Mediaweek Roundup: OzTAM, Masterchef, Bauer Media, SBS + more

• Martin Sorrell, ABc, Kayo, Fox Footy, Rugby, and Rob Gaylard

Business of media

Cyberattack hits TV ratings: Tuesday viewing data delay

Overnight ratings are not expected to be delivered to television executives and advertisers at 9am today, reports TV Tonight.

Late yesterday ratings provider OzTAM advised networks that due to a potential cyber-attack at the Nielsen data centre, Overnight ratings would not be published this morning.

The cause and severity of the attack is unclear with Nielsen working locally and globally to resolve the issue as soon as possible. Whilst no panel homes were polled last night, data can be stored for two weeks.

A Nielsen spokesperson told TV Tonight, “Nielsen has become aware of an unexpected disruption relating to the Australian TV Audience Measurement (TAM) data centre environment.

“The day’s TV viewing data will be collected and processed once functionality is restored. This means that Overnight data for Tuesday (July 21) will be delayed.

“Our team is dedicated to resolving this matter swiftly. In the meantime, we will be sure to keep the industry informed as new information on the matter becomes available.”

[Read more]

Ad mogul Martin Sorrell: ‘I didn’t want to retire – I have a point to prove’

Sir Martin Sorrell’s headline-grabbing, acrimonious departure from WPP seemed set to mark an ignominious end to the global ambitions of the most powerful man in advertising. But two years on his new media venture, S4 Capital, has just reached a market valuation of £1.5bn, making it worth more than DMGT, the publisher of the Daily Mail and Mail Online, reports The Guardian.

Sorrell is now head of the UK’s sixth-biggest listed media company, with a value equal to a fifth of his bete noire WPP, and has continued to grow it even during the coronavirus pandemic.

Sorrell, 75, founded the business just months after resigning from WPP after an investigation into alleged personal misconduct. He has always strenuously denied wrongdoing, and departing as a “good leaver” – in the unusual position of not having a non-compete agreement – meant he was able to get up and running again at top speed.

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Publishing

‘Everyone’s head spinning’ as Bauer axes eight magazines

The team at Harper’s BAZAAR Australia had only just started working on plans to relaunch the iconic fashion magazine with a bumper October issue featuring its annual list of Visionary Women, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Andrew Hornery.

There had even been discussions about Nicole Kidman – who returned to Australia on the weekend and is currently in quarantine – posing for the magazine’s cover.

Trickling back to their Park Street offices, editor-in-chief Eugenie Kelly and her team had good reason to think the magazine, which sits alongside Vogue Australia at the top of the fashion publishing tree, had a rosy future in Australia.

So, when the Harper‘s team was told to log-in to a Tuesday morning Zoom meeting, many looked forward to it, thinking it was to discuss their plans for the October issue.

Instead, they were told that the Mercury Capital-owned Bauer Media Australia was to close the magazine along with other titles including InStyle, Elle, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Good Health, NW and OK!.

“It’s devastating. We had no idea until the Zoom meeting this morning. Everyone’s head is spinning at present, the whole team … we truly believed we had a very strong opportunity to come back and secure Harper‘s future in Australia,” one of the magazine’s devastated staff told PS, on the grounds of anonymity, an hour after losing her job.

[Read more]

See also: Bauer Media cancels eight titles, starts up and sells in New Zealand

News Brands

Former SBS newsreader says she left due to ‘mistreatment of staff’

The former SBS newsreader Lee Lin Chin has confirmed she resigned from SBS after 30 years in 2018 because she was unhappy with management’s treatment of staff and the corporate direction of the multicultural broadcaster, reports Guardian Australia’s Amanda Meade.

Chin’s decision to publicly rebuke SBS management follows revelations by other former SBS staffers this month that they had suffered racism and toxicity in the workplace.

Chin, who was born in Singapore, told Guardian Australia she did not suffer from racist attitudes at SBS, but believed there were systemic workplace issues at the broadcaster, including a lack of diversity in management.

In a 2018 letter to then SBS chairman Hass Dellal, obtained by Guardian Australia, Chin said the “lack of consideration and common human respect” for SBS staff had made her so unhappy she quit before her contract was up.

[Read more]

Gatto vs the ABC defamation case starts today in Supreme Court

The former Carlton Crew boss Mick Gatto’s defamation action against the ABC and journalists Nino Bucci and Sarah Farnsworth kicks off today in Victoria’s Supreme Court, reports News Corp’s Jonathan Chancellor.

The matter is scheduled before Justice Andrew Keogh alone, after Gatto failed to secure a jury trial.

The underworld figure has sued, alleging there was an imputation that he was a “murderer” and “hit man”, after the ABC reported allegations made by a police inspector in a 2016 affidavit.

The ABC claims its 2019 website article was a fair and accurate report of court proceedings attracting a statutory defence. If it did defame Gatto, the ABC suggests his damages should be reduced “owing to his prior offending and his reputation more generally”.

[Read more]

Television

A controversial hug caps off a winning season of MasterChef

When Emelia Jackson realised she’d won the 2020 season of MasterChef, she couldn’t resist throwing her arms around runner-up and close friend, Laura Sharrad, report The Age’s Michael Lallo and Broede Carmody.

“I was surprised [the producers] included it because I knew it would cause a little bit of controversy,” Jackson said. “My heart truly broke for Loz; she’d put her heart and soul into this competition and I could feel her trembling next to me and I just couldn’t help myself.”

