Why shouldn’t SBS be retired?

The SBS charter (section 6 of the Special Broadcasting Services Act 1991) provides:

The principal function of SBS is to provide multilingual and multicultural radio, television and digital media services that inform, educate and entertain all Australians and, in doing so, reflect Australia’s multicultural society.

When SBS was established, there was scant content available for Australia’s immigrants and it filled a need by providing foreign language programs and news.

That void no longer exists. Residents can obtain boundless foreign content through satellite television or, especially, the internet.

This is an organisation that cost the Australian taxpayer $247 million in 2012-13. Surely it is time to consider whether SBS should be shut down. The savings of a quarter of a billion dollars a year would be a significant help to reduce Australia’s debt and return the budget to surplus.

Some might argue that there is a need for a niche Indigenous broadcasting capacity. If so, the Government could offer – via tender – say $50 million a year to a broadcasting company to provide Indigenous programming.

But for the bulk of SBS’s activities, it is efficiently and widely provided through other channels and media.

SBS Australia started on 1 January 1975. We should celebrate the 40th anniversary of SBS by having its final broadcast on 1 January 2015. That will allow a year to manage its transition to retirement.

About Samuel J

Samuel J has an economics background and is a part-time consultant
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147 Responses to Why shouldn’t SBS be retired?

  1. james

    Under Malcolm ” the ABC is vital” Turnbull I doubt we could do this.

    But imagine the Lefties screaming!

    If you are nor making the pampered nothings that infest the inner cities of Melbourne and Sydney you are doing it wrong.

  2. entropy

    Some might argue that there is a need for a niche Indigenous broadcasting capacity. If so, the Government could offer – via tender – say $50 million a year to a broadcasting company to provide Indigenous programming.

    Well these days there is NITV. Also, Imparja.

  3. Bruce

    I don’t agree Samuel. SBS offers a level of global awareness to mainstream Australia – Anglo’s, fully integrated post WW2 migrants and etc – that does not exist in any other general media in this country.

    Remember that SBS carrying of other countries’ news bulletins includes English language versions from Al-Jazeera, France 24 and Deutsche Welle. Which is a great way to get a feel of international perspectives which here are propagandised by the ABC out of all recogition.

    SBS is substantially kept under control by the advertising requirement. They are always scratching for advertising therefore cannot give full sway to their personal biases the way the ABC kolkhozniks do.

    Every you think they are starting to get feral (as they are now), you can tweak the model to prune them a bit. A bit more advertising derived revenue would make them focus on depoliticising their fare so they can maximise their attractiveness to advertisers. Reins are a useful tool.

    Closing them down would actually make the media landscape worse, by cantonising it even more.

    But closing down the ABC…that I can agree with wholeheartedly.

  4. Ant

    Without SBS who’ll screen the docos about old hairy transsexual goat herders living remote in the Gobi Desert who use their own excrement to paint loving portraits of Mao while chewing on a bong and getting rogered by their pet alpaca?

  5. ChrisPer

    Without SBS who’ll screen the docos about old hairy transsexual goat herders living remote in the Gobi Desert who use their own excrement to paint loving portraits of Mao while chewing on a bong and getting rogered by their pet alpaca?

    Now THAT I wouldn’t mind paying for someone else to watch.

  6. deiseal

    First thing to do is shut down triple j or privatise it. Use the lessons which are learnt in this process to manage a controlled reduction in the scope and ambition of the ABC so that it is only focussed on tasks which are of value, such as broadcasting Parliament.

  7. Token

    I I grew up in an ethnic family from Europe who valued SBS as a way to keep an eye on the old countries (each parent). It did help the family deal with the isolation. SBS provided more to immigrants than the Anglo dominated ABC ever did.

    Now it is easy to go online & find news from that country. There are Pay TV packages.

    We can Skype the relatives instead of the one in 1/2 year call which cost $20 (old money)

    We can email instead of waiting for snail mail.

    The world has changed, the service is redundant.

  8. sabrina

    Their world news is worthy of watching, but one can argue you get most of that from the Internet anyway.
    Samuel – I suspect in 25 years time, ABC and SBS, will run into oblivion unless they cater to the needs of the younger generation. Whether they will have the time to watch TV in their current form, I doubt.
    Having said that, the need for ethnic votes will keep SBS alive in the near future. And, personally, I do not find any of the commercial channels worthy of watching either – all mostly full of borrowed contents.

    If you are serious about saving money, start with the PPL while the government is at its prime.

  9. Beef

    Anywhere that the statistics for SBS viewer numbers/percentage etc in the period from 1975 until now.

    Wouldn’t that also be an indicator as to how popular. With reference to the amount of immigrants who have arrived and are using this service.

    My guess is with increasing immigration we would still be seeing a steady if not declining viewership.

  10. Riverina Matt

    A wise government should continually assess all its activities to determine if a need for the activity still exists. To continue to perform an activity simply because that is what the government has always done is folly.

    As Samuel J says, the need that lead to the creation of SBS has now been met by the private sector, and in a manner far superior than SBS ever did. Everything else that SBS does is simply duplicating the ABC and/or commercial television stations.

    As entropy points out, there are at least two other indiginous broadcasting options – both of which have the benefit of actually being operated by indigenous people directly, not by whitey government on their behalf.

    The one function SBS provides that is not provided more effectively by the private sector (at the moment) is local radio. There is a role for radio broadcasts in minority languages providing news and community information. However, if SBS was to stand aside, I have no doubt communities would establish their own community radio stations – either through traditional radio broadcasting on a community licence or even better through podcasting.

    Any government serious about expenditure reviews would take a very serious look at the continued need for a dedicated government multicultural broadcaster. SBS should go.

  11. Econocrat

    But it’s the only station with Gasoline and Speedweek on it!

  12. Riverina Matt

    Even the ethnics have got a little fed up with SBS television in particular. I know more than a few ethnic groups feel that “their” television station was stolen from them by the Northcote/Balmain set.

  13. ChrisPer

    As the craze for suicide bombers passed its peak I remember SBS news with ol’ pursed-mouth wossername, reading a piece about a sudden rise in women as suicide bombers. She was clearly conflicted, as the writer had conveyed a tone of satisfaction that women were pulling their weight but she herself may not have approved of murdering with bombs, or women killing themselves.

    A few weeks later it came out that the Religion of Peace’s agents were raping Palestinian women, then offering them a suicide bombing mission to ‘restore their family’s honour’.

  14. Riverina Matt

    Remember that SBS carrying of other countries’ news bulletins includes English language versions from Al-Jazeera, France 24 and Deutsche Welle. Which is a great way to get a feel of international perspectives which here are propagandised by the ABC out of all recogition.

    All of this is available on the internet.

  15. james

    I remember the mass protests by the Vietnamese community asking if SBS could please stop broadcasting the propaganda news of the regime they escaped from.

    It took an amazing amount of head-to-desk discussion to get the SBS folks to understand.

  16. steve from brisbane

    Oh please. No private channel would offer both Hitler and sex (in that order) on Friday nights for 20 years running. (It’s a combination I have often at least half partaken of.)

