Wednesday December 16, 2020

Nova 2020 with Paul Jackson: Consistency and change at #1 network

By James Manning

• 2021 marketing plans and how the audience warmed to new drive guy

When examining the final radio survey results for 2020, Nova Entertainment chief programming and marketing officer Paul Jackson told Mediaweek the stations had some “outstanding numbers” around the country. That has helped the Nova Network to again end the year as the #1 metro network in share and cume.

Jackson continually refers to consistency in interviews and that was one of the hallmarks of the most recent results in a Covid-impacted survey year. “The only change we had in survey 8 was Joel Creasy coming to drive after Marty Sheargold chose to leave. We surprised a few people with that announcement and how we then re-engineered the show. Joel with Kate and Tim now has very different chemistry to the old show, and we can see already it is going extremely well. They have the national #1 drive and are well ahead of the competition in cume and share.

Kate, Tim and Joel: Sounds good, rates well

kate tim joel

The new Nova drive had a particularly strong Sydney performance with share up 1.8 to 9.4%. “It had a brilliant performance in Sydney, but also right around the country,” said Jackson. “Regardless of ratings, sometimes you can just listen to a show on the radio and get genuine joy from it and know that it will go well. If it hadn’t gone so well in the ratings, my ears would have still told me how strong the show is and that it cannot fail. It is certainly striking a chord with the audience very quickly. A lot of people said we would be losing listeners with all the Marty fans who would leave. Many said it would take time to bring in the Joel fans and we might go down before we go up. All the usual stuff, but I thought I’m not so sure. A lot of people seem to be saying they really like Marty, but they also like the new guy.

Earlier this year Jackson talked about the new dynamic in the show, and he mentioned it again this week. “Kate and Tim have not just upped their game, but because Marty is not there, they have spread their wings in a different way. It’s a very different show now. They are three great broadcasters, very bright people who clearly know what they are doing. In radio let’s not overcomplicate it, get in there and have some fun. You enter their little world when you listen to them and they definitely leave you feeling brighter than when you turned on. I have heard people saying they get now why so many people listen to radio everyday because ‘this Kate, Tim and Joel show is so amazing’.

“Earlier in the year we changed Adelaide breakfast and introduced Ben and Liam and they are going very well too. The Brisbane and Perth numbers continue to be dominant and outstanding. When you look at smooth it continues to be #1 in Sydney with an all-time high cume.

“smooth in Melbourne is going better and is now #2 FM. For everybody in Melbourne it continues to be an in-between result where most of the numbers are slightly better, but with 3AW still holding a huge share.”

Jackson said he thought both smooth and Nova Melbourne breakfast shows continue to show an impact from the long lockdown and the thirst for Covid news. “smooth still performs well though and is equal first FM on weekends.”

Marketing spend for 2021

Jackson: “We are being as creative as we possibly can. We are very excited about the creative ideas we have got for Nova next year. We have stable line-ups, people know our breakfast shows and our drive show, and our music position.

“For smooth we are more than likely to continue with the current creative that we have because the Robbie Williams TVC for smooth is still very fresh and new.”

As to edgy ideas for 2021, Jackson added with a grin: “I thought about changing all the station’s names, but somebody else got their first. I then thought about getting rid of some of our good, experienced broadcasters, but somebody else got their first.

“There has been far too much change in radio [this year] and people couldn’t cope with anything more. Radio is supposed to be a reliable friend so flip-flopping back and forth, including stations changing their music positions, reminds of the importance of stability.

“Shows do need tweaks and things will change along the way, but we have seen what were some pretty good shows and good broadcasters leaving [elsewhere]. Sometimes you might be on the right track with the right show, but not executing it very well. There were times in the early days of smooth where we could have changed here, there and everywhere, but we decided to stay the course and build the audiences. It doesn’t happen overnight.

Jackson said because there are eight surveys a year people might get caught up in the need for constant change when things don’t go well. “In the UK there are four surveys and you get more breathing space and there is less knee-jerk reactions which does go on in Australia.”

