Tuesday April 7, 2020

MasterChef Australia’s EP on world’s best cooking show

By James Manning

• New judges found after many screen tests and combos considered
• Endemol Shine keeps the balance between ‘boring’ and ‘cheesy reality’

The executive producer of Network 10’s most important format feels good about the changes introduced to the new season which launches next Monday.

Marty Benson from Endemol Shine Australia has been in charge of MasterChef Australia since season seven.

“This is my sixth year and I have never been so excited,” he told Mediaweek. Benson agreed that new hosts and format tweaks are the biggest changes in those years.

“It has reenergised me I have to say. When I joined the show I remember being told it is all about degrees of change. Now, after what happened with our judges last year, it is what can we do to freshen it up.”

Benson got to screen test potential new judges in 2019 after the sudden departure of Matt Preston, George Calombaris and Gary Mehigan. He then got to hang out with the likely candidates before they started to get to know them better.

The most important thing for me was that the new judges got to spend time together. We had a few weeks or rehearsal time before and after Christmas. When they actually started, I wanted them to feel comfortable in the MasterChef kitchen. We really need to come out of the gate flying this year. The only way to do that was to get them prepared.”

The judges told Mediaweek (and more on that later this week) that Benson’s main instruction was to be themselves. “The minute I try and get them to be something they are not is a problem. I have great faith in them. We have spent a lot of time and energy finding the right mix.

When asked if it was a quick process out of necessity, Benson said: “It didn’t feel like a quick process to me. Maybe that was because I was looking at hundreds of different options of three people. A lot of people put up their hand for these roles. We screen-tested quite a few, but it was clear pretty soon.”

In the rehearsal period, Benson and his MasterChef team needed to recreate different situations the new judges would be experiencing. “That included giving them challenges like Pressure Tests and Mystery Boxes. We sent the judges around during these to see how they would be. The most refreshing thing was that we didn’t know. With Gary, Matt and George we knew because they’d done it for so long and so often – almost 1,000 episodes.”

Benson needed to observe how the new judges would work on their own, how they would work with each other down to how they would even do time calls as the clock counts down. “Part of our philosophy is to loosen things up a bit, so we really don’t want them to feel like they are filling in for Gary, George and Matt’s boots – they are not. What they are doing is taking over and looking forward.”

Benson said one thing he carefully explained to the judges was about cooks going home: “We don’t eliminate people on this show, we eliminate dishes. They have to just remember that. It is never about the people, it’s just about the dishes.”

As to how audiences will initially accept the Australian changes is yet to be tested. “The unknown for me is how people are going to react to this format without Gary, Matt and George. All that I do know is that the content is jumping out of the screen. It feels more exciting, more dynamic, fresher and that little bit looser.

I am a bit worried of course. People keep talking to me about Top Gear. I don’t think they did it well with Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc [when Clarkson, Hammond and May departed], but they are very different shows.”

Benson said he wouldn’t be surprised if many viewers didn’t notice the changes in format.

“There are still mystery boxes, pressure tests and team challenges. We are having two eliminations a week.” The main changes are the different elements being moved to different nights.

The show had been planning to travel, but those plans changed of course when COVID-19 measures came into place. The program has also lost access to celebrity chefs locally and internationally as they have been unable to travel.

When we first spoke with Benson he had finished Gordon Ramsay’s launch week and was working on a suburban takeover week. As the series is close to going to air, filming is just over half way.

The pressure is on in post-production and we need more editors. But we have it covered.

Just how much different is Aussie MasterChef?

New MasterChef Australia judges

If you watch any of the British MasterChef, it only takes a few minutes to notice how different the UK and Australian formats are.

Benson: “I went on a MasterChef executive producer worldwide conference with 40 executive producers of the format. For me the most interesting people to talk to were the Americans and the British because of their styles. In the US the judges are competing for the contestants to be on their team, a bit like The Voice. That is way further than we would ever go. In the UK it is the complete opposite, very straight and almost like a cooking school at times. The UK executive producer said to me, ‘Our motto is slow and boring.’

Our motto is entertaining, it has got to be entertaining. But not to the point where it turns into some cheesy reality show. This is a cooking competition, the best cooking competition in the world.”

Top Photo:  Marty Benson with 10’s Beverley McGarvey

Foxtel Media and Discovery extend representation partnership

Foxtel Media has renewed and extended its advertising sales partnership with Discovery.

Under the agreement, Foxtel Media will represent a range of TV and digital assets for five brands in Discovery’s Australian portfolio covering premium factual, lifestyle and entertainment content. The agreement includes flagship brand Discovery Channel as well as TLC, Investigation Discovery, Discovery Turbo and Animal Planet.

The deal follows Foxtel’s renewed carriage agreement with Discovery, which gives advertisers access to a range of high quality content on Foxtel’s broadcast, video on demand (VOD) and streaming platforms.

A wide range of exclusive global and local content will be available to brands through the partnership. Discovery recently launched the #1 US true crime channel Investigation Discovery in Australia, as well as an expanded VOD content offering across the Foxtel platform. Discovery will continue to commission locally produced content in 2020 and beyond including international hit-series Aussie Gold Hunters and Outback Opal Hunters.

