SBS to remain viable option for media buyers

SBS to remain viable option for media buyers
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Media agencies believe SBS will remain a relevant advertising option for many media buyers even if Labor take an axe to its funding in next week’s Federal Budget.

Yesterday, B&T reported concerns voiced by independent agency TMS about the implications of a funding cut to the network.

Mediacom and PHD today told B&T they're less anxious about any possible cuts, but agreed that if a reduction in funding is severe enough to affect their ability to produce quality local content, as well as acquire rights to overseas content/properties, then the network’s ability to sell airtime to media agencies could potentially be diminished.

The SBS network would see little impact due to the fact they attract only approx. 1.2% of total TV revenue,” said Mark Coad (pictured), CEO of PHD Australia.

“If programming quality declined due to a lack of funding, we predict that audience’s will look for some alternative content across the other commercial FTA networks, who are not relying on government funding to maintain the quality of their programming,” he said, adding that this might result in a slight increase in the demand for airtime on other FTA networks.

Ivo Kavelj, head of Implementation Planning & Investment at MediaCom, said:  It’s a lot of speculation, given the lack of clarity in terms of ‘will they, won’t they’ and ‘how much’ at this early stage. I suspect that the cuts won’t be severe enough to dramatically alter the media buying landscape and therefore I would expect SBS to remain as a relevant advertising option for many media buyers.”

Kavelj added that if ABC also sees funding cuts in the budget, and programming and therefore ratings were dramatically impacted, it could either result in viewers tuning in to the other commercial stations, or not tuning into TV at all.

Meanwhile, SBS has welcomed the Victorian Government’s investment in the state’s film and television production sector and support for diverse multicultural communities. 

SBS managing director Michael Ebeid said in the 2013-14 Budget, the Victorian Government had recognised the importance of two important areas that require Government funding, culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities, the film and television sector as well as the independent film sector.

The Victorian Budget outlined $26 million to support CALD communities, $8.5 million for the State’s screen practitioners and $2.5 million to strengthen the independent arts sector.

"Today, 43 per cent of Australians are born overseas or have a parent born overseas, four million people speak a language other than English at home and one million people cannot speak English. In this Budget, the Victorian Government have recognised that demand for these services will only continue to grow as Australia becomes more culturally diverse,” Ebeid said,

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