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2012

NITV terrestrial free-to-air launch date announced

News Release
1 November 2012

Stories from the first Australians available to all Australians from 12-12-12


In a historic day for Australia, a dedicated Indigenous television service will be available for all Australians free-to-air for the first time, when National Indigenous Television (NITV) begins broadcasting on SBS4 digital spectrum from 12 December 2012.

SBS Managing Director, Michael Ebeid, said: “The 12th of December marks an important milestone in Australian broadcasting, and in our nation’s history. SBS is incredibly proud to be playing a role in delivering content about Indigenous Australians, produced by Indigenous Australians, to every Australian household. With NITV part of the SBS family, we will reflect Australia’s diversity in a way no other broadcaster has before.”

NITV Channel Manager, Tanya Denning, said: “NITV has been creating and delivering innovative content representing the many voices of the country’s first Australians. We remain dedicated to having our unique languages and culture reflected within the media landscape, and we’re excited to invite Australians of all backgrounds to tune in, and join us in celebrating our rich and unique culture.”

To celebrate the free-to-air launch, NITV will broadcast a day of special programming  tarting with a two hour outdoor broadcast, live from the iconic Uluru in the Northern Territory. From the Heart of Our Nation will be a special television event marking the official ‘switch on’ of NITV free-to-air at 12pm (AEDT). Hosted by Indigenous broadcasters Stan Grant and Rhoda Roberts, the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara traditional owners of the area will welcome audiences from around the nation.

From the Heart of Our Nation will be followed by a one hour Living Black special (from 2pm AEDT) from SBS studios in Sydney. Hosted by Karla Grant, SBS’s award-winning Indigenous current affairs program will examine the development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander media in Australia throughout history.

The broadcast will return to Uluru for a special edition of NITV News with Natalie Ahmat before the party really gets underway and some of Australia’s best Indigenous talent - including Jessica Mauboy, Christine Anu, Casey Donovan and Troy Cassar Daley - take to the stage to perform as the sun sets for a two hour concert hosted by the much loved Ernie Dingo (from 8pm AEDT).

The launch of NITV free-to-air follows the Federal Government’s 2012 budget announcement 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. The new NITV channel will maintain editorial responsibility over delivery of the channel, and will continue to utilise the talents of Indigenous writers, directors and journalists to produce content covering a variety of genres, from music to health, sport, news, current affairs, culture and children’s programs.

NITV will begin broadcasting free-to-air from 12pm (AEDT) on 12 December 2012, on SBS4.

ENDS

For more information, please contact:

Sarah Vahtola | P: 02 9430 3319 | M: 0431 282 259 | E: sarah.vahtola@sbs.com.au

NOTES TO EDITORS:

About NITV

In 2007, with barely two hours a week of dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander programming being broadcast across the nation, the time was right for an innovative Indigenous-run organisation to properly represent the many voices of Indigenous Australia. On 13 July 2007, with a staff of just 25, NITV started beaming out across the nation and by the end of that year was being broadcast on Foxtel, Austar and Optus. Today, NITV is the only channel in Australia that is 100 per cent dedicated to reflecting the culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It aims to inform, entertain and educate its audiences with unique programs showcasing the rich diversity of Indigenous culture, languages and creative talent from across the nation.NITV content is primarily commissioned or acquired from the Indigenous production sector, and Indigenous Australians make up two thirds of its staff. www.nitv.org.au

About SBS
SBS is Australia’s multilingual and multicultural national broadcasting service. Our principal function, as set out in the SBS Charter, is to provide multilingual and multicultural radio and television services that inform, educate and entertain all Australians, and, in doing so, reflect and promote Australia’s multicultural society. SBS broadcasts to a national television and radio audience and delivers content online on its website  www.sbs.com.au

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