SBS Upfronts 2023

SBS reveals an entertaining, original, and impactful content line-up for all Australians in 2023


  • More SBS Original prime-time dramas in 2023 than ever before: thriller Safe Home, dramedy While the Men Are Away and anthology Erotic Stories.
  • SBS puts the spotlight on love, identity, and consent with powerful Australian documentaries featuring Julia Zemiro, Jess Hill, Noni Hazlehurst, Barry Humphries, Rhonda Birchmore, Derryn Hinch, John Safran, Adam Liaw and Cal Wilson.
  • The rugged Tasmanian wilderness revealed as location for Australian version of worldwide sensation Alone.
  • Celebrating 10 years of being available to all Australians on the SBS network, NITV will deliver its biggest original content line-up starting with a special broadcast event live from Uluru.
  • Exclusive new shows Rogue Heroes, The Doll Factory and the final season of The Handmaid’s Tale add to 15,000 hours of curated content on SBS On Demand.
  • SBS Food to premiere two more seasons of The Cook Up with Adam Liaw, and new shows with Luke Nguyen, Khanh Ong and Poh Ling Yeow.
  • All 64 games of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ live and free for all Australians; over 800 hours of cycling content including the Tour De France, Tour De France Femmes, Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España.
  • New multi-year partnerships announced with leading independent distributor BETA Film, and Viaplay Group, the Nordic region’s leading producer of original content.
  • SBS Radio continues its growth and evolution to become SBS Audio in 2023.

SBS has today revealed its plans for entertaining all Australians with more original and impactful content over the year ahead, showcasing the network’s biggest ever local commissioned program offering, with distinctive stories Australians won’t see anywhere else.

“The Australia you see when you walk out your door each morning is what you see in everything we do at SBS. Contemporary Australia shines through our storytelling, and through our storytellers. Our content offer is an open invitation to all Australians to feel a sense of belonging and over the year ahead, we’ll deliver more original local content across our network than ever before,” said James Taylor, Managing Director of SBS.

“SBS is the media network for the Australia of today - and tomorrow - continuing to innovate our services for a rapidly evolving population. No other network connects with Australians like we do, and we’re proud to be reaching more people than ever before with a unique content offering, the best digital user experience as rated by audiences, and a compelling commercial proposition that positions brands in a trusted and safe environment.”

SBS Director of Television and Online Content, Kathryn Fink said: “2023 is set to be a bumper year across the network, with a record number of SBS Original dramas and documentaries that will entertain, inspire, and break new ground. And before we get there, we’ve got all 64 matches of the world’s biggest sporting event, the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ live and free to all Australians.

“SBS invests in award-winning content that speaks to who we are as a nation and can have real, meaningful impact. We’re also proud to be driving change and supporting a future for our industry where everyone belongs. We want the stories we see on screen – not just on SBS – to truly represent Australia, and we invest in more than a dozen initiatives that break down barriers and support career pathways and progression for the storytellers that will lift our entire sector to new heights.”

SBS Director of Indigenous Content, Tanya Denning-Orman, said: “What a line-up of First Nations programming we have coming up in 2023! We’re celebrating culture, connecting to Country, and championing the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities from across the continent, right across the SBS network. Whatever platform you use to come to SBS, you’ll find more stories from the world’s greatest storytellers that will inspire and instil pride in all Australians. It includes our biggest ever offering of new content from NITV, as we celebrate 10 years of being available to every Australian as part of SBS - join us for a party at Uluru in December as we mark this major milestone.”

For the first time ever, in 2023, SBS will deliver three original prime-time drama series. From Imogen Banks, the award-winning producer behind Offspring, is a first look at Safe Home, a thriller full of twists that tells the story of Phoebe (Aisha Dee), a woman whose life gets turned upside down when she’s embroiled in a violent murder. While the Men Are Away is a sexy. queer, revisionist historical dramedy about a group of women finding their power while the men are away fighting WWII - and Erotic Stories, is an anthology of contemporary tales about lust, desire, and longing… but with an SBS twist

SBS curates the best dramas from across the globe. From the creator of Peaky Blinders, the highly anticipated Australian premiere of Rogue Heroes is coming to SBS in 2023. Starring Dominic West, Alfie Allen and Connor Swindells, Rogue Heroes tells the story of how the world’s most famous Special Forces Unit, the SAS, was born.Coming exclusively to SBS in 2023, the sixth and final season of The Handmaid’s Tale and historical thriller The Doll Factory, an adaptation of the Sunday Times’ bestselling novel of the same name.

There are now over 11 million registered users of the world-class streaming destination, SBS On Demand, where audiences can enjoy more than 15,000 hours of the world’s best content for free, including programs in more than 50 languages. Launching today, a new multi-year partnership between SBS and Viaplay Group, the Nordic region’s leading producer of original content, will provide Australians will exclusive access to hundreds of hours of dramas, films and documentaries from Viaplay Select, curated for SBS On Demand. SBS also revealed a first look content partnership with leading European independent content distributors BETA Film, who have delivered internationally acclaimed series such as Gomorrah and Agent Hamilton.

