Rebranded SBS 2 welcomes younger viewers

This week we get a new-look SBS 2 aimed at 'thinking 20 and 30-somethings.'

2013-03-30_1732SBS 2 rebrands from 6pm on Monday with its new line-up of international dramas, comedy, docos and more.

The channel is a pitch towards the discerning 20 and 30-somethings, but with a different approach to ELEVEN, GO! and 7mate.

Tony Iffland, SBS Director of Television and Online content told TV Tonight, extensive research has indicated the Under 40 audience was looking for something that’s not in the marketplace at the moment.

“They’re in that crossover state of wild experimentation of youth and the thought that suddenly responsibility may come their way. They’ve maybe been in a relationship and they might make it a permanent relationship, they think about kids, they’ve experienced the world and are well-travelled. That audience, when we spoke to them, said they weren’t completely satisfied by their television offering and that the way they consume media, as we know, is very different,” he said.

“Their idea of diversity is different. It’s not just ethnic diversity. It’s cultural, it’s sexual, it’s everything. It’s diversity in it’s absolute, broadest sense.”

Having younger viewers in a dedicated destination is also a better sell to advertisers and should help lift the broadcaster’s overall share.

Boldly, the SBS On Demand website will offer full series online for three titles, after their first episode premieres on television: Bullet in the FaceDon’t Tell My Mother and The Tales of Nights.

Iffland admits to some hesitations about the strategy but believes it will minimise viewers from seeking out illegal torrents and keep them within the SBS portal.

“They’ll discover Bullet in the Face and think ‘Gee that’s fantastic! I want to watch episode 2 now. I don’t care if Tony Iffland wants to bring it to me next week at 9:30 on Monday, I want to watch it now!'” he says.

“So we’ve made that leap of faith that says ‘Let’s keep them in the SBS environment. Let’s take them to SBS On Demand and let them engage in that way.”

I asked where else in the world such a bold strategy had been trialled?

“As far as we can make out, nowhere. No other broadcaster does back to back catch-up. It’s not everything, it’s selected titles, but it’s recognising how that audience wants to watch television. It’s counter-intuitive, so there are a couple of gulps of air and big leaps of faith in this.

“Discovery of the content on TV is key and often discovery online returns people to linear television. This audience is such a big word-of-mouth audience. The way they use social media to discuss issues with their friends is such that a discovery on linear, a binge, or a back to back experience will mean they talk to their friends about it and go to linear and SBS On Demand.

“The rising tide lifts all boats.”

A detailed Guide to the first week of programming can be downloaded here (does not include amendments) and is summarised as follows:

Monday April 1
6:00 pm Unbeatable Banzuke rpt
6:30 pm The World Game: A-League Finals Special
7:00 pm Community
7:30 pm The Antics Roadshow
8:30 pm Benidorm Bastards
9:00 pm Dudesons in America
9:30 pm Bullet in the Face
10:00 pm Bullet in the Face
10:25 pm Russell Howard’s Good News
11:00 pm Swift & Shift Couriers rpt
11:30 pm Frisky Dingo
11:50 pm Aqua Teen Hunger Force
12:05 am Weatherwatch Overnight

Tuesday April 2
6:00 pm Unbeatable Banzuke rpt
6:30 pm Ninja Warrior
7:00 pm Community
7:30 pm Mythbusters rpt
8:30 pm Don’t Tell My Mother
9:30 pm Warrior Road Trip
10:25 pm Russell Howard’s Good News
11:00 pm Autopsy: Life and Death
12:00 am Weatherwatch Overnight

Wednesday April 3
6:00 pm Unbeatable Banzuke rpt
6:30 pm Ninja Warrior
7:00 pm Community
7:30 pm Mythbusters rpt
8:30 pm UEFA Champions League rpt
10:00 pm 10:00 pm The Arecibo Message rpt
10:30 pm Russell Howard’s Good News
11:05 pm The Tales of Nights
12:00 am Weatherwatch Overnight

Thursday April 4
6:00 pm Unbeatable Banzuke rpt
6:30 pm Ninja Warrior
7:00 pm Community
7:30 pm UEFA Champions League Hour
8:30 pm Threesome
9:00 pm Him & Her (pictured)
9:30 pm Graffiti Wars
10:25 pm Russell Howard’s Good News
11:00 pm The Marngrook Footy Show
12:05 am Weatherwatch Overnight

Friday April 5
6:00 pm Unbeatable Banzuke rpt
6:30 pm Ninja Warrior
7:00 pm Community
7:30 pm UEFA Europa League Highlights
8:30 pm If You Are the One
9:30 pm Indie Sex rpt
10:45 pm Russell Howard’s Good News
11:20 pm Bullet in the Face rpt
11:50 pm Bullet in the Face rpt
12:20 am Weatherwatch Overnight

Saturday April 6
6:00 pm PopAsia
7:10 pm Black Cab Sessions USA rpt
7:40 pm Iron Chef rpt
8:30 pm MXC
9:00 pm Shorts on Screen rpt
9:35 pm Exit Through the Giftshop
11:10 pm Threesome rpt
11:40 pm Him & Her rpt
12:15 am Weatherwatch Overnight

Sunday April 7
6:00 pm Cycling Central
6:35 pm Kung Fu Changed My Life
7:30 pm G * Wars
8:30 pm MXC
9:00 pm Film: The French Kissers rpt
10:40 pm Film: Noi the Albino rpt
12:20 am PopAsia
2:20 am Weatherwatch Overnight

11 Responses

  1. This new direction for SBS TWO/2 clearly shows the main priority at SBS nowadays – programming decisions are primarily based on attracting the maximum revenue from advertisers, via increased ratings, instead of providing the best content for their audience.

    That’s the problem with any network that is commercially funded, the advertisers are your customers, the viewers are your product; the programming is simply the bait you use to catch them.

    Once you’ve crossed the advertising Rubicon it’s only a small step to a “multicultural” Bolt Report SBS.

  2. Dshan, it was never SBS2. It’s always been SBS Two until now. But I agree about the saturated market comment (their main competition will come from ABC2 though). Let’s hope a future SBS Three gets back to the serious stuff.

    Pertinax, “discerning 20 and 30-somethings” aren’t watching Go Channel or The Voice. They’re targeting the more oblivious 20 and 30-somethings. 😉

  3. That is all just marketer researchers seeing what they want to see.

    SBS is competing directly against Eleven, Go!, ABC2 and The Voice for 16-39s. 16-39 is such a valuable demographic because it is so difficult to reach.

  4. I am actually excited about this! There were elements of it on SBS but it’s awesome having a whole channel for this type of content. Will these episodes of Community be first-run or leftovers from Go?

  5. It’s been SBS 2, then they rebranded it as SBS TWO, now it’s going back to being SBS 2 again. People get paid to come up with this stuff?

    Such a pity, I liked SBS 2/TWO, but almost nothing on the new younger 2 looks at all interesting. They’re entering an already saturated market, the youth market is every network’s dream. I doubt SBS will be able to crack it though, meanwhile the loyal viewers who were fans of the previous version are left with nowhere else to go. Until in about 12-18 months it’s time to rebrand again…

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