Discovery also secured Top Gear’s comprehensive catalogue. The world’s biggest motoring show launched on Discovery Channel and Discovery Turbo at the start of March and airs weeknights at 6.30pm on Discovery Turbo and Monday nights at 7.30pm on Discovery Channel during its Motor Mondays program block. Top Gear: America also airs Friday’s at 8.30pm on Discovery Turbo. The catalogue is also available On Demand.

Foxtel Media CEO Mark Frain said: “We are delighted to extend our partnership with Discovery – a world-renowned media brand with highly engaged fans across Australian households. From the depths of the ocean to the wilds of the outback, Discovery brings the best of premium video content to screens across the nation.

“The successful completion of this deal comes off the back of Foxtel Media’s renewed partnerships with brands such as BBC and NBCUniversal. The depth of content across these diverse media brands provides Foxtel Media an unrivalled level of live and on-demand viewing, allowing us to work with our advertising partners to connect with audiences and create high-quality video experiences.”

General manager Discovery Australia, New Zealand & Pacific Islands Rebecca Kent added: “Discovery delivers a fantastic line-up of the best real-life content from our global pipeline as well as our powerhouse local productions which, combined with Foxtel Media’s innovation in advertising experiences, makes this an essential partnership. We look forward to a long and successful relationship creating great opportunities for both brands and audiences in Australia.”

Top Photo: Discovery’s Outback Opal Hunters

body+soul launches live @ home workouts: Full schedule

News Corp health media brand body+soul has launched body+soul LIVE @ home, a series of online workouts and meditations.

Featuring some of Australia’s top trainers including Sam Wood, Tiffiny Hall and Cory George, the 14-day schedule of virtual workouts and meditations has been designed to keep the body+soul audience healthy and happy while at home.

The bespoke class timetable, which includes 10 dynamic workouts and two meditations, can all be done at-home and no equipment is required. Classes are free and online to watch, rewatch and share.

Sam Wood

WHIMN (With Her In Mind Network) general manager Georgi Pell said: “As a lifestyle publishing group, the physical and mental health of our readers is paramount. We feel a strong sense of responsibility to step up and help them navigate the uncertainties of today with practical solutions to maintaining optimal health as we transition our lives inside our homes.

“This is why we are delivering our audience body+soul LIVE @ home, a series of exclusive online workouts with some of our favourite fitness trainers and meditation experts for their body and mind.”

The body+soul LIVE @ home schedule is varied and includes popular classes from F45 and Barry’s Bootcamp, as well as boutique studio workouts from Bondi’s Lean Bean and Barre Body.

Libby Babet from The Upbeat leads an endorphin-pumping dance session, FLOW Athletic’s Kate Kendall hosts a restorative Friday flow yoga sequence, Sam Wood gets hearts racing with a speedy HIIT class, and Fluidform Pilates’ Kirsten King hosts a challenging strengthen and tone one-on-one.

Sessions will be available on body+soul’s Facebook page at 8.00am AEST, Monday to Friday, and at 4.00pm AEST on Sundays.

After airing, all classes can be found here on bodyandsoul.com.au so the audience can replay favourites or catch up on a missed class.

The body+soul LIVE @ home schedule:

Mon 6 April at 8.00am Heart-starting HIIT: Sam Wood, 28 by Sam Wood
Tue 7 April at 8.00am Total body barre: Emma Seibold, Barre Body
Wed 8 April at 8.00am Dance cardio kicker: Libby Babet, The Upbeat
Thu 9 April at 8.00am Long and lean: Kirsten King, Fluidform Pilates
Fri 10 April at 8.00am Total body burn: Richard Kerrigan, The Beach Life
Sat 11 April Rest day
Sun 12 April at 4.00pm Heart centering meditation: Jacqui Lewis, The Broad Place
Mon 13 April at 8.00am Boxing shred: Tiffiny Hall, TIFFXO
Tue 14 April at 8.00am Signature barre bean: Lizzie Bland, Lean Bean Fitness\
Wed 15 April at 8.00am Abs and ass: Blake Bridges, Barry’s Bootcamp
Thu 16 April at 8.00am Full body blast: Cory George, F45 Australia
Fri 17 April at 8.00am Friday flow yoga: Kate Kendall, FLOW Athletic
Sat 18 April Rest day
Sun 19 April at 4.00pm Soothing Sunday meditation: Luke McLeod, Soul Alive

Nominees announced for the 2020 Virtual APRA Music Awards

With the 2020 APRA Music Awards now taking place as an online event on the evening of Tuesday 26 May, APRA AMCOS has released details of all the nominees.

If ever there was a time to acknowledge the work of songwriters – both those on stage and those who work quietly behind-the-scenes – it is now, which is why we have committed to the 2020 Virtual APRA Music Awards. Our songwriters give us so much – they contribute enormously to our economic and cultural wealth, and in a world of self-isolation, never has the comfort, poignancy, or uplift of a song been more important! The nominees provide a ready-made #AussieMade playlist of fantastic music. We look forward to celebrating their success, as part of our support of all Australian music creators. ‘See you’ on the 26th”, said APRA AMCOS chief executive, Dean Ormston.