Joining SBS’sprime time original and acquired dramas are three new short form dramas from Digital Originals, the successful joint initiative between Screen Australia, SBS, and NITV supporting screen creatives currently under-represented in the sector providing a platform for the new guard of contemporary Australian storytellers. Premiering on SBS On Demand in 2023, Night Bloomers is an anthology of horror stories from the Korean diaspora. In Appetite, a food delivery rider dies on the streets of Sydney, and an unlikely trio of fellow riders are entangled in a mystery to uncover the truth. In Latecomers, premiering this December, two strangers with cerebral palsy are determined to explore their relationships with sex and each other after watching their carers hook up at a bar.

SBS continues to be a leader in original documentaries that challenge, inform and entertain our audiences. In 2023, SBS delivers one of its most ambitious projects ever undertaken. Alone Australiawill see 10 Australians dropped in the Tasmanian wilderness, where they’ll be challenged by the merciless forces of nature, hunger, and the perhaps the toughest challenge of all: loneliness, as they compete for $250,000. Alone is the most successful factual franchise in the history of SBS On Demand.

See What You Made Me Do was one of SBS’s most successful factual programs in 2021, and investigative journalist Jess Hill returns to SBS with Asking For It, a bold new documentary series exploring consent in Australia: unpacking misconceptions and myths on the subject and how this impacts peoples’ lives.

Presented by John Safran, Cal Wilson and Adam Liaw, Who the Bloody Hell Are We? is a satirical, iconoclastic, and playful series that explores Australians hidden multicultural history. It’s time to set the record straight by writing the vanished, the banished and the demonised back into our national story. Julia Zemiro returns to SBS, transporting viewers across our Great Southern Land by foot in an entertaining waltz through history, geography, science, travel and culture in Great Australian Walks. New three-part observational documentary series The Matchmakers dives into the unique and private world of old traditions, religion, family values and culture through matchmaking. It’s a universal quest of love and marriage in contemporary Australia. Is there such a thing as love at first sight? What does “happily ever after” mean? And what’s love got to do with it? And in a bold, trail blazing, world-first social experiment, students from Australia’s biggest Islamic school embark on a school swap with students from mainstream high schools to bridge cross-cultural divides in Australia and help students to thrive beyond the school gates in The Big School Swap.

The network also welcomes the return of some of its most successful commissioned documentary series with the fourteenth season of Who Do You Think You Are? SBS is excited to announce today national treasureBarry Humphries, Rhonda Burchmore and Derryn Hinch are among the prominent Australians uncovering the secrets of their ancestry next year. Noni Hazlehurst returns for the fourth season of fan favourite Every Family Has a Secret and single documentaries will be celebrated with another season of the acclaimed Australia Uncovered.

On 12 December 2022, NITV celebrates 10 years since it launched free-to-air and began beaming into every Australian household as part of the SBS network. To mark the occasion, NITV presents a special live broadcast event From the Heart of our Nation, A Celebration, inside Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park as the sun sets on Uluru. A line-up of some of Australia’s best Indigenous artists from across Australia will come together to perform in celebration of the strength, resilience and talent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples.

On NITV in 2023,actorRob Collins uncovers ancient Indigenous innovations on Country in The First Inventors. Australia’s premier Indigenous current affairs program, Living Black, presented by Karla Grant celebrates its 20th year on air and Going Places with Ernie Dingoreturns, introducing a new suite of iconic destinations. From the Kakadu National Park to the Great Barrier Reef, Ernie is no stranger to exploring the beauty that our country has to offer. After four seasons, Ernie will be hitting the road with some friends – actor Aaron Fa’aoso, journalist Rae Johnston, Network 10 television presenter Narelda Jacobs, and entrepreneur and presenter Bianca Hunt. In Our Law, documentary cameras are granted intimate and candid access to the Indigenous officers and cadets attempting to break the cycle of Indigenous incarceration and repair a deeply troubled Aboriginal-police relationship, while giving voice to the communities being policed.

In 2023, SBS Food remains the leading destination for premium food programming as Australia’s only free-to-air food channel, celebrating Australia’s rich diversity through food, every day. SBS is excited to announce another two seasons of The Cook Up with Adam Liawand Adamwill be reunited with Poh Ling Yeow for the tastiest road trip around Australia in Adam and Poh’s Great Australian Bites. Enjoy the flavours of beautiful Bali with co-founder of Bali’s globally renowned KYND Community Lauren Camilleri, in Paradise Kitchen Bali. From the rugged West Coast of Tasmania to the remote billabongs of Arnhem Land Khanh Ong’s Wild Food combines wild food, adventure, and a hint of glamour. And Luke Nguyen is back in 2023, immersing himself in one of the most vibrant places on earth, India, where food, religion and rich culture go hand in hand with Luke Nguyen’s Indian Insights.

Next year, SBS celebrates 40 years of broadcasting the world’s biggest live music event, the Eurovision Song Contest. In 2023, Ukraine’s win will be hosted by Liverpool, Returning with more laughter and celebrities is iconic game show Celebrity Letters & Numbers. Join host Michael Hing, wordsmith David Astle and expert mathematician Lily Serna as they put their celebrity guests’ linguistic and numerical skills to the test. Beloved quiz show Mastermind is also back with Marc Fennell. SBS VICELAND continues to bring comedy and entertainment alongside factual and news programming with new seasons of audience favourite Richard Ayoade’s Question Team alongside new seasons of 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, Hypothetical and Patriot Brains.

