Go to top of page


SBS’s multilingual and multicultural television services include English-language subtitled programming, and subtitled non-English programming that aims to inform, educate and entertain all Australians.

Programs in a language other than English (LOTE), other than SBS’s WorldWatch schedule of international news bulletins, are made accessible to a wider Australian audience through English subtitles. Subtitles enable audiences, regardless of their cultural provenance, to access in-language programs. SBS predominantly uses subtitles, rather than voice over (or dubbing), as subtitling retains the linguistic and cultural integrity of the original programs and allows for more effective cross-cultural communication.

Beyond the English subtitling output, in 2018-19, SBS increased its LOTE subtitling of locally-produced (English language) programs, to further deepen its engagement with communities. This reflects SBS’s commitment to making distinctive local stories accessible to more Australians.

SBS launched a Chinese Collection to coincide with Lunar New Year celebrations, and an Arabic Collection to mark the anniversary of SBS Arabic24 in March, available for audiences on SBS On Demand. The collections saw some of SBS’s distinctive local commissioned programs, including Dead Lucky, On The Ropes, How ‘Mad’ Are You? and Is Australia Sexist? subtitled in both Chinese and Arabic, along with Child Genius, Family Law – season 3, The Handmaid’s Tale – seasons 1 and 2, and 24 episodes of Insight, subtitled in simplified Chinese.


1,091 hours of programs with subtitles

17 hours of re-narration into English

6,287 hours of closed captions


1,417 hours of programs with subtitles

1,849 hours of closed captions


575 hours of programs with subtitles

1,032 hours of closed captions

Digital and Online:

379 hours of programs with subtitles

22 hours of closed captions