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Latest Satellite News Discussion, New digital TV channel SBS2 due soon for 'best of the world' at General Satellite News forum; SBS managing director Shaun Brown will unveil plans today for a new digital TV channel, SBS2, to be launched on ...

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Post New digital TV channel SBS2 due soon for 'best of the world' - 31-March-2009, 06:49

SBS managing director Shaun Brown will unveil plans today for a new digital TV channel, SBS2, to be launched on June 1.

Speaking at the Get Ready for Digital TV conference in Sydney, Mr Brown will outline plans for the digital network, which will initially be a demonstration multi-channel before introducing live sport from July.

"SBS2 means more of the world's best stories, more in-language and first-run films, more sport, more news and current affairs and more chances to engage with the best that the world has to offer," Mr Brown will say.

"SBS2 will not simply be a time-shifted version of SBS1, although we aim to increase the opportunity for Australians to experience our quality news, current affairs and sports content that is so popular on our main channel."

But without additional funding in the May budget, SBS argues it cannot provide more foreign news services and children's programs or English language tuition.

SBS has called for an extra $70 million a year over the next triennial funding period.

Plans for more Asia-Pacific-focused content have also been delayed until the results of the budget are known.

"Obviously SBS's full plans for digital television are contingent on receiving adequate funding in the May budget, which is why our ambitions to expand our in-language news services and add English language tuition and in-language children's programming are on hold," Mr Brown will say.

Meantime, the Ashes in England and the Tour de France will be screened live and free to air on SBS1 and SBS2.

The new channel will also replay SBS news programs, and screen local and international films and foreign entertainment and documentaries.

Mr Brown will be joined at today's conference by Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, who will open proceedings, and the chiefs of the ABC and Ten.

The keynote speech will be given by Carolyn Fairbairn, director of group development and strategy for ITV UK, who will talk about Britain's Freeview experience. The chairman of Free TV Australia, Wayne Goss, will focus on the impact on the Australian public of the switchover to digital.

Mr Goss will discuss how the free-to-air industry can protect free access to sport, Australian content and news and current affairs
   
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