Thursday July 12, 2018

Mediaweek TV

Joining James Manning and Nadine Blayney on Mediaweek TV today are Seven West Media CEO Tim Worner and Nova Entertainment COO Pater Charlton. Tune in today at 2.30pm on Sky News Business (Foxtel 601).

Seven West Media CEO Tim Worner and veteran Seven sports commentator Bruce McAvaney this week hosted the launch of Seven’s forthcoming summer of cricket. The share market has given Seven’s acquisition of domestic cricket rights, which it is sharing Foxtel, a big tick as the Seven share price has trended upward ever since the announcement back in April. After the presentations to advertisers and media buyers, Tim Worner spoke with Mediaweek’s James Manning to talk about the chance of media M&A activity, how Seven will pay for the cricket and the changing face of the FTA business model.

Meanwhile, Nova Entertainment has been busy building the business into different areas and diversifying the income streams from being just radio dependent. To explain the latest initiative and to update us on the recent launches if Nova chief commercial officer Peter Charlton.

Tim Worner Q&A part 2: Record share, AFL audiences, Seven News and the future of TV ('it’s not Love Island!')

Mediaweek’s James Manning speaks with Seven West Media CEO Tim Worner on the day of the broadcaster’s cricket coverage announcement.

By James Manning

• Read part 1 of the Tim Worner Q&A here
• Seven details summer of cricket coverage: Test and BBL all in one place

You and Kurt Burnette have promised advertisers a combined Seven commercial channel share of 40%-50% during the cricket. How hard will that be?

It is very gettable. As you may have learnt over the years, we don’t throw around numbers that we don’t think we are not able to get and that is a very achievable target.

You acknowledged recently some of the AFL ratings have been soft this year. Does that challenge any of your long-term predictions about sports rights?

Not at all. Year-on-year it looked slightly soft but, since I said that, the numbers have strengthened. The ratings for live sport don’t worry me at all. Particularly not the two biggest sports in Australia – AFL and cricket. The ratings for those sports are bankable. We are able to have certainty about that for the next five seasons.

Nine has told us it is having a pretty good year, but how good has it been for Seven?

• Nine’s Hamish Turner says Love Island model works best under 40

Since ratings began [2001], this has been our best year with the highest share we have ever had. We have obviously had some pretty handy first-halves, but this is our highest share and that is without the Commonwealth Games. We are on target and there are some reachable targets for the whole year in terms of [winning] all the demographics and that is what we are aiming for now.

This is an excerpt from the full article, which appears on Mediaweek Premium. Read the full article hereor subscribe to Mediaweek Premium here.

Nova Entertainment launches exp. for activations and events

Nova Entertainment has launched exp., a live experience business established to deliver creative activations and events for brands.

For this new venture Nova Entertainment has partnered with habitat., a creative and strategic specialist, to utilise the assets of both partners to become the experts in live experiences for brands.

Nathan Reay, Nova Entertainment’s head of M&A, strategy & partnerships, told Mediaweek: “We have been active in event and activations for some time and we have helped clients with smaller activations over a long period of time. A year ago we thought we should be doing more within this space. habitat. is a company we have partnered with historically in the event space. We looked around for partners and it was our view there was a real gap in the market for an events business that can help clients with small scale activations, but also through to large scale events.

“At the larger events end of the spectrum, there is a real possibility of linking with Nova’s assets whether it be radio or digital or podcasting, giving brands the chance of really amplifying their events as well.

“With exp. you can have an events company that builds your event and you can have also have a media company that amplifies your event. That is a really exciting proposition for all clients. Given our Red Room experience and our smoothfm Festival of Chocolate, which has also been very successful, it is a space we want to play more in.”

Nova Entertainment will be the home of the business and will manage day-to-day relations with clients. “habitat. will be part of the engine room that sits behind exp. and will work alongside Nova’s create team,” added Reay.

Staff will be seconded from both partners for new clients with new hires dependent on the amount of business exp. attracts initially.

“Media companies need to react to the business they attract, but we won’t be holding back on searching for that new business.”

habitat. partners Mark Vincent and Antony Neeson

habitat. has been running since 2012 when former high school friends Mark Vincent and Antony Neeson reunited in business. Vincent has a background in radio sales while Neeson worked as an agency art director.

Brands habitat. have worked with include M&Ms, Oreos, Visit Victoria, Volvo, Land Rover Discovery, Visit Canberra, Vivid Festival and many more.

Neeson told Mediaweek the initial reception has been strong: “We did a national sales presentation recently with Kate Murphy, who heads Nova’s Create team, and we have already had five briefs from that in less than a week.

“Our vision is to be the first name in branded experiences in the Australasia market. The formation of exp. takes us one giant step closer to that.”