This year marks the return of the event that stops entire nations, the FIFA World Cup™. An event like no other, the World Cup unites people from all walks of life in celebration of the global game of football. As the official broadcaster of the tournament, SBS will give all Australians a front row seat to all the action from Qatar with all 64 matches live and free on television and live streamed on SBS on Demand. The ‘FIFA World Cup Hub’ on SBS On Demand is the digital home of this year’s event where Australians can catch up on all the latest World Cup news, results, match replays, highlights, analysis, short-form video extras, mini matches, and more to enjoy anytime and anywhere.

SBS is Australia’s cycling network and will continue to broadcast the iconic Tour de France and Tour de France Femmes after securing the exclusive broadcast rights until 2030. Other major cycling events include the Giro d’Italia, the Vuelta a Espana, the Paris-Roubaix Femmes, the Women’s and Men’s Australian National Road Series as well as the Women’s and Men’s European Cycling Spring Classics. NITV have footy fans covered, with the return of their ground-breaking programs Yokayi Footy and Over The Black Dot. These shows offer an Indigenous perspective of the AFL and NRL, including analysis, guest interviews and bold conversation.

Australians continue to turn to SBS for news and current affairs providing the bigger picture on international issues, insightful coverage drawing on our unrivalled connections to communities, and impartial stories which give a voice to those unheard elsewhere. Whether it’s SBS World News, Insight, Dateline, NITV News, Living Black or The Point, Australians get access to a truly global newsroom across the SBS network, alongside a team of dedicated First Nations journalists through NITV.

Six months from the launch of its dedicated multilingual news channel, SBS WorldWatch, SBS has expanded its international news offering with new programs added to its line-up of global news bulletins in 37 languages across the network, while SBS’s own SBS News in Arabic and SBS News in Mandarin continue to deliver multilingual news for Australians on prime-time TV on SBS WorldWatch and on SBS On Demand.

NITV also continues its role in providing Australians with news from an Indigenous perspective. In 2023, NITV current affairs show, The Point , will provide weekly updates, interviews and explainers to inform all Australians on the range of First Nations voices and perspectives as Australia counts down to a referendum on an Indigenous Voice to Parliament.

In 2022, SBS announced it was creating a new documentary hub within its award-winning News and Current Affairs team, with a focus on creating content for a younger audience and investing in original programming for SBS On Demand. In 2023, Marc Fennell will follow on from the success of Framed – the story of Australia’s greatest art heist and SBS’s most successful ever online-focused originals commission – with two new powerful digital-first documentary series.

As it continues to evolve its services for Australia’s multilingual communities, SBS Radio will become SBS Audio in 2023. SBS began more than 45 years ago as radio programs in a handful of languages, and today, SBS’s radio division services more than 60 languages and a growing digital audience and an increasingly multiplatform focus – including Australia’s most unique podcasts. SBS Audio recognises that the content and services offered are not defined by the medium of delivery, but by the connection to the community and audiences it serves. SBS Audio will continue to serve the more than 5.5 million Australians* who speak a language other than English at home, while SBS PopAsia, SBS PopDesi and SBS Chill will continue to engage all Australians through music and pop culture from around the world.

NITV highlights growing investment in content with Beyond 3% initiative

SBS has used its 2023 Upfront event today to highlight the success of the Beyond 3% initiative in driving brands to invest in First Nations media, pointing to a growing investment in content on National Indigenous Television (NITV).

Anna Dancey, National Sales Manager NITV, announced that since its launch in March 2021, the Beyond 3% initiative has grown awareness of the channel, and driven significant lift in commercial investment in the channel – all invested back into First Nations content.

“In the 18 months since we launched Beyond 3%, we have seen a number of major brands look to make First Nations media a part of their media schedule,” said Dancey. “NITV revenue has increased fourfold, and every dollar goes back into NITV to create the unique content and vital services it provides for audiences.

“We’ve seen several major brands, such as Coles, NAB, Telstra and Google, make First Nations media a greater part of their media schedule, investing with NITV and demonstrating their commitment to First Nations storytelling.

“A question I often get from marketers is, can you show us what the investment has done for NITV? And the answer is, yes - take a look at Logie Award winning programs like powerful documentary Incarceration Nation and Little J & Big Cuz, breaking new ground in children’s television. Or the Walkley Award winning current affairs from NITV. and the coverage of moments that bring communities together such as the Garma festival in July, or the NSW Koori Knockout last month.”

NITV has also seen its audiences lift over the past 12 months with a 21 per cent increase in prime-time linear audiences on NITV, growing engagement across digital platforms, alongside a 27 per cent increase in the consumption of Indigenous content on SBS OnDemand, including NITV’s distinctive programming.

NITV audience

“SBS is the home of First Nations storytelling, with NITV at its heart, and we’re delivering more than ever across the entire network,” said Tanya Denning-Orman, SBS Director of Indigenous Content. “Over the last year, we’ve increased the amount of new Indigenous programming across TV and on SBS On Demand by almost a third. That includes a growing investment in NITV - and all of that content is also being shared elsewhere across the SBS network, reaching even more Australians.

“We provide a trusted platform for the issues and perspectives of First Nations communities to be heard, and we’re proud to be championing Indigenous excellence showcasing culture, Country and language in prime-time - and even for breakfast with the successful Big Mob Brekky each year during NAIDOC Week.

