Friday December 13, 2019

Hugh Marks on Government’s plans to control tech giants

By James Manning

• Nine boss thinks industry can work without content quotas

Nine Entertainment CEO Hugh Marks has joined his TV colleagues in praising the Government response to the ACCC report.

“This is a much needed and timely announcement from the Government in response to the recommendations that had been made by the ACCC as part of their digital platforms inquiry,” said Marks in a statement yesterday. “It provides a clear timeline and platform for our industry to be able to engage with the social media platforms on a basis we ultimately believe will be a win not only for our industry and the people that work in it, but the social platforms as well.”

Speaking to Mediaweek later in the day, Marks aid: “A framework that encourages us to reach agreement as an industry is the right way to go. If we can’t agree the Government will look at a mandatory code which is great.”

Marks said he thought the tech giants would work with industry. “They know there is upside for them to work cooperatively with us. But having the ACCC watching over that is very important.”

The Government also said yesterday it would support determining the extent of Australian content obligations on free-to-air television broadcasters (including drama and children’s content), and whether there should be Australian content obligations on subscription video-on-demand services.

Marks commented: “I am a fan of less quotas than more. If you look at Stan for example it already commissions a significant amount of local content as you will see in their summer schedule this year.

“Quotas are often blunt and ineffective instruments. But the notion that there should be harmonisation with whatever burden used to be carried [by FTA makes sense] and everyone should contribute.

“The quotas generally reflect what we would do anyway, with the exception of children’s content as that content is not watched on FTA television. Frankly it is a waste of our resources, the government’s resources and the tax payer’s money to make content that kids aren’t watching.

“In other areas I think we are well in excess of quotas.”

Marks added there should be recognition of the different forms of drama that is being made. “The market was different when the original quota rules were set in place. With drama now you have to be a lot more competitive on an international basis. Sometimes spending more on a show might be the best option for everyone to guarantee success. But a quota system based only on the number of hours is a blunt instrument that may be ineffective today.”

Media companies respond to Government’s digital strategy

Michael Miller, News Corp Australasia executive chairman, commented:

“We are encouraged the Government is taking action on a number of fronts to deal with the power imbalances the digital platforms hold over media businesses.

“Most of these initial steps are aligned with where the world is heading but more reforms are needed to protect consumers and ensure a vibrant and viable media industry.

“The new unit within the ACCC to oversee digital platforms and an inquiry into the murky waters of ad tech are welcomed – they are important and necessary.

“However, the Government’s approach of a voluntary code of conduct to oversee commercial arrangements as a first step appears out-of-kilter with leaders of other jurisdictions who have advocated firmer action.”

Network 10’s chief executive officer Paul Anderson:

“It’s great the Government is making a serious attempt to address the deep-rooted dominance of the online tech and streaming giants.

“On free to air content regulation, the issues are clear and the answers are already there. We just have to get cracking and get it done.”

Seven West Media welcomed the Morrison Government’s response to the ACCC’s Digital Platforms Inquiry Final Report.

James Warburton, Seven West Media Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, said: “We welcome today’s response from the Government to the ACCC’s Digital Platforms Inquiry Final Report, supports the majority of the ACCC’s recommendations.

“Seven is particularly pleased by the announced process to swiftly address out of date Australian content requirements that are currently holding back Australian media businesses. We encourage the Government to move quickly to provide certainty to industry and put in place a new framework for content that better reflects commercial realities and the changed viewing patterns of Australian audiences.

“The urgent need for regulatory equality between foreign Digital Platforms and Australian companies has been recognised by the Government. We see this as a real turning point, as for too long legislation has lagged well behind technological evolution, disadvantaging Australian companies and providing foreign Digital Platforms with a free ride.

“We are disappointed that the Government is not pursuing a mandatory take down scheme for copyright infringing material as recommended by the ACCC. But it is pleasing that the Government has committed to reviewing copyright enforcement mechanisms during 2020.”

Commercial Radio Australia welcomed the Government’s response to the ACCC’s Digital Platforms Inquiry.

