The Sydney Morning Herald has published an opinion piece by Paul Sheehan pondering the issue, do we need SBS?
Mr Sheehan is of the opinion that SBS, created at a time when there was little alternative media available, and which continues to cost taxpayers many millions of dollars a year for something that is only watched by around 4 per cent of the population, has now been made obsolete by the plethora of specialist news, sport and entertainment channels now available by other media such as pay-TV. A nice idea, for those that have or can afford pay television.
For the rest of us without pay-TV – and at this point that still makes up the vast majority of households in Australia – does SBS still have a valid place in society as an alternative to ABC and commercial free-to-air television? Or should the government, as Mr Sheehan suggests, disband SBS and sell of its valueable broadcast spectrum to the highest bidder?