Monday March 25, 2019

Streaming anniversary: hayu goes global after NBCU’s Aussie launch

• Kardashians, Kost & Konvenience keys to growing reality TV platform

By James Manning

In March 2016 the platform launched in the UK, Ireland and Australia.

Launching here a year after Stan and Netflix, hayu’s offer was a simple and cheaper one – reality TV hits for $5.99 a month. The pitch remains the same although the price has edged higher to $6.99 monthly.

“Since launch we have experienced rapid growth,” said the senior vice president of branded on demand at NBCUniversal International & managing director hayu, Hendrik McDermott (pictured), during an Australian visit last week.

“We are now in 11 markets after we launched in the Nordic region in 2017 with Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. That expansion continued in 2018 when we launched in Canada last September.”

He told Mediaweek most recently hayu launched in Benelux – Belgium and Luxemburg.

While NBCU owns a lot of the content on the hayu platform, McDermott explained there is lots more too.

“NBCUniversal is one of the world’s leading unscripted production companies and they produce about 2,000 hours of unscripted a year. A lot of those franchises are extremely well known. Products that come out of our flagship brands in the US – Bravo, Oxygen and the E! Network – are franchises like The Real Housewives, Top Chef, Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

At launch perhaps as much as 90% of the content was from the NBCUniversal family. Since launch though we have diversified the content proposition.

“We are actively acquiring content from third parties as well. We have closed deals with A&E, Viacom plus independent production companies to round out the reality TV offering we have.”

The new content varies from market-to-market, but McDermott said, “We also have acquired older content no longer in production which includes The Hills and Jersey Shores.”

Hayu has yet to commission any original content. “We haven’t seen the need to do it yet, but it is something we could look at in the future.”

As to what hayu might have learnt from its Australian rollout, McDermott said: “One of the key things we found is that people who love reality TV, really love reality TV and they want to watch a lot of content. One of the key developments we added about a year ago was a temporary download feature, which allows users to download every single episode of content on our platform.

“We also spent a lot of time communicating to our viewers, trying to drive them into other shows. That is primarily because of the breadth of content we have.

We have close to 6,500 hours of content on the service now. That represents more than 200 shows.

McDermott agreed that hayu had, and still does, offer customers an attractive subscription fee. “We spend a lot of time thinking about price. The idea was to make the service available to as many people as possible. That has proven to be quite good for us. We view hayu as a complimentary service and our price tag reflects that.

The bulk of hayu viewing comes from mobile devices – small screens and tablets. “Over two thirds of viewing comes from those devices, in particular phones and that is probably a reflection of our demographic. We target a young, female demographic 18-34. The average age of our viewers in Australia is 29. It is also a reflection of the content with people snacking when they have time perhaps on their way to work.”

While McDermott acknowledged the power of exclusive content, he noted their major priority is distribution to make sure hayu is available on every device on every platform. “That allows people to do what they want when they want.”

hayu is a reality TV-focussed platform, with McDermott noting that it is not about to be diluted with other content. It’s not all feuding families though – other reality TV content includes true crime as well as home & design and food shows.

“We will continue international expansion and technical enhancements. We also want people to be watching more of our content and one way to do that is to make it available on the same day it airs in the US.”

Given the explosive growth coming with numerous SVOD platforms preparing to launch, hayu got in at the right time. “When we launched we saw potential SVOD growth and that has come to fruition.”

Hayu partners in Australia are Fetch, Telstra, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. “We found them to be fast-growing platforms, but also platforms that embrace VOD services like ours and we are looking to expand our partnerships here and internationally.”

Hayu and Foxtel bringing reality star Denise Richards down under

To celebrate the ninth season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, streaming the same day as the US, hayu and Foxtel are bringing actress, business woman, philanthropist, New York Times best-selling author and new Housewife, Denise Richards, to Australia.

Richards is currently starring as the newest cast member of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and will be in Sydney April 10th – 12th to promote the series.

As an actress, Richards made her big screen debut in Starship Troopers, but garnered international recognition as Bond Girl, Dr. Christmas Jones, opposite Pierce Brosnan in The World Is Not Enough. Additional film credits include Wild Things, Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection Program, Blonde and Blonder, Scary Movie 3, Drop Dead Gorgeous, American Violence, Destined to Ride and Christmas Break-In.