Reay said they are open for business to any client from any category, although it is hard to imagine they’d take on another radio broadcaster.

Reay: “There is one project we are close to announcing some initial clients.”

Reay and head of commercial Peter Charlton will be the two senior Nova Entertainment executives heading the initial activity.

Other recent Nova Entertainment initiatives include the Acast podcasting offering, the launch of the millennial platform GOAT and the recent strategic partnership with the esports company ESL.

Top photo: Nova Entertainment’s Nathan Reay

Pacific’s celebrity brand Who launches podcast with Pete Timbs

Celebrity news and entertainment brand Who has launched a new podcast, Who Are You.

Hosted by entertainment journalist Pete Timbs (pictured), the podcast takes fans behind the curtain to reveal the real lives of some of the biggest names in Australian entertainment.

The series launches on July 12 and features personalities such as singer Shannon Noll, who speaks candidly about struggling to put food on the table, battling trolls and his brushes with the law.

Roxy Jacenko shares some dark family secrets, Bridie Carter talks about life after McLeod’s Daughters and the experience of being outed as an alcoholic by the Australian media, while journalist Elle Halliwell shares the harrowing tale of her battle with leukaemia and having to make the choice between herself and her unborn baby.

Additional episodes feature Studio 10 host Joe Hildebrand and The Morning Show’s Larry Emdur.

Who Are You follows on from the launch of Who podcast Binge List, a podcast designed for TV fans, and the brand has further podcast concepts in the works adding to Pacific’s growing stable of audio offerings, which include New Idea Royals, New Idea Investigates, a podcast that delves into Australia’s most intriguing crime cold cases with reporter Mary-Ann Harris, and That’s Life! How I Survived, which details gripping true stories of women who have survived against the odds.

NEP acquires Big Picture, strengthens Live Events business in ANZ

NEP Group, the worldwide outsourced technical production partner supporting content producers of live sports and entertainment, has acquired Big Picture in Australia and New Zealand.

Headquartered in Sydney with additional operations in Auckland, Big Picture is a leading supplier of video production and equipment for concert tours, music festivals, broadcast, corporate and special events.

The deal strengthens NEP’s Live Events business and market standing by adding live entertainment event capabilities in Australia and New Zealand, complementing the already strong reputation of NEP’s Mediatec Asia Pacific brand in the region. The deal also adds extensive LED screens and flypacks, as well as two outside broadcast trucks, to NEP’s deep pool of existing global resources.

“The addition of Big Picture’s AV technology and talented staff allows NEP’s Live Events companies to better serve our clients in the region, and enables us to fully support the live entertainment market locally,” said Kevin Rabbitt, CEO of NEP. “It’s a great fit for NEP, Big Picture and Mediatec Asia Pacific. Our cultures – and our people – are aligned: we put our clients first.”

“NEP is a great home for Big Picture. Like us, all of NEP’s divisions focus on delivering superior service to their clients,” said Joe Bonanno, managing director of Big Picture. “We’re excited to join the group and tap into even greater technical and engineering resources, broader geographic support, and innovative broadcast and media solutions for our clients.”

Big Picture will continue to operate under the Big Picture brand, with Joe Bonanno staying on to run the Big Picture day-to-day business. Owen Davison of Mediatec Asia Pacific will continue to run Mediatec Asia Pacific, focusing on live sporting events, as well as corporate, television, broadcast and special events, in the market.

Zenith Brisbane appoints Megan Elliott as Group Business Director

Zenith Brisbane GM Warwick Taylor has announced the appointment of Megan Elliott as Group Business Director.

Elliott brings more than 20 years’ experience working in senior marketing, sales and communications planning roles with media owners and agencies. She joins from Mediacom Brisbane, where she was Director, Client Communications Planning.

At Zenith, Elliott will work on key clients Lite n’ Easy and Brisbane City Council and will report to Warwick Taylor.

Warwick Taylor said: “Megan brings to Zenith very senior client relationship skills, plus a wealth of client experience from government to consumer brands. She will be a valuable member of the Zenith team and for our clients in this new senior role.”

Megan Elliott said: “Zenith is doing interesting work in the Brisbane market and I am excited to be joining the team. I look forward to working closely with clients to bring true return on investment outcomes and help them understand and flourish in the changing consumer and media landscape.”

Elliott joins Zenith Brisbane on August 27.

As filming of Reckoning commences, Playmaker reveals cast

Aden Young (Rectify, The Disappearance) and Tony nominee Sam Trammell (The Fault In Our Stars, True Blood) are headlining the cast of Reckoning – the new thriller series from Playmaker for Sony Pictures Television Networks.

Production for Reckoning began this week in Sydney, Australia with the assistance of Create NSW.

