Mediaweek’s James Manning spoke with Seven West Media CEO Tim Worner on Your Money following the first half profit result this week.
By James Manning
See highlights of the interview on Mediaweek TV on Your Money at 2.30pm Thursday.
Tim Worner: It is a good result in what are difficult circumstances. The advertising market has been softer, particularly in that second quarter. We are seeing that softness continue to a certain extent in the third quarter.
The good news is we are seeing stronger responses.
We had an excellent ratings result in 2018 and we could not have hoped for better. It was our best ratings performance ever and our best shares in each of the key demographics ever. We also had the leading revenue share.
But sometime all the planets don’t line up for you and the softer advertising market has hit the profit. Not by much, but nonetheless it is a factor.
Our focus is on our total audience across all our channels because that is what we are selling. That strategy has been very successful for us ever since we started multichannels.
We have been very clear about going after certain demographics with the multichannels and I think probably at least one of the others has moved to follow us now.
We want to be able to provide our [advertisers] with whatever audience they are after.
Not only was Seven #1 channel last year, 7mate was the #1 multichannel for the year.
Clive Palmer has been a very welcome addition and he started the ball rolling in a pretty spectacular way. We are looking forward to other [political] parties matching [his spend].
I hope the political parties recognise the power of FTA television.
The last time around, particularly the coalition, [parties] lent very strongly on things like Facebook and it nearly cost them the election.
There is nothing like FTA television for building a brand. In a sense that is what these parties are faced with now.
Seven Studios is predicting another year of EBIT growth, which will be the seventh year in a row this independent production business that we have been expanding will grow.
In the UK in particular we have just announced the establishment of Seven Studios UK. That is our third production company in the UK. We have Slim Film + Television, which is a drama production company which is about to start on a very big international coproduction. We had Seven Wonder we sold to Banijay.
Seven Studios UK is about exploiting the enormous amount of IP that we have that is not being offered in that market. It is an area of huge potential for us.
[Worner noted Seven owns and produces MKR, while Endemol Shine Australia produces MAFS for Nine]
When we look at overnight ratings we are looking at one aspect of a show’s performance. For a show like My Kitchen Rules, the overnight rating is one small part of the story in terms of the exploitation of that IP. It is going to be watched on BVOD, and the MKR audience on BVOD is close to 80% up this year. It will also be watched in over 100 territories because we are selling the finished version of the Australian show. Also local versions of the format are being made in 12 different territories.
I would venture to suggest we haven’t affected the quality of our content and that has been the aim. As to how long we can keep [cutting costs], I don’t know. We can keep going in the foreseeable future and we are going to have to. That is part of the art of managing a traditional media business in 2019. Businesses evolve because they have to. We are managing costs by outsourcing certain activities, we are joint venturing with our frenemies when in the past we would have duplicated.
We are challenging ourselves to make a show like MKR far smarter and more efficiently than we did last season.
It is business as usual for us to keep reducing costs.
We are coming out of a very long term JV with Yahoo! and for the first time we will have a full year of 7plus operation under our belt [to report on later this year]. We will also have 7news.com.au launched by then. For the first time we will have 100% control of all our content online and that is not something we have ever had before.
It will be appropriate at our next results to break out that digital EBIT and we expect it to be better than a material percentage of our earnings.
There is a perception that Seven did swap tennis for cricket and that is totally incorrect. We got 10’s cricket and Nine’s cricket and that amounts to three months, or 500 hours, of live television across the summer. That was a key factor in us being able to record 39 days with a 40% share and our best performance across summer ever. We are backing ourselves to do even better next year. We didn’t have much of a run up (pardon the pun) with cricket.
This year we will be coming off the long run and will have a better result in terms of audience and revenue.
They are pretty big audiences. 2.7m people is how many Sunrise reaches every week. It is a huge amount of television and we do have the edge. I will pay tribute to that production team and on camera team. If you look at Sunrise at the moment on weekends and on weekdays you will see a show that is right in its groove. They know what they are doing and coming up with great ideas every day and executing them superbly.
We are seeing very aggressive growth in terms of BVOD audiences. In our case it is not one or two titles, but we have established a very deep catalogue and about a quarter of the viewing is for content that didn’t start its life in primetime on Seven. It is an important part of what we are doing and it will become more important.
