Content Commissioning

Source: SBS

SBS commissions programs that explore the SBS Charter and reflect the changing nature of Australian society, both on and off screen. We are seeking bold ideas and distinctive stories that are innovative, prioritise authenticity of voice, push boundaries, challenge perceptions and inspire change. We want all Australians, including those who are traditionally under-represented in the media, to see themselves, their family, friends and communities in the stories we tell.

Do you have a program proposal, or a story idea to pitch to us?

SBS has genre-specific commissioning needs, outlined here. Find out more about what we’re looking for in Unscripted, Scripted, NITV and Online, including documentaries, factual, food, entertainment, drama and online content and how to submit your idea.

If you have not worked in television before, please ensure you have an experienced television producer attached to your project.

Click here to meet the SBS Commissioning team.

Read more about the SBS Commissioning Equity & Inclusion Guidelines (2021-2024), which apply to SBS Unscripted and Scripted commissioned programming.  

Click here to visit the SBS Producers’ document hub, which contains information about the commissioning and production process, and how we work with independent production companies.  

SBS UNSCRIPTED

SBS Unscripted commissions documentaries, food and entertainment. Learn more about what we're looking for.

FACTUAL

Documentaries 

Everything we commission in SBS Documentaries must reflect the SBS Charterand explore multicultural Australia and diversity in all its forms. Our Charter makes us distinctive and gives us a clear vision, which is enhanced by four key values: To provoke debate, push boundaries, surprise audiences, and inspire change. This ensures bold and distinctive documentaries that would only play on SBS.  We commission hour-long documentaries, either as singles or series.

History

We are actively looking for big bold series that explore Australia's Indigenous and multicultural history. We'd encourage alternative forms of exploring this history be that through archive, drama recreations, a presenter, oral history or living history. We encourage fresh and innovative ways to bring the past to life. Scale, ambition and contemporary relevance are vital as we explore how our diverse and multicultural past is central to the makeup of Australia today. 

Contemporary Documentaries

We are looking for creatively ambitious ideas that are big in scale that get us into contemporary issues of social cohesion in a memorable way. This can be anything from high concept constructed ideas, to observational documentaries.

First Nations Documentaries

We are looking for documentaries which focus on First Nations Australians. We are looking for documentaries that tackle big subjects and make a difference. One quality which is important is to find a way of surprising audiences in terms of the story, and we would encourage innovative approaches to storytelling.

Australia Uncovered

Australia Uncovered is a strand of eight stand-alone documentaries broadcast in 2021, which explore contemporary Australia. The strand tackles some of the biggest issues in Australia today, in the most revealing, surprising and compelling ways. We are looking for new single documentaries for this strand in 2023.

Find out more here.

Proposals for factual projects

To contact SBS regarding factual commissions, email: factual@sbs.com.au.

If you have a proposal for a factual project, please visit the SBS Producers’ document hub here to access the SBS Commissioned Content Project Submission Form.

FOOD

At SBS we aim to inspire Australian and international audiences to explore and celebrate our diverse world through the universal language of food. With an entire channel dedicated to food, SBS Food is our home for food commissions and acquisitions

Our world-class commissions occupy a unique position in the Australian food media landscape and offer a genuine alternative to food programming available elsewhere, while using food as a conduit to cultural insight and understanding on Australia’s only free-to-air Food channel.

Our content includes popular series  – such as The Cook Up, A Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing, Adam and Poh’s Malaysia in Australia, The Chefs’ Line, Silvia Colloca’s Cook Like an Italian, Destination Flavour, Food Safari, Gourmet Farmer and Asia Unplated with Diana Chan.

We pride ourselves on attracting the best chefs and food presenters to host our food programs, including Adam Liaw, Poh Ling Yeow, Silvia Colloca, Diana Chan, Luke Nguyen, Shane Delia, Matthew Evans, Maeve O’Meara and Jimmy Shu.

While each has their own personal style, they all share an insatiable curiosity and passion for the world of food and a flair for immersing audiences in a particular culture and cuisine.

Proposals for food projects

To contact SBS regarding food television commissions, email: food@sbs.com.au.

If you have a proposal for an unscripted project, please visit the SBS Producers’ document hub here to access the SBS Commissioned Content Project Submission Form.

ENTERTAINMENT

At SBS, we are committed to informing, educating and entertaining all Australians in a way that reflects Australia’s multi-cultural and diverse society. For nearly 40 years, SBS has been the home of the Eurovision Song Contest and Australia now has the opportunity to vote for our entrant through Eurovision – Australia Decides.

We continually look for new and exciting entertainment and factual entertainment series, and recent successes include Mastermind and Celebrity Letters and Numbers.

