Tuesday March 27, 2018

Nova Brisbane’s Susie O’Neill talks to Mediaweek on eve of Comm Games

• “I am a very private person. When I was swimming, media was a necessary evil”

The former Australian swimming champ Susie O’Neill has been a big part of the Ash, Kip and Luttsy show on Nova 106.9 in Brisbane for the past five years after she filled in as a sports presenter, along with two others, when regular sports guy Mitch Lewis was on his honeymoon.

After that went well, O’Neill started as a contributor one day a week.

Her presence on the program has steadily increased over the years where she is now on four days a week.

Mediaweek recorded a special podcast with O’Neill recently ahead of a fortnight of special Gold Coast broadcasts the breakfast show will do during the Commonwealth Games.

Susie O’Neill with Ash, Kip and Luttsy ahead of the Commonwealth Games

Do many people think of Susie O’Neill as an FM breakfast broadcaster?

I’d never had any other offer before to do FM radio. I did a bit of sports stuff for 4BC. Even now I don’t think of myself as an FM breakfast radio announcer. That makes me think of someone really, really loud and someone extroverted. I am the opposite of that.

I’m not a good judge if it is working, but the ratings have been relatively good and it has been good fun.

The boys have been really good to me and not many people get to start their career on a top-rating breakfast show.

Do you find it hard to judge how good you are on air?

[Laughs] Yes. Because I come from a swimming background, everything was clear-cut regarding whether I was going well or going badly. How well you are going on radio can be very subjective.

Did you turn your back on a media career?

I am a very private person. When I was swimming, media was a necessary evil. I was swimming full-time and I needed sponsors and endorsements and the way to do that is to get some sort of media profile. Although I continue to be very private, I do talk about my life a lot on air. I don’t think of myself as a media person even though I am in the media.

Did you make so much money from swimming you didn’t need a media career for financial reward?

That’s a hard question… what I’m earning now is not as much as I used to earn. The Sydney Olympics was fortunate for my career. As a current gold medallist after winning in 1996, those four years I was sponsored by some real blue-chip companies like Qantas, Telstra and Westfield. It was a great time to be an athlete. They all say it is not about making money, but the important thing about making money is that it allows you to stay in the sport longer.

Does Nova talk to you much about radio performance and what you need to offer on air?

They have just left me alone, which is good. The boys say to me, ‘You don’t know how lucky you are.’ Usually they have to spend time after the show doing air checks apparently, and they go through everything they have done wrong. If someone did that to me I would completely lose my confidence and not want to say anything. No one has given me any advice, although I do listen and hear what other broadcasters are doing. I am lucky to have good people around me. I think I would know if something hasn’t worked.

Listen to the complete podcast with Nova 106.9’s Susie O’Neill here, or stay up to date with the latest Mediaweek podcasts by subscribing here.

Seven’s GC2018 Commonwealth Games coverage April 4-15

• Available on the screens of Seven: Channel 7, 7TWO, 7mate and 7CommGames app
• Seven’s first Comm Games coverage since Manchester in 2002
• Want fewer ads? That will cost you a $20 subscription

Seven has released complete details of its Commonwealth Games coverage, including how much viewers will have to pay if they want to ensure complete access all areas.

Below is a summary of their media release this week.

Superstars of world sport will descend on the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) in April, including Australian stars Mack Horton, Cate and Bronte Campbell, Sally Pearson, Elaine Thompson, Kyle Chalmers, Mark Cavendish and more, as over 6,600 athletes and officials from 71 Commonwealth nations and territories share in a celebration of sport and entertainment.

Australia will field a formidable Commonwealth Games team across every sport, headlined by a 70-strong swimming team, 109 athletics representatives, a Diamonds netball outfit featuring five Commonwealth Games gold medallists, and team medal hopefuls in men’s and women’s basketball, hockey, beach volleyball, and more.

Australians can watch the GC2018 on Channel 7, 7TWO and 7mate, as well as online and on the go with the 7CommGames app – free to download in the Android and Apple app stores. [But not free to see all coverage.]

