A $158.1 million Federal Budget investment will ensure the sustainability of SBS as a major contributor in the Australian media and enable it to deliver a new national free-to-air Indigenous television channel.
The 2012 Federal Budget funding boost is a 27 per cent increase on SBS’s base Government funding over the next four years , and will equip the organisation to continue to play its vital role in reflecting Australia’s diverse multiculturalism, and contributing to a more cohesive society.
SBS Chair Joseph Skrzynski said: “SBS welcomes the significant boost to its core funding by the Federal Government. It is recognition that the work of SBS is a vital component of national strategies to ensure the continued success of Australia as a migrant society, maintaining social cohesion in these more difficult economic times.
“It equips us with the means to address some of the challenges we’ve faced in a changing media landscape and will ensure our ongoing relevance in an ever more multicultural Australia.”
SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid said: “In this Budget we’ve secured the funding SBS needs to be sustainable and to position for the future. The funding increase will offset the slower growth in commercial revenues experienced by SBS, in line with trends across the media industry.
“It’s the most significant funding boost SBS has ever received, and will support our work in developing news and content that breaks down language barriers and inspires and connects communities.
“Importantly, it will allow for the creation of a national free-to-air service to broadcast dedicated news and other programs about and produced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
“SBS is honoured and excited to be delivering this new service which will vastly increase the opportunity for the telling of stories from and by Indigenous communities, and make those stories more accessible to audiences across the country.”
From July 1 this year, NITV will be maintained on existing platforms and a new national Indigenous free-to-air service will be launched in late 2012. When the new channel is launched, it will be broadcast on a national free-to-air digital spectrum.