Dean Ormston

Leading the charge with four nominations is Tones And I who appears with her global sensation Dance Monkey in the categories of Most Performed Australian Work, Most Performed Pop Work and Peer-Voted APRA Song of the Year. She is also nominated as Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year.

With three nominations a-piece are The Teskey Brothers (songwriters Josh Teskey, Sam Teskey, Liam Gough and Brendon Love), who also appear in the Peer-Voted APRA Song of the Year and Most Performed Blues & Roots category for I Get Up. They have also landed a place in the Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year category. Guy Sebastian’s anthemic song Choir has scored he and co-writers Trevor Brown and Zaire Koalo, the US pair who collaborate as The Orphanage, a nomination for Peer-Voted APRA Song of the Year, as well as Most Performed Australian Work and Most Performed Pop Work.

A number of songwriters have each received two nominations, including Thelma Plum for Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year and the Peer-Voted APRA Song of the Year for Better in Blak; Hilltop Hoods, Birds of Tokyo, Dean Lewis, Phil Barton, Lindsay Rimes, Troy Cassar-Daley, Illy and 2019’s APRA Songwriter of the Year Sarah Aarons. The list of dual nominees also includes first time nominee KIAN and co-writer Jerome Farah. KIAN took out triple j’s Unearthed High competition in 2018 and has been on the rise ever since.

Also receiving their first ever APRA Music Awards nominations are David Novak and John-Henry Pajak (Polish Club), Ruel, Ziggy Alberts, Dom Dolla, Ruby Fields and co-writer Chris Collins, Thomas Jordan and Mitchell Thompson of country-pop duo Seaforth, Ben Stewart of Melbourne indie rock band Slowly Slowly, Running Touch and Cassian on their work with Hayden James, Xavier Dunn, Daniel James, Leah Haywood, and hip- hop tearaways Triple One (Conor Grealish, Martin Guilfoyle, William Gunns and Dominic Kim).

The APRA Songwriter of the Year will be revealed during the virtual awards event. The recipient of the Licensee of the Year and winner of the Most Performed International Work will be announced in mid-May.

Peer-Voted APRA Song of the Year
Title: Better in Blak
Artist: Thelma Plum
Writers: Thelma Plum* / Alexander Burnett / Oliver Horton Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing*

Title: Choir
Artist: Guy Sebastian
Writers: Guy Sebastian / Trevor Brown* / William Simmons*
Publishers: Universal Music Publishing / Mushroom Music obo Reservoir*

Title: Dance Monkey
Artist: Tones And I
Writer: Toni Watson
Publishers: Kobalt Music Publishing obo Tones and I

Title: I Get Up
Artist: The Teskey Brothers
Writers: Liam Gough / Brendon Love /Josh Teskey / Sam Teskey Publishers: Mushroom Music obo Ivy League Music

Title: Teeth
Artist: 5 Seconds of Summer
Writers: Luke Hemmings / Ashton Irwin / Louis Bell*/ Ali Tamposi~ / Ryan Tedder> / Andrew Watt° / Gillian Gilbert^ / Peter Hook^ / Stephen Morris^ / Evan Rogers+ / Carl Sturken+ / Bernard Sumner^
Publishers: Sony/ATV Music Publishing* / Mushroom Music obo Reservoir~ / Downtown Music Publishing> / Kobalt Music Publishing° / Universal Music Publishing^ / Universal/MCA Music Publishing+

Visit APRA to see the complete list of 2020 nominations.

Seven West Media and CarsGuide partner to drive results

Seven West Media and CarsGuide are launching an offering to automotive advertisers using insights that point to a major change in car buyer behaviour, building on the partnership SWM and CarsGuide announced in October 2019.

Commissioned by CarsGuide in 2019, the research confirms the traditional funnel model as out of date with consumers no longer shopping for cars by simple process of elimination but rather increasing the number of brands under consideration before reducing.

Referred to as the ‘Wave’, the research which surveyed over 1,200 Australian auto intenders and recent buyers, supports findings from overseas studies commissioned by McKinsey and Nielsen. All three studies reveal the number of brands under consideration more than doubles in the research phase, increasing the opportunities for advertisers to ‘interrupt’ buyer shortlists during their research.

CarsGuide’s partnership with SWM aims to leverage these unique and powerful audience insights in concert with CarsGuide editorial to ensure automotive advertisers reach the right auto intender audiences at the most relevant points along their journey.

Commenting on the partnership, SWM chief revenue officer Kurt Burnette said: “SWM is an audience company that creates and distributes trusted information and hugely popular entertainment. We want to innovate and create meaningful and proven business outcomes for our advertising partners by connecting with that engaged audience. We are delighted to be working with CarsGuide who is also that trusted source of information in the Auto sector.

“By coming together for the first time and creating unique products, SWM and CarsGuide can provide an end to end view of the auto intender journey to be able to connect with, offering unique platforms and multiple data points to reach both the passive and active stage consumer the CarsGuide research has identified.”