Seven will deliver over 320 hours of broadcast television coverage across the 11 days of competition.

Daily coverage begins at 0800 AEST and earlier on some days, and continues until after midnight AEST each day. Channel 7 and 7TWO will showcase the best of the Commonwealth Games with 7mate also covering the action as Channel 7 goes to 7News.

The Seven Network returns as Australia’s Commonwealth Games Network for the first time since Manchester 2002. This complements Seven’s role as Australia’s Olympic Network, a commitment that now spans six decades.

Queensland’s Gold Coast (credit: Shutterstock)

7CommGames app

The 7CommGames app and website offer more Commonwealth Games coverage than ever before. Viewers can take their pick of the action from exclusive live event channels, long-form highlights, exclusive interviews and features. And it’s all available on the go, at work, or cast to the big screen in the lounge room.

The 7CommGames app gives you exclusive access to:

• Seven’s broadcast coverage from the Gold Coast on Channel 7, 7TWO and 7mate
• Watch every medal event live and in full
• Dedicated coverage of Aussie team events including basketball, netball and hockey
• Selected VOD content, including highlights and interviews
• Event HQ for interactive results, medal tables and event schedules
• Available across Android, iOS, Chromecast, web, Samsung TV, Fetch TV, Telstra TV, Apple TV and Android TV (compatible with Foxtel Now and Sony Bravia).

Go Premium for a one-off fee of $19.99 to access all coverage. Premium access includes:

• Seven’s broadcast coverage in stunning HD
• More sport and more choice with up to 20 live event channels across the day
• Full replays of the biggest and best events on each day of the Commonwealth Games
• Exclusive short-form interviews and features
• Less commercial content, meaning you get to the action faster
• Access Premium content across eight connected devices so the whole family can enjoy the action

*data charges apply except for eligible Optus mobile customers. Content such as adverts, authentication and app analytics are excluded from Optus’s free streaming and will incur data charges.

Hosts and commentators

Seven’s team of experts and commentators will be calling the action and bringing to life a vibrant sporting and cultural event that will be truly unique to the Gold Coast.

Hamish McLachlan, Johanna Griggs, Mel McLaughlin, Jim Wilson and Todd Woodbridge will anchor the coverage.

Bruce McAvaney will lead the calling for Channel 7 at the athletics and other events, while Basil Zempilas will call the swimming and two-time Commonwealth Games silver medallist Dave Culbert will also call from the athletics.

Bruce McAvaney will lead the calling for Channel 7 at the athletics and other events

Ian Thorpe, Lord Sebastian Coe, Steve Hooker, Giaan Rooney, Scott McGrory, Kate Bates, Aaron Royle and Tamsyn Lewis headline a crack team of expert commentators who between them share 19 Commonwealth Games gold medals and 10 Olympic gold medals.

In the mixed zones Nathan Templeton will be poolside, with Pat Welsh at the athletics track and Sam Lane at the cycling capturing all the emotions from our athletes fresh from competition.

Rachael Finch, Tom Williams, Matthew Mitcham, Annabelle Williams, Emma Davenport, Bill McDonald and Curtis McGrath will bring viewers the colour and characters throughout the two weeks on the Gold Coast.

In addition, there will be commentary from a string of the biggest names in Australian sport via the host broadcaster including Andrew Gaze, Melinda Gainsford-Taylor, Jane Flemming, Kerri Pottharst, Robbie McEwan, Matt Keenan, Nikki Hudson, Russell Mark and Nicole Livingstone.

For a fun look at Gold Coast 2018, Mick Molloy, Sam Pang and Andy Maher return to The Front Bar. Joined by a host of former champions from years past, the team take a nostalgic and humorous look at the Commonwealth Games.

Top photo credit: Shutterstock 

Yahoo7 launches new lifestyle vertical Be Parenting in partnership with Yoplait Petit Miam

Yahoo7 has secured Yoplait Petit Miam as a launch partner for the new vertical Be Parenting, via Starcom Melbourne, and will support the launch with a new brand campaign.

