Wednesday February 28, 2018

SBS News empowers Australians to “think big” with new brand campaign

SBS has unveiled a new SBS News marketing campaign that promotes “big thinking” and encourages Australians to engage with the latest national and international news through its new app, digital services, social media and television bulletin.

Featuring SBS World News presenter Janice Petersen, the integrated campaign features a range of light-hearted yet informative videos, complemented by innovative real-time, live headlines served across digital placements to give audiences a snapshot of the trusted, analytical news offered across multiple platforms by SBS all day, wherever you are.

Jim Carroll, SBS director of news and current affairs, said: “The new SBS News campaign follows the introduction of some significant enhancements to our multiplatform news offering, and reflects our focus on delivering news in an engaging way.

“Whether it’s watching at home on TV or streaming on the go via our new app, we’re committed to making it as easy as possible for Australians to connect with trusted, in-depth reporting from Australia and across the world.”


Jane Palfreyman, SBS director of marketing, said: “A key insight from our audience research is that audiences want to feel connected to the world around them – both here and overseas – more than ever before. We know the SBS news product is a key enabler for this connection and is one of the most trusted news sources in Australia.

“This is not a standard news campaign. With an irreverent tone, the bold creative highlights SBS News as accessible, trustworthy and analytical, combining everyday situations that consumers can see themselves in with discussion of the issues that matter most to them.”

Digital elements of the campaign were designed by SBS to deliver the latest news updates from SBS News directly within innovative live headline display ads.

The campaign will run across SBS’s owned channels through to mid-April, and is supported by off-channel digital activity including live headline display ads, pre-roll videos, promoted social activity and native content to drive digital engagement.

It follows a recent brand refresh in December 2017, which saw enhancements to the SBS News website and a new SBS News app.

Watch the new promos here.

Campaign credits:

Director of Marketing: Jane Palfreyman
Head of Group Marketing: Uma Oldham
Marketing Manager: Anna Saunders
Brand Manager: Sam Blachon
Digital Campaign Manager: Claire Dumont
Head of Creative Services: Joel Noble
Creative Lead: Matt Coe
Art Director: Kurtis Richmond
Creative: Ben Skinner
Support Creative: Robert Pirouet, Russell Bartlett
Print & Digital Designer: Alison Hastie
Motion Designer: Emy Dossett
Support Designers: Shaun Roberts, Brad Chandler, Madeleine Dudley, Megan McPhail, Neera Sumer, Vanessa Meagher
Producer: Greer Bolomey
Shoot Producer: Jo McNulty-Clark
Grade: Alyn Mykas
Audio: Bruce Dale
Production Coordinators: Lucy Everingham & Martin Carroll
Media Agency: Bench Platform

Pacific Star improves ahead of Crocmedia merger: Hutchy two weeks away from taking control

Pacific Star Network (PSN) has reported its half-year results ahead of the general meeting on March 15 to approve the merger with Crocmedia that will see Craig Hutchison confirmed as CEO of the media group.

The results yesterday coincided with yet another Hutchy sports deal – this time with Macquarie Media for NRL broadcast rights. (See separate item in Sports Media).

Pacific Star Network is a media company with interests in specialised niche audiences in both broadcasting (SEN, Classic Rock, Aussie, Koool and Rythmos) and publishing (frankie, Smith Journal, Spaces and Inside Football magazine) and associated digital assets.

Six-month trading highlights:

• Trading conditions in the first half of the year for the company’s broadcast business were strong with revenue of $8.365m up 8% and underlying EBITDA at $1.474m up 23% on the comparative period.

• PSN reported its publishing business continues to operate in a challenging environment with a decline in print revenue of 16% to $2.878m on a like-for-like basis and underlying EBITDA at $529,000 down 39% on the comparative period. PSN noted its publications continue to “rate” strongly and resonate with digital audiences and frankie magazine regularly rates as the number one women’s fashion magazine in Australia for readership.

PSN has reported a net profit after tax of $408,417 compared to the comparative half year (HY 2016: $4.082m loss).

• Underlying net profit after tax (excluding the impact of significant costs of $502,176) was $910,593 (HY 2016: $631,985).

• EBITDA was $1.135m, up over 100% on the comparative period (HY 2016: $3.113m loss).