Big Mob Brekky

L-R Matty Mills, Luke Carroll, Tanisha Stanton, Rae Johnston and Tyrone Pynor.

L-R Matty Mills, Luke Carroll, Tanisha Stanton, Rae Johnston and Tyrone Pynor.

“As a network, we do what no one else in Australia can - creating a bridge between the First Peoples of this country and the newest communities to call it home, using our unique superpower at SBS to share First Nations stories in more than 60 languages.”

In 2022, NITV also made the significant move from broadcasting one signal nationally to begin broadcasting to 12 markets. It has helped NITV in giving it the capacity to be able to deliver more targeted programming, including news, sport and weather, tailored for its audiences across the country, as well as introducing the capability for NITV to broadcast live events simultaneously to all five time zones.

“There is power in investing in First Nations stories and First Nations media. It empowers NITV as a business,” said Dancey. “This is self-determination in action. Our content has an impact well beyond broadcast and the more we can invest in making it, the more we invest in, careers and communities, and in First Nations voices being heard by more Australians.”

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples represent 3.2 per cent of the Australian population, but it’s estimated that less than 0.3 per cent of advertising in Australia invested in media is dedicated to reaching these audiences. Beyond 3% was launched in early 2021 seeking to engage media agencies and marketers to begin to address this gap by learning more about the role and value of First Nations media in Australia today, doing more to contribute to inclusion in the sector, and re-thinking media spend by committing to increasing investment in Indigenous media platforms to at least a 3 per cent target.

SBS commissions bold new Australian drama anthology - Erotic Stories

SBS and Screen Australia are thrilled to announce the commission of a new eight-part Australian drama anthology for 2023 – Erotic Stories.

Erotic Stories is a series of standalone contemporary tales about lust, desire, and longing, but with an SBS twist. Each story explores desire from a different character perspective and spotlights diverse experiences of sex and intimacy across age, sexuality, race, gender and disability.

From multi award-winning Lingo Pictures (Upright, The Secret She Keeps), produced by Helen Bowden and Liam Heyen, and executive produced by Jason Stephens, the 8 x 30 minute series will depict a refreshingly honest view of sexuality, deconstructing the splendour, complexity and chaos of lust.

Written by Niki Aken, Tamara Asmar, Alistair Baldwin, Christine Bartlett, Glace Chase, Marieke Hardy, Sara Khan and Sarah Walker, these are moving stories that say something real and relatable about modernity, connection, sex, love and desire.

SBS Head of Scripted Julie Eckersley, said:“Erotic Stories is an exciting and bold way to explore stories that give us new perspectives. It delivers on our vision at SBS to take big creative risks, experimenting with format and genre and to make dramas not seen anywhere else on Australian TV. Each of these beautiful and erotic stories is told from a point of view we have not seen strongly represented on mainstream television to date. It is sure to raise some eyebrows and heart rates and get Australians talking… in hushed whispers.”

Screen Australia’s Head of Content Grainne Brunsdon, said: “We’re pleased to support this original series from an exciting group of writers working together with the highly experienced Lingo Pictures. These frank and uplifting stories will explore our human need for emotional and physical connection and spotlight authentic experiences that aren’t often seen on our screens, and I can’t wait to see it engage viewers on SBS next year.”

Lingo Pictures’ Managing Director, Helen Bowden said, “Making these potent stories, with such a splendid group of creatives is a wonderful opportunity and Lingo can’t wait to get started. Thank you SBS!”

Erotic Stories is a Lingo Pictures production for SBS with major production investment from Screen Australia in association with SBS. ITV are managing international sales.

Erotic Stories will air on SBS in 2023.

SBS OnDemand announces new initiatives giving audiences and advertisers a world-class ad experience

SBS used its 2023 Upfront to commit to further investment in technology in its digital offering aimed at continuing to grow the platform - New initiatives – roll out of Adobe’s Real-Time Customer Data Platform (RTCDP) – to ensure consumers receive relevant advertising - New Solus spot, giving a brand exclusive ad spot within an ad break - Boltive partnership implemented to clean up the programmatic display activity - Pause advertising function allows brands to deliver relevant messaging when a program is pause - Shoppable formats in partnership with Kerv Interactive

SBS has used its 2023 Upfront to underline its ongoing investment in digital aimed at retaining its position as the preferred Australian BVOD platform of both advertisers and audiences.

Description automatically generated SBS used its 2023 Upfront event in Sydney today to highlight its digital transformation journey over the last five years outlining how the broadcaster has positioned SBS OnDemand uniquely to have a clear and differentiated offering, including with more than 15,000+ hours of content.

“SBS had a clear digital strategy from the outset for SBS On Demand and continues to over-index in the commercial BVOD market. It is a destination in its own right, and we have held our share of on-demand viewing with 26% of total on demand BVOD minutes,” said Adam Sadler, Director of Media Sales, SBS.

“This is an incredible result, driven by consistent and distinctive programming that defines SBS On Demand.”

Lee Callagher, National Operations and Commercial Product Manager, spoke about how the broadcaster’s investments in technology were ensuring SBS was delivering the strongest UX experience, but also had the right suite of partnerships to drive results for advertisers.