  17. Jazza

    SBS and the ABC should be subjected to a review together.
    ABC is already irritating the FM by their allegedly unAustralian way they are handling their Laborgiven/stolen from SkyNews plum money spinner.
    They irritate half the population every day by their way out leftist take on everything even to withholding news till it is stale then throwing one “left spun”crumb in passing when it becomes clear the whole country knows about it anyway
    Review of their charters and the need for ALL those costly services would simply be able to lead to some good housekeeping by Smokin Joe and Co and should result in maybe one government broadcaster/televiser, with one vastly shrunken and clearly spelled out charter coupled with half or a third the budget of 2013

    That the ABC and SBS can merrily almost broadcast treasonous poison is totally galling to the half of the country who really don’t care if these entities exist or not but hate what they have become today!
    However, to begin a wind back won’t allow a sudden and alrge vacuum that the treacherous sector of the MSM could exploit against the government. …DO IT in the name of cost cutting cos of labor’s profligacy of the past six years.

  18. PaulW

    Closing down would be a great waste of an existing resource. Better to offer it to a public float. That way the government cannot be accused of bastardry. Then all of those fans of SBS can put their hands in their pocket and buy it to ensure its survival. Even if it floated for only one dollar.

  19. Samuel J

    There may have been a market failure in the provision of news and other foreign services 40 years ago, but certainly not today. The question that should be asked: are there sufficient private sector alternatives to SBS? The answer, in my opinion, is a resounding yes. Therefore SBS should be abolished.

  20. egg_

    SBS is substantially kept under control by the advertising requirement. They are always scratching for advertising therefore cannot give full sway to their personal biases the way the ABC kolkhozniks do.

    Every you think they are starting to get feral (as they are now), you can tweak the model to prune them a bit. A bit more advertising derived revenue would make them focus on depoliticising their fare so they can maximise their attractiveness to advertisers. Reins are a useful tool.

    The very method I’ve been banging on about for reining in the ABC juggernaut – lean it down and carry advertising, slash its funding.
    CBC in Canada already does this as do other ‘Government’ media channels overseas; Aunty is an anachronism.

    Why not merge the two – surely ABC24 could accommodate the international News services mentioned in your post and there’s the (SBS’s) World Movies PayTV channel for those who enjoy non Hollywood dross?

  21. Baldrick

    Survey results for FTA television for 2013.
    All SBS channels had a net audience of 5%, compared to 18% for all ABC, 30% for channel 7, 29% for 9 and 17% for 10, during 2013.

  22. egg_

    17% for 10

    With The Project et al mirroring Aunty, so do the ratings…

  23. Abraham

    SfB …

    It’s a combination I have often at least half partaken of.

    I assume you’re a white supremacist then … ;-)

  24. Who the hell watches free to air TV any more anyway?

    Jesus, the last time I watched a free to air channel in Australia was like 5 years ago. I download the TV programs I want to watch. For everything else, there’s FOX Footy.

  25. Bruce

    All of this is available on the internet.

    You miss my point Matt. The way I worked this out is doing the usual channel flip thing of free to air channels myself. It never occurred to me to go and look for English language versions of AJ or DW. Yet when I watch them the difference in perspective from local MSM is massive.

    You see something interesting on, you watch it. The internet does not work that way – you have go look for things. It has to occur to you to look. Most people don’t look, and they have developed no defenses against propaganda from “trusted” ABC.

    Removing SBS would further remove exposure of the general population to international viewpoints. That is where the US went, and a good reason why Americans are regarded worldwide as self indulgent and clueless.

    I puke when I see their latest lefty stuff, but SBS is controllable and cheap. We can make it even more controllable and cheaper by upping the advertising mandate.

  26. Pretty sure you can watch international news services on foxtel subscription TV.

  27. Actually, the additional digital channels have made free to air much more appealling. I gave up Foxtel a couple of years ago because about the only thing I was watching was a few shows on the Comedy Channel. Movies worth watching were few and far between, CNN has been unwatchable for 20 years, and BCC News was dull most of the time too. Fox News is for nutters, and Friday night WW2 docos on SBS are routinely better than anything on the history channel.

    I suppose Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad were on it, were they, but I have low interest in fantasy sex and violence and stories sex in criminal underworlds, so no great loss.

  28. kae

    Why should it be kept?
    I don’t understand why it was started in the first place with public money. Defund it. Sell it. I doubt it will last long without government money.
    Occasionally there are SBS programs that I like to watch, but that’s only a small percentage of what’s on SBS all the time.

  29. kae

    News in 32 languages all day really isn’t entertaining.

    And Al Jazeera?

  30. I only had Foxtel for the AFL and cricket. But they still showed a lot more other interesting programs than free to air channels did. But really the crux of the matter is that most people watch their drama series by downloading now. It’s just so much more convenient to be able to watch the shows you want to watch a time that suits you, rather than having to schedule your life around the TV guide.

  31. james

    I know that ABC caters to a primarily older demographic does anyone have any figures on SBS or the commercial stations?

    At a guess if you removed the overseas news services the average SBS viewer would be younger than the average.

  32. james

    If you are under thirty you tend to pick up drama and comedy series through word of mouth, and then either set your tv to record or download entire series for free.

    It is a slow trend, but a growing one.

    I would not buy shares in a fta network expecting a long term return.

    Sadly the decline of commercial television only makes the state subsidized outlets more powerful in terms of news and content.

    The BBC for instance squats over the UK like a bloated parasite sucking the blood from everyone with a television. The fact that people are moving online to avoid the license fee won’t stop them, they will simply move to copy our ABC and suck taxes directly from the public bloodstream.

  33. Well. If we had the Gillard NBN in place, allowing for much faster downloads of hours of TV each week, Yobbo’s case would be stronger.

  34. Beef

    Well. If we had the Gillard NBN in place

    We’d all be pushing up the daisy’s. Our grandchildren would be paying off a asset debt through higher taxes that sparsely unused.

    Meanwhile they wirelessly move around on their cheap data communications plans.

  35. Alfonso

    Abbott will never shut down SBS, that bell can be used by Labor to get every ethnic in the country salivating about how the Liberals hate them. Privatise, including a sliding decreasing subsidy until the country of convenience mob disappear is the best way out.

  36. cohenite

    A

    few weeks later it came out that the Religion of Peace’s agents were raping Palestinian women, then offering them a suicide bombing mission to ‘restore their family’s honour’.

    Any news or media outlet which reports favourably the religion of pieces should be closed on principle.

  37. 2dogs

    Certainly the duplication of broadcast capacity between the ABS and SBS is all waste.

    If Turnbull were to merge the entities, he could do a clean sweep of the board, like the ALP did when they changed the Australian Broadcasting Commission to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

  38. Peter H

    Keep SBS and have it take over management and control of all ABC business units , rationalise and reduce the number of channels. Introduce Advertising across all channels. Strengthen charter significantly to deal with political and scientific agendas. Get rid of ABC Board, and Management. Significantly Reduce Budget for both.Reduce Employees and payroll.

  39. Even I will admit: I don’t think ABC News channel is very good, but I can see value in having ABC run 24 hours news from an Australian perspective. (Sky News is not so good, I don’t think). But then, I don’t think their news website is that great either. SBS news is very good for genuine global coverage, but I don’t give it high priority.