Normally, this kind of physical contact would result in a hefty fine given the strict social distancing measures being enforced across Melbourne. But 30-year-old Jackson and 25-year-old Sharrad shared an apartment while the series was being filmed, exempting them from the “no hugging” rule.

Monday night’s “winner announcement” segment was watched by an average of 2 million Australians nationally, while the remainder of the episode averaged 1.64 million. The full season averaged 1.35 million viewers, with 10 claiming it was MasterChef‘s best-rating season since 2016 and the most popular reality TV show this quarter – beating Nine’s The Voice (1.29 million) and Seven’s Big Brother reboot (an average 1.13 million viewers so far).

Nine’s program director, Hamish Turner, said he was very happy with The Voice‘s 2020 performance.

“It is a proven and consistent performer and the team at ITV did a brilliant job of overcoming the challenges for the show posed by COVID-19,” he said. “[Sunday] night saw more than 1.2 million people nationally tune in to see Chris Sebastian announced as the winner and we are confident that we will strengthen our position in the back half as we move into Ninja Warrior, The Block, NRL Grand Final and the State of Origin.”

[Read more]

Sports Media

Fox Footy and Fox League numbers climb: Kayo audiences revealed

As Bounce closes in on 400 episodes, celebrates with Best Of program

Foxtel Media has reported on increased audiences for NRL and AFL games on the dedicated Fox League and Fox Footy channels so far in 2020.

For the NRL games, 2020 season live coverage has climbed 18% YOY across Foxtel & Kayo. The Sea Eagles v Eels highest rating match of round 10 had an average audience of 396,000 across Foxtel and Kayo. With a Fox League live audience of 282,000, that indicates the Kayo live audience was 114,000.

Meanwhile AFL audiences on Fox Footy during 2020 are up 19% YOY on Foxtel and Kayo. The Geelong v Collingwood the highest rating match of round 7 averaged 317,000 across Foxtel and Kayo. With a live Fox Footy audience of 240,000, that indicates the Kayo audience was 77,000.

Meanwhile as Fox Footy is about to have a run of 25 days of live football in the next 26 days, Bounce will celebrate with an extra episode.

Since it first hit screens in 2007, Foxtel’s “footytainment” show Bounce has had AFL fans tuned to the channel after Sunday’s final game of the round. This weekend, goal kicking legend and host Jason Dunstall will celebrate the very best moments in Best of Bounce, to air on Saturday 25th July between the Sydney v Hawthorn and Port Adelaide v St Kilda games on Fox Footy, channel 504 on Foxtel.

With close to 400 episodes, Dunstall and his eclectic crew of footy mates have charmed fans every week on Fox Footy ‘s flagship sports entertainment program.

This weekend’s celebratory 40-minute instalment will reflect on the hilarious favourite moments of the last 14 years. From the revolutionary introduction of the Golden Fist Award, to the cult-segment Numerology, Bounce is football’s longest running variety show that has families in stitches.

Amongst the set feast of laughs, the special episode will showcase the creativity of fans and footballers during recent times in lockdown, ‘Yesterday’s Heroes’ challenges from the past featuring Dunstall and the beloved late Danny “Spud” Frawley as well as  the funniest Turn It Up segments presented by basketball great Andrew Gaze.

Bounce fans will be treated to a big weekend, with a fun new episode airing in the regular time straight after the footy and live on Sunday night.

Fox Footy will have 20 straight days of live footy from July 29

Richmond and the Western Bulldogs will kick-off a Big Bash-style 20 consecutive days of AFL matches on Wednesday week, reports AFL.com.au’s Damian Barrett.

The Tigers-Dogs game, to be played Wednesday July 29, two days after the completion of round eight, will be the first of 33 matches to be jammed into rounds nine to 12 of the 2020 Toyota AFL Premiership Season.

Double headers will occur on the Thursday nights in round nine and 10, on the Monday night of round 11, and on the Wednesday night of round 10.

Four teams will have a bye in round 10, while another two won’t play in round 11.

As part of the agreement of players to subject themselves to four-day breaks during rounds 9-12, the AFL has allowed for clubs and players to finalise contract negotiations.

Being able to strike that deal was important to the players, for professional security reasons, given the extraordinary circumstances they are working under in the COVID-19 interrupted 2020 season.

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Waratahs chairman unloads on New Zealand Rugby’s ‘appalling’ ploy

Waratahs chairman Roger Davis has launched a blistering attack on New Zealand Rugby over an “appalling” ploy of directly approaching local Super Rugby teams behind Rugby Australia’s back to gauge interest over involvement in a Kiwi-organised competition next year, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Tom Decent.

It prompted a frustrated Davis to suggest Australian teams and RA should now consider inviting four or five New Zealand sides, based on current form, to come this side of the ditch instead for a competition of its own.

Both Australia and New Zealand have shown their hands and neither is budging as tensions continue to grow over how a provincial rugby offering in place of Super Rugby will look next year.

[Read more]

Respected racing personality, commentator Rob Gaylard dies aged 70

Rob Gaylard, a highly-respected racing personality, equine commentator and educator, passed away suddenly on Tuesday morning at his property near Geelong, reports News Corp’s Gilbert Gadriner.

Gaylard, 70, was the voice and face of the Flemington Mounting Yard presentations for about 20 years.

The Carlton “tragic”, who worked in Racing Victoria’s Apprentice Jockey Training Program since 2002, was known within both the racing and equestrian communities.

A passionate and knowledgeable horseman, Gaylard took immense pride in helping retired racehorses make the transition from the racetrack to equestrian pursuits, including Group 1 winner Chautauqua.

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