The former head of Ebiquity in Australia, Richard Basil-Jones, was head-hunted internally to take on an international role close to 12 months ago. He became global president of the independent media and marketing consultancy, working out of their London headquarters.
By James Manning
He spoke in London with Mediaweek about his first 12 months in the role.
With the impressive title of president, soon after arrival in London, Basil-Jones couldn’t resist the gag “making Ebiquity great again” which he used several times to the staff which he explained was received with “muffled laughter”.
“Global is the key word in my title,” he told Mediaweek. Answering into Basil-Jones are North America, Europe, Great Britain/Ireland and the Asia Pacific region.
“The challenges around the marketing and media landscape are the same here as they are back in Australia. They are variations on a similar theme. I went to a big ANA marketing forum in Orlando earlier this year, and hearing the challenges and opportunities talked about made me feel like I could have been sitting in Sydney.
“The one common theme for everyone is it is not getting any easier. And the pace of change is not getting any slower.”
Most of Basil-Jones’ work is internal, working with different Ebiquity teams. Occasionally he will visit clients with those teams. “I also visit some industry bodies. I am not in the frontline of the business, instead working at a senior management level driving it forward.”
Basil-Jones explained the UK market remains very important and is where the listed company came together originally. “It is our strongest and biggest market. The market that is still on the slow burn for us is North America. The issue about transparency there blew up after the bomb was thrown by former Mediacom CEO John Mandel when he discussed rebates and kickbacks.
“The US in a way is still very under-developed and for our business an area of great opportunity.
“On continental Europe, big markets like France and Germany are also very important.”
Advertisers can engage Ebiquity for different reasons, but Basil-Jones said one central reason was for analysis of the return on investment of their marketing spends.
“There is a strong focus on true accountability and understanding business outcomes. We have about 65 people in London working on econometric modelling and return on investment projects. It’s a big part of our business here.
“We work with advertisers. Our clients are typically brand owners and we help them navigate their way through the media and marketing eco-system. That can range from a classic financial compliance order all the way to the end of the journey, which is what levers are working for them. What is driving the business forward – is it too short term, are you looking at enough long term?
“Then we get into the tech area – martech where we help clients around programmatic etc. We play in all the various hot spots.”
Media agencies welcome the involvement of Ebiquity in different ways. The welcome mat doesn’t always come out.
“We don’t get a huge number of Christmas cards from media agencies,” admitted Basil-Jones.
“But they understand the role we play. We are advisors to their clients and we try to foster the understanding that we all have a role to play and we want to work together.”
He noted though that as their clients are advertisers and brands, when there is a lower than expected performance, Ebiquity needs to call it out and hold the agency to account.
“We are meeting with a lot of the major agency groups in London. They want us to learn more about what they do and how they do it.” Basil-Jones recalled a sessions he had with Publicis in London where he was walked through all their brands and their unique offerings.
“We do get involved with agency selections and assist clients with that. The more we understand the media agencies and the holding companies, the better job we do.”
• Australian Survivor: Champions V Contenders launching Wednesday
• 50 days. 12 Champions. 12 everyday Aussies. One Sole Survivor.
Just three days from its 2019 season launch, Network 10 has revealed the complete list of castaways competing in season four of Australian Survivor.
Abbey Holmes, 28, AFLW Premiership Winner
One of the biggest stars in Women’s AFL, Abbey has become a key figure in the AFLW following a huge season with the Adelaide Crows. The first woman to kick 100 goals in a season as a star forward and midfielder, Abbey is now a part of the Richmond Football Club and works as a football broadcaster. Starting out in the game with no female role models to look up to, Abbey understands the importance she and her teammates play in the eyes of young girls playing Aussie Rules and is passionate about raising them up.
David Genat, 39, International Model
One of the world’s top male models, David has been a long-term Survivor fan but it was his friend and season two player, Sarah Tilleke, who helped convince him to give it a go. Starting his career in modelling following a $50 bet back in 2002, David saw an ad for a modelling TV series and decided to apply and ended up winning. Since then he’s appeared in magazines like Vogue and Vanity Fair, photographed by the world’s most famous photographers and has also been the face of Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren and Mont Blanc.