SBS On Demand

A seamless user journey and brand performance

“We are immensely proud of the position which SBS OnDemand has carved out in Australian streaming space,” said Callagher. “We remain the highest rated streaming platform in the Apple Store – not just against BVOD platforms but also SVOD – and that comes from how we put our audience first through our unique, personal and targeted ad experience.

“SBS is unique in the BVOD space in offering a decluttered, tailored and targeted ad experience, which understands and caters to the needs of audiences.”

In 2022, SBS OnDemand passed 11 million registered users but Callagher argued that it wasn’t simply the size of a broadcaster’s data lake which mattered but also the number of monthly active users.

In 2022, SBS has rolled out a number of key partnerships with the implementation of Adobe Experience Platform as SBS’s customer data platform (CDP), a new partnership with Boltive, the launch of the ‘Solus Spot’ which aims to give a brand the exclusive access within an ad break and a shoppable advertising format, all aimed at giving the 1.7million monthly active users of SBS OnDemand an uncluttered, seamless ad experience.

“We are very proud of the partnerships we have built out for SBS OnDemand,” said Callagher. “Our partnership with Boltive blocks obtrusive display ads and leaves more room for your message.

“Our users also receive a frictionless ad experience thanks to our implementation of SBS’s Server-Side Ad Insertion (Google DAI), which has increased customer satisfaction by a massive 80 percent.

“We are innovating with ad product through Solus and Shoppable advertising products to drive a premium user experience. SBS enriches their platform by supporting the 5.5million Australians that speak a language other than English to view their content and their ad breaks in their language of their choice. All of this is aimed at giving the best experience to both the consumer and the advertiser.”

Editor’s notes: Background on SBS’s new ad products and data partnerships

Solus advertising, giving a brand exclusive ad spot within an ad break

SBS On Demand and a brand can partner to bring audiences a shorter ad viewing experience on platform.

Viewers can enjoy less ads in a break, with a single bespoke mid-roll communicating the shorter ad break, thanks to the brand.

Pause advertising function allows brands to deliver relevant messaging when a program is paused

A non-disruptive, non-intrusive user-initiated display format.

The pause ad format allows brands to deliver relevant messaging to SBS audiences at the right time and place during a natural, user determined break in the storytelling.

Adobe Experience Platform as SBS Customer Data Platform (CDP)

The Adobe Experience Platform (Real-Time CDP) enables SBS to gain a more complete view of the OnDemand audience by bridging identities across devices and systems, allowing SBS to deliver impactful, personalised digital experiences in near real time.

The CDP holds a unified identity, in a privacy complaint environment, enabling a people-based view of our audience rather than a fragmented view of cookies and devices. The Adobe Real-Time CDP is a future proof technology platform capable of enabling a privacy-first, data-driven advertising ecosystem using first-party personally identifiable information (PII) data, that respects individual consumer choices.

Boltive partnership

Boltive provides the industry’s most comprehensive advertising quality solution as a countermeasure against malicious advertisements.

Boltive’s technology scans and blocks malicious ads to ensure that display creatives offered on the SBS Network are compliant and secure.

It protects SBS Audiences from malicious ads, redirect ads, and ads that do not comply by blocking on the client-side.

Boltive’ s technology aims to be our last line of defence to block display ads that are:

  • Offensive (sensitive categories: Unsavoury content, violence, hate, controversy etc)
  • Suspicious/malicious (Scams, fraud, malware etc)
  • Heavy with pixel trackers (impacts page load speeds)
  • Large creative file sizes (impacts page load speeds)

Kerv Interactive partnership for shoppable ads

SBS has partnered with Kerv Interactive – KERVTV Product

A non-intrusive, unique shoppable and dynamic interactive video ad experience linking BVOD to a user’s mobile device for a more connected experience.

Enables a call to action (QR code) for brands across CTV.

SBS and Viaplay Group partner to bring the best of Nordic to Australians

  • SBS and Viaplay Group have established a multi-year partnership to bring Viaplay Select to Australians with curated content available on SBS On Demand.
  • SBS continues to be the home of the best Nordic content and through the partnership, will have exclusive access to hundreds of hours of Viaplay Originals and additional premium content from the home of some of the most watched international series on SBS On Demand.
  • The partnership further expands SBS’s commitment to bringing drama series and movies from around the world to Australians, for free, including distinctive multilingual programming.

A new multi-year partnership between SBS and Viaplay Group will provide Australian audiences with a pipeline of exciting and award-winning content from Viaplay Select, with programming curated by SBS available on SBS On Demand, including Nordic dramas, movies and more.

SBS will premiere Nordic Viaplay Originals including drama series, films and documentaries, and will also have exclusive rights to an extensive library of Viaplay Originals and third-party Nordic programming. The partnership, launching on SBS On Demand today with 10 series and four new feature films dropping in the collection, also gives SBS a first-look option on forthcoming English-language Viaplay Originals.

Kathryn Fink, Director of Television at SBS, said the partnership expands the unparalleled collection of premium programs in languages other than English available on SBS On Demand.

“SBS has long been a pioneer of premium Nordic programming in Australia. Viaplay Originals like Norwegian series Wisting, Danish drama Darkness: Those Who Kill, and Norwegian thriller Furia are among some of our most watched series on SBS On Demand. This agreement will deliver a new suite of shows that will continue to build SBS’s reputation as a leader in international drama and feed a growing appetite among Australian audiences for global storytelling,” Fink said.