Will Sydney audiences move in 2021?

When asked if there could be audience movement early in 2021 as listeners sample new programs, Jackson replied. “The new shows are known quantities, a Hit Network drive show is moving into breakfast and then the pre-drive show goes into drive. There is nothing new on the radio station that people won’t know. There might be a different dynamic on the breakfast show and they will market it hard.”

Jackson said he thought 2Day FM was on a “reasonable track” with Jamie Angel’s all music show, “but not executing it very well. With a bit of focus they could have been on to something that could have gone quite well. Much like smooth which is sitting on a 7.9% share. That didn’t happen overnight. It takes time for people to find you and understand what you are doing.”

Jackson was even prepared to put a figure on what might happen at the new 2Day FM breakfast. “I don’t see them doing more than a 4% share they are doing today.” 

Last hit music station standing

One stable breakfast show that offers much to people wanting to learn from radio success is Perth’s Nathan, Nat and Shaun who just recorded their biggest-ever breakfast share. Jackson: “They epitomise what I was saying about having fun with the audience. No matter what mood they are in, however they are feeling, they go in and the audience can’t help but have a good time because they are so infectious.

In Perth the only one left playing contemporary hit music is Nova. It’s a surprise to me for sure, but we welcome it.

Stan World Premieres for summer scorchers: Bump & Sunburnt Christmas

Stan has rolled out the blue carpet in the past week for world premieres of its two major summer originals – A Sunburnt Christmas and Bump.

First up was the Stan Original Film A Sunburnt Christmas, which is now available to stream only on Stan.

A Sunburnt Christmas: [L-R] Christiaan Van Vuuren, Tatiana Goode, Sullivan Stapleton, Lisa Scott, Lena Nankivell, Mike Jones, Eadan McGuinness, Ling Cooper Tang, Fiona Eagger and Deb Cox

Set against the backdrop of Sydney Harbour, award-winning local creatives and stars were in attendance at the event, including director Christiaan Van Vuuren, fellow Bondi Hipster Nick Boshier, cast mates Sullivan Stapleton, Ling Cooper Tang, Lena Nankivell, Eadan McGuinness and Tatiana Goode, AACTA Award-winner Claudia Karvan, and Stanbassadors Roxy Jacenko and Beau Ryan.

Stan ambassadors Roxy Jacenko and Beau Ryan

The film’s producers, Every Cloud Productions’ Fiona Eagger and Deb Cox, alongside Highview Productions’ Mike Jones and Lisa Scott, were also in attendance at the world premiere, in addition to the film’s co-writer Elliot Vella.

Created and written by Elliot Vella, Gretel Vella and Timothy Walker, and directed by Christiaan Van Vuuren (Bondi Hipsters, The Other Guy), A Sunburnt Christmas is a hilarious and heartfelt story about a single mum and her kids doing it tough on their outback farm until a runaway criminal dressed as Santa Claus crashes into their property and their lives.

The second world premiere was for the Stan Original Series Bump which was held at the Sydney Secondary College Blackwattle Bay Campus. Bump will be available on New Year’s Day, only on Stan.

The cast of Bump

Set in the high school where the drama series was shot, award-winning local creatives and stars were in attendance at the event, including stars from the show: Claudia Karvan, Angus Sampson, Nathalie Morris and Carlos Sanson Jnr. Other stars in attendance included AACTA award-winner Ewen Leslie and Jackson Heywood.

Claudia Karvan

Roadshow Rough Diamond producers John and Dan Edwards were also in attendance at the world premiere, along with the show’s writer Kelsey Munro.

Angus Sampson

The relationship drama is directed by Geoff Bennett (Stan’s Wolf Creek), Gracie Otto (Stan’s The Other Guy) and Leticia Caceres (The True History of Billie the Kid). The series is created and co-written by Kelsey Munro; with the writing team also consisting of Jessica Tuckwell, Timothy Lee, Mithila Gupta and Steven Arriagada.

