%
available from all countries of interest although SBS      Spanish - Spain                              536                 9%
continues to explore and investigate all options.          Tagalog (Filipino)                           400                 6%
                                                           Turkish                                      148                 2%
                                                           Total                                       6238               100%

                                                          * SBS TWO was launched on 1 June 2009. Prior to its launch it operated as
                                                          the World News Channel.

36   SBS Annual Report 08-09
SBS Radio – 68 language programs                             A new SBS Radio home page was launched in
SBS Radio produces and broadcasts 68 language                October. Updated twice daily, highlighting content
programs, consisting of 537 hours of programs in             from all language groups, news and sport, the new
languages other than English and 11 hours in English         user interface provides a highly accessible platform
(Aboriginal and African) each week to cater for              for a more efficient promotion and distribution of the
Australian audiences with culturally and linguistically      best of SBS Radio’s content to audiences. The SBS
diverse backgrounds (Appendix 9).                            Radio website provides users with access to updated
                                                             audio Radio News bulletins, streamed audio and
Our in-language broadcasters bring culturally specific       audio updates of items in-language, and podcasts
expertise to the Australian broadcasting environment.        of SBS Radio programs, as well as themed sections
Each language program fulfils a range of functions:          on news and current affairs, sport, and arts and
news and information provider, entertainer, educator,        entertainment.
cultural resource and medium for different community
views. They cover local, national and international
                                                             World Youth Day
news and current affairs, information on topics of
importance to each community such as health and              SBS secured the free-to-air broadcast rights to World
settlement issues, community information about               Youth Day 2008 (WYD), held in Sydney in July 2008.
government services and community events, cultural           The event is the largest youth event in the world, and
content such as music, and sport (Appendix 10). SBS          was attended by Pope Benedict XVI. WYD was an
Radio broadcasts 34 unique news bulletins each day,          important current affairs event, providing SBS with an
seven days a week, 52 weeks a year.                          opportunity to highlight debate around issues such
                                                             as youth, faith and modernity, diversity, secularism,
In 2008/09 SBS Radio broadcast 264 unique hours of           Australian politics and society, alternative lifestyles
content each week.                                           and gender.
Highlights for the year included coverage of World           SBS Radio covered events leading up to the Pope’s
Youth Day and the Beijing 2008 Olympics.                     arrival in Sydney and the key ceremonies over the
                                                             week, providing insight for SBS Radio audiences
In February, SBS Radio content was dominated by news
                                                             on the issues, discussions and people behind the
and current affairs features on the devastating bushfires
                                                             event. Complementary programming on Australia’s
in Victoria. In partnership with the Australian Red Cross,
                                                             religious environment, its secular multiculturalism
SBS planned and executed in-language radiothons
                                                             and the interplay of faith and modernity in the 21st
across 32 of our programs. The radiothon programs
                                                             century placed the event in a context that could be
incuded guest interviews and live crosses to the affected
                                                             appreciated by all audiences.
areas. Around $1.1 million was raised to assist people
affected by the bushfires, a great testament to our          SBS Radio’s coverage of WYD was an
audiences’ engagement with SBS Radio.                        unprecedented series of live outside-broadcasts, web
                                                             streaming and live commentary. In covering the event
The ongoing conflict in Sri Lanka, the political turmoil
                                                             SBS Radio broadcast: 14 hours of live programming
in Thailand, the Fijian constitutional crisis, the Italian
                                                             (in English, Filipino, Polish and on the Aboriginal
earthquake and the influx of refugee boat arrivals were
                                                             program); 70 live crosses into SBS Radio programs;
key areas of coverage in news and current affairs
                                                             and 35 hours of online streamed programming
programming on SBS Radio during March and April.
                                                             including live commentary and the language
An example of the importance of SBS Radio’s                  programs that were displaced by the event.
language programs for covering issues relevant to
                                                             SBS TV complemented SBS Radio with live coverage
their communities was recognised this year when
                                                             of proceedings. The main events were highlights of
Manpreet Kaur Singh of the Punjabi language
                                                             the Papal Vigil; live coverage of the Papal Mass and
program was chosen as a finalist in the United
                                                             highlights; the Stations of the Cross and the Pope’s
Nations Association of Australia Media Peace Awards
                                                             arrival in Sydney. Themed content dealing with
2008 in the category Increasing Awareness and
                                                             youth issues was broadcast around the event. We
Understanding of Women’s Rights and Issues for
                                                             also screened the documentary The German Pope:
her piece Silence is Deadly about the testimony of
                                                             Benedict XVI in the lead up to his visit to Australia.
a victim of domestic violence, her ordeal and the
decision to seek help.                                       In recognition of the importance of the event, we
                                                             provided closed captions for our live coverage to
SBS Radio’s language program teams interact with
                                                             ensure that viewers who are hearing impaired could
their audiences on a regular basis through talk-back
                                                             access the telecast.
segments. Listeners also call and email feedback
directly to broadcasters using the contact information       The visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Sydney dominated
made available on the program’s web page.                    SBS’s news and current affairs coverage, with SBS

