Thursday March 22, 2018

Mediaweek TV

Special guest on the interview segment this week with Sky News anchor Natalie MacDonald and Mediaweek’s James Manning is AANA CEO John Broome.

Commentator Rita Panahi’s busy year with new TV & radio gigs

• Opportunities meant conservative pundit had to turn away from Sunrise and Triple M
• “I’m sure there is much I do that would upset the perpetually outraged”
• “Regular outrage orgies seem to happen daily on social media”

By James Manning

Sky News recently approached one of its Melbourne contributors Rita Panahi with a proposal for her to do a weekly show on Friday afternoons for two hours from 4pm.

It’s been a super busy 2018 so far for the commentator, who has built a big following over the past few years. Her current success though has meant a few tough decisions.

Earlier this year Panahi agreed to be a regular on Eddie McGuire’s Triple M Melbourne Hot Breakfast program. However, she had to step back from that after 3AW offered her the role of joining the Sunday Morning program alongside Darren James and Nick Callum. Panahi was wanted to fill the position vacated by the controversial John-Michael Howson.

Similarly Panahi had to step away from a regular contributor’s role on Sunrise to fulfil her Sky News contract.

Panahi will fill the two Sky News hours with discussion around the latest political issues, but she told Mediaweek she wanted to expand the offerings, particularly as it was a Friday afternoon.

“I want to have a greater mix of issues – social issues, pop culture and sport. As it’s a Friday I have the advantage of being able to pick the big issues of the week. I will also be looking for some of the issues that other Sky News programs haven’t touched. Sport is compelling content for so many people – what happens on and off the field.

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

News Corp’s Robert Thomson renews attack on Google, YouTube and Facebook

• Google responds: “Criticisms in the press [are] not terribly productive from our perspective”

By James Manning

Facebook and YouTube are guilty of publishing “pernicious” and “reprehensible” content because they refuse to invest to keep their sites safe, said News Corp CEO Robert Thomson yesterday. Thomson was speaking at Advertising Week in London and was quoted in the newspaper he formerly edited, The Times.

Thomson warned that social media users now struggled to differentiate between fact and fiction because they had been “socialised to accept” dubious content online.

Thomson said both Google and Facebook failed to help their users distinguish between credible and fake news.

“We have a world where it’s difficult to tell the difference between falsity and truth. It could have been different, but they didn’t want to invest in integrity.”

Thomson however credited Sundar Pichai, the Google chief executive, for taking steps to help subscription publishers. However, he said the Google-owned video website YouTube still hosted “pernicious” clips, including pirated and exploitative material.

Reporting from the same event, Digiday added:

Thomson: “[Alphabet and Facebook] have to be more compliant. They have been in a state of denial, particularly Facebook. Mark [Zuckerberg] finds it very difficult to say ‘publisher’, but he is a publisher, and a lot of what they are publishing is reprehensible.”

Speaking about the News Corp business model, Digiday said:

Building successful advertising and subscription models is difficult to do well: People who pay for subscriptions are often put off if they still see ads. News UK’s subscription revenue is increasing while its print ad revenue declines, but in its most recent earnings call, Thomson said the UK newspaper operation had its first quarter of advertising growth in 27 quarters. The publisher is learning how subscriptions and advertising can work together.

The comments came just two days after the launch of the Google News Initiative.

Prior to the official Google News Initiative launch, Mediaweek had the chance to speak with Google VP of news Richard Gingras about the company’s relationship with News Corp and how it felt about the criticism it has been copping.

“We realise we play a significant part in the [news] ecosystem. That means at times we will be criticised and it is up to us to address that as best we can.

“We would much rather work together than exchange criticisms in the press, which is not terribly productive from our perspective.”

Gingras said everybody needs to understand the marketplace for information has changed. “The printing press is now in everyone’s hands. None of us use the local newspaper like we did 40 years ago.”

Gingras noted nobody should know that better than News Corp. “No one in Australia goes to The Australian for real estate listings. They go to a real estate listings site, which News Corp owns.”