CEO of Cox Automotive Media Solutions Group, Shaun Cornelius said: “CarsGuide have the experts, data and audience insights to inform market leading content that caters to buyer needs and aspirations in a way that no other editorial content provider can currently match.

“We hold a very different view of the car buyer and their potential triggers. And it’s paying dividends with CarsGuide ranked the country’s number 1 automotive editorial site 14 out of the last 16 months.”*

Subaru is one automotive brand working on leveraging the new partnership between SWM and CarsGuide. Amanda Leaney, general manager, marketing, at Subaru Australia, said: “The partnership between CarsGuide and Seven West Media provides a new way for Subaru to reach Auto intenders and Australians at scale. Through a combination of data and content we are now able to deliver meaningful messages to audiences about our vehicles in both automotive specific environments and lifestyle properties to help us achieve business growth.”

To help advertisers capitalise on this, CarsGuide has developed a number of offerings via its internal agency CarsGuide Labs including 3D car scans and a new suite of content driven display ad units.

Additionally, SWM and CarsGuide have launched a new auto segment, Under The Hood, during The Morning Show, Seven’s market-leading morning show. Under The Hood features Matt Baseley from The Morning Show, along with CarsGuide reporter Nedahl Stelio.

*Nielsen Digital Content Ratings (Monthly) Tagged, October 2018, November 2018, December 2018, January 2019, February 2019, March 2019, April 2019, May 2019, June 2019, July 2019, August 2019 and September 2019, October 2019, November 2019, December 2019, January 2020, P18+, PC, Smartphones & Tablets

Another Discovery channel deal: Animal Planet to launch on Fetch

Discovery and Fetch TV are launching Animal Planet on the Fetch platform, expanding the partnership further, to a market-leading nine channels.

Animal Planet launches on Fetch from Wednesday 8 April with a free trial for all Fetch subscribers until the end of the month. From May 1, Animal Planet will be available in the Fetch Knowledge, Ultimate and Entertainment Packs.

Animal Planet joins Discovery’s portfolio of factual, sports, lifestyle and entertainment channels currently available on Fetch: Discovery Channel, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Discovery Turbo, Eurosport, HGTV, Food Network and Travel Channel. The agreement includes extensive video-on-demand rights.

Key titles on Animal Planet include Crikey! It’s the Irwins, Coyote Peterson: Brave the Wild, The Zoo and Dr Jeff: Rocky Mountain Vet, along with dedicated programming events such as Attenborough Month, Vet-tember and Rescue Month.

“We’re thrilled to be adding global brand Animal Planet to Discovery’s portfolio of real-life entertainment channels on Fetch and strengthening this fantastic partnership,” said Rebecca Kent, general manager, Discovery Australia, New Zealand & Pacific Islands. “Animal Planet delights viewers of all generations and we have no doubt that Fetch subscribers will fall in love with the channel’s incredible content.”

Scott Lorson, Fetch TV CEO said, “Discovery produces some of the world’s best content, and Fetch are delighted to further extend our partnership with the addition of another great channel in Animal Planet. At a time when families are looking for quality entertainment options, there is simply no better value than the Fetch Knowledge pack offering 20 leading documentary, education and news channels at only $6 a month.”

Kids content from ViacomCBS finds home of Network 10

It has been speculated for some time that Network 10 could launch a Nickelodeon FTA multichannel as part of its channel line-up in Australia.

(Nickelodeon is part of the ViacomCBS family.) That hasn’t happened yet, but Network 10 is moving into kids programming on 10Peach and 10Play with content from the Nickelodeon vaults.

Dora, Boots and Backpack kicked off the new schedule today with Dora The Explorer followed by Blaze & The Monster Machines. Also on offer for younger viewers are PAW Patrol, followed by Aussie series Scope, Totally Wild and Crocamole.

Screening twice a day in the new programming block is Nickelodeon’s hottest property SpongeBob SquarePants.

ViacomCBS chief content officer & EVP Australia & New Zealand Beverley McGarvey said: “Through 10 Peach, we are unlocking ViacomCBS’ vast library of kids’ content and bringing beloved shows into our free-to-air and advertiser video on-demand environments, making it accessible to more families across the country. It’s another fantastic step as we continue to realise synergies across ViacomCBS-owned platforms in Australia.

ViacomCBS and Network 10 chief sales officer Rod Prosser added: “The introduction of some of the world’s most popular kids titles into our ecosystem comes as we are merging the Network 10 and ViacomCBS brand sales teams, and amplifies our reach across the under 50s. Blaze & The Monster Machines, Dora The Explorer, PAW Patroland SpongeBob SquarePantsare much loved among the often hard to reach kids demographic, opening up more valuable opportunities for advertisers across our platforms.”

Weekdays On 10 Peach And Streaming On 10 Play

6:00am: Dora The Explorer
6:30am: Blaze & The Monster Machines
7:00am: PAW Patrol – Double Episode
8:00am: Totally Wild/Scope
8:30am: SpongeBob SquarePants
9:00am: Crocamole
9:30am: Blaze & The Monster Machines
10:00am: PAW Patrol – Double Episode
11:00am: SpongeBob SquarePants – Double Episode

Matt Coe to lead new BBC Studios creative hub for APAC

BBC Studios APAC has appointed Matt Coe (pictured) to head up a new creative hub that will provide creative solutions for its premium branded services in the Asia and ANZ region.

