SBS has announced its programming slate for 2015 at its up fronts event in Sydney.
The broadcaster shared plans to build on its success with multicultural audiences while continuing to highlight the events and issues that reflect all Australians.
Managing director Michael Ebeid said: “I am proud that 40 years on after our beginnings as a two station radio network, SBS today is delivering Australian audiences the most innovative, ground-breaking, award-winning programs, across all platforms. We are an irreplaceable part of today’s multicultural Australia, the network perfectly positioned to reflect our diversity and we are looking forward to a strong, dynamic 2015.”
In 2015, SBS will provide viewers with 26 new Australian commissioned programs, including The Principal , a dramatic story of intrigue set against the backdrop of a boys’ high school in turmoil in South West Sydney. Starring Alex Dimitriades and Aden Young, The Principal is being produced by renowned Australian producer Ian Collie.
In an Australian first, the inmates of a Darwin prison are shown in a new light, sharing their feelings, faults and experiences through music in Prison Songs.
Paul McDermott joins SBS to host a new comedy series, Room 101.
Poh Ling Yeow will front a new cooking show Poh and Co while chef Luke Nguyen hits the United Kingdom, Silvia Colloca heads to her homeland in Made in Italy with Silvia Colloca, and Destination Flavour traverses Scandinavia.
Shaun Micallef heads to India to immerse himself in the Hindu world of Gods, Gurus and the Ganges in Shaun Micallef’s Stairway to Heaven; the cast of Angry Mile have a unique front row seat into Australian life from behind the spits of meat in the cultural institution that is the great Aussie kebab shop; and internationally acclaimed SBS series Go Back to Where You Came From, the format rights of which have sold into 12 countries returns, as does the celebrated genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are? for its seventh Australian season, featuring big names such as Geoffrey Rush and David Wenham.
SBS said that in 2015 RocKwiz, Eurovision and the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras will be bigger, better and more colourful than ever.
The broadcaster will continue to evolve the game of football by bringing the A-League to Australian audiences, in addition to cycling event the Tour de France, in its 24th year on SBS.
“The World Cup final between Argentina and Germany registered 1.2 million viewers nationally, with 260,000 live video streams going on at the same time. It was 5am on a Monday morning. It just goes to show the power of football in this country,” said Ebeid.
“When you think of SBS in 2015, you’ll think premium. Our premium content may not be for everyone, but our food is real food, not reality food. Nobody can match our cycling coverage, showcasing France, Spain and Italy. We know we are the home of football for many Australians. Our news coverage is the most trusted of any commercial network in Australia.”
Next year NITV enters its third year as a free-to-air channel under the SBS banner. Returning to NITV next year; The Marngrook Footy Show, Kriol Kitchen, Express Yourself and music show, Fusion hosted by former Australian Idol, Casey Donovan.
SBS on demand is accessible across 22 different platforms, “more than any other Australian media company”.
“SBS programming in 2015 is premium, innovative, influential and it’s diverse – that’s our point of difference. We believe in being known in the market for curating quality content for those hard to reach audiences and with our unique research, SBS Media can provide agencies with insights into understanding multicultural Australia today,” said Andrew Cook, the director of advertising sales at SBS.
SBS has recently undertaken research with the help of research company Pollinate which is helping to guide SBS. The study revealed insights into the Australian identity with the key finding that Aussies are either very traditional or very progressive. Australians see their country as becoming even more multicultural making the broadcaster more important than ever before.
“When you think of SBS in 2015, you’ll think of influence,” said Ebeid.