                                                                                        SBS Annual Report 08-09   37
Television, Radio and Online integrating to produce            International programming – SBS Radio overnight
outstanding cross platform coverage. World News                SBS Radio broadcasts a range of acquired
Australia reporter Auskar Surbakti accompanied the             programming on its overnight schedule (generally
Pope on his flight to Australia. His question to the           from midnight to 6:00am). The schedule includes
Pope about the apology for sexual abuse of minors              news services and magazine programs from
by Catholic clergy, was picked up by broadcasters              the public service broadcasters Deutsche Welle
throughout Australia and around the world.                     (Germany) and the BBC (UK). SBS Radio also
                                                               broadcasts coverage of international soccer
Dateline marked the visit with a report on the
                                                               tournaments during the European football season,
dramatic decline of religious vocations in Ireland,
                                                               taking feeds from RAI (Radio Televisione Italiana).
a staunchly Catholic country, while George Negus
                                                               Deutsche Welle’s programs cover up-to-date news
discussed various issues confronting the church with
                                                               and background information on politics, business and
Cardinal Fox-Napier from South Africa.
                                                               culture in Germany and Europe.
For the first time ever, SBS Online provided a live
                                                               The BBC overnight schedule includes: BBC News,
video stream of SBS TV’s coverage of the key events.
                                                               World Briefing, Analysis, Sports Roundup, Outlook,
SBS Online also provided live radio streaming of
                                                               Business Daily, Europe Today, Assignment, The
additional events and assisted Radio in the live online
                                                               Strand, and One Planet – covering news, business,
streaming of a small number of radio programs that
                                                               sport, arts, environmental issue, investigative reports
had been displaced by the live coverage.
                                                               and analysis and personal stories from behind the
                                                               news around the world.
Multicultural affairs on SBS Radio – World View
World View, broadcast in English, is a multicultural affairs   Covering sport – SBS Sport
program which offers insights into the way different
                                                               SBS Sport produces premier sporting events which
people and cultures are changing the social landscape
                                                               are made available to all Australians, free-to-air on
of Australia, through shared experiences, concepts and
                                                               SBS ONE and SBS TWO, SBS Radio and on SBS
values. In June, World View was integrated into the News
                                                               Online. SBS Sport’s talented and passionate team of
and Current Affairs Division, giving it greater access to
                                                               reporters work around the clock to bring all the latest
the division’s stories and resources.
                                                               news, stories and issues in sport to our audiences.
World View’s Peggy Giakoumelos won a Silver
                                                               Ratings highlights for 2008/09 included the biggest
World Medal for her documentary The Paper Trail
                                                               ever audience for the Tour de France, breaking all
in the National/International Affairs category at the
                                                               previous records. In total 4.6 million people tuned into
2009 New York Festivals Radio Programming and
                                                               the coverage, up 21 per cent on last year. Stage 20
Promotions Awards. The documentary also won a
                                                               delivered the highest ever audience for a live stage
Silver Medal at the 10th International Radio Festival
                                                               with an average of 563,000 viewers. Overall the live
of Iran in May.
                                                               stages averaged 281,000 viewers.

                                                               During the Beijing Olympics SBS’s 24 hour average
Multicultural youth affairs and music on SBS Radio –
                                                               audience was up 9 per cent on the previous Olympics
                                                               held in Athens in 2004. The Women’s Cycling Road
Alchemy is SBS Radio’s multicultural youth affairs             Race, was the third highest rating program of the
and music program with weekly programs focusing                year achieving an audience of 725,000 viewers.
on popular youth sub-cultures broadcast weeknights
and throughout the night on Friday, Saturday and               SBS Sport launched a new homepage for its website
Sunday. Programs cover the latest music from Africa,           in August, coinciding with its coverage of the 2008
Asia, Australia, the Balkans, the Caribbean, India, the        Beijing Olympic Games, featuring a daily video
Middle East, Spain and the Americas, featuring hip-            bulletin, news stories, blogs and opinion and the
hop, dance hall, reggae, RnB, Asian pop, electronica,          best of event-related coverage from across the SBS
drum n’ bass as well as sport (Appendix 10).                   network. The new website is scalable for big events
                                                               and designed to aggregate the best of the sport
Alchemy covered the Australasian World Music Expo              content from across the network, and better leverage
from Melbourne in November. The four day event                 online rights for our big events. Users can also
showcased traditional indigenous music and world               subscribe to SBS Sport email alerts.
music from the region. The Expo was also covered by
World View.                                                    Sport continues to contribute the largest volume of
                                                               growth to SBS online with The World Game and Tour
Alchemy’s audience can interact with Alchemy team              de France attracting the highest number of unique
through the Alchemy website and the Your Say Forum,            browsers to the site. The World Game attracted
as well as on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace.

38   SBS Annual Report 08-09
approximately 241,000 unique users a month with an average of 6.2 million Page Impressions. Overall, The
World Game had a 20 per cent increase in average monthly Unique Browsers and a 33 per cent increase in
monthly Page Impressions from 2007 to 2008.

SBS Sport-produced programming
In 2008/09 SBS Sport produced the following coverage of Australian and international events, tailored for an
Australian audience through SBS’s specialist commentary teams and journalists.

  Sport / Program                                                                                       Hours*

 Cycling Australia Events:                                                                                       7
 •	 Australian	Mountain	Bike	Championships	2009
 •	 Australian	Track	Championships	2009
 •	 Australian	BMX	Championships	2009
 •	 Australian	Open	Road	Championships	2009
 •	 National	Road	Team	Series	2008:	Tour	of	Gippsland;	Tour	of	the	Murray	River;
     Goulburn to Citi; Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic; Tour of Tasmania; Melbourne to
 Crocodile Trophy 2008                                                                                          ½
 Giro d’Italia 2009 – highlights / daily updates                                                                14
 Paris-Roubaix 2009 – live                                                                                       4
 Le Tour de France 2008 – live stages / highlights / daily updates                                              85
 Tour Down Under 2009 – highlights stages 1-5 / live stage 6                                                     6
 La Vuelta 2008 – highlights / daily updates                                                                     4
 The World Game – local and international football news                                                         50
 FA Cup Final (English Football Association) 2008/09                                                             4
 Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Events
 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2008 – semi-final / final highlights                                                2
 FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 – matches / highlights                                                            45
 FIFA Club World Cup 2008 – matches                                                                              8
 FIFA Futsal World Cup 2008 – semi-final / final highlights                                                      1
 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2008 – final                                                                        3
 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2008 – semi-final highlights / final                                                3
 Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Events
 UEFA Champions League 2008/09– matches / highlights                                                           92
 UEFA Cup Finals 2008/09 – matches / highlights                                                                15
 UEFA Super Cup 2008                                                                                           2½
 Motor Sports
 Speedweek                                                                                                      75
 Olympic Games
 Beijing 2008 Olympic Games                                                                                    191
 Cadel on Tour 2008                                                                                              1
 Football Stars of Tomorrow                                                                                      7

* Scheduled first run.