  40. SBS and ABC running a 24 hour news channel together – that could be good!

  41. james

    Steve sky news may not be all that good, but I don’t have to pay for it.

    ABC24 is also not so good but i don’t get a choice about funding it.

  42. Geriatric Mayfly

    There is something perpetually irritation about SBS “WORLD” news. Not just the Left wing bias or making Muslims seem normal. International feeds obviously come with commentary. Why does SBS replace this with voice-overs from its own collective? These studio lay-abouts, spinning the commentary to assuage the Greens and luvvies, are even referred to as ‘reporters.’ I understood that the latter gathered stories, not invented them.

  43. cynical1

    Well. If we had the Gillard NBN in place, allowing for much faster downloads of hours of TV each week, Yobbo’s case would be stronger.

    Yes, until kids had used up the monthly allowance of $125 on the first day…..

  44. Rabz

    This is an organisation that cost the Australian taxpayer $247 million in 2012-13.

    Sell it off or shut it down. No one watches it anyway.

    Spending $274 million pa on it is an obscenity, given the size of the national debt.

  45. Rod Corby

    But who would show the Le Tour? and The Giro? And the Velta.

    And Borgen? and The Bridge? Or Prisoners of War? And who would have shown The Killing?

  46. james

    I predict if anyone even mentions cutting SBS funding some white lefty will threaten ethnic riots.

  47. cynical1, you really should look at what companies are offering on NBN cable plans where they are available.

    For example, in a suburb not too far from me – Dodo offers 100/40 Mbps (10 times faster than my ADSL2 plan just tested at) from $60 for 10 G, up to $90 for 2Tb. (Plus, it seems you add unlimited off peak download for $15 on any plan.)

  48. Tom

    What a surprise: the man using taxpayer dollars to discredit ASIO on SBS and defend those it has surveilled is dedicated to the subversion of the Australian state:

    MEET Haydn Keenan, the writer and director of the four-part Persons of Interest documentary, by Smart Street Films, which started on SBS One last Tuesday.

    Keenan recently told Fairfax Media journalist Bridget McManus that, in the 1960s, he “regarded” himself “as a humanist and, therefore, probably left of centre and leaning towards socialism”.

    These days Keenan is waiting for socialist humanism’s second coming. He told McManus that “if there’s a class war” it is being run “by the right-wing in Australia and they’re winning”. But not when it comes to presenting the history of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and commenting on contemporary national security issues, it seems.

    Screen Australia made the production of Persons of Interest possible and the documentary was commissioned by SBS. So there is quite a lot of taxpayers’ money invested in Keenan’s account of ASIO. The strength of the documentary is that it contains much ASIO surveillance footage which has been released by National Archives in Canberra. The weakness is that Keenan does not really believe in the necessity for national security in a democratic society like Australia.

    In June 2011, Keenan appeared on ABC Classic FM’s Mornings with Margaret Throsby. In foreshadowing his documentary, Keenan suggested that ASIO’s files are “a little bit like the records of Auschwitz”.

    In August 2013, shortly before Persons of Interest premiered at the Melbourne Film Festival, Keenan was interviewed on ABC Radio National’s Late Night Live along with Alan Hardy (son of Frank Hardy and father of the even more famous Marieke Hardy). Keenan declared that ASIO “looks just like East Germany if you just change the file from Frank Hardy to, you know, Dietrich Hardy”.

    RTWT

  49. egg_

    Peter H
    #1145764, posted on January 11, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Delicious + carry advertising, ‘course. ;)

  50. Paridell

    Bruce is correct to argue that removing SBS would further remove (note, further remove) exposure of the general population to international viewpoints. For example, on 24 January SBS will begin screening “Doomsday: The First World War”, with a locally produced English narration. It is unlikely that this excellent German series would ever see the light of day in Australia if not for SBS.

    The same can be said of the Swedish/Danish thriller “The Bridge”, currently being repeated. The forthcoming Series 2 of this show is probably the first major drama series to take up the theme of eco-terrorism, a sign of shifting attitudes to the environmental movement in Europe. You would be waiting a long time (as in forever) to see “The Bridge” on any other channel.

    What I don’t agree with is the notion that left-wing content can be controlled on SBS or anywhere else by “upping the advertising mandate”. It just doesn’t work that way. In the first place, SBS has had ever-increasing advertising between and within programs for years now, but the ‘left-wing content’ quotient has remained the same. The net effect has been to displace actual content with advertisements. Why? Because, in the long run, program directors’ tastes trump neo-classical economics theory.

    And then, what evidence is there that the presence of advertising dilutes left-wing content in the first place? Corporations line up to endorse politically correct positions! Just look at the record of the Australian Industry Group, or the way Aldi and now Woolworths have gone to water over Australia Day T-shirts that dare to commemorate 1788. Even News Ltd is on board for global warming ‘action’. Or ask yourself, why is “The Bolt Report” the political odd-man-out on Network TEN? After all, there’s no shortage of advertising on TEN.

    Most of the criticisms of SBS made above are out of the ark. Some of them distinctly echo the well-remembered “Fast Forward” – last episode over twenty years ago, folks! In reply, it is enough to point out that SBS Television was never only for “them”. It was for all of us, which is why the section of its Charter quoted by Samuel specifies “all Australians”. It’s also why SBS has English subtitles.

  51. egg_

    Paridell
    #1145828, posted on January 11, 2014 at 11:04 am

    The wider audience make-up of SBS ensures that it won’t stomach across-the-board extreme Green-Left editorial of Aunty.
    An SBS merger with Aunty is the best way of curtailing the editorial rot there.
    Also agree that Aunty’s is an aging demographic (read: shrinking).

  52. struth

    Some people like this about SBS, some people like that…………….FFS.
    This country is in debt up to it’s arsehole and people still talk about keeping an unneccessary and outdated socialist TV station.
    Hello, the internet is here.
    We are all using it here.
    Why the f….. should tax payers be paying for this in 2014.
    Get your international news on the internet and shut these creeps down.
    They can go private, whatever.
    Can’t anyone here remember some of the vile , radical left wing shit these people have put out in the guise of docos?
    The regular hitler docos because their belief is he was right wing(he was left….a socialist , but let’s not go there again)
    Another screening og A Rabbit proof falsehood just the other day, commos grizzling because ASIO was watching them through the cold war, living black, go back to where you came from etc, etc, etc. These people are radical left wing manipulators that we pay for.
    Shut it down.

  53. jupes

    Paridell while I agree that ‘Doomsday’ sounds like an excellent series and I hope I have time to watch it, I don’t believe it is worth a lazy quarter of a billion taxpayer’s dollars.

    Far better for Australia if I bought the DVD.

  54. Riverina Matt

    Bruce is correct to argue that removing SBS would further remove (note, further remove) exposure of the general population to international viewpoints.

    Why is this a role for the government? It is not the government’s role to socially engineer Australians.

    In reply, it is enough to point out that SBS Television was never only for “them”. It was for all of us, which is why the section of its Charter quoted by Samuel specifies “all Australians”.

    Again, why is it the role of the government to provide this service. Those people, like Bruce and yourself, who value the service can pay for it through subscription or internet TV without asking the taxpayer to pick up the bill for your entertainment.

