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Transmission

SBS Television and Radio services

SBS Television and Radio services are delivered to audiences on various transmission platforms as described below.

SBS transmits 542 terrestrial television services around the country, serving approximately 97 per cent of the Australian population.

This is comprised of:

  • 344 digital terrestrial services provided by Broadcast Australia;
  • 116 re-transmission services provided by Regional Broadcasters Australia (RBA) and Transmitters Australia (TXA); and
  • 82 self-help services.

By including the VAST (Viewer Access Satellite Television) platform, with its current base of more than 330,000 receivers, SBS reaches almost 100 per cent of Australians.

SBS is also retransmitted on the cable and satellite subscription services of Foxtel.

In addition to the VAST and Digital Television platforms, SBS Radio is delivered in capital cities and regional centres using analogue and digital terrestrial transmissions.

Service Category

Radio platform (terrestrial)

Analogue Radio

Digital Radio (DAB+)

SBS managed sites

15 sites

  • 9 FM
  • 6 AM

23 sites1

Others

136 self-help (FM)2

1. Serving all capital cities; 8 main transmitters plus 15 infill repeaters.
2. Self Help data is taken from the ACMA government database of Broadcast Licences.

Services

Radio platform (terrestrial)

Digital Radio

(DAB+)

VAST

DTV

Radio services

SBS1, SBS2, SBS3, NRN3, PopDesi, Arabic24, PopAsia, SBS Chill

SBS1, SBS2, SBS3, Arabic24,PopDesi, SBS Chill, PopAsia

SBS1, SBS2, SBS3,

Arabic24, PopDesi, SBS Chill, PopAsia

3. ‘NRN’ is the SBS Radio National service.

Transmission network infrastructure upgrades

In 2018-19, SBS benefitted from a number of material network infrastructure upgrades completed by its transmission service provider, Broadcast Australia, as part of its network capital re-investment program. This provided improved service reliability and reduced SBS’s overall carbon footprint.

Service Performance Testing and Monitoring

SBS worked with Broadcast Australia to develop state-of-the-art testing and performance monitoring capabilities with a more outcomes-based focus on overall system performance to ensure clarity, coverage and continuity of services. This has enabled SBS to significantly reduce the service downtime required for performance assurance testing and improved responsiveness to any unexpected transmission faults.

Fault management system

SBS operates a complex fault management system for all key suppliers. Each supplier is required to log, manage and report on matters that impact SBS transmission, including planned outages for maintenance or project work, and compliance with contractual technical performance specifications.

The SBS Managed Services team retains detailed records of transmission issues and faults in order to assess performance and efficacy of service contractor management. SBS’s real-time management of service outages supports its audience via the Reception Advice Line.

Reach (terrestrial delivery)

Service

Mode

June 2017

June 2018

June 2019

Television1

Digital

97%

97%

97%

Radio

Analogue

63%

63%

63%

Digital

52%

57%2

65%3

Service availability

The service availability of SBS’s terrestrial television and radio services measures the proportion of time each transmitter is on air during the year.

Service

Mode

June 2017

June 2018

June 2019

Television

Digital

99.8%

99.8%

99.8%

Radio

Analogue

99.9%

99.9%

99.8%4

Digital (DAB+)

100.0%

100.0%

99.9%

  1. Estimated potential population reach; Self-help and direct-to-home satellite (VAST) services not included.
  2. Introduction of Canberra, Darwin and Hobart DAB+ services.
  3. Coverage enhancements in metropolitan markets, Canberra and Darwin; reach recalculated using 2016 Census data.
  4. Analogue radio transmissions materially influenced by planned work activities during the period to facilitate major network infrastructure upgrades to Canberra (FM) & Sydney (AM and FM) services.