The platform will launch with content themes including “Real Life and Practical Parenting”, “Parenting How-Tos” and “Expert Advice”, and will further bolster its content offering with a lineup of soon-to-be-announced celebrity ambassadors and authors.

“This is an exciting year for Be. We knew parenting content really resonated and recognised a new commercial opportunity for our clients to reach this highly engaged, niche audience within a premium environment. The approach is part of our strategy to listen closely to our audience and use those insights to inform our content and commercial offering,” said Zoe Cocker, head of brand, Yahoo7.

For launch sponsor Yoplait Petit Miam, Yahoo7 has created an editorially led campaign through its end-to-end content marketing solution, Storytellers.

Sam Harris, client service director at media agency Starcom, said: “We’re very excited to be on board with the launch of Be Parenting and to bring this unique sponsorship opportunity to Yoplait. The new vertical provided our client with access to a large, engaged and highly targeted audience and Yahoo7’s Storytellers product delivered a solution that combined the most relevant consumer data and insights, with compelling content and powerful technology, to produce a truly impactful campaign.”

Box Office: Peter Rabbit debuts at #1 with $3.64m and $10k screen average

Mediaweek editor James Manning looks at the weekend box office for March 22-25, 2018.

Box office revenues for the top 20 movies climbed off their lows for the year last week as takings lifted 21% to $11.80m across the four-day weekend.

With the Easter break just days away, Peter Rabbit took top spot, knocking off the weekend’s other big release, Pacific Rim: Uprising.

Both new releases will be hoping to swell their coffers across the Easter long weekend.

Tomb Raider dropped from #1 to #3 thanks to the new arrivals.

Both Black Panther and Red Sparrow continue to hover in the top five.

#1 Peter Rabbit $3.64m

The live action and animated family comedy has been held back in Australia waiting for the Easter break. The movie was produced by Sydney-based Animal Logic Entertainment and director Will Gluck’s Olive Bridge Entertainment. After previews last week the film opened properly on 373 screens with a weekend screen average of $9,766, which is the best average for a movie at #1 since the opening weekend of Black Panther at the end of February. That gives Peter Rabbit a gross to-date of $4.24m. The live-action scenes were partly shot in Sydney’s Centennial Park and Central Railway station with the latter doubling for Paddington station in London. The movie was also filmed in London and the Lake District in northern England.

#2 Pacific Rim: Uprising $2.69m

The weekend’s major release was this science fiction action movie starring John Boyega, who recently visited Australia on a promo tour. The film opened on 425 screens, but had a lower screen average than the #1 movie with $6,343.

#3 Tomb Raider $1.30m

Last week’s #1 movie has dropped two spots and shed 201 screens this week to 359 with a screen average of $3,630 giving it a total gross to-date of $4.86m. Takings on its second weekend dropped 53%, which is the sharpest decline for any movie in the top five this year.

#4 Black Panther $1.21m

Week six on the chart and the movie still holds a top five spot with 300 screens still showing one of the biggest hits of the year so far. Box office total after those six weekends is $37.50m.

#5 Red Sparrow $712,000

Four weeks in the top five is a good result for Red Sparrow, which remains on 267 screens and has a box office total of $8.74m.

TV Ratings Analysis: Monday March 26

• Young Sheldon launches with over 1m and leads Nine to win
• Easter good again for ABC with biggest Monday share so far
• TEN’s Bachelor In Paradise down against Nine’s comedy double
• Crowds continue to avoid Seven’s Australian Spartan

By James Manning


Home and Away started its new week with an audience of 673,000 after a week 12 average of 688,000.

Viewers continue to be reluctant to sample Australian Spartan in big numbers with 401,000 keeping it out of the OzTAM top 20 Monday FTA shows. This follows Spartan’s return to the schedule on Sunday with 473,000.

That was a poor lead-in for The Resident, which then did 295,000.


Despite a two-part segment raking over Married At First Sight dramas, the start of a new week of A Current Affair saw the Monday episode on 787,000. This comes after a week 11 average of 818,000. The show has been a rock solid performer this year with all but the first week of survey seeing a weekly average close to or better than 800,000.

