NITV will begin producing its news and current affairs from the SBS studios this week, with plans on track for the launch of a new digital free-to-air Indigenous television channel in late 2012.
NITV has today co-located with SBS at its Artarmon headquarters, bringing Australia one step closer to having a free-to-air dedicated Indigenous channel that every household will be able to watch.
While SBS and NITV develop the new channel, NITV will produce news, current affairs and other programming from SBS and broadcast across its existing platforms on Foxtel and satellite.
It follows the Federal Government’s decision in this year’s Budget to transfer funding from NITV to SBS to develop a new, national digital free-to-air channel dedicated to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content.
SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid said: “The creation of this channel will mark a new stage for Indigenous broadcasting in Australia and SBS is honoured and delighted to be delivering the service.
“SBS acknowledges and respects the importance of maintaining Indigenous editorial responsibility in the delivery of the new channel. We also acknowledge the pioneering role that NITV has played in forging the way for a national Indigenous broadcasting service.”
NITV Channel Manager Tanya Denning said: “NITV as part of SBS will vastly increase the opportunity for the telling of stories by Indigenous communities and make those stories available to the widest possible national audience.
“The securing of a national free-to-air transmission for Indigenous television and all of the SBS resources will allow access to important cultural, educational, news and sports programming that many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and millions of other Australians are currently missing out on.”
SBS will maintain the existing NITV service distributed by Foxtel and satellite between now and the launch of the new free-to-air channel late in 2012, which will be broadcast on a national digital spectrum as part of the SBS suite of channels.