Tuesday December 11, 2018

ACCC reports on Google, Facebook impact on news and advertising

The following was released by the ACCC Yesterday:

With Google and Facebook transforming the way consumers communicate, access news and view advertising online, it is critical that governments and regulators consider the potential issues created by the concentration of market power and the broader impacts of digital platforms.

The preliminary report, published today, contains 11 preliminary recommendations and eight areas for further analysis as the inquiry continues.

The eight areas for further analysis include the proposed “badging” by digital platforms of media content, produced by an accountable media business, as well as options to fund the production of news and journalism, such as tax deductions or subsidies, a digital platforms ombudsman to investigate complaints and provide a timely and cost effective means to resolve disputes, and a proposal for digital platforms to allow consumers to opt out of targeted advertising.

The headings for the 11 preliminary recommendations are:

• Preliminary Recommendation 1 – merger law
• Preliminary Recommendation 2 – prior notice of acquisitions
• Preliminary Recommendation 3 – choice of browser and search engine
• Preliminary Recommendation 4 – advertising and related business oversight
• Preliminary Recommendation 5– news and digital platform regulatory oversight
• Preliminary Recommendation 6 – review of media regulatory frameworks
• Preliminary Recommendation 7 – take-down standard
• Preliminary Recommendation 8 – use and collection of personal information
• Preliminary Recommendation 9 – OAIC Code of Practice for digital platforms
• Preliminary Recommendation 10 – serious invasions of privacy
• Preliminary Recommendation 11 – unfair contract terms

Preliminary Recommendations details in the report here.

The ACCC has reached the view that Google has substantial market power in online search, search advertising and news referral, and Facebook has substantial market power in markets for social media, display advertising and online news referral.

The report outlines the ACCC’s concerns regarding the market power held by these key platforms, including their impact on Australian businesses and, in particular, on the ability of media businesses to monetise their content. The report also outlines concerns regarding the extent to which consumers’ data is collected and used to enable targeted advertising.

“Digital platforms have significantly transformed our lives, the way we communicate with each other and access news and information. We appreciate that many of these changes have been positive for consumers in relation to the way they access news and information and how they interact with each other and with businesses,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said.

“But digital platforms are also unavoidable business partners for many Australian businesses. Google and Facebook perform a critical role in enabling businesses, including online news media businesses, to reach consumers. However, the operation of these platforms’ key algorithms, in determining the order in which content appears, is not at all clear.”

Google and Facebook are now the dominant gateways between news media businesses and audiences and this can reduce the brand value and recognition of media businesses. In addition traditional media businesses and in particular, traditional print media businesses have lost advertising revenue to digital platforms. This has threatened the viability of business models of the print media and their ability to monetise journalism.

“News and journalism perform a critical role in society. The downturn in advertising revenue has led to a cut in the number of journalists over the past decade. This has implications across society because of the important role the media plays in exposing corruption and holding governments, companies, powerful individuals and institutions to account,” Sims said.

The inquiry has also considered important questions about the range and reliability of news available via Google and Facebook. The ACCC’s preliminary view is that consumers face a potential risk of filter bubbles, or echo chambers, and less reliable news on digital platforms. While the evidence of filter bubbles arising on digital platforms in Australia is not yet strong, the importance of this issue means it requires close scrutiny.

The ACCC is further concerned with the large amount and variety of data which digital platforms such as Google and Facebook collect on Australian consumers, which go beyond the data which users actively provide when using the digital platform.

Research commissioned as part of the inquiry indicates consumers are concerned about the extent and range of information collected by digital platforms. The ACCC is in particular concerned about the length, complexity and ambiguity of online terms of service and privacy policies, including click-wrap agreements with take-it-or-leave-it terms.

Without adequate information and with limited choice, consumers are unable to make informed decisions, which can both harm consumers and impede competition.

The preliminary recommendations and the areas for further analysis identified in the preliminary report have been put forward as potential options to address the actual and potential negative impacts of digital platforms and contribute to the debate about the appropriate level of government oversight.

The report found that key digital platforms, Google and Facebook, had both the ability and incentive to favour related businesses or those businesses with which they may have an existing commercial relationship. The platforms’ algorithms rank and display advertising and news content in a way that lacks transparency to advertisers and news organisations.

“Organisations like Google and Facebook are more than mere distributors or pure intermediaries in the supply of news in Australia, they increasingly perform similar functions as media businesses like selecting, curating and ranking content. Yet, digital platforms face less regulation than many media businesses,” Sims said.

“The ACCC considers that the strong market position of digital platforms like Google and Facebook justifies a greater level of regulatory oversight,” Sims said.

“Australian law does not prohibit a business from possessing significant market power or using its efficiencies or skills to ‘out compete’ its rivals. But when their dominant position is at risk of creating competitive or consumer harm, governments should stay ahead of the game and act to protect consumers and businesses through regulation.”

The report makes preliminary recommendations aiming to address Google and Facebook’s market power and promote increased consumer choice, including a proposal that would prevent Google’s internet browser (Chrome) being installed as a default browser on mobile devices, computers and tables and Google’s search engine being installed as a default search engine on internet browsers.

The ACCC also proposes that a new or existing regulatory authority be given the task of investigating, monitoring and reporting on how large digital platforms rank and display advertisements and news content. Other preliminary recommendations suggest ways to strengthen merger laws.

Additional preliminary recommendations deal with copyright, and take-down orders, and the review of existing, disparate media regulations.

The ACCC also notes that consumers will be better off if they can make informed and genuine choices as to how digital platforms collect and use their data, and proposes changes to the Privacy Act to enable consumers to make informed decisions.

The ACCC is further considering a recommendation for a specific code of practice for digital platforms’ data collection to better inform consumers and improve their bargaining power.

“The inquiry has also uncovered some concerns that certain digital platforms have breached competition or consumer laws, and the ACCC is currently investigating five such allegations to determine if enforcement action is warranted,” Sims said.

The ACCC is seeking feedback on its preliminary recommendations, and the eight proposed areas for further analysis and assessment.

