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SBS-Australia aims to triple local content

Tuesday 15 Nov 2011
New SBS chief executive Michael Ebeid, in his first major statement since taking the role, has declared the multicultural broadcaster “open for business” with the local production industry despite its budgetary constraints, The Australian reports.

SBS-Australia Michael Ebeid

“It is essential that we aim to treble the levels of Australian content on SBS for 2012 and beyond,” he said.

Mr Ebeid unveiled a new corporate strategy to delegates at the Screen Producers Association of Australia Conference that has as its two corporate goals growing audiences and making more content that reflects its charter.

He noted some might think that is “Mission Impossible, that with the plethora of services now available to Australian audiences, narrowing our field of view around our charter is potentially limiting our audience”.

“Well, we disagree with that view,” he said. “The key word for the future of SBS commissioned content must be ‘distinctive’.

“I think it’s essential that we be more distinctive. We need to ensure we stand out from the crowd. Our purpose is quite simply …to inspire all Australians to explore and appreciate our multicultural and diverse world, to contribute to an inclusive society.”

Mr Ebeid outlined a number of distinct programmes he expected to fulfil that brief, including another series of the acclaimed and popular Go Back To Where You Came From, the documentary series Once Upon A Time In Cabramatta, and the new light entertainment series, Bollywood Star.

“I believe our strength lies in our difference,” he said.