Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

New free-to-air National Indigenous Television launched at Uluru

Joint Media Release with:

    Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy
    Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Digital Productivity

The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, and the Minister for Families, Community Services, and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, today launched the first dedicated national Indigenous free-to-air digital television service at Uluru in the Northern Territory.

All Australians can now access the free-to-air National Indigenous Television (NITV) service on digital channel SBS4, and through the Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST) service.

“I am honoured to be here at Uluru taking part in this historic day for Indigenous broadcasting,” Senator Conroy said.

“I congratulate SBS and NITV for their achievement in establishing this new channel. It will deliver indigenous programming into every Australian living room, bringing a wider audience for its informative, entertaining and educational content.”

To celebrate the free-to-air launch, NITV aired a day of special programming live from Uluru. Highlights included special editions of award winning programs Living Black and NITV News and a two-hour concert featuring some of Australia’s best Indigenous talent including Christine Anu, Casey Donovan, Troy Cassar Daley and Ernie Dingo.

“NITV is a wonderful addition to free-to-air television in Australia,” Ms Macklin said.

“A dedicated Indigenous channel will be a showcase for Indigenous talent, and mean that more people than ever before will be able to watch stories from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and appreciate and share Indigenous culture.”

The Government provided funding to SBS to develop a new, national digital free-to-air channel dedicated to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content. The new channel was developed in collaboration with the former NITV service, which first went to air in July 2007.

The new NITV service realises the Government’s aim of increasing the amount and overall quality of original Australian Indigenous content on free-to-air television. With the launch of NITV, plus a new satellite channel for Indigenous Community Television (ICTV), remote communities will now have access to two 24/7 Indigenous television services for the first time.

SBS assumed management control of NITV’s operations on 1 July 2012, but the channel has maintained its own editorial responsibility.

The new NITV service has a majority of Indigenous staff and will continue to use the talents of Indigenous writers, directors and journalists.