• Underlying EBITDA was $1.637m (excluding significant costs), up 2% on the same period last year (HY 2016: $1.601m).

• Revenue at $11.245m for the half year was down $383,000 (3%) on the comparative period (HY 2016: $11.628m). The lower revenue has been influenced by lower advertising sales in the publishing CGU.

• Operating costs at $10.542m were $370,265 (3%) lower than the comparative period (HY 2016: $10.912m).

• Operating cash flows at $1,242,838 were up 47% on the comparative period (HY 2016: $845,572).

At the general meeting of shareholders to be held on March 15, shareholders will have the opportunity to vote on the proposed merger of the company with Crocmedia. PSN says the proposed merger will create a sports content and entertainment business that is supported by a compelling strategic rationale.

The intention is for the merged business to be led by CEO elect, Craig Hutchison, who co-founded Crocmedia in 2006.

Crocmedia has grown to become a key player in the AFL landscape having secured the radio rights from 2017 to 2022 to broadcast AFL matches across Australia.

Photo: Craig Hutchison

Biggest ever Supercars season getting ready for the grid on Fox Sports

• Every practice, qualifying session and race across the season live, ad break-free during play and in HD on Fox Sports, on Foxtel
• Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 live and ad break-free during racing for the first time

• Brand new show Supercars Trackside on Thursday at 7.30pm EDT and Sunday after the race
• All new race graphics package with an enhanced leader board
• Fox Sports Race Centre available via and the Fox Sports app

A new era for the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship begins this week, when the season-opening Adelaide 500 shifts into gear on Fox Sports, on Foxtel.

For the first time, fans will be able to enjoy every practice, qualifying session and race from every event – including the iconic Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 – live, ad break-free and in HD on Fox Sports.

A brand new show will feature in Fox Sports’ lineup in 2018, with Supercars Trackside premiering at 7.30pm EDT on Thursday (March 1).

Broadcast from the track at each race, the show will set the agenda on Thursday nights, before dissecting the action every Sunday after the race.

Fox Sports’ Jess Yates, Mark Skaife and Russell Ingall return to host the 60-minute programs alongside Supercars experts Neil Crompton and Greg Murphy, and technical analyst Mark Larkham.

Chris Stubbs and Riana Crehan will keep fans up to date with the latest and breaking news from Pit Lane.

All-new race graphics will feature in Fox Sports’ unrivalled broadcast in 2018, including an enhanced leader board that will allow fans to track their favourite drivers and teams.

Fox Sports’ coverage of the Adelaide 500 kicks off at 10.30am EDT on Thursday March 1, and continues across the weekend, with all practice and qualifying sessions, plus both 250km races live, ad break-free and in HD.

With Foxtel’s new streaming service, Foxtel Now, fans can get instant access and be signed up and streaming all the action live within minutes. To try two weeks for free, go to

Fox Sports’ Race Centre will be the ultimate companion to the TV broadcast. Available via and the Fox Sports app, the Race Centre will offer fans unrivalled access to team radio and car telemetry for all 26 Supercars, plus live timing and racing stats, and an up-to-the-minute blog of key events during each race.

Fox Sports’ Broadcast Schedule

Virgin Australia Supercars Championship: Adelaide 500

All on Fox Sports 506

Thu Mar 1: live from 10.30am
Fri Mar 2: live from 9am
Sat Mar 3: live from 9.30am
Sun Mar 4: live from 9am

Supercars Trackside: Thursday March 1 at 7.30pm and Sunday March 4 after the race

*Times listed as AEDT

Fox Sports providing live and exclusive coverage of Australian Tour of South Africa

• First Test begins Thursday March 1 live at 6pm AEDT on Fox Sports 507

Australia will be looking to back up its Ashes glory when it takes on Test nation powerhouse South Africa in its four-Test series beginning Thursday 1 March.

Fox Sports, exclusive on Foxtel, is the only place to see every ball of the series live and in HD with Brendon Julian and Allan Border heading up the commentary team in Durban.

It’s the first time since 1970 that Australia has tackled the Proteas in a four-Test series on foreign soil and Steve Smith’s side will be looking for revenge following its 2-1 home series defeat to South Africa last year.

Cricket fans can expect to see a full-on pace attack from both nations with six out of the top 11 top-ranked Test bowlers participating in the series.

