SBS Upfront 2023: Every Announcement

sbs upfront

Below is a breakdown of what to expect from SBS over the next 12 months

SBS delivered a slate of new announcements at its 2023 upfront event on Wednesday.

The broadcaster revealed a raft of new and returning content announcements, news bulletins, the launch of a TV trading platform, a number of new product and data partnerships and more. 

Below is a breakdown of what to expect from SBS over the next 12 months.

NITV highlights growing investment in content with Beyond 3% initiative

Since its launch in March 2021, the Beyond 3% initiative has grown awareness of the channel, and driven a significant lift in commercial investment in the channel – all invested back into First Nations content.

“In the 18 months since we launched Beyond 3%, we have seen a number of major brands look to make First Nations media a part of their media schedule,” Anna Dancey, national sales manager NITV said.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples represent 3.2 per cent of the Australian population, but it’s estimated that less than 0.3 per cent of advertising in Australia invested in media is dedicated to reaching these audiences.

Beyond 3% was launched in early 2021 seeking to engage media agencies and marketers to begin to address this gap by learning more about the role and value of First Nations media in Australia today and increase investment in Indigenous media platforms to at least a 3 per cent target.

“NITV revenue has increased fourfold, and every dollar goes back into NITV to create the unique content and vital services it provides for audiences.”

SBS has seen several major brands, such as Coles, NAB, Telstra and Google, make First Nations media a greater part of their media schedule, investing with NITV and demonstrating their commitment to First Nations storytelling.

“A question I often get from marketers is, can you show us what the investment has done for NITV? And the answer is, yes – take a look at Logie Award winning programs like powerful documentary Incarceration Nation and Little J & Big Cuz, breaking new ground in children’s television. Or the Walkley Award winning current affairs from NITV. and the coverage of moments that bring communities together such as the Garma festival in July, or the NSW Koori Knockout last month,” Dancey said. 

SBS to automate TV ad buying with SBS Connect in 2023

SBS Media has announced it will aim to make buying of television advertising on its linear channels simpler in 2023 with the launch of a new automation platform SBS Connect.

SBS made the announcement at its 2023 Upfront in Sydney, where the broadcaster confirmed SBS Connect would launch next April and provide agencies with a more efficient buying process, improved response times and fast post-analysis reporting on their media spend.

“In 2023, SBS will transform how agencies buy from the SBS Media team,” said Adam Sadler, SBS’s director of media sales. “The market has long been looking for simpler ways to transact to buy TV inventory, and SBS Connect will help solve that need by simplifying the buying process between us and our agency partners.”

SBS also used its Upfront event to highlight its unique audience and the cost efficiencies which come from adding SBS to a brand’s media plan.

The research, called The Butterfly Effect, highlights the cost-per-reach efficiency across TV and BVOD that can be achieved by moving 10% of a client’s TV budget and 27% of the BVOD budget to SBS, with studies showing cost savings of up to 36% for both Metro and Regional TV and on average 20% on BVOD.

See also: SBS Upfront 2023: SBS to automate TV ad buying with SBS Connect

SBS brand partnerships team to become SBS CulturalConnect

SBS has announced it has rebranded its brand partnerships division as SBS CulturalConnect.

The new offering will provide commercial partners with ways to tap into Australia’s dynamic cultural currents, grounded in an appreciation of Australia’s rich diversity.

The new SBS CulturalConnect offering was launched at SBS’s 2023 Upfront in Sydney and will provide services in strategy, research and insights, integrated brand solutions, creative and in-language production, inclusion training and consultancy.

Adam Sadler, director of media sales, SBS said the launch of SBS CulturalConnect was an important evolution of SBS Media’s commercial offering.

“Today’s announcement of SBS CulturalConnect is a significant moment that sees all of SBS Media’s core commercial offerings brought together under one holistic approach,” said Sadler.

“Our knowledge, insights and research will provide brands and marketers with unique context to navigate contemporary Australia. No one else in the market is as well positioned to help brands question, validate, or challenge the underlining assumptions in your media strategy.”