    Samuel J is exactly right – the market failure that SBS was set up to overcome has gone. Technology has seen to that. If the only remaining argument for its retention is “exposing Australians to the world” then that just isn’t something the government should do.

  55. james

    Damn right struth

    Fat Pizza, Housos, immigration nation, the first Australians, bankstown story, glowing documentaries about the life of Mao, go back to where you came from, living black and many more.

    Do any of the people claiming that SBS is less left wing than the ABC actually watch the former?

    If anything they are MORE left wing.

  56. Paridell

    Jupes, I believe you will be able to buy the DVD shortly. But only because SBS created it!

  57. Riverina Matt

    The arguments for retaining SBS remind of the farce that is the anti-siphoning list.

    “I like it and want to watch it for free, therefore the government should make sure it is provided for me for free”

    The anti-siphoning list is a terrible piece of anti-competitive legislation that has led to the appalling state of sports broadcasting in this country. If you look at the coverage of US and European sports and compare it to here, it makes you want to cry …

  58. ProEng

    I agree. Further, SBS gives free advertising and support for Soccer. Soccer has been divisive from partisan support of minority immigrant groups. The Federal government should give it no more support than other team sports such as hockey, netball, water polo etc. At top level let soccer raise its own funds from gate takings.
    SBS has become a means to channel money out of government to aid a few entrepreneurial and religious groups.

  59. rickw

    I want as much as my tax back as possible thanks, don’t shut it, sell it !!!

  60. Paridell

    Here you go, Jupes…

    http://www.madman.com.au/catalogue/view/20793/doomsday-world-war-1

    Ignore Madman’s claim that the country of origin is the UK. It’s Germany.

  61. egg_

    james
    #1145850, posted on January 11, 2014 at 11:21 am

    As others have noted above, whilst SBS does host some Uber-Left content, it also airs doco’s etc. that Aunty would never entertain as they don’t fit the Green-Left mold.
    It also seems to lack the (more sophisticated?) Green-Left indoctrination of Aunty via News & Current Affairs, the lesser of the two evils, if you will.
    Politics is the practical (compromise), it won’t be shut down overnight, guaranteed.

  62. Notafan

    And then, what evidence is there that the presence of advertising dilutes left-wing content in the first place?

    SBS have ‘adopt a tiger’ ads after all.
    I still think a single board and management structure for SBS ABC and a funding cut, at least a significant ‘efficiency dividend’ is the first step. With all the improvements in technology surely there is some capacity to cut spending. How efficiently are studios and offices used, potential for huge savings in accomodation costs. Maybe they can move the main business to Adelaide once Holden closes.
    SBS seem to have an unlimited number of field reporters often for local news that duplicates the ABC.
    I don’t see how the SBS charter got mangled to making include mockumentaries such as the ASIO whingefest.
    There are some bloated salaries and the Well Earned Break of how many weeks? not to mention other little sweet deals and family employment arrangements.
    Its a budget emergency after all.

  63. struth

    They are radically more left wing than the ABC.
    I complained to them once, pointing out the facts regarding the absolute rubbish and lies told in immigration nation, a show put together based entirely on the thought bubble of a silly young bitch of the extreme left, and sold as a documentary.
    Oh how they laughed, yes the almighty left, sucking on the tit of the taxpayer, spitting they’re vile at me and farting in my general direction as any arrogant frenchman in a Monty python movie would.
    The untouchables.
    While their mate Malcom is in communications or even just the Abbott government is in power, cows will be lobbed over the walls and we might as well try to please the nights that say “nee” with a shubbery.

  64. Gab

    Jupes, I believe you will be able to buy the DVD shortly. But only because SBS created it!

    Rubbish. The series is a coproduction between ZDF’s department of contemporary history and France Televisions, a Franco-German production.

  65. struth

    Knights……before our local hypocrite pokes in

  66. Paridell

    Notafan, here again, theory is one thing, and practice is another.

    When Peter Walsh and Paul Keating prevailed on Bob Hawke to merge SBS with the ABC in 1986, the first thing that happened was that SBS’s suppliers demanded much higher prices for programs because it was about to become part of the much wealthier ‘national broadcaster’. Hawkie eventually declared the brainwave ‘off the agenda’. Recently released Cabinet documents show that one of the reasons was that a merger with the ABC threatened to stifle innovation in the much smaller and hungrier SBS.

  67. Paridell

    Gab, I didn’t say that SBS made the series.

    (No doubt to its relief, SBS didn’t even make “Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl”).

    What I said was that the DVD was created by SBS from its locally produced English version. I think you’ll find that this is the case.

  68. Gab

    ZDF/FranceTS put out an international English version so not sure why there was a need for SBS to produce it’s own English version, according to you. All SBS is doing is marketing the dvd sales locally. Big deal.

  69. Habib

    Why is there a need for a niche “indigenous” broadcaster, or any other service such as health, legal aid etc?

    Just how is any of this favouritism based on race any different to what the Jaapies had in Sith Efrica (minus the riot squads, water cannon and Ellis Island of course)?

  70. Paridell

    Gab, there are a lot of reasons why TV stations the world over will make their own version: copyright issues, regional rights issues, quality issues, reluctance to pay for a ‘name’ artist, preference for a local voice, etc., ad infinitum.

    You may remember that the ABC re-did the American series “Great Crimes of the Twentieth Century” with George Negus as the narrator.

    It’s like with icebergs, what you see on the surface is only ten per cent of the whole.

  71. Gab

    And using taxpayer funds to produce it; and it would be interesting to see the profit – or more likely the loss – from the dvd sales.

  72. Rabz

    Riverina Matt
    #1145859, posted on January 11, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Excellent points, Matt – as a sports fan, I can’t help but concur.

    One of the reasons I hardly watched any of the last Ashes series was because those braindead, bankrupt twats at channel nine treat their audience with such contempt they wouldn’t even broadcast it in HD, thus rendering it (as far as I was concerned) unwatchable.

    At least stinking bloody SBS shows the Champions League in HD.

  73. rickw

    “When SBS was established, there was scant content available for Australia’s immigrants and it filled a need by providing foreign language programs and news.”

    Is that actually true and is it a valid reason ?????!!!!!! The more I think about it, the more I conclude that the original premise for creating SBS was pure BS:

    By 1975, most immigrants kids were in school and had mastered English, so no shortage of translators available to their parents. The vast majority of Greek and Italian heritage individuals I have spoken to all remember translating both print media and television to their parents.

    Given the focus on integration up to that date, most immigrants in anycase had a basic command of English, not offering them broadcasts in anything other than English would have only enhanced that skill.

    The immigrants that arrived were not watchers of television! They had none in their countries of origin and were in fact readers of newspapers, hence the establishment of the likes of Neo Cosmos and Il Globo etc.. There wasn’t a failure of the market to provide a service, there was no substantial market for that service!

    As for provision of entertainment in their own langauge, many Greeks and Italians set up garage movie theatres where they showed films in their own langauge. There was even a number of Greeks and Italians who had cut records in their own language while in Australia.

    My conclusion is that the original premises for creating SBS was a false. The Greeks and Italians I know today only ever watched SBS for the soccer and have done so for many many years. They are fundamentally conservative people, so free to air porn is not really their thing. $247 million a year so that they can watch soccer?

