×

Australia’s SBS Launches Linear Movie Channel

Australia’s SBS is to launch a free-to-air movie channel dedicated to international cinema. SBS World Movies will begin operating from July 1, 2019. SBS or Special Broadcasting Service is a public private partnership operating as a TV, radio and online broadcaster.

SBS World Movies describes itself as “a celebration of the diversity of global cinema.” It aims to program 700 titles per year, with at least half in a language other than English, and ranging from European arthouse, to Bollywood, anime, award-winning favorites, and new releases.

While further launch titles will be unveiled in the coming weeks, the company said that its lineup will include: as “Amanda’ (France), “The 12th Man” (Norway), “Just A Breath Away” (France), “Ash is the Purest White” (China), “Aligarth” (India), “Girl” (Belgium), and “Killing of a Sacred Deer.”

SBS World Movies will also feature curated seasons of special programming to mark cultural events, festivals and celebrations such as Diwali, Lunar New Year, International Women’s Day and Mardi Gras. Each week, the schedule will feature a Women in Film double-bill of female filmmakers and lead actors, as well as festival favorites and emerging territories, showcasing films from far-flung locations.

The launch of a linear movie channel at a moment when the TV landscape is shifting towards VoD, and original series are gaining traction over movies on TV, runs counter to prevailing trends. But SBS remains confident.

“SBS is always exploring ways to deliver more distinctive content to audiences in service of its charter. We know that audiences come to us for content they don’t find anywhere else, and SBS World Movies brings a new and truly unique offering to Australians on free-to-air TV.  In addition to the free-to-air offering, most of the films will be available to stream for free on SBS On Demand,” a spokesman told Variety by email.

“Movies provide people with the opportunity to escape to worlds outside of our own, with stories that entertain and inspire us, make us think, laugh and even cry. International cinema does this in a truly unique way, and has been an important part of SBS’s offering for decades, giving Australians the opportunity to delve into cultures through cinematic masterpieces captivating audiences around the world,” said SBS Managing Director, James Taylor.

SBS World Movies will broadcast in HD on channel 32 alongside SBS’s existing channels, SBS, SBS VICELAND, SBS Food and NITV. SBS World Movies will also be SBS’s third HD channel.

The launch announcement came the same day Nine and News Corp owned Australian News Channel, announced that they are to close the Your Money channel. The channel airs on both Foxtel and free to air. It was launched in October last year and will close on Friday May 17.

More TV

  • Caroline Flack

    'Love Island' Returns to Air As ITV Defends Treatment of Caroline Flack

    ‘Love Island’ was back on air Monday for the first time since the death of former host Caroline Flack on Feb. 15. Amid the reality series’ return, broadcaster ITV insists it supported the star after she was removed from the show. Monday night’s episode began somberly with narrator Iain Stirling providing voiceover over scenes of [...]

  • Tiffany BooneEntertainment Weekly Pre-SAG Party, Arrivals,

    Actor Tiffany Boone Addresses Her Decision to Quit 'The Chi'

    Actor Tiffany Boone addressed her exit from “The Chi,” the Showtime series she departed in November 2018 after making harassment allegations against her former co-star Jason Mitchell. Mitchell was fired from the show last May as a result of intimidation and abuse accusations made by Boone and showrunner Ayanna Floyd Davis. Mitchell was subsequently dismissed [...]

  • Amazon Prime nabs ‘Russian Affairs’ for

    Amazon Prime Nabs ‘Russian Affairs’ for Germany, France and the Netherlands

    Amazon Prime Video has acquired the first season of series “Russian Affairs” for distribution in Germany, France and the Netherlands, from Russia’s Start Studios. The eight-part drama that follows the lives of Russia’s elite and those who aspire to that position is set in contemporary Moscow. Under the title “Gold Diggers,” the series was broadcast [...]

  • MODEL RELEASED Mother with baby, 1

    Channel 4 Orders ‘Baby Surgeons’ From Wonderhood Studios

    U.K. broadcaster Channel 4 has commissioned Wonderhood Studios for a documentary series with the working title “Baby Surgeons.” The series will explore the journeys parents go through to save their babies during complex pregnancies and will feature cutting-edge baby surgeries, some performed inside the womb. It will also use CGI, MRI and Ultrasound to enhance [...]

  • Bertelsmann CEO Says RTL, ProSiebenSat.1 Should

    Bertelsmann CEO Says RTL, ProSiebenSat.1 Should Be Free to Merge

    The CEO of German media giant Bertelsmann has said its RTL Group TV division should be allowed to merge with German rival ProSiebenSat.1 and called for a loosening of E.U. antitrust regulations in order to better stave off intensifying competition from U.S. streaming giants. In an interview with German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung published on [...]

  • Politicians and Petition Support BBC Following

    Politicians and Petition Support BBC Following Reports of Major Cuts

    A war of words around the future of the BBC continued on Monday amid reports of severe cutbacks to the U.K. public broadcaster. The Sunday Times reported over the weekend that Downing Street, the seat of the U.K. government, was planning to replace the annual BBC license fee with a subscription service; sell most of [...]

  • Stanley Tucci

    Stanley Tucci to Host BBC Radio 4 Series 'The Californian Century'

    Actor and filmmaker Stanley Tucci will front series “The Californian Century,” set to air on BBC Radio 4. Tucci will play a cynical screenwriter who narrates the stories of ten people who helped build California over the last 100 years. They include Francis Boggs, the first person to direct a full movie in California; Hattie [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content