The opening clash will be played in Durban (March 1-5), followed by Port Elizabeth (March 9-13), Cape Town (March 22-26) and Johannesburg (March 30-April 3) with all matches live and exclusive on Fox Sports.

Photo: Brett Hemmings for CA/Cricket Australia/Getty Images – Fox Sports

TV Ratings Analysis: Tuesday February 27

• Seven back in first place primary and combined share with MKR & Good Doc
• Nine’s Married At First Sight continues to pull biggest all people/demo crowds

By James Manning


After 688,000 on Monday, Home and Away Tuesday did 697,000.

My Kitchen Rules started with groups 1 and 2 being welcomed to the grounds of the elimination house. Manu explained that from now on it will be group 1 versus group 2. Pete added every time the groups come together, one team will be going home. The teams had to nominate the cooks for the battle. Kim and Suong represented group 1 while Georgie and Alicia promised to start knocking off group 1, one team at a time. The rules then started to get a little complex for this viewer although the ratings indicate everyone else grasped it! The losing team, Kim & Suong and the rest of group 1, found themselves in round 2 in an elimination cook-off. They were all asked to cook a dish that represented their culture or a culture they have a strong affinity with. The group 1 team with the weakest dish was eliminated – that was Stuss and Steve from Queensland. The Tuesday episode did 1.11m after 988,000 a week ago.

The Good Doctor then returned with episode 14 on 949,000 as Dr Shaun worked with a young cancer patient who identified as a girl while being biologically male. It was one of the few episodes under 1m.

Grey’s Anatomy then did 296,000.


The great bingo sting and Kmart’s cult homewares products were featured on A Current Affair. After 902,000 Monday, the program did 881,000 last night.

Homestays continued on Married At First Sight with some relationships continuing to blossom while others… not so much. The episode was again a clear leader with 1.25m, up marginally from 1.23m a week ago. It was the biggest audience yet for a Tuesday episode.

Episode three of Date Night was on 451,000 after the first two eps did 439,000 and 510,000.

The 2011 movie Friends With Benefits screened around 9.30pm with 233,000 watching.


The Project 7pm was over 600,000 on Monday and did 527,000 last night as Wil Anderson and Magda Szubanski entertained the audience.

Tucker Chewsday on I’m A Celebrity was hard to watch for those who might have been having a late dinner in front of the TV. Three celebrities got to step onto the set of the jungle TV show “African Mornings With Chris And Julia“. The Tuesday episode managed 517,000 after 491,000 a week ago.

Hughesy, We Have A Problem then did 441,000 after 461,000 a week ago.

Two episodes of NCIS: Los Angeles then led the channel close to the end of primetime with 218,000 for the first and then 165,000 for the second.


The Checkout featured stories last night on craft beers, passwords and RSVP. The episode did 486,000 after 444,000 a week ago.

Actor and sleep-deprived new dad Lawrence Leung then explored sleep on Catalyst for 388,000 viewers.

Part 1 of Hannah Gadsby’s Nakedy Nudes then did 243,000.

The hybrid live action/animation Remembering Agatha followed at 10pm with 88,000 watching.


Jane Seymour featured on a UK episode of Who Do You Think You Are? for 217,000.

Rape On Trial was the title of the Insight episode, which did 197,000.

Dateline was on 141,000 with a story about an Aussie making a difference in South Sudan.