When asked if there were publishers Google was not able to talk to, Gingras replied:

“We are engaging with everyone. We have been working very closely with every major publisher in the world. We are working very closely with News Corp and we will continue to work closely with News Corp.”

Outdoor Gallery: VMO work with Cricket Australia, Arnott's and TEN

Here is a Mediaweek outdoor gallery showcasing the latest creative work as displayed across the Val Morgan Outdoor (VMO) network.

The campaigns being showcased are:

Cricket Australia – Geo-Targeted

VMO, in partnership with Cricket Australia, delivered a unique data driven out-of-home solution targeting supporters of competing teams in this summer’s Big Bash League (BBL).

The campaign concentrated on BBL’s heartland – mums and children – a core viewing demographic amongst VMO’s 25+ million cumulative audience.

In what was a first for Cricket Australia, audiences were geo-targeted based on Cricket Australia data that identified how suburbs aligned with various teams.


Arnott’s Tim Tam Messina – Australia Day Launch

On Australia Day, Arnott’s Tim Tams launched their new Gelato Messina flavoured Tim Tam range with a first-to-market activation.

Arnott’s partnered with VMO to launch their new “Chill me” Tim Tam range, driving awareness to the new temperature-activated packaging.

The launch experience featured a custom-built digital refrigerated unit utilising a live digital thermometer. Pulling live data from the Bureau of Meteorology, the refrigerated units were programmed to open at a set temperature on the day, giving away 13,500 chilled packets of the never-before-tasted Tim Tam biscuits across three days.


Network Ten, I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! – Location Domination

To promote the premiere of the fourth season of the hit family entertainment television series I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!, Spark Foundry and Network Ten partnered with VMO to deliver a 360° campaign domination at Sydney’s iconic Manly Wharf – a media first at a landmark commuter hub that attracts more than 16,000 visitors daily.

The Media Store’s recruitment drive for its new Melbourne office

Following the opening of its Melbourne office in January this year, The Media Store continues to grow in its new market.

This year’s recruitment drive by newly appointed general manager Stephen Leeds has identified key senior staff to service existing clients.

Helen Karambilas joined The Media Store as group business director on the Lexus account and will be responsible for partnership initiatives and channel planning for the luxury motor brand. Formerly of Initiative, Karambilas brings over 18 years’ experience to The Media Store and says she is excited to drive the Lexus business forward in Melbourne: “Lexus is such an innovative brand to be a part of and I look forward to evolving the brand within the ever changing and challenging media landscape.”

Also joining the Melbourne team after two years in London is Ella MacDonald, business manger on Toyota Retail. MacDonald brings over six years’ media planning and buying experience to The Media Store, specialising in fashion retail across brands such as Burberry, Marks and Spencer and Rolex.

MacDonald will report to group head for Toyota, David Lodge, who has been with the company since 2005 and relocated to Melbourne in January alongside head of digital, Ally Cooney, business managers on Toyota, Richard Lowe and Jen Nicholls, and digital planner buyer Sam Coughlan.

Both the Lexus and Toyota teams’ client service offering will be complemented by two new partnership and integration specialists – Hayley Short and Melanie Scully.

“The Media Store’s Melbourne office has incredible momentum with the building full of hungry, creative staff looking to make an impact for their clients in ways that lead the pack,” said The Media Store chief executive officer Craig Jepsen.

“Stephen has orchestrated a wonderfully successful recruitment drive in a new market, which along with our existing team enhances our drive for growth in both Sydney and Melbourne.”

TV Ratings Analysis: Wedneday March 21

• After 32 episodes, Married At First Sight secures place as Q1’s biggest hit
• Endemol Shine-produced Married ends: 4 couples, 1.75m viewers, 31% share

Nine is going off the scale in the last week of ratings before the Easter survey break.

The channel last night recorded the highest primary share for any channel since survey started six weeks ago.

Nine won in all metro markets last night with primary share over 32% along the east coast and Nine even managed to win in Perth on both measures – primary and combined channel.

