SBS has today revealed its plans for entertaining all Australians with more original and impactful content over the year ahead, showcasing the network’s biggest ever local commissioned program offering, with distinctive stories you won’t see anywhere else.
“The Australia you see when you walk out your door each morning is what you see in everything we do at SBS. Contemporary Australia shines through our storytelling, and through our storytellers. Our content offer is an open invitation to all Australians to feel a sense of belonging, and over the year ahead, we’ll deliver more original local content across our network than ever before,” said James Taylor, Managing Director of SBS.
“SBS is the media network for the Australia of today – and tomorrow – continuing to innovate our services for a rapidly evolving population. No other network connects with Australians like we do, and we’re proud to be reaching more people than ever before with a unique content offering, the best digital user experience as rated by audiences, and a compelling commercial proposition that positions brands in a trusted and safe environment.”
Highlights of the year ahead include:
- More SBS Original prime-time dramas in 2023 than ever before: thriller Safe Home, dramedy While the Men Are Away and anthology Erotic Stories.
- SBS puts the spotlight on love, identity and consent with powerful Australian documentaries featuring Julia Zemiro, Jess Hill, Noni Hazlehurst, Barry Humphries, Rhonda Burchmore, Derryn Hinch, John Safran, Adam Liaw and Cal Wilson.
- The rugged Tasmanian wilderness revealed as the location for an Australian version of worldwide sensation Alone.
- Celebrating 10 years of being available to all Australians on the SBS network, NITV will deliver its biggest original content line-up starting with a special broadcast event live from Uluru.
- Exclusive new shows Rogue Heroes, The Doll Factory and the final season of The Handmaid’s Tale add to 15,000 hours of curated content on SBS On Demand.
- SBS Food to premiere two more seasons of The Cook Up with Adam Liaw,and new shows with Luke Nguyen, Khanh Ong and Poh Ling Yeow.
- All 64 games of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ live and free for all Australians, and over 800 hours of cycling content including the Tour De France, Tour De France Femmes, Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España.
- New multi-year partnerships announced with leading independent distributor BETA Film, and Viaplay Group, the Nordic region’s leading producer of original content.
- SBS Radio continues its growth and evolution to become SBS Audio in 2023.
SBS Director of Television and Online Content, Kathryn Fink said: “2023 is set to be a bumper year across the network, with a record number of SBS Original dramas and documentaries that will entertain, inspire and break new ground. And before we get there, we’ve got all 64 matches of the world’s biggest sporting event, the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, live and free to all Australians.
“SBS invests in award-winning content that speaks to who we are as a nation and can have real, meaningful impact. We’re also proud to be driving change and supporting a future for our industry where everyone belongs. We want the stories we see on screen – not just on SBS – to truly represent Australia, and we invest in more than a dozen initiatives that break down barriers and support career pathways and progression for the storytellers that will lift our entire sector to new heights.”
SBS Director of Indigenous Content, Tanya Denning-Orman, said: “What a line-up of First Nations programming we have coming up in 2023! We’re celebrating culture, connecting to Country, and championing the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities from across the continent, right across the SBS network. Whatever platform you use to come to SBS, you’ll find more stories from the world’s greatest storytellers that will inspire and instil pride in all Australians. It includes our biggest ever offering of new content from NITV, as we celebrate 10 years of being available to every Australian as part of SBS – join us for a party at Uluru in December as we mark this major milestone.”
For the first time ever, in 2023, SBS will deliver three original prime-time drama series. From Imogen Banks, the award-winning producer behind Offspring, is a first look at Safe Home, a thriller full of twists that tells the story of Phoebe (Aisha Dee), a woman whose life gets turned upside down when she’s embroiled in a violent murder.
While The Men Are Away is a sexy, queer, revisionist historical dramedy about a group of women finding their power while the men are away fighting WWII. And Erotic Stories is an anthology of contemporary tales about lust, desire and longing... but with an SBS twist.
SBS curates the best dramas from across the globe. From the creator of Peaky Blinders, the highly anticipated Australian premiere of Rogue Heroes is coming to SBS in 2023. Starring Dominic West, Alfie Allen and Connor Swindells, Rogue Heroes tells the story of how the world’s most famous Special Forces Unit, the SAS, was born. Also coming exclusively to SBS in 2023 is the sixth and final season of The Handmaid’s Tale,plus historical thriller The Doll Factory, an adaptation of the Sunday Times’ bestselling novel of the same name.