Anastasia Woolmer, 42, Memory Champion
A memory athlete and two-time Australian Memory Champion, Anastasia is not someone who will be going under the radar. Leaving home at 15 to join the Australian Ballet School, Anastasia performed around the world in places like Norway, Sweden and USA which she also thinks will be an advantage in the game as it uses the same skills she needed as a ballerina both physically and mentally. Before getting into memory training, Anastasia got a finance degree and worked as a fixed income broker but her love for memory skills overtook and she started training to build her skills.
Rounding out the hungry tribe of Contenders are Ad Executive Andy Meldrum; Student Baden Gilbert; Educator Casey Hawkins; Police Officer Hannah Pentreath; Ice-cream Maker Harry Hills; Digital Marketing Manager Laura Choong and VIP Gaming Manager Sam Schoers.
Andy Meldrum, 47, Marketing Executive
An advertising and marketing executive, there’s no one more ready to play the game of Survivor than Andy. As the ultimate fan of the show, Andy doesn’t just want to win, he wants to win big as the most memorable villain Survivor has ever seen. Working everywhere from Australia to London and New York, Andy has also played poker professionally for four years and knows exactly how to read people. Not one to be intimidated, Andy is hoping the Champions tribe will be full of arrogant players with no idea how to play the game.
Baden Gilbert, 23, Student
Highly intelligent and a little bit awkward, Baden lives and breathes science while studying his PhD in physics. While that’s not usually one of the strongest skill sets needed on Survivor, he’s hoping that he can find a middle ground to bond with people. At first glance, Baden expects that his fellow contestants will misjudge him for being weak but as a former surf lifesaver, he’s ready to show them what he’s made of. A true underdog of the series, Baden is hoping to follow in the footsteps of last year’s science genius, Sam and make it to Jury Villa.
Casey Hawkins, 30, Educator
Self-described “creative, courageous, stubborn, spontaneous and a dreamer,” Casey is a traveller and educator who loves to push herself to the limits. For the past two years, Casey has been travelling around to remote communities across Australia, educating kids about creative writing. Finding discomfort when things are too comfortable, Casey sees Survivor as the ultimate challenge.
Hannah Pentreath, 27, Police Officer
Hannah is the first to admit her fellow contestants will put her in the “dumb blonde” category, which is exactly how she plans to outwit them all. Going into her tribe pretending to be a hairdresser, Hannah is planning to fly under the radar for as long possible. As a police officer, Hannah is used to being out of her comfort zone, pushed to her limits and is physically ready to face any of the challenges head on.
Harry Hills, 29, Ice Cream Maker
Harry is an ice cream making Dietitian who has dreamed of taking out the title of Sole Survivor for over 15 years. As a kid, Harry and his friends would make up their own version of Survivor, building challenges and putting their strengths to the test, which inspired him to apply for the real deal. Cheeky and fun, Harry is planning to actively undermine his opponents and play a loveable villain.
Laura Choong, 31, Digital Marketing Executive
Small in stature but not in personality, Laura may only be four foot nine inches but she won’t go unnoticed. Describing herself as “a Chihuahua that thinks she’s a Rottweiler,” Laura has been underestimated a lot in her life and is ready to take on Survivor to prove she’s got what it takes. Not a fan of creepy crawlies or the dark, Laura isn’t going to let her fears stand in her way of becoming Sole Survivor.
Sam Schoers, 30, VIP Gaming Manager
A former flight attendant on private jets and now a VIP Gaming Manager for the country’s biggest casinos, Sam is responsible for the biggest players and making sure they are looked after. So if there’s anything Sam knows, it’s how to socialise and win people over. No stranger to TV, Sam came second in The Amazing Race but it’s Survivor that’s top of her bucket list. Hoping to follow in the footsteps of two of her favourite players, Sarah from season two and Shonee from last year’s Australian Survivor: Champions V Contenders, Sam hopes other players will underestimate her.
The full cast list for Australian Survivor: Champions V Contenders 2019 is:
Champions: Abbey Holmes; Anastasia Woolmer; Andrew Ettingshausen; David Genat; Janine Allis; Luke Toki; Nova Peris; Pia Miranda; Ross Clarke-Jones; Simon Black; Steven Bradbury and Susie Maroney.
