Wednesday February 14, 2018

Mediaweek meets The Programmers – Nine’s Hamish Turner

In our series of interviews with the controllers of what Australians get to watch on television, Mediaweek’s James Manning speaks to Nine’s program director Hamish Turner.

Mediaweek’s James Manning spoke to Nine’s program director Hamish Turner shortly after an industry briefing on continued growth at 9Now. During the presentation Turner and Nine GM of video Niamh Collins discussed the Nine strategy across FTA, VOD, digital and content production.

9Now has now more than 5m registered users, which means it has enjoyed 100% growth YOY. It has been working hard on improving the customer experience with things like sign-up, the ad experience and content availability and discovery.

9Now launched a big initiative called Summer Love over the holiday period that offered 15 new programs and 1,000+ hours of new and Nine classic series.

Love Island UK was the best of the recent content, while McLeod’s Daughters was easily the most popular among the classics from the vault.

During our one-on-one with Turner, we started asking if 2018 is different for Nine.

For us, at the beginning of last year the challenge was to make an inroad into the competition. It was fair to say that in 2016 we didn’t have a great start to the year with Australia’s Got Talent.

The challenge for us was to deliver a show that would drive demos and we saw Married At First Sight as the perfect vehicle to do that.

2017 was all about establishing the new iteration of Married At First Sight – taking it from a traditional ob doc series into a more traditional reality series. [Episodes climbed from eight to 29.]

We had great success with that, big TV audiences and strong engagement across owned and operated platforms. It was the biggest show for us on 9Now in 2017. We want to make it even bigger in 2018.

We only have eight weeks from the end of the tennis until Easter when Married will end.

We also have Chopper at the beginning of the year – we didn’t have a big drama at the start of last year.

We have already been getting great demo numbers for Travel Guides. It is a great companion piece to Married and it is up year-on-year.

Tell us about Date Night.

It is basically Swipe At First Sight. A group of friends get together and decide who their friends are going to date. It is doesn’t take itself too seriously and it is a bit of fun. Screentime has done a great job with it and it has a companion app.

You have programmed something other than movies on a Saturday night.

David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II kicks off on Saturday night. It is a bit of a change in direction. There is a real audience that loves that style of content on a Saturday and we expect it to deliver good year-on-year increases.

Where can you go next with Underbelly?

It all comes down to whether there is a good story. There have been 10 years of crime since it first started so there could be plenty of content to explore. We just need to make sure it doesn’t get stuck in the courts, which has been an issue in the past.

How do you handle the schedule around big sporting events elsewhere?

We see the Winter Olympics as on opportunity.

You seemed to reveal your 7.30pm schedule last year.

Correct. It will go Married At First Sight, The Voice, Australian Ninja Warrior, The Block. On GO! don’t forget about Love Island – it has been designed as a 16-39 vehicle and that is why we settled on GO! as the home for that. The commission of Love Island is a huge shift in strategy for us. Social will be a huge part of that and stay tuned to see what we have planned there.

What are you plans with drama?

What the success of The Good Doctor shows is there remains an appetite if the show is right. However, it hasn’t really changed the way we view US drama. The schedule will never return to multiple US dramas competing against each other. At Nine we are currently asking what will drama look like for us in the future, not just on linear, but on platforms like 9Now. Our classic series McLeod’s Daughters worked very well on 9Now across the summer.

If we can drive a big audience through linear and then grow and engage that audience across our platforms, that is our ideal. We saw that with The Block last year.

Drama remains a big part of the Nine brand identity. We don’t want to be just news and wall-to-wall reality. We will provide a diverse offering and it remains part of our offering.

We are not turning our back on drama, merely taking time working out how it will look in the future. Maybe there will be a drama commission for 9Now.

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Twitter turns a profit: Audience and profit growth attracting more brands to platform

• “We want to double the amount of video content we have on Twitter”

By James Manning

Not only has Twitter turned a profit in Q4 2017 but, according to Twitter Australia CEO Suzy Nicoletti, the company is continuing to grow.

