Mediaweek Roundup: Amazon Podcasts, Joe Hildebrand, Cricket Australia + more

Studio 10

Plus Simon Reeve and Rugby Australia


Amazon Music Punches Into Podcasts

Amazon Music is now offering millions of episodes of free podcasts and has set a slate of original programming coming to the platform — representing a major new rival to Spotify and Apple Podcasts, reports Variety‘s Todd Spangler.

The free podcasts are available on all tiers of Amazon Music for no additional cost and have first launched for customers in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Japan. Original shows being produced exclusively for Amazon Music include podcasts from DJ Khaled, Becky G, Will Smith, Dan Patrick and more.

Available on a non-exclusive basis on Amazon Music are popular podcasts such as “Serial,” “Dr. Death,” “WTF with Marc Maron,” “Crime Junkie,” “What a Day,” “This American Life,” “Radiolab,” “Revisionist History,” “Planet Money,” “Ear Hustle,” “Why Won’t You Date Me?” with Nicole Byer” and “Stuff You Should Know.”

On the originals front, Amazon Music has teamed with DJ Khaled for “The First One,” developed by Amazon Music and LeBron James’ Springhill Company, in which he will interview his all-time favorite artists. Others include a multimedia podcast hosted and curated by pop artist Becky G, “En la Sala,” featuring audio and corresponding video broadcast on Amazon Music’s Twitch channel, and “That Scene with Dan Patrick” produced with Amazon’s IMDb, in which the sportscaster will interview Hollywood stars. An untitled podcast project from Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith’s Westbrook Audio, a co-production with Audible, will be coming soon to Amazon Music and Audible.

In addition, Amazon Music starting in February 2021 will be the exclusive home of music-meets-true-crime podcast “Disgraceland,” which explores the criminal antics and connections of some of the world’s favorite musicians, from the Rolling Stones to Tupac.

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Joe Hildebrand signs with 2GB after quitting Channel 10

Joe Hildebrand has made his next move after leaving the beleaguered breakfast show, Studio 10, reports News Corp’s Jonathon Moran.

The popular journalist and broadcaster will be signing with top rating Sydney radio station, 2GB.

Details of his move are still being nutted out, although it is understood he will initially join John Stanley on Thursday nights from 8pm to 9pm starting Wednesday with a view to gradually increase his presence on the station as time goes on.

“I am absolutely wrapped to be going back to radio,” Hildebrand told Confidential.

“I can’t think of any better place to be than 2GB. I’ve got a strong feeling that a lot of my old audience from Studio 10 are also the kind of people who listen to GB. These are battlers from the suburbs, people who live in the real world, who like straight talk and big laughs and I can’t wait to reconnect with them.”

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Simon Reeve launches legal action against Seven

Former Weekend Sunrise presenter Simon Reeve has launched legal action against Seven in the Federal Court, reports TV Tonight.

Reeve is reportedly suing Seven over unpaid entitlements he believes are owed. The Daily Mail reports the case centres around whether he was employee or a private contractor to the network, and follows similar reports in The Australian.

Reeve first began at Seven in 1979 on shows such as State Affair and Beyond 2000. After time overseas returned to Australia in 2001 working on Seven News, Sunrise, plus hosting on It’s Academic, Million Dollar Minute and Weekend Sunrise, and narrating The Force.

He exited the network some months ago after redundancies were made within the network.

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Nine and Stan enter rugby rights fray in TV sports shake-up

Nine Entertainment Co and its streaming service Stan have ­entered the fray for rugby union broadcast rights, in a move that could shake up the Australian sports telecasting landscape, reports News Corp’s John Stensholt.

Under one plan being discussed, Nine could broadcast Wallabies Test matches on its free-to-air channel and then show Super Rugby matches online via Stan.

That would mean a maiden foray into live-sports broadcasting for Stan, Nine’s on-demand service that has mainly concentrated on positioning itself as an alternative to Netflix.

Nine is understood to have expressed an interest in broadcast rights during recent conversations with Rugby Australia, although that it does not necessarily mean it would pay large amounts of money to do so. But if a deal eventuates, it would signal a new shift for Australian sport.

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Media rights expert urges CA to negotiate after ‘line in the sand’ moment

A leading TV rights experts has urged Cricket Australia to get to the negotiating table with Channel Seven, saying there had been a “significant” drop in the sport’s broadcast value in the COVID-19 world, reports SMH‘s Andrew Wu.

CA interim chief Nick Hockley and his Seven West Media counterpart James Warburton will on Thursday meet face to face for the first time since the dramatic escalation in the media rights war between the game and its broadcast partners.

It was all quiet on the TV front on Wednesday as CA’s top brass, including chairman Earl Eddings and Hockley, spent the day discussing Jolimont’s next move in a feud that has serious implications for all levels of cricket.

A cricket source has indicated the game will have a better gauge of the situation after the meetings with Seven and Foxtel.

Those in the game have believed Seven has played a more aggressive game in public than they have in talks behind the scenes.

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