Mediaweek Roundup: Dally M, Roxy Jacenko, Kyle Sandilands + more

Chris Laws

Seven, Ross Stevenson, Peta Credlin, Nine, Rugby Australia, Cricket Australia and NRL

Business of media

ACMA: Channel Seven failed to disclose commercial arrangement

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found Channel Seven Sydney in breach of broadcasting rules for failing to disclose a commercial arrangement in relation to a segment on The Morning Show in May 2020.

The program included a segment titled ‘The latest trends for your winter wardrobe’, which promoted clothing ranges at department store Big W.

An ACMA investigation found that while some viewers may have recognised the segment was an advertisement, this was not sufficient to meet the requirements of the Television Industry Code of Practice.

“Viewers should not be left to guess whether a segment is a paid advertisement,” ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said.

“Broadcasters have an obligation to disclose arrangements of this kind. Failing to do so can harm people’s confidence in the credibility of Australian factual TV programs.”

Under the Code, broadcasters must adequately bring the existence of the commercial arrangement to the attention of viewers.

“This investigation should serve as a reminder to all TV broadcasters to review their internal processes and assure themselves that they have the right procedures in place to comply with disclosure rules,” O’Loughlin said.

Channel Seven Sydney has indicated that human error was the cause of their failure to disclose the commercial arrangement and that their client, Big W, had no involvement with this breach.

In response to the findings, Channel Seven Sydney will report to the ACMA in three months on the effectiveness of the actions it has taken. This includes implementing a new sign-off procedure to ensure commercial arrangements are acknowledged in the credits of the program, as well as further education and training of staff.

This is the first ACMA investigation into compliance with the current disclosure provisions.

ITV to increase focus on streaming to compete with Netflix and Disney

British broadcaster ITV is to increase its focus on streaming to compete with rivals including Netflix, in a move that will lead to job losses at its traditional TV broadcasting operation, reports The Guardian’s Mark Sweney.

The move, which involves the formation of a new on-demand division that will become the home of the BritBox and ITV Hub streaming services, marks the first step towards the hugely successful streaming model pioneered by Netflix.

ITV said viewers could expect more new content commissioned for its streaming services, in the same way that Netflix and Disney+ have built global businesses with exclusive hits such as Stranger Things and The Mandalorian, but it said the reorganisation did not signal the end of household hits from The X Factor to Love Island being made available on traditional TV.

BritBox, a joint venture with the BBC that operates in the US, UK and Australia and is to be rolled out to 25 countries, is growing at pace, with more than 1 million paying subscribers. ITV Hub+, which offers an ad-free experience, has attracted about 500,000 subscribers. The BritBox UK venture made a loss of £21m last year and ITV has forecast that it will lose around £55m to £60m this year.

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China Overtakes North America as world’s biggest box office in 2020

China is officially home to the world’s biggest movie box office, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

Movie ticket sales in China for 2020 climbed to US$1.988 billion on Sunday, surpassing North America’s total of $1.937 billion, according to data from Artisan Gateway. The gap is expected to widen considerably by year’s end.

Analysts have long predicted that the world’s most populous country would one day top the global charts. But the results still represent a historic sea change: North America has been the global box office’s centre of gravity since the dawn of the motion picture business.

It only took a pandemic to accelerate the transition.

Thanks to China’s effective containment of Covid-19, the country’s tens of thousands of theatres are operating at 75 percent of usual seating capacity, while filmgoers are demonstrating little hesitation about returning to the multiplex.

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Gladys Berejiklian, Kyle Sandilands discuss secret sex in radio interview

Secret sex, cringe worthy crushes and how Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Kyle Sandilands were all on the cards during a Monday morning media blitz, reports News Corp’s Mitchell Van Homrigh.

Premier Berejiklian dedicated half an hour to live radio interviews.

She first appeared on 2GB where host Ben Fordham warned viewers about a potentially “confronting” interview. It ended up being a discussion over the same talking points she had reiterated last week before allowing callers to ring in and praise the premier.

The next spot in her diary was booked by Kiss FM – where she was interviewed by Kyle and Jackie O.

Shock Jock Kyle Sandilands waited just under two minutes to tell Berejiklian “don’t you find secret sex is always better?”.

