SBS 2 set to relaunch as youth-focused, multi-platform channel in April
SBS is relaunching SBS 2 in April as a youth-oriented, multi-platform channel.
It is the first rebrand since the channel (then called SBS TWO) was launched in June 2009. Working under severe budget-constraints, it broadcast (and re-broadcast) a similar mix of main channel content including world film, drama, documentaries, international news and sport. However, SBS finally received a major funding boost from the government in 2012 allowing chief executive Michael Ebeid to begin a process to revitalise the public broadcaster.
SBS 2 now plans to focus on audiences aged 16-39 with a passion for emerging cultural ideas and experiences. Its content will include the channel’s first commissioned program – a 15-minute daily news and current affairs program – and dedicated sport programming.
It will also launch "Back 2 Back" episode viewing – where viewers get to watch an entire series of selected new programs via SBS ON DEMAND before broadcast on SBS 2.
“We know that younger audiences engage with SBS when we broadcast key content like Go Back to Where You Came From, East West 101 and Housos but we want to give that audience a channel they can call their own and that is fully integrated with an online offering," SBS managing director Michael Ebeid said in a statement.
"SBS 2 will be a channel which is fun and inclusive and all about giving our younger audiences content in the fast-paced way they want it, when they want it and on a device they choose to view it.”
SBS’s director of TV and online content, Tony Iffland, said SBS 2 will broadcast thought-provoking and entertaining content for younger viewers.
"The key target of that younger audience is the thinking thirty something – those who are still toying with the wild experimentation of youth whilst thinking about embracing responsibility for the first time. Our programming line-up delivers a rich and innovative combination of adventurous documentaries, fresh comedy and drama, hit entertainment, quality sport and tailored news and current affairs. I am confident that we offer something different and attractive in the multi-channel market place."
The "Back 2 Back" online broadcasts will begin with three series in April, which will be broadcast in entirety after the first episode on television: Bullet in the Face; Don’t Tell My Mother; and The Tales of Nights.
The channel's first commissioned show, an as-yet unnamed youth-focused news and current affairs program, will launch in May. SBS says it will employ a free-flowing format to explore issues and news, enlisting young, multi-skilled journalists both on and off screen to create and present the stories.
SBS 2's new content will include:
- Friday night football with broadcasts of the 2013-14 Hyundai A League from October (marking the first time that the Hyundai A-League will be broadcast on free-to-air TV).
- Threesome – a 'dramedy' about three inseparable friends on the verge of thirty, who after a wild night out end up having an unplanned threesome which results in an even more unplanned pregnancy. Together they decide it’s time to ditch the party lifestyle and have the baby – as a threesome.
- Him & Her: an anti-romantic comedy about Steve (Russell Tovey) and Becky (Sarah Solemani) – a young couple deeply in love, often in bed and rarely in employment.
- Skins (return series): a fresh generation of four boys and four girls love each other, hate each other, screw each other, and get smashed together. SBS 2 will also show the seventh and final season of Skins later in the year.
- Bullet in the Face: a viciously funny, wildly violent, bloody and unabashedly politically incorrect action comedy series from Canada starring Eddie Izzard and Eric Roberts.
- Emmy Award-winning Belgian hidden camera comedy series Benidorm Bastards, which stars seven senior citizens who roam the streets pulling absurd stunts on unsuspecting young people.
- Community (formerly on GO!), starring Chevy Chase and Donald Glover, follows a band of misfits who form a study group at Greendale Community College where together they end up learning more about themselves than they do about their coursework.
- Russell Howard’s Good News will be a staple late night show on the channel. With his boy-next-door charm and seamless mix of irreverent pop culture chatter, cynicism and satire, he offers a hilarious and unique take on the news.
- Don't Tell My Mother: a factual series which follows Diego Buñel as he travels to some of the world’s most troublesome places, looking beyond the headlines to reveal the rich cultures and the true interests of the people.
- Be Your Own Boss: a factual series about an inspiring entrepreneurship program where the charismatic and successful founder of UK brand ‘Innocent drinks’ Richard Reed looks to invest in three big ideas presented to him by aspiring young entrepreneurs.
- Warrior Road Trip: a factual cross-continental exploratory journey which introduces viewers to America through the eyes of warriors from the Maasai culture – Boni and Lemarti.
- Documentary series The Pitch takes cameras behind the closed doors of theworld of advertising as two top American creative advertising agencies go head to head to win a real campaign from a major brand.
- Three provocative graffiti-inspired documentary films: Graffiti Wars; Antics Roadshow; and Exit Through the Gift Shop.