Brown did not advocate advertising on the ABC

SBS Managing Director Shaun Brown today refuted suggestions that in an interview with The Bulletin magazine he had called for or advocated the introduction of advertising on the ABC.

Instead, Mr Brown acknowledged in the article that public broadcasting in Australia was at a ‘significant crossroads’ because of funding constraints and that being properly funded and able to deliver the services Australians want and enjoy was more important than the model of public broadcaster that delivered it.

‘This is typical of the hyperbole that surrounds the issue of public broadcasting in Australia that an anodyne comment about looking beyond the “traditional” model of public broadcasting should be misconstrued as a directive to introduce advertising on the ABC,’ Mr Brown said.

‘I made no such comment nor is it my place to make such a comment.

‘But I do not back away from my assertion that there needs to be a new way of thinking about how public broadcasters are funded in Australia.

‘As I told the National Press Club earlier this year the majority of public broadcasters across the world are hybrid funded and permitted some commercial activity. This is necessary for survival when competing for scarce public funds.

‘I am immensely proud of what SBS has achieved as a public broadcaster in this country and we so with a meagre amount of public money each year. Without the capacity to supplement our budget with commercial revenue we would not be able to continue to create award winning Australian content that reflects the true diversity of this country.

‘Testament to the quality of our content is the eight Inside Film awards SBS recently won, the Rory Peck award one of SBS’s Dateline VJs secured for her compelling current affairs work, the Walkley Awards for journalism SBS has been nominated for, an award for our work in sub-titling and the incredible 39 nominations we have received for our film and television content at the Australian Film Industry Awards.’

[release from SBS]

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