As head of creative, BBC Studios APAC, Coe will lead the Sydney and Singapore-based creative and production management teams to deliver creative content that will promote BBC Studios’ channels and programming across many valued partner platforms.

Premium channels BBC First, UKTV, BBC Earth, BBC Lifestyle, BBC Brit, CBeebies and streaming service BBC Player feature on platforms across the APAC region, including Foxtel and Fetch in Australia, Sky TV in New Zealand, StarHub in Singapore, Now TV and MyTV SUPER in Hong Kong, TM Net in Malaysia and recently announced MyVideo in Taiwan, among many others. BBC Studios content is also available across many of the leading platforms in the region outside of its channels.

Matt Coe, who joined BBC Studios as head of creative ANZ in August 2019, will lead the linear and digital delivery of promotional material and creative content on BBC channels and BBC Player.

The Hub will also support the commercial division with creative content as required. Coe will report to Tim Christlieb, director of branded services, ANZ and Ryan Shiotani, SVP & GM for South & South East Asia.

Tim Christlieb said: “Matt has proved himself to be an exceptional creative who understands the uniqueness of our branded services and can lead teams to deliver content that drives audiences across both linear and digital. I’m sure that our branded services and affiliate partners will benefit from the ideas and synergies that Matt will drive through this new pan-regional creative hub.”

Matt Coe said: “I am continually inspired by the incredible, world-class content on our channels and am looking forward to leading our talented creative team across this pan-regional creative hub to deliver our best work yet.”

Before joining BBC Studios in August 2019, Coe was creative lead at SBS for three years. He has also worked for BBC Worldwide (prior to it becoming BBC Studios), Sky TV, NBC Universal and ITV in the UK as a freelance creative.

Out of home revenue remained buoyant in Q1, worse to come

The out of home (OOH) industry has announced a slight decrease of 2.59% on net media revenue year-on-year in the first quarter of 2020, posting $207.2 million, a dip from $212.7* million for the first quarter in 2019.

Digital revenue is sitting at 56.8% of total net media revenue year-to-date, an increase over the recorded 54.6%* for the same period last year.

“COVID-19 had a deep effect on the industry’s revenue in March 2020. We are pleased that we weathered the storm to some extent in the first quarter. We know that in the short term we will be affected by budgets being put on hold.We also know that our channel is still essential for mass communication: whether it be for vital government messages, education, or the many brands that want to stay present and relevant during this time,” said Charmaine Moldrich, OMA CEO.

“While travel has changed, people are still out and about, including those people working on the frontlines to fight this pandemic, people providing services, people exercising and shopping not to mention people who should not be outdoors! Out of Home messaging is essential to get health and wellbeing messages to people and to remind people to distance, isolate and stay at home. Our members are dedicated to finding solutions for brands in these unprecedented times,” Moldrich concluded.

Box Office: Top Movies of the year January - March 2020

By Trent Thomas

With the month of March coming to an end last week we are now at the quarter-way mark for the calendar year and Mediaweek is examining the box office results to date for 2020.

Although due to the COVID-19 pandemic the first quarter of the year had a slow ending with all movie theatres being shut down due to lockdown measures which will certainly impact the first half of the year and the complete calendar year.

In total the first three months of the year the Australian box office has made $192.67m with the biggest earner being Jumanji: The Next Level which made $45.35m which is 23.5% of the total revenue made so far this year. 

For this ranking films that were released in 2019 but the first week of release went into 2020 were counted which is why Jumanji: The Next Level has been counted.

#1 Jumanji: The Next Level $45.35m

The sequel released on Boxing Day made $13.26m in its opening weekend which set up a lengthy eight week run in the top 20 grossing films of the Australian box office. The film easily outdid its predecessor Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle which made $9.22m on its own opening weekend. The film was also successful in comparison to the previous year’s #1 Boxing Day film Aquaman which made $11.26m. Despite being so early in the year there is a good chance this film will stay high in the rankings with it coming third if included in the 2019 rankings.


#2 1917 $23.10m

The film followed up a strong award season performance with an equally impressive run in Australian theatres with the World War I epic being only the second film of 2020 to make over $20m. The film got off to a strong start with a $4.78m opening weekend total which led to a mammoth 11 week run in the top 20 which was only ended by the cinema lockdown.


#3 Bad Boys for Life $19.27m

Bad Boys for Life reinvigorated the Bad Boys franchise with stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence reprising their roles in the follow up to 2003’s Bad Boys II. The film made $5.74m in its opening weekend and went on to last 10 weeks in the top 20 before the COVID-19 lockdown.


#4 Little Women $15.24

The seventh film adaption of the novel first published in 1868 stars Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh and Eliza Scanlen as the titular little women. The New Year release opened at #4 with $3.33m and never got any higher but a solid performance over the next eight weeks saw the film work its way to a very respectable total.