                                                                                     SBS Annual Report 08-09     39
Covering football                                          Pan regional pay TV operators secured exclusive
SBS continues to support the football scene, as it         live rights to all other major qualifying matches
has done since SBS TV first went to air in 1980, with      internationally, and SBS was limited to acquiring only
comprehensive coverage of national and international       a few games, including European qualifiers, Cyprus
events and The World Game –– on SBS TV and                 v Italy and Scotland v Norway, shown on a delayed
SBS Online. We are renowned for our experience,            basis, and live coverage of Spain v Turkey, Italy v
credibility and expertise in providing a global view of    Republic of Ireland and Italy v Bulgaria.
the world game.                                            As part of our long term partnership with FIFA, SBS
Our flagship football program The World Game               produced live and extended highlights coverage
continued in its regular Sunday afternoon timeslot         of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup (Marseille),
and on-demand via The World Game website. David            the FIFA Futsal World Cup (Brazil), the FIFA Club
Basheer, SBS sport presenter and commentator               World Cup (Japan), FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup
hosts the show, with chief football analyst Craig          2008 and the FIFA U-17’s Women’s World Cup
Foster contributing. Les Murray, also known as Mr          (New Zealand). In a first for SBS, and due to public
Football, hosts the highlights of the week’s best          demand, our broadcast of the FIFA Club World Cup
football matches from around the world in Les              featured live coverage of Adelaide United’s match for
Murray’s Football Feature, and presents the Football       5th place against the Egyptian team Al-ahly on our
Focus segment, covering the week’s topical football        digital World News Channel (now SBS TWO).
issues. Scott McIntyre brings invaluable knowledge         In May we televised the climax of the UEFA
to the team on the Asian football scene. Mariana           Champions League season, the final between two
Rudan reports for the team across all platforms and        of the world’s greatest football clubs and historical
presents regular segments.                                 rivals, Barcelona and Manchester UTD, the UEFA
Coinciding with the start of the European football         Cup Final between Ukrainian club Shaktar Donetsk
season, the UEFA Champions League resumed in               and Germany’s Werder Bremen and the FA Cup Final
September with live coverage of double-headers on          between Chelsea and Everton – all matches were
the Wednesday and Thursday match days. The UEFA            shown live.
Champions League Hour returned, hosted by Les              The FA Cup Final achieved strong audience averages
Murray and Craig Foster, providing comprehensive           (233,000) up on 2008 due to the popularity of
highlights and news for every round. Initially scheduled   Australia’s Tim Cahill (who played for English Premier
in a new timeslot at 5.30pm, it was moved quickly          League Teams Everton and Chelsea) and former
back to its usual 10pm slot in response to audience        Socceroo coach, Guus Hiddink.
feedback, with vastly improved ratings results.
                                                           In June we provided comprehensive coverage of
While SBS is the official broadcaster of the 2010          the precursor to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the
FIFA World Cup which will be held in South Africa,         FIFA Confederations Cup from South Africa which
we were unable to secure any broadcast rights to           included the national teams of South Africa, Spain,
the Socceroos’ FIFA World Cup Qualifier matches (or        Italy, USA, and Brazil. SBS journalists Scott McIntyre
any other Asian Confederation matches), due to Fox         and Vitor Sobral filed reports from location and SBS
Sport’s exclusive contract with local governing body,      televised all matches of the tournament live, plus
Football Federation Australia (FFA). Instead SBS’s         daily highlights and on-demand match day video
coverage of qualifying matches focused on providing        highlights, interviews and features online at www.
extensive video news coverage of Australian games
on The World Game and The World Game website,
often covered by an SBS reporter on location to file       SBS Radio also provided coverage of the
interviews and exclusive feature reports.                  Confederations Cup. The broadcast was produced
                                                           wholly from SBS Radio’s Sydney production centre
In January 2009, SBS Sport negotiated an agreement         and sourced through collaboration with the SBS
with the FFA for the non-exclusive radio rights for the    Sports team in Sydney and South Africa. Content
remaining six Socceroo World Cup Qualifier games           included daily updates that were produced and
and the local A-League Grand Final series. In a great      translated for the relevant language groups, and
cross-platform initiative that galvanised the strengths    previews of the matches ahead. The coverage was
of SBS Radio, SBS Television and SBS Online, SBS           an example of a more collaborative approach to our
Radio and SBS Sport produced live coverage of              coverage of large overseas sporting events.
all matches for broadcast on SBS Radio and live
audio-streaming on SBS Online via The World Game           Other key football matches covered included the
and the SBS Radio website. Expert commentary was           Scottish Football Final between Rangers and Celtic
provided by The World Game host David Basheer,             (live), the FA Cup Semi-Finals (delayed), and live
Craig Foster and various guest players.                    coverage of the Semi-Final (second leg) of the Italian