Chief executive officer Joan Warner said the industry looked forward to a speedy implementation of the reforms.

“The Government has responded within their stated time frame, which is an encouraging sign of how seriously they are taking these issues and their intent to bring about change.

“The industry is very pleased there will be concrete moves towards harmonisation of media regulation, as commercial radio remains one of the most overregulated platforms in the media and communications sector. We hope the ‘phased’ approach does not mean we have to wait years for effective change nor will have to go through another round of inquiries and submission writing.

“We are supportive of the development of voluntary codes to address the power imbalance. We look forward to working with the ACCC and other stakeholders to develop a practical and workable code.

“We also note the Government has specifically stated it will review Australian and children’s content requirements for free-to-air television services. We assume that the heavy local content requirements and associated compliance burden on local radio stations will also be part of any such review in the light of the Government’s stated wish to have a more harmonious and fair media regulation framework that can  be applied across digital and traditional media.”

The commercial radio industry believes the review of advertising restrictions is also timely.

The MEAA said the federal government has missed an opportunity to deal with unregulated behemoths, Google and Facebook.

The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance said the inadequate response to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s extensive and considered two year review into these digital platforms’ impact on the Australian community means proper regulation and accountability of these giants will not occur in the foreseeable future.

The ACCC’s world-first, meticulous review provided masses of evidence about the negative impact major digital companies have had on consumers, communities and market rivals.

MEAA chief executive Paul Murphy said it was perverse that a major inquiry directed at reining in dominant digital companies has resulted in them receiving a virtual clean bill of health.

“Australia has missed a golden opportunity to create rules that are fair to all.”

Setting up ‘special units’ to monitor the already known impact of major digital platforms will fail to establish a level playing field for all news carrying bodies where all play by the same rules. This will remain a pipe dream.

Voluntary Codes of Conduct are a proven failure in all market sectors. To propose voluntary codes to deal with fake news, growing internet manipulation and to ‘address bargaining power imbalances’ will not achieve any tangible outcomes.

Free TV Australia welcomed the Government’s commitment to adopt the key recommendations from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Digital Platforms Inquiry Final Report.

Free TV Chief Executive Officer Bridget Fair said: “Australia’s media regulations are crying out for urgent modernisation. The roadmap today outlined by the Government sets a clear timetable for that to occur.

“It is pleasing that the Government has recognised that action is needed to address critical imbalances in the regulatory framework and the competitive position of Australian media companies.

“For far too long, Free TV broadcasters have been operating under a regulatory framework developed last century, while trying to compete against unregulated digital platforms for advertising revenue and audience attention.”

Foxtel signs new multi-year content deal with Discovery

Foxtel and Discovery have completed a new multi-year agreement covering premium factual, lifestyle and entertainment content from flagship brand Discovery Channel as well as TLC, Discovery Turbo and Animal Planet.

The deal also includes the launch of a new channel Investigation Discovery (ID) the #1 US true crime network, which finds a new home in Australia for the first time on Foxtel and launches 1 February 2020.

Foxtel-Discovery agreement highlights:

• Premium factual content. Foxtel will be the home of Discovery’s most popular content including Aussie Gold Hunters, Gold Rush, Deadliest Catch and Fast N’ Loud and annual event Shark Week.

• Best true crime. Investigation Discovery, the number one US cable network for women aged 25-54, will come to Australia for the first-time on Foxtel. Investigation Discovery uncovers the truth behind incredible real crime stories with high-quality programming that explores the dark side of human nature. Launch titles include US hits Serial Killer: Devil Unchained, In Pursuit with John Walsh and the franchise ID Murder Mystery which focuses on high profile iconic cases.

• Australian factual commissions. Discovery will continue to commission Australian produced content for Foxtel including international hit-series Aussie Gold Hunters and Outback Opal Hunters.

• More Streaming. Thousands of hours of content from Discovery Channel, Investigation Discovery, TLC, Discovery Turbo and Animal Planet will be available to stream on demand on Foxtel including box sets of this popular content.