She will next be seen in the upcoming films, Saturday at the Starlight, Adventures of Dally & Spanky, Amazon Lost, The First Key and 1st Born.

Her television credits include notable guest appearances on 30 Rock, Blue Mountain State, Anger Management, Jane The Virgin and Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce. She also recently joined – and is currently in production on – The Bold and the Beautiful as character, Shauna Fulton.

In 2008 E! contracted Richards to star in the reality series Denise Richards: It’s Complicated. The show came several years after her divorce from Charlie Sheen and she won a court order to be allowed to include her and Sheen’s daughters in the series.

Richards currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband and three daughters.

This season on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, the stakes are higher than ever for each of the ladies and while there is no shortage of laughs, they are forced to navigate a string of confrontations that could change the dynamic of the friend’s group forever. Richards is joined by Erika Girardi, Dorit Kemsley, Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave, Kyle Richards, Lisa Rinna, Lisa Vanderpump and friend Camille Grammer [ex-wife of Kelsey Grammer].

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills season 9 streams on both hayu and Foxtel, same day as the US.

Merrick Watts hosting new true crime podcast for News Corp & Nova

News Corp Australia and Nova Entertainment have joined forces to produce Police Tape – a new true crime podcast series, to be hosted by Merrick Watts, launching on Friday 29 March.

Published under the True Crime Australia banner, Police Tape will take listeners behind the scenes like never before, as Watts speaks with some of the nation’s most elite police officers about their most memorable moments on the beat – and in the process unearths new insights about some of the biggest crimes of our times.

The podcast is a collaboration between Watts and Mark Morri, crime editor for The Daily Telegraph, and Charles Miranda, crime author and True Crime Australia editor.

The project is one of many new podcasts to be created by NewsCast – News Corp Australia’s new podcasting arm, announced at the company’s Come Together 2019 showcase.

Featuring blow-by-blow descriptions of the moments that mattered, the 10-part series reveals the thoughts and feelings of some of Australia’s most senior and recently retired police officers who give candid, gripping and highly personal accounts.

Emotion-charged recollections from these top-ranking officers take listeners deep inside some of the terrifying and confronting moments of their careers.

The Daily Telegraph’s Mark Morri, who has covered crime for four decades, said: “In Police Tape you’ll hear from the men and women who have rarely spoken openly about their involvement in some of Australia’s highest profile cases. Their blow-by-blow descriptions of the moments that matter will be something you’ll never forget.”

News360 executive editor Kathy Lipari said Police Tape demonstrated News Corp’s commitment to publishing quality journalism on all platforms and reflected unprecedented demand for and interest in true crime stories.

“This is our first podcast with Nova Entertainment, bringing together for the first time, the best audio producers with the nation’s best storytellers,” she said.

Watts said he was spellbound by the tales that were told in Police Tape.

“Like so many other people, I find these stories and people fascinating,” he said.

“The unexpected details, the sense of ‘being there’ and the knowledge of what law enforcement does to protect the public, intrigues me as much as anyone else. Hosting these conversations was an amazing experience.”

Jay Walkerden, Nova Entertainment’s head of podcasting, said: “With News Corp Australia’s high-value assets across print and digital, and Nova Entertainment’s expertise in audio production, combined with the scale of our combined sales force, this is the perfect partnership. Our joint focus is on creating high-quality, local productions with international appeal.”

Police Tape is sponsored by Swinburne Online, a leading provider of degrees in criminology, behavioural studies and psychology. Partnering with News Corp Australia and Nova Entertainment presents them with a unique opportunity to reach new students. Through Police Tape Swinburne Online will reach a national audience to help promote careers in the justice system.

Police Tape podcast launches on Friday 29 March, with a new episode being released each week, on Acast and wherever you access your podcasts. Each episode will be supported by extensive editorial coverage across print, web, social and radio.

Read more in Podcast Week – this and every Thursday at and in the Mediaweek Morning Report.

Read previous Podcast Week columns and hear Mediaweek podcasts here.

ARIA Chart Report

• Singles: Jonas Brothers join elite club, Troye Sivan almost top 10
• Albums: Luke Combs & The Eagles top 10 after Australian tours


Jonas Brothers have made it two weeks at #1 with Sucker. So far there have been four artists who have topped this chart this year and all have been there for two or more weeks. The others are:

Post Malone & Swae Lee with Sunflower (3 weeks)
Ariana Grande with 7 Rings (5 weeks)
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper with Shallow (2 weeks + 3 weeks in 2018)

Not a single newcomer to the top 10 this week with no artists moving in or out.