    Australian Taxpayers would seem to have been conned yet again, for almost 40 years!

  74. Rabz

    Soccer has been divisive from partisan support of minority immigrant groups.

    Which is why the A-League was established and why it has been such a success.

    I refused point blank to follow soccer in this country until this blight on the game was addressed. That it has been is great plus for the game.

  75. Notafan

    Do the same commercial realities exist in 2014? SBS can show viewing audience sizes to push for lower prices. I would have thought with the amount of illegal downloading anyone prepared to pay for content would be in a good negotiation position. In any case if that just means SBS dies more quickly so be it. If people want those shows someone else will enter the market to provide it.
    I am really dubious about the processes that are followed when purchasing content from SBS/ABC staffers and their associates

  76. Paridell

    Well, Gab, Jupes has already stated his preference for buy the DVD version, even though the show will go free to air.

    And you could lay all your doubts to rest by becoming purchaser No. 2!

  77. Mr Rusty

    SfB

    Shut the fuck up.

    You clearly have no qualifications in I.T / comms so SHUT THE FUCK UP.

    Under leftard rules any comment made by you regarding the NBN or anything else related is full of shit and to be disregarded completely (see leftard rules for attacking CAGW “deniers” with no qualifications in climatology or other bullcrap.) So everything you said regarding the NBN above is full of shit, a lie and you must be a paid shill of NBN / Labor (as per leftard rules for attacking “deniers”).

    Here’s a dose of reality, not your Tron-esque fantasy land bullshit world of whizzy lights and mega, super-duper faster than light wooshy awesomeness;

    Current ADSL2 plans of 100GB for $60 / month and $100 setup/connection fee mean you can download 200 HD shows per month (average 500mb per 45 min show at 1080p). This amounts to 5 hours of shows per day (9000 mins / 30 / 60), far more than any person could sanely watch. At a realistic 10MBPS (my current benchmarked speed) the daily download of shows would take 45mins with ADSL2, at a very optimistic 50MBPS fibre; about 10 mins (I’d explain latency, server speeds, server traffic and all the other factors that mean theoretical speeds are nowhere near actual speeds but it will be way beyond you.) In other words I could set everything to record/download before I leave for work and everything will have downloaded before I’ve even arrived at work – or I could download the entire week of shows and it would all be done before I’ve even got home on the Monday AT CURRENT SPEEDS / CAPACITY.

    Since NBN setup fees are currently in the THOUSANDS of dollars (and yes you are paying for it, it’s called TAX, it pays for worthless shit dreamt up on napkins by fucktards) and add your annual subscription to that (which WILL rise as take-up will be very poor) and then tell us how “great” the NBN will be and how much being able to download a few shitty TV shows a little bit faster than currently will improve everyone’s lives you fucking moron. You want it? Pay for it yourself. It’s the biggest waste of time and money ever, 98% of the country don’t need it, won’t use it to it’s full capacity or for anything even remotely useful or productive.

    Next time you want to comment on that gargantuan waste of OUR money and its complete and utter uselessness, don’t, just SHUT THE FUCK UP.

  78. Rabz

    Onya Rusty, that’s some righteously righteous outrage.

    (I agree with you, BTW).

  79. Riverina Matt

    Rabz

    One of the reasons I hardly watched any of the last Ashes series was because those braindead, bankrupt twats at channel nine treat their audience with such contempt they wouldn’t even broadcast it in HD, thus rendering it (as far as I was concerned) unwatchable.

    We live in a country where, thanks to anti-competitive legislation, we can watch Melbourne Heart v Wellington Phoenix in front of two men and a dog in glorious HD yet watching the AFL Grand Final and State of Origin on TV it looks like someone has smeared vaseline across the screen.

  80. Mr Rusty

    Best idea:

    Announce that one of SBS / ABC will be sold off in 2016.
    Sit back and watch as both channels suddenly become very pro-Liberal for the next 3 years.
    Libs win 2016 election in another landslide.
    Then sell them both :-D

  81. Rabz

    Matt, don’t get me started – I’ve got Fox Footy Channel and of course the ONLY game they don’t show live all frigging season is the Grand Final.

    Another reason why that fat greek bastard should be flung from a trebuchet into Bass Strait.

  82. stackja

    ALP started 2EA because Gough needed votes and Al Grassby needed publicity.

  83. Notafan

    is that what the NBN for ? Downloading (often illegally) TV shows to watch?
    Is there any business purpose to it, any?

  84. Alfonso

    “they wouldn’t even broadcast it in HD, thus rendering it (as far as I was concerned) unwatchable.”
    Agreed, dunno how anyone tolerates such impertinent media.
    Good luck getting a peanut butter and banana smoothie and a wide bed out of them.

  85. duncanm

    slightly OT, but related.

    I just came back from O/S.

    The hotel had the Australia Network on, so I thought I’d give it a look see.

    I was expecting news, current affairs, etc.

    What I saw appalled me. Some low-rent ABC drama set in Melbourne with an excess of profanity.

    Now I like to swear as much as (or more) than the next guy, however I hope I know when and when it is not appropriate — the ABC drama (I think its a recent show) may fly ok in Oz (but I think it was a flop), but it is certainly not the sort of thing we want to be projecting to the rest of the world as a form of promotion and cultural awareness.

  86. Rabz

    Alfonso, if it’s any consolation I’m not planning any trips to the Antarctic in the near future.

  87. Paridell

    Notafan, the same commercial realities certainly exist today. If SBS were to become part of the national broadcaster, suppliers would demand payment at the national broadcaster rate, just as they did in 1986. Why wouldn’t they?

    As for the rise of illegal downloads, this is a problem for all movie studios, TV producers and broadcasters, and for marketers of their products. They respond by getting the programs to the audience very quickly and making their money in the first few days or weeks, before the downloads can have much effect. You’re right, eventually someone will probably enter the (legal) market with a super-iTunes to distribute all this new content as well as a century’s worth of worldwide content en masse for a nominal amount per program.

    But then, people hoped that pay TV would do that back in the 90s, and we’re still waiting. SBS has probably come closest to delivering that dream.

    Gab, I will make it my business to ask SBS in 12 months’ time whether “Doomsday: World War I” is still available. I’ll get back to you then. Something tells me they will have sold out long since…

  88. JMH

    Merge the two and slash funding.

    BTW on the merger idea, would SBS carry enough advertising clout to be in better strategic position over the ABC when it came to fighting over control of who and what went where? It would be beautiful watching the fur fly as to who got the bigger bite of the (seriously reduced as a matter of utmost importance) spoils.

    I agree, there is no logical reason for a government funded broadcaster given today’s technological advances. However, I think we all suspect Abbott and Co. are too gutless to do the logical thing, so let’s push for a merger with considerably reduced funding.

  89. Gab

    I will make it my business to ask SBS in 12 months’ time whether “Doomsday: World War I” is still available. I’ll get back to you then. Something tells me they will have sold out long since…

    What lovely whimsy. No, you’d have to ask how many were produced and how many were sold.

  90. What a cranky loudmouth you are, Mr Rusty. Still, this is the blog for your type, so congratulations on finding a home.

    As a typical libertarian, you equate what you can achieve and are willing to do with your tech knowledge with what the average punter can be bothered with.