40   SBS Annual Report 08-09
Cup final Coppa Italia between Lazio and Sampdoria,      Cycling – from the Tour Down Under to Le Tour
presented by Mariana Rudan in her first outing as        de France
studio host for a live football match.                   Our outstanding contribution to cycling in Australia
                                                         was recognised at the Australian Sports Commission
The World Game also featured live coverage of
                                                         2008 Media Awards where we won the award for
the Homeless World Cup Final held in Melbourne
                                                         Best Contribution to the Coverage of Sport by an
in December.
                                                         Organisation for our coverage of cycling.
In June, to show our support for the bid, SBS
                                                         Recognising that cycling is a global sport we
broadcast full coverage of the Australian FIFA World
                                                         expanded our commitment to cycling across multiple
Cup Bid 2018/2022 announcement from Parliament
                                                         platforms during the year and launched our dedicated
House, Canberra. Craig Foster was Master of
                                                         online cycling portal, Cycling Central, in December.
Ceremonies for the official event.
                                                         Cycling Central will feature coverage of all elite
Football Stars of Tomorrow, our grassroots football      global competitive cycling events, and is designed
magazine show, returned for its third season in 2008,    to leverage the on-demand video rights that have
including a national segment commissioned by SBS         been acquired for over 30 top level events. In January
Sport and hosted by Mariana Rudan called Kids FC.        we were able to keep cycling fans up to date with
                                                         the Tour Down Under through real time results, race
SBS Radio and SBS Sport instigated a regular             highlights, daily news, standings and classifications,
weekly segment devoted to the A-League, called The       expert blogs, team and rider information, image
Local Game, in September. The program is now well        gallery, stage profiles and maps plus video content
established in the Monday afternoon slot on World        from the website. Users can also subscribe to Cycling
View. Hosted by Attila Mosonyi from SBS Radio            Central email alerts. The Cycling Central website has
and Scott McIntyre from The World Game, the show         proved popular with our audience, recording 212,000
includes weekly guests and interviews and is the only    page impressions, 70,000 user sessions and 65,000
national live radio program about the A-League. It       video views over summer. Cycling Central can also be
also covers issues surrounding Australia’s national      followed on Twitter.
teams, and the new W-League and Youth League.
                                                         Continuing our media partnerships with Cycling
Throughout the year we also scheduled regular            Australia, SBS produced extended coverage (on
weekly football magazine programs on Sunday              SBS TV and SBS Online) of all the Australian national
afternoons, including FIFA Futbol Mundial, the UEFA      championship events – road, track and mountain
Champions League Magazine and the Asian Football         bikes – as well as the newly formed National Road
Show. An official series about the 2010 FIFA World       Teams race series held over five events.
Cup commenced in February and new episodes
will run monthly up until May 2010. A dedicated          Our television coverage of the Tour Down Under
highlights program was also aired covering the 2008      2009 which this year featured the return of Lance
Australian national Futsal Championship Finals           Armstrong to professional cycling reached 700,000
(men’s and women’s).                                     different people. Cycling continues to grow in
                                                         popularity amongst Australians with the 2009 Tour
The World Game website provides comprehensive            Down Under up 30 per cent on the 2008 event.
and non-stop coverage of all the football stories of
the day and more with news headlines, statistics,        Our coverage of Le Tour de France – for which we
video, blogs, polls, opinions, tipping and fantasy       have the rights until 2012 – in 2008 was popular
competitions, forums and portals for the A-League,       across SBS TV and SBS Online. In 2008 we expanded
English Premier League, the European leagues, the        our coverage, with a regular 10pm start time and
World Cup, and the global game. Users can also           the introduction of an upgraded website, which
subscribe to The World Game email alerts. The            contributed to an increase in audience traffic. Host
website was nominated for a 2009 AIMIA Award for         Michael Tomalaris was again joined on location by
Best Cultural, Lifestyle and Sport website. The World    the ‘voice of cycling’ Phil Liggett and expert Paul
Game can also be followed on Twitter.                    Sherwen, as well as John Flynn and David MacKenzie.
                                                         The SBS Sports team on location produced more
During the year, SBS Sport signed several new online     than 70 hours of programming for on-air and also on-
specific rights deal, including weekly highlights from   demand video content for an upgraded website which
the Italian Serie A, as well as on-demand highlights     was launched for the event, in addition to the official
clips for more than 500 international football           data and news feeds provided by the rights agency,
matches for The World Game website. The English          Amaury Sports Organisation.
Premier League was again covered comprehensively
online with the big inventory of regular video clips     The upgraded website featured: live reporting,
performing strongly.                                     on demand video highlights; 24/7 news; blogs;
                                                         standings; rider and team profiles; special tour

                                                                                    SBS Annual Report 08-09   41
interactives; stage profiles; and a food aspect through   News, and homeland broadcasters. The Mandarin
Taste Le Tour. The website was very successful with       language program provided extended coverage with
1.2 million videos being served during the event. User    direct reports from Beijing.
sessions on the website were up 67 per cent on 2007
and video views were up a massive 261 per cent. The       Motor sports
website was nominated for a 2009 AIMIA Award for
                                                          A highlight of our coverage of the world motor
Best Cultural, Lifestyle and Sport website.
                                                          sports scene was our coverage of the Dakar Rally,
We also provided live to air closed captions for the      which moved from Africa to South America in 2009.
2008 Tour de France, going beyond the normal              To coincide with our coverage we published the
requirements, in order to ensure that our hearing         dedicated and officially licensed Australian Dakar
impaired audience had access to this prestigious and      website, with regular race updates from one of the
popular event.                                            Australian entrants, race results and standings, stage
                                                          profile and maps including Google mapping, video
For fans of cycling we expanded our coverage of           highlights and the latest news. A total of 2.3m different
the Giro d’Italia 2009 from Italy and, La Vuelta 2008     people tuned in to watch the event on SBS Television,
from Spain across SBS Television and SBS Online,          with the top rating Dakar Highlights attracting an
broadcasting daily AM updates plus nightly highlights     average audience of 152,000. The website was a
for Giro 2009 and dedicated coverage online at the        success generating over 280,000 video streams and
Cycling Central website over the 23 days of each event.   attracting 226,000 page impressions and 72,000 users
                                                          for the duration of the event.
Major international events – Beijing 2008 Olympics
                                                          We also acquired programming to broaden our motor
We received a huge amount of positive public              sports coverage, telecasting regular highlight programs
feedback for our coverage of the Beijing 2008             of the FIA World Rally Championships 2008 from a host
Olympic Games as the Complementary Olympic                of countries ranging from Argentina to Wales as well
Broadcaster. For the second consecutive Olympic           as the SBK World Superbike Championships in 2008
Games we partnered with the Seven Network to              and 2009, also covering many countries and the weekly
cover the event. The line-up of sports included           Speedweek program, all of which are popular programs
our signature sports the cycling road races and           with motorsport enthusiasts.
football as well as volleyball, beach volley, handball,
basketball, badminton, water polo, table tennis,          In March we launched a dedicated Speedweek
Taekwondo, boxing, hockey and baseball.                   website under licence from the producers. Built
                                                          by SBS Online and published by the SBS Sport
In total 7.9 million people tuned into the coverage       Online team, the site is heavily video content based,
in the five capital cities, an increase from the 7.7      providing catch-up and on-demand clips from the
million who tuned in to our coverage of the Athens        television series.
2004 Olympic Games (based on 5 min consecutive
viewing). A total of 3.7 million people tuned into the
                                                          Other coverage
coverage in regional areas.
                                                          SBS Sport also acquires programming to
SBS offered audiences the prospect of being able          complement its locally-produced coverage, so that
to watch events in their entirety, and with our expert    we can cater for a greater range of sporting interests
presentation team of Les Murray, David Basheer,           and provide them with a means of accessing more
Craig Foster and Mike Tomalaris. Over 15 hours of         sporting events from around the world.
action was broadcast daily, with about 75 per cent
shown live. SBS Online provided more coverage             We also showcase international athletics focusing
with all the breaking news, latest results and current    on major international events run by the International
medal tally, video blogs, photo galleries and the full    Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). As
television broadcast schedule.                            part of our agreement with the IAAF, this year we
                                                          screened highlights from all the major athletics events,
Radio News covered the Beijing Olympics, producing        including the IAAF World Athletics Final, World Junior
550 stories, including 58 features and 20 interviews      Championships, World Cross Country Championships,
to meet the needs of SBS Radio’s World View               and the World Road Running Championships.
program and the SBS Radio language programs.
SBS Radio’s language programs featured daily
updates of the Games, providing audiences with over
600 stories, features and exclusive interviews which
were a unique SBS mix of material from SBS Radio’s
language program teams and sports team, Radio

