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In the archive
free-to-air programming 

Hours of various types of programming and proportion of Australian content broadcast by the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), 1996/97–2008/09


2008/09

Because of its multicultural brief, SBS tends to broadcast a higher proportion of imported programs (around 70–80 per cent) than the ABC or the commercial networks.

On 1 June 2009, SBS Television’s main channel was renamed SBS ONE, and SBS TWO – a digital-only, free-to-air channel – began broadcasting.

Over 2008/09, SBS ONE broadcast a total of 6,937 hours. News/current affairs was the top programming type at 3,116 hours, of which 22 per cent was Australian content. The hours of comedy broadcast almost doubled since the previous year, from 61 to 119 hours, with the Australian share up from 9.8 to 24.4 per cent. Drama hours increased by 3.1 per cent, while documentaries decreased by 11.1 per cent; the Australian share of both genres was down. The recent decline in the number of sport hours was arrested; instead there was an increase of 24.2 per cent.

SBS TWO broadcast 593 hours in its single month of operation in 2008/09. The majority of its programming comprised news/current affairs (58.7 per cent) – 10.1 per cent of which was Australian – and drama (21.4 per cent) – none of which was Australian.

See Archive: SBS hours broadcast for the actual hours of local and imported programming broadcast in each category.

Type of programming1 2008/09
SBS ONE SBS TWO2
Hours Aust. content (%) Hours Aust. content (%)
Total 6,937 31.2% 593 22.4%
Animations/shorts 81 18.5%    
Comedy 119 24.4%    
Documentary 1,039 27.5% 20 0.0%
Drama 328 7.0% 127 0.0%
Entertainment3 358 52.5%    
Movies 859 4.0%    
News/current affairs 3,116 22.0% 348 10.1%
Short films/fillers     7 100.0%
Sport4 785 82.9% 4 100.0%
Other5 252 100.0% 87 100.0%

Source: Compiled by Screen Australia from Special Broadcasting Service Corporation annual reports.

Notes:

Table shows all programming hours broadcast except for advertisements, promotions or community service announcements. Some related categories reported by SBS have been combined by Screen Australia to aid annual comparisons.
Includes repeats.
1. Over the years some categories identified by SBS have been changed, added or dropped. Blank cells in the table indicate where a category has been dropped, or has not yet begun.
2. SBS TWO only commenced broadcasting on 1 June 2009.
3. Entertainment includes entertainment series, arts, performance and variety and factual entertainment including educational programs.
4. Local sport includes all sport produced by SBS covering Australian events and international events where a significant proportion of the event is produced by SBS (commentary team, analysis, journalists) and the program is tailored for an Australian audience. In previous years only Australian-based events and SBS sport programs such as The World Game were reported under local. In 2008/09, 139 hours of first-release Australian-based events and SBS sport programs were broadcast (6 hours repeat).
5. Comprises the weather reports known as WeatherWatch, except for WeatherWatch Overnight.

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2004/05–2007/08

Type of programming1 2004/05 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08
Hours Aust. content (%) Hours Aust. content (%) Hours Aust. content (%) Hours Aust. content (%)
Total 6,826 24.5% 6,982 28.7% 6,807 23.3% 6,842 25.0%
Animation 26 34.6% 33 27.3% 17 64.7% 22 9.1%
Arts 117 14.5% 127 21.3% 155 17.4% 101 12.9%
Documentaries, incl. series 947 24.0% 834 34.4% 1,080 33.3% 1,169 31.1%
Drama and comedy, incl. series2 304 18.1%            
Drama2     229 7.9% 271 6.7% 318 10.1%
Comedy2     65 26.2% 104 16.5% 61 9.8%
Education 57 100% 21 100% 23 95.5% 21 100%
Entertainment series     86 100% 46 100% 111 100%
Factual ent. 59 100% 188 70.2% 11 100%    
Movies/features 981 0.6% 930 1.3% 926 1.9% 856 1.5%
News and current affairs3 2,856 14.8% 2,867 17.0% 3,035 18.4%    
News3             2,910 14.9%
Current affairs3             229 100%
Performance, incl. dance, opera, variety 44 22.7% 47 4.3% 90 1.1% 41 7.3%
Shorts, incl. fillers 394 87.8% 414 89.6% 335 83.8% 100 49.0%
Sport4 1,041 44.4% 1,141 47.1% 707 29.8% 632 25.6%
Other5             271 100%

Source: Compiled by Screen Australia from Special Broadcasting Service Corporation annual reports.