Contenders: Andy Meldrum; Baden Gilbert; Casey Hawkins; Daisy Richardson; Hannah Pentreath; Harry Hills; John Eastoe; Laura Choong; Matt Farrelly; Samantha Schoers; Sarah Ayles and Shaun Hampson.
Premiering on Wednesday, 24 July at 7.30pm, the fourth season of Australian Survivor: Champions V Contenders is hosted by Jonathan LaPaglia and is made for Network 10 by Endemol Shine Australia.
First announced at Nine’s Upfront late in 2018, the revived Australian drama Seachange is launching on Nine next month. The broadcaster and its production partners released the following details today:
After being fired from her volunteer job in Africa, Laura Gibson (Sigrid Thornton) heads back to the beachside paradise of Pearl Bay for the first time in 20 years when Seachange premieres on Tuesday, August 6, at 8.45pm on Nine.
But after two decades, Laura is about to discover that Pearl Bay has changed in ways that will challenge everything she believes about life, love and family. She is forced to negotiate the loose ends of the messy life she left behind, but will her journey finally heal her broken family? And will Pearl Bay take her back?
In the keenly anticipated reboot of the beloved Australian series, John Howard reprises his famous role of Bob Jelly, who has just been released from prison for fraud. Kerry Armstrong returns as his estranged wife Heather and Kevin Harrington reprises his role as Kevin Findlay, the Pearl Bay fixture who runs the caravan park.
Seachange also stars Brooke Satchwell as Miranda Gibson, Laura’s oldest child – a conservationist whose strained relationship with her mother explodes when Laura turns up without notice – and Dan Wyllie as Ben Russo, new owner of the Tropical Star Hotel, the only pub in town. Ben’s life is at a crossroads as he nurses a broken heart and is in constant trouble with the town authorities.
Darren McMullen plays Findlay Knox, a handsome marine biologist working for Miranda’s sworn enemy, the Striplands sand mining company. Katrina Milosevic is Anna Kazan, the sergeant at the Pearl Bay police station and Miranda’s best friend. However, their friendship will face a challenge that changes their lives forever.
Other members of the cast include Kate Lister who plays local cop Lillian Liano, newcomer Ella Newton, Laura’s youngest child Stella Connors, a spirited and reckless woman with a well-developed sense of entitlement, and Alex Tarrant as Zac Bell, the trusty court clerk.
Deb Cox, the original creator and head writer of the treasured drama series, returns as executive producer of Seachange alongside Sigrid Thornton, Fiona Eager, David Mott and Nine’s Andy Ryan and Jo Rooney. Lois Randall is the producer and Wayne Blair is the set-up director and also plays local radio announcer Riley Bolt.
Seachange is an Every Cloud Productions and ITV Studios Australia production for Nine, with major production investment from Screen Australia and finance support from Create NSW. It is distributed internationally by ITV Studios Global Entertainment.
The Australian Shopping Network has signed a broadcast agreement with the Seven Network that will see its openshop channel launch on Channel 75 on August 1.
The new channel is backed by South Korea’s Hyundai Home Shopping, which made a $45m investment last year to establish Australian Shopping Network.
The new channel will launch with a focus on Beauty, Jewellery, Fashion, Technology, Home and Health. With Free Express Delivery, customers can shop 24/7 shopping on Channel 75, at openshop.com.au or the downloadable app.
The channel’s call centre will operate 24/7 on 13 25 80.
To celebrate the launch of openshop, customers who make an order between August 1 and October 31 will automatically go into a draw to win a 2019 C-Class C200 Coupe Mercedes Benz valued at $90,000.
Full terms and conditions available at www.openshop.com.au
openshop will initially transmit to Australia’s five state capital cities and regional Queensland, reaching a total of 5.5 million households in its first year.
openshop managing director Jason Kim said:
“Our busy work and personal lives often mean we can’t get to the shops between 9 to 5. So, we’ve created an experience that makes shopping from home, even easier and more enjoyable.
“We are so excited to be launching. It’s an advanced, digital ready economy, that is showing huge growth in online shopping. We look forward to making an impact in a very competitive market.”