Nine aligns sales team to offer fully integrated marketing solutions

Nine has moved to align its newly combined sales structure in order to create fully integrated marketing solutions for its partners across television, video on demand, digital publishing and print.

Under the new integrated sales structure Nine will co-locate all of the 500-plus sales staff from Nine and Fairfax into its Nine sales offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. This process is expected to be completed by early January.

“Today marks an important milestone in the history of Australian media,” said Michael Stephenson (pictured), Nine’s chief sales officer. “The merger creates a media business for the future and the opportunity to provide a fully integrated sales offering across television, video on demand, digital publishing and print, all supported by Australia’s richest data proposition.

“The move will significantly enhance our ability to offer more diverse audiences across new channels and create more powerful marketing solutions around our content that work from the top to the bottom of the marketing funnel – something which will be unique to Nine.”

Today, Nine also announced two sales promotions within the merged business.

Nine’s Pippa Leary is promoted to the newly created role of director – sales strategy and product commercialisation. Leary will be responsible for commercial strategy and the monetisation of Nine’s digital and publishing assets. In addition, she will continue to develop Nine’s programmatic sales solutions, and take responsibility for the commercialisation of the combined group’s unique data asset.

“We have a fantastic opportunity based on our suite of high-growth assets and our unique data proposition to create market-leading advertising solutions for our advertisers,” said Stephenson. “There no is no one better in Australia than Pippa Leary to enable us to do that.”

Nine also announced that Matt Rowley is appointed to the newly created role of director of sales – publishing. He will have revenue responsibility for all of Nine’s digital assets – nine.com.au, 9Honey, 9Now, smh.com.au, theage.com.au, afr.com.au, brisbanetimes.com.au and watoday.com.au – as well as the major metro titles: The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review.

“Matt’s wealth of experience across both client and agency side, in Australia and abroad, together with his understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing Australian marketers makes him the perfect person to lead our publishing sales teams in-market,” Stephenson said.

Lizzie Young continues as Nine’s group content strategy director and will lead a fully integrated Powered team in the merged business from day one.

Powered will include a client strategy, insights and effectiveness team alongside content partnerships, client experience and commercial creative studio, all fully integrated and ready to create big ideas across the expanded suite of assets.

“Powered provides access for brands to Australia’s leading content creators across the broadest and most effective media platform in the country,” said Young. “Our ability to create big ideas based around the connection of brands to culture through this content is unrivalled, and we know these partnerships drive true business results.”

“Pippa and Matt will work alongside Richard Hunwick, director of sales – television and Warwick Sharp, director – sales operations to form the new Nine sales leadership team supported by Powered,” said Stephenson.

“We now have the greatest media assets in the country, the best content, the best data product and the best technology. But the most important asset we have are the people who work at Nine across all parts of our business to meet the evolving needs of our partners.

“Pippa, Matt, Lizzie, Rich and Warwick are all exceptional media professionals and great leaders and I can’t wait to begin the next part of our journey as a team.”

Mediaweek Q&A: 10’s network director of news content Ross Dagan

Earlier this year 10 signalled a renewed focus on news with the appointment of Ross Dagan as network director of news content. In the past week Dagan has hired Chris Bath and Peter Van Onselen. He speaks to Mediaweek about strategy, CBS and the cross platform delivery of content.

By James Manning

What were you doing prior to re-joining 10?

I was working in Doha with the Al Jazeera media network. I worked for them at launch out of Kuala Lumpur, and had an opportunity to go and work for them again out of Doha, head office, so it was fascinating, outstanding.

It was a really interesting opportunity and a wonderful part of the world to get to know better and to understand better. It was a very a dynamic 24-hour a day news channel with a multi-platform approach to how it delivers its content.

What did you hear from Network 10 that attracted you to this role?

10 is a fantastic place to work, it’s the best workplace I’ve ever been. I’ve been here once before and had a thoroughly impressive time. The organisation is benefiting greatly from CBS involvement.

People are energetic and excited about what’s happening here, even though some of the them faced difficult times in the last couple of years.

But they’ve stuck with it and those that are here, want to be. The energy is great, there is no backstabbing, there’s no TV tantrums, there’s none of that rubbish that you hear about that happens in other parts of the industry. We have a happy workplace and people want to turn up, and they are good things for any workplace, but particularly in a broadcasting/media environment, they’re really great assets. We will work hard to make sure that continues to be one of the things that sets Network 10 apart.

Will viewers see an expanded news offering in 2019?

We’d be barking mad if we weren’t always looking for ways we could do more, and ways we could apply our brand and our content across different platforms. In my mind, there are many ways that may translate in a broadcast environment. If we can have content that isn’t the same as everyone else’s, if we can play to 10’s strengths, and ensure we aren’t doing a me two, a me three or a me four product, then by all means, the organisation is all ears as to how that might play out.

What could change about what is on the schedule now?

I have to say that the only definition of success is not whether we do an extra broadcast bulletin here, and an extra broadcast bulletin there. We should be judged on what our digital content is, we should be judged on what our content is, and where that goes. All of those things are more forward looking than analysing whether we launch a new such and such, at a certain time slot, on a broadcast linear environment.

10 Daily relaunched earlier this year. It has surpassed any of our expectations around where it’s going, it’s heavily news at its core, it’s absolutely integrated within our news operation and the growth it’s had, week on week, month on month, in terms of the number of eyeballs that are reaching, is beyond anyone’s expectation.

I’ve been involved in a lot of cross-over newsrooms over the last 20 or 30 years, and this is the best integration I’ve seen, where the teams work absolutely well together.

See also: Ross Dagan appointed network director of news content at Network Ten

The single biggest news audience remains at 6pm on television. Would you like to compete at that time?

No, I wouldn’t. I think that 10 has lots of strengths, and when we decided on what we’d call ourselves at the re-launch, we went through a lot of options around what we wanted to be called. We decided on 10 News First, because the first was important because of our heritage, and the heritage of our brand that is so obviously, and proudly being linked to being First At Five for so many years. It was really important that first remain part of our title, and a big part of that was the heritage around being First At Five.

