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.