Reckoning explores the darkest corners of the human psyche through the eyes of two fathers, one of whom is a serial-killer. Mike (Aden Young) and Leo (Sam Trammell) try to do what’s best for the people they love and the families they protect. But as both struggle to suppress their inner demons, the murder of a local teenager sets them on a course of mutual destruction that will emanate through every facet of their quiet, suburban community.

Also joining the cast are Simone Kessell (Pine Gap, The Crossing), Laura Gordon (Undertow, Secret City 2), Gloria Garayua (How To Get Away With Murder, Bounty Hunters), Mitzi Ruhlmann (Hiding, The Code), Milly Alcock (Pine Gap, Fighting Season), Ed Oxenbould (Wildlife, Paper Planes), Finn Little (Tidelands, Angel of Mine), Anthony Phelan (The Kettering Incident, Deep Water) and Diana Glenn (The Slap, Secrets and Lies).

Set in California, the 10-episode series is being filmed and wholly produced and post-produced in Australia.

Created by David Hubbard (Noel), who is co-showrunner with David Eick (Battlestar Galactica, Falling Skies), Reckoning is executive produced by Playmaker’s David Taylor and David Maher (The Code, Chosen), produced by Diane Haddon (The Code, Friday On My Mind), directed and co-executive produced by Shawn Seet (The Code, Storm Boy) with Jennifer Leacey (Bite Club, Pulse) and Peter Andrikidis (Bite Club, Underbelly) also directing.

“We are excited to have Aden and Sam leading a talented ensemble cast to bring this riveting and suspenseful thriller to life,” said Playmaker’s Taylor and Maher.

“Aden and Sam and the fantastic ensemble cast are crushing it in rehearsals. We’re thrilled that production has started in beautiful Sydney,” said Marie Jacobson, EVP, programming and production, Sony Pictures Television Networks.

An Australian production from Playmaker, Sony Pictures Television Networks commissioned Reckoning for its international channels, including AXN, in select territories in Europe and Latin America. A broadcaster in Australia is yet to be revealed. Sony Pictures Television Distribution will handle worldwide sales of the series, which is set to debut next year.

Top photo: Sam Trammell (credit: DFree / Shutterstock)

State Of Origin: Nine’s history of big rugby league audiences

Here is a list of the big audiences Nine and its regional broadcast partners have been attracting for the three State Of Origin matches every year since OzTAM took over management of TV ratings in 2001.

The metro audience didn’t hit 2m until game 3 in 2006.

The biggest metro State Of Origin audience was 2,708,000 for game 1 in 2016.