Suppliers wishing sell on openshop should contact email@example.com
Photo: Presenters on the new channel – Justine Diana, Zac Deane, Carla King-Turner, Nikki Vincent, Gabby Berry and Steven Milne
ITV and the BBC have signed an agreement to launch the streaming service BritBox in the UK in the fourth quarter of this year.
The partners say BritBox will be competitively priced at £5.99 per month in HD and across multiple screens and devices, which is less than other streaming services.
BritBox is promising the UK’s favourite programs and the home of the largest collection of British boxsets. In addition to this storehouse, BritBox is commissioning a broad range of original series made exclusively for BritBox.
BritBox will be the place to view shows recently broadcast on ITV and BBC like Love Island, Famalam, Cleaning Up and Gentleman Jack as well as bringing home iconic shows such as Gavin & Stacey, Victoria, Happy Valley, Broadchurch, Les Miserables, The Office and Benidorm which will be on the service at launch or come onto the service shortly after when licences with other SVODs end.
Carolyn McCall, CEO of ITV, commented:
“The agreement to launch BritBox is a milestone moment. Subscription video on demand is increasingly popular with consumers who love being able to watch what they want when they want to watch it. They are also happy to pay for this ease of access to quality content and so BritBox is tapping into this, and a new revenue stream for UK public service broadcasters.
“ITV and BBC have made, and continue to make, the programs that both reflect and shape British culture and creativity. We now look forward to working together to launch the largest collection of British boxsets ever – bringing the very best in past, present and future British programming and award-winning content to viewers all in one place.
“We are already working together on BritBox in the US and Canada and this is proving to be very successful, exceeding its targets.
“We are committed to making BritBox UK a great success. Discussions continue with other content and distribution partners and we are looking forward to making further announcements in the coming months.”
BBC Director General, Tony Hall, said:
“We have a world beating TV industry with outstanding content. The BBC and ITV are at the centre of that. Together, we have been responsible for delivering the majority of ‘must see’ moments on British TV over the last decade. That ‘must see’ content will now be on BritBox.
“But this service isn’t just about the past. I am really excited about the new shows it will commission. With a remit to be daring and different, many future classics will be commissioned and live on BritBox for the future. These are exciting times for people who love quality TV. Importantly, these shows will be truly British, showcasing our culture and telling distinctive stories. It’s what makes real British TV so special.”
ITV and the BBC will open up their archive of owned content to BritBox viewers. BritBox will be a multi-genre service, with a strong focus on multi series drama boxsets, and from launch thousands of hours of much-loved British television will be available.
Both ITV and the BBC will also provide a new and regular flow of fresh programs as soon as they come out of their broadcast and catch-up windows. This will provide viewers with hundreds of hours of new ITV and BBC content every year. Many of these shows will be exclusive to UK viewers through BritBox and the flow of programs will ensure that the content on BritBox is refreshed every week.
BritBox is also commissioning original content from British production companies specifically created for BritBox. The first new show is expected to be commissioned soon and will be available to BritBox viewers from 2020.
BritBox will be an ITV-controlled venture, but as a founding partner, the BBC will contribute to the development of the core purposes and strategic direction of the venture. ITV initially holds 90% and the BBC holds 10% of the equity. The BBC has an option to acquire additional shares over time up to 25% in total and ITV will have the ability to bring additional investors on board. ITV will be able to appoint a majority of the BritBox board while the BBC’s equity stake provides it with board representation from the outset.
BritBox will pay market rate fees for all content provided by ITV, BBC and other rights owners.
• Albums: Ed Sheeran’s fourth album secures superstar’s fourth #1
Lil Nas X is close to ARIA singles chart history as Old Town Road spends its 13th week at #1. A new remix of the track has been released featuring rapper Young Thug and 12-year-old Mason Ramsey. This has helped keep the tune at the top of the charts where the American rapper is now level with two other 13-week chart toppers – Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee’s Despacito (2017) and Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise (1995/96). Only one song has spent more weeks at the top in Australia – Ed Sheeran’s Shape Of You (2017) with 15 weeks.
Speaking of Sheeran, he has blown both charts out of the water this week. He has three tunes in the top 10 singles – none of them new to the chart, but six other new tracks from his new album have debuted top 50, giving him a total of 11 entries in the top 50. That’s an impressive piece of music history, but it falls short of his record 17 spots in the top 50 when Divide was initially released in March 2017.
