SBS Upfront 2024: NITV to launch as high-definition channel


Plus: The evolution of Beyond 3%

After a year that saw NITV launch a 12-market broadcast signal and celebrate a decade of being available free-to-air, Australia’s dedicated Indigenous broadcaster will be launching as a high-definition channel on 5 December 2023.

SBS’s director of Indigenous content, and proud Birri and Guugu Yimidhirr woman, Tanya Denning-Orman, announced the upcoming HD launch at the SBS 2024 Upfront in Sydney, where highlights of NITV’s distinctive First Nations storytelling for the year ahead were also revealed.

“I’m excited that we will be presenting to Australia a beautiful, bold and unapologetically Blak content slate over the year ahead – including our fast-paced community-loving sport – in high definition,” said Denning-Orman.

“It’s just the latest development for NITV as the channel continues to go from strength to strength, delivering more First Nations stories to more Australians, and continuously improving how we serve our growing audience, as well as our partners.

“It comes following what has been a major year – we marked a decade of being available to all Australians as a free-to-air channel and part of the SBS network; we introduced our 12-market broadcast signal; and we continued to elevate First Nations voices for a growing audience of Australians wanting to connect and understand more about 65,000 years of culture, history and knowledge in this country.”

Peter Noble, a proud Bandjin and Girramay man and NITV general manager, added that NITV has a line-up of content still to come.

“We continue to increase our investment in the Indigenous production sector and partnerships across the industry, and are proud to not only be delivering more of our sport, documentaries, drama, entertainment, and award-winning kids, news and current affairs programming to audiences in 2024, we’re also excited to have returning series with Our Law and Little J and Big Cuz. NITV is continuing to cement its place in the Australian media landscape and, following the success of First Inventors this year with Channel 10, we’re excited to partner with Netflix to bring AFL great Eddie Betts’ popular books to life through our new animated children’s series Eddie’s Lil’ Homies.”

The move to HD comes as NITV and SBS Media’s Beyond 3% initiative continues to drive investment in the channel and increase awareness of the benefits of greater investment in First Nations media.

Speaking at the SBS 2024 Upfront, Anna Dancey, a proud Yuwaalaraay woman and NITV national sales manager, shared details of the evolution of Beyond 3% to support brands either getting started, continuing, or growing their investment in First Nations media with new partnership tiers: Kinship, Ally, Supporter and Leader.

“2023 has been our biggest year ever,” said Dancey, “with the likes of Coles, Airbnb, Amazon and Palmolive all increasing their investment with NITV, with bespoke and unique creative work that champions First Nations perspectives and Blak excellence. This year we also saw NRMA go further and become the first Australian brand to commit 3% of its broadcast media spend to First Nations media over the next year.

“We look forward to seeing others follow their lead and our new partnership framework introduces tiers to give brands a clear pathway to go Beyond 3%. This initiative has demanded more of our industry and is helping shift the needle on advertising spend that makes a real difference. Combined with NITV’s growing and powerful content offering, Beyond 3% will continue to support the strength of the First Nations media sector and the vital role it plays in this country and help our commercial partners to see and understand the impact of their investment.”

According to the latest Census data, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples represent 3.8 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, doing more to contribute to inclusion in the sector, and re-thinking media spend by committing to increasing investment in Indigenous media platforms to at least a 3 per cent target.

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