6/5/01 State Of Origin 1st 1,571,376 1,571,376
10/6/01 State Of Origin 2nd 1,430,205 1,430,205
1/7/01 State Of Origin 3rd 1,460,808 1,460,808
22/5/02 State Of Origin 1st 1,679,598 1,679,598
5/6/02 State Of Origin 2nd 1,686,521 1,686,521
26/6/02 State Of Origin 3rd 1,995,605 1,995,605
11/6/03 State Of Origin 1st 1,929,720 1,363,143 3,292,863
25/6/03 State Of Origin 2nd 1,741,266 1,292,219 3,033,485
16/7/03 State Of Origin 3rd 1,570,976 1,152,805 2,723,781
26/5/04 State Of Origin 1st 1,670,345 1,160,129 2,830,474
16/6/04 State Of Origin 2nd 1,833,634 1,255,170 3,088,804
7/7/04 State Of Origin 3rd 1,781,218 1,284,179 3,065,397
25/5/05 State Of Origin 1st 1,733,363 1,230,280 2,963,643
15/6/05 State Of Origin 2nd 1,757,542 1,245,004 3,002,546
6/7/05 State Of Origin 3rd 1,861,270 1,236,553 3,097,823
24/5/06 State Of Origin 1st 1,876,172 1,242,574 3,118,746
14/6/06 State Of Origin 2nd 1,644,173 1,255,337 2,899,510
5/7/06 State Of Origin 3rd 2,019,141 1,300,606 3,319,747
23/5/07 State Of Origin 1st 2,020,403 1,266,614 3,287,017
13/6/07 State Of Origin 2nd 1,961,033 1,312,100 3,273,133
4/7/07 State Of Origin 3rd 1,889,862 1,107,427 2,997,289
21/5/08 State Of Origin 1st 2,091,768 1,270,284 3,362,052
11/6/08 State Of Origin 2nd 2,083,724 1,233,569 3,317,293
2/7/08 State Of Origin 3rd 2,145,058 1,260,289 3,405,347
3/6/09 State Of Origin 1st 2,322,075 1,156,319 3,478,394
24/6/09 State Of Origin 2nd 2,134,173 1,113,120 3,247,293
15/7/09 State Of Origin 3rd 1,907,129 1,049,735 2,956,864
26/5/10 State Of Origin 1st 2,454,880 1,168,538 3,623,418
16/6/10 State Of Origin 2nd 2,160,088 1,066,840 3,226,928
7/7/10 State Of Origin 3rd 1,782,106 1,063,407 2,845,513
25/5/11 State Of Origin 1st 2,235,234 1,282,824 3,518,058
15/6/11 State Of Origin 2nd 2,158,876 1,262,073 3,420,949
6/7/11 State Of Origin 3rd 2,475,263 1,311,535 3,786,798
23/5/12 State Of Origin 1st 2,515,321 1,444,847 3,960,168
13/6/12 State Of Origin 2nd 2,498,094 1,375,573 3,873,667
4/7/12 State Of Origin 3rd 2,679,313 1,360,610 4,039,923
5/6/13 State Of Origin 1st * 2,506,643 1,442,731 3,949,374
26/6/13 State Of Origin 2nd * 2,346,396 1,389,310 3,735,706
17/7/13 State Of Origin 3rd * 2,698,574 1,496,162 4,194,736
28/5/14 State Of Origin 1st 2,616,166 1,439,767 4,055,933
18/6/14 State Of Origin 2nd 2,698,808 1,460,371 4,159,179
9/7/14 State Of Origin 3rd 2,136,889 1,211,255 3,348,144
27/5/15 State Of Origin 1st 2,459,948 1,228,445 3,688,393
17/6/15 State Of Origin 2nd 2,638,898 1,296,052 3,934,950
8/7/15 State Of Origin 3rd 2,213,816 1,101,317 3,315,133
1/6/16 State Of Origin 1st 2,708,000 1,243,000 3,951,000
22/6/16 State Of Origin 2nd 2,404,000 1,143,000 3,547,000
13/7/16 State Of Origin 3rd 2,070,000 953,000 3,023,000
31/5/17 State Of Origin 1st 2,348,000 1,179,000 3,527,000
21/6/17 State Of Origin 2nd 2,380,000 1,103,000 3,483,000
12/7/17 State Of Origin 3rd 2,488,000 1,165,000 3,653,000
6/6/18 State Of Origin 1st 2,353,000 1,103,000 3,456,000
24/6/18 State Of Origin 2nd (Sunday) 2,122,000 1,057,000 3,179,000
11/7/18 State Of Origin 3rd

Source: Nine Network/OzTAM

*On GEM in Perth in 2013

TV Ratings Analysis: Wednesday July 11

• State Of Origin game three audience plunges below 1.8m
• Nine wins the night with smallest Origin audience since 2006
• FIFA World Cup first semifinal over 200,000 for SBS at 4am
• The Front Bar tackles State Of Origin, Footy Show down again

By James Manning


Home and Away was again just below 700,000.

On House Rules round three of the backyard battles continued with 610,000 watching.

The Front Bar did 288,000 with 196,000 in Melbourne. The number was just behind Origin in that market on 234,000.


State Of Origin Game 3 saw the event move back to what is supposed to be a more popular Wednesday night. With a dead rubber after NSW had already won the series, the match did 1.77m. That’s the lowest State Of Origin metro audience since 2006 when 1.64m watched game two.

The metro audiences for the State Of Origin games this year on Nine:

Game 1: 2,353,000
Game 2: 2,122,000 (Sunday)
Game 3: 1,774,000

• State Of Origin: Nine’s history of big rugby league audiences

The AFL Footy Show did 188,000 with 111,000 in Melbourne. It was screened later in the night with Tony Jones filling in for Eddie McGuire.


The Project was on 607,000 as Waleed Aly and Lisa Wilkinson fired up.

MasterChef Australia decided who would get the Super Power benefit. Up against State Of Origin, the episode did 747,000.

The US dramas were next – Instinct with 338,000 and then Madam Secretary with 144,000.


Germaine Greer was the guest of Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery as the academic and the TV host strolled around Cambridge with plenty of time spent poking about the Cambridge University Library. The episode did 441,000.

The Weekly has moved into the 8.30pm slot and the episode had a funny Gruen parody complete with The Pitch segment. Kitty Flanagan talked podcasts and then Tom Gleeson had another episode of Go Away – this time visiting Cairns. The episode did 448,000.

Series three of You Can’t Ask That then returned with 306,000.

Adam Hills: The Last Leg was next on 182,000.

Tonightly’s midweek FTA spot did 67,000.


Episode three of Robson Green’s Australian Adventure did 302,000 at 7.30pm.

24 Hours In Emergency repeat then did 167,000.

Stage 5 of the Tour de France was speeding through beautiful parts of Brittany with 175,000 watching.

The FIFA World Cup clash between France and Belgium was on 222,000 with a 4am start.