The new US sitcom Young Sheldon launched strongly for the channel with an audience of 1.05m, which might give TEN some confidence about the return of Roseanne.

Nine followed Young Sheldon with new Big Bang Theory, which did 890,000.

Nine didn’t rest Travel Guides this week with the teams heading to Western Australia for an audience of 662,000, down on last week’s 810,000, which had the benefit of MAFS ahead of it.

The Monday night football shows followed with 100% Footy on 50,000 in Sydney and 39,000 in Brisbane.

Footy Classified did 109,000 in Melbourne and 32,000 in each of Adelaide and Perth.


The Project audience pushed above half a million at 7pm after a week 12 average of 438,000. The big drawcard last night was the CBS 60 Minutes interview with Stormy Daniels but it didn’t offer many new headlines.

The second episode of Bachelor In Paradise was down 100,000 on its debut, but it had some tougher competition in the form of Young Sheldon and new BBT on Nine.

Two episodes of Law & Order: SVU then did 260,000 and 183,000.


The first week of Easter is always good for the channel and it again has delivered the best Monday share of the year so far.

7.30 spent half the program on the cricket crisis with 666,000 watching after a week 12 average audience of 558,000.

Australian Story did 720,000 after 650,000 last week.

Four Corners was up too – from 587,000 a week ago to 735,000 last night.

Also up, but with smaller rises, were Media Watch on 626,000 and then Q&A on 455,000.


Great British Royal Ships performed strongest with 279,000 – well up on 228,000 last week where it was the channel’s second best program for the week.

Week 13 TV: Monday (Easter Survey Break)
ABC Seven Nine Ten SBS
ABC 16.4% 7 15.3% 9 20.5% TEN 13.2% SBS One 5.7%
ABC 2 2.7% 7TWO 4.7% GO! 2.8% ONE 3.1% VICELAND 1.3%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 3.0% GEM 2.3% ELEVEN 2.2% Food Net 0.9%
ABC News 1.4% 7flix 1.6% 9Life 2.1% NITV 0.1%
TOTAL 21.0% 24.7% 27.7% 18.6% 8.1%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates Ten Affiliates SBS
ABC 15.9% 7 18.1% 9 18.6% WIN 9.1% SBS One 4.6%
ABC 2 2.7% 7TWO 6.6% GO! 3.9% ONE 4.3% VICELAND 1.1%
ABC ME 1.0% 7mate 3.3% GEM 3.1% ELEVEN 2.3% Food Net 0.9%
NEWS 24 1.4% 7flix 1.7% 9Life 1.4% NITV 0.1%
TOTAL 21.0% 29.7% 27.0% 15.7% 6.7%


85.6% 14.4%
Monday fta
  1. Young Sheldon Nine 1,053,000
  2. Seven News Seven 1,001,000
  3. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 993,000
  4. Nine News Nine 915,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 911,000
  6. The Big Bang Theory Nine 890,000
  7. A Current Affair Nine 787,000
  8. ABC News ABC 778,000
  9. Four Corners ABC 735,000
  10. Australian Story ABC 720,000
  11. Home And Away Seven 673,000
  12. 7.30 ABC 666,000
  13. Travel Guides Nine 662,000
  14. Bachelor In Paradise Ten 656,000
  15. Media Watch ABC 626,000
  16. The Chase Australia Seven 567,000
  17. The Project 7pm Ten 552,000
  18. Hot Seat Nine 480,000
  19. Ten Eyewitness News First At Five Ten 467,000
  20. Q&A ABC 455,000
Demo top fives

16-39 Top 5

  1. Bachelor In Paradise Ten 323,000
  2. Young Sheldon Nine 228,000
  3. The Big Bang Theory Nine 225,000
  4. The Project 7pm Ten 189,000
  5. Travel Guides Nine 172,000


18-49 Top 5

  1. Bachelor In Paradise Ten 434,000
  2. Young Sheldon Nine 399,000
  3. The Big Bang Theory Nine 390,000
  4. Travel Guides Nine 318,000
  5. The Project 7pm Ten 283,000