#5 The Gentlemen $15.15m

The stellar ensemble cast includes Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Henry Golding, Michelle Dockery, Jeremy Strong, Eddie Marsan, Colin Farrell, and Hugh Grant which saw the New Year release debut at #3 with $3.47m. The film then went on to spend 12 weeks (the longest this year) in the top 20 ending with the lockdown closing theatres.


TV Ratings March 6 Week 15 2020 (Easter survey break)

By James Manning

• One hour of A Current Affair helps keep Nine #1
• ABC close second where Monday night is news night

Monday news highlights
Seven News 1,239,000/1,189,000
Nine News 1,238,000/1,177,000
ABC News 1,012,000
7.30 885,000
Australian Story 783,000
A Current Affair 746,000
Media Watch 687,000
Four Corners 685,000
The Project 440,000/615,000
10 News First 559,000/382,000
Sunrise 380,000
The Latest 389,000
Nine News special: COVID-19 366,000
Today 272,000

Nine: The channel has started one hour editions of A Current Affair with the Great Australian Giveaway aimed to help people who will be under stay at home orders for possibly as long as six months. The program did 746,000. An hour of RBT followed on 510,000. Nine’s late news special on COVID-19 then did 366,000.

Seven: Seven pushed The Latest a little later to 8.30pm to make way for House Rules: High Stakes. The program launched reasonably well in terms of what it could have expected, but the episode still ranked fourth early on and then climbed to third later in the episode. The program has historically had smaller launch audiences and this year was no exception with 679,000 until 7.30pm, and then 660,000 after 7.30pm.

The Latest then did 389,000.

10: The Project did well with over 600,000 after 7pm. However audiences weren’t laughing after 7.30pm with 281,000 watching The Montreal Comedy Festival. Later in the evening Hughesy, We Have A Problem did 298,000.

ABC: The channel had its equal second-best share of the year as viewers flocked to its regular Monday news and current affairs line-up. Not all the shows depend on COVID-19 coverage either – Australian Story featured the friendship between jazz greats James Morrison and Don Burrows, while Four Corners looked at the success of Amazon.com. Q&A featured stories from the COVID-19 frontline and had an audience of 442,000, enough to find a home in the Monday Top 20.

Week 15 TV: Monday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 17.7% 7 17.5% 9 18.1% 10  9.2% SBS One 4.2%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.4% 7TWO 4.3% GO! 3.2% 10 Bold 4.1% VICELAND 1.5%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 3.2% GEM 3.2% 10 Peach 2.5% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 2.0% 7flix 1.6% 9Life 2.0%     NITV 0.1%
        9Rush 1.0%     SBS World Movies 0.8%
TOTAL 22.7%   26.7%   27.3%   15.8%   7.5%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 14.5% 7 18.1% 9 14.1% WIN 9.3% SBS One 3.3%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.7% 7TWO 5.8% GO! 3.6% WIN Bold 5.3% VICELAND 1.7%
ABC ME 0.9% 7mate 5.2% GEM 3.7% WIN Peach 2.5% Food Net 0.8%
ABC NEWS 1.6% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 1.5% 9Life 2.4% Sky News  on WIN 2.5% NITV 0.1%
                SBS Movies 0.7%
TOTAL 19.8%   30.7%   23.9%   19.7%   6.6%


Monday FTA
  1. Seven News Seven 1,293,000
  2. Nine News Nine 1,238,000
  3. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 1,189,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 1,177,000
  5. ABC News ABC 1,012,000
  6. 7.30 ABC 885,000
  7. Australian Story ABC 783,000
  8. A Current Affair Nine 746,000
  9. The Chase Australia Seven 691,000
  10. Media Watch ABC 687,000
  11. Four Corners ABC 685,000
  12. House Rules: High Stakes – Launch Seven 679,000
  13. House Rules: High Stakes Seven 660,000
  14. The Project 7pm 10 615,000
  15. Hot Seat Nine 610,000
  16. 10 News First 10 559,000
  17. RBT Nine 510,000
  18. Q+A-Le ABC 442,000
  19. The Project 6.30pm 10 440,000
  20. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 440,000
Demo Top 5

16-39 Top Five

  1. Nine News 6:30 Nine 179,000
  2. Nine News Nine 157,000
  3. The Project 7pm 10 157,000
  4. Seven News Seven 145,000
  5. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 139,000