Week 28 TV: Wednesday
ABC Seven Nine Ten SBS
ABC 8.9% 7 16.6% 9 31.8% TEN 11.2% SBS One 5.9%
ABC 2 12.5% 7TWO 2.9% GO! 4.0% ONE 2.4% VICELAND 0.9%
ABC ME 0.4% 7mate 2.9% GEM 1.7% ELEVEN 2.0% Food Net 0.7%
ABC NEWS 1.3% 7flix 2.1% 9Life 1.7% NITV 0.2%
TOTAL 12.9% 24.5% 39.3% 15.6% 7.7%
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates Ten Affiliates SBS
ABC 7.6% 7 16.9% 9 36.3% WIN 8.3% SBS One 4.1%
ABC 2 2.3% 7TWO 3.9% GO! 3.8% ONE 2.8% VICELAND 0.9%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 2.7% GEM 2.9% ELEVEN 1.8% Food Net 0.7%
ABC NEWS 1.0% 7flix 1.6% 9Life 1.7% NITV 0.1%
TOTAL 11.5% 25.1% 44.7% 12.9% 5.8%
88.3% 11.7%
Wednesday fta
  1. State Of Origin Rugby League Qld v NSW 3rd – Match Nine 1,774,000
  2. Seven News Seven 1,134,000
  3. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 1,078,000
  4. Nine News Nine 943,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 893,000
  6. State Of Origin Rugby League Qld v NSW 3rd – Pre Match Nine 820,000
  7. ABC News ABC 784,000
  8. MasterChef Australia Ten 747,000
  9. Home And Away Seven 680,000
  10. The Chase Australia Seven 627,000
  11. House Rules Seven 610,000
  12. The Project 7pm Ten 607,000
  13. State Of Origin Rugby League Qld v NSW 3rd – Post Match Nine 565,000
  14. Hot Seat Nine 503,000
  15. 7.30 ABC 498,000
  16. Ten Eyewitness News First At Five Ten 486,000
  17. The Weekly With Charlie Pickering ABC 448,000
  18. Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery ABC 441,000
  19. The Project 6.30pm Ten 375,000
  20. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 367,000
Demo Top Fives

16-39 Top 5

  1. State Of Origin Rugby League Qld v NSW 3rd – Match Nine 483,000
  2. State Of Origin Rugby League Qld v NSW 3rd – Pre Match Nine 210,000
  3. MasterChef Australia Ten 193,000
  4. State Of Origin Rugby League Qld v NSW 3rd – Post Match Nine 166,000
  5. The Project 7pm Ten 159,000


18-49 Top 5

  1. State Of Origin Rugby League Qld v NSW 3rd – Match Nine 734,000
  2. State Of Origin Rugby League Qld v NSW 3rd – Pre Match Nine 336,000
  3. MasterChef Australia Ten 317,000
  4. The Project 7pm Ten 250,000
  5. State Of Origin Rugby League Qld v NSW 3rd – Post Match Nine 248,000


25-54 Top 5

  1. State Of Origin Rugby League Qld v NSW 3rd – Match Nine 811,000
  2. State Of Origin Rugby League Qld v NSW 3rd – Pre Match Nine 389,000
  3. MasterChef Australia Ten 363,000
  4. Seven News Seven 307,000
  5. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 298,000
Wednesday Multichannel
  1. Noddy Toyland Detective-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 194,000
  2. The Big Bang Theory TX1 9GO! 193,000
  3. The Big Bang Theory TX2 9GO! 193,000
  4. Peppa Pig-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 190,000
  5. Wanda And The Alien-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 176,000
  6. The Hive-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 170,000
  7. Pj Masks-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 168,000
  8. Play School-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 167,000
  9. Peter Rabbit ABCKIDS/COMEDY 158,000
  10. Dinosaur Train ABCKIDS/COMEDY 158,000
  11. Andy’s Prehistoric Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 158,000
  12. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 157,000
  13. Octonauts ABCKIDS/COMEDY 156,000
  14. Teacup Travels-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 155,000
  15. Kazoops!-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 155,000
  16. Shaun The Sheep ABCKIDS/COMEDY 153,000
  17. Floogals ABCKIDS/COMEDY 152,000
  18. Peppa Pig-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 146,000
  19. Hey Duggee-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 145,000
  20. The Matrix 9GO! 144,000
Wednesday Subscription tv
  1. Live: AFL 360 FOX FOOTY 65,000
  2. Selling Houses Australia LifeStyle Channel 65,000
  3. The Bolt Report SKY NEWS LIVE 52,000
  4. Jeopardy! FOX Classics 49,000
  5. Selling Houses Australia LifeStyle Channel 48,000
  6. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 44,000
  7. Wentworth showcase 44,000
  8. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation TVH!TS 43,000
  9. Bones TVH!TS 37,000
  10. Curious George Nick Jr. 36,000
  11. Sharri Markson SKY NEWS LIVE 33,000
  12. Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs Foxtel Movies More 33,000
  13. Ice Age: The Meltdown Foxtel Movies More 32,000
  14. George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces LifeStyle Channel 32,000
  15. Paul Murray Live SKY NEWS LIVE 31,000
  16. Cops crime + investigation 31,000
  17. Blaze And The Monster Machines Nick Jr. 31,000
  18. WWE Smackdown FOX8 31,000
  19. Shimmer And Shine Nick Jr. 30,000
  20. Criminal Minds TVH!TS 30,000