Sheeran’s six debuts this week are Antisocial (#11), South Of The Border (#14), Remember The Name (#15), Take Me Back To London (#29), Put It All On Me (#48) and Way To Break My Heart (#50).
Despite all the Ed Sheeran action, two Australians manage to continue their presence in the top 10. Byron Bay-based artist Tones And I spends a second week top 10 with Dance Monkey up from #10 to #8 after nine weeks in the chart.
Guy Sebastian has extended his top 10 stay to three weeks with Choir at #9 after seven weeks on the chart.
A fourth album from Ed Sheeran and there was no place for No 6 Collaborations Project to go other than straight to the top where it joins his other history-making album releases – Divide (#1 March 20187), Multiply (#1 June 2014) and Divide (#1 August 2012).
The album chart is not all about Ed though with six other albums new to the top 50.
Just missing top spot – possibly by quite a margin! – is Angus Stone performing as Dope Lemon with a second album Smooth Big Cat at #2. The previous 2016 release Honey Bones peaked at #11 in June 2016. The new album did manage to top one of the charts this week – Smooth Big Cat tops this week’s ARIA Vinyl Albums Chart, beating out Ed Sheeran.
But wait, two other Aussie artists were also hurled into the top 10 this week on debut:
#4 Thelma Plum with Better In Blak. After two EPs in 2013 and 2014, Plum’s debut album sees the Brisbane-born, Melbourne-raised singer-songwriter working with Paul Kelly, Dave Le’aupepe (Gang of Youths) and Alex Burnett (Sparkadia). Most notably, ex-Beatle Sir Paul McCartney contributed guitar to the track Made For You.
#7 Allday with Starry Night Over The Phone. The Adelaide rapper’s third album after Startup Cult (#3 July 2014) and Speeding (#6 May 2017).
Other new releases this week:
#10 The Lion King Soundtrack featuring tracks from Elton John and Beyoncé. The soundtrack to the animated original The Lion King peaked at #4 in 1994.
#25 Banks with III.
#31 Blake O’Connor with Everything I Feel.
Wow. And I thought there was nothing to say last week. It’s a good thing I write these blurbs on a Friday afternoon alongside a strengthening beer.
By Cam Shea, editor in chief, IGN Australia
So here we go. This week is basically the same as last week, with Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled, Super Mario Maker 2, and, somewhat inexplicably, Anthem (although, let’s face it, the game is pretty great value for $15) remaining the top three selling games at retail. Other than the excellent builder/RPG Dragon Quest Builders 2, which just managed to squeak in at number 10, all the other titles are legacy games. That’s partly a reflection of a paucity of new releases, but it’s also a reflection of the fact that games like Super Mario Odyssey (which pops in and out regularly) and Minecraft (which would mostly be purchased digitally but is popular enough and on enough platforms that it’s not surprising to see it here) are evergreen games. There is no reason NOT to buy them in 2019 if you’ve never played them. Hell, I myself have only just started playing Minecraft and that game is TEN YEARS OLD.
In summary, there may not be many new games to choose from, but the people of Australia are still making solid gaming choices. Bravo, everyone.
Mid-year reality formats drawing to a climax:
• First of three Ninja Warrior semi-finals secure Nine win
• Final House Rules garden reveal and grand final teams named
• MasterChef down to final four with two episodes remaining
Sunday Week 30 2019
By James Manning
• Seven News 1,105,000
• Nine News 1,005,000
• ABC News 601,000
• The Project 262,000/392,000
• 10 News First 271,000
• Insiders 259,000
• Offsiders 186,000
• SBS World News 161,000
• Sunrise 229,000
• Today 210,000
House Rules saw the final garden reveal and then the scores indicated who the grand final teams would be ahead of the reveal of the grand final challenge. As it enters its final week, the episode was on 784,000.
Sunday Night looked at Chloe Kennedy and Nicole Crawford, two quadriplegic women who shared a dream of motherhood. Then Palm Beach stars and best friends Bryan Brown and Sam Neill were interviewed. The episode was on 458,000.
The doco The Day We Walked On The Moon then did 182,000.
