Mediaweek Roundup: ACCC code, Tik Tok, Super Netball + more

Tik Tok

The Bachelor, The Masked Singer, Screen Queensland, Alan Kohler, Jane Hall, Hamish McLennan, Shane Warne, and AFL Media

Business of Media

John Durie: ACCC code – how will Google respond?

In the wake of last week’s landmark media industry code and increased regulatory scrutiny around the world the question is, how will Google respond? Asks The Australian’s John Durie.

Lawyers acting for the tech giant and Facebook say the proposed competition law amendments are wide open to attack.

But litigation alone is not the only answer.

Google is floating alternatives but on some legal reading, its proposed plans would fall foul of the new code.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission code of conduct specifically bans discrimination against media, so closing an Australian news service would mean closing the entire news service and stopping using media in search engines.

That would present a different form of search than is presently offered and for the first time Google would be offering searches with no media content.

[Read more]

Alan Kohler: ACCC, publishers should be careful what they wish for

The world is agog at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s attempt to wrestle the internet goliaths, Google and Facebook, into paying for news content, otherwise known as the “mandatory bargaining code for responsible digital platforms and registered news organisations”, comments The Australian’s Alan Kohler.

Anything could happen, and it should be a wonderful show as Google and Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, get onto the park with News Corporation, Nine Entertainment, and the hordes of other publishers that make more than $150,000 in revenue, with the ACCC’s Rod Sims as referee, whistle poised.

The least likely outcome, it seems to me, is that a new source of revenue flows from the bulging, reluctant pockets of Sergey Brin, Larry Page and Mark Zuckerberg sufficient to restore the fortunes of the nation’s penurious news purveyors.

Perhaps a few pennies will find their way into the bowls of the publishers sitting cross-legged on the footpath, but that’s all.

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Trump gives TikTok September deadline for sale of US operations

US President Donald Trump said on Monday he does not oppose Microsoft buying the US operations of TikTok and said he will ban the service in the United States on September 15 if no deal is done, reports Reuters.

Trump’s comments confirmed a Reuters report on Sunday that he had agreed to give China’s ByteDance 45 days to negotiate a sale.

Microsoft has confirmed CEO Satya Nadella has spoken to Trump, and the software giant and TikTok’s parent ByteDance have given the US government a notice of intent to explore a deal for the service in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

US officials have said TikTok poses a national risk because of the personal data it handles. TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer said last week that the company was committed to following US laws and was allowing experts to observe its moderation policies and to examine the code that drives its algorithms.

[Read more]

Bluey and Gameloft mentor two from FNQ in Screen Queensland initiative

Two early-career screen practitioners from Cairns have been selected for the FNQ Screen Industry Bootcamp – a Screen Queensland initiative delivered in partnership with Screenworks.

The six-week bespoke program is a mentorship with two Queensland-based games and animation experts, to give the recipients exposure to the industry, while enhancing their skills and career potential.

Pictured L-R: Tammi Grech and Alana Jonas

Tammi Grech, a 24-year old Macquarie University alumna living in Cairns, has been selected to be mentored by Liz Ballantyne, Art Lead at the Brisbane branch of the international game development company Gameloft (Modern Combat, Disney Magic Kingdoms).

“I am very excited to be able to connect with Liz and the people at Gameloft, Screen Queensland and Screenworks,” said Grech.

“I can’t wait to see what I am going to learn and come up with over the six weeks,” she said.

Alana Jonas, a recent graduate from SAE Quantm institute Brisbane who has recently returned to Cairns, has been selected to learn alongside mentor Chris Bennett, an animator at the multi-Emmy award-winning production company Ludo Studio (Bluey, Robbie Hood), based in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley.

“Over the years my love for animation has developed greatly,” said Jonas.

The two mentees will receive six weeks of online mentoring which will be augmented by the opportunity to travel to Brisbane to shadow their mentor in each of their professional environments.

The bootcamp is the first program that Screen Queensland will deliver in partnership with Screenworks, as part of Queensland Government’s Advance Queensland Far North Queensland Screen Production Strategic Plan, which aims to boost the capability of the sector in FNQ and foster creative networks and screen culture.