Week 9 TV: Tuesday
ABC Seven Nine Ten SBS
ABC 9.9% 7 25.4% 9 23.7% TEN 11.7% SBS One 4.3%
ABC 2 2.2% 7TWO 3.2% GO! 3.2% ONE 2.3% VICELAND 0.8%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 2.9% GEM 3.3% ELEVEN 1.7% Food Net 0.9%
ABC News 1.4% 7flix 1.2% 9Life 1.3% NITV 0.1%
TOTAL 14.1% 32.7% 31.4% 15.7% 6.1%
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates Ten Affiliates SBS
ABC 8.5% 7 26.1% 9 19.3% WIN 10.6% SBS One 4.2%
ABC 2 3.5% 7TWO 4.7% GO! 3.3% ONE 2.4% VICELAND 0.8%
ABC ME 0.8% 7mate 4.4% GEM 5.5% ELEVEN 1.5% Food Net 0.7%
NEWS 24 1.4% 7flix 1.1% 9Life 1.2% NITV 0.1%
TOTAL 14.2% 36.3% 29.3% 14.5% 5.8%
87.2% 12.8%
Tuesday fta
  1. Married At First Sight Nine 1,253,000
  2. My Kitchen Rules Seven 1,116,000
  3. Seven News Seven 964,000
  4. The Good Doctor Seven 949,000
  5. Nine News Nine 945,000
  6. Nine News 6:30 Nine 943,000
  7. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 921,000
  8. A Current Affair Nine 881,000
  9. Home And Away Seven 697,000
  10. ABC News ABC 689,000
  11. The Chase Australia Seven 579,000
  12. 7.30 ABC 567,000
  13. The Project 7pm Ten 527,000
  14. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Ten 517,000
  15. Hot Seat Nine 486,000
  16. The Checkout ABC 486,000
  17. Date Night Nine 451,000
  18. Hughesy, We Have A Problem Ten 441,000
  19. Ten Eyewitness News First At Five Ten 434,000
  20. Catalyst ABC 388,000
Demo top fives

16-39 Top 5

  1. Married At First Sight Nine 430,000
  2. My Kitchen Rules Seven 257,000
  3. The Good Doctor Seven 190,000
  4. Date Night Nine 172,000
  5. A Current Affair Nine 154,000


18-49 Top 5

  1. Married At First Sight Nine 625,000
  2. My Kitchen Rules Seven 424,000
  3. The Good Doctor Seven 326,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 270,000
  5. A Current Affair Nine 266,000


25-54 Top 5

  1. Married At First Sight Nine 671,000
  2. My Kitchen Rules Seven 469,000
  3. The Good Doctor Seven 363,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 324,000
  5. A Current Affair Nine 313,000
Tuesday multichannel
  1. PJ Masks-AM ABC2 161,000
  2. Andy’s Prehistoric Adventures ABC2 155,000
  3. Peppa Pig-AM ABC2 153,000
  4. Peter Rabbit ABC2 150,000
  5. Fireman Sam-PM ABC2 149,000
  6. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABC2 149,000
  7. Dot. ABC2 147,000
  8. Peppa Pig-PM ABC2 146,000
  9. New Tricks 9Gem 146,000
  10. Octonauts ABC2 145,000
  11. Hey Duggee-AM ABC2 145,000
  12. Kazoops!-PM ABC2 144,000
  13. Highway Patrol E2-PM 7mate 144,000
  14. The Hive-PM ABC2 144,000
  15. Go Jetters ABC2 142,000
  16. Floogals-PM ABC2 140,000
  17. Neighbours ELEVEN 139,000
  18. Midsomer Murders 9Gem 139,000
  19. Wallykazam!-PM ABC2 137,000
  20. Thomas And Friends-PM ABC2 136,000
Tuesday subscription tv
  1. Paul Murray Live SKY NEWS LIVE 56,000
  2. The Bolt Report SKY NEWS LIVE 55,000
  3. Jones & Co SKY NEWS LIVE 47,000
  4. Yes Minister FOX Classics 47,000
  5. Credlin SKY NEWS LIVE 44,000
  6. Battle Of Britain FOX Classics 43,000
  7. Murdoch Mysteries 13TH STREET 40,000
  8. The Simpsons FOX8 39,000
  9. PML Overtime SKY NEWS LIVE 39,000
  10. NCIS TVH!TS 37,000
  11. Bones TVH!TS 36,000
  12. Live: Back Page FOX SPORTS 501 34,000
  13. Live: WWE Raw FOX8 33,000
  14. Marvel’s Runaways FOX8 33,000
  15. New Tricks UKTV 32,000
  16. The Child In Time BBC First 32,000
  17. Britannia showcase 32,000
  18. Family Guy FOX8 32,000
  19. NCIS TVH!TS 31,000
  20. Family Guy FOX8 31,000

Business Of Media

Comcast lobs grenade at Fox-Disney deal with higher bid for Sky broadcasting

Comcast Corporation has announced a possible all-cash offer of £12.50 for each Sky share to be made by Comcast for the entire issued and to-be-issued share capital of Sky plc.