There are now more than 11 million registered users of the world-class streaming destination, SBS On Demand, where audiences can enjoy more than 15,000 hours of the world’s best content for free, including programs in more than 50 languages. Launching today, a new multi-year partnership between SBS and Viaplay Group, the Nordic region’s leading producer of original content, will provide Australians will exclusive access to hundreds of hours of dramas, films and documentaries from Viaplay Select, curated for SBS On Demand. SBS has also revealed a first-look content partnership with leading European independent content distributors BETA Film, who have delivered internationally acclaimed series such as Gomorrah and Agent Hamilton.
Joining SBS’s prime-time original and acquired dramas are three new short-form dramas from Digital Originals, the successful joint initiative between Screen Australia, SBS and NITV supporting screen creatives currently under-represented in the sector, providing a platform for the new guard of contemporary Australian storytellers.
Premiering on SBS On Demand in 2023, Night Bloomers is an anthology of horror stories from the Korean diaspora. In Appetite, a food delivery rider dies on the streets of Sydney, and an unlikely trio of fellow riders are entangled in a mystery to uncover the truth. In Latecomers, premiering this December, two strangers with cerebral palsy are determined to explore their relationships with sex and each other after watching their carers hook up at a bar.
SBS continues to be a leader in original documentaries that challenge, inform and entertain our audiences. In 2023, SBS delivers one of its most ambitious projects ever undertaken. Alone Australia will see 10 Australians dropped in the Tasmanian wilderness, where they’ll be challenged by the merciless forces of nature, hunger and perhaps the toughest challenge of all: loneliness, as they compete for $250,000. Alone is the most successful factual franchise in the history of SBS On Demand.
See What You Made Me Do was one of SBS’s most successful factual programs in 2021, and investigative journalist Jess Hill returns to SBS with Asking For It, a bold new documentary series exploring consent in Australia: unpacking misconceptions and myths on the subject and how this impacts peoples’ lives.
Presented by John Safran, Cal Wilson and Adam Liaw, Who The Bloody Hell Are We? is a satirical, iconoclastic and playful series that explores Australians’ hidden multicultural history. It’s time to set the record straight by writing the vanished, the banished and the demonised back into our national story. Julia Zemiro returns to SBS, transporting viewers across our Great Southern Land by foot in an entertaining waltz through history, geography, science, travel and culture in Great Australian Walks. New three-part observational documentary series The Matchmakers dives into the unique and private world of old traditions, religion, family values and culture through matchmaking. It’s a universal quest of love and marriage in contemporary Australia. Is there such a thing as love at first sight? What does “happily ever after” mean? And what’s love got to do with it? And in a bold, trail-blazing, world-first social experiment, students from Australia’s biggest Islamic school embark on a school swap with students from mainstream high schools to bridge cross-cultural divides in Australia and help students to thrive beyond the school gates in The Big School Swap.
The network also welcomes the return of some of its most successful commissioned documentary series with the fourteenth season of Who Do You Think You Are? Barry Humphries, Rhonda Burchmore and Derryn Hinch are among the prominent Australians uncovering the secrets of their ancestry this year. Noni Hazlehurst returns for the fourth season of fan favourite Every Family Has a Secret and single documentaries will be celebrated with another season of the acclaimed Australia Uncovered.
On 12 December 2022, NITV celebrates 10 years since it launched free-to-air and began beaming into every Australian household as part of the SBS network. To mark the occasion, NITV presents a special live broadcast event From The Heart Of Our Nation, A Celebration, inside Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park as the sun sets on Uluru. A line-up of some of Australia’s best Indigenous artists will come together to perform in celebration of the strength, resilience and talent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
On NITV in 2023, actor Rob Collins uncovers ancient Indigenous innovations on Country in The First Inventors. Australia’s premier Indigenous current affairs program, Living Black, presented by Karla Grant celebrates its 20th year on air and Going Places with Ernie Dingo returns, introducing a new suite of iconic destinations. From the Kakadu National Park to the Great Barrier Reef, Ernie is no stranger to exploring the beauty that our country has to offer. After four seasons, Ernie will be hitting the road with some friends – actor Aaron Fa’aoso, journalist Rae Johnston, Network 10 television presenter Narelda Jacobs, and entrepreneur and presenter Bianca Hunt. In Our Law, documentary cameras are granted intimate and candid access to the Indigenous officers and cadets attempting to break the cycle of Indigenous incarceration and repair a deeply troubled Aboriginal–police relationship, while giving voice to the communities being policed.
