The SBS Audience Relations team is a direct line to the Australian public, delivering information related to SBS programs and services, and providing SBS with feedback from audiences that helps to inform programming and content teams.
In 2018-19, SBS audiences continued to express their passion for SBS.
The Eurovision Song Contest once again attracted great interest and engagement from audiences. Many were appreciative of SBS’s continued involvement and broadcast, while some feedback was received from audience members who did not support the contest being held in Israel in 2019, including those campaigning for a boycott of the event.
The introduction of Eurovision – Australia Decides in 2019 drove a significant increase in enquiries, largely from individuals interested in the voting and selection process, or ticketing information for the event. Many expressed appreciation for the chance to select the artist to represent Australia at the main event.
SBS’s commissioned documentaries prompted various reactions from audiences. While the response to new SBS documentary series Australia in Colour was overwhelmingly positive, SBS’s Slow TV Summer resulted in a range of feedback – from awe and appreciation, to criticism and confusion from audience members who prefer more traditional TV formats.
The introduction of two new commissioned formats to the SBS schedule in 2018-19, in Child Genius and Mastermind, also generated significant levels of audience feedback, including enquiries about casting and participation in the programs, and comments on the questions and answers provided in the programs.
Sports coverage generated a significant spike in audience feedback compared to the prior year, led by SBS’s broadcast of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™. A high volume of calls and emails focused on scheduling and how to access matches. The large volume of queries was influenced by the unplanned increased coverage SBS delivered due to technical issues surrounding Optus’ coverage. Audiences commended SBS for its quick and effective response in bringing the event to all Australians.
Outside of football, SBS received positive feedback from audiences about the wide range of international sports it brings to Australians free to air on its network, including figure skating and equestrian competitions.
SBS’s local dramas resonated with Australian audiences, with positive feedback for commissioned series On The Ropes and Dead Lucky, and appreciative comments were received regarding SBS’s collection of diverse international dramas.
SBS’s News and Current Affairs coverage continues to spark interest. In particular, positive and consistent feedback was received throughout the year about Insight. Audiences enjoy the format, but particularly appreciate the unique and powerful stories the program shares, the exposure it gives to particular subjects, as well as the way the program approaches and handles sensitive stories.
SBS continued to support audiences requiring assistance in using SBS On Demand, particularly those new to the platform. As usage increases, the Audience Relations team has continued to improve internal processes and work closely with teams to resolve technical queries more efficiently, to provide a better service to audiences.
Formal complaints alleging any breach of the SBS Codes of Practice are forwarded to the SBS Ombudsman (see Ombudsman’s report on page 83)
“SBS is my favourite channel, love your dramas... Don’t ever change guys, love your stuff.”
– SBS audience member