Foxtel chief commercial officer Amanda Laing said: “This new future-fit agreement reignites a relationship with Discovery that dates back to Foxtel’s launch in 1995. The multi-genre, multi-channel, multi-rights deal has been tailored to meet the huge appetite Australians have for great factual, documentary, reality and true crime content.

“The launch of Investigation Discovery, together with our existing Crime & Investigation Channel, confirms Foxtel as the home of true crime. Along with a greatly expanded on demand library from Discovery, Foxtel has now the world’s best true crime all in one place, making access to the factual entertainment that Australian’s love easier than ever.”

Rebecca Kent, general manager, Discovery – Australia, New Zealand & Pacific Islands said: “We are pleased to extend our long-running partnership with Foxtel, bringing Australian viewers the Discovery channels and real-life content they know and love, with additional on- demand access.

“As a further commitment to Foxtel customers, we are launching a dedicated crime channel, bringing to life the compelling real-life stories behind real crimes.”

Top Photo: Foxtel’s Patrick Delany with Discovery’s Rebecca Kent

Sydney freelancers taking over nextmedia music brand

The Complaints Department Pty Ltd is acquiring the music brand Blunt from Nextmedia. The recently formed publishing company will relaunch the brand in 2020.

Blunt, which was published as a magazine and subsequently a website for over 15 years, has remained a respected brand at the cutting edge of the alternative music scene, delivering iconic coverage of the best releases from Australia and around the globe. It was the first port of call for all the latest in heavy music news and interviews, with an increased lifestyle scope covering games, films, TV, clothing, gadgets, tattoos and more.

Blunt will be returning to the digital realm in January 2020. The brand’s new management will also be overseeing the return of the physical elements, including the famous Blunt poster magazine.

Mike Hohnen, now Patron Saint of Operations for Blunt, said “Blunt was always so much more than a music publication. It explored, emboldened and honoured the alternative culture. We can’t wait to bring that energy back and reinstate Blunt as a home for the heavy, and heavy-adjacent, community.” 

Peyton Bernhardt, head of editorial, shares the sentiment, adding that Blunt’s rebirth will usher in a “revival in quality coverage across the alternative music scene in Australia”.

Hamish Bayliss, managing director of nextmedia, said: “I am pleased to see Blunt find a new home with passionate owners to reinvigorate the brand.”

The Royals crowned as winner of Round 4 of 2020 Siren Awards

The winner of Round 4 of the 2020 Siren Awards has been decided, with advertising agency The Royals named overall winner after securing victory in the campaign category for the Athena Home Loans ad series “The Call.”

They also placed first in the single category for the individual commercial “The Call – No Fees.”

Creatives Lewis Farrar and Pete Sherrah (pictured) from The Royals took a humorous approach to the campaign, recruiting the vocal talents of recognisable Australian comedians Dan Ilic and Susie Youssef to create a sense of familiarity, trust and authenticity for the audience.

In the single category winning ad “The Call – No Fees”, Ilic and Youssef go back and forth in an exaggerated mock phone call, which plays off the frustrations that can build when customers are confronted with confusing fees and complicated processes.

Farrar and Sherrah cited relatability as a key component in the success of the campaign. “The comedy and timing between Dan Ilic and Susie Youssef really helped bring the concept to life, they have incredible chemistry on and off air and we think you can hear that in these spots,” they said.

Sound engineer Dee Gjedsted from Risk Sound landed in top spot in the craft category for the Visit Victoria ad “Your Happy Space Spring Radio 1.” The ad artfully uses overlapping audio to transport the listener to a busy city scene, with the hustle and bustle of hectic city noises gradually fading into the relaxing and refreshing sounds of the “happy place” that is a peaceful regional landscape.

Joan Warner, CEO of industry body Commercial Radio Australia said: “We applaud all of the category winners and the highly commended creatives who received acknowledgements in Round 4. Their work is a wonderful example of the strong storytelling and creativity that lies in radio advertising. We know that the vision and innovation of the next batch of entrants will continue to impress.”