I don’t think Australia is well served if there are three competing commercial news services. I just don’t think that’s a logical programing choice. It’s not a logical choice for how people get to see good content. People want choice, and they already have the choice between effectively Coles and Woolworths at 6 o’clock. We don’t think we need to add in another brand to further separate that audience.

Is the relaunch of 10 Daily changing the 10 news product?

It’s interesting when you bring a new team into an existing team. By the nature of a new team coming in and a new team being formed, it doesn’t happen often in broadcast environments, but we’ve been lucky for it to happen in this environment. You’ve got a whole club of new ideas and new thinking around the stories of the day.

Demographically 10 Daily’s news is for people under 40. So by the nature of that, broadly speaking, we’ve got an awful lot of interesting content that is being made in a relevant, contemporary, engaging way for people who might not necessarily have been people who would have tuned in to 10 News at 5pm in big numbers historically. So the cross-over between those brands and the cross-overs between the demographics of those brands is really powerful.

How has the parent company been helping in terms of resources, learnings and strategy?

CBS has been remarkably supportive. They are remarkably interested and they are keen on ensuring we can be as successful and we can be. I’ve been to New York a couple of times for meetings. I’ve had time with the president of CBS News and I talk every other day to CBS in some form or another about what they’re up to. They’re content people. That’s impressive about CBS. They’re content people. They make good content and the fact that CBS News is such a strong and powerful legacy, heritage brand that is absolutely one of the pre-eminent sources of content for news and news-based programing in the US is clearly a big positive.

Is 10’s TV news firmly focussed under 50?

While we need to be mindful of the network we are a key part of, we also need to deliver the news. News is always skewed somewhat older. Thankfully, we have a relatively youthful audience for First At Five. It skews younger than the other news products on broadcast environments. And we’re always looking for how we appeal to the most number of people in the best possible way.

Our challenge is to find older audiences and to continue to engage with them while also being contemporary across a large age group of people.

Who do you have outside of Australia working for your news division?

We just restarted a London bureau with reporter Eammon Atkinson, and I am optimistic we will have a reporter out of LA very soon. The big thing to remember is that we have a whole network [CBS] in America.

This very powerful partnership that we have with CBS. The sharing and co-operation there is beyond anything I’ve seen before, between an Australia network and a US partner.

You have just employed Chris Bath – will those weekend bulletins continue to be national?

They will continue to be national, although we will do a second edition for west coast audiences live into those markets, probably in the new year.

Nine announces changes at Nine News, Today and A Current Affair

Nine’s national director of news and current affairs Darren Wick has announced new appointments to the leadership of Nine’s news and current affairs teams.

Steven Burling has been appointed director of morning television following the departure of Mark Calvert.

In his new role, Burling will be the executive producer of Today and also have oversight of Today Extra and Weekend Today.

For Burling, it’s a return to the program where he began his career with Nine – on his birthday – back in 2000. He started out as a segment producer on Today and a “meeter and greeter”, looking after on-air guests. He rose through the ranks of Today, spending several years as the entertainment producer for Richard Wilkins.

He subsequently became the Sydney bureau chief for A Current Affair, field producer and then chief of staff for 60 Minutes. For the past 12 months he has been the executive producer of ACA. “He’s leaving the program in great shape,” said Wick.

Meanwhile Fiona Dear has been appointed executive producer of A Current Affair.

Fiona Dear

For the past two years, she’s been the deputy director of news in Sydney. Prior to that, she spent a decade in the hot seat as chief of staff. Dear has overseen coverage of the biggest events – bushfires, terror attacks, Olympic Games, Royal Weddings to name just a few. “She’s passionate about news and current affairs and is always looking and pushing for the edge that will set Nine above our opposition,” said Wick.

Meredith Marks has been appointed the deputy director of news in Sydney.

Marks joined the Nine Sydney newsroom as an associate producer in 2009. She’s worked her way up the ranks at Nine News.

“Meredith has often been calling the shots from the control room during rolling coverage of major breaking stories for the past decade. She has exceptional news judgement and will play a critical role in 2019 as we restructure our news teams to be the machine that drives the new Nine family of television, digital, radio and newspapers,” said Wick.

Top Photo: Steven Burling

Seven’s late night news initiative: Michael Usher to host The Latest

Just days after the end of the TV ratings year, Seven has announced that its #1 news service is to launch a live late-night news program.

To be called The Latest, the bulletin will be anchored by Michael Usher and will cover the very latest breaking news from both Australia and around the world, as well as up-to-the-minute developments on the biggest news events of the day.

Seven Network director of news and public affairs Craig McPherson said: “The time is right to have a nightly news program post 6pm. The Latest will be exactly what the title says. Big stories of the day develop throughout the night and many stories are breaking. We’ll be live to wherever we need to be. It will be a destination for Australians to get the very latest on the happenings at home and abroad as well as digging deeper on key issues.”

The Latest will launch at 10.30pm AEDT on Wednesday 19 December, straight after the first Big Bash League clash, live on Seven and 7PLUS.

The new program will not run seven days a week, but is expected to air after most evening Big Bash League matches and selected other nights across the summer.

Channel change: 10 Boss now 10 Bold after copyright dispute

Network 10 has renamed 10 Boss, 10 Bold after Fairfax (now Nine) threatened legal action over copyright infringement, claiming that 10 Boss shared a likeness to the Australian Financial Review insert Boss magazine.

10 has announced that it will change the name of the multichannel, and made the following comments on the change,

“Some were not so happy, as so often is the case. And it didn’t take long for Fairfax Media to voice their displeasure at the name. Fairfax and Nine thought we were trying to rip off their Boss brand. Really,”

“Anyone that knows 10, knows we’re no Grinch. So in the spirit of giving and as an early Christmas present to our friends at Nine, we’re flicking the switch to 10 Bold. That’s right, from tonight 10 Boss will become 10 Bold. We think it’s better to be bold than bossy.”