Australia’s diplomatic effort has an unlikely new agent in Adam Liaw

Celebrity chef and Good Food columnist Adam Liaw, who has even more reasons to be smiling than usual. The chef has just trousered $394,900 to make a cooking series showcasing Malaysian food, reports CBD in The Age and SMH..

And who is funding this little wheeze? The taxpayer.

Liaw is the director and secretary of Everyday Media, which has been awarded the cash via the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s “public diplomacy” category.

The money will go towards the production of a program provisionally titled Adam Liaw’s Heritage Kitchen, which will promote “Australia’s finest produce in cooking Malaysian dishes, showcase Australia’s scenic regions to promote tourism destinations, and feature personal stories of Australian producers/farmers to support the cultural connection between Australia and Malaysia”.

[Read more]

10 confirms that The Bachelor joining Masked Singer next week

Network 10 has confirmed it will be launching a second major franchise next week. As Bachelor in Paradise winds up, replacing it in the schedule next week is the 2020 season of The Bachelor Australia. The series will join The Masked Singer in 10’s schedule next week.

It’s full steam ahead as bachelor Locky embarks on a wild ride to romance charged with emotions. That is, until the outside world brings everything to a halt, forcing The Bachelor Australia to adjust to a new reality. Love in the time of COVID was never going to be easy, but when restrictions ease up, Locky takes love to a new level before an ending viewers may not believe!

The Bachelor

Will he get down on one knee at the end? Only time will tell, but in the meantime, take a sneak peek at what to expect as Locky launches head first into finding The One.


Meanwhile Network 10 has released a first look at the new season of The Masked Singer.

With less than a week to go until the highly anticipated season premiere, here is a first look at the splendour viewers can expect from The Masked Singer Australia.

Showcasing stellar vocals with its rendition of The Weeknd‘s electro-pop synth banger Blinding Lights, the one clue to go off in an attempt to uncover Queen’s identity: “My sporting pedigree can’t be denied…and doesn’t that just take the cake.”

With the kind of singing chops that leave fans covered in goosebumps, guessing panellist Dave Hughes is convinced Queen is a professional singer and Dannii Minogue, “one million per cent” agrees.

See also: How Network 10 avoided lockdown to make new The Masked Singer


Aussie actor Jane Hall on life, love, midwifery and landing job of a lifetime

Jane Hall is approaching an age milestone without any bitterness, reports News Corp’s Jackie Epstein.

She turns 50 in March and doesn’t resent the number or the fact she is single.

Her lament is that time has gone too quickly, but over the course of half a century she has excelled as a loving parent, a measured actor, trusted radio host and admired theatre performer.

Since the age of 13 she has grown up in the entertainment industry.

And she is happy.

“It’s great in some ways and in other ways it’s really snuck up on me,’’ Hall says of her age.

“Sometimes I just think, ‘wow you’re really that old Jane’.

“I’ve sort of grown up on camera, too, and I’ve been really privileged to do lots of different work across radio and TV and film and theatre. I’ve packed a lot into the last 35 years and I do see time marching all over my face some days, let me tell you.

“I just think it’s always been my approach to be as versatile as possible and keep as many doors open. Some could see it as the wrong decision to make. I just love to work so whatever that work looks like is still a joy to me and something that needs to be pursued.”

Her latest job on Wentworth has been the icing on the cake.

Playing Ann Reynolds, the new hard-line general manager of Wentworth Prison, has been her dream job.

[Read more]

Sports Media

In tennis rights fight, did Hamish McLennan play everyone?

As a man who had charged his way up through the often destroy-your-opponent worlds of advertising, television and the Murdoch media empire, Hamish McLennan had learnt how to size up and play a distant opportunity, reports The AFR’s Aaron Patrick.

In March 2013, the new chief executive of Network Ten Holdings reached out to his counterpart at Tennis Australia, Steve Wood, with what the passage of history suggests was a mischievous offer: the perennially third-ranked commercial TV network might be willing to pay $50 million a year to broadcast the Australian Open at home.

“It was more than just a feeling,” McLennan would later say when asked about the price. “I had a strong view that it would have a major beneficial effect for Network Ten.”