Australian Crime Stories has been a staple on Nine after 60 Minutes on Sunday nights. So far there has only been a total of 16 episodes, but they continue to perform well.
By James Manning
A new series, from by Sydney production company The Full Box, is about to launch, but not on Sundays. Nine has given the series a new slot on Thursday nights.
Australian Crime Stories started life as Tough Nuts on Foxtel for Crime + Investigation. Nine bought the first two seasons and then rebranded it and the third season launches this week on February 21.
“Last year we were talking to Nine’s Hugh Marks and he said, ‘We want more of your stuff’,” recalled The Full Box co-founder Bryan Cockerill about the casual recommission. “Previously we did eight separate criminal biographies in each season. We wanted to broaden the palette this season and look at really interesting crimes – both famous ones and others people may not know about.”
He explained the new season of eight episodes covers everything from rather nasty and dark stories through to crime capers.
Cockerill said he and longtime collaborator Adam Shand got together to make a list of the great stories they had always wanted to tell. “I think we have managed to come up with eight great episodes – every one of them is an absolute corker.”
The Full Box’s other co-founder Gerri Coy reminded Mediaweek they had the pleasure of also working with Shand on their production The Kangaroo Gang for BBC Worldwide (now BBC Studios).
“Adam also worked on both Tough Nuts/Australian Crime Stories seasons one and two,” added Coy.
Shand told Mediaweek: “Since we first started Australian Crime Stories the genre has matured. Series three for me is the best of breed – great journalism, great narrative and it doesn’t get hung up on itself in terms of sensationalism or over-dramatising things.”
The first episode in season three of Australian Crime Stories is an investigation into the case of Lucille Butterworth, a 20-year-old Miss Tasmania aspirant who disappeared from a bus stop in 1969.
Police thought Butterworth had run away to the mainland, and it would be weeks before they officially started a murder investigation. Seven years later, Geoffrey Charles Hunt was arrested and questioned over the rape and murder of a 24-year-old woman from Hobart, a crime he would ultimately serve 22 years in prison for. During his questioning, Hunt confessed to killing Lucille Butterworth, but senior police did not take his confession seriously.
In 2016, the Tasmanian Coroner named Hunt as the likely killer, but despite damning evidence the police did not lay charges. Hunt is now walking free as a result.
Shand has previously covered the case in one of his true crime podcasts for PodcastOne.
Without wanting to give away any episode spoilers, Shand did tell us: “It hasn’t come to any resolution yet. The thing about going from the podcast to TV is being able to amplify the things we did in the podcast and to take the story forward.
“I am all about getting cases solved now. I am not happy with just telling the story. I want to take it forward to try and resolve it.”
As to the TV crime wave, Cockerill and Coy said as producers they need to keep an eye on what else is out there.
Cockerill: “The worst case scenario would be to find out you were treading the same ground as someone else with a similar program. You also need to know your own stories very well and being confident no one else is doing a story you have uncovered. A lot of our episodes are either stories no one else had done, or no one has examined from the angle we are covering.”
Shand: “A good example is our forthcoming episode on Kerry Packer’s gold. [Episode two, season three.] In 1995 Kerry’s gold was stolen from his office and it was an unsolved crime.”
Shand and Cockerill together delivered the tagline for the Packer episode: “It’s about loyalty, betrayal and revenge.”
Don’t miss Mediaweek’s The Full Box podcast which look at the TV crime wave. It will be published by PodcastOne on Thursday February 21.
Top Photo: The Full Box team: Co-founders Bryan Cockerill and Gerri Coy with Adam Shand
• MAFS audience surges as Lizzie returns to reality TV giant
• 7pm changes again good news for A Current Affair
• Nine’s Tuesday schedule records biggest share since Aus Open
Tuesday: Week 8 2019
By James Manning
FTA TV news/current affairs
• Seven News 898,000/878,000
• Nine News 853,000/880,000
• A Current Affair 859,000
• ABC News 700,000
• 7.30 553,000
• The Project 233,000/429,000
• 10 News First 358,000
• SBS World News 106,000
• Sunrise 273,000
• Today 188,000
After an ordinary audience just over 700,000 on Monday, My Kitchen Rules recovered to 774,000. South Australian friends Lyn and Sal were cooking last night and it was only their dessert that let them down. Their first two courses saw three 10 out of 10s and a nine from the judges.
