Mediaweek Roundup: Pell coverage, Four Corners row, tennis on Stan. + More

Four Corners Australia

Plus, Village Roadshow value, Nine’s rugby plans, SEN’s new station, BBC News, and more.

Business of Media

Open theme parks unlock value for Village Roadshow bid

Village Roadshow says the successful public opening of its Warner Bros, Movie World and Sea World theme parks will trigger a 12¢ lift in suitor BGH Capital’s takeover bid to $2.32 per share, but the offer will not be going any higher, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Colin Kruger.

It was one of the contingent payments announced as part of the proposed offer in August when Village and BGH agreed to a deal in which shareholders could receive up to $2.45 per share.

However, the border and cinema reopening events, worth an additional 13¢ per share, is off the table because the Queensland border remains closed and major film releases have been delayed.

[Read more]

News Brands

Pell coverage breached court orders by ‘inviting online searches’

Highly contentious coverage of Cardinal George Pell‘s conviction of child sex abuse in December 2018 breached suppression orders enforceable in Australia by inviting readers to search for overseas coverage of the case, the Victorian Supreme Court heard on Monday, reports The AFR’s Hannah Wootton.

Thirty of Australia’s leading newspapers, radio shows and journalists are on trial on contempt of court charges over the coverage, including The Australian Financial Review.

Several news organisations reported on the conviction, but did not name Cardinal Pell or detail the offences for which he was found guilty. Instead, they said a high-profile person had been convicted of serious charges.

According to the Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions, however, this breached the suppression order as it invited readers to search online for more details about the case.

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Row over Four Corners’ exposé on ministers Alan Tudge, Christian Porter

An extraordinary row has erupted between the Coalition and the ABC after the public broadcaster accused Morrison government ministers of sexism and a “pattern of inappropriate sexual behaviour”, reports The Australian’s Rosie Lewis.

Four Corners Australia

Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull told Four Corners that he had warned the then social services minister Christian Porter against inappropriate behaviour and said he could have been compromised after being seen drinking in the company of a young woman in December 2017.

The program also revealed an affair between the then human services minister Alan Tudge and a member of his staff, and quoted Labor’s home affairs spokeswoman, Kristina Keneally, and Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young, who both raised allegations about sexually inappropriate behaviour by Coalition figures.

Porter said he was considering legal action against the ABC as he rejected the program’s depiction of his actions in the bar and said reporter Louise Milligan failed to contact him or his office.

[Read more]

Ipsos names BBC News top international news brand in Australia

Industry research body Ipsos has announced that the BBC is the #1 international news brand in Australia, across both digital and TV platforms.

The study into the media consumption of affluent audiences reveals that the BBC is the top international online news platform and that BBC World News – the BBC’s 24-hour international news channel – is watched by more people than any of its competitors.

BBC News outperformed competitors with its significance to business leaders in Australia in a number of ways including being the top international news brand for: Australians

Jamie Chambers, vice president advertising & distribution, ANZ, BBC Global News, said: “During a year of unprecedented global news events, from the Australian bushfires, the global pandemic and multiple geo-political crises, people are increasingly turning towards global news sources that they can trust. These results prove how valuable it is for audiences to have access to accurate, impartial news that tells them what they need to know so they are informed and equipped for a rapidly changing world around them.

In the wider region, BBC News is the fastest growing international news brand in APAC. It reached more influential opinion formers in the region than any of its competitors and outperformed its closest competitors within the business and B2B sectors. The research indicates that BBC News is also the fastest growing international news brand in APAC for high income earners and C-suite executives.

Source: Ipsos Affluent Asia Survey H2 2020 (FW period Q3’19-Q2’20); Australia (4718535/ 2006), media brands accessed in the PAST 30 DAYS. * This is excluding digital media/social media brands.

News channel ranking is based on the following list of global brands: BBCWN, CNN, Bloomberg, CNBC, Sky News (UK), Euronews, Al Jazeera.

US anchors cut Trump’s conference. Would local reporters do the same?