The CD Dodd ads “Scrap Metal Jingle – Growl in the morning”, “Scrap Metal Jingle – Money for your metal” and “Scrap Metal Jingle – Same but different” from creatives Liz Hammond and Alida Henson at Rare all received highly commended acknowledgements in the single category.

As a series, the CD Dodd ad campaign “Scrap Metal Jingle” from Rare’s Hammond and Henson received a highly commended acknowledgement in the campaign category. Southern Cross Austereo creatives Tony Byrne, Andrew Fritsch, Carly Nicolaides, Geoff Esdaile and Graham Hunter were also acknowledged for the Jimmy Rods campaign “Jimmy Rods – What it means to be a man.”

Gjedsted and Risk Sound received a highly commended nod in the craft category for the Visit Victoria commercial “Your Happy Space Spring Radio 2.” Others who received acknowledgements were sound engineer Paul Taylor from Eardrum for the Austral Bricks ad “Bricks Are Back” and Southern Cross Austereo sound engineers Ethan Kavanagh and Nat Marshall for the Marshall Mowers ad “Mower: The Musical.”

Round 5 of the 2020 Siren Awards is currently open for submissions, with entries closing on 11 February 2020. Browse the Round 4 2020 winning ads here or at and visit the Siren Awards on Facebook.

Mediaweek Podcast blitz: Mercado on 2019 TV highlights + more

• Mark Humphries on busy year, Dan Barrett on best SVOD spend

Four new Mediaweek podcasts have been recorded this week for listening over the holiday period:

Manning & Mercado: Best of TV 2019

The annual Best of the Year lists from Andrew Mercado and James Manning include great series like Total Control, After Life, The Loudest Voice and Succession. Mercado and Manning agree on some, yet disagree on others. A great guide to summer binge-viewing.

Manning & Mercado: 2020 Preview

To end the year, Andrew Mercado and James Manning discuss the likely highlights and lowlights of the TV year for 2020. From Nine’s largely unchanged schedule to the roll of the dice at Seven to 10’s key talent changes. They also look at the likely hits from SBS and ABC.

Mark Humphries on Riot Act

He’s Australia’s busiest satirist and Mediaweek was lucky enough to secure Mark Humphries for a podcast. He is on a media tour promoting the new Audible series Riot Act. Humphries also talks about working for SBS, ABC and 10 and talks about what’s next for his radio creation Campbell Parkes.

Streaming overload: How much should you spend?

Dan Barrett and James Manning borrow Moonman’s studio

TV junkie Dan Barrett from Always Be Watching spends a lot of time and money watching TV. Don’t miss him talking about Disney+ and AppleTV+. What are streaming must-haves and how can you best spend your entertainment budget.

Listen to the podcasts here.

Top Photo: Mark Humphries

Summer TV Ratings: December 12

• Day/Night Test wins for Seven as others turn to travel

The First Test against New Zealand and the second day/night Test for Seven this summer has been a big ratings winner for Seven.

The first session on Thursday afternoon did 414,000 with the last two sessions in primetime on 620,000 and then 672,000.

Around the other FTA channels there was plenty of travel on offer.

Nine had a travel themed evening starting with Great Getaways on 392,000 followed by Race Around the World on 251,000 with a replay of Travel Guides later in the evening on 164,000.

Early in the evening SBS premiered Australia with Julia Bradbury with Sydney the first episode with 120,000 watching. The channel then broadcast another episode of Luke Nguyen’s Vietnam Railway on 92,000. The channel peaked after 8.30pm with The Wonderful World of Chocolate on 150,000.

10 went with Jamie Oliver at 7.30pm on 223,000 followed by Law & Order: SVU for two hours with an audience of 150,000 for each episode.

However The Project again had the channel’s biggest audience with 322,000. Steve Price spent a lot of the episode with Pauline Hanson in Ipswich. She made it clear she would never come on the show live in the studio.

Grand Designs Australia was in Toowoomba on ABC with 331,000 followed by a series final of Shetland on 206,000.