  91. Dan

    I don’t agree Samuel. SBS offers a level of global awareness to mainstream Australia – Anglo’s, fully integrated post WW2 migrants and etc – that does not exist in any other general media in this country.

    Great except no-one watches it. Divide $250m by the viewers and we are probably spending a few thousand bucks a year so that they can watch international news, nearly all untranslated all of which is avalable online for nothing.

  92. Riverina Matt

    As a typical libertarian, you equate what you can achieve and are willing to do with your tech knowledge with what the average punter can be bothered with

    So, the “average punter” is too lazy to get off his arse and find content so taxpayers need to shell out to provide it to him gratis? What a strange conception of the role of government you have …

  93. Bruce

    Oh no, StevefB just got pwned again.

    Love it when you get angry Steve.

    BTW, SBS doesn’t sell the stuff themselves, it goes through the ABC shop and Dymocks. So when Pyne shuts the ABC down you’ll still be able to get your fave shows Steve.

  94. Paridell

    Gab, point noted.

    It’s in my calendar for January 11, 2015.

  95. Notafan

    If SBS were to become part of the national broadcaster, suppliers would demand payment at the national broadcaster rate

    Okay so they can’t afford some international programmes. I buy the French, Swedish and Danish ones I want from Amazon. Other people must also do that. Does any other country fund the equivalent of SBS to the tune the Australian taxpayer does?
    New migrants are literally coming off the boats with their i-phones and i-pads in hand. They don’t need SBS and neither do we.
    If a public servant was also benefiting from a contract with their department that had never been put to tender taxpayers would be rightly outraged. SBS/ABC do this and no-one seems to notice.

  96. Gab

    And while you’re at it, ask how much it cost to get it to market and the revenue $ figures.

  97. Paridell

    Dan, Baldrick gives the ratings. SBS Television, all channels, had 5 per cent of the whole in 2013.

    Five per cent of the whole is quite a lot of people for a niche broadcaster.

    Then there’s SBS Radio (which actually came first).

  98. Gab

    SBS ratings v Seven Network ratings, as an example.

  99. Bruce

    If the external funding requirement (ie advertisements) is ratcheted up in steps you will diet SBS so they cannot afford to go more feral. At the same time this reduces the cost to the taxpayers and does not have large political downside.

    If they have to gain more advertising they will be driven towards the centre so that neither side of politics is too offended. Advertisers have exquisitely sensitive antenna for such things.

  100. Paridell

    “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

    - Hebrews 11:1.

  101. egg_

    So when Pyne shuts the ABC down you’ll still be able to get your fave shows Steve.

    He definitely needs to be part of any review/restructuring of the industry.

  102. .

    SBS has good ratings on niche products they find. They are a state owned for profit enterprise now. They should be privatised and all subsidies cut. We should be given a piece of it ourselves, which should be transferrable and listed on the ASX. If this is unacceptable they can be privatised under a trust with a charter as to retain their committment to x,y and z (which is wholly redundant now, I’d argue). We’d all be members by virtue of citizenship. We’d be free not to renew our membership fee if they charged one.

  103. Mr Rusty

    What a cranky loudmouth you are, Mr Rusty.

    Yep, I’ve figured out that to defeat the left you have to become like them (cranky, loudmouthed and abusive.)

    As a typical libertarian, you equate what you can achieve and are willing to do with your tech knowledge with what the average punter can be bothered with.

    No, fuckwit. As a libertarian I don’t want choice removed from me and decided and dictated to by the Government, ESPECIALLY when I am paying for it through my taxes and I can currently get a better deal that suits my needs from the private sector. Under the NBN I am being forced to pay for infrastructure I neither need nor want and as an expert in the field I can tell you that the vast majority of the nation will also not use anywhere near the speed or capacity or for anything meaningful or productive and there will be a very poor RoI. It’s like building a 10 rail high speed train link connecting all the major cities, forcing airlines to no longer run a domestic service and ripping up all the roads – massive cost, totally underutilised, zero profit, massive maintenance fees. And a handful of people use it once a year to go to Melbourne for the footy finals then claim “it was all worth it.”

  104. Paridell

    I’m surprised no one has thrown in Senator John Button’s opinion that “SBS is for people who are too lazy to go to art-house cinemas.”

    Ah, the 1980s! We had art-house cinemas in those days.

  105. Riverina Matt

    SBS is a little like Blockbuster Video. Technology has seen its raison d’etre disappear.

    The difference is that Blockbuster is subject to the discipline of the market and therefore is being would up. SBS on the other hand – being an arm of the government – is immune from market pressure and can continue on in its irrelevance indefinitely.

    If the Expenditure Review Committee doesn’t recommend winding up or selling SBS it is isn’t serious.

  106. Paridell

    It’s a funny thing, Starbucks failed here yet lives on in America. Blockbuster failed there yet lives on here. There’s a Blockbuster branch two blocks from my home.

    Perhaps it, and SBS, are little islands of light amid th’encircling gloom.

  107. lem

    Nice, Mr Rusty. I agree.
    And I’m with Yobbo, who watches TV anymore? Everything you could want and more is just a click away on the internet. Anyone who is interested in overseas press can read it online, international radio is streaming all the time and TV interviews and the like are available. I haven’t watched free to air for years, and just cancelled foxtel because I cannot stand Peter Van Onselen.

  108. Andrew

    It’s like building a 10 rail high speed train link connecting all the major cities, forcing airlines to no longer run a domestic service and ripping up all the roads

    Eggsactly. The filthies screaming about a “second class” broadband that would “destroy the country” (you know, the same policy that Krudd took to the 2007 election) are likening it to a Harbour Bridge with a missing “last mile.” Remember that cartoon?

    No. It’s like deciding that once every 10,000 uses is a vehicle SO high that it can’t fit and currently has to be re-routed via Lane Cove should be prioritised, a second tunnel built with 20m ceilings, where the toll is 4x as great, the government has to subsidise it, the forecasts prepared on the assumption that everyone will use it rather than drive around or catch a train north, ensuring this by closing the SHB and SHT to all road traffic, making it illegal for Cityrail to advertise the North Shore line, and starting the project without the technical capability to complete it so being 90% behind schedule on the construction after 6 years.

    And then comparing it to the EXISTING “last mile” HB which is perfectly adequate for 99.99% of uses and projected uses 50 years into the future, upgradeable, and would be left in place unfucked with, PLUS a plan to workaround for ultra-high vehicle needs with a special barge that enables unlimited vehicle height, on a user-pays “last mile” basis.

    I also ask them, if not having fibre last mile will destroy your children’s lives, have you paid for the 100MB upgraded Foxtel cable internet today? It’s been out the front of your house since the Keating govt. Strangely none of them ever considered it THAT vital until now. Nor have the 14 people whose houses are now NBN-ready after 6 years. Take-up has been abysmal.

    I will never forgive Krudd for many, many things, but the worst of all is not building the Howard national fibre backbone as a Stimulus project. He could have generated 90% of the productivity immediately, facilitated massively improved wireless in regional towns, created the ability to do “last mile” to the CBDs, base hospitals, town halls and other major decentralised businesses and avoided the BER / batts fiascos and deaths. Then FTTH could have been stage 2, and easy to kill off when proven unnecessary.

