SBS WorldWatch news channel to launch in 2022

New SBS multichannel to feature two new SBS-produced prime time TV news bulletins in Arabic & Mandarin.

SBS will launch a new multilingual news channel in 2022, SBS WorldWatch featuring two new SBS-produced prime time TV news bulletins in Arabic and Mandarin.

It will also feature bulletins from leading international broadcasters in more than 30 languages.

New services SBS عربي News and SBS 中文 News will screen in primetime, giving Australia’s large and diverse Arabic- and Mandarin-speaking communities trusted coverage, context and insight. Produced and presented by SBS journalists for an Australian audience, they will premiere on SBS On Demand in January ahead of the new channel launch.

They follow the launch earlier this year of SBS 中文 - a dedicated digital service for Australia’s Mandarin- and Cantonese-speaking communities. They also come in addition to a growing collection of current affairs, documentaries and dramas available with subtitles in six languages on SBS On Demand (including Arabic and Simplified Chinese).

SBS Managing Director, James Taylor, said the expansion of SBS’s multilingual offering in 2022 is an exciting opportunity to build on the network’s unrivalled services for the one in five Australians who speak a language other than English at home.*

“SBS is the most multilingual broadcaster in the world and we are continuing to evolve our services, finding new and innovative ways to enhance and strengthen our language offering across platforms, and ensure SBS’s content and trusted news coverage is increasingly accessible to audiences.

“Since it was established, SBS has been providing opportunities for Australians to connect with news, information and entertainment in their preferred language. That connection supports a strong sense of belonging and inclusion in our increasingly diverse and complex multicultural society. The launch of a free-to-air multilingual news channel, along with the creation of new TV news bulletins in Arabic and Mandarin tailored to the needs of these communities in Australia, demonstrates our commitment to the core, critical and unparalleled services that SBS provides.”

SBS Director of News and Current Affairs, Mandi Wicks, added that SBS’s plans for 2022 cement the network as the provider of the most comprehensive global news and current affairs offering for Australian audiences.

“SBS is uniquely placed to reach and engage the many Australians who speak a language other than English, and our truly global newsroom is a real point of difference in the media landscape.

“In 2022, we’re thrilled to be increasing our commitment to more multilingual news through a new, dedicated channel, as well as adding bespoke SBS news programs for two of the nation’s largest and fastest growing language groups, Arabic and Mandarin. Ensuring access to relevant, up-to-date news and information for all Australians promotes civic, cultural and social participation, which is at the heart of our purpose.”

The surprise new channel comes despite SBS telling TV Tonight earlier this month it had no plans for a new multichannel.

10 Responses

  1. This is a surprising move.

    SBS will now have 5 channels in 2022 – SBS, Viceland, Food, NITV and now World News.

    World news currently airs on SBS from 5am until 12.30/2pm (varies day to day), while world news airs from 2.30am until 12pm over on Viceland. That’s alot of hours to fill on these channels

    1. Nine has seven channels- 7 SD and 2 HD (Nine, 9Gem, 9Go!, 9Life, 9Rush, Extra & 9HD and 9GemHD). But unlike Nine, SBS has audio channels through terrestrial television (35-39 are the same as 301-305), so I think SBS should replace channels 35-39 with WorldWatch on Channel 35. But time will tell when it comes to details.

    1. Axed? It was never axed. Maybe you’re confusing it with ABC Kids (Mark I) or FlyTV. SBS WNC just became SBS 2 which became SBS Viceland, but in turn, SBS WNC was just a spin-off of the WorldWatch programming block on the main channel (and in turn was a continuation of the test pattern during the daytime hours being replaced by Vremya and other satellite channel news). ABC3 became ABC Me, in the same way, and there’s always been an “ABC Kids” block even before multichannels.

  2. Remind me of SBS World News Channel from the early days of digital television. Just hope they put it on Channel 35 as Viceland and World Movies have a lot of potential (and some of the audio channels are duplicated, so get rid one of the duplicate audio channels to put WorldWatch on).

    1. SBS won’t get rid of the duplicate audio tracks – they’re used for Audio Descriptions for the blind and vision-impaired.


      But I do wonder how SBS will squeeze in a sixth channel into their digital multiplex. Could they be so bold as to remove the SD version of their main channel?

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