The first of three Australian Ninja Warrior semi-finals kicked off with 998,000 which was enough for Nine to win primary channel and networks shares. Thirty Ninjas are competing for a spot in the grand final. Among them are Perth’s gymnast-turned-cheerleader, India Henry, and the rivalry between Ashlin Herbert and the Barefoot Ninja continues.
Reports on 60 Minutes included why the glamorous princess wife of Dubai’s billionaire ruler is hiding in a $150m London mansion. The episode did 647,000.
An Apollo 11 doco then did 250,000.
After its massive 10th birthday two-hour Friday night extravaganza, The Sunday Project was on 392,000 after 7pm. A feature of the show was interviews with Jacinda Ardern and Chelsea Handler.
Queensland’s Nicole Scott has been eliminated from MasterChef Australia in front of 648,000, narrowly missing out on a place in the semi final after her chocolate parfait failed to set.
After surviving 12 weeks of competition, Nicole has fallen just days out from the grand final, which will air this Tuesday.
Nicole’s elimination saved Tim, and he’ll now join Larissa, Tessa and Simon in tonight’s semi final where they’ll battle for a place in Tuesday’s final.
A final MasterChef Masterclass then followed with 548,000.
The Planets followed the news with 454,000.
Midsomer Murders was back with a 2017 episode on 499,000.
A repeat of the Who Do You Think You Are? featuring Noni Hazlehurst did 211,000 at 7.30pm.
Planet Of Volcanoes then did 120,000 before the audience for stage 15 of the Tour de France lifted to 145,000.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.6%||7TWO||3.2%||GO!||2.5%||10 Bold||3.0%||VICELAND||0.8%|
|ABC ME||0.8%||7mate||5.4%||GEM||2.6%||10 Peach||2.2%||Food Net||1.4%|
|7Food||0.5%||SBS World Movies||1.7%|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.9%||7TWO||3.2%||GO!||4.3%||10 Bold||1.9%||VICELAND||0.7%|
|ABC ME||0.6%||7mate||7.0%||GEM||3.4%||10 Peach||2.1%||Food Net||0.9%|
|7Food||0.7%||SBS World Movies||0.9%|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.8%||7TWO||2.5%||GO!||2.1%||10 Bold||3.1%||VICELAND||0.9%|
|ABC ME||0.4%||7mate||4.0%||GEM||2.5%||10 Peach||2.4%||Food Net||1.0%|
|7Food||0.5%||SBS World Movies||0.8%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.45%||7TWO||3.96%||GO!||2.26%||WIN Bold||3.27%||VICELAND||0.61%|
|ABC ME||0.84%||7mate||4.02%||GEM||3.58%||WIN Peach||2.13%||Food Net||0.83%|
|ABC NEWS||1.15%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||1.77%||9Life||2.73%||Sky News on WIN||0.69%||NITV||0.5%|
|7food (QLD only)||0.12%|
Friday Top 10
Saturday Top 10
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
Foxtel advertising sales business Multi-Channel Network is exploring a rebrand to more closely align itself with the pay television provider, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.
Sources told The Australian Financial Review the business is working through new names, with Foxtel Media Group and Foxtel Media believed to be at the top of the list. MCN is at the beginning of the process.
The rebranding of MCN comes after multiple years of discussions and with the exit of Network 10 in January this year, a change to reflect the business’ closer ties with Foxtel made sense.
Sources said a rebrand will also put a line in the sand, showing the business will stay outside the News Corp portfolio and be tied to Foxtel, rather than the long-rumoured News Corp advertising super group.
In a statement, MCN chief executive Mark Frain confirmed the brand name was under review.
“As we continue to work closer with Foxtel, the platform and all its content partners, MCN are reviewing our brand and position in the market to better align with Foxtel going forward,” he said.
A former chief executive of Foxtel has warned the pay-TV business will need to have a dramatic overhaul to stay competitive and shore up its earnings as Australians turn towards Netflix, reports Jennifer Duke.
Peter Tonagh, who was Foxtel’s CEO for about two years until January 2018 when he was replaced by Patrick Delany, told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age that the embattled business would not be able to spend as much on content, including sports, in future.
