SBS has announced plans to launch its sixth free-to-air channel — Worldwatch.
The new channel will feature news bulletins from around the world, covering over 30 languages, and will also be the broadcast home of SBS’ new Arabic and Mandarin language news programs.
The new bulletins — SBS عربي News and SBS 中文 News — will provide Australia’s large and diverse Arabic- and Mandarin-speaking communities with national and international news. The bulletins will be produced and presented by SBS journalists for an Australian audience, and will premiere on SBS On Demand in January ahead of the new channel launch.
In a media statement, SBS Managing Director, James Taylor said:
“SBS is the most multilingual broadcaster in the world and we are continuing to evolve our services, finding new and innovative ways to enhance and strengthen our language offering across platforms, and ensure SBS’s content and trusted news coverage is increasingly accessible to audiences.
“Since it was established, SBS has been providing opportunities for Australians to connect with news, information and entertainment in their preferred language. That connection supports a strong sense of belonging and inclusion in our increasingly diverse and complex multicultural society. The launch of a free-to-air multilingual news channel, along with the creation of new TV news bulletins in Arabic and Mandarin tailored to the needs of these communities in Australia, demonstrates our commitment to the core, critical and unparalleled services that SBS provides.”
SBS Director of News and Current Affairs, Mandi Wicks, added:
“SBS is uniquely placed to reach and engage the many Australians who speak a language other than English, and our truly global newsroom is a real point of difference in the media landscape.
“In 2022, we’re thrilled to be increasing our commitment to more multilingual news through a new, dedicated channel, as well as adding bespoke SBS news programs for two of the nation’s largest and fastest growing language groups, Arabic and Mandarin. Ensuring access to relevant, up-to-date news and information for all Australians promotes civic, cultural and social participation, which is at the heart of our purpose.”
Worldwatch joins SBS’ existing channel suite — SBS, SBS Viceland, SBS Food, NITV and World Movies. The Age reports that the new channel will take on the international news bulletins currently broadcast under the Worldwatch banner on SBS and SBS Viceland, with those channels to schedule replacement programming.
Further details around the launch of Worldwatch will be provided by SBS in the new year.