SBS2 rebrands younger -with full series online before broadcast

2sbs2SBS is rebranding SBS2 to target 16-39 year olds with a focus on ‘thinking 30 somethings.’

Pitched as a bold, provocative channel, the content will be made up largely of international content that fits the SBS Charter but with an appeal to younger viewers.

The new branding will begin each day at 6pm, following Worldwatch news bulletins during the day, from April 1st.

Key titles will include Bullet in the Face, Don’t Tell My Mother, Him and Her, Russell Howard’s Good News and Community.

There will also be a 15 minute News bulletin at 7:30pm and headlines between programmes plus cult movies on weekends and A League sport on Friday nights. It will also be programming content directed at those looking for engaging late night titles.

The channel will also play to the appeal of social media amongst its audience and offer a new online Comedy portal.

And in a major move SBS2 will offer three key series in their entirety online following the first episode airing.

The broadcaster indicated that it knows younger audiences want to see a show instantly, so it has announced a ‘Back 2 Back’ service for three shows: Bullet in the Face, Don’t Tell My Mother and The Tales of Nights. In this way it hopes to keep an impatient audience within SBS rather than losing them to Bit Torrent.

Michael Ebeid, SBS Managing Director, said: “The new-look SBS 2 will deliver on SBS’s commitment to be a broadcaster which is there for all Australians by broadening and deepening our reach with younger audiences.

“We know that younger audiences engage with SBS when we broadcast key content like Go Back to Where You Came From, East West 101 and Housos but we want to give that audience a channel they can call their own and that is fully integrated with an online offering.

“SBS2 will be a channel which is fun and inclusive and all about giving our younger audiences content in the fast-paced way they want it, when they want it and on a device they choose to view it.”

Tony Iffland, SBS’s Director of TV and Online Content, said: “Our mission with SBS2 is clear – to provide thought-provoking and entertaining content for younger viewers. The key target of that younger audience is the thinking thirty something – those who are still toying with the wild experimentation of youth whilst thinking about embracing
responsibility for the first time.

“Our programming line-up delivers a rich and innovative combination of adventurous documentaries, fresh comedy and drama, hit entertainment, quality sport and tailored news and current affairs. I am confident that we offer something different and attractive in the multichannel market place.

“We’re delighted to bring Back 2 Back to our audiences meaning they can watch all the episodes of a new series via SBS On Demand. We know our audiences don’t necessarily want to wait eight weeks or more to make an appointment to view a series and now they don’t have to. They can go straight to SBS On Demand and watch all the episodes back-to-back or whenever they want.”

SBS 2 will show some top acquired drama series including, Threesome, Him & Her and Skins series seven – all Australian premieres.

Threesome is an outrageous dramedy about three inseparable friends on the verge of thirty, who after a wild night out end up having an unplanned threesome which results in an even more unplanned pregnancy. Together they decide it’s time to ditch the party lifestyle and have the baby – as a threesome.

Him & Her is an anti-romantic comedy about Steve (Russell Tovey) and Becky (Sarah Solemani) – a young couple deeply in love, often in bed and rarely in employment.

BAFTA Award winning series Skins will return with an edgy new season as a fresh generation of four boys and four girls love each other, hate each other, screw each other, and get smashed together. SBS 2 will also show the seventh and final season of Skins later in the year which will see the return of first and second generation cast favourites Cassie, Effy, and Cook.

Bullet in the Face, a viciously funny, wildly violent, bloody and unabashedly politically incorrect action comedy series from Canada starring Eddie Izzard and Eric Roberts, will premiere on the channel.

Joining Bullet in the Face on Mondays will be Emmy Award winning Belgian hidden camera comedy series Benidorm Bastards which stars seven senior citizens who roam the streets pulling absurd stunts on unsuspecting young people.

SBS 2 aims to turn cult into popular and brings Community to the channel for a dose of regular nightly comedy. Starring Chevy Chase and Donald Glover, Community follows a band of misfits who form a study group at Greendale Community College where together they end up learning more about themselves than they do about their coursework.

Russell Howard is one of the UK’s most successful stand-up comedians and his show Russell Howard’s Good News will be a staple late night show on the channel. With his boy next door charm and seamless mix of irreverent pop culture chatter, cynicism and satire, he offers a hilarious and unique take on the news. Filmed in front of a live studio audience, Good News combines Russell’s stand-up routines with funny clips from the internet and quick-fire sketches, as he presents a brand new perspective on the big stories dominating news outlets across the world.

