Mediaweek Roundup: The Masked Singer, Hot Seat, Big Bash League + more

Masked Singer S2 E5

Google & Facebook, Cheng Lei, Australian Federal Police and MTV Video Music Awards

News Brands

Google and Facebook should pay to use ABC and SBS content, ACCC told

Google and Facebook should pay to use ABC and SBS content as well as news produced by commercial media, public interest journalism advocates have told the competition watchdog, reports Guardian Australia‘s Amanda Meade.

The funds collected from the digital platforms should be used to set up an independent public interest journalism fund rather than be funnelled back into the public broadcasters, the Public Interest Journalism Initiative said in a final submission.

The media industry has been hit hard by Covid-19: 29 newspapers and TV stations have closed down and a further 97 newspapers have ceased to produce print editions, PIJI said.

In a joint submission the Public Interest Journalism Initiative and the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas called on the ACCC to amend the code to include the ABC and SBS, but use the revenue to fund public interest journalism.

[Read More]

Australian TV presenter Cheng Lei arrested in China

Australian television presenter Cheng Lei has been detained in Beijing, reports News Corp’s Max Maddison.

Cheng, the anchor of the Chinese government’s English Television Network, was arrested on August 14, Foreign Minister Marise Payne said on Monday night.

“The Australian government has been informed that an Australian citizen, Ms Cheng Lei, has been detained in China,” Senator Payne said.

“Formal notification was received on 14 August 2020, from Chinese authorities of her detention. Australian officials had an initial consular visit with Ms Cheng at a detention facility via video link on 27 August and will continue to provide assistance and support to her and her ­family.”

Describing herself on Twitter as a “Passionate orator of the #China story”, Cheng last tweeted on August 12.

While Cheng hasn’t been charged, she has been placed in “residential surveillance at a designated location”, a form of detention where people can be imprisoned and questioned for six months without contact with their lawyers or the outside world.

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Australia’s top cop says raiding journalist’s home was no ‘mistake’, rejects search warrant changes

Australia’s top cop rejected suggestions it was a “mistake” to raid the home of an Australian journalist even though the warrant behind it was later ruled “invalid” and no criminal charges were laid against her, he told a Senate inquiry into press freedom on Monday, reports News Corp’s Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson.

Australian Federal Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw made the comments in relation to a raid on the home of News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst in June last year over a story about proposed spy laws to be used against Australian citizens.

And both Mr Kershaw and Home Affairs Secretary Michael Pezzullo dismissed calls from a group of media organisations to allow contested search warrants for journalists, arguing the move would be “detrimental to the workings” of the police.

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Entertainment

‘MTV Video Music Awards’ Review: Lady Gaga Almost Saves a Show Unsure of How to Go On in a Pandemic

Before proceeding any further, let’s acknowledge the clear superstars of the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards: Lady Gaga’s mask designers reports Variety‘s Chris Willman.

They should be given their own awards, at some point, for being keeping us on the edge of our seats during a show that has never drummed up much suspense about winners, even in its early glory days, let alone now. The best thing about this year’s telecast was how the pandemic has given Gaga an excuse to return to the slightly scary fashion of her early glory days, most particularly with a very au courant focus on what looked like avant-garde gas masks, sometimes with digital readouts.

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Television

Masked Singer to stage “proper” grand final

Good news for The Masked Singer with the show proceeding to a “proper finale” reports TV Tonight.

On KIIS 1065 this morning, judge Jackie O. said, “We will finish it properly… a proper finale. There will be no zoom.
“Everyone is staying back now. Everyone’s doing it.”

The grand final was abandoned on the day it was planned due to a COVID outbreak. There are 17 confirmed positive cases related to the production, with all of the team now in their second week of a 2 week lockdown.

10 is yet to confirm its plans for a grand final, expected to screen in the week of September 14.

[Read More]

Hot Seat heading to Queensland

Hot Seat is moving to Queensland to film new episodes, reports TV Tonight.

Production is relocating for 7 weeks to film episodes after it was denied a chance to restart at Docklands Studios following The Masked Singer COVID outbreak. Producers had already mapped out a COVID safe plan with no audience and perspex screens.

Host Eddie McGuire is understood to be entering a quarantine period, having already crossed the border in accordance with Queensland regulations.

This also places him firmly in (current) AFL territory where Collingwood Football Club is based in a hub. He also has Triple M radio and FOX Footy commitments.

Key production personnel and the Hot Seat set will also travel to Queensland.

The production drift from Melbourne is now increasing after The Chase relocated to Sydney. While Seven’s shift is permanent, Hot Seat plans to return to Melbourne.

Nine is expected to confirm the announcement tomorrow.

[Read More]

Sports

Big cash league: Cricket Australia’s bid to draw world’s best to BBL

Cricket Australia is hatching an ambitious plan to revitalise the Big Bash League by helping teams recruit and pay for big-name overseas stars outside the salary cap, opening the door to the likes of India icon MS Dhoni and England World Cup and Ashes hero Ben Stokes, reports SMH‘s Chris Barrett and Jon Pierik.

On the receiving end of a barrage from Seven West Media in the past week over the network’s concerns about a talent drain in the BBL this summer, CA is holding its ground ahead of crisis talks this week between Seven chief executive James Warburton and the sport’s interim boss, Nick Hockley.

Seven’s principal argument in threatening to rip up its $450 million deal with CA is over the likely absence of even more Australian internationals than usual during the Big Bash season because of the need to have them secured in hubs for limited-overs and Test series against India, a short-form campaign against New Zealand and a Test against Afghanistan.

However, it has emerged that CA has not only been looking to revitalise the BBL in its 10th season with the proposed addition of a third overseas international on team rosters, it is preparing to open the cheque book like never before and assist teams in signing as well as paying for the game’s very best players well above and beyond the $1.9 million salary cap.

[Read More]

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