  109. Andrew

    I can see value in having ABC run 24 hours news from an Australian perspective.

    So can I. Let me know if they ever try doing that, instead of from the perspective of The Greenian UK. I’ve had the misfortune a couple of times of seeing what passes for the ALPBC representing our interests in Asia. It was
    - Wayne Swan’s daughter spending an hour Abbottabbottabbotting
    - How we violate human rights conventions here, and why (when the High Court challenges are successful) things will be much smoother for the people smuggling industry so they should keep their spirits up
    - Why we’re closed for business, but at least the progressives are happy about the Graincorp ruling
    - We’ve destroyed the budget with the RBA recapitalisation, which is of no value
    - We’ve grievously insulted [Asian country of the week] and here’s some nobody to spend 15 minutes soliloquising about exactly how serious it is and why [ACotW] should never speak to us again and start preparing the troops to invade us in retailiation.

    Not that Their Malcolm cares.

  110. Riverina Matt

    Blockbuster failed there yet lives on here.

    Blockbuster here is on borrowed time. The video store killer is coming to Australia next year.

    I await the calls from the left for protection of the cultural institution that is the neighbourhood video store from the cold winds of globalisation and extreme capitalism. Won’t someone think of the jobs?

  111. Notafan

    Not that Their Malcolm cares.

    maybe so but our Julie does.
    Australia Network put on notice

  112. I am the Walrus, koo koo k'choo

    Mr Rusty, Andrew: thankyou, those analogies were brilliant, and the information highly valuable.

    Honestly, what a bunch of cretins filled the ranks of the last government. Thank God they are gone.

    My solution is to fund SBS through subscriptions. Ie, privatise it. If the benefit is private, which is what the arguments for it suggest, then so should be its funding.

    Good that the NBN should be discussed on this thread. SBS was a Malcolm Fraser brainfart that we are still paying for forty years later. Krudd’s NBN will be exactly the same.

    Well done ALP voters. Thanks a hundred billion.

  113. Paridell

    Netflix here “next year”, which is now this year? Jolly well about time!

    But don’t hold your breath.

  114. Oh come on

    ABC 24 already broadcasts al Jazeera.

    The NBN is a dog. It could have been less so if it were built in two phases – FTTN and then FTTH. The benefit of the former could be delivered much sooner to everyone, then phase two could be commenced. I suppose Conroy and co were worried a future government would cut the expensive FTTH component on fiscal grounds or because broadband customers would realise they didn’t need internet speeds to be doubled or tripled again after the completion of phase one. In that case, it was a political decision, not one based on projected needs.

    Thank god those irresponsible arseholes aren’t running the country any more.

  115. .

    NBN eh?

    http://nbnco.com.au/content/dam/nbnco/documents/nbn-co-annual-report-2013.pdf

    Premises activated (after three years of operations)

    Fibre brownfield 20441
    Fibre greenfield 13145
    Fixed wireless/satellite 36514

    Net loss after tax 2013: 932 million AUD

  116. Notafan

    I suppose Conroy and co were worried a future government would cut the expensive FTTH component on fiscal grounds or because broadband customers would realise they didn’t need internet speeds to be doubled or tripled again after the completion of phase one

    I don’t think they worried about anything other than losing elections.
    The NBN is our only hope according to the left.

  117. entropy

    Apparently Netflix is having trouble paying for recent shows to put on its network, according to American friends. Hollywood is putting the squeeze on to protect their existing networks from the threat posed by Netflix. I suspect this is also the reason Apple hasn’t provided a netflix like service through its Apple TV. Hollywood won’t give them reasonable terms.

    Steve, dodo might offer the NBN at those rates for the lucky few that could access the NBN, but that is quite different to delivering it. Dodo is in competition with Exetel to be the nation’s worst ISP. As for the prices of the NBN more generally, using reliable ISPs, ADSL comfortably undercuts it for most users. I speak from experience helping my father choose a new provider last Christmas. The NBN made no financial sense (for him) in comparison.

    I think SBS reason to be as a public utilityhas died with ubiquitous broadband. Either sell it off or merge it with the ABC. And reduce the number of channels for both. Too much Other Peoples Money.

  118. Rabz

    Video store killer?

    I’ve got two of them in my living room already, one of which I’ve had since March last year.

    Apple TV and the xbox one.

  119. Infidel Tiger

    What a cranky loudmouth you are, Mr Rusty. Still, this is the blog for your type, so congratulations on finding a home.

    As a typical libertarian, you equate what you can achieve and are willing to do with your tech knowledge with what the average punter can be bothered with.

    Translation: You have humiliated me like a Tory politician at an all night S&M gang bang. I am upset with you.

  120. Peter56

    Any chance these bloody immigrants learning English!! Which is the language of the country.
    In fact, make it that nobody gets welfare until they can fill out the form, on the day they apply, in full view of the welfare personnel, by themselves, and the forms, in all government agencies, be in English only.
    Except for those who celebrate Invasion Day. Theirs can be in Guptanoonga or Lapparinti or any of the other squillion blackfella languages, which come in handy in all walks of Australian life.

  121. squawkbox

    Except for those who celebrate Invasion Day. Theirs can be in Guptanoonga or Lapparinti or any of the other squillion blackfella languages, which come in handy in all walks of Australian life.

    Peter56, you racist! In the absence of aboriginal written language, they will still have to fill out the forms in anglo-imperialist Roman script on non-indigenous paper. Until a benefit claim can be made via the medium of interpretive dance, Australia will not be a true multicultural society.

  122. Oh come on

    I don’t think they worried about anything other than losing elections.

    They were terrible at winning elections. Play to your strengths, guys – namely, spending bucketloads of other people’s money on useless junk.

    The NBN is our only hope according to the left.

    Yeah isn’t that hilarious? The NBN is a universal panacea – it’s going to fix healthcare and education. It’s going to fix the economy by massively raising productivity, somehow. This will eliminate unemployment and make us all rich. Oh, and it will destroy News KKKorp and the rest of MurdocKKK’s evil empire – again, somehow.

    I suppose it promises to solve other common leftist problems like providing skunk when Jezza’s not back from Nimbin, and will even roll doobies when you’re too stoned to do it yourself.

  123. Notafan

    The wailing and the gnashing of teeth was only exceeded by the frothing at the mouth when Turnbull almost said no.
    Its funny how modern technology that relies on electicity and manufacturing and stuff is okay when it is something luvvies want.
    I guess they are all 100 % renewable in Nimbistan.

  124. HK_Brother

    In the 1980s, I remember my mother watching SBS because they used to offer Chinese to English learning as part of their broadcast. I know this as I recall my father asking SBS to send her a language learning pack.

    Today?
    * Asylum Seekers
    * Indigenous matters => NITV
    * News broadcasts from around the world.
    * Sex movies…Its always about some young female “discovering herself”. (They call it “art” or “culture”).

    They do NOT do a single program that helps integrate immigrants into Australia.

    In fact, that’s the Left’s interpretation of immigration and multiculturalism!
    * Let everyone in (regardless of background…Ignore the assaults on local white women and girls)
    * Indoctrinate them into Eco-nut ideology (saw this on SBS news; don’t turn on the heater, wear more clothes!)
    * Ignore Australian culture…Because it was made by white men.
    * Practice your own, don’t integrate into ours. Ours is dirty.

