SBS History
A brief history of SBS:
JuneExperimental ethnic radio stations 2EA (Sydney) and 3EA (Melbourne) commence.
MarchConsultative Committee on Ethnic Broadcasting established by the Government to consider future of ethnic broadcasting.
SeptemberABC requested to establish permanent ethnic broadcasting service.
JanuaryNational Ethnic Broadcasting Advisory Council (NEBAC) established.
JuneGovernment offer to ABC to establish ethnic broadcasting service withdrawn.
NovemberState Ethnic Broadcasting Advisory Councils (SEBACs) established in NSW Victoria.
Governor General proclaims amendments to Broadcasting and Television Act 1942 setting up the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS).
JanuarySBS established and assumes responsibility for 2EA and 3EA.
SBS Board members appointed for three years. Dr Grisha A. Sklovsky is Chairman.
February2EA broadcasts 126 hours weekly in 36 languages and 3EA broadcasts 103 hours weekly in 32 languages.
MayRon E Fowell appointed as SBS Executive Director.
JuneSBS asks SEBACs to reschedule 2EA and 3EA.
JulyGovernment decides public broadcasting and 'restricted commercial' stations could be assisted by SBS funding of ethnic programs.
SeptemberJoint statement by Minister for Post and Telecommunications and Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs on establishment of an ethnic television service
OctoberSBS releases discussion paper on structural reorganisation of 2EA and 3EA broadcasting groups.
December2EA broadcasts in 41 languages while 3EA broadcasts in 38 languages.
FebruarySBS releases policy for restructuring of 2EA and 3EA.
MarchEthnic Television Review Panel (ETRP) appointed to undertake public consultation program and prepare report on permanent ethnic television service.
Start of SEBAC (Vic) new 3EA schedule.
AprilFirst SBS produced experimental ethnic television programs are broadcast on ABC Television.
Final programs broadcast on 22 July 1979.
May3EA broadcasts in 41 languages.
JulyETRP submits first report: The Aims and Philosophy of a Permanent Ethnic Television Service.
Start of SEBAC (NSW) new 2EA schedule.
August2EA Newcastle translator begins on 29 August and 2EA Wollongong translator begins the next day.
September2EA broadcasts in 47 languages
NovemberFirst phase of policy for restructuring broadcast groups of 2EA and 3EA put into operation.
DecemberETRP submits second report: The Structure of the Interim Multicultural/Multilingual Television Service.
2EA commences broadcasting through 4EB (Brisbane).
JanuaryGovernment announces intention to establish independent and Multicultural Broadcasting Corporation (IMBC) to provide multicultural television (MTV) and multilingual radio services. IMBC Implementation Committee appointed to bridge the period between the disbanding of SBS and establishment of IMBC. Implementation Task Force set up with a brief to establish a multicultural television service.
New 3EA (5KW) AM transmitter begins.
FebruaryETRP submits third report: Programming for the Multicultural/Multilingual Television Service - Objectives and Policies.
Weekly telecasts of second experimental cycle of ethnic television programs begin on ABC Television and continue until 4 May.
MayLegislation to establish IMBC introduced into Parliament. Senate refers IMBC legislation to Standing Committee on Education and the Arts for inquiry and report by first sitting day in August 1980.
JuneMinister appoints more diverse IMBC Implementation Committee of 13 members.
July2EA transmitter power upgraded to 5kW.
AugustSenate Standing Committee on Education and the Arts recommends: IMBC legislation not proceed at this stage; Dix Committee to be asked to examine a report on a second television channel; and until the Dix Committee reports, MTV and ethnic radio to be provided on interim basis by SBS.
OctoberMulticultural Television begins in Sydney and Melbourne on VHF channel 0 and UHF channel 28.
JuneFraser Government announces it will not proceed with the IMBC, abolishes IMBC Implementation Committee, dissolves NEBAC and SEBAC, and establishes SBS Advisory Council chaired by Francis Galbally QC.
JulyNew SBS Board appointed, chaired by Sir Nicholas Shehadie.
AugustAn Inter station Program Exchange and Transcription Service (IPETS) established at Radio 2EA to assist ethnic public broadcasters.