“We’re thrilled to now be partnering with Viaplay and expanding the relationship between our two distinctive brands to deliver more of the content that defines SBS On Demand. We’re excited to be continuing to grow our unique multilingual offering and showcase the best programs from around of the world to Australian audiences, for free.”

Vanda Rapti, Viaplay Group SVP & Head of Acquisitions, Content Distribution & Partnerships, said: “Viaplay Select is a compelling concept that helps our partners stand out in today’s competitive global streaming market. Nordic storytelling attracts audiences everywhere, and our Viaplay Originals deliver it better than anyone. Australia and the Nordic region may be on opposite sides of the globe, but top-quality drama is a universal language and we’re delighted to share our stories with millions of SBS On Demand viewers through Viaplay Select.”

Viaplay is the Nordic region’s leading producer of original content. Upcoming series set to premiere on SBS On Demand in Australia as part of the offering include the gritty Scandinavian crime shows Fenris, Cell 8, Where Were You and Huss; the Danish Canneseries-nominated biopic The Dreamer – Becoming Karen Blixen; acclaimed Norwegian comedy-drama Pørni; Swedish dramas Two Sisters, Harmonica and the award-winning Thunder in My Heart; and Norwegian dark comedies Ida Takes Charge and Below.

In addition, compelling international Viaplay Original documentaries such as The Prize of Silence, Natascha Kampusch – A Lifetime in Prison, and Wozniacki & Lee will also premiere on SBS On Demand through Viaplay Select.

The partnership reinforces SBS On Demand’s position as Australia’s most distinctive streaming destination, providing Australians with access to around 15,000 hours of distinctive programs from around the world, in more than 50 languages. With more than 11 million registered users, audiences can also choose to login and use the platform in Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Hindi, Korean and Vietnamese as their primary language.

SBS brand partnerships team becomes SBS CulturalConnect

A newly expanded service offering within SBS Media connecting brands to culture, community and Country.

SBS today announced it has rebranded its brand partnerships division as SBS CulturalConnect. The new holistic offering will provide commercial partners with purpose driven ways to tap into Australia’s dynamic cultural currents, grounded in an appreciation of Australia’s rich diversity.

The new SBS CulturalConnect offering was launched at SBS’s 2023 Upfront in Sydney and will provide services in strategy, research and insights, integrated brand solutions, creative and in-language production, inclusion training and consultancy

Adam Sadler, Director of Media Sales, SBS said the launch of SBS CulturalConnect was an important evolution of SBS Media’s commercial offering.

“Today’s announcement of SBS CulturalConnect is a significant moment that sees all of SBS Media’s core commercial offerings brought together under one holistic approach,” said Sadler. “Our knowledge, insights and research will provide brands and marketers with unique context to navigate contemporary Australia. No one else in the market is as well positioned to help brands question, validate, or challenge the underlining assumptions in your media strategy.”

“Clients may know SBSCulturalConnect as a brand for some of our individual product offerings, such as in-language production or workplace inclusion training, but today’s changes see SBS Media significantly lift its investment and offering in bespoke client solutions,” said Kate Young, National CulturalConnect Manager, SBS.

“SBS has an unparalleled understanding of contemporary Australia. With SBS CulturalConnect at the heart of our media offering, we’re making it easier for brands to access the full range of expertise that exists at SBS, and leverage the insights built on SBS’s connections to communities for more than 45 years.”

CulturalConnect - connecting through culture, community and Country

CulturalConnect - connecting through culture, community and Country

As part of the changes, SBS also confirmed it will be expanding the team’s senior leadership with the view to offering more bespoke consultancy to partners.

“The latest Census figures show the rapidly evolving Australia with increasing diversity, including more than 5.5 million people speaking a language other than English at home. For marketers, SBS CulturalConnect Consultancy will help brands go deeper – unlocking new sources of growth, unlocking more brand value, unlocking more purpose, and unlocking more from your people,” said Young.

SBS Radio continues evolution to become SBS Audio

The new name reflects the broadcaster’s successful shift to a distinctive cross-platform audio offering across radio, live streaming and podcasting.

SBS announces that in 2023, its radio offering will become SBS Audio to reflect its full cross-platform offering across more than 60 different languages.

Today, David Hua, SBS’s Director, Audio Language Content, speaking at SBS’s 2023 Upfront, said radio would always be an important part of SBS and that the change from SBS Radio to SBS Audio next year reflects the ongoing success in transforming into a cross-platform audio provider, covering broadcast radio, live streaming, digital publishing and podcasting.

“Today, SBS’s audio offering is not just a linear radio network - we have transformed into a truly platform agnostic multilingual audio and digital broadcaster and publisher, and we are continuing to evolve our services for an increasingly diverse Australia,” said Hua.

“Every week we broadcast more than 262 hours of original audio content and publish hundreds of articles in more than 60 languages. We are rapidly seeing audiences embrace audio streaming and podcasting, with more than six million streams and podcast downloads every month.”

The new SBS Audio logo

The new SBS Audio logo

Hua noted the unique position SBS Audio has in the Australian media landscape because of its distinctive content and its connection to Australian communities.