Entertainment and Factual Entertainment programming needs to be engaging, educational and of course, entertaining with a strong focus on representation and a distinctive SBS flavour.

We are looking for new cost-effective formats or series that play with form and content. They need to be bold and cut through the noise. These formats could be studio or field based. They could be fixed rig, hidden camera or presenter led. We are committed to identifying and nurturing new diverse on-air talent.

Proposals for entertainment projects

To contact SBS regarding Entertainment commissions, email: entertainment@sbs.com.au.

If you have a proposal for an entertainment project, please visit the SBS Producersdocument hub here to access the SBS Commissioned Content Project Submission Form. 

SBS SCRIPTED

SBS Scripted commissions drama, comedy/drama and short form series. Learn more about what we're looking for.

Drama & Comedy

SBS commissions daring and distinct fiction that is both captivating and provocative.

We're looking for ideas that reflect the SBS Charter and explore the diversity of contemporary Australia in a way rarely seen on Australian television.

We are looking for Australian stories, and cross-platform event drama and comedy/drama, which promote social cohesion, sustain prime time television and instantly generate conversation.

We encourage producers to think boldly, provoke with purpose, push boundaries, surprise audiences and inspire change. 

SBS commissioned dramas and comedies include New Gold Mountain, Hungry Ghosts, The Hunting, On the Ropes, Dead Lucky, Safe Harbour, Sunshine, Deep Water and The Family Law.

Short form series 

SBS is a leader in identifying and developing emerging talent for television across all genres. We commission short form scripted series through our Digital Originals initiative which provides opportunities for screen creatives from backgrounds under-represented in the sector. Click here for more information.

In our short form series, we are looking for fresh, fearless and purposeful narratives that speak to the SBS Charter and depict a diverse, contemporary Australia.  Ideas need to sustain 6 x 10 minute episodes.

SBS commissioned short form series include Iggy and Ace, The Tailings, Homecoming Queens and Robbie Hood.

Proposals for scripted projects

To contact SBS regarding scripted commissions, email: scripted@sbs.com.au.

NITV

NITV commissions content with the purpose to tell premium and authentic First Nations stories from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for all Australians.

We seek to reach the widest possible audience and change how NITV is seen and heard across the nation and around the world.

Our ambition is to support high impact First Nations stories that kick start national conversations. NITV facilitates First Nations voices by providing strong editorial leadership for filmmakers. Our commissions team draws on best practice approaches to First Nations screen storytelling and is recognised for creative excellence and innovation.

NITV attracts the best Indigenous screen storytellers and premium Australian and International partners in building a prestigious pipeline of content and talent that garner acclaim, awards and commercial success.

We aim to commission world-class Indigenous stories that are Blak, broad & entertaining with a focus on factual, unscripted, and children’s series.

We are looking for contemporary, creatively ambitious ideas based on subjects that will:

  • Engage, inform and entertain a broad audience.
  • Open audiences to Indigenous voices across Australia.
  • Reflect our diverse First Nations communities.
  • Stories that are told from a First Nations perspective

Eligibility:

Two of the three key creative roles (writer, director or producer) must be filled by Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people

Proposals for new projects:

Read about NITV’s commissioning process here.


If you have a new proposal for a project with NITV commissions, please access our online form here
To contact NITV regarding commissions, email: NITVcommissions@sbs.com.au

SBS Online

SBS Online includes the SBS Voices and SBS Food websites. Learn more about what we're looking for.

SBS Voices

SBS Voices is an online platform which provides a voice for, and champions, emerging writers from diverse backgrounds in Australia, particularly women. It has a mission of raising the voices of marginalised Australians with a focus on first person, memoir-style content and video, and has published more than 100 new writers, sharing their unique stories and perspectives with all Australians.

SBS Voices has developed an Asian-Australian Emerging Writers project edited by Candice Chung, a Muslim women writers’ series edited by Sarah Malik, a Filipino writers’ project, and an Indigenous writers’ project, amongst other curated collections.

Would you like to write for SBS Voices? For personal essays and features about life, love and culture through a diverse lens, send pitches to voices@sbs.com.au

SBS Food Online

SBS Food Online includes recipes and food stories from across the country.

For online Food projects contact:

Farah Celjo, SBS Food Managing Editor
Farah.celjo@sbs.com.au

To pitch or write for SBS Food please take a look at our pitching guide

SBS Podcasts

SBS is continually building our slate of podcasts that feature diverse Australian voices and align with the SBS Charter. We welcome pitches for original podcast series in any genre, language and format.

To contact SBS regarding podcast commissions, email: audio@sbs.com.au.


If you have a proposal for a podcast project, please click here to access the submission form.