She brushed the question off but took the bait when Sandilands claimed the Premier and him were similar because he was “having sex with seven different people at the radio station in Perth” when he worked there.

“Well there’s a record I can’t beat,” she said.

She also knocked back suggestions she would be appearing on The Bachelorette.

“Ah no, I don’t think so. I would have thought about it but I don’t have the time,” she said.

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Rock fan Ross Stevenson cleared on Covid in time for AC/DC interview

3AW breakfast host Ross Stevenson was back on air this morning. After having a Covid-19 test on Sunday the announcer was off air yesterday awaiting the result. However after a negative result he returned to work on Monday afternoon when he pre-recorded an interview with AC/DC’s Angus Young ahead of the new album from the world’s best rock band.

Stevenson recorded the interview with his co-host Russel Howcroft and they promised listeners Young would tell some great stories. The interview was played after 8am on their show this morning.

Stevenson told listeners this morning he got his negative Covid result back 18 hours after taking the test. Howcroft has also previously had a Covid test. He added his result took 24 hours to come through.

With only two new cases reported yesterday, Stevenson said he thought it would be highly unlikely he might be one of those two people.

Ross Stevenson and Russel Howcroft

News Brands

China media an espionage threat, says Liberal senator James Paterson

Liberal senator James Paterson has called for Chinese state media to be denied unrestricted access to the federal parliament as “journalists”, warning there is a risk they could be involved in “espionage activities”, reports The Australian’s Ben Packham.

He told a Senate estimates hearing that a June 26 incident in the Prime Minister’s courtyard, when a representative of China’s Xinhua News Agency was reported for filming other journalists, had alarmed some occupants of the building.

“We now know that on that day – we didn’t know it at the time – that two members of the Xinhua News Agency were ­raided by ASIO in connection with a foreign interference investigation,” Senator Paterson said.

He urged the Department of Parliamentary Services and Senate president Scott Ryan to consider rule changes that would prevent state media from one-party, totalitarian countries having “unfettered access” to the parliament for themselves and their guests.

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Are Peta Credlin’s corona-performances journalism?

Commentator Peta Credlin’s performances at Daniel Andrews’ daily coronavirus press conferences are a mixture of overt political partisanship interlaced with some good journalism. For people concerned about journalistic ethics, it is an unsettling combination, writes Melbourne academic and former associate-editor of The Age Denis Muller.

Credlin’s presence at the Andrews press conference must be tolerated in the interests of a free press, but it changes the dynamics of those occasions by introducing a politically inspired combativeness that is otherwise absent.

And any journalistic good it does is tainted by the breaking of those professional promises and by its association with Sky at night, the antithesis of what journalism is about.

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The new shows set to go global as COVID-19 changes TV

TV program buyers are shifting tactics in the wake of a pandemic-disrupted year which has stalled production on high-profile US television shows and put studio audience-powered “shiny floor” entertainment formats out of action, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Michael Idato.

As a result the four-day “virtual” Mipcom, a digital reboot of the world’s biggest content sales market, has been busier than expected.

Royal Flying Doctors, the reboot of the 1980s Australian drama The Flying Doctors, is among the Australian titles being showcased at the market along with a new UK submarine thriller Vigil, an edgy new drama It’s a Sin from Queer as Folk creator Russell T. Davies and a re-telling of the Christiane F. story, titled We Children From Bahnhof Zoo.

Perhaps the biggest trend emerging from the market is a shift away from major US studio content, in part because of Covid-related production delays, but also because many studios now funnel content to their own direct-to-consumer platforms.

For Australian content sellers, like ABC Commercial, those delays are a potential boon. “North America really has embraced the virtual market, they’re being very proactive,” Jessica Ellis, head of ABC content sales and distribution, says. “They’re reaching out seeing what we’ve got in the pipeline.”

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Roxy Jacenko responds to critics after short reality TV appearance

Roxy Jacenko won’t take criticism surrounding her brief stint on SAS Australia lying down, reports’s Bella Fowler.

The Sydney PR queen has launched a fiery rant against those who slammed her short time on Channel 7’s newest reality show, revealing her reasons for bowing out early.

Taking to Instagram shortly after the premiere episode ended, Jacenko defended herself for calling it quits just six hours intro the challenge – sharing that she’d fractured her hip and pelvis just six weeks before arriving at SAS Australia’s Snowy Mountains set.

