Content Acquisitions

Source: MGM

Do you want to submit a completed program for SBS to consider? Here you will find all the information you need to know about SBS’s acquisition assessment process.

The SBS programming team is responsible for acquiring completed programs for SBS, SBS VICELAND, NITV, SBS Food, SBS World Movies and SBS On Demand. You can find channel-specific guidance in the article below.

SBS acquires programs from around the world that contribute to our goals to deepen Australians’ engagement with content that reflects our Charter and grows audiences.

We focus on our five core content pillars – being fearless, innovative, world class, inspiring and entertaining. We want to ensure we are bringing the most thought-provoking and impactful content to our audiences, and work with a number of producers and distributors to make this happen.

Acquired programs must complement the local content produced for Commissioned Content and fit within the established channel briefs and schedule strategies.


Acquisition Assessment Process

Programs are evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • The SBS Charter
  • Subject matter, including whether SBS has already acquired programs with a similar subject
  • Schedule and timeslot requirements
  • Quality of the production
  • Relevance to SBS viewers

SBS only accepts submissions via email to

Please note that due to the high volume of content we receive, we are not able to respond to every email. If we are interested in getting a copy of your program for assessment we will contact you to request materials. Please make sure you supply us with up-to-date contact details. Please note we do not accept unsolicited material, and only requested submissions will be considered by our Acquisitions team. We are unable to return any material supplied to us, so please keep copies.


Channel Briefs


At SBS we are inspired by the bigger picture. On our main channel, we deliver a richer, more holistic understanding of our world by presenting surprising perspectives in entertaining ways.

Program Criteria:

  • Ability to cut through and immediately captivate in a crowded, competitive media environment
  • Substance over volume or format
  • We need unique stories, not slot-fillers
  • Engaging and intelligent talent – talent is vital, but is secondary to subject
  • Programs that provoke passion, advocacy and fans, and drive conversation
  • Genres
  • Documentary (60’/90’), history (ancient, royal, biography, travelogue), health, travel (series), crime (series), feature (pop culture/ anniversary/politics/history/science/ crime)
  • Drama (60’/90’) - Action-packed, historic, crime and thriller
  • Movies - High profile, broad appeal intelligent entertainment.



Curious and connected, through SBS VICELAND we want to share our passion for entertainment that is distinctive, diverse, and daring. We push boundaries, provoke debate, promote action and engage audiences both on-air and online. 

Program Criteria:

  • Irreverent and informal
  • Provocative, challenging and surprising
  • Inclusive and authentic
  • Relevant to, and reflective of, our target audience
  • Digitally and socially connected, and thoroughly cross-platform


  • Entertainment (30’/60’) – presenter-led factual entertainment (science/technology, relationships, travel/adventure, magic/illusion), physical game shows, competitive reality and pop culture/variety series (English and non-English language)
  • Comedy (30’) – narrative comedy/sitcoms (live action and animated)
  • Drama (60’) – genre or high concept drama, younger-skewed mystery/ thrillers, provocative relationship dramas (English and non-English language)
  • Documentary (30’/60’ & feature) – youth-focused access and ob docos, presenter-led investigation, travel/adventure, sexuality, distinctive theatrical features
  • Movies (feature) – younger-skewed genre (sci-fi, fantasy, martial arts, horror, action), significant cult classics, high profile retro and irreverent fun (English and non-English language) 



NITV celebrates Indigenous storytelling, challenges perceptions and facilitates quality debate through distinctive content that promotes cultural understanding and reconciliation and celebrates diversity.

We consider all international content, with a strong interest in programs around social justice, the experience of minorities, civil rights movements and arts/culture offerings.

Program Criteria:

  • Indigenous storytelling and unique perspectives
  • Strengthen the sustainability of Indigenous cultural heritage
  • Accelerate the development of the Indigenous media industry
  • Secure and strengthen Indigenous voices
  • Ensure that broadcasting landscape supports Aboriginal languages and cultures


  • Music, People, Art and Contemporary Factual
  • Drama Series
  • Entertainment Series
  • Factual Series
  • Lifestyle/Cooking/Travel
  • Films
  • Family Feature Films
  • Children’s Programs
  • Programs from an Indigenous Perspective focusing on: Environmental Issues, History, Race, Bios, Adventure, People, Art and Conte


SBS Food

Australia’s first free-to-air food channel offers accessible recipe ideas and food entertainment, primarily aimed at Women 25-54.

Program Criteria:

  • Accessible, inspiring and entertaining food content
  • Knowledgeable and accessible hosts, with talent access for publicity
  • English-language content with an emphasis on non-US productions
  • Family co-viewing & female-skewed content
  • Additional short-form materials

Programming Strategy:

  • Food series across all genres including lifestyle, cooking, reality and travel
  • Fun, family viewing, entertaining content
  • Monthly and weekly curated programming stunts
  • High-volume lifestyle and cooking series


SBS World Movies

SBS World Movies showcases a diverse selection of award-winning favourites and acclaimed new release titles from across the globe.

Program Criteria:

  • International cinema with movies from over 45 countries in more than 70 languages
  • Genres range from classics of cinema, drama, cult, action to sensual
  • The editorial stance is liberating, provocative; sometimes explicit; sometimes shocking
  • We curate seasons - monthly and quarterly - to build brand profile and assist in acquisition and retention


  • Risqué, sensual content such as Emmanuelle, Nymphomaniac Vol I & II
  • Exploitation films (recent season “Aussie Exploitation”)
  • Classics (Pasolini, Fellini, Truffaut…)
  • Action and thrillers (The Fat & The Angry, Black Souls, The Assassin)
  • Award-winning films (Dheepan, The Great Beauty, Theeb, Leviathan)
  • Non-exclusive SVOD rights across all genres


SBS On Demand 

SBS On Demand is the digital stage for the best of SBS. Here, we deliver exclusive content that connects Australian audiences with entertaining, compelling, relevant stories that celebrate our diverse world, aiming to inspire social cohesion.

Our audience is passionate about new content with a world view. They love drama, entertainment and foreign language content. They use SBS On Demand for exclusive distinctive content they can’t find anywhere else, as well as catch-up. They know what is happening in TV across the world, and are hungry for buzzy, fast-tracked series. They love to browse for niche content, binge on series, and trust the SBS On Demand brand to bring them programs relevant to their distinct tastes. 

Program Criteria:

  • The most anticipated foreign language content from around the world
  • Distinctive, accessible documentary content with a world view
  • Acclaimed art-house & foreign language movies