The Good Doctor followed with 518,000 after 579,000 last week. This time last year the US medical drama had an audience of 950,000.
A Current Affair featured a dodgy hire car driver and then slumlords last night as the audience has returned to the program after MKR vacated its 7pm slot on Seven. The first two episodes last week did 770,000 and 755,000. This week the program has started the week with 873,000 and 859,000.
Nine’s primetime was also shining bright at 7.30pm where Married At First Sight attracted a new series record audience of 1.349m, which included season highs for Melbourne and Adelaide.
The ratings records continued later in the evening too when Travel Guides recorded a best for 2019 and a second best ever with 734,000.
Share dipped to just 8.1% after 11.6% last week when the channel had the last live episode of Celebrity for the season.
Gyton Grantley was talking about Harry Potter on The Project after 7pm with 429,000 watching.
A repeat of Ambulance Australia then did 259,000.
Hughesy, We Have A Problem then did 261,000, down from 338,000 a week ago with a much stronger lead-in.
Foreign Correspondent as on 393,000 at 8pm.
Catalyst did 332,000 at 8.30pm.
Michael Portillo’s Abandoned Britain was again the channel’s best with 212,000 after 7.30pm.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||3.2%||7TWO||2.9%||GO!||3.0%||10 Bold||3.6%||VICELAND||0.9%|
|ABC ME||0.4%||7mate||2.7%||GEM||2.6%||10 Peach||2.0%||Food Net||0.9%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||3.7%||7TWO||4.2%||GO!||3.9%||WIN Bold||2.9%||VICELAND||0.8%|
|ABC ME||0.6%||7mate||3.6%||GEM||4.3%||WIN Peach||2.0%||Food Net||1.1%|
|ABC NEWS||1.8%||7flix||2.0%||9Life||1.9%||Sky News on WIN||1.0%||NITV||0.2|
|TUESDAY METRO ALL TV|
16-39 Top Five
18-49 Top Five
25-54 Top Five
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
QMS Sport’s global expansion, through the recent strategic acquisitions of TGI Systems Corporation (TGI) and TGI Europe GmbH (TGIE), has delivered a number of significant contract wins, as the business continues to focus on bringing together major international sporting associations and clubs under one unified and powerful technology, infrastructure and digital media platform.
QMS Sport reports it has begun the year with major goals kicked in the following areas:
• ICC Cricket World Cup (CWC) 2019 – Awarded the contract to supply LED perimeter screens, LED sightscreens, integration and fan engagement software and associated services. The prestigious ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 will be hosted by England and Wales from May-July 2019 and consists of 48 matches played across 11 different venues.
• CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores – Two-year commercial signage agreement for a combined 518 games over a 24-month period in all ten CONMEBOL countries across South America. This is the most prestigious annual international club football competition in the world and the most prestigious club competition in South American football.
• CONMEBOL Copa Sudamericana – Two-year commercial signage rights for the annual international club football competition organised by the CONMEBOL since 2002. It is the second-most prestigious club competition in South American football.
• SANZAAR Rugby Union – Three year exclusive sales agreement for all on screen virtual advertising for the SANZAAR (South African, New Zealand, Argentinian, Australian Rugby) pan-global competition.
QMS Sport has also been focused on cementing its position as the number one on-field sports rights holder in Australasia, securing extended infrastructure and media rights across the following contracts:
• Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) – Seven-year contract extension, including the first to market launch of 360-degree parapet LED signage around all levels of the SCG, first used in the current Cricket Internationals, ODI, Test Matches and BBL.
• Melbourne Storm – Two-year media rights agreement for all on-field LED signage, high impact bolster and stadium signage.
• Netball Australia – Contract extension to now include media rights for the Inaugural (Pre-Season) Competition over the next 3 years. QMS Sport will supply LED hardware and media rights which includes LED signage, TVC’s during broadcast and on-court decals.
• Australian Football League (AFL) – Provision of game day operations and LED infrastructure for the AFLX event at Marvel Stadium.
