SBS Radio

For other uses, see SBS Radio (disambiguation).
SBS Radio
City Melbourne and Sydney
Broadcast area Australia (national) via AM, FM, DAB+, online and satellite
Slogan Seven Billion Stories and Counting...
Frequency Various
First air date 9 June 1975[1]
Format Multilingual programming
Language(s) English
Class Public
Owner Special Broadcasting Service

SBS Radio is a service provided by the Special Broadcasting Service ' inform, educate and entertain Australians, especially those of non-English-speaking backgrounds'. SBS Radio originally began as two stations based in Melbourne and Sydney, set up to provide pre-recorded information about the then-new Medibank health care system in languages other than English. Today the service targets the estimated 4+ million Australians who speak a language other than English at home with programs in 74 languages, in addition to more mainstream audiences through programs such as World View and Alchemy.[2]

Like SBS Television, SBS Radio supplements its government funding with paid-for information campaigns for government agencies and non-profit organisations as well as commercial advertising and sponsorship.[2]

Programming and content

Original SBS Radio logo

Most programs contain a mix of news, current affairs, sport, community information and music relating to a specific ethnic or language group. The exceptions are Alchemy (a youth program), the English language news program World View, and overnight programming from the BBC World Service.

SBS Radio has three main radio services, Radio 1, Radio 2 and Radio 3, as well as a national FM service. Radio 1 is available on AM in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Wollongong (1107, 1224, 1400 and 1485 respectively) while Radio 2 is available on FM in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra (97.7, 93.1 and 105.5) and on AM in Wollongong (1035). Radio 3 is only available on digital platforms. The national service (branded simply as SBS Radio) is available throughout the rest of the nation through FM broadcasting (except in Newcastle, where it is available on AM) and on the Viewer Access Satellite Television satellite service, and is composed of material from Radios 1, 2 and 3. Additionally, a few community stations in areas without dedicated SBS Radio transmitters carry some SBS Radio content.

Radio 1, Radio 2 and Radio 3 are all available nationwide through digital terrestrial television, through digital radio services in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, on satellite from free-to-air Optus D1 and Optus B3 C-band satellite transmissions, and on major subscription television services (such as Foxtel). Until the launch of Radio 3 in April 2013, programs available on Radio 1 and Radio 2 varied depending on the platform and the location: for example, digital television in Brisbane played the same stations as Sydney, while digital radio in Adelaide and Perth largely followed scheduling in Melbourne.

On digital radio in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Canberra, SBS has some additional digital-only services: SBS Radio 4 (relays BBC World Service most of the time), SBS Chill, a mix of chillout and world music; SBS PopAsia, a mixture of J-pop, K-pop and C-pop; SBS PopDesi, a mixture of Bhangra, Bollywood music and South Asian pop music; and SBS PopAraby, featuring Arabic pop music. All of these services are also available online.

The old slogans were The many voices of one Australia and Six Billion Stories and Counting... and the current one is Seven Billion Stories and Counting....

RDS trial

SBS Radio began a trial of RDS (Radio Data System) in Sydney and Melbourne FM areas, in November 2012. RDS provides "Now" and "Next" information for the current and pending program information.

The RDS PS on FM radio is "SBSRadio" in Melbourne and Sydney.

Rollout of EPG

SBS began broadcasting the SBS Radio EPG (14 Day) on digital television (DTV) in November 2012.

Data is provided real time for DAB+ clients, and a forward schedule for DTV, by "Aim Rapid 2", from All In Media, see []. Pay television data is delivered by HWW.

Radio 3 service commencement

SBS Radio 3 service, began broadcasting 29 April 2013. It is available on VAST, DAB+, DTV and Online. Radio 3 services were added to all FOXTEL/Pay TV platforms, including Austar and Optus from 2 September 2013.

SBS Radio Operations

SBS Radio is managed, monitored and maintained via SBS Radio Operations. Distribution of SBS content is managed by third-parties such as Broadcast Australia and other specialist vendors.

Based in Sydney and Melbourne, the Radio Operations teams within SBS monitor, switch programming sources and co-ordinate resources within SBS to deliver content across all SBS markets.


As of December 2016, SBS Radio broadcasts in the following languages:

Notes: All languages broadcast on Radio 1 are available (with reduced hours) on the national FM service, as well as all languages on Radio 2, except Dari, Lao and Maltese. None of the languages which have programs on Radio 3 are available on analogue radio.

  1. Aboriginal and African services are mostly conducted in English. The German service includes English segments.


  1. "Ethnic radio takes to the air". Sydney Morning Herald. 10 June 1975.
  2. 1 2 Our Story : SBS Corporate SBS Corporation
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