“Audience and engagement numbers are up and our average daily users are up double digits for the fifth consecutive quarter. We are also now reporting revenue growth,” she told Mediaweek.

Nicoletti reminded us of the strategy change where the focus has been very much on making Twitter simpler and safer. “Last year we spoke with Mediaweek about live content and making Twitter the destination for live programming and premium video.”

Live has taken off for Twitter with over 1,140 live events globally in 2017, and it has become particularly important in Australia.

“Some of the key events we streamed in the past year include the second year of the Melbourne Cup and we grew the audience globally. We also streamed ABC’s coverage of the same-sex marriage survey and the Pitch Perfect 3 red carpet. We went head-to-head with other social platforms on those events and we emerged as the most-viewed platform.”

With Nicoletti noting the strategy is working, Twitter wants to be even more ambitious in 2018. “By this time next year we want to double the amount of video content we have on Twitter.”

Other live events on Twitter recently included Sydney’s New Year’s Eve fireworks and just this week Twitter live streamed Four Corners. Other attractions are as diverse as live surfing and live indigenous rugby league.

“With a lot of brands noting we are doing so well in the space, they are coming to speak to us. This week we have been excited about our partnership with SBS, which will see us live streaming the 40th Mardi Gras to a global audience.

“We did a number of trials in 2017 with niche sports to see if we could find an audience and we have been blown away with the results. We are looking for more events in 2018 to take Australian sports to the rest of the world.

“We built our content from the Australian Open this year with our AO Live show twice a day with an AM and PM preview.”

Globally Twitter video views increased year-on-year from 3.8m to 11.7m.

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Mediaweek's fashion preview: Harper’s Bazaar editor-in-chief Kellie Hush

Magazine numbers might be down, yet the category is far from a spent force. Mediaweek’s James Manning and Kruti Joshi are spending time over the next few months talking to editors about their print and digital strategies and editorial highlights.

Harper’s Bazaar editor-in-chief Kellie Hush has been talking to Mediaweek’s Kruti Joshi about its new March edition:

Our March and September issues are traditionally our biggest issues of the year pagewise and also in regards to advertising revenue. This year our March issue is a bumper one as we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of Harper’s Bazaar Australia. There is a lot of hype around the issue and our commercial partners have been very eager to be a part of it.

It’s our 20th anniversary so every page is a highlight! We have interviewed the innovative women shaping fashion, from sustainability pioneer Stella McCartney to Australian resort wear gurus Nicky and Simone Zimmermann. We have photographed globetrotting Victoria’s Secret stars Victoria Lee and Georgia Fowler on the beach. We also chart the 10 defining moments that rocked the beauty world in the past 20 years, and profile the industry A-listers putting Australia on the global beauty map.

Rising star Elizabeth Debicki reflects on the year that changed her life. Hollywood super-stylist Karla Welch advocates for social change. Digital influencer Margaret Zhang joins Romper Stomper star Sophie Lowe to confront the clichés about the millennial generation. Bar tsar Justin Hemmes and Kate Fowler open up their harbourside home. Fairfax’s social diarist Andrew Hornery compares the Australian social scene in 1998 to today’s. Bazaarpresents its 20 best-dressed Australian women from the fields of fashion, media, politics and more.


TV Ratings Analysis

By James Manning

• Week 1 trend: Married biggest metro/demos, Seven securing biggest shares
• Winter Olympics continue to keep audiences up late with 900,000+

Combined channel share was close to 40% again for Seven as it continues to post winning figures in the first week of survey.


A surprise romance started last night on Home and Away with 677,000 watching after 707,000 on Monday.

Truffle farmer Henry and his sister invited the judges and the rest of My Kitchen Rules group 2 to their farm in Tasmania. They were almost in record territory until an apple and pear crumble dessert let them down a little. They did manage a good score of 107 out of 130 though, thanks in no small part to the 20 out of 20 for their whipped brie with truffle and eschalots with Manu adding it was his favourite dish ever in nine seasons of the show. The episode was on 1.02m, again narrowly trailing Married At First Sight.

