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SBS receives funding boost, undertakes to launch Indigenous Free to air TV channel

Australia’s multicultural and multilingual broadcaster SBS has received a A$158.1million (US$159 million) Federal Budget boost, which the broadcaster claims will enable it to launch a new national free-to-air indigenous TV channel.

The 2012 Federal Budget funding boost represents a 27 percent increase on SBS’s base funding over the next four years.

SBS chair Joseph Skrzynski said, “SBS welcomes the significant boost to its core funding by the Federal Government. It is recognition that the work of SBS is a vital component of national strategies to ensure the continued success of Australia as a migrant society, maintaining social cohesion in these more difficult economic times’’.

SBS MD Michael Ebeid added, “In this Budget we’ve secured the funding SBS needs to be sustainable and to position for the future, SBS is honoured and excited to be delivering this new service, which will vastly increase the opportunity for the telling of stories from and by indigenous communities, and make those stories more accessible to audiences across the country.”

From 1 July, NITV will be maintained on existing platforms and a new national Indigenous free-to-air service will be launched in late 2012. When the new channel is launched, it will be broadcast on a national free-to-air digital spectrum.