The proposal represents a premium of approximately 16% to the current Twenty-First Century Fox (21CF) offer price of £10.75 for each Sky share that 21CF and its affiliates do not already own and a premium of approximately 13% to the closing price of £11.05 per Sky Share on February 26 2018, being the last business day prior to the date of the announcement.

21CF was bidding for Sky ahead of selling a range of assets to Disney, including its Sky shareholding. It seems this Comcast offer could trigger a bidding war for the European broadcaster.

Highlights of the proposal:

• Possible all-cash offer of £12.50 per share, premium of 16% to the current 21CF offer

• Minimum acceptance condition of 50% plus one share

• Confident in receiving all necessary regulatory approvals in a timely manner

• Strategic opportunity to acquire a leading content and distribution business in the UK and Europe

• Specific intentions to maintain a strong presence in the UK for the combined business via continued investment in creative industries in the UK and support for high broadcasting standards and news impartiality in the UK

Commenting on the proposal, Brian L. Roberts, chairman and chief executive officer of Comcast, said:

“We think Sky is an outstanding company. It has 23 million customers, leading positions in the UK, Italy and Germany, and is a consistent innovator in its use of technology to deliver its customers a great experience. Sky has a proud record of investment in news and programming. It has great people and a very strong and capable management team.

“We think that Sky would be very valuable to us as we look to expand our presence internationally.

“We would like to own the whole of Sky and we will be looking to acquire over 50% of the Sky shares. We are confident that we will be able to receive the necessary regulatory approvals. If successful, the acquisition will enhance our free cash flow per share in the first year.

“The UK is and will remain a great place to do business. We already have a strong presence in London and Comcast intends to use Sky as a platform for our growth in Europe. We intend to maintain and enhance Sky’s business.

“Adding Sky to the Comcast family of businesses will increase our international revenues from 9% to 25%.

“Comcast recognises that Sky News is an invaluable part of the UK news landscape and the company intends to maintain Sky News’s existing brand and culture, as well as its strong track record for high-quality impartial news and adherence to broadcasting standards. While Comcast does own a substantial international operation in the UK, with more than 1,300 employees, the company has only a minimal presence in the UK media market. Comcast therefore does not believe that this proposal should create any media plurality concerns in the UK.”

Seven exits UK production biz as Screentime parent Banijay acquires 7Wonder

Seven has quit its UK production business 7Wonder, with the parent company of Screentime taking over the business.

Banijay Group has announced the acquisition of 7Wonder, one of the fastest-growing non-scripted independents in the UK.

The deal marks the first UK non-scripted acquisition for Banijay following a number of scripted additions over the last year.

Alexandra Fraser, Liza Abbott, and Simon Ellse founded 7Wonder in 2014 and will continue to run the business as chief creative, CEO and CFO respectively, in a deal that will see over 160 hours of 7Wonder programming added to Banijay UK’s non-scripted slate.

Since its creation in 2014, 7Wonder has won a host of returnable commissions, with six second-series orders secured in the last year, including a supersized order (12×60’) of BBC Two’s Back to the Land with Kate Humble following a successful three-part debut run; landmark Sky Arts series Tate Britain’s Great British Walks (6×60’), CBeebies pre-school reality series Do You Know?, winner of a Children’s BAFTA for Best Presenter; and the UK adaptation of My Kitchen Rules for Channel 4 – a hit format from the indie’s previous backers, the Seven Network.

A Seven West Media spokesperson told Mediaweek:

“Seven is proud of the achievements of 7Wonder over the past three years. We made many world-class shows together, particularly the production of 70 hours of the UK version of MKR.

“The deal was good for Seven, and we wish 7Wonder the very best for the future as part of the Banijay Group.

“We remain focused on content creation and continue to pursue opportunities around the world, including our recent investment in Great Southern Television in Auckland.”

Seven remains a partner in 7Beyond, a joint venture with Seven and Beyond productions.

Read Mediaweek’s recent interview with 7Beyond’s SVP Mike Krupat here.

Seven and Nine enter exclusive arrangement to form a JV for the playout

Seven West Media and Nine Entertainment Co. have entered into an exclusive arrangement to form a joint venture for the playout operations of the two organisations.

There is little detail available yet on the timing for the new venture.

The combined operations would provide economies of scale by consolidating infrastructure for the two businesses, and create an industry facility company able to service other broadcasters and companies.