SBS OnDemand announces new initiatives giving audiences and advertisers a world class ad experience

SBS has highlighted its digital transformation journey over the last five years, outlining how the broadcaster has positioned SBS OnDemand uniquely to have a clear and differentiated offering, including with more than 15,000+ hours of content.

“SBS had a clear digital strategy from the outset for SBS On Demand and continues to over-index in the commercial BVOD market. It is a destination in its own right, and we have held our share of on-demand viewing with 26% of total on demand BVOD minutes,” said Adam Sadler, director of media sales, SBS.
“This is an incredible result, driven by consistent and distinctive programming that defines SBS On Demand.”

Lee Callagher national operations and commercial product manager spoke about how the broadcaster’s investments in technology were ensuring SBS was delivering the strongest UX experience, but also had the right suite of partnerships to drive results for advertisers.

“We are immensely proud of the position which SBS OnDemand has carved out in Australian streaming space,” said Callagher. “We remain the highest rated streaming platform in the Apple Store – not just against BVOD platforms but also SVOD – and that comes from how we put our audience first through our unique, personal and targeted ad experience.

“SBS is unique in the BVOD space in offering a decluttered, tailored and targeted ad experience, which understands and caters to the needs of audiences.”

SBS Radio continues evolution to become SBS Audio

SBS has announced that in 2023, its radio offering will become SBS Audio.

The transition from SBS Radio to SBS Audio aims to reflect its full cross-platform offering across more than 60 different languages.

Speaking at SBS’s 2023 Upfront, David Hua, SBS’s director, audio language content said radio would always be an important part of SBS and that the change from SBS Radio to SBS Audio next year reflects the ongoing success in transforming into a cross-platform audio provider, covering broadcast radio, live streaming, digital publishing and podcasting.

“Today, SBS’s audio offering is not just a linear radio network – we have transformed into a truly platform agnostic multilingual audio and digital broadcaster and publisher, and we are continuing to evolve our services for an increasingly diverse Australia,” said Hua.

“Every week we broadcast more than 262 hours of original audio content and publish hundreds of articles in more than 60 languages. We are rapidly seeing audiences embrace audio streaming and podcasting, with more than six million streams and podcast downloads every month.”

SBS and Viaplay Group partner to bring Nordic entertainment to Australia

A new multi-year partnership between SBS and Viaplay Group will provide Australian audiences with a pipeline of award-winning content from Viaplay Select, with programming curated by SBS available on SBS On Demand, including Nordic dramas, movies and more.

SBS will premiere Nordic Viaplay Originals including drama series, films and documentaries, and will also have exclusive rights to a library of Viaplay Originals and third-party Nordic programming. The partnership, launching on SBS On Demand from November 2 with 10 series and four new feature films dropping in the collection, also gives SBS a first-look option on forthcoming English-language Viaplay Originals.


Kathryn Fink, director of television at SBS, said the partnership expands the collection of programs in languages other than English available on SBS On Demand.

“SBS has long been a pioneer of premium Nordic programming in Australia. Viaplay Originals like Norwegian series Wisting, Danish drama Darkness: Those Who Kill, and Norwegian thriller Furia are among some of our most watched series on SBS On Demand. This agreement will deliver a new suite of shows that will continue to build SBS’s reputation as a leader in

international drama and feed a growing appetite among Australian audiences for global storytelling,” Fink said.

“We’re thrilled to now be partnering with Viaplay and expanding the relationship between our two distinctive brands to deliver more of the content that defines SBS On Demand. We’re excited to be continuing to grow our unique multilingual offering and showcase the best programs from around of the world to Australian audiences, for free.”

Vanda Rapti, Viaplay Group SVP & head of acquisitions, content distribution & partnerships, said: “Viaplay Select is a compelling concept that helps our partners stand out in today’s competitive global streaming market. Nordic storytelling attracts audiences everywhere, and our Viaplay Originals deliver it better than anyone. Australia and the Nordic region may be on opposite sides of the globe, but top-quality drama is a universal language and we’re delighted to share our stories with millions of SBS On Demand viewers through Viaplay Select.”


