New Indigenous TV channel for SBS

By David Knox on May 9, 2012 / Filed Under News 7

Following the $158m funding boost in the Federal Budget, SBS will launch a new national free-to-air Indigenous Television service later this year.

SBS is now working with National Indigenous Television (NITV) to create the channel. NITV’s Director of Content Tanya Denning, will become the head of the new channel from July 1.

SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid said: “SBS is honoured and delighted to be delivering this new service which will vastly increase the opportunity for the telling of stories from and by Indigenous communities, and make those stories accessible for the first time to audiences across the country.

“The creation of this channel marks a new stage for Indigenous broadcasting in Australia and SBS is excited to be working with NITV to develop the service.

“SBS acknowledges and respects the importance of maintaining Indigenous editorial responsibility in the delivery of the new channel. We also acknowledge the pioneering role that NITV has played in forging the way for a national Indigenous broadcasting service.”

NITV Chair Ken Reys said: “The NITV board is proud of the work done by NITV’s staff over the last five years in establishing and securing an Indigenous broadcasting service. Having a dedicated channel for Indigenous television on a public broadcasting platform will be an exciting further step for Australia as it will be the first time that all Australians from remote communities to the metropolitan areas will have access to Indigenous programs free-to-air. It brings Australia to the forefront in worldwide steps to promote Indigenous broadcasting.

“NITV’s board and senior management is pleased SBS will ensure that editorial responsibility rests with Indigenous peoples and that NITV staff get the opportunity to share their skills, knowledge and expertise with SBS’s new Indigenous channel.”

Between July and the launch of the channel SBS will maintain the existing NITV service, currently distributed by Foxtel and satellite.

From July, the NITV news and other programming will be produced in-house at SBS’s Artarmon headquarters.

It isn’t yet clear if it will retain the same name.

When the new channel is launched, it will be broadcast as part of the SBS suite of channels.

7 Comments »

  1. Alberto May 9, 2012 at 10:14 pm -

    I lovely to see a new Indigenous channel.
    But to be frank its not a channel I’ll be rushing to the TV to watch.

  2. jphawes May 9, 2012 at 2:39 pm -

    More to the point all SBS channels should show 24 content not weather over night , they could always repeat some of the evening programs , that way 6am til 6 pm could be news them 6pm till 6am could be entertainment, i am glad we will have a Indigenous channel , i always enjoyed NITV,when it was on free -to -air , it had good movies too! but i would still like to see a 24hour movie channel they could just show them in 6 or 12 hour blocks !!

  3. Secret Squirrel May 9, 2012 at 12:56 pm -

    I don’t care as long as it doesn’t take bandwidth away from the semi-HD channel.

  4. Earthquake May 9, 2012 at 11:31 am -

    This is excellent news. As as indigenous Australian, I was saddened by the loss of NITV from Channel 44 in Sydney and the lack of availability of the channel.

    In the past, producing programming for the channel has been difficult due to lack of funding, hopefully SBS can address this and allow more indigenous producers to showcase indigenous talent on the channel.

    On a recent visit to New Zealand I marvelled at how good Maori TV was as far as information and entertainment, I hope that can be replicated here.

  5. Dodge May 9, 2012 at 10:31 am -

    Agree. This can now reach a much wider audience. Great news.

  6. J Bar May 9, 2012 at 8:50 am -

    Great plan. I think they need to change the name of channel. SBS3?

  7. Jason D. May 9, 2012 at 8:04 am -

    It’s good that Indigenous Australians will be able to share their own stories on a national platform. I think most people don’t have access to Foxtel, or are able to set up FTA satellite services easily. It would be nice to see cross-cultural and inter-cultural content on this service too.

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