Nine didn’t set any combined share records last night though as its 38.0% was short of Seven’s record opening week of survey where its combined channel share went from 38.5% to 42.5% for the combo of Seven and its multichannels during the Winter Olympics.


After two nights close to 700,000, Home and Away was on 698,000 for the week’s third episode.

My Kitchen Rules went to the Elimination House. Davide & Marco cooked reasonably well but they couldn’t match the talents of Kim & Suong, who scored perfect 10s from Pete and Manu for the first two courses.

The MKR audience was 936,000 after 963,000 a week ago. The ep held up reasonably well considering the viewing attraction elsewhere.

The 2010 spy thriller Salt followed on 238,000.


After two nights over 900,000, A Current Affair was on 901,00 last night with its best week so far this year. Leila McKinnon was hosting, Martin King reported on James Packer’s resignation and there was a preview of the final Married At First Sight.

The final Married At First Sight featured an almost forensic examination of all the different relationships. As the series ended, three of the original couples survived, with another two finding love with other spouses. The series has been the #1 program for six of its eight weeks on air. The first episode did 914,000 and the audience dipped to 835,000 on its first Sunday, but that grew to 1.35m a week later and the series was flying high.

Talking Married set a new audience high for 9Life with 342,000.

Viewers in NRL markets then saw an episode of 20 To 1 with 302,000 watching.

AFL markets got The Footy Show a night early with 363,000 from three metro capitals – an improved 250,000 in Melbourne.


Viewers heard Steve Price plugging his forthcoming musical appearance again on The Project. Courtney Act was on the panel and guests included Mark Webber at the Melbourne GP track at Albert Park. Wednesday started on 266,000 and grew to 442,000 after 7pm.

Bondi Rescue returned for a second evening with four episodes now over two nights. After both were over 300,000 on Tuesday, the midweek numbers were 264,000 and 273,000.

Graham Norton then did 234,000 and then This Is Us was on just 135,000.


The Wednesday audience numbers took off last week – were the programs able to sustain those numbers?

Among the experts on Hard Quiz was one who specialised in Weird Al! After 636,000 last week, the episode last night was on 608,000.

Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell then also did 608,000 after 667,000 a week ago.

The new comedy Sando from production house Jungle did 427,000 after Squinters did 328,000 in the slot a week ago.


Great Continental Rail Journeys crossed Germany from the Black Forest to Hanover. After the channel’s biggest audience of 281,000 a week ago, the German train rides did 245,000.

Episode three of Safe Harbour then did a disappointing 138,000.

Week 12 TV: Wednesday
ABC 11.4%7 20.0%931.0%TEN7.4%SBS One4.2%
ABC 22.3%7TWO 3.7%GO! 1.9%ONE 2.0%VICELAND 1.1%
ABC ME0.5%7mate 3.0%GEM 1.8%ELEVEN 1.9%Food Net 0.8%
ABC News 1.4%7flix 2.0%9Life 3.3%NITV 0.2%
TOTAL 15.6% 28.8% 38.0% 11.3% 6.3%
ABCSeven AffiliatesNine AffiliatesTen AffiliatesSBS
ABC9.5%723.0%924.6%WIN7.5%SBS One3.4%
ABC 2 3.1%7TWO 6.5%GO! 2.6%ONE 2.5%VICELAND 1.0%
ABC ME 0.8%7mate 3.2%GEM 2.6%ELEVEN 1.9%Food Net 0.7%
NEWS 24 1.3%7flix 2.4%9Life 3.2%NITV 0.1%
TOTAL 14.7% 35.1% 33.0% 11.9% 5.2%
Wednesday fta
  1. Married At First Sight -Finale Nine 1,753,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 951,000
  3. Seven News Seven 949,000
  4. My Kitchen Rules Seven 936,000
  5. Nine News Nine 921,000
  6. Nine News 6:30 Nine 913,000
  7. A Current Affair Nine 901,000
  8. ABC News ABC 757,000
  9. Home And Away Seven 698,000
  10. Hard Quiz ABC 608,000
  11. Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell ABC 608,000
  12. 7.30 ABC 595,000
  13. The Chase Australia Seven 535,000
  14. Hot Seat Nine 480,000
  15. The Project 7pm Ten 442,000
  16. Ten Eyewitness News First At Five Ten 428,000
  17. Sando ABC 427,000
  18. The Footy Show Nine 363,000
  19. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 343,000
  20. Talking Married 9Life 342,000
Demo top fives