Week 50 TV: Thursday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 9.6% 7 26.8% 9 16.2% 10  7.8% SBS One 3.7%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.0% 7TWO 4.5% GO! 3.5% 10 Bold 4.2% VICELAND 1.8%
ABC ME 1.0% 7mate 3.2% GEM 2.7% 10 Peach 2.7% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 1.7% 7flix 2.0% 9Life 2.2%     NITV 0.4%
    7Food 1.0%         SBS World Movies 1.0%
TOTAL 15.3%   37.5%   24.6%   14.7%   7.9%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 9.1% 7 24.9% 9 11.3% WIN 7.7% SBS One 3.3%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.4% 7TWO 7.7% GO! 3.6% WIN Bold 4.6% VICELAND 1.7%
ABC ME 1.7% 7mate 4.1% GEM 4.7% WIN Peach 2.0% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 1.6% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 2.7% 9Life 2.0% Sky News  on WIN 1.5% NITV 0.4%
    7food (QLD only) 1.0%            
TOTAL 15.8%   40.4%   21.6%   15.8%   6.4%


82.5% 17.5%
  1. Seven News Seven 804,000
  2. Nine News Nine 781,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 753,000
  4. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 685,000
  5. Seven’s Cricket: First Test – Australia V New Zealand D1 S3 Seven 672,000
  6. Seven’s Cricket: First Test – Australia V New Zealand D1 S2 Seven 620,000
  7. Seven’s Cricket: First Test – Australia V New Zealand D1 Test Seven 614,000
  8. A Current Affair Nine 572,000
  9. ABC News ABC 522,000
  10. Hot Seat Nine 434,000
  11. 7.30 ABC 434,000
  12. Seven’s Cricket: First Test – Australia V New Zealand D1 S1 Seven 414,000
  13. Great Getaways Nine 392,000
  14. Grand Designs Australia ABC 331,000
  15. The Project 7pm 10 322,000
  16. 10 News First 10 307,000
  17. Sunrise Seven 283,000
  18. Hot Seat -5pm Nine 276,000
  19. Race Across The World Nine 251,000
  20. Seven’s Cricket: First Test – Australia V New Zealand D1 Lunch Seven 233,000
Demo Top 5

16 – 39

  1. Seven’s Cricket: First Test – Australia V New Zealand D1 S3 Seven 152,000
  2. Seven’s Cricket: First Test – Australia V New Zealand D1 S2 Seven 132,000
  3. Seven’s Cricket: First Test – Australia V New Zealand D1 Tea Seven 130,000
  4. Seven News Seven 110,000
  5. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 85,000


18 – 49

  1. Seven’s Cricket: First Test – Australia V New Zealand D1 S3 Seven 245,000 31,000
  2. Seven’s Cricket: First Test – Australia V New Zealand D1 Tea Seven 211,000 25,000
  3. Seven’s Cricket: First Test – Australia V New Zealand D1 S2 Seven 209,000 23,000
  4. Seven News Seven 190,000 31,000
  5. Nine News Nine 151,000 16,000


