SBS World News Channel

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SBS World News Channel
Launched 12 June 2002
Closed 1 June 2009
Network SBS Television
Owned by Special Broadcasting Service
Picture format 576i (SDTV) 16:9
Country Australia
Language English
Broadcast area Nationally
Replaced by SBS 2
Availability at time of closure
Freeview Channel 32[1]
Foxtel Channel 648
Austar Channel 610
Foxtel Channel 648
TransACT Channel 17

The SBS World News Channel was an Australian television channel broadcast by SBS Television that launched on 12 June 2002. The channel, that used to be only available to digital television viewers in Australia, was the first digital-only multi-channel for the Special Broadcasting Service. The news service broadcast for eighteen hours per day, Seven days a week, retransmitting news from fifteen countries. In between news retransmissions, the channel displayed weather information, news headlines, and some commercial advertising.


The SBS World News Channel was officially inaugurated by Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Richard Alston on 12 June 2002, with the launch broadcast simultaneously live onto the channel.[2]

It was previously known as The World News in its first year.[3]

Tagalog, Vietnamese, and Arabic language broadcasts were added to SBS' WorldWatch schedule in 2003.[4] The Vietnamese service, taken from the government-controlled channel VTV4, was heavily protested against by the Vietnamese community, many of whom found the bulletin's portrayal of the communist Vietnamese flag and Ho Chi Minh offensive. The Vietnamese Community of Australia, claimed that the program's lack of reports on political arrests and religious oppression were also offensive, especially to those who fled the country following the Vietnam War[5]

The backlash resulting from these events prompted SBS to begin showing disclaimers before all externally produced bulletins, distancing the broadcaster from each bulletin's editorial content.

Genre restrictions imposed by the Australian government on digital multi-channelling were lifted along with the media ownership laws passed through the Australian parliament on 18 October 2006.[6]

The channel was set up as an experimental full service channel.[7]

SBS World News Channel was broadcast on channel 33 from its launch until 29 January 2009, when it was moved to channel 32. Thereafter, a simulcast of SBS was shown on channel 33. SBS World News Channel was closed and replaced by SBS 2 on 1 June 2009.


The SBS World News Channel broadcast for 24 hours each day, retransmitting over two-hundred news programs per week, from twenty-three countries. The channel's programming line-up consisted of retransmissions of bulletins from news services throughout the world, including:

These programs are also presented on SBS TV, along with PBS's Nightly Business Report and PBS NewsHour, SBS TV broadcasts World News Australia, and the English version of Deutsche Welle's bulletin.


earthTV was broadcast on the SBS World News Channel when news programs are broadcast. It also acted as a filler when news programs are delayed.


  1. ^ SBS — Australia-wide Digital Upgrade
  2. ^ "SBS launches World News Channel". August 2002. Retrieved 2007-10-12. 
  4. ^ "SBS Timeline". Special Broadcasting Service. Archived from the original on 2007-03-02. Retrieved 2007-05-20. 
  5. ^ "Crunch time for SBS over Vietnamese news bulletin". Sydney Morning Herald. 2003-12-02. Retrieved 2007-05-20. 
  6. ^ Day, Julia (2006-10-18). "Australia opens up media investment". London: Retrieved 2007-03-31. 
  7. ^ "INQUIRY INTO THE UPTAKE OF DIGITAL TELEVISION" (PDF). p. 11. Retrieved 2009-03-24.  External link in |publisher=, |work= (help)