25-54 Top 5

  1. Young Sheldon Nine 468,000
  2. The Big Bang Theory Nine 441,000
  3. Bachelor In Paradise Ten 393,000
  4. Travel Guides Nine 356,000
  5. Nine News Nine 297,000
Monday multichannel
  1. Lewis-PM 7TWO 194,000
  2. Peter Rabbit ABCKIDS/COMEDY 187,000
  3. Rosemary & Thyme-PM 7TWO 175,000
  4. Go Jetters ABCKIDS/COMEDY 171,000
  5. Octonauts ABCKIDS/COMEDY 168,000
  6. PJ Masks-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 165,000
  7. The Hive-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 165,000
  8. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 158,000
  9. Andy’s Prehistoric Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 158,000
  10. Dot. ABCKIDS/COMEDY 156,000
  11. Peppa Pig-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 154,000
  12. Hey Duggee-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 153,000
  13. Peppa Pig-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 148,000
  14. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 147,000
  15. Kazoops!-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 145,000
  16. Floogals-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 145,000
  17. Fireman Sam-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 142,000
  18. NCIS (R) ONE 142,000
  19. Shaun The Sheep ABCKIDS/COMEDY 141,000
  20. The Justine Clarke Show!-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 140,000
Monday subscription tv
  1. Live: AFL 360 FOX FOOTY 100,000
  2. Live: On The Couch FOX FOOTY 70,000
  3. The Walking Dead showcase 57,000
  4. Paul Murray Live SKY NEWS LIVE 55,000
  5. The Walking Dead showcase 45,000
  6. NRL 360 FOX LEAGUE 45,000
  7. Live: Big League Wrap FOX LEAGUE 44,000
  8. Live: NRL 360 FOX LEAGUE 43,000
  9. PML Overtime SKY NEWS LIVE 42,000
  10. The Bolt Report SKY NEWS LIVE 42,000
  11. The Big Bang Theory COMEDY CHANNEL 38,000
  12. The Simpsons FOX8 38,000
  13. Jeopardy! FOX Classics 38,000
  14. NCIS TVH!TS 37,000
  15. Family Guy FOX8 36,000
  16. Grand Designs LifeStyle Channel 35,000
  17. Live: Football: Matildas v Thailand FOX SPORTS 501 34,000
  18. Family Guy FOX8 34,000
  19. American Dad! FOX8 34,000
  20. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 33,000

Media News Roundup

Business Of Media

Anchorage Capital interested in News Corp and Fairfax regional media assets

Anchorage Capital Partners has signalled its interest in regional publishing and is known to be keeping a watching brief on News Corporation’s and Fairfax Media’s regional assets, reports Street Talk in The AFR.

Sources said it would be logical for Anchorage to move first for News Corp’s regional business and then add on Fairfax’s Australian Community Media.

It has long been suggested ACM would do well to be merged with News Corp’s regional newspapers business. However, it would be easier for a private equity fund like Anchorage to take on the job rather than have News Corp and Fairfax trying to work on a deal and balance out valuations.

It is understood there are no active discussions between Anchorage, News Corp or Fairfax and the private equity firm would need to up its indicative price expectations to be considered.

[Read the original]

TV chef Gordon Ramsay accused of trading while insolvent at Melbourne venues

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay has been accused of trading while insolvent for almost a year at his former Melbourne venues Maze and Maze Grill, report Fairfax Media’s Chris Vedelago and Cameron Houston.

Ramsay, who built a global television empire by abusing hapless restaurateurs as he resurrected their financially stricken eateries, opened Maze in April 2010.

A six-year investigation by liquidator PCI Partners found “books and records revealed the company was insolvent from at least August 31, 2010”, less than five months after the restaurants launched to much fanfare.

Ramsay told Delicious magazine that Maze had been destined to fail, despite Crown paying more than $10 million on the fit-out of the restaurant.

“I got my fingers burnt in Melbourne [at Maze], but that was just a shit deal,” he said.