25 – 54

  1. Seven’s Cricket: First Test – Australia V New Zealand D1 S3 Seven 270,000
  2. Seven’s Cricket: First Test – Australia V New Zealand D1 Te Seven 235,000
  3. Seven’s Cricket: First Test – Australia V New Zealand D1 S2 Seven 223,000
  4. Seven News Seven 218,000
  5. Nine News Nine 195,000
THURSDAY Multichannel
  1. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 207,000
  2. Seven’s Cricket: First Test – Australia V NZ 7mate 156,000
  3.  NCIS (R) 10 Bold 145,000
  4. A Touch Of Frost-Pm 7TWO 140,000
  5. Hawaii Five-O (R) 10 Bold 128,000
  6. Father Brown-Pm (R) 7TWO 126,000
  7. Hey Duggee ABCKIDS/COMEDY 113,000
  8. Spicks And Specks ABCKIDS/COMEDY 112,000
  9. Bondi Rescue Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 112,000
  10. Luo Bao Bei ABCKIDS/COMEDY 110,000
  11. Floogals ABCKIDS/COMEDY 109,000
  12. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 107,000
  13. Survivor: Island Of Idols 9GO! 106,000
  14. Nella The Princess Knight-Pm ABCKIDS/COMEDY 102,000
  15. Go Jetters-Am ABCKIDS/COMEDY 100,000
  16. Bing-Am ABCKIDS/COMEDY 100,000
  17. Peppa Pig-Am ABCKIDS/COMEDY 98,000
  18. School Of Roars-Am ABCKIDS/COMEDY 97,000
  19. Octonauts-Am ABCKIDS/COMEDY 97,000
  20. Seinfeld Ep 2 (R) 10 Peach 96,000
  1. Live: The Big Break FOX CRICKET 225,000
  2. Live: Aus V Nzl 1st Test Day 1 FOX CRICKET 215,000
  3. Live: Aus V Nzl 1st Test Day 1 FOX CRICKET 188,000
  4. Live: Aus V Nzl 1st Test Day 1 FOX CRICKET 188,000
  5. Live: Tea For Two FOX CRICKET 123,000
  6. Live: Test Cricket On Fox FOX CRICKET 73,000
  7. Gold Rush Discovery Channel 45,000
  8. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 43,000
  9. The Royal Variety Performance 2019 UKTV 42,000
  10. Live: Cricket 360 FOX CRICKET 42,000
  11. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 37,000
  12. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 35,000
  13. Selling Houses Australia Lifestyle Channel 34,000
  14. The Simpsons FOX8 33,000
  15. Credlin Sky News Live 33,000
  16. Coronation Street UKTV 29,000
  17. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 29,000
  18. Outdaughtered TLC 27,000
  19. Grand Designs New Zealand Lifestyle Channel 27,000
  20. The Simpsons FOX8 26,000

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

Reaction to Government’s response to ACCC digital recommendations

Lifeline for journalism on behalf of robust democracy

When parliamentary concerns led to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission inquiry into digital platforms, it showed Australia was working hard to get out in front of digital disruption, writes Allan Fels in The Australian. The recommendations in the ACCC report did not disappoint.

[Read the original]

Tech giants Facebook, Google told to pay for news content

Tech giants Google and Facebook have been ordered to strike a deal with media companies within a year to pay for their content or face tough new rules governing online platforms’ behaviour, report The Australian’s Rosie Lewis and Zoe Samios.

The move has failed to convince some news executives that the Morrison government has found a solution to an imbalance in bargaining powers between digital sites and traditional media.

[Read the original]

Digital inquiry: Voluntary nature of code draws a warning

Digital platforms initially will not be forced to hand over revenue or inform media companies of algorithm changes, but instead will draw up a voluntary code of conduct with news organisations with the aid of the ACCC, reports The Australian’s Leo Shanahan.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims told The Australian there had already been concessions from the digital platforms, with Facebook recently signing a news content deal with News Corp, and they needed time to work through a deal.

“That’s what we recommended. Our view was have a period of negotiations first,” he said. “The platforms have already offered things to media companies that they would not have offered otherwise. The pressure has ­already brought change.”

[Read the original]

Digital inquiry: Wriggle room in regulating Big Tech

If the digital platforms fail to draw up codes of conduct governing their bargaining with the mainstream media, the government “will” impose a mandatory code – at least that is what the Treasurer told the nation on Thursday, reports The Australian’s Chris Merritt.

The key word in that document is “may”. The government “may” impose a mandatory code – which falls a long way short of Frydenberg’s statement that the government “will” impose such a code if the tech giants decline to develop their own.

[Read the original]

Digital inquiry: Rod Sims’s new unit to bring the heat

The government is establishing a new unit within the ACCC to monitor and report on the state of competition and consumer protection within digital platforms, following criticism that Facebook and Google favour their own business interests through their market power, reports The Australian’s David Swan.