16-39 Top 5

  1. Married At First Sight -Finale Nine 589,000
  2. My Kitchen Rules Seven 199,000
  3. A Current Affair Nine 172,000
  4. Home And Away Seven 137,000
  5. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 126,000


18-49 Top 5

  1. Married At First Sight -Finale Nine 905,000
  2. My Kitchen Rules Seven 347,000
  3. A Current Affair Nine 285,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 238,000
  5. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 225,000


25-54 Top 5

  1. Married At First Sight -Finale Nine 929,000
  2. My Kitchen Rules Seven 390,000
  3. A Current Affair Nine 330,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 285,000
  5. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 269,000
Wednesday multichannel
  1. Talking Married 9Life 342,000
  2. Say Yes To The Dress Atlanta 9Life 204,000
  3. Peter Rabbit ABCKIDS/COMEDY 168,000
  4. Go Jetters ABCKIDS/COMEDY 166,000
  5. Octonauts ABCKIDS/COMEDY 159,000
  6. Dot. ABCKIDS/COMEDY 157,000
  7. Floogals-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 155,000
  8. The Hive-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 152,000
  9. A Touch Of Frost-PM 7TWO 152,000
  10. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 151,000
  11. PJ Masks-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 147,000
  12. Peppa Pig-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 141,000
  13. Hey Duggee-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 137,000
  14. Fireman Sam-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 136,000
  15. The Justine Clarke Show!-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 133,000
  16. Neighbours ELEVEN 131,000
  17. Noddy Toyland Detective-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 129,000
  18. Andy’s Prehistoric Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 127,000
  19. Play School-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 124,000
  20. Dinosaur Train-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 124,000


Wednesday subscription tv
  1. Gogglebox Australia LifeStyle Channel 147,000
  2. Selling Houses Australia LifeStyle Channel 138,000
  3. Ugly House To Lovely House LifeStyle Channel 76,000
  4. Live: AFL 360 FOX FOOTY 64,000
  5. Paul Murray Live SKY NEWS LIVE 53,000
  6. Gogglebox Australia LifeStyle Channel+2 43,000
  7. The Bolt Report SKY NEWS LIVE 43,000
  8. Family Guy FOX8 42,000
  9. NCIS TVH!TS 40,000
  10. PML Overtime SKY NEWS LIVE 38,000
  11. Escape To The Country LifeStyle Channel 37,000
  12. The Simpsons FOX8 35,000
  13. American Dad! FOX8 35,000
  14. The Simpsons FOX8 35,000
  15. Live: NRL 360 FOX LEAGUE 35,000
  16. The Big Bang Theory COMEDY CHANNEL 34,000
  17. American Dad! FOX8 33,000
  18. Elena Of Avalor Disney Junior 33,000
  19. Location, Location, Location LifeStyle Channel 32,000
  20. League Life FOX LEAGUE 32,000

Business of Media

Winter Olympics grow Seven West Media digital audience to new high

While the Seven Network’s TV ratings have lagged behind the market leader since the end of the Winter Olympics, Seven West Media has reported rapid audience growth for its digital products in the February figures as measured by Nielsen DRM.

Seven West Media said the highlights include:

• SWM only audience showing huge 51.5% YoY growth to 4.4m – its largest ever unique monthly audience, including during the Rio 2016 Olympics.

• SWM’s OTT audience growing 24.4% YoY to reach a monthly unique audience of 2.9m.

• WAN’s unique monthly audience up 44% to 1.7m, also its largest ever online audience.

• Pacific Magazines’ unique audience up 6% YoY to 1.8m.

SWM’s chief digital officer Clive Dickens said: “The latest Nielsen data affirms the increasing strength of our digital products, and is proof that our company growth strategy is delivering results.