I’m So Tired… from Lauv and Troye Sivan came close to a top 10 spot with a new peak of #11 after eight weeks on the chart.

There was only one chart debut in the top 50 – Swervin from A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie featuring 6ix9ine.

Two artists venturing into the top 50 from lower down were:

Marshmello with Here With Me featuring Chvrches from #64 to #35 after two weeks.

Mabel with Don’t Call Me Up from #51 to #38 after four weeks.


Ariana Grande isn’t giving up top spot without a fight – Thank U, Next makes it five weeks at #1 after the title track spent six weeks at #1 on the singles chart at the end of 2018.

The only action in the top 10 was two artists into the top 10 on the back of Australian tours – US country artist Luke Combs (pictured) saw his album This One’s For You return to the top 10 with a new peak of #7 after 53 weeks on the chart. Previous high was #8.

US rock superstars The Eagles have moved on from Australia on their world tour as Selected Works: 1972-1999 also hits a new chart high at #8 after 65 weeks on the chart. This is first time the album has been top 10 after peaking at #11 twice previously.

Just two albums new to the top 50 this week:

#23 Jack Savoretti with Singing To Strangers. The UK singer-songwriter’s follow-up album to Sleep No More with a track featuring Savoretti and Kylie Minogue performing the track they co-wrote – Music’s Too Sad Without You – which originally appeared on Kylie’s #1 album Golden.

Dan Sultan slips into the top 50 at #47 with Aviary Takes. It’s an album featuring stripped back versions of songs from his previous four albums plus three cover versions.

Top 10 Game Charts: Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 Fights its Way to #1

Newly-released shared-world shooter Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 has darted directly into top spot on the retail charts in Australia.

Set in the aftermath of a smallpox epidemic, The Division 2 is a refined and intuitive co-op experience with many dozens of hours of great content and progression straight out of the box. The Division 2 has received praise for launching as a more complete and polished package than other recent games in this space and should also have a long life ahead of it, certainly if Ubisoft’s ongoing commitment to the likes of For Honor and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege are any indication.

The very impressive Devil May Cry 5 remains at the pointy end of the charts, slipping back to second spot after its #1 debut, and the mid-priced recent release Far Cry New Dawn is still performing well, rounding out the top three and making it a good week for Ubisoft.

The only other new entrant this week is One Piece: World Seeker, a licensed anime adaptation that IGN describes as “a bland and formulaic open-world adventure”. It’s slotted in at position nine, just ahead of EA’s disappointing Anthem, but it’d be surprising to see it last longer than a week in the top 10.

TV Week 12: Manhunt and The Weekly new arrivals

• But it’s still a MAFS world, AFL arrival lifts Seven

Episodes 29, 30, 31 and 32 of Married At First Sight screened in Week 12 of the TV year. The Endemol Shine Australia-produced reality show drove Nine to another ratings win.

The four MAFS episodes Nine screens weekly have been the top four shows of the week for the past seven weeks. We haven’t seen chart domination like that since, since, My Kitchen Rules several years ago.

In 2017 MAFS and MKR were neck and neck for part of Q1. In week 12 they had the top six sports – MAFS 1,2 and 3, and then MKR 4,5 and 6, but there was little separating the two shows.

In 2018, week 12 was the final week of MAFS given an earlier Easter and then Comm Games. The episodes that week ranged from 1.449m on Sunday to 1.637m for the final dinner party to 1.761m for the final episode. This year there is still a bit to go.

In week 12 2019, Seven had its best share in five weeks, but it didn’t steal viewers from Nine. Nine’s share was up week-on-week too.

ABC, 10 and SBS all had marginal all people primary share falls.

All combined channel networks shares were down this week, except for Seven, which grew from 28.0% to 30.4% week-on-week.

The hottest properties

Nine: Don’t ask. Second was the ever-improving Travel Guides, which did 782,000.

Seven: The Thursday and Friday coverage of the AFL was the best of the new arrivals with metro average audiences over 700,000 for both matches.

The brilliant crime drama Manhunt debuted well with 593,000, which really is a cracking number these days for 9pm.