Notes:
Table shows all programming hours broadcast except for advertisements, promotions or community service announcements. Some related categories reported by SBS have been combined by Screen Australia to aid annual comparisons.
Includes repeats.
1. Over the years some categories identified by SBS have been changed, added or dropped. Blank cells in the table indicate where a category has been dropped, or has not yet begun.
2. Comedy and drama were reported as a single category in 2004/05..
3. News and current affairs were reported as a single category from 2002/03 up to, and including, 2006/07..
4. Only Australian-based events and SBS sport programs such as The World Game reported under local.
5. Comprises the weather reports known as WeatherWatch, except for WeatherWatch Overnight.

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2000/01–2003/04

Type of programming1 2000/01 2001/02 2002/03 2003/04
Hours Aust. content (%) Hours Aust. content (%) Hours Aust. content (%) Hours Aust. content (%)
Total 6,418 20.1% 6,658 30.4% 7,029 25.4% 6,966 24.7%
Animation 24 5.8% 43 43.2% 53 45.2% 19 24.3%
Arts         150 7.4% 139 12.1%
Cooking 67 23.3% 16 80.8% 10 64.0% 26 8.4%
Current affairs                
Documentaries, incl. series 806 20.4% 956 19.9% 941 22.8% 815 21.3%
Drama and comedy, incl. series2 188 23.2%            
Drama2     175 25.9% 206 5.4% 213 7.9%
Comedy2     62 21.5% 67 55.0% 69 24.6%
Education 124 100% 121 100% 109 100% 145 100%
Magazine 82 100% 86 100% 55 81.1% 56 100%
Movies/features 1,431 1.1% 1,224 0.4% 1,205 1.6% 1,178 0.9%
Music 11 8.3% 21 59.6%        
News and current affairs         3,289 15.4% 2,886 14.4%
News3 2,569 10.6% 2,538 11.4%        
Current affairs3 157 100% 163 100%        
Performance, incl. dance, opera, variety 92 3.8% 93 0.9% 1 0% 30 14.7%
Shorts, incl. fillers 80 14.5% 57 0.5% 81 42.7% 436 86.7%
Specials 38 12.1% 7 100%        
Sport4 750 52.5% 1,096 96.5% 861 89.5% 954 50.1%

Source: Compiled by the Australian Film Commission (AFC) from Special Broadcasting Service Corporation annual reports.

Notes:
Table shows all programming hours broadcast except for advertisements, promotions or community service announcements. Some related categories reported by SBS have been combined by the AFC to aid annual comparisons.
Includes repeats.
1. Over the years some categories identified by SBS have been changed, added or dropped. Blank cells in the table indicate where a category has been dropped, or has not yet begun.
2. Comedy and drama were reported as a single category in 2000/01.
3. News and current affairs were reported as a single category from 2002/03 up to, and including, 2006/07.
4. Only Australian-based events and SBS sport programs such as The World Game reported under local.

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1996/97–1999/00

Type of programming1 1996/97 1997/98 1998/99 1999/00
Hours Aust. content (%) Hours Aust. content (%) Hours Aust. content (%) Hours Aust. content (%)
Total 5,961 25.0% 6,111 24.9% 5,960 23.9% 6,529 25.4%
Animation     3 4.0% 26 >1% 7 23.0%
Children’s 13 5.5% 0 0% 5 37.5% 0 0%
Cooking 39 0% 42 0% 36 11.0% 38 14.9%
Current affairs 142 100% 179 100% 142 100% 159 100%
Documentaries, incl. series 843 10.5% 750 12.5% 778 13.7% 850 18.8%
Drama and comedy, incl. series2 313 1.6% 220 0.9%        
Drama2         108 11.0% 172 18.4%
Comedy2         28 8.7% 55 17.6%
Education 570 100% 187 100% 109 100% 137 100%
Magazine 94 100% 92 100% 98 100% 137 100%
Movies 1,440 0% 1,565 0.1% 1,416 0.2% 1,433 0.2%
Music 8 23.4% 11 8.8% 35 89.5% 11 57.1%
News 1,921 8.4% 2,173 10.3% 2,360 10.0% 2,621 10.5%
Performance, incl. opera, dance 13 0% 8 0% 25 0% 81 0%
Shorts, incl. Eat Carpet, fillers 75 0.7% 66 0.2% 63 3.2% 73 6.3%
Specials 74 11.8% 83 9.1% 66 14.2% 45 36.5%
Sport3 418 100% 733 100% 666 100% 711 100%

Source: Compiled by the Australian Film Commission (AFC) from Special Broadcasting Service Corporation annual reports.

Notes:
Table shows all programming hours broadcast except for advertisements, promotions or community service announcements. Some related categories reported by SBS have been combined by the AFC to aid annual comparisons.
Includes repeats.
1. Over the years some categories identified by SBS have been changed, added or dropped. Blank cells in the table indicate where a category has been dropped, or has not yet begun.
2. Comedy and drama were reported as a single category in 1996/97 and 1997/98.
3. Only Australian-based events and SBS sport programs such as The World Game reported under local.

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