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About SBS WorldWatch
SBS WorldWatch is SBS’s free-to-air multilingual news channel, launching on Monday 23 May, 2022.
It provides Australians with access to news from around the world in languages other than English, with a line-up of news bulletins from leading international broadcasters in more than 35 languages.
SBS عربي News (SBS News in Arabic) will be broadcast on the channel live at 8pm, and SBS 中文 News (SBS News in Mandarin) at 8.30pm, weeknights. These programs are produced and presented by SBS and are also available to stream live on SBS On Demand.
Audiences can also watch SBS current affairs programs available on the channel, broadcast in English with subtitles in Arabic and Simplified Chinese.
Why are you launching this channel?
SBS WorldWatch expands SBS’s commitment to providing comprehensive news and information across its network - in English through SBS World News, and in more than 60 languages across SBS Radio services, podcasting, and digital platforms - and the multilingual services it has been delivering to Australians for more than 45 years.
On SBS WorldWatch, news programming will not be interrupted by SBS’s commitments to broadcast live sporting events as occurs on SBS and SBS VICELAND from time to time.
We’re pleased to be able to offer both an extension of our services, and improve the viewing experience, with the launch of SBS WorldWatch.
How to access SBS WorldWatch
How can I watch SBS WorldWatch?
From 23 May, 2022, you can watch SBS WorldWatch on free-to-air television channel 35.
The channel may appear on your television before this, but programming will not commence before this date.
If watching on a television, SBS WorldWatch is accessible on television sets, or devices using recorders or set top boxes, which are MPEG-4 compatible. MPEG-4 refers to the compression technology commonly used by broadcasters today for the distribution of high-quality video content. Most television sets made after 2014 use this technology, and in fact many TV channels in Australia are broadcast with it. It allows us to provide better picture and sound quality.
SBS VICELAND is an MPEG-4 channel, therefore if you currently watch a news bulletin on SBS VICELAND on your television, you can access SBS WorldWatch.
The channel is available to stream live on SBS On Demand.
Programs broadcast on the channel are also available to catch up on SBS On Demand, where there are also additional international news programs available to stream which aren’t shown on television.
Do I need to retune my TV?
Some people may need to retune for the channel to appear. Should you need to retune, SBS has basic instructions available here.
What if I can’t access SBS WorldWatch?
If you are using an older television, recorder or set top box, and find that you cannot watch or record SBS channels 30 (SBS HD), 31 (SBS VICELAND) and 32 (SBS World Movies), your device might not be compatible with the MPEG-4 technology used to transmit SBS WorldWatch as well (and which is the most commonly used standard for distribution of video content today).
While this may have an unintentional impact on some audience members, programs will be available to stream via SBS On Demand and SBS continues to offer a range of other language services available via SBS Radio, podcasting and digital platforms.
How can I check/fix my access to SBS WorldWatch?
If your device is not compatible, when searching for any of these SBS channels - 30 (SBS HD), 31 (SBS VICELAND), 32 (SBS World Movies) and 35 (SBS WorldWatch) - you may see a black screen, an error message like "invalid channel" or can only hear audio but there’s no picture, which means the receiver on your device may not be compatible.
You can contact the manufacturer of your TV to confirm if the specific model of your device is MPEG-4 compatible. If it's not compatible, and they can't provide a firmware update to solve the issue, there are three options for accessing SBS WorldWatch:
Installing a digital set top box will allow your existing television to access all SBS channels using the current-day technology. They’re available to purchase from most electronic stores, are easy to install and set up, and don’t take up much space. It will then allow you to watch any television channel in Australia, across all the free-to-air networks.
Another option is to upgrade your TV – most televisions today allow you to watch live TV channels, but Smart TVs can also allow you to easily access streaming apps like SBS On Demand through your television, giving you access to thousands of hours of programming, at your convenience.
Watch the channel and its programs by using SBS On Demand on another type of device, like a computer, laptop, tablet or smart phone.
Is the channel available on VAST?
Yes, the channel will be available via VAST (Viewer Access Satellite Television) for viewers in remote areas of Australia, and others who can’t access digital TV.
Schedule and program information
How can I find out what’s on the channel?
The programming schedule is available on the SBS guide website (sbs.com.au/guide) (from 11 May 2022).
Will international news bulletins still be broadcast on SBS and SBS VICELAND?
All international news bulletins in languages other than English that have been broadcast on SBS and SBS VICELAND are moving to the SBS WorldWatch channel.
International news bulletins in English will remain on SBS and SBS VICELAND.
Is the program I watch changing day/time on the new channel?
For programs broadcast on SBS moving to SBS WorldWatch, there are no changes to the broadcast times (with the exception of the Turkish news bulletin moving from 11.30am on SBS to 10.30pm on SBS WorldWatch).
For programs broadcast on SBS VICELAND moving to SBS WorldWatch, there are some adjustments to broadcast times. SBS has sought to avoid significant changes while also increasing services – increasing the frequency of some programs during the week, and also adding programs in new languages to the SBS WorldWatch schedule.
All programs on SBS WorldWatch are available on SBS On Demand.
Is SBS axing any international bulletins in launching this new channel?
No. SBS is expanding its overall international news bulletin offering, adding new programs in languages other than English to the SBS WorldWatch TV channel line-up, increasing the frequency of some bulletins, as well as adding some additional international bulletins in English to the SBS and SBS VICELAND schedule. There will also be more bulletins available to watch on SBS On Demand.
Are these news bulletins available on SBS On Demand?
Programs broadcast on the channel are also available to watch on SBS On Demand, where there are also additional international news programs available to stream which aren’t shown on television.
The SBS WorldWatch channel is also available to stream live on SBS On Demand.
How do you select the programs you broadcast?
SBS has broadcast international news bulletins on television under the banner of ‘WorldWatch’ since 1993. It does so as a way of giving free access to news bulletins being broadcast around the world to Australia’s multicultural communities, including for those who come from those countries or have family and other connections there. The schedule of programming is based on the size and needs of different language communities in Australia, and an assessment of available programming sources, taking into consideration feedback and consultation with communities, along with other services SBS provides.
How can I request a new news service from my home country?
To provide feedback on the channel, including suggestions for additional news services, please contact SBS via the link at the bottom of this article or find more information about accessing SBS services on this help centre.
You can call us toll-free on 1800 500 727 between 8:30am-5:30pm (AEST) Monday to Friday.
Will there be any programming in English on the channel?
Programming will be in languages other than English, with the exception of a selection of SBS current affairs programs produced and broadcast in English on SBS, available with subtitles in Arabic and Simplified Chinese on SBS WorldWatch.
Will programming be available with English subtitles?
No, programming will not be available with English language subtitles.
Will programming be available with audio description?
No, audio description is not available on the channel.
Will advertising feature on the new channel?
Yes, there will be advertising on SBS WorldWatch.