42   SBS Annual Report 08-09
     1.2 Stimulate audience
     interest in SBS

•	 Understand	and	anticipate	audience	                               Average weekly reach by market
   interest across all SBS services                                  5 Capital Cities: Total People (000s)
                                                                     – Sun–Sat – 24 Hours
•	 Communicate	SBS’s	range	and	depth	
   of services to audiences                                                                  2005        2006        2007              2008

•	 Express	a	powerful,	clear,	dynamic	                                Sydney                 1660        1692        1595          1690
   brand position for SBS                                             Melbourne              1628        1627        1637          1633
                                                                      Brisbane                950         972         929           980
                                                                      Adelaide                566         536         536           545
                                                                      Perth                   641         611         611           598
Performance                                                           Total                  5443        5438        5307          5445

Growth in market share and reach

SBS ONE                                                              Regional Areas: Total People (000s)
                                                                     – Sun–Sat – 24 Hours
SBS ONE’s 6:00pm–midnight share of People 16+
was 6.2 per cent in 2008, the highest ever result                                            2005        2006        2007              2008
for SBS outside of those years in which significant
events were broadcast.                                                New South
                                                                      Wales                  1397        1350        1332          1302
                                                                      Victoria                532         497         464           460
                                                                      Queensland              583         622         643           650
5 Capital Cities: People 16+ –– 6:00pm–midnight                                               201         197         208           221
                                                                      Total                  2713        2666        2646          2632
  Year           Audience Share              Significant events
 2005                            6.4%                      Ashes     Source: OzTAM: 5 City Metro, RegTAM – Aggregated Markets, Total
                                                                     Individuals Incl Guests, 5 Min Consecutive Reach
 2006                            5.8%                  World Cup
 2007                            6.0%
 2008                            6.2%                                Average weekly reach by key demographics
                                                                     5 Capital Cities: Total Reach (000s)
Source: OzTAM: 5 station share
                                                                     – Sun–Sat – 24 Hours

Average weekly reach                                                                            2005        2006        2007           2008
In 2008 SBS ONE reached, on average each week,                        Total People             5443        5438        5307        5445
5.45 million people in the five capital cities and 2.63
million people in regional areas.                                     People 0-17               691          642        616         669
                                                                      People 0-39              2393         2373       2248        2309
                                                                      People 40+               3051        3,067       3062        3138
Total People (000s) – Sun–Sat – 24 Hours
                                                                      Men 18-39                 914         945         897         880
                                                                      Men 40-54                 699         691         670         722
  Year            5 Capital Cities                       Regional
                                                                      Men 55+                   875         885         884         893
 2005                            5443                         2713    Men 18+                  2487        2520        2450        2494
 2006                            5438                         2666
 2007                            5307                         2646    Women 18-39               789         786         736         761
 2008                            5445                         2632    Women 40-54               601         610         611         646
                                                                      Women 55+                 876         882         896         877
Source: OzTAM: 5 City Metro, RegTAM – Aggregated Markets, Total                                2266        2277        2242        2283
Individuals Incl Guests, 5 Min Consecutive Reach
                                                                      Women 18+
                                                                     Source: OzTAM: 5 City Metro, RegTAM – Aggregated Markets, 5 Min
                                                                     Consecutive Reach

                                                                                                        SBS Annual Report 08-09           43
Regional areas: Total Reach (000s) – Sun–Sat –                       Viewing by ethnicity
24 Hours                                                             Proportion of population reached in an average week
                                                                     – Sun–Sat – 24 Hours
                           2005         2006      2007        2008
 Total People              2713         2666      2646        2632    5 Capital Cities             2005       2006       2007       2008

 People 0-17                389          365       350         334    People born                  50%       53%         48%        50%
 People 0-39               1108         1059      1028         990    overseas in a non-
 People 40+                1607         1608      1620        1644    English speaking
 Men 18-39                  380          371       376         344
 Men 40-54                  352          345       335         350    People born in
 Men 55+                    474          480       492         484    Australia or in an
 Men 18+                   1206         1195      1181        1177    overseas English
                                                                                                   37%       38%         37%        37%
                                                                      speaking country
 Women 18-39                337          321       320         312
 Women 40-54                314          301       301         302    Total people                 38%       39%         38%        38%
 Women 55+                  467          482       493         508
 Women 18+                 1117         1105      1114        1122
                                                                       Regional Areas              2005       2006       2007       2008
Source: OzTAM: 5 City Metro, RegTAM – Aggregated Markets, 5 Min
Consecutive Reach                                                     People born                  56%       56%         58%        59%
                                                                      overseas in a non-
                                                                      English speaking
                                                                      People born in
                                                                      Australia or in an
                                                                      overseas English
                                                                                                   43%       41%         40%        39%
                                                                      speaking country
                                                                      Total people                 43%       41%         41%        40%
                                                                     Source: OzTAM – 5 City Metro, RegTAM – Aggregated Markets, Total
                                                                     Individuals Incl Guests

SBS Online
In keeping with last year, SBS Online’s audience grew significantly in 2008/09. On average 751,000 unique
browsers visited SBS Online each month, a 26 per cent increase from 2007/08. SBS Online delivered an
average of 1.8 million video views, over double the average from 2007/08.

Average monthly unique browsers, page impressions and video views

  Average Monthly                                    2005/06               2006/07                      2007/08                 2008/09
 Unique browsers                                      506,000               469,000                     598,000                 751,000
 Page impressions                                   6,567,000            6,139,000                    8,697,000             12,097,664
 Video views                                          126,000               194,000                     774,000               1,840,890

Total podcasts and video views

  Total Yearly                                      2005/06                2006/07                    2007/08                   2008/09
 Podcasts – audio/video                              287,000               856,000                    887,000                   980,000
 Video views                                       1,516,000            2,331,000                  9,288,000               22,088,671
Source: Nielsen NetRatings SiteCensus