The former News Corp chief executive, who joined the Village Roadshow board last week, also said that while the pay-TV service’s streaming options such as recently launched service Kayo Sports made sense strategically, the lower prices it was charging threatened to put even more pressure on the company’s earnings.
“They charge $25 for their sports proposition … you need 3 million customers to break even on sport [with Kayo]. That’s without the cost of delivery and marketing and all the other things,” Tonagh said.
Dave Gordon says he threatens to quit Foxtel every six months when his contact comes to an end. And when the 38-year-old Mona Vale resident recently attempted to cut the cord, he got his $90 a month full package cost down to just $55, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Sarah Keoghan.
“Foxtel is really clutching onto the HBO and Fox Sports, NRL and AFL, I think to get customers,” he said. “I would never go back to $90, happy to pay $55 but not much more than that.”
The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age have spoken to dozens of Foxtel customers who said they were able to secure significant discounts when threatening to leave, with many using the method whenever their service needs to be renewed in an attempt to get further price reductions.
38-year-old Freshwater mother Nikki Smith had already been paying a discount rate of $75 a month for the pay TV service, compared to the current advertised “limited” deal of $99. But when the hit HBO series Game of Thrones ended and she attempted to quit she was offered the entire Foxtel package for just $35 a month.
The federal government is delaying action on whether internet streaming is classified as broadcasting for another three years, reports The Australian’s Leo Shanahan.
In a review of the Alston Determination, obtained by The Australian, the Department of Communications recommends putting off any changes to how the Broadcasting Services Act defines broadcast and internet live streaming.
Decisions to delay or alter the determination could have significant consequences for how both broadcasters and streaming services charge for and sell content on the Internet.
The determination dictates the way TV and radio content streamed live on the Internet is treated and has particular implications for music, sport and news.
ABC will spend more than $100,000 of public funds on a new editor of lifestyle platform ABC Life, reporting to the “editorial lead” and creating another layer of seniority at the controversial website, reports The Australian’s Zoe Samios.
Meanwhile, data obtained by The Australian reveals the website is attracting decent audiences, but is failing to draw numbers as big as commercial rivals.
The taxpayer-funded broadcaster is advertising the editor role as a 12-month fixed-term contract, reporting to ABC Life editorial lead Scott Spark. According to the ad on the ABC’s careers website, the successful applicant would earn between $101,000 and $112,000 plus super. Applications close on July 28.
Remember when you first heard the word podcast? It wasn’t that long ago, because the term was coined in 2004 and the genre has only really exploded in the past five years thanks to the Serial phenomenon, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Barry Divola.
But we’re currently in the middle of a podcast gold rush and today there are more than 700,000 to choose from, with thousands more arriving every week. Last year the first Podcasting Intelligence Report was released in Australia, finding that with 3.5 million listeners, one in four Australians between 16 and 64 were regular podcast users.
If you’re just getting into podcasts now, chances are you’re daunted by the choice. This category breakdown, including some of the very best, will make it easier on your scrolling thumb, so you can get those earbuds in and start listening.
Amazon is hoping to build up its channels streaming business for launch in Australia in 2020, but the US e-commerce giant will find it difficult to replicate the expansiveness of its American product due to existing content deals locally, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.
Earlier in July, The Australian Financial Review revealed Amazon had been meeting with local content providers and broadcasters to scope out their interest for putting their content on Amazon Channels.
Amazon Channels is an additional product available on top of subscription video on demand service Amazon Prime Video, which launched in Australia in 2016. It acts as a hub, or aggregator, for third-party channels and streaming services in a similar vein to Foxtel and Fetch, except it does not involve hardware such as a set-top box.
Sources with an understanding of Amazon’s plans said the business was looking at next year to launch Channels. Working against Amazon is the fact Australia is a smaller market, Amazon has not reached the scale it has in America and content in Australia is highly concentrated with a small group of players, and in many cases exclusively.
The SBS has expanded a deal with Foxtel to broadcast its content on the pay-TV platform despite the government’s efficiency review suggesting the taxpayer-funded networks end these contracts, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Jennifer Duke.
The public broadcasters both pay for their shows to be retransmitted on Foxtel. A new agreement signed at the beginning of July has brought SBS World Movies onto two Foxtel channels in high-definition, for cable subscribers, and standard-definition for cable and satellite subscribers.
