October 31, 2023 3 min read


SBS Revolutionizes Ad Viewing, Allowing Viewers to Block Gambling Ads

This innovative initiative, rigorously tested internally over the past few months, has garnered praise from both viewers and commercial partners

SBS, Australia’s renowned broadcasting network, has unveiled a revolutionary feature on its On-Demand TV app. Starting early next year, viewers will have the power to curate their ad experiences, allowing them to opt out of specific advertising categories. 

SBS Revolutionizes Ad Viewing, Puts Power in Viewers’ Hands

SBS Managing Director, James Taylor, revealed that viewers can now choose to block ads related to gambling, alcohol, or fast food, marking a significant departure from the conventional ad-viewing model, reported The Australian Financial Review.

This groundbreaking initiative, which has been in rigorous testing internally for the past few months, has received widespread acclaim from viewers and commercial partners alike. Taylor emphasized that this move was not influenced by impending government regulations on gambling advertising but was a proactive step aimed at enhancing viewer satisfaction and engagement.

Taylor remarked that they chose these categories, believing them to be logical starting points. He explained that this approach benefits both audiences and commercial partners, as it ensures advertisers do not pay to reach viewers uninterested in their products.

The decision to empower viewers in this way is part of SBS’s commitment to delivering a more personalized viewing experience. By allowing viewers to tailor their ad preferences, SBS ensures that advertising efforts are directed toward a receptive audience, providing a win-win situation for both viewers and advertisers.

SBS Strives for Enhanced Viewer Satisfaction and Targeted Marketing

This move has been hailed as a significant leap forward in the broadcasting industry, setting a precedent for other networks to follow. SBS, which earned AUD173 million ($109.8 million) from advertising and sponsorships last fiscal year, is confident that this innovative approach will not only enhance viewer satisfaction but also create a more targeted and effective advertising platform for its commercial partners.

While specific details about revenue contributions from these categories were not disclosed, Taylor assured viewers that the number of ads shown would remain consistent, with only the targeted categories being limited. This development aligns with SBS’s commitment to balancing viewer preferences and advertising revenues effectively.

The announcement comes at a time when SBS continues to expand its offerings. Commercial partners, including Tabcorp and Endeavour Group, have expressed their enthusiasm for this new initiative, recognizing it as a forward-thinking approach that ensures advertising resonates with the audience, fostering a more engaging and interactive viewing experience for all.

At the same time, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) recently released a report on gambling advertising in Australia between May 2022 and April 2023. The study reveals that over a million gambling ads were broadcast on free-to-air TV and metro radio during this period.

Notably, 50% of these ads were from licensed online gambling services, with metro free-to-air TV featuring 51% of ads promoting online gambling providers. The report also highlights that the industry spent $151.7 million on gambling advertising during this period, with 64% of the total expenditure coming from gambling operators.


Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.

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