It was already night four from Pyeongchang with a Winter Olympics audience of 914,000.


Magistrate Tony Parsons and his drug court featured on A Current Affair with 778,000 after a big 877,000 on Monday.

A shock split that no-one saw coming on Married At First Sight. Really? Except perhaps the people who think none of these couples will stay together for long. After 903,000 on Tuesday last week, last night’s episode was on 1.05m to rank #1 all people and in key demos.

Date Night followed with Aussie singles trying to get their friends to swipe right. The quick half hour did 529,000 on debut.

Episode 3 of season 2 of the UK’s  One Night With My Ex then did 229,000.


It has been revealed that Lisa Wilkinson’s secret international assignment last week was to interview Celine Dion in Las Vegas ahead of her Australian tour. The interview could bring a much-needed lift to the Sunday episode of The Project this weekend. Meanwhile Tuesday featured Pete Helliar’s new segment Pollie Waffle and earlier the program featured the return of Courtney Act and did 482,000 after 7pm.

First full day in camp in South Africa for royal intruders Paul and Vicky on I’m A Celebrity. After 627,000 a week ago, last night the show pulled 526,000.

A fun episode of Hughesy, We Have A Problem featured Merrick Watts, Kate Langbroek, Sam Simmons and Anne Edmonds. Last night it did 450,000 after 512,000 a week ago.


The Checkout was investigating Ticketek and how it was virtually impossible to get them on the phone… even at 2am. The show had much better luck reaching out on social media. The episode also featured rip-off power prices and attracted 494,000 after 521,000 a week ago.

“Back to the Moon” was the name of the Catalyst episode with 364,000 watching.


Who Do You Think You Are? featured the wife of Rupert MurdochJerry Hall. The episode did 156,000.

Insight and then Dateline returned. The former had 217,000 watching an episode about surprise pregnancy, while the latter did 201,000 with a look at how online dating is transforming an old Viking settlement.

Week 7 TV: Tuesday
ABC Seven Nine Ten SBS
ABC 9.0% 7 26.6% 9 19.8% TEN 11.6% SBS One 4.1%
ABC 2 2.1% 7TWO 2.9% GO! 1.7% ONE 2.3% VICELAND 0.7%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 7.3% GEM 3.1% ELEVEN 3.0% Food Net 0.7%
ABC News 1.2% 7flix 1.8% 9Life 1.3% NITV 0.1%
TOTAL 13.0% 38.7% 25.9% 16.9% 5.6%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates Ten Affiliates SBS
ABC 9.2% 7 24.9% 9 16.7% WIN 11.4% SBS One 4.0%
ABC 2 1.9% 7TWO 4.4% GO! 2.0% ONE 2.6% VICELAND 1.0%
ABC ME 1.2% 7mate 6.7% GEM 5.1% ELEVEN 4.2% Food Net 0.6%
NEWS 24 1.0% 7flix 1.7% 9Life 1.0% NITV 0.1%
TOTAL 13.3% 37.7% 24.8% 18.2% 5.7%
88.4% 11.6%
Tuesday fta
  1. Married At First Sight Nine 1,057,000
  2. My Kitchen Rules Seven 1,025,000
  3. Seven News Seven 1,012,000
  4. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 931,000
  5. Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games: Night 4 Seven 914,000
  6. Nine News 6:30 Nine 908,000
  7. Nine News Nine 882,000
  8. A Current Affair Nine 778,000
  9. Home And Away Seven 677,000
  10. ABC News ABC 650,000
  11. The Chase Australia Seven 577,000
  12. 7.30 ABC 538,000
  13. Date Night Nine 529,000
  14. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Tues Ten 526,000
  15. The Checkout ABC 494,000
  16. The Project 7pm Ten 482,000
  17. Hot Seat Nine 456,000
  18. Hughesy, We Have A Problem Ten 450,000
  19. Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games: Late 4 Seven 403,000
  20. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 400,000
Demo Top fives

