|City||Melbourne and Sydney|
|Broadcast area||Australia (national) via AM, FM, DAB+, digital TV, online and satellite|
|Slogan||A World of Difference|
|Owner||Special Broadcasting Service|
First air date
SBS Radio is a service provided by the Special Broadcasting Service that aims "to inform, educate and entertain Australians, especially those of non-English-speaking backgrounds". SBS Radio originally began as two stations based in Melbourne and Sydney, set up to provide pre-recorded information about the then-new Medibank health care system in languages other than English. Today the service targets the estimated 4+ million Australians who speak a language other than English at home with programs in 68 languages.
Like SBS Television, SBS Radio supplements its government funding with paid-for information campaigns for government agencies and non-profit organisations as well as commercial advertising and sponsorship.
Experimental ethnic radio stations 2EA (Sydney) and 3EA (Melbourne) began operations on 9 June 1975, under 3-month temporary licenses, with 42 hour per week schedules in seven and eight languages, respectively. The initial purpose was to inform ethnic communities about proposed changes in the healthcare system via the Medibank scheme. During 1977, programming and language coverage expanded to 119 hours per week in 33 languages on 2EA and 103 hours per week in 22 languages on 3EA.
In November 1977, the Broadcasting and Television Act 1942 was amended to form the Special Broadcasting Service, which commenced operation and assumed responsibility for 2EA and 3EA on 1 January 1978.
Programming and content
Most programs contain a mix of news, current affairs, sport, community information and music relating to a specific ethnic or language group. The exception is the English language news program World View, and overnight programming from the BBC World Service.
SBS Radio has three main radio services, Radio 1, Radio 2 and Radio 3, as well as a national FM service. Radio 1 is available on AM in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Wollongong (1107, 1224, 1440 and 1485 respectively, and can also be listened to in FM on the SBS Radio app) while Radio 2 is available on FM in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra (97.7, 93.1 and 105.5) and on AM in Wollongong (1035). Radio 3 is only available on digital platforms. It broadcasts the BBC World Service on all days of the week unless of special circumstances. The national service (branded simply as SBS Radio) is available throughout the rest of the nation through FM broadcasting (except in Newcastle, where it is available on AM) and on the Viewer Access Satellite Television satellite service, and is composed of material from Radios 1, 2 and 3. Additionally, a few community stations in areas without dedicated SBS Radio transmitters carry some SBS Radio content.
Radio 1, Radio 2 and Radio 3 are all available nationwide through digital terrestrial television, through DAB+ digital radio in available areas, on satellite from free-to-air Optus D1 and Optus B3 C-band satellite transmissions, and on major subscription television services (such as Foxtel). Until the launch of Radio 3 in April 2013, programs available on Radio 1 and Radio 2 varied depending on the platform and the location: for example, digital radio and television in Brisbane largely followed scheduling in Sydney, while digital radio and television in Adelaide and Perth largely followed scheduling in Melbourne.
On digital radio in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Canberra, SBS has some additional digital-only services: SBS Chill, a mix of chillout and world music; SBS PopAsia, a mixture of J-pop, K-pop and C-pop; SBS PopDesi, a mixture of Bhangra, Bollywood music and South Asian pop music; SBS Arabic 24, a 24-hour Arabic radio station, which uses BBC Arabic programming, and SBS PopAraby, featuring Arabic pop music. All of these services are also available online.
SBS Radio 3 began broadcasting 29 April 2013. It is available on VAST, DAB+, DTV and Online. Radio 3 services were added to all FOXTEL/Pay TV platforms, including Austar and Optus from 2 September 2013.
SBS Radio 4 used to relay BBC World Service, however on 18 April 2019, all programs on SBS Radio 4 were transferred to SBS Radio 3, and Radio 4 is mostly defunct.
The old slogans were The many voices of one Australia, Six Billion Stories and Counting..., and Seven Billion Stories and Counting... and the current one is A World of Difference.
As of October 2020, SBS Radio broadcasts in the following languages. All languages are available on the national service unless otherwise noted.
On 20 November 2017, SBS Radio reorganised its radio service, which included dropping services in twelve languages that either weren't as widely spoken, or had communities who weren't in need of a dedicated service in their language, based on the national census that was conducted by the government the previous year. SBS will also launch services in seven new languages, but none of these services are available as of April 2020.
Broadcast on Radio 1
Broadcast on Radio 2
New languages (in production)
Broadcast on Radio 3
Radio 1 also broadcasts segments of SBS Chill if a language program is in temporary recess.
The Albanian service of SBS Radio is broadcast every Saturday on Radio 1 from 6PM to 7PM. There are currently 15,901 Albanians living in Australia, which was one of the reasons it was approved during the 2017 review.
The Amharic service of SBS Radio is broadcast every Monday and Friday on Radio 1 from 10PM to 11PM. There are currently 13,715 Ethiopians living in Australia, with more than two-fifths of that number speaking Amharic, which was one of the reasons it was approved during the 2017 review.