“These ratings reflect, of course, the outstanding performance of the Winter Olympics, which far exceeded market expectations, and highlight Seven’s ability to deliver the biggest audiences from premium event programming.

“We are particularly pleased with the early performance of 7plus which, after just two full months of operation, is already showing year on year growth.

“At our Allfronts in November we predicted we would reach an OTT unique audience of three million in April. Today’s results show we are well on track to achieve that.

“All of this means we are shaping up for a monumental Commonwealth Games, where we are confident we will see record-breaking audiences engage with Seven across our digital products and platforms to help drive great commercial outcomes for our clients.

“Another big winner of this month’s ratings is Broadcast Video on Demand (BVOD) reaching more Australians than the SVOD category, driven by not only the Winter Olympics but also the significant growth of 7plus and other leading FTA products.”

Facebook ANZ's Wil Easton says company promises to protect user data

Facebook is refusing to say whether any Australians are caught up in a massive US data harvesting scandal, but local competition regulator Rod Sims says the privacy breach will be part of his upcoming inquiry into internet companies, report Fairfax Media’s John McDuling and Jennifer Duke.

Facebook is refusing to say whether any Australians are caught up in a massive US data harvesting scandal, but local competition regulator Rod Sims says the privacy breach will be part of his upcoming inquiry into internet companies, report Fairfax Media’s John McDuling and Jennifer Duke.

Will Easton, who runs Facebook in Australia and New Zealand, failed to respond to questions about whether Australians were among the 50 million users whose data was reportedly collected by political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

Easton confirmed the company was cooperating with the Australian government on the matter, and “will take whatever steps are required” to protect user data.

“Protecting people’s information is the most important thing we do at Facebook,” he said “What happened with Cambridge Analytica was a major violation of trust, and we are taking this issue incredibly seriously.”

[Read the original]

FremantleMedia global CEO Cécile Frot-Coutaz leaving after 23 years

Just one day after welcoming Chris Oliver-Taylor as the new CEO of FremantleMedia Australia, RTL group has announced that FremantleMedia global CEO Cécile Frot-Coutaz is leaving after 23 years to take on a new challenge. That new challenge is an executive role at YouTube.

A process has been initiated to select a new CEO for FremantleMedia.

Bert Habets, CEO of RTL Group, says: “I would like to thank Cécile for her extraordinary creative and commercial achievements at FremantleMedia. She has built FremantleMedia North America into the largest operation in FremantleMedia’s global network, serving also as executive producer of hit formats such as American Idol and America’s Got Talent. As CEO of FremantleMedia, she has successfully put creativity back in the centre of the company over the past six years. I regret, but understand, Cécile’s decision. All of us wish her the best in her future endeavours.”

James Packer steps back – John Alexander to run the $9b casino empire

Crown Resorts executive chairman and James Packer confidant John Alexander will be left to run the $9 billion casino empire without his major shareholder on the board after Packer’s shock departure to recover from mental health issues, report The Australian’s Sarah-Jane Tasker and Christine Lacy.

The Australian-listed company announced yesterday that Packer had resigned from the board for personal reasons. The billionaire’s private investment vehicle, Consolidated Press Holdings, went a step further, revealing that he was suffering from mental health issues.

“At this time he intends to step back from all commitments,” a spokesman for CPH said.

[Read the original]

Damon Kitney: Packer not seeking sympathy in dropping bombshell

Despite what the cynics might say, James Packer was not seeking sympathy in dropping yesterday’s bombshell, comments The Australian’s Damon Kitney.

Nor offering justification for his mistakes. To him, coming clean about his battle with mental health issues was about telling a truth, giving a context to his life that has been missing for decades.

(Damon Kitney is writing a biography of James Packer with Harper Collins.)

[Read the original]

Screen Producers Aust appoints Elle Curran to run legal & bus affairs

Screen Producers Australia CEO Matthew Deaner has appointed Elle Curran as director, legal and business affairs at Screen Producers Australia, effective from yesterday.