10: The Australian Grand Prix was by far the biggest attraction with 689,000, which was up year-on-year.

Gogglebox continues to be the best-performing regular series despite 10 getting second rights after a Lifestyle screening the night prior.

ABC: Hard Quiz was the channel’s best with Tom Gleeson also a key contributor on the return of The Weekly With Charlie Pickering. Gleeson could also be featured in one of next week’s highest-rating shows as he hosts the Melbourne International Comedy Gala on Sunday night.

SBS: Australia In Colour topped the ratings for a second consecutive week for the channel with another 300,000+ audience. The next best was 100,000 behind with episodes of Great British Railway Journeys and Great Continental Railway Journeys on 200,000.

TV Ratings Analysis: March 24

• Audience loving bawdy behaviour as Married hits new high
• Nine close to Sunday best as Aust Crime Stories moves in
• Sunday football helps both 6pm news bulletins over 1m
• Plus: MKR’s best in four weeks, Vera checks out on ABC

Sunday: Week 13 2019 

• Seven News 1,034,000
• Nine News 1,009,000
• ABC News 679,000
• Insiders 325,000
• The Project 221,000/309,000
• 10 News First 240,000
• Offsiders 183,000
• SBS World News 145,000

Breakfast TV

• Sunrise 247,000
• Today 196,000


The first Sunday afternoon AFL match of the year helped push Seven News Sunday over 1m for the second time this year and the first since February 3.

That bigger audience helped My Kitchen Rules to 774,000 – its biggest audience since week nine when 861,000 were watching on Tuesday. Pete and Colin were in charge last night for a biscuit challenge. The winner gets their biscuit put on sale in Coles – so watch out this week for Lyn & Sal’s Limited Edition Chocolate Macadamia Brownie Cookies, a snip at $5.

Sunday Night then did 342,000 after 418,000 last week. 


Sunday afternoon NRL has pushed Nine News Sunday across the 1m mark for a second successive Sunday.

IT came as the channel recorded its second best survey share with a primary number of 30.6% and combined channel number on 39.4%. Week nine also started that strong for Nine.

Married At First Sight then took off again with audiences loving the bawdy behaviour of some of the cast. The size of the crowd set a handful of new records for season six – highest national peak (2.8m), highest national average (2.27m), highest metro average (1.685m) and highest regional average (585,000).

That set the scene for a good 60 Minutes roll up as 811,000 watched – up from 671,000 last week.

Australian Crime Stories has moved back to Sunday nights and last night was all about The Dirty Cop – Mark Standen. The episode did 346,000 after 275,000 on its last Thursday outing three weeks ago.


The Sunday Project was on 309,000 after 7pm, after 343,000 last Sunday when it went to air between 6-7pm.

The audience continues to be slow on the take up for Sunday Night Takeaway with 246,000 last night after 281,000 last week with a 7pm start and 261,000 a fortnight ago.

Hughesy, We Have a Problem then did 236,000 later in the night.


Episode two of Restoration Australia was very different to the first, not only in location. But it was just as compelling with 539,000 after the series launched on 533,000 a week ago.

The final of the short season of Vera did 659,000. It was the second best audience for the series with the Northumberland & City Police detective chief inspector tracking down the murderer of a young girl.


The second episode of the three-part Five Billion Pound Super Sewer did 153,000.

A repeat of Diana: In Her Own Words did 142,000 for those brave enough to hear the thoughts again of the usual British royalty suspects.

Week 12-13 TV: Friday-Sunday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 8.6% 7 25.6% 9 18.4% 10  8.3% SBS One 4.6%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.2% 7TWO 3.7% GO! 4.1% 10 Bold 3.3% VICELAND 1.3%
ABC ME 0.7% 7mate 5.0% GEM 2.9% 10 Peach 2.1% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 1.7% 7flix 2.0% 9Life 2.7%     NITV 0.1%
    7Food 0.7%            
TOTAL 14.3%   37.0%   28.1%   13.6%   7.0%


ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 14.8% 7 17.5% 9 16.4% 10  5.7% SBS One 4.0%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.0% 7TWO 4.2% GO! 5.1% 10 Bold 3.3% VICELAND 1.2%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 6.9% GEM 2.7% 10 Peach 1.8% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 5.5% 7flix 2.5% 9Life 2.8%     NITV 0.2%
    7Food 0.7%            
TOTAL 23.9%   31.9%   27.0%   10.7%   6.5%


ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 13.9% 7 16.8% 9 30.6% 10  6.6% SBS One 4.6%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.4% 7TWO 2.0% GO! 4.6% 10 Bold 2.1% VICELAND 1.1%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 3.8% GEM 2.1% 10 Peach 1.6% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 1.5% 7flix 2.0% 9Life 2.2%     NITV 0.1%
    7Food 0.6%            
TOTAL 18.4%   25.2%   39.4%   10.3%   6.6%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 14.6% 7 16.7% 9 25.6% WIN 6.9% SBS One 4.7%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.7% 7TWO 3.1% GO! 4.1% WIN Bold 1.7% VICELAND 1.6%
ABC ME 0.7% 7mate 3.7% GEM 4.2% WIN Peach 1.3% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 1.7% 7flix 3.1% 9Life 2.1% Sky News  on WIN 0.5% NITV 0.1%
TOTAL 19.7%   26.6%   36.0%   10.4%   7.3%


85.8% 14.2%
All People Rankings

Friday Top 10

  1. Seven News Seven 831,000
  2. Nine News Nine 773,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 756,000
  4. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 755,000
  5. Seven’s AFL: Friday Night Football Seven 709,000
  6. ABC News ABC 597,000
  7. The Chase Australia Seven 473,000
  8. Better Homes And Gardens Seven 471,000
  9. Friday Night NRL Live Nine 461,000
  10. A Current Affair Nine 426,000


Saturday Top 10

  1. Seven News Seven 713,000
  2. Nine News Saturday Nine 682,000
  3. Death In Paradise ABC 550,000
  4. ABC News-Sa ABC 521,000
  5. Seven’s AFL: Saturday Night Football Seven 441,000
  6. Seven’s AFL: Saturday Night Football – Post Match Seven 338,000
  7. Delicious ABC 288,000
  8. David Attenborough’s Dynasties Nine 265,000
  9. Seven’s AFL: Saturday Night Football – Pre Match Seven 252,000
  10. Weekend Sunrise Seven 247,000
Sunday FTA
  1. Married At First Sight Nine 1,685,000
  2. Seven News Seven 1,034,000
  3. Nine News Sunday Nine 1,009,000
  4. 60 Minutes Nine 811,000
  5. My Kitchen Rules Seven 774,000
  6. ABC News Sunday ABC 679,000
  7. Vera ABC 659,000
  8. Restoration Australia ABC 539,000
  9. Seven’s AFL: Sunday Afternoon Football Seven 361,000
  10. Australian Crime Stories Nine 346,000
  11. Sunday Night Seven 342,000
  12. Insiders AM ABC 325,000
  13. The Sunday Project 7pm 10 309,000
  14. Sunday Afternoon NRL Live Nine 284,000
  15. Weekend Sunrise Seven 247,000
  16. Chris & Julia’s Sunday Night Takeaway 10 246,000
  17. 10 News First Sun 10 240,000
  18. Hughesy, We Have A Problem 10 236,000
  19. Landline PM ABC 230,000
  20. The Sunday Project 6.30pm 10 221,000
Sunday Multichannel
  1. Casino Royale   9GO! 160,000
  2. M- Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows 7mate 146,000
  3. Hey Duggee AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 127,000
  4. Insiders AM ABC NEWS 124,000
  5. Fixer Upper   9Life 122,000
  6. Little Princess AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 121,000
  7. The Big Bang Theory   Tx2 – (R) 9GO! 120,000
  8. Play School AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 119,000
  9. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 117,000
  10. Dot. AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 117,000
  11. Bananas In Pyjamas AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 115,000
  12. Olobob Top AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 114,000
  13. Kiddets AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 111,000
  14. The Big Bang Theory   Tx1 – (R) 9GO! 110,000
  15. School Of Roars AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 105,000
  16. Border Security – Australia’s Front Line -7PTMWO 97,000
  17. Pj Masks PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 95,000
  18. Shaun The Sheep ABCKIDS/COMEDY 95,000
  19. Noddy Toyland Detective PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 95,000
  20. Andy’s Prehistoric Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 93,000
Sunday STV
  1. Live: NRL Tigers V Warriors FOX LEAGUE 272,000
  2. Live: NRL Bulldogs V Eels FOX LEAGUE 222,000
  3. Live: AFL Gws V Essendon FOX FOOTY 177,000
  4. Live: AFL Fremantle V North Melbourne FOX FOOTY 169,000
  5. Live: AFL St Kilda V Gold Coast FOX SPORTS 503 125,000
  6. Live: Sunday Night With Matty Johns FOX LEAGUE 111,000
  7. Live: Bounce FOX FOOTY 63,000
  8. Live: NRL Pre Game Sunday Ticket FOX LEAGUE 57,000
  9. Live: Super Rugby: Reds V Brumbies FOX SPORTS MORE 56,000
  10. Live: Controversy Corner FOX LEAGUE 54,000
  11. Les Miserables BBC First 48,000
  12. Live: ODI Pakistan V Australia Game 2 FOX CRICKET 47,000
  13. Outsiders Sky News Live 45,000
  14. Outsiders Sky News Live 44,000
  15. Live: AFLW: Pf, Adelaide V Geelong FOX FOOTY 41,000
  16. Taken 3 Foxtel Movies Thriller 38,000
  17. First Blood FOX Classics 34,000
  18. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 33,000
  19. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 32,000
  20. PJ Masks Disney Junior 31,000