Under normal circumstances, veteran political reporter David Speers prefers to challenge rather than censor the dubious assertions of our elected representatives. But as the host of ABC’s Insiders points out, recent events in the United States are anything but normal, reports The Age’s Michael Lallo and Broede Carmody.

On Friday, Speers’ counterparts at several major US broadcasters – including MSNBC, NBC, CNBC, CBS, ABC and NPR – halted their live coverage of President Donald Trump‘s press conference. It was a decision prompted by Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that the Democratic Party used “illegal” votes to deliver a fraudulent victory to Joe Biden.

“The risk is that these [media organisations] will be perceived to be censoring one side of politics,” Speers says. “A large section of the US population has already been led to believe that mainstream media can’t be trusted and this will only feed that perception.

Nine News political editor Chris Uhlmann describes Trump as “undoubtedly a liar” and a “disaster for democracy at home and abroad”. Nevertheless, he insists US networks ought to have aired his press conference in full.

[Read more]

Radio

SEN launches another radio brand with launch of WA DAB+ station

Sports Entertainment Network (SEN) has announced plans to launch a new DAB+ all sports station in Mandurah, to be known as SEN Peel, on the back of another month of digital growth in WA.

sen sports entertainment network

With the success of breakfast with Garry Lyon and Tim Watson and Gerard Whateley‘s sports radio show Whateley heard live on 657 SENTrack, podcast listens in Perth increased 48% month on month to a total of 281,936.

Page views on SEN.com.au and the SEN app in WA also increased 33% month on month to 677,456.

Sports Entertainment Network group commercial director Paige Wright said WA audiences were loving the sports content now available to them.

“With Breakfast with Garry and Tim and Whateley hitting the mark and digital audience growth continuing in this state, it’s clear we’re really connecting with sports fans. Our new sports station, SEN Peel, will further embed our network in WA and continue to provide fans with exceptional sport entertainment,” Wright said.

SEN WA highlights include:

  • Page views (web & app) – 677,456 (up 33% month on month)
  • Web & app users – 100,263 (up 33% month on month)
  • News article reads – 412,406 (up 48% month on month)
  • Concurrent minutes listened on the app – 3,096,726 (up 4% month on month)
  • Podcast listens in Perth – 281,936 (up 48% month on month)
  • Sportsday 6PR P10+ 47,000 listeners and share of 10.9% – the number 1 show in its timeslot for M30+ with a 21.2% share

Sources: GFK Radio Ratings, Survey 7, 2020; Whooshkaa, Facebook Business Manager, Twitter, JW Player, Google Analytics (01/10/20-31/10/20)

Sports Media

Stan, Nine set to snare French Open and Wimbledon TV rights

Nine and Stan are expected to lock in broadcast rights for the French Open and Wimbledon tennis tournaments as part of the media company’s new sports strategy across both free-to-air television and on-demand subscription video, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

Nine and Stan could reveal the latest signing at Nine’s annual general meeting on Thursday. Nine, which owns The Australian Financial Review, declined to comment.

Sources with an understanding of Stan Sport’s plans said Nine and Stan were looking to become the home of grand slam tennis. The rights for the US Open are not currently available and are held by ESPN and broadcast on Foxtel.

[Read more]

Drones, more cameras, new commentators: How Nine plans to revamp rugby

When push came to shove in the race for Rugby Australia’s broadcast rights, ‘invaluable’ free-to-air exposure and the promise of new technology which will deliver NRL-standard broadcasts won the day for Nine, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Sam Phillips.

Nine chief executive Hugh Marks was one of the driving forces behind the introduction of the NRL’s six-again rule and while he concedes there is less immediate scope to change rugby’s global laws, the innovation will start in the broadcast zone.

While making the broadcast product more attractive to all generations of rugby fans was a key factor in Nine’s pitch, multiple RA sources have reiterated the importance of attracting new fans via free-to-air exposure. Super Rugby games have never before been shown live on free-to-air in Australia, meaning the 75 percent of the population without Foxtel have never had access.

[Read more]

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