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SBS Radio Services Review
Welcome to the SBS Radio Services Review website.
Why does SBS review its radio services?
SBS Radio has reviewed its language services to ensure the services reflect Australia’s rapidly changing and increasingly diverse society. In 2012, we reviewed SBS Radio’s services for the first time in nearly 18 years. At the time, we made a commitment to review our services again after the 2016 Census.
Based on the findings of 2016 Census, more than 1.3 million people have migrated to Australia during the past five years and nearly 4.87 million people speak a language other than English at home. SBS’s language services have been realigned to reflect today’s Australia.
The SBS Radio Services Review outcome took into consideration changes in audience listening habits, the migration to digital platforms, demographics and financial parameters.
- November-December 2016: Public consultation to seek feedback about draft Selection Criteria to be used, in conjunction with 2016 Census data, to determine the languages to be serviced by SBS Radio
- March 2017: Publish Selection Criteria
- June 2017: Census 2016 data released
- September 2017: Announced changes to SBS Radio Services, including revised languages to be serviced and how each language service will be delivered – e.g. via AM/FM, digital radio, digital television, online and/or podcast
- November 2017: Implemented revised SBS Radio Services
Finalising the language Selection Criteria
During a four-week consultation process (14 November – 11 December 2016) which gave people and organisations the opportunity to provide feedback on the Selection Criteria that was being proposed, SBS Radio received more than 600 submissions; representing 85 languages. The submissions received were taken into consideration in finalising the Selection Criteria below (published 2 March 2017):
Final language Selection Criteria for SBS Radio Services Review 2017
- Large Languages Criteria: population of approximately 25,000* or greater
High Needs Languages Criteria: (a minimum of 15 languages subject to SBS funding)
- Threshold requirement – population must be greater than 1,000*
- English language proficiency (weight = 45%)
- Recentness of arrival (weight = 30%)
- Ageing (weight = 15%)
- Household resources (weight = 10%)
SBS may also include a sizeable ethnic community if its needs are significant but not adequately captured in the Large Language or High Needs Selection Criteria. Factors which SBS may take into account include:
- Discrimination/Vilification: where a group is subject to frequent discrimination or vilification in Australia based on race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin.
- Immediate need: a significant increase in the population of a language group
* Population size based on 2016 Census data – Language Spoken at Home other than English (LANP)
The final Selection Criteria and Census 2016 data determine which languages are serviced by SBS. Subject to funding, SBS determines when and how the language services will be delivered – e.g. via AM/FM, digital radio, digital television, online and/or podcast.
Finalising languages and allocation of broadcast hours and resources
The Census 2016 data was applied to the final Selection Criteria, determining which languages would be serviced by SBS Radio from 20 November 2017.
SBS determined when and how the language services would be delivered – e.g. via AM/FM, digital radio, digital television, online and/or podcast.
The revised services will soon include seven new languages, including six 'high needs' languages and one 'large' language, supporting new communities who need news and information in their language as they navigate life in Australia. The new languages are:
- Hakha Chin
- Kirundi (Rundi)
All content in the new languages will be available digitally via on demand audio podcasts accessible via the SBS website and SBS Radio app to meet the needs of those audiences.
Additionally, there will be more content available online and via the SBS Radio app for the growing language communities who speak Punjabi, Tamil, French, Urdu, Indonesian, Sinhalese, Nepali, Persian, Japanese, Thai, Bengali, Malayalam, Gujarati, Dari, Russian, Portuguese, Assyrian and Samoan.
There will also be a new weekend format, with more music and entertainment content for many of the largest communities including Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Korean, Italian, Greek, Filipino, Hindi and Spanish.
Based on the final Selection Criteria for the SBS Radio Services Review and as Australia’s multicultural communities evolve, 12 languages have been discontinued as they do not meet the Selection Criteria. These languages are Kannada, Tongan, Norwegian, Cook Island Maori, Fijian, Swedish and the African program (in English) and the following languages that have been in recess for the last 12 to 18 months including Lithuanian, Malay, Latvian, Danish and Maori.
SBS World News Radio (English programming) has been realigned to better meet audience needs for more news and information, more often. SBS News will offer on demand audio news updates across the day and regular podcasts providing information and exploring key issues facing Australia today. The analogue radio program has been discontinued.
Given their size relative to other communities, the Turkish and Croatian languages have each reduced one program (from five to four hours per week); while German has reduced two programs (from seven to five hours per week). Taking into account the demographic profile of each community, Hungarian, Bosnian and Albanian have also reduced to one program per week.
Broadcast time changes have been kept to a minimum. The language programs with broadcast time changes include Dari, Dinka, Khmer, Maltese, Nepali, Pashto and Tigrinya.
Following the changes, SBS Radio now offers services in 68 languages (as shown below) effective Monday 20 November 2017.
*New services - launch dates to be advised
Find the detailed results for your language/program here:
To tune in to SBS Radio anytime, anywhere:
- Download the free SBS Radio App available now at the iTunes App Store and Google Play
- Analogue radio programs – AM / FM
- Digital radio (DAB+) and digital television
- Online live streaming and On Demand
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