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Efficient operations to deliver more for audiences

SBS continues to be a highly efficient broadcaster, pursuing opportunities to improve the way it operates, to enable greater investment in distinctive content and services that go to the heart of its Charter.

Ongoing efficiency program

SBS has driven efficiencies across the organisation through workflow improvements, an evolved operating model to utilise best-in-class technology solutions, the renegotiation of supplier agreements, and vigilant annual planning processes, all underpinned by investment in a working environment that fosters agile practices, flexibility and a highly engaged workforce.

SBS’s efficiency program over the five year period up to 2018-19 has culminated in over $40 million of realised savings in 2018-19, which have been reinvested in content and digital services.

An infographic showing SBS’s efficiency program over the five year period up to 2018-19 has culminated in over $40 million of realised savings in 2018-19, with a key showing this includes evolving SBS's operating model, renegotiating suppliers, workflow improvements and annual planning process.

Technology highlights and system enhancements

In 2018-19, SBS Technology continued to push the boundaries to remain both highly agile and innovative within an ever-changing media landscape. The team delivered a number of high impact, business critical projects, while supporting major product development initiatives and flagship content events.

  • Successfully completed customer relationship management (CRM) project for SBS Media Sales, delivering enhanced opportunity management capabilities and improved revenue data integration.
  • Deployed new Amazon Web Services Elemental Transcode and Encode infrastructure, providing increased live stream capacity, improved stability and enhanced picture quality.
  • Supported design and build for the new The World Game app, including new-look augmented reality graphics to enable improved storytelling and statistics integration for SBS’s broadcast of the Premier League and FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019TM.
  • Delivered operational efficiencies for content teams through new automated commissioning templates.
  • With the launch of SBS World Movies on 1 July 2019, SBS Technology supported the move to become the first and only Australian free-to-air broadcaster with three national HD channels.
  • Strengthened cyber security controls through the launch of a vulnerability management scanning tool, user training and awareness campaigns, and improved IT governance.
  • Modernised the network IP routing protocol between Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney.
  • Facilitated multiple upgrades to SBS’s Media Asset Management (MAM) environment to continue to improve workflows and system useability.

Upgrades to Federation Square facilities in Melbourne

SBS has undertaken a refurbishment of its Federation Square facility in Melbourne, with consolidation of all staff and technical facilities on to one level, reducing its floor space by 50 per cent by using activity-based working methodologies. This was a major undertaking, involving migrating services to a new single state-of-the-art data centre and a full refresh of the IP network.

The new technical facilities, office fit out, and brand new radio and television studio builds are expected to be complete by November 2019.

Broadcast Operations

SBS’s Broadcast Operations team is responsible for all television and radio studio operations, with directors, producers, editors and engineers of internal infrastructure overseeing everything that goes to air. In addition to all business critical work, the Broadcast Operations team successfully completed a number of new initiatives in 2018-19, including:


  • Broadcast graphics for SBS’s 2019 Federal Election coverage and Dr Michael Mosley’s Reset using Vizrt to create high quality 3D models and augmented reality visuals.
  • Supported NITV’s 26 January coverage with multiple outside broadcasts.


  • Deployment of a VoIP solution for Melbourne’s new state-of-the-art radio studios.
  • Continued support of SBS Radio providing countless outside broadcasts for events including the 2019 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.


  • A review of Bitrate options was conducted in line with SBS’s digital acceleration objectives to deliver enhanced quality video to audiences across a range of devices. Major events including Eurovision, FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019TM and Tour De France now offer additional HD stream renditions of up to 3Mbps.
  • Revised workflows for Video On Demand (VOD) and catch-up assets supported more efficient delivery of content to SBS On Demand users.

Playout arrangements

In 2018-19, SBS continued its outsourced playout arrangement with Deluxe Australia. Across its television platform, viewers experienced the lowest number of discernible anomalies in 14 years of record keeping. Recovery times, anomaly durations and impacts to air have continued to reduce year on year.

SBS has also continued to take advantage of Deluxe’s value-add services, increasing flexibility, automating operational processes and wherever possible, reducing costs.

Business Systems

SBS is committed to ongoing improvement of business systems, with the focus for this period on consolidating systems and services to facilitate better management, support, and performance.

An enhanced CRM system was completed to support the SBS Media Sales team, enabling greater integration between systems, streamlined processes and improved reporting.

SBS Technology also provided further upgrades and enhancements across a number of systems, including the Business Intelligence capability, allowing business units to provide a better business outcome for their clients through streamlined processes and improved insight generation.


SBS’s cybersecurity strategy has been revised to strengthen security protocols. Capabilities such as vulnerability management have been successfully implemented and regular communications have raised cybersecurity awareness across the business.


SBS is committed to high standards of privacy concerning personal information.

During the reporting period, SBS implemented a Privacy Management Plan in accordance with the Australian Government Agencies Privacy Code, which requires SBS to measure its privacy maturity according to key attributes: Governance & Culture; Privacy Strategy; Privacy Processes; Risk & Assurance; and Data Breach Response.

SBS was also an official supporter of 2019 Privacy Awareness Week, coordinated by the Office of the Australian Information Commission, an initiative to help promote a privacy culture.