Launch of SBS South Asian channel and SBS Spice, a new English language offering for younger South Asian Australians

Pushing the boundaries of digital storytelling, SBS Spice is for Gen Y with a South Asian heritage who want to shape their own cultural narratives and be informed and entertained via social media.

SBS Spice is an exciting new English language digital offering for South Asian Australians aged 20-34, spicing things up with unique perspectives on hot topics ranging from pop culture to politics, aimed at exploring identity, belonging and social change.

Amplifying diverse voices and showcasing South Asian storytelling through a contemporary Australian lens, SBS Spice will lead progressive, thought-provoking and tongue-in-cheek conversations to cultivate a vibrant and inclusive community for young South Asian Australians born here as well as newly arrived.

SBS Spice is for the young and curious with a South Asian heritage who are active on social media, and interested in culturally shaping the narratives of where we come from and where we’re headed in a forward-looking Australia,” said Dilpreet Kaur Taggar, Executive Producer of SBS Spice, who is an Indian-born journalist, founder of South Asian Today and known for probing social nuances and amplifying diverse perspectives.

Driving video content and conversations on Instagram, YouTube and via podcasts, SBS Spice will tackle complex issues such as identity, gender equality and mental health, as well as provide entertainment and the latest in pop culture. Hosted by Taggar and Suhayla Sharif, a Bollywood obsessed Australian-Fijian journalist, it will feature the following audio-visual segments:

  • Scan – short explainer series that delves behind the headlines of local and global issues to explore different viewpoints.
  • Two Chillies in a Pod – long-form podcasts featuring first-person interviews with South Asian disruptors and game changers from Australia and abroad, including former Editor of Vogue India, Megha Kapoor; traveller Priya Sharma; content creator Jeremy Franco; social worker Amar Singh; and actors Shahana Goswami and Ayesha Madon.
  • Spice Express – short-form podcasts focused on community check-ins to understand what issues are making South Asians click or feel ick.

The launch of SBS Spice coincides with SBS rebranding its PopDesi channel to SBS South Asian, a single destination channel for all things South Asian. Locally produced content in 10 languages is available live and on demand across broadcast radio, live streaming, digital publishing and podcasting, including a new dedicated YouTube channel offering a complete audio visualisation experience.

“SBS is proud to continue delivering on the outcomes of our Language Services Review, which is conducted every five years in line with the national Census to ensure SBS’s offering reflects a diverse and contemporary Australia and helps build a sense of inclusion and belonging for everyone,” said Pamela Cook, Acting Director of SBS Audio.

“South Asians are the fastest growing migrant population in Australia, with more than 1.5 million Australians speaking a sub continental language at home. SBS is uniquely placed to capture this depth and diversity across first, second and third generation migrants who belong and enrich the fabric of contemporary Australia,” said Manpreet Kaur Singh, Program Manager for SBS South Asian including SBS Spice.

SBS South Asian’s language programs include Bangla, Gujarati, Hindi, Nepali, Malayalam, Punjabi, Sinhala, Tamil and Urdu, featuring all the latest news, current affairs, entertainment and community stories broadcast live from 11:00AM to 6:00PM on weekdays, and 5:00PM to 6:00PM on weekends. At other times, enjoy extensive music playlists featuring all the best Bollywood (Hindi), Bhangra (Punjabi) and Nepali hits, with music in other languages to be added to the schedule progressively. A Telugu language offering launched last year is also available via podcast, website and social media.

For migrants newly arrived in Australia, SBS further provides essential services available free and online. Australia Explained offers practical information to assist with participating in everyday social and civic life, with topics ranging from tips on how to find a job to the cultural protocols of attending a BBQ, and translated into over 30 languages including Bangla, Gujarati, Hindi, Malayalam, Nepali, Punjabi, Sinhala, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.

While Punjabi and Hindi are now among the top 10 languages spoken in Australian households, Nepali is the fastest growing. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2021 Census data, the number of people speaking Punjabi is 239,033, Hindi 197,132, Nepali 133,068, Urdu 111,873, Tamil 95,404. Sinhala 85,869, Gujarati 81,334, Malayalam 78,738, Bangla 70,116 and Telugu 59,406.

SBS Spice is available via the SBS Audio App, website, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and most places where you consume your podcasts. Sample the trailer here. SBS South Asian is available on DAB, digital TV (Channel 305), and its own dedicated YouTube channel, as well as the SBS Audio App and website. Each SBS South Asian language program also has its own Facebook page and a bilingual website, with audio offerings available at most places where you consume your podcasts.

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