Shares all people, 6pm-midnight, Overnight (Live and AsLive), Audience numbers FTA metro, Sub TV national
Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2018. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM

Media News Roundup

Business of Media

Regionals rally in Boomtown campaign to better explain opportunity

Regional Australian television networks, radio providers and publishers will target media buyers, chief executives, chief marketing officers and corporate sales executives with a co-ordinated campaign aimed at dispelling myths that discourage advertising in their markets, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

Southern Cross Austereo, Nine, Grant Broadcasters, WIN Corp, Prime Media, News Corp and Imparja will launch their Boomtown campaign in early April. It is the first time the companies have banded together.

Campaign documents, seen by The Australian Financial Review, show the co-op will seek to challenge the low levels of investment in regional areas by advertisers with statistics showing population growth of 12.6% over the past decade to 8.8 million and household incomes on par with metropolitan areas.

The document said 36% of the Australian population lives in regional areas, they make 34% of income, but only 10% of national advertiser spend goes into the areas.

[Read the original]

Could Lachlan’s era could bring Murdoch family empire back together?

Lachlan Murdoch is now chief executive of Fox Corp and remains co-chairman of the other half of the family business, News Corporation, which includes titles such as The New York Post, The Times of London, The Wall Street Journal and The Australian, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

The Murdochs’ $US71.3 billion deal to sell its film and entertainment assets of 21st Century Fox to Disney has increased the likelihood of Fox Corp and News Corp reuniting as Lachlan begins to assert his rule on the throne.

The scion is passionate about media and journalism and the remarrying of News Corp and Fox Corp would bring back together businesses focused on the same thing, but in different mediums, publishing and broadcasting.

But, don’t expect it to happen for at least two years, sources said, as the younger Murdoch looks to bed down a newly transformed company following the Disney deal, which was completed last week.

[Read the original]

Seven comes out on top for February with largest revenue share

Seven West Media achieved the largest revenue share of the free-to-air networks in February despite audiences turning away from cooking show My Kitchen Rules to watch rival reality drama Married At First Sight, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Jennifer Duke.

Seven secured 42.3% of the advertising market last month, followed by Nine Entertainment Co with 37% and Network Ten with 20.7%, on Standard Media Index data.

This result defied a strong ratings month for Nine, with large audiences on the back of reality TV behemoth Married, as the network’s revenue share remained broadly flat year-on-year.

Seven chief revenue officer Kurt Burnette said the network had a strong line up in February with cricket, the AFL, Sunrise, game show The Chase and 7News, which led into MKR.

“All these shows are compelling and effective propositions for advertisers that deliver real business results,” Burnette said. “Seven’s share of the market is a clear reflection of the continual delivery of those metrics.”

Media buyer Omnicom Media Group chief executive Peter Horgan said it was a “good result for Seven” but called the numbers “a bit of a blip” given the large audiences watching Married.