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

ABC’s Justin Milne lashes critics: “simplistic, facile and entirely self-serving”

ABC Chairman Justin Milne was speaking at the American Chamber of Commerce in Sydney yesterday. Highlights of his speech include:

Justin Milne

One of the key debates is about whether the ABC should have a role in the digital age. In a familiar echo of the past, commercial interests, supported by some on the political fringe, lobby for the ABC to vacate digital platforms. You can hear their arguments:

“I run an excellent media business, which employs hundreds of Australians. We provide excellent journalism, which is under enormous pressure from the Internet. Why should public money be used for a media service that duplicates what we already do?”

Of course, when you unpack this argument – even a little – it is revealed as simplistic, facile and entirely self-serving. Throughout the Western world, governments have recognised the public benefit in hybrid public-private models for infrastructure and service delivery, whether you think about education, health, airports, roads, public transport or many more examples.

Let’s be clear: if the ABC were barred from serving audiences on digital platforms, it would wither away and cease to exist. Linear broadcast audiences are in steady decline because Australians, just like people everywhere else on the planet, value the convenience of consuming their favourite content whenever, wherever and however they like.

The ABC does many other things commercial media does not, including making programs about science, education, classical music, art, religion and ethics – not to mention triple j, which is by far the most popular youth music station in Australia, breaking new bands regularly, and supporting the live music industry.

In doing all this, the ABC can produce content that commercial media would judge as too bold or uncommercial. Which commercial network in the 1970s, for example, would have devised a comedy about an obese cross-dressing trucker called “Aunty Jack”, as the ABC did? Which commercial network 40 years ago appointed women such as Margaret Throsby and Caroline Jones to host national television news and current affairs programs? Which commercial networks dared to define our culture with characters like Norman Gunston, or broach taboos with productions like Brides of Christ or Mother and Son? And which commercial network would produce Redfern Now or You Can’t Ask That?

Read the full Justin Milne speech here.

News Corp columnist: “We must protect the independence of the ABC”

We must protect the independence of the ABC, writes Courier-Mail assistant editor Paul Syvret in a column today:

It is our ABC, a network that backs and broadcasts Australian voices and Australian stories, and it costs us less than the price of a cup of coffee every fortnight.

It is why if I get a chance during my lunch break tomorrow I will be joining other concerned Australians at a rally outside the studios in Southbank to add my voice in support of the funding for, and independence of, this vital pillar of Australian content, democracy and media diversity.

Save our ABC.

[Read the original]

21st Century Fox increases bid to consolidate ownership of Sky

Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox has significantly increased its bid to consolidate ownership of pan-European pay-TV broadcaster Sky, turning up the heat in a bidding war against US cable company Comcast, reports The Australian’s Darren Davidson.

Fox raised its offer for the 61% of Sky it doesn’t already own by more than 30% to £14 a share.

The company said Sky’s independent directors had agreed to the new offer in a deal that valued all of Sky at £24.5 billion ($43.8b).

If Fox buys the rest of Sky prior to the completion of the Disney deal, Disney would take full ownership of Sky upon completion of the larger transaction.

[Read the original]

Twitter moves on fake followers to give users more confidence in numbers

Twitter has announced a major move to give users more confidence in follower counts:

Over the years, we’ve locked accounts when we detected sudden changes in account behaviour. In these situations, we reach out to the owners of the accounts and unless they validate the account and reset their passwords, we keep them locked with no ability to log in. This week, we’ll be removing these locked accounts from follower counts across profiles globally. As a result, the number of followers displayed on many profiles may go down.

Most people will see a change of four followers or fewer; others with larger follower counts will experience a more significant drop. We understand this may be hard for some, but we believe accuracy and transparency make Twitter a more trusted service for public conversation.

Though the most significant changes are happening in the next few days, follower counts may continue to change more regularly as part of our ongoing work to proactively identify and challenge problematic accounts.

Rebel Wilson v Bauer Media battle: Star to appeal to the High Court

The Herald Sun’s Shannon Deery reports Rebel Wilson has lodged an application for special leave to appeal with the High Court after her record $4.5 million payout was set aside.