“There is so much to love about 10 Boss – the brand, the attitude, the position. 10 Boss does a great job of representing the slate of drama, action, live sport and kickarse programs it airs. We invested heavily in making it great and it looks really really good next to all our new brands,” Ten 

“It’s a bold move we know packing up 10 Boss as a present to Nine but we know it’s the content and the attitude you love about the channel and that’s not changing. Since relaunch, the channel’s commercial prime time share has grown.”

Nine also commented on the change  “We welcome the decision of 10 to rebrand their channel from 10 Boss in recognition of the heritage and value of AFR’s Boss magazine. However, the matter remains before the court.”

Also: 10 Upfront: Behind the rebrand of Boss, Peach, News and 10 Play

Bauer Media appoints magazine specialist Eliza O’Hare to edit Inside Out

Eliza O’Hare is moving to Inside Out from Bauer Media’s Harper’s Bazaar, where she was associate editor for three years.

O’Hare has nearly 30 years’ experience in the media and publishing industry, having started her career as a cadet at ACP magazines before working as a journalist and editor in both Australia and London.

During her career she has edited Dolly for ACP and B magazine for Pacific.

Lisa Green, editor-in-chief, Bauer Homes, said, “Eliza is an accomplished editor with extensive experience across significant brands, so I’m delighted she is taking the helm at Inside Out.

“The brand has a deeply engaged audience across print, digital and social and has continued to see growth since it was acquired by Bauer earlier this year. 2019 will be an exciting year, as Inside Out turns 15, so we’re looking forward to working with Eliza on a number of new initiatives and seeing the magazine flourish under her leadership.”

Of her appointment, O’Hare said, “I am absolutely thrilled to be starting on Inside Out. It’s such a dynamic brand, and readers have a real fondness for it. I love that it is a champion of Australian design. Australians are very good at creating incredible homes, gardens and interiors and we will continue to showcase the very best examples. The opportunities to develop the brand further are very exciting – irresistible really!”

See also: Bauer Media acquires three homes titles from News Corp

Acting editor Victoria Baker will remain with the magazine until the end of the year.

Bauer said Baker has been instrumental in the transition of Inside Out to Bauer Media in July, when Bauer Media acquired the title along with Country Style. Green said: “I would like to thank Victoria for her steady leadership at Inside Out. She has other plans for 2019 and we all wish her well.”

Bauer Media’s Homes portfolio includes Australian House and Garden, Belle, Country Style, Inside Out and Real Living.

News Corp denies Coles campaign confusing consumers

“What a messy weekend for newsagents because of the News Corp promoted Coles Little Shop Mini campaign,” reported newsagent Mark Fletcher on his newsagencyblog.com.au website.

Fletcher said News Corp aggressively promoted the free offer one the front of the paper, the paper sold in newsagencies.

“FREE TODAY WITH THE PAPER” said the pitch on the front page of the Sunday Herald Sun.

Fletcher continued: “However, it was not free with the paper, not in newsagencies. No, we had to tell shoppers they needed to go to Coles to buy the paper to get the free Little Shop Mini. How ridiculous. News Corp sold newsagents out.

“This is another example of the giant News Corp siding with its mate the giant Coles Corporation, to the detriment of small business newsagents.”

However News Corp challenged the commentary this morning, telling Mediaweek:

“The Coles Christmas Little Shop promotion is a fully funded campaign run by Coles, and the ads clearly advertised that the Coles mini was available at Coles – either on the front page pointer or inside the paper,” said a spokesperson.

“It’s important to note that more than 90% of retail promotions run by News Corp Australia every year support driving business through newsagencies. The most recent retail campaign we ran, the Anzac commemorative coin collection, was through newsagents, and not available in Coles or Woolworths. We ran half page ads on the front of our newspapers to support this retail campaign for newsagencies.

“News Corp will always include newsagencies in our major tent pole campaigns every quarter and we will continue to do so, helping to drive customers and business through their stores.”

QMS Media finalises terms of NZ merger with MediaWorks

QMS Media Limited has finalised terms for the merger of its New Zealand out-of-home, digital media and production business (QMS NZ) with MediaWorks, New Zealand’s leading independent radio, TV and digital business. The merger, on completion, will establish the newly combined QMS and MediaWorks as the largest multi-media advertising group in the country.


Key Facts

• QMS will merge its NZ out-of-home, digital media and production businesses into MediaWorks and in return will receive a 40% shareholding in the expanded MediaWorks business. Funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P (Oaktree) will retain a majority 60% shareholding.
• The merger implies a blended EV/EBITDA multiple of 10x forecast CY18 EBITDA (pre-synergies) for the QMS NZ businesses. QMS NZ is budgeted to deliver an A$12.8m contribution to the QMS Media Limited group in FY19.
• QMS will receive a capital return of approximately A$35m (subject to the finalisation of financing terms), which will provide increased financial flexibility for the QMS Media Limited group.
• Transaction completion is subject to finance approval and other customary conditions (including Overseas Investment Office NZ) and is expected to complete in the second quarter of CY19.
• The transaction is expected to be earnings per share (EPS) accretive for QMS Media shareholders in FY20, post cost and revenue synergies.
• QMS will hold two seats on the board, with Oaktree holding three.

Wayne Stevenson, chairman of QMS Media Limited said: “For QMS, this merger reinforces our prudent management of assets and realises value for shareholders from our investments in New Zealand. The transaction will allow us to continue to create further opportunities to unlock value for shareholders and further accelerate our growth in a consolidating environment.”

QMS NZ’s existing leadership will be strengthened by the out-of-home advertising industry experience of MediaWorks’ CEO Michael Anderson and chairman Jack Matthews, both of whom have significant knowledge and expertise across radio and TV as well as out-of-home. Michael Anderson will continue as CEO of the combined group.

Barclay Nettlefold, managing director and group CEO of QMS said: “It will be difficult to match the combined capabilities of this new multi-media group in New Zealand. This strategic approach is at the forefront of developing global industry trends and is the right decision, with the right partner and at the right time for QMS.”

Michael Anderson added: “Since announcing the proposal to merge, we have seen strong support from our clients who recognise the power of the integration we will now be able to provide across the four platforms. I am looking forward to bringing the businesses together, with our continued focus on local content and local client solutions. This partnership will really demonstrate the strength of a true multi-platform, local media company.”

