National Indigenous Television

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National Indigenous Television
National Indigenous Television logo.svg
Country Australia
Broadcast areaNationally
Network SBS Television
Slogan Telling Your Stories
Headquarters Artarmon, New South Wales, Australia
Picture format 576i (SDTV) 16:9
Owner Special Broadcasting Service
Sister channels SBS
SBS Viceland
SBS World Movies
SBS Food
Launched13 July 2007;13 years ago (13 July 2007)
12 December 2012;8 years ago (12 December 2012) (nationwide free-to-air)
Replaced ICTV
FreeviewChannel 34
Foxtel Channel 144
TransACT Channel 502
VAST Channel 34
Foxtel Channel 144

National Indigenous Television (NITV) is an Australian free-to-air television channel that broadcasts programming produced and presented largely by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It includes the half-hourly nightly NITV News, with programming including other news and current affairs programmes, sports coverage, entertainment for children and adults, films and documentaries covering a range of topics. Its primary audience is Indigenous Australians, but many non-Indigenous people tune in to learn more about the history of and issues affecting the country's First Nations peoples.


NITV was initially only carried by cable and satellite providers, along with some limited over-the-air transmissions in certain remote areas. NITV was re-launched in December 2012 by the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) as a free-to-air channel.


Predecessors of NITV

Indigenous groups and individuals lobbied the Australian Government to fund a nationwide Indigenous television service in the 1980s and 1990s, however no major political party championed this cause.

In the late 1990s the Imparja Info Channel (also known as "Channel 31") was launched free-to-view on the satellite Optus Aurora service, providing largely Aboriginal programming direct to homes and via network of BRACS transmitters to remote Aboriginal communities. The Aboriginal programming on this channel later became known as Indigenous Community Television. In 2004, Imparja stated a desire to run a better funded service, at least within its license area. [1]

In the same year, a voluntary NITV Committee was formed and a summit was held in Redfern, Sydney. The summit involved a group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander media professionals and community members committed to the establishment of a national Indigenous broadcasting service.

Following an Australian Government review in 2005, the Government announced $48.5 million in funding for NITV. [2]

2007: NITV established

In 2007, NITV established a head office in Alice Springs and a television arm in Sydney. On 13 July 2007 NITV launched, replacing Imparja Info Channel on Optus Aurora and in the remote Aboriginal communities it previously reached. It soon after also became available free-to-air on Optus D1 to Australia and eastern Papua New Guinea.[ citation needed ]

NITV launched on Australian subscription television services on 1 November 2007 on Foxtel and Austar's satellite service on channel 180, with it becoming available on its cable service soon after. It showed Australian programs and sports like The Marngrook Footy Show , and the annual NSW Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout . [3]

NITV logo (2012-2016) NITV 2015 logo.png
NITV logo (2012–2016)

On 30 April 2010, NITV ceased broadcasting on Sydney's digital television Datacasting service along with other services. However, it remained available on subscription services Foxtel, Austar and Optus TV.

2012: NITV as part of SBS

In 2010, the Australian Government commissioned a wide-ranging review of its investment in the Indigenous broadcasting and media sector. The review was headed up by retired senior public servant Neville Stevens with the assistance of Expert Panel members Laurie Patton and Kerrynne Liddle. The review recommended that NITV continue to receive government funding only on the basis that it was re-structured.[ citation needed ]

Subsequently, Communications Minister Senator Stephen Conroy invited NITV to enter in negotiations with the Special Broadcasting Service to access one of that network's unused digital terrestrial channels. On 8 May 2012, SBS received $15m a year in government funding dedicated to a new free-to-air Indigenous Australian channel which would replace NITV in July 2012, with 90% of staff transferring to this new channel. SBS took over the management and operation of NITV on 1 July 2012, and NITV was re-launched on 12 December 2012 by SBS as a free-to-air channel on Freeview channel 34. Among its launch day programmes were two live broadcasts from Uluru, including From the Heart of Our Nation, a two-hour event to mark the channel's launch at Noon, and a concert in primetime simulcast by SBS One. [4] [5] [6] [7]

Tanya Denning-Orman, a Birri Gubba and Guugu Yimidhirr woman was appointed to lead NITV, a position she retains into 2021. [8]

Changes sinced 2012

On 29 February 2016, SBS unveiled a refreshed brand and revamped schedule for NITV with an increased focus on its central charter, Indigenous news and current affairs. [9]

Denning-Orman was appointed SBS’s first Director of Indigenous Content in early 2012. In December 2012, changes were made to NITV's senior content editorial leadership team: Kyas Hepworth (nee Sherriff) was appointed Head of Commissioning and Programming; Rhanna Collins to Head of Indigenous News and Current Affairs; Karla Grant, while remaining host of Living Black and Karla Grant Presents, will expand her role, becoming Executive Producer, Living Black & Special Projects. [8]


NITV's line-up focuses on programming of interest to and showcasing indigenous Australians, such as documentaries, current affairs programs, sports, drama, adult animation and a block of domestic and international children's programming focusing on Indigenous and Aboriginal culture (under the name Jarjums), and films. [4] It also broadcasts programs relating to First Nations culture worldwide.

News and current affairs

News and current affairs on NITV are covered by NITV News, Nula and The Point. In December 2020, Rhanna Collins was promoted to Head of Indigenous News and Current Affairs. The Point's audience rose significantly during the 2020 Black Lives Matter movement. [8]

NITV News is the network's national half-hour news program, broadcast nightly and covering stories relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers. It is the only nightly television news service that covers entirely Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories from across the country. Started in February 2008, the program began with 5 minutes of news, followed by 15 minutes before finally extending to a half-hour bulletin.[ citation needed ]

Natalie Ahmat is the news anchor. [10]

Other programs

In March 2020, a new Australian rules football panel show, Yokayi Footy, aimed at a young audience, replaced the Marngrook Footy Show, which was axed in late 2019. It is co-hosted by Tony Armstrong, Bianca Hunt and Darryl White. [11]

Programs in 2018–2019 included: [12]

See also

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  2. "New Network". The Australian. 22 February 2007. Retrieved 13 July 2007.
  3. NITV – Media Room
  4. 1 2 "NITV: Launch Day". TV Tonight. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
  5. David Knox. "$158m funding boost for SBS". TV Tonight. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  6. "New Indigenous TV channel for SBS". TV Tonight. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  7. "SBS – but wait there's more..." TV Tonight. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  8. 1 2 3 "National Indigenous Television announces leadership team appointments". NITV. 18 December 2020. Retrieved 21 December 2020.
  9. "NITV reveals 2016 schedule and new look brand". IF. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  10. "NITV News - News and Current Affairs". SBS On Demand. 6 January 2020. Retrieved 21 December 2020.
  11. Quinn, Karl; Colangelo, Anthony (6 March 2020). "New Indigenous footy panel show Yokayi to replace axed Marngrook". The Age . Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  12. "Special Broadcasting Service Corporation Annual Report 2018–2019 | NITV". Australian Government Transparency Portal. 30 October 2019. Retrieved 25 November 2020.