“We put our own money in, our sweat and tears into the casino. It’s a different beast to running a stand-alone restaurant.”

[Read the original]

News Brands

Veteran business commentator Michael Pascoe reveals he was dropped by Fairfax

Fairfax Media has dropped one of its most experienced finance and economics commentators.

Business Day contributing editor Michael Pascoe has announced on Twitter that he will file his last column for the newspaper publisher on April 15, reports The Australian’s Dana McCauley.

A spokesman for The SMH and The Age said in a statement: “This was a one-off editorial decision based on a number of factors.

“Decisions are taken from time to time to change our roster of contributors and we always seek to serve the best interests of our readers,” the statement said.

“We have thanked Michael for his contribution over the years.”

[Read the original]

Reporter at The Australian apologises to 3AW radio broadcaster after scuffle

The newspaper journalist who became physical with 3AW newsreader Tony Tardio at a press conference yesterday has apologised, reports the Melbourne radio station.

The Australian reporter Chip le Grand seemed to take exception to Tardio asking questions of James Sutherland at the Cricket Australia press conference on Sunday because he thought he was a member of the public.

When Tardio confirmed he was a journalist, vision appears to show le Grand pushing him over.

Tardio told 3AW breakfast hosts Ross and John he hadn’t heard from le Grand since the incident.

“I would like an apology, because this is my workplace as well,” he said.

“What I didn’t like was the sense that I’m not in that little clique of three or four or five journos who seem to be at those media conferences all the time.”

Several hours after that interview, le Grand emailed Tardio, saying he had heard Tardio on-air and offered an apology.

[Read the original and see video of the incident]


Sydney’s Triple M and KIIS 1065 hold a spontaneous simulcast this morning

Sydney breakfast shows on Triple M and KIIS 1065 had a spontaneous simulcast this morning when KIIS’s Kyle and Jackie O called The Triple M Grill team at the start of their respective shows.

Kyle said he was sick of Jackie talking about the cricket crisis and was also concerned her taste in music was closer to the sister station of their former home at 2Day FM. Jackie’s choice of classic song for the show’s birthday wheel today was a Whitesnake rock ballad.

The Kyle and Jackie O Show’s Intern Pete called Triple M and the show put the call straight to air where they were speaking with Gus Worland and Matty Johns. The Triple M hosts heard Sandilands ask if they wanted to buy Jackie O as she might suit their program. Worland said they would like to buy her, but they not be able to match her KIIS salary package.

“This sounds like trafficking,” said Johns.

The two shows then hatched a plan to swap Gus Worland with Jackie O for half an hour. “Do you know where we are?” asked Jackie O, reminding Worland their studio was quite a trip from the Sydney city centre, the home of Triple M.

After both sets of hosts joked about Kyle and Jackie O’s former home at 2Day FM, Worland reminded his colleagues they still work for the company. “Maybe not for long,” quipped one of them.

Chrissie, Sam & Browny Nova broadcast launches Melbourne Comedy Festival

Nova 100 and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival are celebrating a 13-year partnership from Wednesday March 28 to April 22.

Chrissie, Sam and Browny

Nova 100’s Chrissie, Sam & Browny will hold a live outside broadcast on Wednesday March 28 from 6am at the Melbourne Town Hall (Lower Town Hall), thanks to TAC. Listeners can join the team as they officially celebrate the launch of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF), with some of the best comedians on the circuit including Stephen K Amos, Nazeem Hussain, Celia Pacquola, Peter Helliar, Tom Gleeson, Dave Thornton, Urzila Carlson, Arj Barker, Judith Lucy and Denise Scott. Showcasing many of the comedy shows, Chrissie, Sam & Browny will also chat to some of the biggest and most interesting comedians each weekday throughout the Festival.

Nova 100 and ahm health insurance will present the Hits & Giggles comedy gala event, hosted by Nick Cody, featuring some of Australia’s freshest new comic talent on Saturday April 7. Guests can only win tickets to this exclusive event by heading to novafm.com.au or listening to Nova 100.