SBS Audio serves the more than 5.5 million Australians who speak a language other than English at home, as well as providing content in English, and for those learning a new language. It also has three music channels (SBS PopAsia, SBS PopDesi and SBS Chill) that engage all Australians through music and culture from around the world. SBS Arabic24 and SBS 中文 (SBS Chinese) provide comprehensive services for Australia’s largest language communities across a growing audio and digital offering.

“The change to SBS Audio in 2023 reflects that, at a time when every publisher and broadcaster is pivoting to audio and podcasting, SBS is already well established.,” Hua said.

“Our biggest podcasts are among the most listened to in Australia. The Handmaid’s Tale isn’t just a force on SBS OnDemand, our companion podcast, Eyes on Gilead, has hundreds of thousands of downloads each season, and tops charts globally.

“What other network launches a podcast like Colours of Cricket, offering a unique South Asian perspective on how a love of the sport has brought communities together? Or Chinese-ish, a podcast by young Chinese-Australians, for young Chinese-Australians?

“Or our podcast which expresses The Uluru Statement from the Heart, in over 80 languages (including 20 First Nations languages), has been downloaded more than 200,000 times in just the last three months alone.

Popular pdocasts "Chinese-ish" and "The Uluru Statement from the Heart"

Popular podcasts “Chinese-ish” and “The Uluru Statement from the Heart”.

“SBS Audio’s ability to speak to audiences in over 60 languages, and our connection with the communities we serve built on more than 45 years of broadcasting, continue to be our special superpowers.”

For brands, the shift to digital opens up new opportunities with pre-roll and mid-roll advertising across SBS’s audio network.

Audio network at scale

Audio network at scale - unique downloads FY21-22

“There is a large, highly engaged audience tuning in,” said Adam Sadler, Director of Media Sales, SBS. “The benefit of this shift is we are able to reach specific and highly engaged communities in a way which is both highly effective and clearly measurable.”

In recent years, SBS Audio highlighted the power of its connection to diverse audiences, launching bespoke offerings such as the multilingual SBS Coronavirus Portal providing a place where Australians could access important information and the latest news in their preferred language. It includes explainers, infographics, and resources for communities and businesses, with audiences accessing the content more than 11 million times.

Last month, SBS launched a new online offering with Mind Your Health, a portal featuring articles, podcasts, and videos in multiple languages, aimed at providing Australians from multicultural and First Nations communities with wellbeing and mental health stories and pathways to support.

“SBS began more than 45 years ago as radio programs in a handful of languages, and has evolved to become an innovative, multi-platform media network,” said Hua.

“We continue to evolve, and today’s announcement demonstrates that SBS Audio’s offering is not defined by the medium of delivery but by its connection to the communities and the audiences it serves.”

SBS Radio will transition to the new name of SBS Audio in early 2023.

SBS boosts international news line-up with additional programs added to its schedule across the network after successful SBS WorldWatch launch

Gujarati and Malayalam news bulletins join the line-up on SBS WorldWatch - Additional English-language news from India, Turkey and Fiji available on SBS and SBS VICELAND - First Nations news from New Zealand, Canada and the United States boost SBS’s international news offering to 66 programs available across the network

SBS is celebrating a successful six months since the launch of its dedicated multilingual news channel, SBSWorldWatch.

The network used its 2023 Upfront event to highlight that it has expanded its international news offering, including with bulletins in major South Asian languages Gujarati and Malayalam added to its SBS WorldWatch channel line-up. It has also added 9 new programs in English across the wider SBS network on SBS and SBS VICELAND, also available on SBS On Demand.

SBS WorldWatch launched in May 2022 as a free-to-air channel dedicated to providing Australians with access to news from around the world in languages other than English featuring bulletins from leading international broadcasters. The channel expanded SBS’s international and multilingual news offering, ensuring SBS audiences are better served than ever before, including with SBS عربي News (SBS News in Arabic) and SBS 中文 News (SBS News in Mandarin), SBS’s own news programs broadcast in prime-time each weeknight serving the diverse Arabic and Mandarin-speaking communities of Australia.

SBS WorldWatch logo

The launch of the channel has also enabled SBS to significantly add to the number of international news bulletins across the network with SBS WorldWatch adding two new international news bulletins in Gujarati and Malayalam from Indian Public Broadcaster Doordarshan (DD).

These two bulletins have been added to better serve Australia’s evolving news audiences, as speakers of Gujarati have increased by 54% since the 2016 Australian Census, and speakers of Malayalam by 48% over the same period.

With 13 new news bulletins across the SBS network and SBS On Demand, the changes allow popular programs to enjoy a better timeslot or expanded broadcast throughout the week.

Director of News and Current Affairs, Mandi Wicks, said: “With the launch of SBS WorldWatch, the SBS network has undergone broader rescheduling of our multilingual TV news across the network, now offering 66 news bulletins from 49 different broadcasters in 36 languages other than English, and 20 in English.

“SBS WorldWatch gives free-to-air and SBS On Demand audiences more coverage and choice than ever before. It’s great to see audiences’ positive response, which is reflected in the channel’s steady growth.”