Curran’s responsibilities include assisting the SPA membership with legal, business and industrial inquiries, and the management of SPA’s industry benchmark industrial and commercial negotiations.

“Elle’s role is a critical one for our industry as we seek to continue to achieve fair and balanced outcomes in our negotiations with our industry partners that will benefit the sector as a whole,” Matthew Deaner said. “We need to continue to reform the framework in order to meet the challenges of the digital age and I am pleased to welcome Elle into this pivotal role. We look forward to the experience and energy that Elle will bring to the task.”

Curran has previously held roles at Flame Media, ITV Studios, DWA Entertainment Lawyers and most recently at the ABC and has had extensive experience providing legal and business services to a broad range of parties in the screen industry.

News Brands

ABC's Louise Milligan ordered to transcribe notes of Pell conversations

ABC journalist Louise Milligan has been ordered to transcribe shorthand notes of conversations she had with Cardinal George Pell’s alleged victims after his defence barrister claimed they were “unreadable”, reports Emma Younger from ABC News.

The award-winning journalist is due to give evidence at Cardinal George Pell’s committal hearing at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court next Monday.

Cardinal Pell, 76, is fighting historical sexual offence charges involving multiple complainants.

No other details of the charges can be reported for legal reasons.

Milligan is expected to be cross-examined on the contents of her book “Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell”, as well as her report for 7.30, which detailed allegations made against the Cardinal.

[Read the original]


Aust House & Garden wins at Melbourne Int Flower & Garden Show

Australian House & Garden has taken out top honours at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show (MIFGS).

A collaboration with Eckersley Garden Architecture, its show garden was awarded Best in Show, Gold Medal and Best Planting.

To mark the occasion of Australian House & Garden magazine’s 70th anniversary, editor-in-chief Lisa Green invited longtime collaborators Eckersley Garden to design a contemporary garden, Australian Case Study Garden, referencing plants and materials seen in our gardens over the past seven decades. “We’re absolutely thrilled this garden design has been recognised by the judges. It’s a huge credit to the E-GA design team, who took our brief and ran with it,” said Green.

From the vegie patch to the fruit trees, native plantings and ornamental shrubs to an outdoor fire and barbecue, recognisable elements have been given a modern makeover. The garden features enough lawn for a cricket game, a brick front fence, a pond and gum trees. There’s even a Hills Hoist in the mix.

“It’s wonderful to be collaborating with E-GA again on the occasion of House & Garden’s 70th birthday, said Green. “Fittingly, the garden contains many touchpoints from decades past and yet it is undeniably modern, the ideal garden for right now.”

Report that New Idea's Karl & Pete phone call edition a bestseller

Early sales figures show New Idea – the magazine that on Monday published details of a controversial phone call between Karl Stefanovic and his brother Peter taped by an Uber driver – on track for one of the biggest sales it has had in six months, reports New Idea’s Karlie Rutherford.

“The early estimates from supermarket sales are showing the magazine is up about 25% on its average sales,” a source told Confidential. “And these early scans are usually very precise.”

[Read the original]

Haymarket sells five titles to Future, closes consumer media division

Specialist media publisher Future is buying five consumer magazine titles from Haymarket Media Group in a deal worth up to £14m, reports UK trade title Campaign (published by Haymarket).

The five titles are FourFourTwo, What Hi-Fi?, Stuff, Practical Caravan and Practical Motorhome.

The acquisition of What Hi-Fi? will give Future an entry into the complementary audio-visual market, and Stuff will complement Future’s existing tech brands such as TechRadar, PC Gamer and GamesRadar+.

The sales mean that Haymarket will close its consumer media division.

Haymarket chief executive Kevin Costello said: “Haymarket’s growth plan is increasingly focused around several clear investment themes, firstly building out our peerless position in consumer motoring media and secondly driving growth across our UK and international B2B portfolio.

[Read the original]


TV Demand: NZ & Aust markets see Jessica Jones & Walking Dead #1

Both New Zealand and Australian markets are in sync this week with Marvel’s Jessica Jones at #1 on Digital Originals while The Walking Dead remains at #1 Overall TV.