    And you know what? Like all Lefties, they are gutless to admit who they really are. If they did, NO ONE would vote for them and their taxpayer funded propaganda outlets would be immediately be shot down to pieces by an angry public.

    Screw SBS, cut them loose. They used to serve a purpose, now (like all Left-wing infections) they’ve become another useless activist-propaganda outlet that have their snouts in the taxpayer trough.

    That’s the key thing I notice about a modern Leftie. They don’t produce anything of value to society. So they create problems and portray themselves as being the solution providers.

  125. egg_

    Its funny how modern technology that relies on electicity and manufacturing and stuff is okay when it is something luvvies want.

    The Greens were complaining about poor mobile coverage in remote areas during the Qld floods – clueless/beyond parody.

  126. They do NOT do a single program that helps integrate immigrants into Australia.

    Worse than that, HK_Brother, SBS regularly and mischievously broadcasts error-ridden, alleged documentaries which depict ordinary Australians as the worst racists and their forebears as genocidal murderers.

  127. MacBeth

    Paridel: Perhaps OT.
    Hebrews 11 – read verse 3 to the end. The ‘Big Bang’ theory confirmed.

  128. Paridell

    Hi’ye, MacBeth!

    My allusion referred to the argument urged above that raising the level of advertising on SBS (or anywhere in the media, e.g. TEN) will necessarily drive down the quotient of left-wing content.

    To the believer this doctrine is self-evident, hence the “evidence of things not seen”. But it is only apparent to those who look with the eye of faith.

  129. Alfonso

    “SBS regularly and mischievously broadcasts error-ridden, alleged documentaries which depict ordinary Australians as the worst racists and their forebears as genocidal murderers.”

    Indeed, and it doesn’t worry our Tone one little bit……..
    (He’s also still officially a paid up CAGWarming believer.
    Doubt it? Check out Liberal policy. Ask Hunt).

    Ethnic immigrants can say what they like about me, its when I’m forced to pay for my own degradation on Their taxpayer funded privately captured tv I get a tad shitty.

  130. Alfonso

    As in “Ethnic immigrants can say what they like about me…on their own dollar”.

  131. struth

    This is also another gov organisation not playing on a level playing field.
    Taxpayer funded AND allowed to advertise, FFS.
    Many a shit business like this has killed off it’s great performing competition in Australia, the competition that isn’t subsidised.

  132. Bons

    International content can be run efficiently free to air by simply constraining their charter to the transmission of movies, docos etc but no comment and no news or current affairs It is all wire service output carefully screened to reflect SBS bias). To make transmission balanced, allocate a defined number of broadcast hours to global regions – people can then make-up their own minds whether to watch. As for the farce of transmitting out-of-date national news broadcasts that are more readily available on the internet – sheesh!
    When SBS commenced it was a great lurk for the mediterranian dominant ethnic group – it still is.
    SBS – Upper Volta Third Division soccer results; 1960′s conspiracy theories (reflecting the age of most SBS management), and French girls taking their clothes off. I object to paying for this scam.

  133. .

    and French girls taking their clothes off. I object to paying for this scam.

    I object to paying.

  134. nilk, Iron Bogan

    Divide $250m by the viewers and we are probably spending a few thousand bucks a year so that they can watch international news, nearly all untranslated all of which is avalable online for nothing.

    I do actually like to watch international news reports to find out what’s happening on the ground, so to speak. As they are untranslated, there is no sense in me even attempting to watch SBS. So, like everyone else, I watch online for free. And either translated or subtitled.

    I’ll take my few thousand back, thanks.

  135. Paridell

    “by simply constraining their charter to the transmission of movies, docos etc but no comment and no news or current affairs”

    Bons, it takes an Act of Parliament to change the SBS Charter in any way. So I’m afraid your proposal to “constrain” the SBS Charter to eliminate comment, news, and current affairs from the network would not be simple at all. In fact, it’s a non-starter!

  136. Oh come on

    Until July, Paridell. Until July. After that, a galaxy of possibilities opens up. Abbott will probably fluff it, though. erh well ah I’ve always said that er SBS is ah a great Australian icon ah that needs to be erh protected

  137. MacBeth

    Hi Paridell. Thank you. I did grasp the allusion, but I was suggesting it was my post that was probably ‘off topic’. I’m a bit of a fan of old Paul – an amazing fellow for his time.

  138. Paridell

    To be clear, what is a non-starter is the idea of eliminating comment, news, and current affairs from SBS.

    Any government can change the SBS Charter if it has the numbers. That is how SBS got advertising. But ban the news? Oh come on!

  139. james

    Pari the government not funding something is not the same as “banning” it.

  140. Jim Rose

    So, good post. SBS is very 20th century. Pre-cable TV.

  141. red breast

    The reasons which previously existed to provide the SBS service have all disappeared. ie. It is no longer needed! And we already have an Indigenous broadcaster operating throughout central Australia called Imparja. Similarly in this www age there is no need for an “Australian indoctrination of Asia” channel; just cancel this outrageous ABC “service”.

  142. .

    Pre cable, pre internet, pre satellite radio, pre mobile phones, pre AppleTV, pre X Box Live…

    It was born in the 1970s but belongs in the 1950s.

    Give every citizen a mutual share in it or otherwise give them transferable listed ASX shares – or sell it. Or wind it up and divest.

  143. Jim Rose

    the ABC channel in asia is crap content too,

  144. Peter56

    Oh, those poor little blackfellas, having to fill out a form to continue sucking on the taxpayer teat, in English no less. Tell someone who cares.
    What is racist squawkbox, is the fact that blackfellas get benefits that only blackfellas can get, all because they are blackfellas, and mostly disgusting, worthless specimens of society, too drunk out of their scones on taxpayer money to do anything but be worthless bludgers. Oh, sorry, there is one thing a great many of them can do, and that is rape and sodomise those beautiful black kids, and brutalise and beat up thheir women, all because it is a part of their vile culture.
    So stick your fucking interpretative dance stupidity, and the even more fucking ridiculous welcome to country and smoking ceremonies up your arse. I don’t need to be welcomed into my own country by some fat blackfella, wearing possum skins and dancing like a retard. And let’s face it, the most abjectly stupid bit of all that, is these retards are welcoming themselves to their own country, because as sure as most blackfellas are bludging, worthless arseholes, there is not one among them who would now be a full blood. No way in hell, unless there are scattered pockets of them, never been seen by whitey, on their own for millennia, propagating the species by interbreeding.
    I don’t give one fuck about blackfellas. They can beat and kill each other till the cows come home to roost, but as some might know on here, I do care about those beautiful little kids, scared shitless day and night, all the while fucksticks like squawkbox prattle on about interpretative dance, and until you have something worth reading, about how you want to help those poor kids, fuck off you disgusting piece of subhumanity.
    So you calling me a racist bothers me not. Maybe you can give token black boy mundine a call and you can go help those kids out squawkboy. But no, you just stick your black armband on and go have a whine with all the invasion day pansies and do sweet fuck all, except suck on the taxpayer teat, you bludging parasite.

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