44    SBS Annual Report 08-09
Extent to which audience research is used in           submission to Government, SBS conducted an
internal planning                                      analysis of ABS Census data in order to gain
                                                       knowledge of the shifting needs of multicultural
SBS regularly uses audience research to inform our     Australia.
content planning – from programming to marketing -
and to assess our success or otherwise in connecting   Corporate tracking research which measures
with our audience. In 2008/09 SBS Marketing further    community attitudes to SBS and its services is
developed our audience segmentation strategy,          conducted on an annual basis. In 2009 SBS’s corporate
establishing more detailed profiles of viewers,        tracking research conducted by Newspoll, investigated
listeners and online users.                            audiences’ level of engagement with SBS and other
                                                       services and the value and role of SBS.
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Census data      •	 In	total,	72	per	cent	of	the	population	find	value	in	
is used to monitor the relevance of our in-language       SBS. That rises to 87 per cent of the population
news services on WorldWatch and SBS Radio.                who identified themselves as being from a non-
                                                          English speaking background (NESB).
Nature and range of strategies to increase             •	 90	per	cent	of	Australians	agree	that	SBS	plays	an	
awareness of SBS                                          important role in today’s culturally diverse society.
We promote our services through:                          95 per cent of people from NESB SBS users find
•	 program	promotions	within	and	across	our	TV,	          value in SBS.
   Radio and Online platforms;                         •	 91	per	cent	of	the	population	agree	it	is	important	
•	 a	marketing	communications	strategy	based	on	          that SBS exists to provide an alternative to the
   audience segmentation research;                        commercial networks and NESB SBS users are
•	 events	for	program	launches;                           more likely than the general population to strongly
•	 an	annual	showcase	at	Parliament	House,	               agree with that proposition.
   Canberra; and                                       •	 87	per	cent	of	the	population	agree	it	is	important	
•	 a	strong	corporate	and	program	brand	expression.	      that SBS exists to provide an alternative to the ABC.

During the year we set up a dedicated team to          Communicating the range and depth of our
expand our marketing capabilities through direct and   services to audiences
social media channels.
                                                       Promotional campaigns
How we have achieved this objective                    With a limited marketing budget, SBS continually
                                                       hones its marketing campaigns as we discover more
Understanding and anticipating audience interest       about our audiences. In line with our approach to
SBS Marketing is responsible for planning and          content, we often use innovative and creative ways
conducting or commissioning research to enhance        to get attention. This year we conducted a new
our understanding of our audiences’ needs and          marketing campaign for our documentaries which
interests.                                             was predominantly a print and direct to consumer
                                                       campaign via our customer relationship management
This year, SBS Marketing undertook research to         system which started operating at the end of
explore audience responses to key SBS Television       2007/08. For the print campaign, each weekend one
programs including The Circuit, East West 101 and      or two documentaries were featured in The Good
Top Gear Australia.                                    Weekend (Sydney Morning Herald and The Age) and
SBS’s online measurement tools were upgraded           The Weekend Australian Magazine (national).
during the year, and research was conducted to         Significant promotional support was provided for the
better understand users of our most popular website,   SBS website, in conjunction with its strengthened
The World Game.                                        content and incorporation of the new SBS brand
SBS Marketing commenced a major research project       expression at the end of 2007/08. The promotions
on the content needs of Australia’s ageing language    focused on our key properties including our news and
communities and newly arrived communities. This        current affairs services, The World Game, the Tour de
research, coupled with data from the most recent       France and the new SBS Food portal.
ABS Census, will be used to inform decisions about     A comprehensive marketing communications plan
SBS Radio’s schedule and our WorldWatch television     was implemented for the 2008 Tour de France,
news service.                                          including a media partnership with Fairfax. In a
Consumer feedback research was introduced to           creative twist, the campaign featured a live billboard
support our major marketing campaigns.                 in Federation Square Melbourne for the duration
                                                       of the event, in which a cyclist pedalled a billboard
In order to inform SBS’s 2009-2012 triennial funding   declaring “even the advertising is an endurance

                                                                                   SBS Annual Report 08-09   45
event”. SBS won two Gold Promax/DBA World Gold           to contribute to the biggest daily audiences for our
Promotion and Marketing Awards for this promotion        online coverage of the election
in the Outdoor/Environmental/Transit Ad and Stunt
Promotion categories.                                    SBS’s summer content was promoted with on-air
                                                         campaigns for all our of our summer content as well
The promotional campaign for First Australians was       as tactical external campaigns for our key summer
the largest ever created by SBS. Prior to broadcast,     programs: Top Gear UK (Series 11); Food Safari
research was undertaken to understand community          (Series 3) and Long Way Down.
interest in Indigenous history and television
programming. First Australians was promoted through      The new season of Dateline was strongly promoted,
an external advertising campaign in multiple media,      with communication around the quality of the
a significant on-air and publicity push, an education    program over the last 25 years and the new time
campaign and a key launch event leading up to the        slot. This was followed by a news and current affairs
transmission date. A large number of promotional         campaign for both Dateline and Insight which was
channels were coordinated including:                     launched externally and on air in late February. For
                                                         Dateline, on-air promotion and print ads, as well as
•	 print	ads	in	weekend	newspaper	magazines;             online executions, were used on and off channel
•	 promotions	with	Qantas;                               during February, March and April to support and
•	 a	partnership	with	Fairfax	resulting	in	500,000	      reinforce SBS’s credentials in quality international
   DVDs of special content distributed with weekend      news and current affairs.
   editions of the Sydney Morning Herald and The
   Age on the weekend of the launch;                     Three large initiatives were promoted in June – the
•	 over	30	different	on-air	promotions	run	on	SBS;       2009 Tour de France; the Ashes; and the launch
•	 launch	events;	and                                    of SBS TWO. Marketing activity took place on and
•	 good	public	relations	and	reviews.                    off air. With the knowledge that the Tour de France
                                                         will only be partially available on SBS ONE (due to
SBS won a Silver Promax/DBA World Gold Promotion         simultaneous coverage of the Ashes), with all stages
and Marketing Award for its promotion in the             live on SBS TWO, the campaign was challenging.
Interactive: Content Promotion – Non-Fiction Reality     SBS pre-promoted the Tour, working with partners
Program category and a Bronze in the Integrated          Freeview and JB Hi Fi to encourage fans to purchase
Media: Content Promotion – Stunt Promotion Overall       a digital receiver to ensure that they would not miss
category.                                                out on the digital only coverage on SBS TWO.