Viaplay is the Nordic region’s leading producer of original content. Upcoming series set to premiere on SBS On Demand in Australia as part of the offering include the Scandinavian crime shows Fenris, Cell 8, Where Were You and Huss; the Danish Canneseries-nominated biopic The DreamerBecoming Karen Blixen; acclaimed Norwegian comedy-drama Pørni; Swedish dramas Two Sisters, Harmonica and the award-winning Thunder in My Heart; and Norwegian dark comedies Ida Takes Charge and Below.

In addition, international Viaplay Original documentaries such as The Prize of Silence, Natascha Kampusch – A Lifetime in Prison, and Wozniacki & Lee will also premiere on SBS On Demand through Viaplay Select.

New and Returning Shows 

New in 2023

Safe Home
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. Safe Home is 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.

Safe Home

While the Men Are Away
This original drama is a queer, revisionist historical dramedy about a group of women finding their power while the men are away fighting WWII.

Erotic Stories
Erotic stories is an anthology of contemporary tales about lust, desire, and longing… but with an SBS twist

Rogue Heroes
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.

Rogue Heroes

Night Bloomers
Joining SBS’s prime-time original and acquired dramas are three new short-form dramas from Digital Originals, the 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. 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.

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.

Asking For It
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.

Asking For It

The Matchmakers
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?

The Big School Swap
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 Handmaid’s Tale
Coming exclusively to SBS in 2023, the sixth and final season of The Handmaid’s Tale.

The Doll Factory
The historical thriller The Doll Factory an adaptation of the Sunday Times’ bestselling novel of the same name.

Alone Australia
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 the perhaps the toughest challenge of all: loneliness, as they compete for $250,000.

sbs upfront

Alone Australia

Who the Bloody Hell Are We?
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.

Great Australian Walks
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.

Who Do You Think You Are?
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?

Every Family Has a Secret
Noni Hazlehurst returns for the fourth season of fan favourite Every Family Has a Secret.

Australia Uncovered
Single documentaries will be celebrated with another season of the acclaimed Australia Uncovered.

Eurovision Song Contest
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.

Celebrity Letters & Numbers
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.


From the Heart of our Nation, A Celebration
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.

The First Inventors
On NITV in 2023, actor Rob Collins uncovers ancient Indigenous innovations on Country in The First Inventors.

sbs upfront

The First Inventors

Living Black
Australia’s premier Indigenous current affairs program, Living Black, presented by Karla Grant celebrates its 20th year on air.

Going Places with Ernie Dingo
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.

sbs upfront

Going Places With Ernie Dingo

In Our Law
In 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.

SBS Food

SBS has announced 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.

sbs upfront

Adam and Poh’s Great 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.

sbs upfront

Khahn Ong’s Wild Food

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.


FIFA World Cup
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.

sbs upfront

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

SBS  will continue to broadcast the 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.

News and Current Affairs

SBS is celebrating six months since 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.

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.

On SBS WorldWatch (in languages other than English)
Gujarati news – from India Public Broadcaster Prasar Bharati / Doordarshan (DD)
Malayalam news – from India Public Broadcaster Prasar Bharati / Doordarshan (DD)

TRT World NewsHour – from TRT TurkeyIndian Country Today (ICT) news – from USA Indigenous network, IndiJ Public Media, Phoenix Arizona
APTN national news – from Canadian Indigenous network, Aboriginal People’s Television Network (APTN), Winnipeg, Canada
Te Ao with Moana – from New Zealand’s Māori Television
Fiji One news – from Fiji television ltd Suva, Fiji
ABC Nightline – from ABC America, New York USA
CBC The National – from Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) Toronto, Canada

On SBS (English)
ANC The World Tonight – from Philippines broadcaster ABS-CBN Manila, Philippines
APAC Weekly – from APAC Network, Brisbane, Qld Australia
DD India news – from India Public Broadcaster Prasar Bharati / Doordarshan (DD)
BBC News at 10 – from British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) London, UK

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