Living Black host Karla Grant.
Living Black host Karla Grant.

Indigenous channel goes live today on SBS4

BROADCASTER SBS's new Indigenous television channel goes live today.

The historic new service, called National Indigenous Television or NITV, will broadcast on free-to-air channel SBS4.

SBS managing director Michael Ebeid said today marks an important milestone in Australian broadcasting.

"SBS is incredibly proud to be playing a role in delivering content about Indigenous Australians, produced by Indigenous Australians, to every Australian household," he said.

"With NITV part of the SBS family, we will reflect Australia's diversity in a way no other

broadcaster has before."

To celebrate the channel's launch, NITV will broadcast a day of special programming starting with a two-hour outdoor broadcast, live from the iconic Uluru in the Northern Territory.

From the Heart of Our Nation will be a special television event marking the official "switch on" of NITV at noon today (AEDT).

Hosted by Indigenous broadcasters Stan Grant and Rhoda Roberts, the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara traditional owners of the area will welcome audiences from around the nation.

From the Heart of Our Nation will be followed by a one-hour Living Black special (from 2pm AEDT) from SBS studios in Sydney.

Hosted by Karla Grant, SBS's award-winning Indigenous current affairs program will examine the development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander media in Australia.

There will then be a special one-hour edition of NITV News with Natalie Ahmat, featuring crosses to reporters around the country, before the broadcast returns to Uluru for a two-hour sunset concert hosted by Ernie Dingo.

Some of Australia's best Indigenous talent including Jessica Mauboy, Christine Anu, Casey Donovan and Troy Cassar Daley - will take to the stage to perform from 8pm (AEDT).

The launch of NITV free-to-air follows the Federal Government's 2012 budget announcement to transfer funding from NITV to SBS to develop a new, national digital free-to-air channel dedicated to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content.

The new NITV channel will maintain editorial responsibility over delivery of the channel, and will continue to utilise the talents of Indigenous writers, directors and journalists to produce content covering a variety of genres, from music to health, sport, news, current affairs, culture and children's programs.

NITV goes live on SBS4 today at noon (11am Qld).



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