In 2023, SBS Food remains the leading destination for premium food programming as Australia’s only free-to-air food channel, celebrating Australia’s rich diversity through food, every day. SBS is excited to announce another two seasons of The Cook Up with Adam Liaw, and Adam will be reunited with Poh Ling Yeow for the tastiest road trip around Australia in Adam and Poh’s Great Australian Bites. Enjoy the flavours of beautiful Bali with co-founder of Bali’s globally renowned KYND Community Lauren Camilleri, in Paradise Kitchen Bali. From the rugged West Coast of Tasmania to the remote billabongs of Arnhem Land Khanh Ong’s Wild Food combines wild food, adventure and a hint of glamour. And Luke Nguyen is back in 2023, immersing himself in one of the most vibrant places on earth, India, where food, religion and rich culture go hand in hand with Luke Nguyen’s Indian Insights.
Next year, SBS celebrates 40 years of broadcasting the world’s biggest live music event, the Eurovision Song Contest. In 2023, Ukraine’s win will be hosted by Liverpool, England. Returning with more laughter and celebrities is iconic game show Celebrity Letters & Numbers. Join host Michael Hing, wordsmith David Astle and expert mathematician Lily Serna as they put their celebrity guests’ linguistic and numerical skills to the test. Beloved quiz show Mastermind is also back with Marc Fennell. SBS VICELAND continues to bring comedy and entertainment alongside factual and news programming with new seasons of audience favourite Richard Ayoade’s Question Team alongside new seasons of 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, Hypothetical and Patriot Brains.
This year marks the return of the event that stops entire nations, the FIFA World Cup™. An event like no other, the World Cup unites people from all walks of life in celebration of the global game of football. As the official broadcaster of the tournament, SBS will give all Australians a front row seat to all the action from Qatar with all 64 matches live and free on television and live streamed on SBS on Demand. The ‘FIFA World Cup Hub’ on SBS On Demand is the digital home of this year’s event where Australians can catch up on all the latest World Cup news, results, match replays, highlights, analysis, short-form video extras, mini matches, and more to enjoy anytime and anywhere.
SBS is Australia’s cycling network and will continue to broadcast the iconic Tour de France and Tour de France Femmes after securing the exclusive broadcast rights until 2030. Other major cycling events include the Giro d’Italia, the Vuelta a Espana, the Paris–Roubaix Femmes, the Women’s and Men’s Australian National Road Series as well as the Women’s and Men’s European Cycling Spring Classics. NITV have footy fans covered, with the return of their ground-breaking programs Yokayi Footy and Over the Black Dot. These shows offer an Indigenous perspective of the AFL and NRL, including analysis, guest interviews and bold conversation.
Australians continue to turn to SBS for news and current affairs providing the bigger picture on international issues, insightful coverage drawing on our unrivalled connections to communities, and impartial stories which give a voice to those unheard elsewhere. Whether it’s SBS World News, Insight, Dateline, NITV News, Living Black or The Point, Australians get access to a truly global newsroom across the SBS network, alongside a team of dedicated First Nations journalists through NITV.
Six months from the launch of its dedicated multilingual news channel, SBS WorldWatch, SBS has expanded its international news offering with new programs added to its line-up of global news bulletins in 37 languages across the network, while SBS’s own SBS News in Arabic and SBS News in Mandarin continue to deliver multilingual news for Australians on prime-time TV on SBS WorldWatch and on SBS On Demand.
NITV also continues its role in providing Australians with news from an Indigenous perspective. In 2023, NITV current affairs show, The Point, will provide weekly updates, interviews and explainers to inform all Australians on the range of First Nations voices and perspectives as Australia counts down to a referendum on an Indigenous Voice to Parliament.
In 2022, SBS announced it was creating a new documentary hub within its award-winning News and Current Affairs team, with a focus on creating content for a younger audience and investing in original programming for SBS On Demand. In 2023, Marc Fennell will follow on from the success of Framed – the story of Australia’s greatest art heist and SBS’s most successful ever online-focused originals commission – with two new powerful digital-first documentary series.
As it continues to evolve its services for Australia’s multilingual communities, SBS Radio will become SBS Audio in 2023. SBS began more than 45 years ago as radio programs in a handful of languages, and today, SBS’s radio division services more than 60 languages and a growing digital audience and an increasingly multi-platform focus – including Australia’s most unique podcasts. SBS Audio recognises that the content and services offered are not defined by the medium of delivery, but by the connection to the community and audiences it serves. SBS Audio will continue to serve the more than 5.5 million Australians who speak a language other than English at home, while SBS PopAsia, SBS PopDesi and SBS Chill will continue to engage all Australians through music and pop culture from around the world.