Do you have a program proposal, or a story idea to pitch to us? Find out what SBS is looking for across each genre, how to submit your idea, and what not to pitch. From documentaries and factual, to food, entertainment, drama and short-form content – learn how SBS’s commissioned content reflects our Charter and commissioning values. If you have not worked in television before, please ensure you have an experienced television producer attached.
Everything we commission in SBS Documentaries must reflect our Charter and 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 only commission hour-long documentaries, either as singles or series.
We are actively looking for big bold series and singles 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.
We are focusing on medical stories and health issues that have cutting edge science and strong relevance to all Australians, and we must ensure diversity on screen, be that expert talent or any other contributors. Co-productions are always of interest to SBS, and typically science is a genre when co-productions are most common. For these, through necessity, we may expand our remit beyond issues of social cohesion in Australia if it is cost effective. This makes it all the more important for our science documentaries to embody our commissioning values, and ensure that they are truly distinctive.
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.
We are looking for documentaries that tackle big subjects and can 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 will broadcast on SBS in 2021 and will feature up to eight single documentaries, ranging from one hour to feature-length, which explore contemporary Australia.
To contact SBS regarding Documentary commissions, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 sole 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 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.
To contact SBS regarding Food commissions, email: email@example.com.
At SBS, we are tasked with 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. The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is an important annual event celebrated on SBS in March, and Mastermind Australia kicks off our primetime programming nightly at 6pm.
We continually look for new and exciting entertainment and factual entertainment series, and recent successes include Child Genius Australia, Medicine or Myth and Celebrity Mastermind.
Entertainment and Factual Entertainment programming needs to be smart, original and of course, entertaining with a strong focus on diversity 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, social experiments or presenter led.
We are committed to identifying and nurturing new diverse on-air talent.
To contact SBS regarding Entertainment commissions, email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
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 multiculturalism and diversity that are rarely seen on Australian television.
We are looking for Australian stories, and cross-platform event drama and comedy, 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.
Recent successful SBS commissioned dramas and comedies include:
- The Hunting | 2019
- On the Ropes | 2018
- Dead Lucky | 2018
- Safe Harbour | 2017
- Sunshine | 2017
- Deep Water | 2016
- The Family Law | 2016 - 2019
Short form series
SBS is a leader in identifying and developing emerging talent for television across all genres. As with our long-form drama, 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 6-10 episodes x 10 minutes.
Recent examples include:
Proposals for scripted fiction
Send all new scripted project proposals through our online form.
To contact SBS regarding scripted commissions, email: email@example.com.
For immersive digital story ideas with a strong technology angle, such as AR/XR experiences, web-based projects or installations, please contact:
John-Paul Marin, Digital Creative Labs
For online Food projects contact:
NITV commissions content that aims to inspire, instil pride and encourage a greater understanding of Indigenous peoples and culture. Read more about making programs for NITV here.