Communications Minister Mitch Fifield is considering reintroducing a bill on SBS advertising which was rejected
On Tuesday Nerida O’Loughlin, Deputy Secretary for Content, Arts & Strategy, told a Senate Estimates hearing, “The only potential issue still outstanding on (funding) is the reintroduction of the Bill for SBS to have more advertising flexibility. So it could actually raise more money through advertising. The Minister is considering that.
“We expect that to be introduced fairly soon.”
In May 2015 Labor opposed a bill which would allow SBS to increase ads in primetime from 5 to 10 minutes and attract greater revenue, but without increasing its overall total. It argued the government was forcing the broadcaster to run more primetime ads after breaking an election promise, regarding no funding cuts to public broadcasters.
It was also opposed by lobby group and media personalities Margaret Pomeranz and Quentin Dempster.
After the Bill was rejected SBS announced the launch of SBS Food Network.
This week Save Our SBS President, Steve Aujard said, “There is very good evidence from a number of studies that show that since SBS television introduced in-program advertising a decade ago, it has steadily paid lip service to its Charter and increasingly is ignoring the very reason it was established. The proposed bill will only undermine SBS further.”
On Wednesday an SBS spokesperson said: “We note that the Department of Communications and the Arts mentioned reintroduction of the SBS advertising legislation yesterday at Senate Estimates hearings.
“SBS will review the Bill when it has been reintroduced to Parliament.”