QMS Media Group CEO Barclay Nettlefold said “We are extremely pleased with the rapid expansion of our digital media, infrastructure and virtual technology rights across both Australia and key strategic international sports markets. Our ability to deliver an end to end solution for advertisers to engage with this highly valuable sports audience, enables us to diversify our revenue streams and deliver a greater return on investment for all stakeholders.”
Network 10 this week announced a partnership with data management platform Lotame as it continues to accelerate the roll out of its data solutions.
The partnership gives 10 access to Lotame’s extensive third-party data sets, one of the biggest in the world, delivering depth in audience targeting.
Network 10’s director of 10 Interactive Christian Williams said: “We’re continuing to invest in our digital platforms, 10 Play and 10 Daily, to attract our key under 50s audience into our ecosystem. We’re seeing audiences across these platforms growing at an exceptional rate.
“We want our data solutions to be best-in-class and Lotame is one of the world’s best in its field. Our partnership with Lotame means we can leverage their more than three billion additional audience profiles with our existing data set, giving advertisers the opportunity to create deeply targeted and relevant campaigns with us, at scale. It’s another key milestone as we charge toward executing our full data strategy.”
Lotame’s clients include IBM, Ticketek, Annalect and Omnicom Media Group.
“Audience data quality is a growing challenge for the industry. At Lotame we’ve always focused on helping marketers harness the power of highly curated audience data, whether it be 1st, 2nd, or 3rd party data, to fuel relevant and personalised experiences,” said Luke Williams, managing director, ANZ, Lotame.
“By partnering with Network 10, we look forward to helping them leverage their valuable data to build rich audience segments for agencies and clients.”
Network 10’s partnership with Lotame follows recently announced partnerships with real-time data customer solutions company Tealium and data technology agency Venntifact.
The Prime Minister’s Office has rejected a request from Labor to be briefed by the nominations panel shortlisting candidates for the ABC chairman gig, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.
On January 14, Labor communications spokeswoman Michelle Rowland attempted to get an update on where the process was up to, but was refused.
The revelation came on Monday evening, during Senate Estimates for the Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee during a tense 15-minute exchange between Labor Senator Jenny McAllister and Minister for Finance and the Public Service Mathias Cormann.
The Australian Computer Society (ASC) has turned TV producer of a show that pits entrepreneurs in a fight for a $20,000 prize, reports The Australian’s Chris Griffith.
RiverPitch will see 24 candidates over eight episodes from so-called “scale-ups” go head-to-head in a competition to find the best new scalable technology platform. It will go to air on Your Money channel from Tuesday, February 26.
The ACS says eight entrepreneurs each from NSW, Victoria and Queensland will battle it out. They will come from “scale-ups” – established businesses seeking to expand.
Australian Money Channel (Your Money) chief executive Kylie Merritt said the ACS had been a partner of Your Money since inception. “Because we share the same mission, we’re both about supporting Australian business and innovation.
“RiverPitch is great TV but it’s also very real; it dispels the notion that it’s easy to turn a great idea into a great business. It’s also a fascinating look inside the process of attracting venture capital, laying out exactly what investors are looking for.”
Steve Baxter, who founded River City Labs, is among those who will work with contestants. He was previously a shark on Shark Tank Australia.
The show launches Tuesday, February 26, at 7.30pm on Your Money (Ch 95 and Foxtel 601).
The cast of Bondi Rescue have not only been tasked with pulling tourists from the water at Australia’s most famous strip of sand, they now also need to do some lifesaving for 10 in primetime. The CJZ-produced show needs to pull back some of the primetime audience that disappeared last week during the premiere of Changing Rooms.
10 has announced the new season will go to air tonight from 7.30pm:
Extreme crowds, extreme surf, extreme heat, extreme weather and extreme rescues, the boys and girls in blue are back for another summer, protecting beachgoers at Australia’s most spectacular and unpredictable natural arena.
Plunging into its 14th season, there are no signs of Bondi Rescue slowing down. It’s been a long sizzling hot summer and as Bondi Beach swells with more and more people every year, the lifeguard’s job gets harder.
This year, there has been a changing of the guard which sees over 50 years of experience leave the service, but it’s replaced with equal servings of enthusiasm, energy and optimism. Every new experience is a lesson for Bondi’s new recruits and with this season the lifeguards will be tested like never before.