JulyGovernment announces extension of MTV on UHF to 10 city and country centres: 1982-83 (Canberra, Goulburn, Cooma); 1983-84 (Newcastle, Wollongong, Adelaide, Brisbane); and 1984-85 (Hobart, Perth, Darwin). Minister announces increase to $650,000 in subsidies to public broadcasters for ethnic programming.
DecemberMinisters for Communications and for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs release discussion paper on extension and development of ethnic radio and announce establishment of Working Party to consider the matter.
FebruarySBS Advisory Council appointed by the Government.
AprilGovernment institutes Inquiry into purchasing policies of SBS, to be chaired by J H Oswin.
MayWorking Party to examine the options for long term development of ethnic radio disbanded and Government undertakes to examine submissions and take these into account in implementing future policy in this area.
AugustMinister reaffirms Government decision to extend MTV.
Minister announces transmissions on VHF channel 0 in Sydney and Melbourne to cease 1 January 1985.
OctoberSBS Television in Canberra begins.
NovemberExtension of SBS Television to Goulburn and Cooma December Minister announces Committee of Review to examine role of SBS and recommend blueprint for future development of ethnic broadcasting. Oswin Inquiry report tabled.
AprilSBS completes submission to Committee of Review.
AugustSBS Board establishes Advisory Committee on Racism.
DecemberReport of Committee of Review Serving Multicultural Australia, The Role of Broadcasting, presented to Government.
JanuaryDisbandment of SBS Advisory Council February Start of daytime television transmissions.
Network 0/28 TV logo changed to SBS Television.
MaySBS response to Committee of Review report submitted to Government.
Ron Fowell's term as Executive Director ends.
JuneMinister announces extension of transmission on VHF channel 0 in Sydney and Melbourne until 5 January 1986.
Extension of SBS Television to Newcastle, Wollongong, Adelaide, Brisbane and the Gold Coast
JulyGovernment transfers SBS administration of subsidies to public broadcasters for ethnic language programs to Public Broadcasting Foundation.
August2EA broadcasts in 55 languages and 3EA broadcasts in 50 languages.
SeptemberAppointment of new Executive Director, Ron L Brown
OctoberGovernment abolishes existing Planning Committees and establishes National Broadcasting Development Council.
The Movie Show commences on SBS Television.
NovemberReport by the SBS Board's Advisory Committee on Racism submitted to SBS Board.
JanuaryCessation of VHF Channel 0 transmissions in Sydney and Melbourne. SBS Television becomes the sole UHF only television broadcaster in Australia.
MarchExtension of SBS Television service via AUSSAT to Perth and Hobart.
Government decisions on Committee of Review report announced.
SBS to be replaced by Special Broadcasting Corporation on 1 July 1987.
JuneFirst Corporate Plan presented to Michael Duffy, Minister for Communications.
AugustGovernment announces intention to amalgamate SBS with ABC on 1 January 1987.
DecemberAmalgamation legislation defeated in the Senate. Senate Select Committee established to report on the issue.
FebruaryMinister advises SBS Board of Government's intention to amalgamate SBS with ABC by 1 July 1987.
AprilPrime Minister Hawke announces proposed ABC and SBS amalgamation will not occur.
JuneRon Brown's term as Executive Director ends.
NovemberStart of term of new Executive Director, Brian Johns.
DecemberGovernment decides to remove encryption requirement for SBS broadcast signals via AUSSAT, allowing people in south eastern zone satellite beam footprint to receive both 2EA and SBS Television through use of small dish satellite receiving systems.
FebruaryGovernment releases Department of Transport and Communications' discussion papers Review of National Broadcasting Policy - Australian Broadcasting Corporation. While concerned mainly with ABC, it proposes SBS has its own Act of Parliament, formalising the central aim of providing high quality multicultural and multilingual programming. It also proposes guaranteed three year base funding at the 1987-88 level, increased annually in line with inflation.
AprilMary Kostakidis begins as presenter of week day editions of World News.
JulyGovernment releases discussion paper Review of National Broadcasting Policy - Special Broadcasting Service. Proposed model involves: a separate SBS Act containing Charter responsibilities; an organisational structure appropriate to a modern broadcaster; and, a mixed funding regime comprising annual Budget appropriation, and other options at the discretion of the Board to obtain revenue from other sources, including television downtime usage, channel sharing, sponsorship, and sale of advertising time.
