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Thursday, 11 September 2003
Page: 19971


Mr Jenkins asked the Minister representing the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, upon notice, on 18 August 2003:

(1) What is the percentage breakdown of SBS TV programming by language.

(2) On what basis does SBS TV allocate its programming.

(3) What avenues are available for ethnic communities claiming to be under represented on SBS TV.


Mr McGauran (Minister for Science) —The Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1) The percentage breakdown of languages broadcast on SBS Television for the 2002-03 financial year is as follows:

Language

TotalHours

% of TotalProg Time

% of LOTEProg Time

Afrikaans

1.74

0.02%

0.05%

Arabic

66.83

0.95%

1.83%

Bulgarian

3.61

0.05%

0.10%

Cantonese

97.95

1.39%

2.68%

Catalan

4.50

0.06%

0.12%

Croatian

11.81

0.17%

0.32%

Czech

14.31

0.20%

0.39%

Danish

17.43

0.25%

0.48%

Dutch

23.77

0.34%

0.65%

English

3,370.38

47.91%

0.0%

Estonian

6.28

0.09%

0.17%

Farsi

16.65

0.24%

0.45%

Finnish

7.95

0.11%

0.22%

Flemish

1.44

0.02%

0.04%

French

447.48

6.37%

12.22%

German

427.05

6.08%

11.66%

Greek

329.23

4.68%

8.99%

Hebrew

19.40

0.28%

0.53%

Hindi

18.56

0.26%

0.51%

Hungarian

31.25

0.44%

0.85%

Icelandic

1.32

0.02%

0.04%

Indonesian

129.11

1.84%

3.53%

Italian

403.93

5.75%

11.03%

Japanese

239.32

3.40%

6.54%

Korean

15.98

0.23%

0.44%

Kurdish

3.87

0.06%

0.11%

Latin

1.40

0.02%

0.04%

Malayalam

1.92

0.03%

0.05%

Maltese

37.52

0.53%

1.02%

Mandarin

217.58

3.10%

5.94%

No Dialogue

198.38

2.82%

5.42%

Norwegian

19.45

0.28%

0.53%

Polish

67.82

0.96%

1.85%

Portuguese

31.12

0.44%

0.85%

Romani

4.10

0.06%

0.11%

Romanian

8.24

0.12%

0.23%

Russian

173.31

2.47%

4.73%

Serbian

4.97

0.07%

0.14%

Sinhalese

3.60

0.05%

0.10%

Slovak

7.72

0.11%

0.21%

Slovene

2.60

0.04%

0.07%

Spanish

389.71

5.54%

10.64%

Swedish

47.95

0.68%

1.31%

Tagalog

17.76

0.25%

0.49%

Tamil

3.67

0.05%

0.10%

Turkish

11.65

0.17%

0.32%

Ukrainian

21.55

0.31%

0.59%

Urdu

2.86

0.04%

0.08%

Vietnamese

16.98

0.24%

0.46%

Welsh

2.89

0.04%

0.08%

Xhosa

1.01

0.01%

0.03%

Yiddish

1.13

0.02%

0.03%

Languages with individual durationsof less than one hour*

20.56

0.29%

0.56%

Total LOTE *

3,661.46

52.09%

100.00%

Total

7,028.57

100.00%

(2) SBS provides a comprehensive television service including news, current affairs, movies, documentaries, drama, comedy, lifestyle programs, shorts films, educational programs, sport and arts programs.

SBS is guided in this by its statutory charter, which states that its principal function is to provide multilingual and multicultural radio and television services that inform, educate and entertain all Australians and, in doing so, reflect Australia's multicultural society.

Each year, about half of all programs broadcast by SBS are in languages other than English.

Australian-made programs are presented in English, although these programs may include non-English components.

Overseas documentaries, drama, movies, comedy and arts programs are selected for acquisition based on relevance to the schedule and on their quality, topicality (where applicable) and affordability.

Except for daily news bulletins, programs acquired from overseas are presented in their original language together with English language subtitles. The purpose of subtitles is to make the programs accessible to all Australians.

SBS aims to represent a wide range of languages and cultures on screen, subject to considerations of availability, quality and affordability of content. In programming the network, SBS has regard to Australian census data on languages spoken in the home, and is presently looking to enhance the content of its World News Channel and WorldWatch program stream to reflect trends in that regard.

(3) SBS welcomes suggestions from viewers as to programs of interest to them that SBS might acquire. SBS receives these suggestions regularly. It also receives, from time to time, more general requests for increased programming in particular languages. These matters are continually evaluated and efforts are made to locate affordable programs of quality.