However, the agreement comes months after the ABC and SBS boards were handed a 2018-commissioned investigation into their financial efficiency. Sources with knowledge of the report said one of the recommendations was that the ABC and the SBS wind back their multi-million dollar Foxtel transmission deals as the public can already access the content elsewhere.
The ABC has begun reviewing its own $4 million-a-year arrangement with Foxtel.
An SBS spokeswoman said the broadcaster had a retransmission deal with Foxtel “in place for many years” and the movies channel was “recently added to this” arrangement.
A working actor for more than four decades, Sigrid Thornton is accustomed to early starts. Unfazed by the transition from darkness to light, she stands perfectly silhouetted in the half-light, beside the glass-like surface of a nearby ocean pool, as the sun sends its first spray of gold across the sky, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Michael Idato.
Around her is the marketing machinery powering her return to television screens as Seachange‘s delightful, dysfunctional mother and magistrate Laura Gibson; behind her the water casts a shimmering reflection of the iconic Australian actor.
“I think I see in the mirror someone who’s actually really, really striving to live a full life,” Sigrid says as we retire to the comfortable indoors. “I’m pretty determined to just keep going. And I don’t mean that as an actor. I mean, to strive for fulfilment, for happiness, for [creative] enrichment.”
She adds that these aspects of her personality haven’t really changed. “They’ve been tempered by sadness, pain and grief, and all of the things that happen to most people if they live long enough. And that’s not an easy thing.”
Seachange will air on the Nine Network in early August.
The comedy series Sarah’s Channel, from Australia’s ABC, has been showcased at this year’s Comic-Con International, the first time an Australian program has been given a launch pad at the annual convention, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Michael Idato.
The series, produced by Robbie Miles, Karen Colston, Rick Kalowski and Que Minh Luu, is the story of a “beauty vlogger” who is revived in the far future to save a dying colony of mutant survivors. The show’s star, Australian comedian Claudia O’Doherty, and two of its producers, Miles and Colston, appeared at the convention, which was held over the weekend.
Aussie superstar Nicole Kidman has teased the finale of the global TV sensation Big Little Lies may not be the end – if the all-star ensemble, including Reese Witherspoon and Meryl Streep, agree to return for season three, reports News Corp’s Holly Byrnes.
Speaking exclusively to News Corp Australia while on holiday to visit her mother Janelle and sister Antonia this week, Kidman said: “I think we would love to do a season three because there is certainly ideas,” adding “but we would not do it without all of the same people involved … even the kids.”
The 52-year-old Oscar winner said facing off with “the Great One” had been a career high, confirming viewers were in for fireworks.
Hit TV series The Block has poured almost $90 million into property during its tenure in Melbourne, reports News Corp’s Fiona Byrne.
The reality renovating series has been set in Melbourne since 2011 and in an eight-year period the Channel 9 production has spent an eye watering $89.75 million purchasing sites to be developed, renovated and overhauled for the show.
The eye-opening size of the show’s investment in the Melbourne property market comes as The Block prepares to move from St Kilda to leafy Brighton in 2020.
A Channel 9 company associated with the show paid $14.9 million for a large parcel of vacant land in New Street, Brighton earlier this month and has submitted plans to the Bayside council to relocate five old weatherboard homes to property.
The $90 million figure is the combined amount the show has paid for 12 sites over the past 8 years. It does not include what was then spent on building luxury homes and apartments at those locations.
Crocmedia has acquired broadcast satellite company, Rapid TV – spearheading its expansion into live outside broadcast, streaming, satellite and distribution services.
This now positions Crocmedia with a turn-key outside broadcast and streaming solution – complementing the existing branded-content and studio services currently delivered by in-house agency, Rainmaker.
The acquisition of Rapid TV has created a new service offering within Rainmaker, titled Rainmaker Live – which will deliver live satellite and internet-based vision transfer services in Australia and around the world.
Rainmaker has recently facilitated broadcast and streaming production services for the Athletics Australia National Championships in Sydney, the Bowls Australian Open and Bowls Premier League as well as the NBL’s 3×3 Pro Hustle Australian series.