NITV became part of SBS’s group of channels late last year after existing for years through pay TV. Continue reading »
From Monday (April 1, 2013), SBS TWO introduces a new programming strategy aimed at younger viewers rather than simply being a channel that replays SBS ONE material months later than first aired on the main channel or foreign movies. Continue reading »
Press Release. In a historic day for Australia, a dedicated Indigenous television service will be available for all Australians free-to-air for the first time, when NITV begins broadcasting on SBS4 digital spectrum from 12 December 2012. Continue reading »
Last night (Thursday October 11), Wikileaks founder Julian Assange appeared on NITV news in a short interview discussing his recent granting of an Aboriginal passport thanks to his support for indigenous people of Australia and the world. Continue reading »
Could SBS THREE be what many have suggested should happen – the free to air version of the National Indigenous Channel NITV? NITV is currently only carried by Pay TV, meaning many of its potential audience miss out.
Such a move would benefit NITV, reaching many more viewers than currently possible – especially those who cannot afford, or are unable to receive Pay TV.
But how would it help SBS? As far as I am aware, there is no advertising on NITV so it would not be an extra revenue stream like extra channels usually are.
Being a national broadcaster, however, means SBS THREE / NITV could be the network’s third SD channel, so SBS (ONE) HD would remain preserved – not that there is much HD content on it anyway.
Here’s what The Australian writes about the proposal:
SBS would launch a new channel dedicated to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content in a proposal outlined today by federal communications minister Stephen Conroy.
The proposal would see SBS join forces with the National Indigenous TV network to create the channel, with its structure and editorial control still to be negotiated.
Whereas four-year-old NITV is only available through pay-TV transmission, this move would instantly create a national, free-to-air Indigenous channel.
However, the proposal demonstrates that there is no appetite in Canberra for NITV to become a stand-alone third broadcaster alongside the ABC and SBS, as some at the network had once envisioned.
The proposal flows from last year’s review of the Indigenous broadcasting sector headed by Neville Stevens which reported to the government in January.
A source confirmed that the review team had been been briefed on the government’s preferred approach.
The source noted that the review recommended that a national Indigenous channel should be widely available free-to-air but raised serious reservations about the current structure of NITV. The review also rejected suggestions that NITV become a third public broadcaster.
Senator Conroy said there was strong support for a national Indigenous TV service in the community.
“The Australian Government is determined to ensure that the resources allocated to Indigenous broadcasting are delivering the best outcomes for Indigenous people,” he said in a statement. “The government’s aim is to provide a national platform for free-to-air delivery of predominantly Australian Indigenous content without the creation of a third national broadcaster.
“SBS is well placed to facilitate the evolution of this service and bring Indigenous television on to a free-to-air platform. I have asked the SBS board to consider whether it is in a position take on this important role and the NITV board to advise on the matters it regards as critical to the efficacy of the model from an Indigenous perspective.
“I look forward to hearing from NITV and SBS as to how such a service might best be delivered.”
Senator Conroy said the principal objective of a new Indigenous service “would be to increase the amount and overall quality of original Australian Indigenous content on free-to-air television”.
NITV chairman Ken Reys welcomed the proposal for an SBS Indigenous channel.
“We see this as a potential opportunity to achieve a long awaited ambition of securing national free-to-air transmission for Indigenous television,” he said. “There are many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and millions of other Australians who currently don’t have access to NITV.”
However, he said the NITV board needed to be satisfied on some issues before formalising its support.
“For example, the channel would need to be dedicated to Indigenous programming and under Indigenous editorial control, with secure funding,” he said. “We would also like to ensure the continued broadcasting of the only national daily television news produced and presented from an Indigenous perspective.
“Indigenous editorial control is particularly important to retaining the trust of Indigenous Australians and to the ability of the channel to contribute to the government’s ‘closing the gap’ policy objectives. And we would want the new carrier always to acknowledge the special place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia’s national story.”