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Consistent commercial growth in a challenging market environment

SBS Media generates commercial revenues through the sale of advertising and sponsorship across SBS’s free-to-air television, digital and radio channels. SBS’s In-Language Production team provides services including video production and translation and SBS Distribution extends the reach and commercial returns of SBS content through cultural training, promotional partnerships and events.

Consistent growth

SBS total advertising and sponsorship activities generated $109.5 million in revenue, driven by a strong slate of premium live sport and events, including the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™, Premier League, Tour de France, 2019 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, as well as digital growth across SBS websites and SBS On Demand.

SBS’s focus on great business initiatives continued in 2018-19, with improvements in operational systems and processes. Improvements to digital sales technology provided clients with more ways to advertise across SBS’s digital platforms while investment in key business systems enabled sales teams to develop deeper client relationships and streamline key sales functions.

SBS Cultural Connect

In 2019, SBS Media launched a new diversity consultancy service – SBS Cultural Connect – to help organisations understand and connect with Australia’s increasingly diverse population. Cultural Connect offers a range of services including research, strategy and culture-specific messaging, production and translation.

The service has seen strong interest since launch, with a number of projects underway to deliver translation, marketing strategy, media training sessions and research tailored to Australia’s multicultural and multilingual communities.

Brand refresh and research

In March, SBS Media adopted SBS’s ‘a world of difference’ brand positioning, in line with the network-wide consumer brand. The brand positioning was previewed at SBS’s annual Upfront events in November 2018, which showcased SBS’s 2019 content strategy to more than 800 clients and media agency representatives across the country.

SBS Media also revealed key findings from its commissioned ‘Calling Australia Home’ research study at industry conference, AdWeek on 30 July 2018. The research explored the path to purchase for new migrants in Australia. This ongoing thought leadership research continued to provide a compelling narrative around Australia’s growing diversity as well as the implications and opportunities for brands and marketers.

SBS Radio and In-Language Production

Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia markets were fully integrated into SBS Radio media schedules, enabling clients to more effectively reach communities in those states.

SBS In-Language Production worked across a range of projects to deliver premium translation and multicultural marketing products to government, corporate and agency clients. Services included NAATI Certified translation, typesetting, video production, subtitling, cross cultural consultancy, voice over and narration.

The Federal Department of Social Services engaged SBS In-Language Production for video production services, which involved the creation of a video addressing day-to-day opportunities and expectations of the settlement process in Australia. The video was delivered offshore to support Australia’s humanitarian refugee intake.

SBS Distribution

SBS Distribution continued its cinema partnerships, promoting ten movies across the year, including The Breaker Upperers, Destroyer starring Nicole Kidman, Swimming with Men and Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11.

SBS Distribution also partnered with Lateral Events to promote the third L’Etape du Tour cycling event, attracting more than 2,500 riders to the Snowy Mountains.

Cultural Competence Program

Delivering on SBS’s broader Charter obligations and Inspired Communities goals, the Cultural Competence online training program has reached more than 260 organisations. The accompanying online Cultural Atlas resource, which provides information on 70 countries’ cultures and customs, attracted more than 130,000 unique visitors per month in 2018-19.

Subscription Television

One of the first channels on Australian pay TV, SBS World Movies has brought the best in international cinema to Australian audiences for more than 25 years.

World Movies showcased culturally and linguistically diverse movies in more than 200 languages from around the world, including box office favourites, premieres direct from international film festivals, as well as titles in high-needs languages.

The World Movies brand has always been at the forefront of evolving patterns of content consumption, first delivered via a pay TV channel, and then a branded Subscription VOD destination on Foxtel and Stan.

In 2018-19, World Movies continued to support national film communities and local film festivals around the country, including Melbourne International Film Festival, Sydney Film Festival, Alliance Française French Film Festival, Queerscreen, Italian Film Festival, Scandinavian Film Festival and Open Air Cinemas. These forums promoted World Movies and its upcoming content highlights to multicultural and multilingual communities.

Key programming highlights in 2018-19:

  • WM Lunar New Year marked the celebration with the best of Chinese cinema.
  • WM Focus on Asghar Farhadi featured the latest and greatest titles from the internationally-lauded Iranian director.
  • WM Pride celebrated equality with a selection of LGBTQI+ titles from around the world.
  • WM Focus on Hou Hsiao-hsien featured a selection of titles from the renowned Taiwanese film director, producer and actor (Three Times, Dust in the Wind and A Time to Live, A Time to Die).
  • The World Movies Cup showcased 12 international titles from countries participating in the 2018 FIFA World Cup RussiaTM finals.
  • WM Focus on Lars Von Trier featured the controversial director’s earliest trilogy of films (Element of Crime, Epidemic and Europa!).
  • WM Focus on Wim Wenders highlighted Wenders’ career-launching ‘Road Movies’ (Alice in the Cities, Kings of the Road and Wrong Move).

World Movies moves to free-to-air

In May 2019, SBS announced plans to launch SBS World Movies as a high definition free-to-air linear channel broadcasting 24 hours a day. Launched on 1 July 2019, the channel enables SBS to bring more distinctive content to Australian audiences, with at least half the titles on the channel in a language other than English. It also strengthens SBS On Demand, adding around 400 new movies each year to the platform.