The move would mean Seven’s broadcast centre in Melbourne would no longer be needed, which would affect up to 150 staff.

The JV will see the new business reaching out to other broadcasters to take advantages of cost saving by moving playout operations.

Nine appoints Matt Granger to head up broadcaster’s national sports sales team

Nine has appointed Matt Granger to head up the company’s national sports sales team focused on growing premium revenues in key sporting properties.

Matt Granger

Granger will take on the role of Nine’s director of sales – sport and previously held senior sales roles, including commercial director, for Australian Radio Network (ARN) for the past six years.

“Matt is a fantastic appointment for Nine,” said Richard Hunwick, director of sales – television. “He has a strong commercial background across both television, digital and radio and is the right person to continue to drive the growth of our premium sports revenue.”

Granger replaces Sam Brennan, who was promoted last year to director of sales – Melbourne, leading Nine’s sales operation across the city.

“It’s an exciting time to be joining Nine,” Granger said. “Wide World of Sports (WWOS) is recognised across the world as leading the way in sports broadcasting and with franchises like NRL, netball and the US Masters Golf, all kicking off in the next six weeks, there is a great opportunity to drive growth through WWOS’ proven track record in partnering and integrating client brands within the unique environment of sport.”

Granger has previously held senior sales roles at ARN, where he was promoted from national agency sales director to commercial director, and the Seven Network.

Granger will report to Richard Hunwick and starts on March 5.

Toby Barbour appoints Stuart Jaffray to lead Starcom Melbourne

Starcom Australia CEO Toby Barbour has announced the appointment Stuart Jaffray as Melbourne Managing Director.

Stuart Jaffray

Jaffray replaces Peter Toone, who left the business in December 2017. In the new role, Jaffray will lead Starcom in Melbourne and be accountable for the performance of the business, clients and talent. He will report to Barbour.

Jaffray was previously the GM of Marketing at BMW, where he worked for 11 years.

Commenting on the appointment, Toby Barbour said: “Stuart is a respected leader in the Melbourne market. His appointment is a statement of our intent to provide genuine thought leadership for our clients on the future of brands, consumers and the media and to connect media metrics to business outcomes.”

More at

News Brands

Charles Wooley tells NZ radio reaction to PM interview overwhelming and “Orwellian”

The 60 Minutes reporter who described New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as “attractive” and speculated when her baby was conceived has defended his interview with her, saying the reaction has been overwhelming and “Orwellian”, reports The Australian’s Sam Buckingham-Jones.

Charles Wooley, a veteran journalist with the Nine Network, has come under fire from some viewers and critics for marvelling at Ardern’s age and appearance, rather than her policies.

“I’ve met a lot of prime ministers in my time, but none so young, not too many so smart, and never one so attractive,” he said during the 13-minute segment that aired on Sunday night.

On New Zealand radio yesterday, Wooley said Australians and New Zealanders are “culturally different” and conceded, while he thought the details of the pregnancy were funny, he may have been wrong.

“It’s a bit Orwellian, you know I think. You’ve got to be so careful now with newsspeak and thought crime and everything else. We suffer the same thing in Australia. It’s not a good time to be a journalist,” he told Newstalk ZB.

[Read the original]

Listen to Charles Wooley on New Zealand radio here.


Triple M drive's Week of Long Lunches hits Brisbane, ready for Sydney today!

The Triple M national drive show’s week of Long Lunches hit Brisbane yesterday with a function at the Story Bridge Hotel with a receptive crowd of around 200.

There were plenty of ZZ Tops beards in the crowd – some belonging to clients and listeners!

Jane Kennedy was very impressed with the table arrangement and noted they wouldn’t look out of place at a French palace.

The Triple M roadshow rolls into Sydney today before heading west.

Hamish and Andy’s new weekly podcast launching tomorrow on PodcastOne

Radio and comedy duo Hamish & Andy are set to return to listeners’ ears with the pair set to launch a new weekly podcast on Thursday, reports Fairfax Media’s William McInnes.

While many had become used to hearing the sounds of the duo every afternoon across Australia on their radio drive program, Hamish Blake and Andy Lee left their regular slot in a bid to focus on other projects.

Hamish & Andy will return to the format that originally made them known around the world.

“We’ve loved the podcast since we got going,” said Lee. “[When we started] we pestered the boss to do a podcast and we got it up ourselves.