Research was undertaken to test recognition of           An extensive on-air campaign for the Ashes, featuring
the on-air and off-air marketing campaign for First      players past and present, began running in June. The
Australians and the results were positive, with 55 per   campaign shows the history, tradition and passion of
cent of regular SBS viewers and 40 per cent of total     the Ashes battle in a scoreboard creative. This has
people indicating they had seen an element of the        been integrated with our off-station advertising which
campaign in the markets measured.                        will feature mobile scoreboards in both Sydney and
                                                         Melbourne, in addition to press and online advertising
Top Gear Australia was promoted with an external         through Fairfax.
advertising campaign and a series of on-air
promotions. Significant publicity was generated          The SBS TWO promotional campaign began on SBS
through a launch event involving media partners who      ONE in May. SBS TWO will also be heavily promoted
were able to meet the cast and experience ‘hot laps’.    on the SBS website.
Campaign awareness research was undertaken to
test recognition of the on-air and off-air campaign      Campaigns were also conducted for: World Youth
and inform future campaigns and showed strong            Day; Bejing 2008 Olympics – on-air and external
awareness of the marketing campaign among the            radio advertising; Bogan Pride – online targeted
target audience. SBS won a Silver Promax/DBA             campaign; Homeless World Cup; SBS Film (online).
World Gold Promotion and Marketing Award for this
promotion in the Stunt Promotion categories.             Direct engagement with our audiences
                                                         SBS intensified its focus on audience engagement
Swift and Shift Couriers was promoted through an
                                                         this year, with the creation of an engagement
innovative online and viral campaign.
                                                         marketing team to develop and maintain relationships
By utilising our consumer database, as well as paid      between SBS and the communities of interest we are
search engine marketing, we drove traffic to the         building around our content.
SBS news website on the days of the presidential
                                                         The engagement team will expand our marketing
debates and the vice-presidential debate, particularly
                                                         capabilities using direct and social media channels,
for the online streaming of the debates, and helped
                                                         providing a synergy between our direct marketing

46   SBS Annual Report 08-09
activities (using our customer relationship              The new idents aim to push the brand along,
management system) and new social media tools            demonstrating the emotional reward from exploring
such as Facebook and Twitter.                            the world with SBS. They are graphic in nature, rather
                                                         than live action, and aim to be a visual representation
SBS considers these channels as critical avenues for     of the emotions experienced when audiences interact
establishing better connections with sophisticated       with SBS content.
and diverse audiences, who are looking for online
tools to engage with content. The engagement
team is responsible for developing communities of
audiences in relevant social media channels which
will enable us to capture demographic and other
relevant information to further increase our direct
marketing activity.

Since SBS launched its customer relationship
management strategy in 2008 we have grown our
database of interested audiences by 275 per cent
and delivered more than two million targeted emails
around major content areas including news and
current affairs, documentaries, food, entertainment
and sport.

Email newsletters are sent out through our customer
relationhip management system to those who have
subscribed from the SBS website. The newsletters
provide subscribers with all the latest news, previews
and in-depth information about their area of interest
including: Cycling Central; SBS Documentaries; SBS
Entertainment; SBS Films; SBS Food; SBS News and
Current Affairs; SBS Sport; Dateline; Insight; Living
Black; RocKwiz.

Expressing a powerful, clear, dynamic brand
The new SBS Brand expression – Six Billion Stories
and counting … – was launched successfully at the
end of 2007/08. New designs, sounds and idents
were rolled out for SBS TV, SBS Radio and SBS
Online, and SBS’s new corporate style guide was
made available in July providing guidelines for use of
the logos, colours, fonts and how to bring the new
brand expression to life.

Audience research showed that after eight weeks
on-air, the new tag line achieved recall well ahead of
ABC1 and Foxtel, nearing Channel 7 and surpassing
our previous expression ‘your world is an amazing
place’. When shown the current logos of all the free-
to-air networks, the SBS logo maintained the highest
overall score for likeability. This demonstrates that
our brand strategy was well executed.

Phase 2 of the new brand strategy started rolling
out in 2009 with a new set of 30 idents for SBS TV
and new idents for SBS Radio. The new idents were
broadcast on SBS TV from 1 June to coincide with
the launch of SBS TWO. This involved redesigning all
the network graphics and planning communications
for the launch of SBS TWO.

                                                                                    SBS Annual Report 08-09   47
  1.3 Make SBS available
  to all Australians

•	 Devise	strategies	for	multi-platform	                   SBS Radio broadcasts two services in each of
   deliver of SBS services                                 Sydney, Melbourne, Wollongong and Canberra and
                                                           one service to other areas.
•	 Maximise	the	use	of	content	rights	
   when creating, commissioning or                         Digital
   purchasing programming
                                                           Digital radio services were officially switched-on
                                                           progressively throughout June and July 2009 in
                                                           Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.
                                                           From 6 August 2009 SBS will be offering programs
Extend our digital networks and analogue radio             on nine digital radio channels – providing a simulcast
services                                                   and time shift of all of SBS Radio’s current analogue
                                                           services. As a result, listeners in Adelaide, Perth
SBS Television services                                    and Brisbane will be able to hear all of SBS Radio’s
SBS Television transmits throughout Australia using        programs for the first time – doubling the number of
analogue and digital services (Appendices 12-13).          programs they can listen to every week.
SBS Television is also retransmitted on the cable
                                                           Two SBS Radio services are also available on SBS’s
subscription services of OptusVision and Foxtel,
                                                           digital television service and can also be accessed
and the satellite subscription services of Austar
                                                           through the Foxtel digital satellite subscription service.
and Foxtel.

                                                           SBS transmitters
                                                           Seven new digital television transmitters were
•	 251	terrestrial	transmitters	provided	by:	Broadcast	
                                                           established in 2008/09. The roll out of SBS’s analogue
   Australia (238), Imparja (11) and Watsons Technical
                                                           television services was completed in 2006/07.
   Services (2).
•	 366	self-help	transmitters.                             SBS transmitters 2006-2008
•	 Four	Optus	Aurora	satellite	services	accessed	by	
   over 80,000 direct-to-home receivers.                                  SBS TV      SBS TV –       SBS       Total
                                                                          – Digital   Analogue      Radio
Digital                                                     June 2006           161          250         14      412
•	 237	digital	terrestrial	transmitters,	provided	by	       June 2007           201          251         15      454
   Broadcast Australia, which cover all capital cities      June 2008           230          251         15      496
   and major regional centres.                              June 2009           237          251         15      503
•	 Four	digital	multiplexes	via	the	Optus	D1	satellite,	
   reaching all of Australia.                              Self-help transmitters
                                                           Communities that do not yet receive SBS or do not
SBS Radio services                                         receive clear broadcasts can establish their own
                                                           retransmission facilities for the broadcast of SBS and
Analogue                                                   other television and radio services in their area. Such
SBS Radio transmits to all capital cities and some         services are owned and operated by local communities,
major regional centres using analogue transmission         mostly in regional and remote areas Australia.
services (Appendix 14).
•	 15	terrestrial	radio	transmitters	provided	by	          SBS operates a Self Help Retransmission Subsidy
   Broadcast Australia.                                    Scheme to provide financial assistance to eligible
•	 84	self-help	transmitters.                              communities to set up such facilities. SBS promotes
                                                           the scheme to state and local governments and
                                                           through promotions on SBS Television.