The Arabic service of SBS Radio is broadcast every day on Radio 2 from 6AM to 8AM. There are multiple versions of the Arabic program. The program that is broadcast on weekdays is titled Good Morning Australia and is produced by SBS, and on weekends the BBC Arabic program is relayed. There is a fairly large Arab community in Australia, totalling at around 500,000 people, which was one of the reasons it was approved during the 2017 review.
The Armenian service of SBS Radio is broadcast every Tuesday on Radio 1 from 6PM to 7PM. There are around 16,000 Armenians living in Australia, which was one of the reasons it was approved during the 2017 review.
The Assyrian service of SBS Radio is broadcast every Tuesday and Saturday on Radio 2 from 8PM to 9PM. There are around 61,418 Assyrians living in Australia, which was one of the reasons it was approved during the 2017 review.
The Bengali (or stylised sometimes as Bangla) service of SBS Radio is broadcast every Monday and Saturday on Radio 2 from 6PM to 7PM. Bengali is one of the major languages spoken by Bangladeshi in Australia, which was one of the reasons it was approved during the 2017 review.
The Bosnian service of SBS Radio is broadcast every Sunday on Radio 1 from 3PM to 4PM. There are around 20,247 Bosnians living in Australia, which was one of the reasons it was approved during the 2017 review.
The Bulgarian service of SBS Radio is broadcast every Friday on Radio 1 from 6PM to 7PM. Even though the diaspora of Bulgarian Australians is fairly small, the history of the community is very important, which was one of the reasons it was approved during the 2017 review.
The Burmese service of SBS Radio is broadcast every Tuesday and Saturday on Radio 2 from 10PM to 11PM. There are 207,000 Burmese Australians, which was one of the reasons it was approved during the 2017 review.
The Cantonese service of SBS Radio is broadcast every day on Radio 1 from 9AM to 11AM. One of the biggest diaspora groups in Australia is the Cantonese, which was one of the reasons it was approved during the 2017 review.
The Croatian service of SBS Radio is broadcast every day except Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday on Radio 1 from 11AM to 12PM. There are 133,000 or so Croatians living in Australia, which was one of the reasons it was approved during the 2017 review.
The Czech service of SBS Radio is broadcast every Saturday on Radio 2 from 7PM to 8PM. Even though it remained during the 2017 review, the program has been in recess since August 2019.
The Dari service of SBS Radio is broadcast every Tuesday and Saturday on Radio 2 from 4PM to 5PM. There are around 20,000 speakers of Dari in Australia, which was one of the reasons it was approved during the 2017 review.
The Dinka service of SBS Radio is broadcast every Wednesday and Saturday on Radio 1 from 11AM to 12PM. There are around 4,000 Dinkas in Australia, which is considered small, but this service is very vital to the diaspora as it's the only one broadcast in Dinka, which was one of the reasons it was approved during the 2017 review.
A radio version of SBS World News also aired on Radio 1.
Notes: All languages broadcast on Radio 1 were available (with reduced hours) on the national FM service, as well as all languages on Radio 2, except Dari, Lao and Maltese. None of the languages which have programs on Radio 3 were available on analogue radio.
- Aboriginal services are and African services were mostly conducted in English. The Aboriginal service used to be called Aboriginal and then Living Black Radio. The German service includes English segments.
- Not available on the national service.
SBS Radio began a trial of RDS (Radio Data System) in Sydney and Melbourne FM areas, in November 2012. RDS provides "Now" and "Next" information for the current and pending program information.
The RDS PS on FM radio is "SBSRadio" in Melbourne and Sydney.
Rollout of EPG
SBS began broadcasting the SBS Radio EPG (14 Day) on digital television (DTV) in November 2012.
Data is provided real time for DAB+ clients, and a forward schedule for DTV, by "Aim Rapid 2", from All In Media, see [www.digitalradioplus.com]. Pay television data is delivered by HWW.
SBS Radio Operations
SBS Radio is managed, monitored and maintained via SBS Radio Operations. Distribution of SBS content is managed by third-parties such as Broadcast Australia and other specialist vendors.
Based in Sydney and Melbourne, the Radio Operations teams within SBS monitor, switch programming sources and co-ordinate resources within SBS to deliver content across all SBS markets.
- "Ethnic radio takes to the air". Sydney Morning Herald. 10 June 1975.
- Ang, Ien; Hawkins, Gay; Dabboussy, Lamia (2008). The SBS Story: The Challenge of Diversity. UNSW Press. pp. 276–278. ISBN 978-0-86840-839-2. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
- Brief History of SBS, Multicultural Australia. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
- Our Story : SBS Corporate SBS Corporation
- "SBS Radio Services Review". 20 November 2017. Retrieved 21 February 2018.