AugustSBS launches the SBS Youth Orchestra, with founding conductor Matthew Krel and Patrons Sir Charles Mackerras and Lady Marie Shehadie.
JuneMinister gives approval for SBS to receive moneys for program sponsorship in relation to the SBS test pattern and for Rome 1990 World Cup (to be SBS's first soccer World Cup coverage).
JulyPrime Minister announces Government's National Agenda for a Multicultural Australia including plans for the Government to introduce legislation to establish SBS as an independent corporation with its own Charter.
SBS Television service to be extended to a further nine major centres throughout Australia: 1991(Latrobe Valley); 1992 (Bendigo, Ballarat, Darling Downs); 1993 (Spencer Gulf, Darwin, north east Tasmania); and, 1994 (Cairns, Townsville).
MarchGovernment releases details of new radio news and current affairs service to be produced by SBS Radio and supplied in at least 15 different community languages to interested public radio stations throughout Australia. Also announces establishment of trainee program for people from non English speaking backgrounds.
JuneGovernment agrees to allow advertising on SBS Television and Radio under a new Charter. Five minutes of advertising or sponsorship per hour to be allowed, only between programs or in natural program breaks Guidelines covering the form, content and placement of advertisements to be set by the SBS Board after public consultations.
DecemberSBS becomes a Corporation with the proclamation of the Special Broadcasting Service Act 1991.
NovemberBrian Johns resigns from SBS to become Chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Authority.
Phased transfer of staff and facilities from Milson's Point to SBS’s new Sydney Radio and Television headquarters at Artarmon begins.
MarchSBS Board announces the appointment of the 14 members of the SBS Community Advisory Committee (CAC). Mr Steve A Karas OAM is the Chairman.
Malcolm Long appointed SBS Managing Director.
SBS's Codes of Practice published.
NovemberPrime Minister Paul Keating officially opens the new Artarmon building.
DecemberSBS Television now available in Cairns and Townsville.
JanuarySBS Radio national network launched, providing an SBS Radio service to Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Darwin.
Sydney and Melbourne Radio Stations 2EA and 3EA, renamed Radio Sydney and Radio Melbourne respectively.
JulySecond radio frequencies for Sydney and Melbourne begin.
OctoberAs part of its Creative Nation cultural policy statement, and in recognition of the importance of developing programming to reflect Australia's multicultural society, the Federal Government provides funds of $13m over four years to SBS to commission high quality Australian programs for SBS Television.
JuneSBS Radio celebrates its 20th anniversary.
Common language (English) programs launched on SBS Radio.
JulyLaunch of Insight, a weekly SBS Television current affairs program with a multicultural focus.
SBS Handbook of Editorial and Programming Procedures published.
SeptemberIndigenous Unit, Kuri Gnia, established in Television Production.
FebruarySBS Radio's Canberra service begins broadcasting.
First edition of 13 part series, ICAM (Indigenous Cultural Affairs Magazine) broadcast in February 1996.
AprilSBS Radio's Hobart service begins and completes the SBS Radio national network, linking all State and Territory capital cities.
MaySBSI financed film, The Quiet Room, selected for competition at the 49th Cannes International Film Festival, and No Way to Forget, one of six short dramas in the SBSI financed film, From Sand to Celluloid, selected for Cannes Un Certain Regard category.
JuneNew SBS Enterprise Agreement certified, establishing tailored terms and conditions of employment for SBS staff.
JulyBoard releases new SBS Corporate Plan 1996-99.
AugustExtension of SBS Television to NSW north coast and Albury Wodonga.
Self-operation for Broadcaster/Journalists introduced into SBS Radio.
SeptemberNetworking of Radio programs between Radio Sydney and Melbourne introduced.
DecemberSBS publishes revised Codes of Practice.
FebruaryQuadrant Research commissioned to undertake audience surveys of designated language communities to determine use of and attitudes to SBS Radio and Television.
MarchClosed captioning of World News introduced.
JuneBoard determines that SBS Radio will be able to accept commercial advertising.
JulyTraining in Radio for Young People (TRY!) commences as a pilot project.
AugustMalcolm Long resigns as Managing Director.
SeptemberProposal for the relocation of SBS's Melbourne facilities to the new Federation Square development.
Release of Technology Strategy Plan, including the conversion of broadcasting activities from analogue to digital.