“Don’t dismiss us,” McLennan told his tennis counterpart. “We’re very serious. We can pay what you need.”

Wood would tell the Federal Court that McLennan had indicated Ten might be prepared to pay $50 million a year – a huge sum for two weeks of TV sport.

In reality, Ten’s accountants had worked on a bid of $35 million a year, rising by about $2 million over the five years. They couldn’t get the numbers to add up.

Even if the tournament raised $41 million in advertising – and the Open was perfectly timed at the start of the ratings year – Ten would still lose $8 million, according to internal documents tendered in court.

Ten never made a written offer.

The $50 million would obtain almost mystical status, and drive the pursuit of Healy and Mitchell, inside and outside the tennis world, for allegedly colluding with Seven against their own organisation.

Jonathan Beach, a Federal Court judge who intricately dissected the negotiations, would later conclude the amount was “inflated, devoid of analysis and not to be taken seriously”.

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It’s the Shane drain: Warne heads to UK for return of cricket

Shane Warne has decamped from Melbourne, with job commitments taking him to Britain, reports The Australian’s Jonathan Chancellor.

The spin king will be on the cricket commentary team for Sky Sports, a gig he’s had for over a decade, after securing a travel exemption from the federal government.

He’s headed over for the six white ball games for Australia versus England, three ODIs and then three T20 matches in September.

First up he’ll be commentating on the England vs Pakistan Test which starts this week in Manchester. He’ll be staying at the hotel within the Old Trafford stadium.

“We go into a bio secure hub, where we stay in our room, then we go down two floors from the hotel, commentate, and then at night, go back to our room and don’t leave. No one in, no one out,” Warne says of his new regimen.

“It won’t be too exciting,” he told Eddie McGuire’s MMM Hot Breakfast, suggesting it would allow him instead to catch up on some “admin and emails”.

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AFL journalist reinstated after being stood down over social media post

Mitch Cleary has been reinstated by the AFL, with the league claiming the journalist “acknowledged his mistake” for reporting the identity of Brooke Cotchin at the centre of Richmond’s COVID-19 breach, reports The Age’s Sam McClure.

Cotchin, who is the wife of Richmond captain Trent Cotchin, breached the AFL’s COVID-19 protocols by entering a Queensland beauty salon, leading to the Tigers being fined $45,000 of which $25,000 was suspended.

Cleary was stood down on Saturday for tweeting a screen-shot of Cotchin’s Instagram post.

In a statement, the AFL claimed its website made an editorial decision not to name family members of players who were breaching “return to play” protocols.

“Mitch mistakenly did not follow his department’s editorial decision and named a family member on his own personal Twitter channel on Friday evening,” the league said in a statement.

“Upon speaking to his editor and then realising his tweet was at odds with AFL Media’s editorial decision, Mitch immediately removed his tweet and has acknowledged it was a mistake on his behalf.”

“I don’t know Mitch Cleary, but I do not agree with him being stood down and I have voiced that to the AFL,” Brooke Cotchin said.

“It is his job and it does not help anyone’s situation, especially in current circumstances. Unfortunately I had no input and it is something that is out of my control.”

She said she was “deeply sorry” for her actions leading to the club being fined.

[Read more]

NSW Swift Helen Housby calls out Nine for cutting coverage of derby

NSW Swifts goal shooter Helen Housby called out Nine for ditching its Super Netball coverage, failing to return and even give the final score after breaking from the action for Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews’ emergency COVID-19 update on Sunday afternoon, reports News Corp’s Jocelyn Airth.

The broadcaster cut coverage in the fourth quarter of a tight battle between the Swifts and the GWS Giants, as Premier Andrews announced that Victoria would enter Stage 4 coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Housby stressed that she had no objection to interrupting match coverage to broadcast the emergency government announcement.

The English international was, however, disappointed that Nine then cut away from Premier Andrews’ conference to air its NRL pre-game show, without updating netball fans on the outcome of the match.

“COVID is very important and obviously a government message is very important, but I thought the timing of it was a little bit questionable, especially when they went to an NRL pre-game show,” Housby said.

Nine uploaded a full reply of the Swifts 63-61 victory to its online platform after the match.

[Read more]

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