The new watchdog, which has been bolstered by a $27m cash injection from the government, will hit the ground running with an examination of online advertising and ad-tech services that determine how consumers are targeted through the use of data.

[Read the original]

Leo Shanahan: Tech titans won’t be shaking in their boots

The Government’s long-awaited response to the ACCC’s digital platforms report is not ineffectual, but it is hardly going to leave the likes of Facebook and Google shaking in their boots, comments The Australian’s Leo Shanahan.

Asking Google and Facebook to voluntarily play nice has been a consistent error of governments and regulators around the world. What has made Google and Facebook sit up and take notice are new laws and billions of dollars in fines for breaking those laws.

[Read the original]

Australia first to force Facebook, Google to negotiate with media

Australia will become the first country to force tech giants Facebook and Google to negotiate with media companies over the sharing of revenue, data and algorithm changes, in a bid to protect public interest journalism and local programming, report The AFR’s Max Mason and Yolanda Redrup.

Media bosses are split on whether the government was being too soft by giving the tech giants 11 months to broker a voluntary deal with media companies before threatening legislation.

[Read the original]

World watches as Morrison government takes on digital giants

There is a global tide of interest and concern among governments and regulators about the ever-increasing economic clout of digital giants such as Google and Facebook, comments The Age’s Stephen Bartholomeusz.

There is, therefore, going to be intense offshore interest in the Morrison government’s approach to regulating in the digital age.

[Read the original]

Media People

News Corp’s head of social Ryan Northover joins CGM Communications

Perth-based CGM Communications has appointed Ryan Northover (pictured), News Corp Australia’s head of social media strategy, as a digital communications consultant.

Northover has been based in Sydney with News Corp since 2017. He worked with a number of news and lifestyle brands, including, WHIMN, Food Corp, metropolitan, suburban and regional news titles, as well as The Australian, Vogue Australia, Fox Sports, REA, HarperCollins and Sky News Australia.

Northover managed News Corp’s Australian partnerships with major digital platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Google.

“We’re excited what Ryan will be able to do for our clients, particularly in the area of online community and stakeholder engagement,” Daniel Smith, executive director and founder of CGM Communications, said.

Northover finished at News Corp in Sydney on December 6th and commenced his role at CGM Communications this week. He returns to Perth where he was previously in digital marketing with Ventura Home Group and MindEye Marketing. Northover is also the co-founder and publisher of Perth’s So Media Group.

Sky News loses another fine journalist as Janine Perrett departs

Monday nights on Paul Murray Live on Sky News won’t be the same with the news that Janine Perrett is leaving the channel.

Perrett said yesterday: “After 10 great years at Sky News I have taken redundancy. I was given some wonderful opportunities over the years, made many friends and wish them all good luck for the future. It was 40 years ago this month I started in journalism and I will continue to fight that good fight.”

In response, Perrett’s Twitter feed was filled with friends, colleagues and viewers wishing her well. Even Paul Murray who posted in June that he was dropping Twitter for Instagram as he favoured social media platform. (Murray still retweets occasionally.)

Murray said to Perrett: “Damn. You got me back on twitter. Endless Love. Endless Respect. Endless Memories. Endless Mates For Life.”


2GB’s Money News to get new host after Ross Greenwood departs

Ross Greenwood, the host of Macquarie Media’s Money News program, is finishing his radio commitments with Macquarie Media and will not be returning in 2020.

“I have just turned 60 and have been working non-stop for the past 40 years,” said Greenwood. “This is a great time for me to stop and have a break from radio and then look at what my next steps are going forward. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with Macquarie Media, however eventually all things come to an end.”

Tom Malone, Nine’s managing director – radio, said: “Over the past 10 years, Ross has made Money News a key part of our radio schedule and I want to thank him for everything he has done. We understand his decision and look forward to speaking with him again next year about the role he can play when he returns from his break.”

The Money News program will return next year on Macquarie’s radio network. A host for 2020 will be announced in the coming weeks, but it is not clear if the program will remain for two hours from 6pm. A shorter version of the program ran on 3AW for an hour from 7pm.