FebruaryNigel Milan appointed Managing Director for five year term.
MayGovernment allocates $17.7m to SBS over five years for digital conversion.
Government renews funding for the SBS Independent production fund with $19m allocated over four years.
JuneSBS releases the SBS Service Commitment (Service Charter).
JulySBS TV's coverage of the 1998 World Cup the biggest and most successful ever.
AugustSouth Park becomes the most popular series ever shown on SBS TV.
NovemberLaunch of SBS Radio's two outside broadcast units.
AprilSale of National Transmission network to ntl Australia.
MayInstallation of time delay system to South Australia and conversion to digital of SBS’s two analogue satellite services.
JulyEstablishment of SBS Transmission Services division to manage transmission and self-help services
SeptemberTurkish Language Radiothon raises $1.2 million for earthquake victims
OctoberTelecast of two-part SBS-produced series, The Snowy, on 50th anniversary of the Snowy Mountains Scheme
NovemberFirst SBS webcast of the AFI Awards.
DecemberSir Nicholas Shehadie completes his term as Chairman (1981-99) and Ms Carla Zampatti appointed Chairman for five-year term
FebruaryEstablishment of New Media division.
SBS Television's share of total TV free-to-air viewing exceeds 4% in 1999.
May10 hour Corroboree 2000 live broadcast.
Going Home, SBS Television's biggest-ever local production, begins
JuneSBS Television wins Banff Global Outstanding Achievement Award
SBS Radio's 25th anniversary celebrations
SBS web site carries audio-on-demand for four SBS Radio language programs
NovemberAFI Awards broadcast live and streamed live on the SBS website
DecemberSBS TV's analogue service extended to 77 new locations
JanuarySBS's digital television service begins in the five mainland cities
JuneFirst online educational site, Gold, launched
JulySBS Radio begins broadcasts in Wagga Wagga
AugustDigital SBS TV service in Canberra begins
SeptemberIncreased four-year funding to SBS Independent.
OctoberSBS Radio Online launched by Prime Minister Howard.
DecemberSBS TV recorded a 5.2% average weekly audience share for 2001.
MarchAdelaide Festival premiere of four features co-produced with SBSI.
AprilSBS digital TV service begins in Newcastle.
SBS transmitter relocated from Gore Hill to Artarmon.
MaySBS Radio begins broadcasts in Bathurst.
JuneLaunch of The World News Channel on digital service.
SBS Melbourne's official move to Federation Square.
Record ratings for FIFA World Cup broadcasts (average 8.9% share).
AugustHead of Television, Peter Cavanagh, leaves after five years.
NovemberLiving Diversity: Australia's Multicultural Future published.
DecemberSBS TV recorded a 5.5% average weekly audience share for 2002.
JanuaryNew Head of Television, Shaun Brown, appointed.
MarchThe New Media Unit's "Whatever" music double CD released.
All 68 SBS Radio language available "on demand" on the SBS website
AprilSBS Radio schedule revised with new languages added (Malay, Somali, Nepalese, Amhric) and four dropped (Belarusian, Scottish-Gaelic, Irish-Gaelic, Welsh). Increased hours for Cantonese, Mandarin, Arabic, Tagalog, Hindi and reduced hours for Maltese, Portuguese, Yiddish, Turkish and Hebrew.
June27 digital transmitters on air
SeptemberLaunch of Inside Australia half-hour prime time documentary stream.
OctoberTagalog, Arabic and Vietnamese news programs added to WorldWatch schedule. Suspension of Vietnamese broadcasts (17 October) following community protests.
FebruarySBS Independent commissioned animation, Harvey Krumpet, wins Academy Award.
Test transmissions of SBS signal on the Foxtel digital platform.
MarchLaunch of Storyline Australia one-hour prime time documentary stream.
Insight relaunched as public forum format.
AprilSBS secures rights to 2006 FIFA World Cup.
The Movie Show hosts, Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton, move to ABC TV.
AugustSBS broadcast of Athens Olympics in partnership with Seven Network September SBS Radio's Hindi language program won the network's first Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union award.
NovemberPlans for rollout of 87 new digital transmitters up to 2007.
Board approval of revised Codes of Practice and Editorial Guidelines, particularly complaints handling procedures.