She described it as “shameful” that she had to explain herself after being inundated with cruel messages.

Posting a series of photos from her hospital bed and one walking with crutches, the business woman and reality star wrote: “To be candid I shouldn’t even need to post this – but I am left with no choice,” explaining that she didn’t think it was “necessary” to share photos of her accident but felt compelled to prove herself after a “barrage of comments” from social media trolls.

Addressing viewers who had slammed her appearance on the show, she said: “For the f***wits that have left comments on the post previous to this … Let me explain how weak and fake I am.”

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Sports Media

Nine’s SMH explains the company’s rationale for Rugby Australia TV bid

Sports rights analysts say Rugby Australia must focus on growing its fan base as it makes a crucial decision on a future broadcast partner for the code, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Zoe Samios.

The RA board is weighing up whether to accept a lower price for its broadcast rights but with a chance for greater mainstream exposure on free-to-air television after Nine Entertainment Co made a $30 million a season offer on Friday. RA also received a proposal from longtime broadcast partner Foxtel that industry sources said could be worth as much as $40 million a year.

Industry sources familiar with the discussions previously said Nine is offering $30 million in cash and free advertising to broadcast one Super Rugby match a week on free-to-air television as well as Wallabies Tests and the Rugby Championship. All other Super Rugby games would be broadcast live behind a paywall on subscription streaming service Stan.

Global Media and Sports boss Colin Smith said rugby union risks eroding its audiences if it cannot get more people attending matches through a new broadcast deal.

“The only problem with more of the same [is it’s] going to continue the downward trajectory,” Smith said. “Back in 2004, the average audience for Super Rugby was probably six or seven times greater than it is today. You can’t just bank your dollars because if you bank your dollars and don’t make major changes, then it could continue to erode. Rugby has to recreate itself and build a long-term position.”

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Seven and Cricket Australia fight over broadcast rights ‘expert’

Relations between Seven West Media and Cricket Australia have soured to the point where eight independent candidates nominated to settle an argument about the value of the sport code’s summer rights have been rejected by each side on the grounds they are not qualified or have conflicts of interest, report Nine publishing’s Zoe Samios and Jon Pierik.

Seven and CA are in a tit-for-tat dispute over how much the Big Bash League (BBL) and Tests are worth, but hostility between the two organisations reached new heights last week after the governing body reluctantly decided to enter the arbitration process.

The Kerry Stokes-controlled broadcaster lodged paperwork with the Australian Chamber for International and Commercial Arbitration and asked for an independent expert to be appointed two weeks ago, but CA was unwilling to participate in the process until late on Wednesday.

CA finally budged and provided Seven with its own list of experts. Seven put five experts forward to the arbitrator two weeks ago, including businessman and former Tennis Australia chair Harold Mitchell.

Broadcast sources say the best way for Seven to leave cricket would be if the fight heads to court, as it could prosecute a breach-of-contract argument against CA.

Foxtel, which also broadcasts the cricket, is closely monitoring Seven’s plans but does not want to lose cricket. If Seven walks away it would leave the network without a major sport in the summer holiday period.

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Newspaper reveals Dally M winner early: V’landys to investigate blunder

Penrith and NRL officials were left fuming on Monday night after The Daily Telegraph accidentally revealed Jack Wighton as the winner of the Dally M Medal hours before the official announcement, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Michael Chammas and Christian Nicolussi.

The blunder has prompted ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys to launch an investigation into the matter, with Monday night’s ceremony likely to be the last time the media receive embargoed results.

“I know mistakes do happen but we’ll certainly do an investigation to see how this happened,” V’landys said. “We’ll do an investigation and make sure this never, ever, ever happens again.”

V’landys insists the players were unaware of the winner after event organisers confiscated their phones once the result was accidentally published and then reposted on social media by Daily Telegraph readers. Wighton said he didn’t know the result until the end. However, the Herald understands that may not have applied to all at Fox Sports’ studios, with Ivan Cleary admitting he was aware of the results.

News Corp’s Phil Rothfield posted on social media last night: “Owing to a production error that was out of my control, The Daily Telegraph website accidentally published the winner of the Dally M award before the official announcement tonight. We apologise sincerely for the mistake.”

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