QMS is being advised on this transaction by CLSA and Chapman Tripp. MediaWorks is being advised by UBS and MinterEllisonRuddWatts.

NBCUniversal International Networks & Fetch TV launching Oxygen

• The US true crime channel Oxygen is to be made available for the first time outside the US
•The fastest growing cable entertainment channel in the US for two years will launch as a Fetch “virtual channel” on January 1, 2019

Fetch TV and NBCUniversal International Networks (NBCUIN) have announced the Australian launch of Oxygen, a new “virtual channel” featuring the best in high-quality true crime and scripted crime programming.

Oxygen is available in over 77 million homes in the US, where it is the fastest growing cable entertainment channel for two years in a row. Australia will be the first market outside the US to launch Oxygen.

For Fetch subscribers, Oxygen will be the destination for premium true-crime series such as Snapped, Notorious: Aileen Wuornos, Killing Versace: The Hunt for a Serial Killer, Dannemora Prison Break, Kemper on Kemper: Inside the Mind of a Serial Killer, Killer Couples and The Disappearance of Crystal Rogers. The channel will also include a selection of scripted procedural crime shows from the NBCUniversal catalogue.

From January 1, Oxygen will join six other NBCUIN channels – Universal TV, E!, Style, SYFY, 13TH STREET and CNBC – on the Fetch platform. Presented ad-free and in high definition (HD), Oxygen will be available in the Fetch Variety Pack of 8 channels for $6 p/m, the Ultimate Pack of 48 Channels for $20 p/m, and the grandfathered Fetch Entertainment Pack.

Fetch will present Oxygen as a “virtual channel” that bridges the linear and on-demand worlds enabling subscribers to access Oxygen content through a branded on-demand area as well as via a scheduled EPG listing. The scheduled EPG listings will link straight to video-on-demand (VOD) assets enabling viewers to select shows from the EPG and have them play automatically from the start of the episode.

Viewers will also be able to move forwards in the EPG allowing those who still prefer the experience of a linear TV Guide to discover on-demand content in the more traditional way.

Scott Lorson, CEO of Fetch TV, said: “The true crime genre has taken off and audiences just can’t get enough. In the US, Oxygen has quickly established itself as the home of true crime, and the international success of its content speaks volumes about the engrossing nature of the channel. We are delighted to expand our partnership with NBCU International Networks to introduce Oxygen to Australian audiences.

Scott Lorson

“The innovative virtual channel concept has been developed by Fetch to provide our subscribers with a richer content discovery experience that adapts to the ever-changing behaviours of Australian audiences and bridges the linear and on-demand worlds. We see great potential to expand the virtual channel offering beyond Oxygen to include other premium branded content for our viewers to enjoy on-demand and ad-free.”

Chris Taylor, managing Director, NBCUniversal International Networks and Television Distribution, ANZ said: “Oxygen is known for delivering high-quality investigative docu-series from the best producers and talent in the true crime genre. The channel has seen phenomenal ratings growth in the US and, given the continued rise in popularity of true crime programming in Australia, is set to be a hit with local audiences, too.

Chris Taylor

“We are delighted to continue our partnership with Fetch to bring Oxygen to Australian viewers in a revolutionary channel format that allows for a more flexible user experience to enjoy our content on-demand.”

Box Office: How the Grinch stole top spot

Overall, it was a slow week in theatres with only one new entry in the top five and a 20% decline of total box office revenue, totalling $11.66m.

Despite debuting at number two last week The Grinch managed to move into top spot after only suffering an 11% decline on last week’s total.

Bohemian Rhapsody has continued its massive run as it finishes its sixth week in second spot bringing its total to $35.04m.

The only new entry this week is Mortal Engines, which takes the spot of 2.0 which made $157,072 in its second week in theatres.

Second Act ($979,222) and Overlord ($350,498) both failed to crack the top five in their opening weekends, while A Star is Born ($526,702) came in seventh place after eight weeks in theatres bringing its total to $30.99m.

#1 The Grinch $2.46m



The latest reimagining of the children’s classic had a strong second week moving into top spot thanks to a strong average of $7,640 across 323 screens.

#2 Bohemian Rhapsody $1.75m



You can’t stop it now, as the movie powered by the rock music of Queen continues to surge forward as Australian audiences show little fatigue as it averaged $4,997 across 352 screens.

#3 Creed II $1.64m



The latest instalment in the Rocky franchise dropped down to third this week but still produced a healthy average of $6,520 across 252 screens (the least of the top five).

#4 Mortal Engines $1.35



The only new entry to the top five this week and the latest foray into high budget fantasy for Peter Jackson averaged $4,132 across 327 screens.

#5 Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald $1.08m



The continuation of the Harry Potter universe continues to be a money machine as it cracks the one million mark for the fourth week in a row, after being shown across the most screens in the country (389) with an average of $2,794 per screen.

TV Demand charts: Mrs Maisel and F Is For Family new to top 10

The second season of Amazon’s The Marvellous Mrs Maisel has entered the Digital Original top 10 in Australia and New Zealand as soon as Amazon Prime released the new season.

Also making the Digital Originals chart this week in both markets was F Is For Family from Netflix. This was the launch of the third season of the animated sitcom.

On the Overall TV charts, Game Of Thrones has returned to the top in both markets.

The only new arrival was Vikings charting again in Australia after it returned to the top 10 a week ago in New Zealand.

TV Ratings Analysis: December 10

• ABC’s Australian Story and Back Roads biggest non-news shows
• Best of the rest: Media Watch, Border Patrol, Secret Life 4 Year Olds

By James Manning


The daytime cricket audience was strongest during the second session when Australia got closer to an improbable victory. The national audience was 561,000 with 374,000 metro viewers.

In the evening the last week of Home and Away for the year started on 588,000.

An hour of Border Patrol saw the two episodes on 435,000 and then 428,000.

Two episodes of God Friended Me did 383,000 and 314,000.