TV Demand: Santa Clarita Diet and Rick and Morty return to charts

There is no change at the top this week on the TV Demand charts from Parrot Analytics, which measure cross-platform audience demand for TV shows in Australia and New Zealand.

Rick and Morty

Marvel’s Jessica Jones remains #1 on the Digital Original charts while The Walking Dead again leads the Overall TV charts.

New to both Digital Original charts this week was Santa Clarita Diet as the second season launched. The horror-comedy series starring Drew Barrymore is available to Netflix subscribers.

As fans have been updated regarding delays to the fourth season of Cartoon Network’s Rick and Morty, that series returned to the Overall TV charts in both Australia and New Zealand this week.

Sports Media

Cricket Australia could fall up to $200m short of ambitious $1b rights target

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland has hit the phones calling the sport’s sponsors, broadcasters, also sending emails to staff and fans to soothe outrage caused by Australian men’s captain Steve Smith’s unprecedented admission of premeditated cheating, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

Sources said the cricket boss has been in damage control to deal with the aftermath of the scandal.

On Monday a myriad of the sport’s sponsors said they were disappointed with the Australian cricket team and would be watching Cricket Australia’s response very closely.

[Read the original]

Cricket Australia could fall up to $200 million short of its ambitious $1 billion target for its media rights, according to former sporting officials and analysts, as it embarks on a desperate rescue mission to prevent some of its sponsors from leaving the game, reports The Australian’s Nick Tabakoff.

The new media rights deal is due to start next summer and would run for six years. One top official heavily involved in sports rights said the scandal would “reduce the premium that companies are willing to pay, both for individuals and the sport as a whole”.

[Read the original]

Cricket Australia and its embattled chief executive James Sutherland have gone from whip hand to clean bowled when it comes to expectations it could demand $1 billion in current broadcasting rights negotiations, reports News Corp’s Holly Byrnes.

TV networks, including Foxtel, are all believed to still be considering the lucrative broadcast and digital rights to the game, declining to offer official comment after the test team’s captain Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and rookie test bowler Cameron Bancroft plunged the game into its worst-ever cheating crisis.

A consortium bid by Channel 9 and 10 was rebuffed as “not enough” by the game’s board last Friday, after it was pitched to Cricket Australia executives Ben Amarfio and Stephanie Beltrame at a critical meeting in Melbourne on the Monday prior.

[Read the original]

How South African bowler Fanie de Villiers tipped off media to look for cheating

Former South African fast bowler Fanie de Villiers says he instructed camera operators to look for Australian ball tampering on day three of the third Test, having suspected the Australians were using underhanded tactics, reports Fairfax Media’s Daniel Cherny.

De Villiers is working for a broadcaster in South Africa and claims he believed the tourists must have been up to something given how early they were getting reverse swing.

“I said earlier on that if they could get reverse swing in the 26th, 27th, 28th over then they are doing something different from what everyone else does,” de Villiers told Melbourne’s RSN Radio on Monday.

“We actually said to our cameramen, ‘Go out [and] have a look, boys. They’re using something.’”

[Read the original]

Optus boss Allen Lew says the telco is ready for more soccer rights

Optus boss Allen Lew says the telco is ready to steal a march on Telstra in 5G and will go all in for more soccer rights in a bid to be respected as a content creator and broadcaster, reports The AFR’s Paul Smith.

Like Telstra, the nation’s second largest telecommunications firm is facing a generational shift challenge to replace revenues lost to the National Broadband Network, and is trying to expand its scope. But, whereas Telstra sees itself as a future tech giant, Optus will focus on expanding its media credentials after judging its controversial and expensive move to broadcast English Premier League soccer as a success.

In an exclusive interview with The Australian Financial Review Lew said Optus would invest heavily in its upcoming coverage of the FIFA 2018 World Cup in order to prove its media content credentials to a sceptical public before looking to tie up more premium soccer rights including the Euro 2020 international tournament, the UEFA Champions League and a renewal of the EPL rights when they expire at the end of next season.

[Read the original]

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