Mono-culturalism on SBS


I am a big fan of Australia’s Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), but lately something on SBS has been annoying me.  SBS is running a slogan of  ‘one game, one world’ in their promotion of the soccer world cup.  That is a message of mono-culturalism.   SBS’s charter requires it to “provide multilingual and multicultural radio and television services that inform, educate and entertain all Australians and, in doing so, reflect Australia’s multicultural society”.

“One game, one world?”  How about one language, one world, or  one god, one world?   Ok, sport is hardly as important as language or religion in defining culture.  So, how about one food, one world or one dress, one world?  Cuisine and clothing are still more considerably important than sport in culture, but I think these examples makes my point.    So there is no way around this.  SBS is promoting a mono-cultural message.

SBS was created as part of Australia’s multicultural project of the late 1970s through mid 1990s.  Multiculturalism has lost its currency somewhat; even the word “multiculturalism” is hardly heard anymore.  I think it ran out of momentum partly because the problem is sort to address was much ameliorated.  I never knew what to make of multiculturalism.  If multiculturalism is an expression of pluralism then I’m for it.  But I always worried that the real goal was to make Australia a sort of living museum of other people’s cultures, rather than our own unique thing.

Anyway, I certainly don’t advocate the promotion of mono-culturalism.  You wonder how the management of SBS could be so insensitive to the requirements of their charter.

18 Responses to "Mono-culturalism on SBS"
  1. Nonsense. For the World Cup SBS is promoting a multi-cultural sport, i.e. one that is played by non-English speaking countries. Same with the Tour de France.
    It could also be argued that soccer is the one game taken seriously by the whole world, hence “One game, one world”.

  2. Agree that what you have written is tosh. The slogan simply means that in a multi-cultural world, soccer (football), is one of the few cultural activities that everyone can share regardless of their origin. Hence, soccer is a unifying force in a multi-cultural world. It is a bit trite, but then, it is a slogan.

  3. They could perhaps say “the pan-cultural game.”
    Thank god they don’t.
    Anyway, I could start going on about how this one code of football reflects the similarities and differences amongst so many cultures. A good example is Uruguay’s Suarez, who has revelled in his cheating handball. As an Australian, I find it quite bizarre that he is so proud of his actions.
    Football is definitely not a monoculture, it’s way more complicated.

  4. no it is called the World Cup because it is.
    more countries attempt to get to the World cup than are in the Olympic Games or in the UN.

    Moreover it is easily the largest sporting event in the World.
    Second biggest is the Euro Championships.

  5. I’m surprised that you take a message of mono-culturalism from that advertisement considering it showcases and celebrates the diversity of cultures of the 32 nations represented at the World Cup.
    I take the “one world, one game” as depicting a celebration of multiple cultures coming together to celebrate one event (the full slogan, by the way is “One world, one game… Let’s all play some football…”)
    The advertisement is shown in 9 different languages across TV, Radio and online. World Cup Commentary by SBS is provided in 11 languages. You can see the full 3-minute version of the ad here.
    Seems to me they are delivering on their charter.

  6. Don’t be overly sensitive!
    Of course “One game , one world” is hyperbolic nonsense but hey, it,s only a bit of  advertising!

  7. since when is sport less important than religion? or language!? I’ve wondered if when a player gets a yellow card for abusing the ref the abuse has to be understood by the ref? Or are all these soccer players like Ilie Nastase, who supposedly spoke 7 languages and was always able to abuse the chair judge in his native language. That’s multicultural.

  8. Perhaps I should say that “one game, one world” is curious rather than annoying.  One anything is by definition “mono” and their charter is “multi” and that is just so obvious you might think the management would not promote “one” anything when it comes to culture.  But like many institutions they lose sight of their founding purpose.

  9. A lot of you have managed to completely miss Sam’s point.  Many of the same arguments you’re making (about how diverse the countries are that play football) could equally well be made about the Catholic Church, but “one church, one world” really isn’t going to fly, is it?

  10. Agreed Toby.  Sam I think it’s a bit of a stretch to say that ‘by definition’ the use of the word ‘one’ is going against the SBS charter of promoting multiculturalism, espeically since all advertising associated with the slogan has displayed football scenes accross so many different countries.  To me the slogan ‘One game, one world’ is just a more catchy way of saying ‘The World Game’…the name of a weekly SBS show which gives updates of results from around the world.

    “So there is no way around this.  SBS is promoting a mono-cultural message”.  Sorry, I don’t buy it.

  11. Mark Corsby sez: “I’ve wondered if when a player gets a yellow card for abusing the ref the abuse has to be understood by the ref?” I don’t think they get cards for abusing the ref. In fact, that is about the only rule soccer has got right imho – they let you slag off the ref! 

  12. A player may be given a yellow card for (amongst other infringements) “showing dissent by word or action” while a red card may be given for “use of abusive language and/or gestures”.
    It is at the referees discretion to interpret these acts. So, you could say to the ref “have a nice day” but be awarded a yellow card if you deliver it in a manner that is interpreted as dissent. Examples in the past have included players who have been booked for sarcastically clapping a referee decision they feel is incorrect.

  13. But it is “One game, one world”. Or if we have to be explicitly literal “The one sport that is being played, the one world it’s being played in that we call earth”. After all its not being played on other worlds, or is it?
    If I’m reading your point correctly I think you’re interpretation of the slogan is “soccer the only one sport” thus its promoting mono-culturalism. Actually, SBS is promoting one of its service categories as part of its various business units to take some market share from the other codes. SBS still promotes other sports with other slogans as required by the corporate charter and at the same time towards target segments.
    I think its best to leave this one to the Core Marketing crew.

  14. “One game, one world” is just a meaningless piece of jargon like “Advance Australia Fair”.

%d bloggers like this: