• Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany on churn, content reviews & revenues
By James Manning
Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany has spoken with Mediaweek in London shortly after he returned from one of the two epic sporting events that captured the imagination of sports fans around the world in the early hours of Monday morning back in Australia.
Delany was on a mid-year break, travelling with his family to the UK before he gets back into the rough and tumble of running Australia’s subscription TV platform as it faces more challengers than ever.
A visit to the Wimbledon men’s final was a reminder of the critical part sport plays in the Foxtel offer.
Mediaweek crossed paths with Delany in London the day after the final and asked him about sports rights and how they are impacted by any changes to the Foxtel business model.
Although Fox Sports doesn’t have live rights to the semis and finals at Wimbledon, the TV platform does cover the first week live and then has replay rights. Those replay rights will make the historic Novak Djokovic v Roger Federer final the most-requested on demand tennis match of all time.
Delany wasn’t too concerned about how the Wimbledon rights are split in the agreement. “It shares the rights between Seven and ourselves quite well. It allows the correct platforms to monetise the rights. We have quite a bit of tennis on our platform. And now that we have the two platforms, we are able to monetise well between Kayo and Foxtel,” he told Mediaweek.
When Delany returns to Australia he is prepping to launch what is being branded a new Foxtel experience, which updates the user interface on IQ3 and 4. It is anticipated that experience will include extra streaming specifically for the on demand products.
That might mean more live events, without needing to put the content on existing channels.
Part of the on demand-only content currently available are the sports mini highlight packages. While Djokovic v Federer will be much in demand, you can bet more people will gravitate toward the Kayo mini package at 30 minutes, instead of having to sit through the whole five hours.
Delany checks into the business regularly during time away, telling Mediaweek: “What I have been delighted with is watching the numbers for both sport and drama. They have been very healthy and the cricket has been fantastic.
“What you are not seeing in the ratings is our Kayo numbers. The platform continues to grow and people are watching as many as five and six sports with much cross over between NRL and AFL and major events like the Cricket World Cup.”
Delany wanted to stress, unlike some speculation, “The growth of Kayo is not coming at the expense of our Foxtel platform numbers. We have been having record NRL numbers for the Foxtel platform. You can then add on the Kayo numbers.
“We have record viewership on the Foxtel group platforms and at the same time we are seeing good take up of drama on demand, the latest of which has been Chernobyl.”
MCN is expected to soon reveal a solution for advertisers where the TV channel and Kayo numbers will be available together. “We expect that will allow us to generate even better advertising revenue,” said Delany.
Foxtel is continuing to examine options for any further streaming offerings in the vein of Kayo – perhaps one for drama. “We have all the content,” said Delany. “And we now have a world class platform. If and when we do it is still something we are planning.”
While allowing customers the option of running multi-screens during simultaneous sporting events was a popular initiative, Delany said the biggest success at Kayo has been the growth of the minis. “The cut downs we offer of every event.”
The Wimbledon men’s final we noted above. Also a hot property this week on Kayo is the Cricket World Cup final. To relive the final in its entirety on Kayo will take you 11 hours and 5 minutes. The mini relives the highlights and the Super Over in 39 minutes.
The mini is also something but that been welcomed by Optus Sport subscribers who get a mini version of all the EPL matches and more recently the Women’s World Cup games.
Delany said one of the biggest misconceptions about the Foxtel business, and something he noted is spread by his competitors, is that Foxtel’s churn is being driven by Kayo.
“That’s just not right. Any churn we are getting is out of the bottom end in non-sports. Our sports subscribers are very strong and any of them we are losing is minimal.
“The take up of Kayo is very good. It’s not just a streaming service that costs $10. It has a price tag of $25 and is contributing to our revenues in a meaningful way.
“It’s strategy is to strengthen and maintain Foxtel. To give our customers more value.”
The other thing Delany wanted to emphasis was the value of the investment in cricket. “The Cricket World Cup has been great. We also have a broad range of cricket from so many touring countries. We are able to segment out the data and reactivate subscribers.
“The difference between Foxtel and streaming platforms is that with Foxtel people sign up and stay. With a streaming platform they come in and out.”
As to commentary surrounding Foxtel shedding some of its sports rights, Delany said: “We always review all content. It is a very competitive world and from time to time the price of content goes up. We are getting better with the use of data and with our data we are able to tell what content is adding value and how many subscribers stay or go.
“Whether it is sport, drama or an output deal, if it is not performing in terms of people watching or seeing value in it, we will review it.
“We are also reviewing other content we don’t have, but that we might want.”
Walkley Award-winning journalist Alice Matthews (pictured) is one of five new faces joining The Feed, as co-host, alongside Marc Fennell and comedian Michael Hing.
Matthews is best known to Australian audiences for her work on youth broadcaster Triple J, where she’s been a reporter and newsreader. In 2015, Matthews won a Young Walkley Award for her reporting on sex abuse in the medical industry, and has collaborated on two publications for the UN on protecting confidential sources and fake news.
Also joining The Feed family is former Buzzfeed documentary maker Tania Safi (reporter/producer), Michelle Rimmer (reporter/producer), who started at SBS as a cadet in 2016, former Vice documentary maker and Audible podcaster Rebecca Metcalf (shooter/producer) and David Ma (shooter/editor) who comes from MTV.
As The Feed welcomes five new faces, the program farewells two of its founding members in Jan Fran and Patrick Abboud. The duo will sign off from The Feed tomorrow night on SBS Viceland at 8.30pm.
SBS director of news and current affairs Jim Carroll said: “The Feed holds a special place in the Australian media landscape – it’s a news and current affairs program like no other – giving emerging talent an amazing opportunity to develop, create and succeed.
“It’s great to see how Jan and Pat have grown with us since the program’s launch in 2013. As founding members of The Feed, SBS would like to thank them for their huge contribution. They’re leaving a fantastic legacy and we wish them all the very best for the future. I know they’ll do more remarkable work.”
Jan Fran said: “I started as an SBS cadet and the fact that I lasted as long as I did is a testament to one, how lazy I am, but two, how good SBS has been to me this last decade. I’ve had so many opportunities, worked with so many wonderful people and made friends for life. SBS gave me so much room to grow and I thank all the bosses I’ve had who trusted me and/or were too busy to go over what I’d actually written until it went to air. I wouldn’t be the person nor the journo I am today if it wasn’t for SBS. Honestly, who else is going to let me say half the sh*t I say on air?
“As I explore new and exciting opportunities, I know I’ll always be part of the SBS family and SBS will always hold a special place in my heart. Just think of me as the estranged cousin who does their own thing but is somehow always still there at Christmas telling you what’s what.”
Patrick Abboud said: “I started at SBS on a late night radio program called Alchemy. With big ideas and an ambitious outlook I went on to pitch a TV show that would reflect not only my own experiences as a young gay Arab man but all that incredible diversity that we just weren’t seeing enough on our screens. And so The Feed was born. Six seasons later, I’m so chuffed to have founded a program that’s nurtured amazing talent and changed the media landscape for the better. I’m so thankful for the endless opportunities to have worked on so many other life-changing projects at SBS alongside life-long friends I’ve made. I want to say a huge thank you to all the people at SBS that encouraged me, supported me and believed in me. This place has made me a stronger storyteller – more than that, it’s changed who I am as a person. I’m very excited about my new projects but SBS will always feel like home.”
Alice Matthews said: “If I could dream up the best job right now for a young journalist, it would be this. I love the way The Feed combines brilliant journalism with a couple of solid lols. I am so excited to join the team. My role will inevitably involve feeble attempts to fill the void left behind by Jan and Pat, while managing Hing’s blatant efforts at a total take over. I can’t wait!”
The Feed airs at 8.30pm Thursdays every week on SBS Viceland, followed by an encore screening late on Friday evenings on SBS.
The Feed team
Alice is best known to Australian audiences for her work on Triple J, where she’s worked as a reporter and newsreader. In 2015, Alice won a Young Walkley Award for her reporting on sex abuse in the medical industry. Alice has also worked on two publications for the UN on protecting confidential sources and fake news.
Since joining SBS as a cadet in 2016, Michelle Rimmer has worked as a cross-platform journalist covering domestic and international news stories across SBS television, radio and online, with a particular interest in education, women’s sport and AFL. She speaks Indonesian.
Prior to joining The Feed, Tania was with Buzzfeed Australia and Buzzfeed LA, where she made shareable content for a global audience. Tania shoots, edits and reports. For the past few months, she has been producing documentaries for charities in Lebanon.
Rebecca has produced half-hour documentaries for Vive’s Australiana series which have aired on SBS Viceland. She is currently putting the finishing touches on a podcast series for Audible, the third local commission after Marc Fennell’s It Burns podcast.
David Ma joins The Feed from MTV where he worked on a variety of broadcast and promotional content across their media channels. David has a particular interest in telling stories about race and the immigrant experience in Australia.
Ashley Earnshaw (pictured) has been appointed chief executive officer (CEO) of Vizeum Australia, effective August 1st, 2019.
With over 15 years’ international experience in the media and advertising industry, Earnshaw progresses into this leadership position from a succession of senior roles held at Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) – most recently chief investment officer for Amplifi ANZ.
Reporting to Henry Tajer, CEO DAN Australia and New Zealand (ANZ), Earnshaw will represent Vizeum on the DAN ANZ board.
Tajer commented, “Ash is a highly-skilled media professional. He has a great depth of experience across multiple categories, working with many blue-chip advertisers across his career. We are looking forward to seeing Ash leading Vizeum into its next phase of growth.”
Earnshaw added, “I’m incredibly excited to be joining the Vizeum business at such a significant time for DAN. I look forward to supporting the team and to drive deeper integration within the network, whilst evolving our offering to further accelerate our clients’ growth. It’s a fascinating time in the industry, with an accelerated pace of change and navigating this for clients represents a superb opportunity.”
Advertisers targeting consumers in regional Australia will for the first time have access to a new reach and frequency tool for regional radio.
The service, launched by industry body Commercial Radio Australia, uses sophisticated modelling and data from more than 80 regional radio surveys conducted in 51 markets to help agencies calculate optimal reach and frequency combinations for their advertising campaigns.
CRA chief executive officer Joan Warner said the service provides media buyers with information such as how different station combinations impact on reach, the most effective budget allocations by dayparts and how much additional spend increases reach.
“Reach and frequency are the most important measures used in radio as they allow stations and the advertising community to estimate how many listeners have heard an advertising campaign.
“This new tool will allow regional broadcasters to showcase the strength of their audiences in a more sophisticated fashion and provide information that has only previously been available for the metropolitan markets,” she said.
The tool was developed by Milton Data and draws on consumer behaviour insights from the larger metropolitan radio surveys as well as data from all regional radio surveys undertaken since 2014, when CRA introduced a new system allowing for more regular regional radio audience measurement.
Agencies can access the service through Frequency, a CRA Gold Standard certified software system and via regional broadcasters.
The regional radio stations surveyed to date reach more than 5.5 million Australians aged 10+. Data is available for larger markets such as Darwin, Cairns, Wollongong, Sunshine Coast and Dubbo, as well as smaller markets including Wangaratta, Mandurah and Mt Gambier.
Stranger Things has more than doubled its Average Demand Expressions in both Australia and New Zealand in the past week as the show continues to gain momentum after releasing its third season on Netflix on July 4.
By Trent Thomas
The show has managed to maintain the popularity that it established in its first two seasons as it is over five times as discussed as any other show in both markets, setting numbers that have only been matched this year by Game of Thrones.
The 80s themed sci-fi hit further establishing its considerable lead over the rest of its competition is the most noteworthy thing in a fairly quiet week for the TV Demand charts with chart regulars such as Handmaid’s Tale, Good Omens, and Lucifer filling out the top of the Digital Original charts, and the Overall TV chart is full of favourites such as Game of Thrones, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Big Little Lies. The most popular piece (only piece) of Australian content on the Overall TV chart is once again The Voice Australia, following its series finale last week.
• Third episode of Ninja Warrior this week wins for Nine
• Moon docos attract modest crowds in crowded lunar landscape
• Seven News 1,109,000/1,050,000
• Nine News 892,000/921,000
• A Current Affair 787,000
• ABC News 624,000
• 7.30 496,000
• The Project 273,000/478,000
• 10 News First 382,000
• The Drum 190,000
• SBS World News 147,000
• Sunrise 270,000
• Today 195,000
Home And Away drifted from 711,000 on Monday to 700,000 on Tuesday
House Rules again featured more work in an outdoor area with 609,000 watching after 732,000 and 590,000 previously this week.
Carl Barron was then a great guest on Andrew Denton’s Interview and he ended the show with a song. The audience was 439,000 after 400,000 last week.
A Current Affair featured Brady Halls hosting last night with 787,000 watching after 836,000 on Monday.
Australian Ninja Warrior has gone from 899,000 to 923,000 and then 868,000 after three nights this week. Benjamin Lau stormed through the Ninja Warrior course with the furthest and fastest run of the night.
The second and final instalment of Murder, Lies and Alibis then did 405,000 after episode one did 340,000 on Monday.
The Project featured Kitty Flanagan returning to the program she used to be a regular on. The Tuesday episode did 478,000 after 511,000 on Monday.
Larissa had the best dish on MasterChef last night as the remaining contestants fought for an advantage to help them secure a spot in the semi-finals. The Tuesday episode was on 649,000.
Todd Sampon’s Bodyhack then did 279,000 after 304,000 the week prior.
ABC News and 7.30 were clear favourites last night, despite 7.30 shedding over 100,000 viewers from Monday.
Stargazing: Moon and Beyond did 359,000 in a week full of way too many moon landing special features/docos.
Chasing The Moon had an audience of 188,000 after 160,000 on Monday.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.4%||7TWO||2.5%||GO!||2.7%||10 Bold||3.9%||VICELAND||1.4%|
|ABC ME||0.7%||7mate||3.7%||GEM||3.3%||10 Peach||2.7%||Food Net||1.1%|
|7Food||0.7%||SBS World Movies||0.7%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.92%||7TWO||3.32%||GO!||3.37%||WIN Bold||4.60%||VICELAND||1.60%|
|ABC ME||0.82%||7mate||5.83%||GEM||4.33%||WIN Peach||1.85%||Food Net||1.21%|
|ABC NEWS||0.77%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||2.36%||9Life||1.68%||Sky News on WIN||1.50%||NITV||0.2%|
|7food (QLD only)||0.09%|
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
High-profile South Australian film industry head, Courtney Gibson, has rocked the film sector by leaving less than halfway into a three-year term, reports Penelope Debelle in The Advertiser.
Her resignation as chief executive of the South Australian Film Corporation, made for personal reasons, comes during a stunning revival of the industry with the ABC TV drama Stateless starring Cate Blanchett and Jai Courtney filming here, while the Hollywood action movie Mortal Kombat, the state’s biggest film production, is gearing up to start in September.
The Hunting, the first prime-time TV drama made in SA was filmed over summer and goes to air on SBS early next month.
Gibson, an energetic and engaging advocate for SA film, said she was proud of what the sector had achieved since she arrived.
“I think we’ve got a lot done in a short space of time and we now have a strategic plan, a business plan, a budget, and lots of announcements and initiatives to come,” Gibson said.
Gibson, the daughter of the late sports journalist Mike Gibson, will return to her family in Sydney, including a son who is completing Year 12, and will take a break before deciding on her next career move.
“The time is right for me to return to my family in Sydney. It has been challenging because I haven’t been ‘fly in and fly out’; I have been here,” she said.
Data intelligence outfit Near has closed a mammoth $US100 million ($143m) Series D funding round, with the Telstra Ventures-backed company set to significantly increase its activity in Australia. Reports The Australian’s David Swan.
Near co-founder Shobhit Shukla told The Australian his company held the largest dataset of people’s behaviour in the real world, with more than 1.6 billion users on the marketing technology platform.
Near takes real-world signals such as location and transaction data, then marries it with anonymous mobile data collected by apps such as news websites, weather or maps to get an accurate picture of a person’s behaviour. That data can then ensure users are served up relevant advertising and content.
Existing partners in Australia include News Corp, which collaborated with Near to develop its audience targeting and campaign activation platform News Connect, and Telstra Ventures, which was one of the company’s first investors.
Long live the king: young American actor Austin Butler has been cast in the coveted role of Elvis Presley in a biopic about the rock’n’roll legend that Baz Luhrmann is making on the Gold Coast, reports The Australian’s Matthew Westwood.
Butler, 27, will star in the still unnamed movie about Presley and his relationship with manager Colonel Tom Parker, to be played by Tom Hanks.
Studio Warner Bros announced Butler’s casting yesterday after a search that included Ansel Elgort, Harry Styles and Miles Teller. The director said he was looking for an actor who could convey Presley’s moves, voice and personality.s
“I knew I couldn’t make this film if the casting wasn’t absolutely right, and we searched thoroughly for an actor with the ability to evoke the singular natural movement and vocal qualities of this peerless star, but also the inner vulnerability of the artist,” Luhrmann said.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who was instrumental in bringing the production to the state, recently met with Luhrmann in London.
Filming will start at Village Roadshow Studios early next year. The production is expected to employ 900 people and have an economic benefit to the state of $105 million.
King Features Syndicate, a unit of Hearst and home to some of the world’s most popular entertainment characters, has announced its newest international agent, Lovatts Media, who will be representing their syndication business in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, New Guinea, Papua and the Solomon Islands.
King Features’ new partnership with Lovatts Media is part of a larger effort to grow their business internationally, and this partnership will allow both companies to join forces with complementary content portfolios.
Magazine publisher Lovatts Media will replace current agent Yaffa Media as King’s territory representative, transitioning and managing existing print and digital accounts.
The new partnership will allow Lovatts Media to expand their portfolio to include King Features’ comics, cartoons, premium special interest editorial content, and innovative digital platforms, as well as a range of exciting new puzzles.
“Lovatts Media is exactly the type of entrepreneurial partner we are looking for to help grow the digital and print footprint of our content in Australia, New Zealand, and beyond,” said Rebecca Haase, Vice President Sales and Distribution.
“We are excited to work with one of the world’s leading providers of licensing and entertainment content, and to bring their sought-after global brands to our local partners. We also look forward to welcoming King Features’ valued clients into the Lovatts Media family,” said Rachael Northey, CEO, Lovatts Media.
International cricketer Chris Gayle’s $300,000 defamation win has been upheld, despite judges finding his barrister went too far in linking a massage therapist’s eating disorder to her credibility, reports AAP.
The NSW Court of Appeal dismissed a challenge by three Australian newspapers against the successful lawsuit brought by the West Indies batsman over a claim he exposed himself to the female massage therapist.
The three judges on Tuesday also dismissed a cross-claim by Gayle who argued his $300,000 damages payout should be increased.
In October 2017, a NSW Supreme Court jury found in favour of Gayle who sued Fairfax Media — the-then publisher of The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Canberra Times — over 28 articles run in January 2016.
Bachelor hopeful Vakoo Kauapirura says she is happy to see more diversity in the pool of romantics hoping to find love, reports News Corp’s Sally Coates.
The 23-year-old Namibian immigrant is one of the women vying for astrophysicist Bachelor Matt Agnew’s heart in the upcoming season, premiering Wednesday July 31 on Channel 10.
Now living in Mortdale and working as a model, she said she was proud to be a woman of colour in the running but wasn’t worried about tokenism.
“There are so many standards of beauty so I’m really excited to be part of the season of diversity,” she told Confidential.
“I knew within myself that I was on the show because of who I am as person and what I have to offer. “I’m happy to be one of the first black girls on the show.”
Netflix has removed a controversial scene from 13 Reasons Why, two years after a public outcry from some of Australia’s peak mental health bodies, report Nine publishing’s Broede Carmody and Aja Styles.
The streaming giant revealed on Tuesday it had deleted a graphic suicide scene in the first season of its popular drama. The scene was widely condemned by mental health experts for showing the protagonist’s method of suicide and potentially sparking copycat behaviour.
“We’ve heard from many young people that 13 Reasons Why encouraged them to start conversations about difficult issues like depression and suicide and get help – often for the first time,” a Netflix spokesperson said. “As we prepare to launch season three later this summer, we’ve been mindful about the ongoing debate around the show. So on the advice of medical experts, including Dr Christine Moutier, chief medical officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, we’ve decided with creator Brian Yorkey and the producers to edit the scene in which Hannah takes her own life from season one.”
A Netflix Australia spokesman confirmed the global edit had gone live.
Dual Brownlow Medallist Chris Judd says he needs to become a more accomplished media performer if he’s to remain Carlton’s football director, admitting he’s weighing up whether to leave his TV role, reports Fox Sports’ Ben Waterworth.
Judd on Monday night moved to clarify his “training wheels” comments on Channel 9’s Footy Classified program seven days prior when he declared the Blues “don’t want someone with training wheels on” to be the club’s next senior coach.
Judd returned to the Footy Classified desk to clarify his statements and was pushed hard by experienced AFL reporter Caroline Wilson.