A Current Affair started its new week on 773,000 and was the timeslot winner and the most-watched program Monday after the 6pm news bulletins.

Family Food Fight then did 436,000.

The 2015 007 movie Spectre was on 293,000.


The Secret Life Of 4 Year Olds commanded the channel’s biggest audience – 443,000 at 7.30pm.

The Project after 7pm did 409,000 with husband and wife book authors Holly and Dave Hughes special guests.


Australian Story had an audience of 700,000 for an episode about what motivates an arsonist.

An episode of Back Roads at 8.30pm did 702,000 followed by a Best Of Back Roads on 607,000.

The final episode of Media Watch for 2018 did 544,000 followed by the final Q&A for the year on 402,000.


Part two of Elizabeth I And Her Enemies did 179,000 at 7.30pm.

Week 50 TV: Monday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 17.3% 7 17.2% 9 19.2% 10  9.2% SBS One 5.2%
ABC 2 2.6% 7TWO 3.6% GO! 4.0% 10 Bold 4.4% VICELAND 1.5%
ABC ME 0.7% 7mate 3.1% GEM 2.6% 10 Peach 1.8% Food Net 1.5%
ABC NEWS 1.5% 7flix 1.7% 9Life 2.0%     NITV 0.2%
    7Food 0.7%            
TOTAL 22.1%   26.3%   27.8%   15.3%   8.4%
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 16.7% 7 18.2% 9 14.3% WIN 8.8% SBS One 4.1%
ABC 2 2.5% 7TWO 5.4% GO! 4.0% WIN Bold 4.5% VICELAND 1.5%
ABC ME 1.1% 7mate 4.4% GEM 4.4% WIN Peach 2.0% Food Net 1.5%
ABC NEWS 1.6% 7flix 1.4% 9Life 2.4% Sky News  on WIN 0.9% NITV 0.4%
TOTAL 21.9%   29.4%   25.1%   16.2%   7.5%


84.7% 15.3%


Monday FTA
  1. Seven News Seven 908,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 897,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 896,000
  4. Nine News Nine 891,000
  5. A Current Affair Nine 773,000
  6. Australian Story ABC 727,000
  7. 7.30 ABC 709,000
  8. Back Roads S4 ABC 702,000
  9. ABC News ABC 675,000
  10. Back Roads S4 (Best Of) ABC 607,000
  11. Home And Away Seven 588,000
  12. Media Watch ABC 544,000
  13. Hot Seat Nine 487,000
  14. The Chase Australia Seven 469,000
  15. The Secret Life Of 4 Year Olds 10 443,000
  16. Family Food Fight Nine 436,000
  17. Border Patrol Seven 435,000
  18. Border Patrol-Ep.2 Seven 428,000
  19. The Project 7pm 10 409,000
  20. Q&A-Le ABC 402,000
Demo Top 5

16-39 Top Five

  1. The Secret Life Of 4 Year Olds 10 125,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 113,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 105,000
  4. Home And Away Seven 100,000
  5. Seven News Seven 97,000


18-49 Top Five

  1. Nine News 6:30 Nine 220,000
  2. Nine News Nine 200,000
  3. A Current Affair Nine 196,000
  4. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 192,000
  5. The Secret Life Of 4 Year Olds 10 190,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. Nine News 6:30 Nine 278,000
  2. A Current Affair Nine 257,000
  3. Nine News Nine 254,000
  4. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 251,000
  5. Seven News Seven 241,000
  1. The Big Bang Theory Tx1 9GO! 173,000
  2. The Big Bang Theory Tx2 9GO! 173,000
  3. Peter Rabbit ABCKIDS/COMEDY 167,000
  4. Luo Bao Bei ABCKIDS/COMEDY 165,000
  5. Doc Martin PM 7TWO 161,000
  6. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 151,000
  7. NCIS Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 148,000
  8. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 146,000
  9. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 146,000
  10. Octonauts ABCKIDS/COMEDY 144,000
  11. Wanda And The Alien PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 143,000
  12. Dino Dana ABCKIDS/COMEDY 143,000
  13. Waffle The Wonder Dog PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 134,000
  14. New Tricks 9Gem 134,000
  15. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 132,000
  16. Fireman Sam AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 131,000
  17. Becca’s Bunch PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 129,000
  18. Andy’s Wild Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 128,000
  19. Neighbours 10 Peach 125,000
  20. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 124,000
  1. Live: Tea For Two FOX CRICKET 214,000
  2. Live: Aus V Ind 1st Test Day 5 FOX CRICKET 172,000
  3. Live: The Big Break FOX CRICKET 115,000
  4. Live: Aus V Ind 1st Test Day 5 FOX CRICKET 112,000
  5. Outlander FOX SHOWCASE 74,000
  6. Live: Aus V Ind 1st Test Day 5 FOX CRICKET 72,000
  7. The Brokenwood Mysteries 13TH STREET 62,000
  8. The Flash FOX8 55,000
  9. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 52,000
  10. The Simpsons FOX8 52,000
  11. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 51,000
  12. Criminal Minds TVH!TS 42,000
  13. Long Lost Family LifeStyle Channel 41,000
  14. The Simpsons FOX8 39,000
  15. PML Overtime Sky News Live 38,000
  16. Sharri Sky News Live 38,000
  17. Family Guy FOX8 38,000
  18. American Dad! FOX8 36,000
  19. Bones TVH!TS 36,000
  20. Family Guy FOX8 36,000

Shares all people, 6pm-midnight, Overnight (Live and AsLive), Audience numbers FTA metro, Sub TV national
Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2018. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM

Media News Roundup

Business of Media

Nine starts selling opportunities in new media group on day one

Nine has moved quickly to align its newly combined sales structure in order to create fully integrated marketing solutions for its partners across television, video on demand, digital publishing and print.

Under the new integrated sales structure Nine will co-locate all of the 500-plus sales staff from Nine and Fairfax into its Nine sales offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. This process is expected to be completed by early January.

Nine also announced two sales promotions within the merged business.

