Call to flick SBS ad breaks

sbs idAds on SBS has again been raised as an issue after Greens Senator Scott Ludlum introduced a Bill into the upper house, that aims to ban ads during programs, but still allows them to air in at the end of a show.

“To ensure SBS remains a global leader in public broadcasting it must be protected from the creeping commercialisation that is now evident,” Senator Ludlum told Parliament.

The proposal would amend a Special Broadcasting Service Act (1991) that allowed the broadcaster to run ads before, after and during “natural program breaks.”

In 2006, managing director Shaun Brown announced the introduction of mid-programme ads after claiming extended breaks lost the network viewers.

“On average we lose more than half our audience during these breaks – this is 30 per cent more than other broadcasters,” he said.

Source: The Australian / AAP


  1. They should just go back to the way it was before Shaun Brown stepped into SBS. I think most viewers preferred their programmes ad-free before the changes.

    I call BS on Brown’s statement that they “lose more than half our audience during these breaks”. If the shows are good, why would viewers leave?

  2. They could have stayed on the public broadcaster rout and deserved extra public funding. They didnt and then they suffered with the rest of the market in the GFC (advertising earnings) and the government refused to bail them out because of the choice they made. On the other hand the government rewarded The ABC for its continuing public service. That choice was to become more commercial and it turned out to be a bad commercial decision! Going mainstreem and commercial has therefor not paid off finacialy or critically.

  3. Ad placement by SBS really needs some work. They constantly place ads in such a way that they’re chopping off people in mid-sentence. From a viewer standpoint this is clearly unacceptable.

    My preference would be to see advertising in a block at the start or end of the show. I don’t need to see half a dozen ads for car insurance over an hour.

  4. So let me get this straight. If SBS were to remove ad-breaks during programmes, they would lose money? Oh no, I guess that means they’d be showing foreign movies and programmes like they used to. 😛

    +1 for ad removal.

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