SBS continues to bring leading international news bulletins in English across other channels on the network. Eleven new programs now feature on SBS and SBSVICELAND as well as being available on SBS On Demand, with SBS VICELAND adding Fiji One News; Te Ao with Moana from New Zealand’s Māori Television; CBC’s The National, from Canada; APTN National News from Canadian Indigenous network, Aboriginal People’s Television Network; TRT World Newshour from Turkey; Indian Country Today news from USA Indigenous network, IndiJ Public Media; and ABC Nightline from ABC America.

SBS has also added ANC’s The World Tonight from The Philippines; BBC News at 10; DD India from India Public Broadcaster Doordarshan and a weekly show from APAC Network, a Brisbane-based Asia-Pacific news start-up.

Central to the SBS WorldWatch offering are SBS’s flagship half-hour nightly news bulletins in Mandarin and Arabic, produced in-house, serving the two largest non-English language audiences in the country.

Executive Producer of SBS WorldWatch, Paul Williams, said: “Six months on from our launch of SBS WorldWatch we’re pleased with how viewers are engaging with the new content, and we will continue to build and adapt our offering to best meet our growing audiences’ needs.”

On average, SBS WorldWatch reaches more than 450,000 viewers per month*. It has cemented itself as the home for in-language world news in Australia.

SBS WorldWatch builds on SBS’s commitment to provide comprehensive news and information across its network - in English through SBS World News, and in more than 60 languages across SBS Radio services, podcasting, and digital platforms - and the multilingual services it has been delivering to Australians for more than 45 years.

Audiences can watch SBS WorldWatch free-to-air on channel 35 and catch up or stream it live on SBS On Demand. Since the launch of SBS WorldWatch in May 2022, the 13 new bulletins added to the international news offering across the network, are:

On SBS WorldWatch (in languages other than English)

Schedule: SBS Program Guide for SBS WorldWatch | New South Wales (NSW)

  • Gujarati news – from India Public Broadcaster Prasar Bharati / Doordarshan (DD)
  • Malayalam news – from India Public Broadcaster Prasar Bharati / Doordarshan (DD)


Schedule: SBS Program Guide for SBS VICELAND | New South Wales (NSW)

  • TRT World NewsHour – from TRT Turkey
  • Indian Country Today (ICT) news – from USA Indigenous network, IndiJ Public Media, Phoenix Arizona
  • APTN national news – from Canadian Indigenous network, Aboriginal People’s Television Network (APTN), Winnipeg, Canada
  • Te Ao with Moana – from New Zealand’s Māori Television
  • Fiji One news – from Fiji television ltd Suva, Fiji
  • ABC Nightline – from ABC America, New York USA
  • CBC The National – from Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) Toronto, Canada

On SBS (English)

  • Schedule: SBS Program Guide for SBS | New South Wales (NSW)
  • ANC The World Tonight – from Philippines broadcaster ABS-CBN Manila, Philippines
  • APAC Weekly – from APAC Network, Brisbane, Qld Australia
  • DD India news – from India Public Broadcaster Prasar Bharati / Doordarshan (DD)
  • BBC News at 10 – from British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) London, UK


BBC Studios’ Australian production arm is to produce The Matchmakers for SBS. In today’s world of dating apps and social media, the locally created observational documentary series takes a look at matchmakers, who for many cultures are the preferred way to find the right partner. The Matchmakers dives into the unique and private world of old traditions, religion, family values and culture through matchmaking. It’s a universal quest of love and marriage in contemporary Australia. Is there such a thing as love at first sight? What does “happily ever after” mean? And what’s love got to do with it?

The series follows three matchmakers from Jewish, Muslim and Hindu cultures as they help singles navigate the dating process to find a forever partner. From first dates, awkward family meets and sensitive negotiations between all parties to the final resolution – a rejection or a wedding. The journey offers a front row seat into the negotiations critical in bringing two families together.

Kylie Washington, General Manager and Creative Director, Production, BBC Studios Australia and New Zealand, said: “This is the second original series from the team and is a heart-warming yet confronting show that re-writes the book of love. With individual choice and preference heavily embedded in the process, the series explores family expectations and life ambitions against a backdrop of cultural expectations. With high rates of marriage failure in Australia, this series asks can more be learned from an approach that refuses to leave love to chance alone?”

The Matchmakers will air on SBS in 2023. SBS Head of Documentaries, Joseph Maxwell said: “The world of matchmaking is intriguing and entertaining and delivers unexpected stories about love. It’s also a brilliant window into modern multicultural marriage and families around Australia.”

The Matchmakers is a BBC Studios Australia and New Zealand production for SBS. Executive Producer is Anita Jorgensen, Producer is Erica Foley. BBC Studios will be distributing the series internationally.

The Matchmakers is the latest in a growing line-up of shows from BBC Studios’ Australian production arm. Last week it was announced they would make an Australian version of the hit UK gameshow The 1% Club for the Seven Network, hosted by comedian Jim Jefferies. Production is also underway on another series of The Great Australian Bake Off for Foxtel, based on a format from Love Productions and featuring a new line-up of hosts and judges, as well as another series of Mastermind for SBS. Shows screened so far this year include previous series of the AACTA nominated The Great Australian Bake Off and Mastermind, Space 22 on ABC and Dancing With The Stars: All Stars, co-produced with Warner Bros International Television Australia, for the Seven Network.

Images from event

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