“In 2006, we were one of the first podcasts on the market. We were a bit like Red Bull: we might not have tasted very good but we were the only ones doing it. We never expected for it to go as well as it did.”

Lee said that old listeners to the drive show and podcast can expect a similar show in 2018 with just a few differences.

“Hamish and I don’t have many tricks,” he said. “The difference is these days we don’t have a radio beast to serve. We don’t have to rush into a song or an ad. It’s also a chance for more people around the world to tune in.”

[Read the original]


Nine abandons plan for Seven legal action over Ninja copycat after ratings fail

Poor opening night television audiences for the Seven Network’s new grunt physical challenge show Australian Spartan look to have saved Seven from a legal challenge from Nine, reports News Corp’s Sydney Confidential.

Nine has indicated it would not pursue Seven for ripping off its hit show Australian Ninja Warrior because Spartan had fallen well short of beating Nine’s Married At First Sight on its first outing on Sunday night.

Last week came talk Nine, wrong-footed by Seven’s bold programming move, was keeping an eye on Spartan and weighing up whether it would sue Seven for stealing the concept of its top-rating Ninja Warrior.

A Nine spokeswoman today said Nine would not be proceeding. Such legal challenges over copycat programs are seldom successful.

Seven is believed to have commissioned only six episodes of Spartan from production companies Matchbox Productions and Eureka Productions.

A network spokesman could not be reached for comment yesterday and to confirm executives are preparing to move Spartan to a new timeslot.

[Read the original]

Dannii & Honey Badger to host Australian segment of Beastmaster for Netflix

Ultimate Beastmaster will come back for a third run on Netflix, with a fresh format and contestants from the UK and Australia for the first time, reports Reuters.

Pop star and performer Dannii Minogue will fly the flag for Australia alongside rugby star Nick Cummins (aka The Honey Badger), while UK Fox Sports and former Sky Sports News presenter Kate Abdo will be the UK host alongside wrestler and actor Stu Bennett.

The series was the first competition show approved by Netflix.

It has hosts from each of the participating countries commentating alongside one another so that each territory sees a localised version of the show, as well as seeing the presenters of all the competing countries interact with each other throughout the course of the show.

Contestants from the UK and Australia will go up against those from the US, Brazil, France, Italy, Mexico, and South Korea. China and India don’t take part this time out.

Ultimate Beastmaster is produced by 25/7 Productions and Dave Broome for Netflix.

Hoodlum’s drama/thriller for Netflix, Tidelands, to start filming in March

Tidelands, a suspenseful drama/thriller written and developed by Queensland talent through Brisbane-based production house Hoodlum, starts filming in the state in March.

In an Australian first, filming will take place in Southeast Queensland, along with post-production at Cutting Edge.

The series will film 10 one-hour episodes in Queensland for its first season and will be available through Netflix in 190 countries.

Tidelands will shoot in Queensland from March to July 2018.

South Australian company Resin has been named as the sole VFX vendor on the production.

New US Survivor: Ghost Island arriving on Nine Network this March

Survivor: Ghost Island, the 36th season of award-winning adventure reality series Survivor, will premiere on Thursday March 1.

Survivor: Ghost Island, the 36th season of award-winning adventure reality series Survivor, will premiere on Thursday March 1. The new season will be fast-tracked from America on 9Go! with episodes available to watch just hours after the USA: from 3pm the same day on 9Now.

Unlike anything you’ve ever seen on Survivor, the worst nightmares of past contestants will haunt the dreams of the new castaways when, in a new twist, players may be sent to Ghost Island – a haunted island filled with Survivor relics from the previous 35 seasons.

Returning to the Mamanuca Islands in Fiji, Survivor: Ghost Island features 20 new castaways divided into two groups of 10, and centres on the bad decisions of past players that ultimately led to them being voted off their island by the tribal council.

More at


eOne, Seville & Screen Aust announce Rachel Ward/Bryan Brown movie Palm Beach

Entertainment One (eOne), Seville International and Screen Australia in association with Create NSW have announced that Bryan Brown (Sweet Country, Cocktail, Gorillas in the Mist), Sam Neill (Sweet Country, The Piano, Jurassic Park), Greta Scacchi (Rasputin, Looking for Alibrandi, War and Peace) and Jacqueline McKenzie (The 4400, Mental, Romper Stomper) will star in Palm Beach, a new feature film written by Joanna Murray-Smith to be directed by critically acclaimed filmmaker Rachel Ward.

eOne will distribute the film in Australia and New Zealand, with its boutique sales outfit Seville International handling worldwide sales.