18-49 Top Five

  1. Nine News Nine 343,000
  2. Nine News 6:30 Nine 341,000
  3. The Project 7pm 10 282,000
  4. Seven News Seven 272,000
  5. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 261,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. Nine News Nine 425,000
  2. Nine News 6:30 Nine 416,000
  3. Seven News Seven 357,000
  4. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 343,000
  5. The Project 7pm 10 314,000
Monday Multichannel
  1. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 420,000
  2. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 212,000
  3. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 208,000
  4. Doc Martin PM 7TWO 200,000
  5. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 198,000
  6. Shaun The Sheep AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 173,000
  7. The Inspector Lynley Mysteries PM 7TWO 164,000
  8. Neighbours 10 Peach 153,000
  9. Play School: Mindfully Me AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 145,000
  10. Hey Duggee ABCKIDS/COMEDY 144,000
  11. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 142,000
  12. Kiri And Lou ABCKIDS/COMEDY 139,000
  13. Law & Order: SVU (R) 10 Bold 135,000
  14. Bargain Hunt PM 7TWO 135,000
  15. Octonauts PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 133,000
  16. Floogals AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 133,000
  17. Go Jetters AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 130,000
  18. ABC News Mornings AM ABC NEWS 128,000
  19. Thomas And Friends PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 126,000
  20. Dot. AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 124,000
Monday STV
  1. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 94,000
  2. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 88,000
  3. Credlin Sky News Live 75,000
  4. Kenny On Media Sky News Live 61,000
  5. The Kenny Report Sky News Live 57,000
  6. PML Later Sky News Live 57,000
  7. The Walking Dead FOX SHOWCASE 48,000
  8. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 45,000
  9. Afternoon Agenda Sky News Live 43,000
  10. Escape To The Country Lifestyle Channel 43,000
  11. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 42,000
  12. Westworld FOX SHOWCASE 41,000
  13. Jeopardy! FOX Classics 41,000
  14. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 40,000
  15. The Simpsons FOX8 37,000
  16. AM Agenda Sky News Live 37,000
  17. AM Agenda Sky News Live 36,000
  18. The Simpsons FOX8 35,000
  19. My Feet Are Killing Me TLC 35,000
  20. First Edition Sky News Live 33,000

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

News Brands

BBC, CNN and Euronews donate airtime for messages to 800m

Three of the world’s biggest international broadcasters have come together to donate free airtime to public health bodies for the promotion of messages to combat the global coronavirus health crisis.

BBC Global News, CNN International and Euronews have committed combined inventory worth up to $50 million. This is available to major multilateral organisations and national health ministries whose aim is to communicate information to help protect citizens and stop the spread of the virus.

The three broadcasters reach over 800m people, ensuring that important public health advice can reach vast populations around the world at a time of global crisis.

They are encouraging other publishers and platforms to replicate the model in order to help spread the message even more widely.

The World Health Organization – the global leader in authoritative health information and guidance – is the first body to take up the offer.  Its initial campaign will focus on seven steps to prevent the spread of the virus and will run across all three broadcasters. Other public health bodies are invited to contact the broadcasters by emailing internationalsales@bbc.com, cnnicmarketing@turner.com and sales@euronews.com.

Jim Egan, CEO of BBC Global News, said: “Accurate information is one of the best weapons in our collective armoury for fighting this virus. We are telling the global story across our editorial output, but it also feels right to do whatever we can to help health agencies get their message out to the world as widely as possible.”

Rani Raad, president, CNN International Commercial, said: “Wherever you are in the world, this situation we find ourselves in is unprecedented. Whilst CNN’s editorial staff are working tirelessly to ensure people everywhere have the most up to date and accurate facts, it also makes sense to promote the public health agencies’ messaging. By working with our competitors, I hope this combined effort has a positive impact and our global footprint helps reach as many people as possible.”

Michael Peters, CEO of Euronews, said: “In these challenging times for the world, we have an even higher responsibility to bring our audiences accurate information in real-time, across our 12 language editions. Our newsroom has been working round-the-clock, including with major multilateral organisations like the WHO, to ensure that our audiences stay up to date with the latest recommendations to avoid the virus spreading. But we want to go one step further. We are proud to be launching this initiative with our long-time peers BBC Global News and CNN International: together, we want to help health authorities broadcast their vital messages more widely, and we hope many other media will follow suit.”

How British newspapers navigate pandemic business challenges

The UK publisher of the Daily Mirror, Daily Express and Daily Star newspapers is to furlough almost 1,000 employees, and its management, including the senior editorial team, will have pay slashed by a fifth, reports The Guardian.

Reach, formerly known as Trinity Mirror, also owns hundreds of regional titles including the Manchester Evening News, as well as the Scottish Daily Record and the celebrity magazine OK!

The company said it intended to furlough 20% of its 4,700 staff – 940 – during the coronavirus crisis. Reach’s top management, including the “most senior editorial team”, headed by the group editor-in-chief, Lloyd Embley, will take a 20% pay cut and all other employees will have their pay cut by 10%.

DMGT, the publisher of the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, Mail Online, the i and Metro, has taken a different, innovative approach to avoid furloughing staff or making redundancies.

The company, which has 2,400 staff working in its publishing arm, has asked employees to take a temporary pay cut in return for shares in the company.

[Read more]


'Dissatisfied' with interviewing politicians, Cassidy changes tack

“I’ve walked away dissatisfied from too many interviews with politicians,” says Barrie Cassidy, who stepped down as host of ABC’s Insiders last June. “Whether that’s my fault or theirs, I’m not sure; I’ve just never got a great deal of satisfaction from it,” reports The Age’s Michael Lallo.

This Thursday, Cassidy’s first episode of One Plus One – the in-depth interview series previously anchored by Jane Hutcheon – debuts on ABC. For the veteran journalist, it’s a welcome change from grilling media-trained politicians.