Nine’s Pippa Leary is promoted to the newly created role of director – sales strategy and product commercialisation. Leary will be responsible for commercial strategy and the monetisation of Nine’s digital and publishing assets. In addition, she will continue to develop Nine’s programmatic sales solutions, and take responsibility for the commercialisation of the combined group’s data asset.

“We have a fantastic opportunity based on our suite of high-growth assets and our unique data proposition to create market-leading advertising solutions for our advertisers,” said Stephenson. “There now is no one better in Australia than Pippa Leary to enable us to do that.”

Nine also announced that former Fairfax chief revenue officer Matt Rowley is appointed to the newly created role of director of sales – publishing. He will have revenue responsibility for all of Nine’s digital assets – nine.com.au, 9Honey, 9Now, smh.com.au, theage.com.au, afr.com.au, brisbanetimes.com.au and watoday.com.au – as well as the major metro titles: The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review.

“Matt’s wealth of experience across both client and agency side, in Australia and abroad, together with his understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing Australian marketers makes him the perfect person to lead our publishing sales teams in-market,” Stephenson said.

Read more at mediaweek.com.au

Photo: Michael Stephenson with Pippa Leary

A media business for the future, offering greater value to advertisers

Nine’s chief sales officer Michael Stephenson also sent out a note to advertisers yesterday:

Today is the first day of operation for our merged company. I wanted to take this opportunity to explain what the merger will mean for our advertising partners.

The merger was driven by the need to continue to transform our company to create a media business for the future, one that could offer even greater value to our advertising partners.

Nine is now Australia’s most diverse media company. We will now be able to create marketing platforms for you around our content across television, video on demand, digital publishing and print to deliver real sales outcomes for your business.

In a practical sense, the most immediate change is that we are aligning and co-locating our television, digital and publishing sales teams across the country to ensure we can meet your needs across all parts of our business.

Powered by Nine, which includes strategy, insights and effectiveness, content partnerships, client experience and Powered Studios, will be fully integrated from day one and ready to create big ideas across the expanded suite of Nine’s assets.

Over the course of 2019, the merger will allow us to create a whole range of new and exciting opportunities for brands using our content, our expanded data proposition and innovation in technology.

Accenture buys Australian Oracle reseller PrimeQ for $31 million

US consulting giant Accenture has acquired local Oracle reseller and managed services provider PrimeQ for $31 million, in a rapid rise for the Adelaide-based company that was only founded three years ago, reports The AFR’s Yolanda Redrup.

The deal creates the largest Oracle cloud systems integrator in the country, after PrimeQ had grown to become one of Accenture’s biggest rivals for local Oracle deals, alongside Deloitte.

In the last financial year to June 30, PrimeQ recorded $28.2 million in revenue, up from only $9 million the year before. At the same time it grew profits to $481,377, up from a $5.8 million loss in 2017.

The company, which is led by co-founder Andrew McAdams, is predominantly owned by the company’s five founders and a handful of wealthy families from Adelaide.

[Read the original]

News Brands

Digital news review: The country newspaper Rod Sims would save

Reporter Belinda-Jane Davis teared up as she explained to Maitland Mercury editor Rick Allen the district’s normally lush farms were so dry horses and cattle were fighting over hay, reports The AFR’s Aaron Patrick.

“We have to do something,” the 31-year-old pleaded. “These people produce our food. These are people’s lives and they need help.”

Out of that February conversation about the NSW drought emerged one of the most successful news campaigns waged by country newspapers in years. It has also become an example of why a hard-core free-market regulator is pushing for government support for newspapers.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims on Monday proposed the creation of a new regulator to monitor Google and Facebook’s impact on Australian journalism.

The agency would, in effect, shame the American tech giants into directing readers to media outlets like the 175-year-old Maitland Mercury that invest in on-the-ground journalism.

[Read the original]

Former Victoria Fairfax executive to lead new comms team

Former Fairfax journalist and publisher of The Age, Mark Hawthorne, is to spearhead Civic Financial Communications, the new investor relations and financial communications arm of Melbourne lobbying and PR shop The Civic Group, reports The AFR’s Myriam Robin.

The new business is part of The Civic Group, which is fronted by former ALP assistant state secretary Andres Puig and Liberal strategist Jason Aldworth.

[Read the original]

Dee Madigan found in contempt of Queensland Parliament over tweet

Advertising executive Dee Madigan has been found in contempt of the Queensland Parliament’s strict rules prohibiting chamber footage being used for satire and ridicule, reports The Australian’s Jared Ownes.

Madigan, a prominent Labor campaigner, was targeted by parliament’s ethics committee after Liberal National frontbencher Jarrod Bleijie objected to a tweet she published in May.

The tweet, which showed Bleijie tearing a piece of paper on the floor of parliament, was accompanied by the caption, “Your taxes at work. A toddler tantrum for @JarrodBleijieMP”.

The committee concluded Madigan’s tweet was “a contempt of the parliament” but it was “relatively minor” and did not warrant further action.

[Read the original]

‘It’s got to stop’: Cassandra Thorburn slams paparazzi

Cassandra Thorburn has asked paparazzi to stop harassing her amid a flurry of stories about ex-husband Karl Stefanovic’s weekend wedding in Mexico, reports The Age’s Broede Carmody.

On Monday, New Idea published a story claiming Thorburn had called the father of her three children a “fake person” while leaving Sydney Airport after spending time interstate. The magazine also quoted her questioning whether Stefanovic’s famous sexism experiment was genuine.

Now, the journalist-turned-children’s author has slammed the report, saying she didn’t give any doorstop interviews while passing through the airport, and claiming that a man who identified himself as an “experienced journalist” had even followed her to the bathroom.

It’s not the first time Thorburn has expressed frustration with the media. In September, she appeared on Studio 10 to promote her children’s book and reminded people not to believe everything they read.

[Read the original]

Columnist: It’s time for Cassandra Thorburn to stop talking publicly

It is time to stop talking publicly Cass, writes News Corp’s Jonathon Moran.

Cassandra Thorburn’s latest rant against ex-husband Karl Stefanovic only really impacts three people – their children, River, 12, Ava, 13, and Jackson, 19.