Charismatic host Diego Buñel has travelled extensively as a foreign correspondent, reporting from countries including Iraq, Afghanistan and the Congo. Before he would leave to report on these international news stories, he would always tell his production
crew “Don’t tell my mother I am in a dangerous place, it makes her really nervous”. After years of travelling, covering news stories that only ever focussed on the negatives, Diego decided a change of focus was needed, and the idea for Don’t Tell My Mother
was born. In this powerful, heartfelt documentary series, Diego travels to some of the world’s most troublesome places, looking beyond the headlines to reveal the rich cultures and the true interests of the people.

Be Your Own Boss is an inspiring entrepreneurship program where the charismatic and successful founder of UK brand ‘Innocent drinks’ Richard Reed looks to invest in three big ideas presented to him by aspiring young entrepreneurs.

Warrior Road Trip is a cross-continental exploratory journey which introduces viewers to America through the eyes of warriors from the Maasai culture – Boni and Lemarti. These warriors, who rarely abandon their traditional clothes or spears, embark on a
cultural odyssey to experience the Western world while staying true to their tribal values.

Insightful documentary series The Pitch takes cameras behind the closed doors of the world of advertising as two top American creative advertising agencies go head to head to win a real campaign from a major brand.

SBS 2 will also screen three provocative graffiti inspired documentary films. Graffiti Wars, questions whether graffiti is the work of mindless vandals or creative practitioners; Antics Roadshow – Banksy’s ‘incomplete guide to total anarchy’ taking a greatest hits approach to wayward behaviour, sedition and sabotage; and Exit Through the Gift Shop the inside story of Street Art, and a brutal and revealing account of what happens when fame, money and vandalism collide.

SBS2 launches at 6pm Monday April 1.


  1. So I count only one series that isn’t in English. Is SBS really just being run by ABC people now or something?

    The channel should be at least 50% foreign language shows not counting news. Otherwise their target demographic will continue to get the vast majority of their viewing done online while they fill their schedule with boring English, American and Canadian shows that’d be ignored if they were on ABC2 where they actually belong.

  2. @ user_name – i am also disappointed that the A-League is on this secondary channel. Although it should boost up its ratings share, i dont like it. Until i read this article, i thought that it was going to be shown on sbs1.

  3. Copy/Paste from the SBS page…

    “Bold documentaries, provocative comedies and fast, informed newsbreaks will feature in a new-look SBS 2 channel set to be relaunched on April 1.”

  4. sound good!!!
    and David on sbs web said relaunched in May?

  5. This is such a great idea and would benefit from selectively commissioning a few Aussie dramas and comedies specifically for their target demo – series the ABC doesn’t have the courage to consider. Could be really innovative and fun.

  6. So basically, more English-language programming that would just as easily have ended up on ABC2 or a commercial digital channel.

    SBS should be defining its point of difference from the other networks rather than blurring it. Apart from NITV and SBS Radio it’s becoming increasingly mono-cultural.

  7. Most of these shows sound great. It’s good that they’re not heading down the inevitable cheap observational doco A&E type programming either (that seems to dominate Go, 7Mate, One, ABC2).

    One thing though, will their be re-branding for the midnight-6pm channel? Like how there is a differentiation between ABC2 and ABC4Kids.

    Also, can I be the first person to request repeats of their old Monday night comedies on the channel too? Pizza, Life Support, South Park, etc.

    I also agree with JamesJ, while this 6 hour block of decent OS alternative programming is great, let it not keep the main channel having younger skewing programming also. Plus, we definitely need to get more Aussie comedies on Monday night to restore SBS on Monday nights to must watch TV.

  8. Secret Squirrel

    Could be good. Will be checking some of that out.

    Kudos to them for being innovative and proactive with regard to the availability of entire series. However, if they’re really worried about Channel BT, they’ll need to broadcast programs a bit more quickly than 6 months to more than 3 years after they’ve been released. Also, Bullet in the Face is filmed in Canada but is a US show.

  9. I’m in the targeted age group and I watch SBS2 for its regular programming of quality foreign crime dramas – The Protectors, Spiral, The Bridge etc etc. I guess that means these shows will move to SBS 1 ….

  10. great idea, I never watch SBS 2 anyway and now it might give me a reason to. although if they are rebranding the channel, they should at least change the channel name to SBS Extra or something. I hate when channels don’t be creative and just put a number in the channel name. I think 7two should rebrand also.

    interesting Community will be airing there, most likely in repeat form. not liking that idea, they should just stick to unaired comedies here.

  11. Probably because I am in that age bracket, these shows really appeal to me and I really like the direction that SBS is going with this rebrand. I do hope that it means that SBS1 doesn’t get ‘aged’ so to speak because it doesn’t have this younger-skewing content.

    One assumes that this means SBS would be working on plans to bring about SBS3 still, which would focus on the older demographic that the current SBS2 caters for?

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