16-39 Top 5

  1. Married At First Sight Nine 346,000
  2. Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games: Night 4 Seven 276,000
  3. My Kitchen Rules Seven 255,000
  4. Date Night Nine 185,000
  5. A Current Affair Nine 156,000


18-49 Top 5

  1. Married At First Sight Nine 520,000
  2. Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games: Night 4 Seven 413,000
  3. My Kitchen Rules Seven 388,000
  4. Date Night Nine 284,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 260,000


25-54 Top 5

  1. Married At First Sight Nine 554,000
  2. Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games: Night 4 Seven 452,000
  3. My Kitchen Rules Seven 426,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 304,000
  5. Date Night Nine 302,000
Tuesday multichannel
  1. Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games: Night 4 Feed 2 7mate 289,000
  2. Dot. ABC2 186,000
  3. Go Jetters ABC2 182,000
  4. X-Men-PM 7mate 181,000
  5. Peter Rabbit ABC2 181,000
  6. Neighbours ELEVEN 170,000
  7. Andy’s Prehistoric Adventures ABC2 169,000
  8. Octonauts ABC2 157,000
  9. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABC2 153,000
  10. Midsomer Murders 9Gem 150,000
  11. The Hive-PM ABC2 148,000
  12. Shaun The Sheep ABC2 148,000
  13. Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games: Day 4 Feed 2 7mate 141,000
  14. Neighbours 7pm ELEVEN 141,000
  15. Peppa Pig-PM ABC2 139,000
  16. Floogals-PM ABC2 134,000
  17. New Tricks 9Gem 129,000
  18. Hey Duggee-AM ABC2 126,000
  19. Kazoops!-PM ABC2 120,000
  20. Fireman Sam-PM ABC2 116,000
Tuesday subscription tv
  1. Live: Cricket: Trans-Tasman Twenty20 FOX SPORTS 505 53,000
  2. Paul Murray Live SKY NEWS LIVE 50,000
  3. The Bolt Report SKY NEWS LIVE 49,000
  4. Credlin SKY NEWS LIVE 48,000
  5. Jones & Co SKY NEWS LIVE 44,000
  6. Murdoch Mysteries 13TH STREET 40,000
  7. The Professionals FOX Classics 35,000
  8. Speers SKY NEWS LIVE 35,000
  9. Play Along With Sam Nick Jr. 33,000
  10. The Big Bang Theory COMEDY CHANNEL 33,000
  11. Puppies Make You Laugh Out Loud FOX8 31,000
  12. Live: Football: AFC Champions League FOX SPORTS 501 30,000
  13. Curious George Nick Jr. 30,000
  14. PML Overtime SKY NEWS LIVE 29,000
  15. NCIS TVH!TS 29,000
  16. Motorway Patrol FOX8 29,000
  17. Family Guy FOX8 29,000
  18. American Dad! FOX8 29,000
  19. The Simpsons FOX8 27,000
  20. S.W.A.T. FOX8 27,000

Media News Roundup

Business Of Media

Dentsu Aegis profits: Australia top 5 market, Q4 lifts after weaker earlier in year

In FY2017 the Dentsu Group has reported global total gross profit growth of 9.2% (constant currency basis) and organic gross profit growth of 0.1%.

Highlights as reported by the company:

• FY2017 saw Dentsu in Japan deliver a resilient performance against the backdrop of a challenging market. While the market continued the transition to digital media, Dentsu in Japan remained focused on further developing its digital capabilities to offer clients new opportunities for consumer engagement and growth.

• The international business, Dentsu Aegis Network, delivered total gross profit growth of 17.1% with a record year for net new business: $5.2bn of net new media billings. This success will drive above peer group average organic growth in FY2018.

• In FY2017, Dentsu Aegis Network made a total of 31 acquisitions and investments to accelerate its growth strategy.