The Crown has returned to the Digital Originals chart in both markets and The Handmaid’s Tale has charted again in Australia.

There are two new titles on both Overall TV charts – Marvel’s Jessica Jones and The 100.

Sports Media

Optus Sport secures rights for nine World Cup warm-up matches

Optus Sport has secured the rights for nine World Cup International friendly matches, in addition to its broadcasting rights of all 64 games of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Richard Bayliss, executive producer and presenter of Optus Sport, who will be hosting from Russia during the World Cup, said, “It’s exciting that in addition to offering Aussies every World Cup match live, plus extensive highlights and wall-to-wall coverage of the teams in Russia, we can now provide further coverage, keeping them close to the action in the lead-up to the tournament.”

As new AFL season starts, SEN reveals all-new commentary team

1116 SEN, one of the growing list of Melbourne specialist sport radio stations, is launching its AFL coverage this weekend with an all-new call team headed by Gerard Whateley.

Whateley will be joined by Peter Donegan, Kevin Bartlett, Tristan Foenander and Anthony Hudson along with expert commentators Nick Dal Santo, Daisy Pearce, Danny Frawley, Adam Cooney, Terry Wallace and Bob Murphy.

The new team will call the Saturday and Sunday afternoon matches throughout the home and away season plus finals including the 2018 Toyota AFL Grand Final.

In addition, 1116 SEN listeners will hear Crocmedia’s AFL Nation calls broadcast on the station on Friday nights, Saturday twilight, Saturday night and each Sunday twilight game throughout the season.

Herald Sun launches Aussie-first in-game AFL fan comp ahead of first match

The Herald Sun will tonight unveil an Australian-first in-game competition for footy fans using iconic interactive signage at the MCG.

Dubbed “Ball Call”, the dynamic competition will use the ground’s LED signage to alert fans to enter upon the umpire’s first official call of “Holding the Ball”. Typically, a ball call is registered within the first 11 minutes of any match.

The “Ball” call is one of the most contentious umpiring decisions of the game, evoking a loud and proud reaction from footy fans making it the perfect cue for entries and providing ongoing recall of the competition as awareness builds.

The “Ball Call” competition will feature at 44 home & away matches, plus finals, played at the MCG this season. Fans will be prompted to enter only once per game, on the first “holding the ball” call of each match.

By amplifying via MCG signage, owned media, social, radio and TV, the competition could potentially reach an engaged audience of around 38 million footy fans throughout the season – from those at the ground, to casual punters flicking through Facebook, down to multi-taskers listening to the broadcast on the car radio.

News Corp Australia’s Victorian general manager, consumer sales and marketing, Kammeron George, said the Herald Sun has been a dominant player inside the MCG during AFL season for years.

“This fan engagement activity will take it to the next level,” she said.

Every Herald Sun subscriber who enters the competition will be entitled to an additional entry each time they enter, compounding their chances to win. and the AFL app launch a new lineup + add two new TV shows and the AFL Live app have launched a new lineup for their Access All Areas program and added two new studio shows for the 2018 Toyota AFL Premiership Season.

AFL Media’s flagship show since 2012, Access All Areas sees Brownlow medallist Jimmy Bartel joining Essendon Coleman medallist Matthew Lloyd and award-winning columnist Damian Barrett. The program is available to watch on demand from Mondays at 11am.

Port Adelaide champion and Crocmedia regular Kane Cornes joins the lineup along with host Matt Thompson to bring fans a snapshot of the biggest talking points from the round’s completed matches in a new program called The Round So Far. The program will be available on demand from late Saturday night and all day Sunday.

The other new program is In Case You Missed It hosted by Nat Edwards, which recaps the round for viewers on Sunday night or Monday morning.’s signature weekday news bulletin Footy Feed continues and is presented by Nat Edwards and Matt Thompson. Produced by the team at AFL Media with contributions from our reporters across the country, Footy Feed is a truly national AFL news show dedicated to covering the game’s biggest stories and chatting with the game’s biggest names.

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