48   SBS Annual Report 08-09
Five new analogue self-help transmitters were rolled       Proportion of time that each transmitter is on air
out this year increasing the total number of self-help     during the year
television transmitters to 366.
                                                                          SBS TV –       SBS TV –         SBS
Sixteen new radio self-help transmitters were                             Analogue        Digital        Radio
established, increasing their number to 84.
                                                            June 2006        99.77%         99.66%        99.88%
Under the Self Help Retransmission Subsidy Scheme,          June 2007        99.75%         99.76%        99.82%
77 television, 134 radio services and two digital           June 2008        99.75%         99.83%        99.91%
self-help television services have been approved for        June 2009        99.64%         99.63%        99.85%
funding assistance to date.
                                                           Fault management system
Reach                                                      The real time fault management system operated by
The signal for SBS’s television services reaches the       SBS and Broadcast Australia continues to be used
vast majority of Australia.                                to monitor faults with SBS’s signals. The system
                                                           ensures that transmission problems are quickly
Estimated potential population reach                       resolved. Any necessary breaks to transmission for
                                                           repairs or upgrades are planned at a time of least
                       SBS TV –              SBS TV –      impact for the viewers.
                       Analogue                Digital
                                                           SBS is now able to monitor all its metropolitan
 June 2006                96.9%                 94.6%
                                                           services (both analogue and digital) off-air at its
 June 2007                96.9%                 95.0%
                                                           Sydney office. SBS is also able to monitor all the
 June 2008                96.9%                 96.4%
                                                           regional signals from the satellite.
 June 2009                96.9%                 96.8%
The estimated potential population reach of SBS            Transmission feedback
Radio’s services is approximately 63 per cent.
                                                           SBS logs all viewer calls regarding transmission
                                                           issues, and typically receives over 200 calls each
Transmission and broadcast quality standards met           month. The majority of calls usually relate to issues
                                                           with viewer equipment including antennas, cabling
Availability                                               and set top boxes, as opposed to problems with
Television transmission and reception information          SBS’s analogue television, digital television or radio
including, in many cases, maps of the coverage             transmission services.
areas is made available on the SBS website. The
website also provides information on the status and        Content promoted across platforms
scheduled timeframe for the rollout of SBS digital
services as well as details of all SBS transmission        Our report on our promotional campaigns, set out
services including service status, channel and             above, shows we are on track with this measure.
                                                           Content made available over multiple platforms
The availability of SBS’s television and radio services
                                                           Our report on providing a service that is truly unique
declined slightly during 2008/09. SBS and Broadcast
                                                           and relevant, set out above, shows we are on track
Australia (SBS’s major transmission provider)
                                                           with this measure.
achieved a total availability across all transmission
networks of over 99.64 per cent.

The main reasons for the decline in overall availability   How we have achieved this objective
                                                           Devise strategies for multi-platform delivery of
•	 severe	damage	from	the	Victorian	bushfires	over	        SBS services
   the weekend of 7-8 February to: the Latrobe Valley
                                                           Video-on-demand player
   (Mt Tassie) site – services were gradually restored
   with some back on air within 48 hours and the           SBS Online designed and integrated a video-
   remainder within two weeks; and the Marysville          on-demand player to make available full length
   site – services were off for over 87 days;              programming online. With an increasing amount of
•	 an	increase	in	downtime	due	to	the	Australia-wide	      online rights for full-length programming becoming
   digital upgrade to SBS’s presentation and playout       available, the player is a flagship online destination to
   system.                                                 house and broadcast this programming. The player
                                                           houses series, documentaries, news and sport. Over
                                                           500 hours of programming was available in the first
                                                           six months of its launch. Catch-up rights enabled

                                                                                       SBS Annual Report 08-09      49
series such as Bogan Pride, Carla Cametti PD, First
Australians, Food Safari, Newstopia and Rockwiz, and
to be made available online.

TV tool
SBS Online developed a TV tool enabling quick
deployment of basic TV program websites with
minimal development work. These sites are used to
promote programs for which we have minimal online
content rights beyond promotional and publicity
rights. The template provides online editorial staff
with a tool kit of components that they can combine
to build a website including video, articles, blogs,
user comments, cast and crew information and photo

During the year site were rolled out for Bogan Pride,
Dave in the Life of …, Flight of the Conchords,
Food Investigators, Mad Men, Monster Auditions,
Mythbusters, The Squiz, Swift and Shift Couriers,
Shameless, and Top Gear Australia, Top Gear UK.

SBS Sport
The new SBS Sport website was developed to be
scalable for big events and to aggregate the best of
the sport content from across the network, as well as
better leverage online rights for our big events. For
example, the Cycling Central website will features
coverage of all elite global competitive cycling
events, and is designed to leverage the on-demand
video rights that have been acquired for many events.

SBS Radio
SBS Radio has created a new role for an editorial
projects coordinator to work with SBS Radio’s
program teams, content management team and
inter-divisional content teams to improve content
sharing opportunities across SBS with strategies to
be developed at the formulation of each project.

Maximise the use of content rights when creating
commissioning or purchasing programming.

SBS ensures that when acquiring or commissioning
content we consider opportunities and synergies
for all SBS platforms. This includes SBS Content
(Television and Online), SBS Radio and SBS News
and Current Affairs. In preparation for the launch of
SBS TWO in June 2009, SBS assessed its rights
relating to common programming for SBS ONE and
SBS TWO and updated contracts where necessary.
In future, all contracts will consider cross-platform
opportunities to maximise SBS’s investment.

50   SBS Annual Report 08-09

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