Shaun Brown: Putting the BS in SBS
Thursday June 26th 2008, 4:03 pm

In the latest act of philistinism at SBS, the former public service broadcaster, now packed with ads and shows designed to attract just about anyone but those with an interest in foreign language programming, has been ‘rebranded.’ In an incredibly lame attempt to play on the Special Broadcasting Service acronym, the tagline ‘Six billion stories and counting…’ has been added…

…which is somehow vaguely reminiscent of some other massively crass commercialism…

Bit of false advertising, don’t you think? After all, if each story takes even one scant minute, it’d take 11,407.9 years to tell six billion of them- and SBS TV has only been with us since 1979. Regardless, SBS Managing Director Shaun Brown is presently trying to work out how to slot in ad breaks between each of those six billion stories- without alienating the remainder of SBS viewers. Fat chance.

So, what will SBS viewers get for the paltry $10 million earned for the mid-program ad breaks Mr Brown has foisted upon us? An Australian version of BBC petrolhead program Top Gear, featuring cartoonist Warren Brown. While I rather like both Warren Brown and BBC’s Top Gear, somehow, I don’t think this sort of program speaks to the world-view broadening, multicultural mission of SBS. Perhaps if they road-test the new Hindustan Ambassador

More useful SBS backronyms could surely be invented…


2 Comments so far
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Well, strictly speaking, I don’t think the “Six Billion Stories” refers to SBS… but yeah, I’m pretty disappointed that they’ve decided to spend that money on Top Gear. Maybe the program will be good, but I defy anyone to give me a measure of its multicultural value without resorting to vague sophistry of the “all Australians are fans of x” that surrounds SBS’s latter-day programming efforts.

Comment by Flashman 06.26.08 @ 8:39 pm

Well, strictly speaking, I don’t think the “Six Billion Stories” refers to SBS…

The capitalisations of ‘Six Billion Stories’ in the ‘official’ version would probably be a clue, Flash.

However, you’re right, the ‘all Australians like x’ excuse is transparent. There’s the BS in SBS.

Comment by weez 06.26.08 @ 8:58 pm

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