It is understood the application was filed with the court on Wednesday night.

Bauer Media general Counsel Adrian Goss said: “We are considering the issues raised by Ms Wilson and our position in relation to them.”

Bauer has 21 days to file a response setting out why it does not consider that the court should agree to hear the appeal.

It is understood the application will be considered by two judges of the High Court in Melbourne.

They can reach judgment off written submissions filed with the court or can request the parties attend to deliver brief oral submissions.

Legal sources say a decision either way could take up to three months.

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News Brands

ABC hires Fairfax Media columnist Peter FitzSimons, donates fee to charity

Fresh from axing about 22 newsroom journalists to hire new digital staff, the ABC has hired highly paid Fairfax Media columnist Peter FitzSimons to be a guest reporter on Foreign Correspondent, reports The Australian’s Stephen Brook.

Next Tuesday, FitzSimons travels to New Zealand to report on the 1,300 Kiwis that Australia has deported over the past three years under changes to the Migration Act that permit the deportation of non-citizens with criminal records.

FitzSimons said he had donated his payment from the ABC to charity.

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The Project’s Lisa Wilkinson and Waleed Aly clash in a fiery debate

The Project’s Lisa Wilkinson and Waleed Aly have clashed in a fiery debate about a proposed law requiring priests to report confessions of child sex abuse from other clergy, reports

After a segment aired on how a push for Victoria to adopt similar legislation to South Australia had stalled, Wilkinson argued it was a “matter of urgency” that changes to the law happen.

“For me it’s a no-brainer – there are children, many many many generations of children, who have suffered at the hands of priests who know better,” she said.

But Aly was unconvinced, questioning how a law requiring priests to report confessions of child abuse would “actually stop any of this happening”.

“I’m not a Catholic. I have no interest in defending the confession or the institution of the confession or whatever, but breaking the seal of confession for them – not for me or you, but for them – is an excommunicable offence. It means eternal damnation for them,” he said.

“So now you are giving them a choice between eternal damnation or a $10,000 fine. I just can’t see any of them making the decision to avoid a $10,000 fine for the sake of that.”

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Equality taking time: BBC reveals just 2 of top 20 highest-paid are women

The BBC is facing a backlash after revealing that just two of its top 20 highest-paid stars are women, despite the corporation’s efforts to address its significant on-air gender pay gap, reports The Guardian.

The BBC said the number of women making its list of stars paid £150,000 or more increased from 14 to 22 in the year to the end of March, accounting for 34% of the 64-strong list.

The corporation said this would rise to 28 of 69 (41%) by the end of March next year when this year’s pay cuts for male stars – and rises for underpaid female talent – took full effect.

The director general of the BBC, Tony Hall, said the corporation was not being “disingenuous” by focusing on the progress in the proportion of women making the list instead of the ongoing stark pay differential with men. The BBC is aiming to have women make up 50% of the over-£150,000 pay list by 2020.

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Nielsen online news audience: now over 9m, ABC & Nine 8m+

Nielsen has released the June 2018 Digital Content Ratings tagged data. It comes just days after the release of the May data and cuts the delay between the end of each month and the data release. was again the top news entity in terms of highest unique audience (9.1 million), followed by ABC News Websites (8.6 million) and then (8.2 million). Fourth place was Daily Mail (5.0 million).

Next in the Nielsen online news rankings was The Guardian (3.0 million), followed by The Daily Telegraph (2.6 million) in sixth position.

In seventh position was Herald Sun (2.6 million), followed by APN Australian Regional Media News Network with a unique audience of 2.0 million. In ninth place was The Australian (2.0 million) followed by (1.7 million).


Network Ten announces Australian comedy series Street Smart from CJZ

Network Ten has announced a new Australian comedy series from CJZ, Street Smart, which follows a gang of would-be criminals who, despite spectacularly failing each time, approach every heist with blind optimism.

Rob Shehadie as Joseph and Casey Donovan as Tia

The new comedy is from the co-creators of Here Come The Habibs, and stars cult comedy star Tahir Bilgic (Pizza, Swift and Shift Couriers) as wannabe criminal mastermind Steve, whose big dreams of girls, riches and respect are constantly thwarted by his nemesis parking officer Joseph (Rob Shehadie, Housos) and his dedicated side-kick Tia (Casey Donovan).

The supporting cast includes Hung (Andy Trieu), Shane (Dave Eastgate) and Raj (Neel Kolhatkar).

Street Smart has received principal production investment from Screen Australia. It is produced by CJZ with the assistance of Screen Australia and Create NSW.

Maeve O’Meara Food Safari returning to SBS for 12th year

SBS has announced that its series Food Safari, hosted by Maeve O’Meara, will return for its 12th year on the network this August.