Sharks, dangerous surf, and millions of visitors every year, one thing is certain; Bondi Rescue is heating up to be the most extreme season yet.
The Block’s Ronnie and Georgia (pictured) are back with a new short-form online video series, Quick Room Flips with Ronnie & Georgia, premiering Thursday, February 28, on The Block’s official website – nine.com.au/theblock.
The eight-part series, in partnership with Beaumont Tiles, is the first content offering to sit on the digital platform Block 365 – an always-on digital destination focused on short-form video to leverage the power of Australia’s most popular renovation series, The Block.
Ronnie and Georgia have the most room reveal wins in any series of The Block. Now they will be put to a new test as they battle the clock to deliver covetable rooms and answer the needs of growing families desperate to refresh their homes, but not knowing where to start.
Not only that – but this dynamic renovation couple will use their experience to flip the rooms in just one day, with limited cash ($3,500 per room): anything from a bathroom to a bedroom, a dining room, even a neglected outdoor space.
Married at First Sight’s Lauren Huntriss has lashed out at the hit reality show, accusing producers of feeding her lines during filming and blasting Nine,s duty of care, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Robert Moran.
Huntriss, 31, a make-up artist from Sydney who was matched on the show with “virgin” Matthew Bennett, revealed she is “not coping very well” with viewer backlash following the couple’s exit on Sunday.
“I feel like I deserve to say my side,” she told KIIS FM hosts Jackie O and Beau Ryan, saying she was “very nervous” and “kind of being a bit of a rebel right now” by speaking out against Nine and producers Endemol Shine.
Among her claims, Huntriss said she was forced to say she “was a lesbian” during a key scene where she revealed she’d dated women in the past.
“My producer was like, ‘Fantastic, great, however, we’re going to get you to re-enact that, say it again but use the word ‘lesbian’. I was like, ‘I’m not OK with that, I don’t want to use that word, I don’t label myself as a lesbian … It didn’t feel right.”
Endemol Shine Australia has rejected Huntriss’ version of events, saying she had continued access to support and chose “not to respond” to their attempts at contact.
“All participants are adults and remain in full control of the choices they make. They choose to apply to be on the show, choose to accept selection, and choose whether or not to continue in the experiment. During broadcast, we continue to reach out to every participant, including Lauren,” a spokesperson said on Tuesday.
If there is a woman left listening to Lawrence “Moonman” Mooney’s Sydney breakfast show after Monday’s effort, he should go out today and buy a Tatts ticket, such is his extraordinary luck, comments Wendy Tuohy on Nine’s Daily Life.
His misogynistic rant about Cassandra Thorburn, ostensibly to punish her for refusing to make her moment on air all about her ex-husband, is the archetypal example of an entitled man in the power position reaching for the most gendered insults he can find to smash a woman who did not do what he wanted.
Mooney was the interviewer in a pre-recorded segment for Triple M with Thorburn, who was previously married to Karl Stefanovic, about Thorburn’s turn on Dancing With the Stars.
Thorburn has said she wants to re-enter public life after years as a stay-at-home parent, so decided to accept a spin on DWTS.
In a live preview piece, in what sounded like a desperate attempt to inject a bit of his own salaciousness around Thorburn, Mooney demeaned her as a woman and humiliated her as a wife.
Asked by a fellow jokester if he was still on “Team Cass” (whatever that is) Mooney continued: “I am back into Karl Stefanovic, I’ve swung right back. You know what, Cass? I can see why he walked. You are a nightmare.”
Rugby Australia and Fox Sports have begun preliminary discussions about televising Sydney and Brisbane GPS rugby matches as part of a grassroots product that also will breathe new life into the previously discarded concept of an Australian club championship, reports The Australian’s Wayne Smith.
The approach was made by Rugby Australia to Fox Sports and is at such an early stage that GPS officials were not even aware that talks were happening until informed of them late yesterday by The Australian. Nonetheless, the concept has excited television executives, who recognise that GPS rugby is both enormously popular and customarily a brilliant, free-flowing example of the code.
“Fox Sports CEO Peter Campbell is working well with Raelene Castle (the RA CEO) and there is a lot of useful dialogue happening,” said Steve Crawley, head of television for Fox Sports.