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NITV now broadcasting free-to-air on SBS
A dedicated Indigenous television service is now available for all Australians free-to-air for the first time, after National Indigenous Television (NITV) began broadcasting on SBS4 yesterday.
SBS Managing Director, Michael Ebeid, said it was an important milestone in Australian broadcasting, and in our nation’s history.
“SBS is incredibly proud to be playing a role in delivering content about Indigenous Australians, produced by Indigenous Australians, to every Australian household,” he said.
“With NITV part of the SBS family, we will reflect Australia’s diversity in a way no other broadcaster has before.”
NITV Channel Manager, Tanya Denning, said the team was excited about the opportunities the joining with SBS would bring.
“NITV has been creating and delivering innovative content representing the many voices of the country’s first Australians,” she said.
“We remain dedicated to having our unique languages and culture reflected within the media landscape, and we’re excited to invite Australians of all backgrounds to tune in, and join us in celebrating our rich and unique culture.”
To celebrate the free-to-air launch, NITV broadcast a day of special programming starting with a two-hour outdoor broadcast, live from Uluru in the Northern Territory. Titled “From the Heart of Our Nation” the event marked the official switch on of NITV free-to-air at 12pm (AEDT) on 12 December.
Hosted by Indigenous broadcasters Stan Grant and Rhoda Roberts, the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara traditional owners of the area welcomed audiences from around the nation.
From the Heart of Our Nation was followed by a one hour Living Black special from SBS studios in Sydney. Hosted by Karla Grant, SBS’s award-winning Indigenous current affairs program will examined the development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander media in Australia throughout history.
The broadcast then returned to Uluru for a special edition of NITV News with Natalie Ahmat, followed by performances from some of Australia’s best Indigenous talent - including Jessica Mauboy, Christine Anu, Casey Donovan and Troy Cassar Daley - in a two hour concert hosted by Ernie Dingo.
The launch of NITV free-to-air follows the Australian Government’s 2012 Budget announcement to transfer funding from NITV to SBS to develop a new, national, digital free-to-air channel dedicated to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content.
The new NITV channel will maintain editorial responsibility over delivery of the channel, and will continue to utilise the talents of Indigenous writers, directors and journalists to produce content covering a variety of genres, from music to health, sport, news, current affairs, culture and children’s programs.