Greenwood’s TV future is unclear after Nine reported he remains in discussions with Nine’s director of news of current affairs, Darren Wick, on his duties for 2020.

Greenwood’s TV day often started with finance pieces on Today and then again after 6pm on the evening news.


Seven settles with Aboriginal group over Sunrise comments

Seven West Media has agreed to a confidential settlement with a remote Aboriginal community which claimed they had been defamed during a controversial Sunrise segment last year, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Josh Dye.

The breakfast television program will broadcast an apology as part of the settlement, while Seven will pay an undisclosed sum to the group.

The lawyer acting for the Yolngu group, Stewart O’Connell, said his clients were pleased with the settlement.

“The broadcasting of a public apology by Channel Seven will go a long way to resolving the hurt, shame and distress that our clients and the Yolngu people generally have endured as a result of the misuse of this footage,” he said.

The court still needs to approve the settlement, with Justice Steven Rares requiring further information about a trust fund that will be setup to handle the payouts for the children when they turn 18.

[Read the original]

Has Australian TV found an answer to Scandi noir?

Victoria Madden was eight years old when she created her first distinctly Tasmanian story, writes The Age’s Craig Mathieson.

It was the 1970s and researchers had come to the rural station in the state’s rugged north-east where her mother was the cook, hoping to confirm sightings of the extinct Tasmanian tiger. Possessed of a fierce imagination, Madden told them she had seen one at a nearby dam and led the way there. She got hours of companionship and conversation before they twigged.

Nowadays Madden’s reach is far wider – and the narratives hold together far more convincingly. As the co-creator of 2016’s The Kettering Incident and now the driving force behind The Gloaming, which premieres on Stan on January 1, Madden is presenting a vision of Tasmania to the world via brooding police procedurals, supernatural-tinged history and foreboding landscapes. On her shows, the island state looks like nowhere else on Earth.

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MAFS contestants drop bombshell and accuse network of ‘bullying’

Months after Channel 9 blocked former Married at First Sight contestants, the network is in damage control desperately trying to smooth things over, reports News Corp’s Mibenge Nsenduluka.

Former contestant Sean Thomsen told Confidential he was baffled when Nine reached out unexpectedly, just days after a landmark ruling in a case involving Channel 7 and a House Rules star.

Earlier this year, Thomsen and other past contestants were blocked by the official MAFS Instagram account.

The Nine email offered former MAFS contestants free psychological support “through a 24/7 dedicated help line”. When Confidential rang the contact number provided, the call diverted to an automated voicemail system.

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Sports Media

Players on tricky ground with in-play cricket interviews on TV

When Foxtel and Seven paid a combined $1 billion for cricket’s broadcast rights they were always going to want bang for their buck, and part of that was bringing a touch of Twenty20 to the Test arena with in-match interviews of players, report The Sydney Morning Herald’s Chris Barrett, Andrew Wu and Jon Pierik.

Whether it’s Spidercam approaching a batsman at the fall of a wicket, or a player being interviewed on their way off the ground during a break in the match, viewers are hearing more from Australia’s Test stars than ever before.

The beefed-up access, endorsed by Cricket Australia, does however put players in a tricky position of trying not to give too much away for integrity reasons at a time when you can bet on just about anything.

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Sky loses Champions League in Germany to DAZN and Amazon

Leading European pay TV group Sky has been shut out of the European soccer Champions League for the German market, after online sports streamer DAZN Group snatched up Champions League rights in the territory from the 2021-2022 season, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

Amazon previously confirmed it had secured a “first pick” of Tuesday evening Champions League matches in Germany. On Thursday, the German media reported DAZN had won the rights to all other games in the tournament. German public broadcaster ZDF will carry the Champions League final match together with DAZN.

DAZN is part of tycoon Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries. The group is positioning itself as the “Netflix of sport.” Outside of North America, DAZN operates in German-speaking Europe, Italy, Spain, Japan and Brazil.

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