Regionally, the Americas contributed 40% of Dentsu Aegis Network gross profit, EMEA 35% and APAC excluding Japan 25%. The continued expansion and diversification of the global gross profit footprint is evidenced by double digit growth (at constant currency) in countries such as India, Russia, Malaysia, Denmark, Poland and Sweden.

In APAC excluding Japan, Dentsu Aegis Network delivered organic gross profit decline of 0.6% in FY2017, including a growth of 2.6% in Q4 FY2017.

The Q4 FY2017 showed a strong performance in Australia, one of our top five markets, after a weaker Q2 and Q3.

Corina Cosma GM, Melbourne at dentsu X; James Hawkins – MD APAC, dentsu X; Simon Ryan – CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network ANZ

China remained a challenging market, our exposure to Western and Japanese clients remained solid but reduced spend by local clients continued. Recent management changes in China will strengthen our position going forward.

Guidance for Dentsu Aegis Network for FY2018 is low to mid-single digit organic gross profit growth. We expect to return to outperforming the peer group in FY2018 driven by our strong new business performance. Further margin moderation is expected in FY2018 at Dentsu Aegis Network as planned investments to support business growth continue. Margin growth is expected from FY2019 onwards.

Sports grant: Foxtel/News still to explain how it will spend $30m from government

News Corp is refusing to explain exactly how it will spend taxpayers’ money more than six months after the Turnbull government granted Foxtel $30 million, reports Fairfax Media’s Broede Carmody.

Foxtel has been airing AFL Women’s League games as well as women’s softball in recent weeks. However, it is unclear whether taxpayer funds were used to obtain these broadcast rights.

Foxtel must broadcast sports that involve Australian female athletes or teams with a high level of community involvement and participation, according to the funding agreement. It must also support less-popular sports with a history of little-to-no exposure on national TV.

[Read the original]


Bauer Media & Female Futures: 10m Words initiative, Story54, Pop-up products

Bauer Media yesterday presented a Female Futures trends forecast, highlighting changing global cultural trends affecting society in years to come.

The study, which was conducted in partnership with British forecasting consultancy The Future Laboratory, explains the importance of women as a market, an audience and a political force.

The well-attended breakfast was held at an event centre in Alexandria.

Bauer Media’s CEO Australia and New Zealand, Paul Dykzeul, indicated the publisher was doing more than just making the right noises about equality and opportunity as he outlined how Bauer has put the business under a microscope and is working towards a Female Future, announcing:

• 10 Million Words initiative: A corporate promise to write 10 Million Words across its portfolio of premium cross-platform brands to support the drive for a Female Future.

• Story54: The introduction of Bauer’s new division that will deliver entertainment and storytelling for women, by women. Story54 will be led by general manager Jane Waterhouse, and brings together an expanded division of content and creative teams within Bauer Media to deliver insight-led storytelling for clients.

• Print magazine innovation with a series of pop-up magazines speaking to new female audiences over the coming year.

• Womentolove: A new digital destination elevating women in the arts and celebrating the importance of creativity to bring about the Female Future.


Photo [L-R]: Ruth Marshall-Johnson, Foresight Director, The Future Laboratory, Ally Watson, CEO Code Like A Girl, Sunita Gloster CMO Advisory, PwC and Australian Gourmet Traveller editor Sarah Oakes


Australia’s longest-running travel and lifestyle program back for its 27th series

Australia’s longest-running travel and lifestyle program, Getaway, returns for its 27th series on Saturday February 17, at 5.30pm on Nine and 9Now.

In the premiere episode, Catriona Rowntree will confront her fear of sharks, snorkelling in the tropical waters off Fiji. Jason Dundas heads to Wanaka on New Zealand’s South Island to tackle Wildwire – the world’s highest waterfall climb. Having spent the best part of his life on the Mornington Peninsula, David Reyne shows off the sights and delights of the region. Meanwhile, Charli Robinson is in Queensland to check out the Sunshine Coast’s newest holiday park.