“I want One Plus One to feel like a relaxed, fireside chat,” Cassidy says. “Of course, it takes a lot of effort for an interview to seem ‘naturally’ conversational and my researchers are terrific. They compile acres of material and by the time we do the interview, there’s not much I don’t know about the person.”

Cassidy recorded six episodes of an intended eight-part season, focusing on leadership in modern Australia, before the coronavirus pandemic halted filming. His guests include retired senior public servant Dennis Richardson (“he has respect for his political masters but fearlessly gives them the advice they need”), The Sydney Morning Herald‘s award-winning investigative reporter Kate McClymont (“she’s inspiring because she chose the toughest path”) and Charlie Magnuson, captain of the Bawley Point Rural Fire Brigade in south-eastern NSW.

[Read more]

TV Tonight gives new MasterChef Australia 4-star welcome

MasterChef Australia is starting a new era and the refresh may be just the ticket the show needed, reports TV Tonight.

10 has taken a strategic path in this “Back to Win” chapter, by smartly inviting back favourite faces, ready to settle unfinished business.

I may not know Jock Zonfrillo and Melissa Leong, but I sure know Poh, Callum, Hayden and Reynold like it was only yesterday (newsflash it was 11 years for some!).

And I sure as hell know Gordon Ramsay who faces the hopeful 24 when they first step into the kitchen. Whoa. If Ramsay is giving this his stamp of approval it must be good, right? He cleverly introduces our 3 new judges, which also includes former winner Andy Allen.

Sure the judges may not match the erudite theatrics of Matt Preston, but of the new trio Allen is the early standout, pointing to the emotion food can trigger, but I would expect all to find their groove in no time.

Step away from your benches. MasterChef is back.

[Read more]

10’s new drama The Secrets She Keeps released to 10Play

Everyone has their own secret in 10’s latest drama, The Secrets She Keeps, but none more so than disturbed supermarket stacker, Agatha (Laura Carmichael), reports TV Tonight in a review that gives the drama 3.5 out of 5.

Call it pre-natal depression, or call it being completely unhinged, she has her sights set on Meghan (Jessica de Gouw), an expectant mummy blogger whose upcoming pregnancy is going far more smoothly than her own.

On the outside Agatha is all smiles and supportive benevolence, yet on the inside she is a stone’s throw away from full bore bunny-boiler. She lives alone, working her dull retail job, whilst harbouring secret desires for the perfect family, as represented through the blogs of Meghan.

Laura Carmichael is a long way from Downton Abbey’s Lady Edith as the villain of this piece, based on a book by Michael Robothom. Jessica De Gouw is suitably endearing as the young mother unaware of impending dangers. The women, including a welcome appearance by Jenni Baird (A Place to Call Home), certainly have all the fun here. It’s all smiles until somebody gets hurt…

All six episodes, produced by Lingo Pictures, are now available for self-isolating binge watchers on 10 Play with a broadcast date expected shortly.

[Read more]

Sports Media

Get the NRL party started again – but don't trash the brand

ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys’ haste in getting the NRL competition going again, in three or four “bubbles” in NSW and/or Queensland, is dividing opinion. He doesn’t care. He’s a divider, a disrupter, an agitator, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Andrew Webster.

His urgency reflects the need to get the money tap from the game’s broadcast partners flowing again. Both Fox Sports and Channel Nine didn’t make their quarterly repayments on April 1, as you would expect. No football, no pay.

The NRL wants to get the party going again as soon as possible, maybe as soon as the end of next month. But it needs to be wary about trashing the product.

There are certainly some funky ideas getting about.

The notion of a best-of-three grand final series is also getting a run. So, too, 20-minute quarters – something V’landys was actually looking at pre-coronavirus as a way of maximising advertising revenue for broadcasters in the next TV deal.

[Read more]

Emerging league in doubt: Players fear for future of AFLW

There are genuine fears within AFLW playing ranks that elite female footballers might not have a national competition to play in next year, reports AAP.

The women’s league is facing an uncertain future after four seasons in operation as the AFL tackles the biggest financial crisis in its history due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Some clubs that fielded AFLW teams during the incomplete 2020 season are questioning whether they can afford to continue doing so beyond this year.

The $600 million line of credit secured by the AFL last week could provide the lifeline the women’s competition needs. But there are many competing interests the AFL needs to prioritise as it navigates its way through the financial crisis, including keeping 18 clubs and the men’s competition viable.

[Read more]

F1 could disappear: McLaren boss, audience flocks to virtual GP

McLaren chief executive Zak Brown has warned Formula One is in a “very fragile state” due to coronavirus, reports PA.

The escalating COVID-19 pandemic has brought the sport to a halt with two races – including the showcase Monaco Grand Prix in May – cancelled and six postponed so far.

F1 is committed to eventually getting the 2020 campaign under way. However, Brown has warned about the potentially perilous state of the sport.

Meanwhile, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was a dominant winner on his Formula One esports debut on Sunday while World Cup-winning England cricketer Ben Stokes brought up the rear in a virtual Vietnam Grand Prix.

The 28-lap race was the second in a series organised to provide some entertainment for fans starved of real-life action with more than 190,000 watching Formula One’s official live stream on YouTube.

[Read more]

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