SBS to broadcast live COVID-19 updates on SBS, SBS VICELAND and SBS On Demand in multiple languages

Source: SBS

SBS is providing more ways for multicultural communities to stay up to date with the latest COVID-19 information in languages other than English, with the introduction of live broadcasts of the NSW Government COVID-19 updates on television and SBS On Demand, from today.

The 11am daily update will now be broadcast in NSW with live interpreting in Arabic on SBS and in Vietnamese on SBS VICELAND, and also streamed nationally on SBS On Demand with real-time interpreting in Assyrian, Cantonese, Khmer and Mandarin, as well as Arabic and Vietnamese.  

This service is already being delivered by SBS on social media for these key language groups, following the launch of a national-first program in partnership with the NSW Government last month. Since SBS began these live translations, they have been viewed more than 500,000 times across platforms, comprising more than 1.6 million viewing minutes.

These newly announced television broadcasts complement SBS’s ongoing and comprehensive coverage of the impacts of COVID-19 locally and around the world across the network, alongside a growing range of multilingual resources providing essential information to Australia’s culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

SBS Managing Director, James Taylor, said SBS was continuing to focus on ways it can respond to and meet the diverse needs of multicultural communities during the pandemic.

“It’s critical that vital health messages and information that can keep communities safe is reaching all Australians. SBS is continuing to provide timely and trusted COVID-19 news and resources in English and in more than 60 languages across our multiplatform services, to assist people in understanding important updates in their preferred language, counter misinformation, and support communities through the pandemic.

“As events unfold and impact communities in different ways, SBS is continuing to adapt and extend the work that we do. Providing live broadcasts in-language across more platforms through this latest service is just another way that we can ensure communities have access to the information they need, when they need it most,” Taylor said.    

The multilingual broadcasts on SBS, SBS VICELAND and SBS On Demand will show the live video stream of the daily NSW Government press conference, provided with in-language interpretation as the primary audio.

Daily NSW updates are already being interpreted in real-time into Arabic, Assyrian, Cantonese, Khmer, Mandarin and Vietnamese, accessible via the SBS Arabic24, SBS AssyrianSBS Cantonese, SBS Khmer, SBS Mandarin and SBS Vietnamese Facebook pages, as well as other social media platforms and on SBS Radio for Arabic.

SBS has also recently introduced interpreting of Victorian Government COVID-19 updates via social media in Arabic, Somali and Urdu. The Victorian daily updates will also be available to view on SBS On Demand, coming soon as part of a dedicated COVID-19 multilingual information section.

David Hua, Director of Audio and Language Content at SBS, said: “We know that in order to effectively support communities at this time of need, we need to continue to explore and implement different ways to keep everyone informed with accurate and accessible information which reflects the perspectives of communities, and also shares their stories.

“SBS is committed to informing Australia’s multilingual communities about the latest coronavirus developments. Our unique ability to reach and connect with these audiences is built on SBS’s unrivalled connections with the communities we serve, and that we are intrinsically a part of. This makes SBS an essential tool in Australia’s continued fight against COVID-19.”

The SBS Multilingual Coronavirus Portal, launched in March 2020, continues to curate SBS’s digital COVID-19 content in one, easily shareable destination. Visit for information and updates in more than 60 languages.


For a PDF version of this media release, click here.