Ratings prove viewers happy to stick with SBS #SlowSummer Experiment

The Indian Pacific  image - traveller.com.au

The Indian Pacific image - traveller.com.au

It divided the nation in 2018 between those that thought it was “the most boring thing on television” or a “goddamn masterpiece”.

In 2019, slow TV has shown it is here to stay.

Australia’s second foray into the slow TV genre aired on Sunday night with The Indian Pacific, the special delivered healthy ratings for SBS, with viewers seemingly happy to stick with it throughout the 3 hour journey.

  • Hour 1 - 389k (262k Metro / 127k Regional)

  • Hour 2 - 427k (283k Metro / 145k Regional)

  • Hour 3 - 420k (268k Metro / 151k Regional) 

Luckily for the slow TV enthusiasts, this is just the start of a whole month of slow content. SBS will be airing marathon events every Sunday in January, with the full up to 18 hour journeys to be shown on SBS VICELAND, the following week

Marshall Heald, SBS Director of TV and Online Content said:

“Slow TV has pushed the boundaries for what’s possible on television, and shown that audiences are looking for unique content that gives them a true escape from reality.

Slow Summer gives a unique insight into some of Australia’s most isolated, beautiful landscapes and the indigenous and multicultural history that goes with it.

We hope audiences stay tuned for the next three instalments of Slow Summer.” 

SBS’s Slow Summer includes two new Australian commissions, both produced by Mint Pictures:


·        The Indian Pacific: Australia’s Longest Train Journey  

Saturday 12 January, all day, SBS VICELAND

Crossing Australia from Perth to Sydney, the pivotal part played by the transcontinental railway line in linking the far-flung west coast with the eastern states is explored, including how the rail impacted Indigenous Australians on the Nullabor Plain, the new colony of South Australia, and the Indigenous trade route of the Blue Mountains.   


·        The Kimberley Cruise: Australia’s Last Great Wilderness   

Sunday 13 January, 7.30pm, SBS (3 hours) 

Saturday 19 January, all day, SBS VICELAND 

Travelling by boat from Broome to Darwin this route in Australia’s top end is a breathtaking coastline of open seas, bays, basins, islands and estuaries. This area is dubbed ‘Australia’s last great wilderness’ and surprising stories of multicultural history abound – from Aboriginal cave paintings to Japanese pearlers, a Filipino missionary to a proposed Jewish refuge from the Nazis, Vietnamese boat people, WWII bombings, shipwrecks and modern-day mining.


Also in the Slow Summer line up are two stunning journeys from the UK and New Zealand, as well as a special encore of The Ghan: Australia’s Greatest Train Journey  airing on 26 January.

·        All Aboard! The Canal Trip

Sunday 20 January, 7.30pm, SBS (2 hours) 

A barge travels through one of Britain’s most historic waterways, the Kenet and Avon Canal, featuring the serenity, sights and sounds of wildlife along the way. 


·        The Ghan: Australia’s Greatest Train Journey  ENCORE  

Saturday 26 January, all day, SBS VICELAND 

The 2,979 kilometre rail journey from Adelaide to Darwin that kicked off Australia’s slow TV craze. The Ghan tells the story of how the development of central Australia can be attributed to local Indigenous communities as well as early immigrants, including the Afghan cameleers The Ghan is named after.


·        North to South

Sunday 27 January, 2019, 7.30pm, SBS (3 hours) 

Saturday 2 February, all day, SBS VICELAND 

A spectacular overland route from Auckland on New Zealand’s north island, down to the south by way of multiple forms of transport including railways, sailing and driving. The city gives way to rolling pastures, volcanic extremes, tranquil waterways, the rough Otago high country and grandeur of the Southern Alps and Milford Sound.