[Read the original]

As Apple readies TV launch, Hollywood powerbrokers going in ‘blind’

Nearly two years after Apple first signalled its plan to become a programming powerhouse, the tech giant is set to unveil its vision for the future of entertainment. And it’s got Hollywood on the edge of its seat, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

The curtain will lift March 25 as Apple convenes some of Hollywood’s top dealmakers and stars and producers like Jennifer Aniston and J.J. Abrams at its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters for an event teased with an invitation featuring an old-school movie countdown and the phrase, “It’s show time.”

(Sources say Apple is also hosting a special dinner event on Sunday for its massive talent roster who will be in town for the Monday morning event.)

Despite some frustration over the lack of information coming out Apple’s Culver City outpost in the days leading up to the event, most power brokers are expressing confidence that the company known for making the iPhone can shepherd these shows to success. “It’s important to have more options, more competition,” says an insider. “I want it to work and I hope it will.”

[Read the original]

News Brands

Legal firm jumps gun to register ‘Lawyer X’ as a brand

A small Melbourne law firm has thrown the plans of media giants into chaos after it sought to trademark the Lawyer X brand, report The Australian’s Eli Greenblat and Remy Varga.

Zervos Lawyers has applied for the trademark, swooping in on Melbourne tabloid the Herald Sun as well as Foxtel and Sky, which plan to publish documentaries and dramas about the case.

The Herald Sun, whose reporters broke the story, will co-­produce a documentary with Sky News on the saga. Foxtel has begun moves to produce a drama series. Herald Sun editor Damon Johnston said no trademark could stop the paper from using the Lawyer X brand.

[Read the original]

The Australian gets news COS + welcomes Alice Workman, Zoe Samios

News Corp Australia’s national daily has promoted James Madden to the role of national chief of staff. He has been with the newspaper for 20 years working as a reporter in Sydney and Melbourne before being appointed Sydney chief of staff and in 2013 deputy national chief of staff.

He has been with the newspaper for 20 years working as a reporter in Sydney and Melbourne before being appointed Sydney chief of staff and in 2013 deputy national chief of staff.

Other appointments announced on Saturday included Bridget Cormack to deputy editor of Review.

Zoe Samios recently joined the newspaper as media business reporter from Mumbrella while Alice Workman has been appointed to the team of federal political reporters after previously serving as political editor of BuzzFeed.

Relocations: Nine’s newspapers to move twice in next two years

After 12 years in the same building, Nine’s papers, the SMH and AFR, are on the move, reports The Australian’s Nick Tabakoff.

The ex-Fairfax papers are currently “house-sharing” in the Pyrmont building with tech giant Google, which will eventually take over the whole premises.

But where are the papers going? Why, to yet another Google building in Pyrmont, of course.

It’s sadly symbolic that the global internet giant that is cutting the local media’s lunch will now be the landlord to some of Australia’s most venerable newspapers, in the very same Pyrmont building that until last year was Channel 7’s national corporate HQ.

The SMH and AFR will stay there for a year or so before finally uniting with their new parent, Nine, around the end of 2020 in the enlarged group’s flash new corporate HQ in North Sydney.

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Commentary on The Project’s Waleed Aly – Not everyone’s a fan

There’s no ‘harmony’ in Waleed Aly’s sanctimonious sermons

It was a bad idea for the Prime Minister to submit to a televised interrogation by Channel 10’s chief narcissist Waleed Aly last week, comments News Corp’s Miranda Devine.

The 30-minute interview on the jejune panel show The Project was a set-up, from the silky insolence of Aly to the slumping chair ­designed to make a middle-aged man look sloppy.

It is a mystery why Scott Morrison felt he should reward the foul calumny of the previous week, when Aly effectively branded him and Peter Dutton hypocritical Islamophobes.

But reward Aly the PM did, squandering his authority to be lectured by a cocksure 40-year-old whose mawkish moralising disguises a hardcore identity politics agenda.

Perhaps the PM thought it was worth abasing his office to appeal to the dwindling number of Millennials who watch The Project, a program whose desperate wokeness reflects the fact that ratings are bleeding away by 12 per cent a year.

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Waleed Aly is a propagandist, not a journalist

This much is abundantly clear from his aggressive, and insinuating, interview with the Prime Minister last Thursday night: Waleed Aly is a propagandist, not a journalist, comments News Corp’s Peta Credlin.

It was typical tabloid television; loaded with inference and interruption and peddling old untruths. And whatever Scott Morrison’s faults and mistakes may be, despite Aly’s disdain, he was courteous, forbearing and decent.