Produced by Bryan Brown for New Town Films and Deb Balderstone for Soapbox Industries, Palm Beach is a drama/comedy about a group of lifelong friends reuniting to celebrate a special birthday, with Sydney’s iconic Palm Beach providing a stunning backdrop for the unfolding drama. The good times roll, with loads of laughter, lavish meals, flowing wine and fantastic music, but slowly tensions mount and deep secrets arise.

Palm Beach is a New Town Films and Soapbox Industries production with principal production investment from Screen Australia, in association with Create NSW and Spectrum Films and with support from Destination NSW.

Joanna Murray-Smith is an award-winning playwright, novelist and screenwriter. Her plays have been produced around the world including productions of Honour on Broadway and in London (both at the National Theatre and in the West End) and she has also published three novels “Truce”, “Judgement Rock” and “Sunnyside”.

Rachel Ward adapted and directed her first feature film Beautiful Kate in 2009, starring Ben Mendelsohn, Rachel Griffiths and Bryan Brown. In her former life as an actress, Rachel Ward was the recipient of several international awards and nominations, which include two Golden Globe nominations.

Sports Media

Macquarie Media signs new five-year radio deal for NRL broadcast rights

Macquarie Media has concluded a new five-year radio broadcast agreement with the Australian Rugby League Commission for the coverage of NRL games in the 2018-2022 seasons.

Under the new agreement Macquarie Media will broadcast more games than in previous seasons into the Sydney and Brisbane markets via 2GB and 4BC respectively, and it will also broadcast games on its Talking Lifestyle stations in both cities.

Confirming the new rights agreement, Macquarie Media executive chairman Russell Tate said he was very pleased that Macquarie’s long association with Rugby League would continue.

Ray Hadley’s Continuous Call Team is the game’s most successful and longest-running commentary team in the code,” Tate said. “It has dominated ratings and established loyal audiences in Sydney on 2GB, in Brisbane on 4BC, throughout regional New South Wales and Queensland, and in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. Our audiences love the passion, enthusiasm and professionalism the team brings to the coverage of rugby league and we are looking to take that to a new level under this agreement.”

Macquarie’s rights under the agreement will continue to extend into other capital city markets, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, and regional markets in NSW and Queensland. “We look forward to working with the NRL to extend its footprint in other capital cities and have already confirmed broadcast partners in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea,” said Tate.

With respect to regional markets in NSW and Queensland, Tate said he was pleased to announce that, as part of the new agreement, Macquarie Media would sub-license rights to service these markets to Crocmedia, Australia’s biggest radio sports syndicator.

“Crocmedia has well established relationships in these markets,” he said. “It will have rights to syndicate Continuous Call Team broadcasts into regional markets and will also produce its own NRL Nation calls of up to four games not being called by the Continuous Call Team. Regional networks and stations will therefore have access to every NRL game played every week and the combined effect of a broader regional station base and access to more NRL games will significantly expand the game’s radio reach.”

Crocmedia CEO Craig Hutchison said the NRL sub-licence partnership with Macquarie Media and the ARLC represented a key asset in the company’s whole-of-sport expansion strategy.

“We are thrilled to add a broadcast partnership with Macquarie Media and the NRL as the latest addition to our growing stable of sport properties with an incredible ensemble of on-air talent,” Hutchison said.

NRL Nation will call four matches each round: Thursday (8pm), Friday (6pm), Saturday (3pm) and Sunday (4pm), across the Super Radio Network throughout regional NSW and Southeast Queensland, the Grant Broadcasters in regional NSW and regional Queensland, Resonate Regional Radio and Coastal Broadcasters in Queensland, Capital Radio Network in Canberra, CAAMA Network (Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association) through Central Australia and QRAM (Queensland Remote Aboriginal Media) throughout Remote Queensland.

NRL Nation officially launches on Thursday March 8 and can be heard across radio broadcast partners, NRL app, and

Follow @nrlnationradio across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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