Food Safari Water is a 13-part series that serves up an abundance of multicultural seafood recipes and cuisines, traditions and tastes.

The latest Water season showcases the diverse seafood dishes of the world and dives deep into the customs of catching and preserving fish, shellfish, crustaceans and sea vegetables.

SBS Director of Television and Online Content Marshall Heald said: “We’re thrilled to be bringing back one of Australia’s most iconic food programs. Food Safari Water is a visual delight featuring world-class chefs and the best cooks of multicultural Australia.

“Fear of fish can afflict even the most confident cook. Food Safari Water presents seafood via practical, healthy recipes that are approachable and attainable. Whether it’s showcasing recipes that have been handed down over generations or multicultural dishes with a twist using local ingredients, Maeve O’Meara is the perfect tour guide for this flavourful voyage to some of our country’s most beautiful destinations.”

Maeve O’Meara said: “Our research showed a vast number of seafood recipes across the cuisines of the world but putting the episodes together and seeing the stories and the dishes come together gave us goosebumps – this is one of our very best Food Safari series!”

Food Safari Water airs Wednesdays at 8pm on SBS from August 1.

Episodes will be available after broadcast via SBS On Demand.

Recipes from the series will be available any time, anywhere, for free via SBS Food Online

Model Squad to premiere on hayu just in time for Melbourne Fashion Week

E!’s exclusive docu-series Model Squad will premiere on E! and NBCU’s reality TV streaming service hayu this September, coinciding with Melbourne Fashion Week and the launch of New York Fashion Week.

Shanina Shaik courtesy of Getty Images

Viewers will get an exclusive look behind the runway with the two-week premiere event screening on E! at 7pm Friday September 7, and available to stream or download on hayu September 5-14, the same day as the US.

Model Squad follows Australian glamour model Shanina Shaik along with Daniela Braga, Olivia Culpo, Hannah Ferguson, Ping Hue, Nadine Leopold, Caroline Lowe, Ashley Moore and Devon Windsor as they prepare for the American fall fashion season.

Model Squad is produced by Trooper Entertainment in association with Lionsgate TV and IMG with David Caplan, Will Staeger and Gennifer Gardiner serving as executive producers.

Top photo : Australian model Shanina Shaik (credit: Getty Images) 

Mark Humphries on move to game show host: “I genuinely like Pointless”

On Channel Ten’s new weeknight quiz show, Pointless, the aim of the game is for contestants to find an answer to a general knowledge question that is both correct and obscure, reports Fairfax Media’s Craig Mathieson.

Fittingly, the first question raised by the show also has an answer that is correct and obscure – why is it being hosted by Mark Humphries?

Over the last few years the Sydney-based satirist has made the case for being one of the funniest people on Australian television with his work on SBS Viceland’s nightly news and comedy series The Feed. Whether playing the dim-witted and disaster-prone rural politician Barabbas Loins or mocking the clueless confidence of corporate culture, Humphries, working with co-writer Evan Williams, has offered one hilarious and telling viral commentary after another. That is not where quiz show hosts are found.

“I’ve been doing daily satirical comedy for six years more or less and I want to continue doing that in some form not too far down the track, but I do need a creative change,” Humphries says. “I’m lucky that I genuinely like Pointless. If this was a generic game show my answer would be different, but I really did want to be involved in this.”

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Reese Witherspoon and Hello Sunshine are entering the VOD space

Reese Witherspoon and her Hello Sunshine production company are entering the VOD space, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

The actress and her company are teaming with AT&T’s DirecTV Now and U-Verse with a Hello Sunshine subscription channel. The platform will launch July 17 with Witherspoon’s first unscripted series, Shine On With Reese, followed by decluttering docuseries Master the Mess on September 4.

The AT&T collaboration extends the company’s partnership with Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine, which was launched in November 2016 with backing from the Chernin Group and AT&T’s Otter Media portfolio.

“AT&T was one of our first partners in the quest to bring female-centric storytelling to the forefront and we are especially proud of how these original series push that mission ahead,” Hello Sunshine CEO Sarah Harden said. “We’re looking forward to working with AT&T to develop more opportunities for women to see themselves and their stories reflected in entertainment.”

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Sports Media has biggest sports audience online too, AFL ranks #2

The FIFA World Cup was a sporting event driving online traffic during June 2018 and it appears in the top five for the Nielsen sports publisher snapshot.

Total time spent by online Australians consuming sports content during June 2018 increased by 17% when compared to May 2018.

The chart below shows leading with a unique sports audience over 3.6m.

Smartphone was the device of choice with 53% share of time, followed by desktop (36%) and tablet (11%) devices.

Looking at the sports sub-category in Nielsen Digital Content Ratings monthly data for June 2018, the top five sports related publishers based on unique audience were:

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