To come out the day after the wedding labelling her ex “fake” and narcissistic is ugly to say the least.

While the dialogue is true that 44-year-old Stefanovic is with a younger woman, she is 34, not 18. Ten years when you’re in your 30s and 40s is no big deal.

I’m a single guy with no kids. So I understand I may cop backlash for writing this, but it is my true opinion.

[Read the original]


Author Kate Morton wins $500,000 in legal battle with agent

Literary agent Selwa Anthony has lost a high-profile lawsuit against bestselling Australian author Kate Morton, instead having to fork out more than $500,000 for the Shifting Fog writer, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Angus Thompson.

Anthony began NSW Supreme Court proceedings over an alleged breach of contract after Morton suddenly sacked her in 2015 following a longstanding working relationship.

Anthony claimed she and Morton agreed during a telephone conversation in March 2002 that the agent would get a 15% commission of all money earned by the author for the life of the works for which she negotiated the publishing agreement.

Morton, whose five bestsellers have earned her royalties of more than $17.3 million since she came onto the literary scene in 2005, counter-sued, accusing Anthony of depriving her of opportunities as a fledgling author.

[Read the original]


Island Records Australia celebrates success of Dean Lewis

It has been an incredible year globally for Island Records Australia recording artist Dean Lewis whose single Be Alright has topped charts worldwide, hitting 500 million streams and peaking at #2 most Shazamed track in the world.

Spending the last two months touring and promoting his current single throughout the USA has paid off well for the Australian artist, with Be Alright impacting charts and now achieving Gold certification by RIAA in the USA.

In Australia, Be Alright spent five consecutive weeks at #1 on the ARIA Singles Chart.

Throughout Europe it has hit #1 in Switzerland and Czech Republic, #2 in Germany, #8 in Netherlands, #25 in France, and Top 50 in Canada at Pop Radio.

Be Alright topped the Apple Music, Shazam, iTunes and Spotify Charts in Australia, peaking at #1 in six markets and Top 10 in 23 countries on iTunes, and reaching the Top 5 in 13 markets on Apple Music. Now with over 15 million monthly Spotify listeners, internationally Lewis has reached #1 in five markets, Top 5 in 13 countries and Top 10 in 23 countries.

Be Alright is now certified:
• 4x Platinum in Australia
• Gold in USA
• Silver in UK
• 2x Platinum in Ireland
• 2x Platinum in Norway
• 2x Platinum in Sweden
• Platinum in New Zealand
• Platinum in Netherlands
• Platinum in Canada
• Platinum in Switzerland
• Gold in Brazil
• Gold in South Africa
• Gold in Denmark
• Gold in Belgium
• Gold in Finland
• Gold in Austria

Capping off his enormous year of dominating the charts, huge single sales and sold-out live shows, the breakthrough artist continues his largest tour to date in Australia supported by Robinson and Jack Gray. Headlining shows in Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, his fifth and final Metro Show in Sydney has set a record in 2018 for the most shows at the venue on an individual tour by the one artist.

Following his Summer Tour, Lewis will be performing at the AO Live Stage at the 2019 Australian Open plus the Falls Festival in January and then more US touring in early 2019.


NITV prepares for 2019 with four executive appointments

NITV has celebrated its 2018 success with four Indigenous executive appointments to continue channel growth.

In the six years since launching as a free-to-air channel, NITV, the national Indigenous television service, is celebrating what it is calling its most successful year to date, telling more stories for, by and about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and winning multiple industry awards.

NITV has announced four senior Indigenous appointments, who will be responsible for growing NITV’s on-air and online platforms, delivering Indigenous content for all Australians.

Tanya Orman

Tanya Orman, NITV channel manager said, “NITV is proud to deliver trusted and quality Indigenous storytelling that offers a different perspective, otherwise untold in the mainstream media. We are also committed to building a strong, sustainable Indigenous media for the future by supporting and championing Indigenous media practitioners, developing strong leaders and champions of tomorrow.”

Adam Manovic has been appointed to managing producer NITV internal productions and will be accountable for the effective management and performance of NITV’s internal production and promos teams. Manovic, a proud Latj Latji and Gurang Gurang man from North Western Victoria, has worked at NITV for over 10 years and in media for nearly 20 years in a variety of roles across community radio, community television and commercial television.

Rhanna Collins

Rhanna Collins, a proud Palawa woman, has worked at NITV for the past four years and has been appointed as executive editor, working across NITV’s news and current affairs digital and on air portfolio. Collins is an experienced cross platform producer and journalist with a strong news, current affairs and journalism background. She has worked as a journalist, producer and editor in newsrooms within Australian media companies over the past decade including Foxtel, The Weather Channel and Sky News. She has also had extensive production experience working in creative agencies including The Milkbar & Zealot Inc.

Julie Nimmo

Walkley Award-winning Julie Nimmo joins as senior digital editor, working across NITV’s online news and current affairs. Nimmo is a proud Wiradjuri journalist who has worked in broadcast media and communications for over 25 years, directing and producing numerous documentaries and content on arts, sports and entertainment for SBS, ABC, Channel 10 and NITV.

Jack Latimore

Jack Latimore also joins as a senior digital editor and is a critically acclaimed Birpai Guri writer, journalist, editor, speaker and recipient of the Ossie Awards’ John Newfong Prize for Reporting on Indigenous Affairs in 2016.

Peter Stefanovic ‘rattled’ after speculation about Weekend Today

Co-host Peter Stefanovic could be jettisoned from Channel 9’s Weekend Today after a second stint at the helm of the breakfast show, reports Sydney Confidential.

The rumour mill has been clunking into overdrive amid growing whispers the seasoned reporter and presenter is moving back to the Nine newsroom full time.

The 37-year-old former war correspondent, who returned in January to front the weekend program for the second time with Allison Langdon, is said to be “rattled” by the news.

Nine has issued a firm denial of Peter’s exit from the weekend show.

“It’s scuttlebutt, he’s not going anywhere.

“He’s currently on annual leave, that’s why he’s not presenting.”

[Read the original]

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