At almost any time after Aly’s second question, he would have been entitled to say that the interview was a thinly veiled exercise in abuse, not a discussion with our nation’s leader about an atrocity, which has rocked Australia, as much as it has New Zealand.

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Nine and Singo’s Macquarie Media close new deal with breakfast host

Radio’s $4.5-million-a-year man, Alan Jones, is a giant step closer to renewing his lucrative Macquarie Media contract, with the radio network’s two biggest shareholders, Nine and adman John “Singo” Singleton, finally on the same page about getting the deal done, reports The Australian’s Nick Tabakoff.

The Nine board, led by chairman Peter Costello, has decided enough is enough, and started a concerted push to make sure Jones signs on the dotted line.

A fresh offer of $4.5m a year including bonuses is believed to be imminent.

Jones is believed to want a two-year contract to see him through to his 80th birthday.

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Ray Hadley accused of bullying by former 2GB producer The Bowen

Radio station 2GB has been embroiled in another drama, with a former staff member alleging that host Ray Hadley bullied him, and that he was verbally abused weekly for more than a decade.

A Macquarie Radio spokesman said the company was “not aware of any complaints related to this matter” and invited them “to be raised directly­ with the station”.

Former producer Chris Bowen wrote that he “suffered mental health problems” after the death of his parents and “16 years of intense bullying” by a work colleague at Radio 2GB, which is owned by the Nine Network.

“I was subjected to vile and inexcusable behaviour,” he wrote. “Out of control sheer rage. It was directed at me at least weekly.”

Bowen did not name Hadley in the post, but wrote, “you don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to work it out”.

He confirmed the post was referring to Hadley when contacted by The Daily Telegraph on Sunday.

A spokesman for Macquarie Radio said: “All staff at Macquarie Media are required to adhere to a workplace behaviour policy, which includes a responsibility to maintain a safe working environment and report any matters of concern.”

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Advocate for trans and gender diverse children joins Neighbours’ cast

Georgie Stone, an advocate for gender diverse youth, will make her way to Ramsay Street to play the role of a transgender character on Australia’s longest running drama.

With a long list of high calibre awards to her name, including Hero of the Year at the 2019 LGBTI Awards, the 2018 Victorian Young Australian of the Year and the 2017 Young People’s Human Rights Medal, Georgie Stone is an industry pioneer.

Alongside her passion for acting, Stone is using her platform to fight for equality for gender diverse youth after she realised, through her own personal gender transition at a young age, there was an imbalance both politically and socially.

Stone will play Neighbours’ first transgender character after the 19-year-old approached the show’s producers with the desire to portray some of her own experiences and others in the trans community, on screen.

After auditioning for the role, Georgie has been working with the writers and producers for the last eight months to accurately integrate parts of her life story into the well-known Australian drama.  

Stone’s character will have a special connection with a member of one of Ramsay Street’s favourite families.

On her role, Stone said: “I am so excited to be joining such an iconic show. Neighbours is all about telling stories we can connect to, stories that reflect our society today.

“It has progressed so much since it first began, which is why I thought it was time to have a trans character on the show. I can’t wait for everyone to meet her!”

Stone will start filming her guest role in June and her episodes will air on Neighbours later this year.

See also: Special edition of the Mediaweek Podcast goes inside Neighbours with Network 10 executive producer Sara Richardson and Mediaweek’s Andrew Mercado.

Listen here.

Sports Media

NRL swimming upstream when it comes to TV rights, expansion

Netflix and Stan will decide the fate of Sydney’s nine NRL clubs in any move towards expansion, writes Neil Breen in The Sun-Herald.

The streaming services have nothing to do with rugby league but, ultimately, the money secured in the next TV rights deal will guide the game. And with consumer money pouring into streaming, there might not be a big pot left for league.

This situation will influence every decision about the game, including expansion and/or relocation.

The existing five-year NRL broadcast deal is in its second season and is worth $1.8 billion with Channel Nine and Fox Sports sharing the load across free-to-air and pay TV. The cash component is in excess of $300 million a season.

But free-to-air and pay TV are under siege from streaming platforms. Television executives are concerned by the trend. Viewers are making their own choices. It’s not going to slow down.

Yes, league rates, but if the networks don’t have the cash to keep paying more for it, they won’t. They can’t.

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