Catriona Rowntree confronting her fear of sharks

Catriona Rowntree, who joined the Getaway team in 1996, says she is not surprised by the continued popularity of the show.

“Twenty-six years after Getaway premiered, we continue to explore the globe, and Aussies’ passion for travel seems to be infinite. We are all so grateful each time our phones ring to ask if we are able to share our journeys. It really feels like a privilege to do so,” she said.

Fairfax’s Karl Quinn on Married: “Pure soap opera…nothing short of masterful”

It’s hard to recall that it was ever so, but in the beginning Married at First Sight took that “scientific experiment” bunkum at least half seriously, comments Fairfax Media’s Karl Quinn.

There seemed a slim chance that the lovelorn might actually meet a soulmate within the artificial construct of marriage to a stranger.

Now though, forget it. It’s pure soap opera – and as the last 20 minutes or so of Tuesday night’s episode proved, a pretty superior one at that.

As Dean prepared for his long-teased, on-the-sly meeting with Davina, instawife Tracey was catching up with Gabrielle (she of alopecia and Nasser fame) for a drink and chinwag. The back and forth between these two scenes was nothing short of masterful.

[Read the original]

Nine's cracked down on drinking during filming of new Married at First Sight

Channel 9 was forced to crack down on drinking during the filming of the current season of Married at First Sight, reports News Corp’s Kristy Symonds.

Executive producer John Walsh has revealed the cast members’ alcohol consumption was monitored “more closely” following concerns that it fuelled bad behaviour, including claims by former brides that drinking was “encouraged” on set.

Walsh told Confidential some of this year’s talent were “cut off” early if crew believed they were at risk of acting under the influence of alcohol.

“A couple of times we did cut people off early and put them on water for the rest of the night,” Walsh said.

“It’s part of a duty of care.”

[Read the original]

Fourth radio broadcaster pushing for access to NRL matches to syndicate

A fourth radio station is poised to join the big league by calling NRL matches this season, reports News Corp’s Dean Ritchie.

The Daily Telegraph understands Melbourne-based Crocmedia hopes to announce a four-game weekly schedule in coming days.

Crocmedia would relay match calls through a metropolitan radio station, regional networks and also online.

The company is currently searching and headhunting radio commentators to call games.

[Read the original]

Seven reveals broadcast plans for AFLX weekend: BT and JB lead on-air team

Seven has released details of its AFLX coverage this coming weekend on 7TWO.

AFLX is a different version of Australian Football and has been designed to take the traditional game from oval grounds to rectangular fields while still containing the code’s signature marks, goals and tackles.

Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney will host individual tournaments featuring all 18 AFL clubs, beginning on Thursday at Hindmarsh Stadium.

Each AFLX tournament will see six AFL Clubs play across two pools in six matches, before culminating in a Grand Final.

Every match consists of two 10-minute halves with no time on and a three-minute half-time break. There will be a five-minute break after each of the six AFLX pool matches and a ten-minute break leading into the Grand Final.

Brian Taylor and James Brayshaw will lead the call for Seven’s team, with players from various clubs joining us each night in guest commentary.

Brian Taylor

AFLX rules snapshot

• Played on a rectangular field (approx. 70m width x 110m length) with four posts at each end (as per a normal AFL field). Ground markings will showcase X as the centre square and 40m arcs.

• Two field umpires, two boundary umpires and one goal umpire at each end of the ground.

• Ten players per team, seven on field at all times and three on the interchange bench. No restrictions on player rotations.

• 10-minute quarters or halves depending on the tournament format.

• Free kick against for last touch out of bounds.

• Kick-ins from behind the goal line after all scores.

• No marks paid for backwards kicks (except in forward 40m area).

• Quarters commence with a ball up in the centre and at least two players from each team starting inside the 40m arc.

• Free shot from forward 40m arc – directly in front for deliberate rushed.

• 10-point super goals when goals kicked on the full from outside the 40m arc.

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