Top Photo: Stan CEO Mike Sneesby

The Voice
The Voice coaches revealed: Seven and ITV promising revitalised format

• The Voice 2021: Meet the Coaches Keith Urban, Rita Ora, Guy Sebastian, Jessica Mauboy

Seven has revealed the superstar coaches choosing the talent for The Voice 2021.

Taking their places on the spinning red chairs will be multiple ARIA and Grammy Award winner Keith Urban, UK hit machine Rita Ora, mega selling singer-songwriter Guy Sebastian, and making her coaching debut on The Voice, singing and acting sensation Jessica Mauboy.

One of the most successful formats in the world, the 10th season of The Voice will be hosted by Sonia Kruger and features surprising new elements, plus the strongest ever line-up of artists competing to be crowned the winner.

Keith Urban said: “The stars have finally aligned again! Ten years after spinning in the first season, and just before getting back on stage around the world, I’ve been invited back alongside a very cool and musically diverse panel.”

Rita Ora said: “I love The Voice and I absolutely adore Australia so this is a match made in heaven. Having been a coach on the UK series, I know just how powerful it can be in making dreams come true. I can’t wait to find Australia’s next superstar.”

Guy Sebastian said: “The evolution of The Voice in 2021 is genuinely exciting. I am so happy to be working alongside these amazing coaches. I have known Jess for a long time, I am a huge admirer of Keith and Rita is a great talent. I really feel like this panel will genuinely nurture a new generation of artists.”

Jessica Mauboy said: “I’m so proud of the talent that exists in this country. I know firsthand exactly how life-changing a show like this can be, so I’m honoured to be part of such an experienced team of coaches and I’m looking forward to some amazing chair-turning moments.”

A decade after it first debuted in The Netherlands, The Voice remains a global phenomenon, airing in 180 countries.

Seven’s network director of programming Angus Ross said: “A show as extraordinary as The Voice deserves superstars as its coaches and that is what we will deliver in 2021. Keith, Rita, Guy and Jess are the best of the best and we are thrilled they have chosen to mentor a such a talented group of singers.

 “We can’t wait to bring the new-look series of The Voice to Seven, where it will join our other hit shows including Big Brother, Farmer Wants A Wife, SAS Australia, Holey Moley and many more,” he said.

“Combined with a revitalised and more dynamic format, ground-breaking new design, and most importantly phenomenal artists delivering incredible performances, The Voice promises to be one of the TV events of 2021.”

ITV Studios Australia CEO and managing director David Mott said: “We are tremendously excited by the fantastic new line-up of internationally acclaimed coaches for The Voice in 2021.This will undoubtedly be a series like no other! We seriously cannot wait to bring this brand new season to audiences on Seven – it’s going to be phenomenal.”

The Voice is an ITV Studios Australia production for the Seven Network. It will premiere across the screens of Seven in 2021.

ABC Radio
ABC Radio: 2021 presenter line ups announced

ABC Radio has announced its 2021 presenter line ups, which remain relatively stable for all networks, with no changes for ABC Radio Sydney and ABC Radio Melbourne.

Several ABC radio networks recorded their highest audience reach and share in a decade due largely to the bushfire coverage followed by coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic and the US election.

Triple j introduces a new breakfast duo with Bryce Mills and Ebony Boadu starting on 18 January – just before the Hottest 100 of 2020 countdown on Saturday 23 January and the Hottest 200 on 24 January.

ABC Radio National will launch a new Saturday afternoon show presented by podcaster/broadcaster Marc Fennell. The Weekend with Marc Fennell starts on Saturday 30 January from 1.00pm and will feature a range of RN content from popular programs and podcasts.

ABC Capital City stations

In Sydney, Robbie Buck and Wendy Harmer return to co-present Breakfast; followed by Cassie McCullagh’s Focus, James Valentine is back in Afternoons, followed by Richard Glover in Drive; and Sarah Macdonald in Evenings. Simon Marnie is back on Weekends.

In Melbourne, Sammy J will once again start the day on Breakfast; followed by Virginia Trioli in Mornings; Richelle Hunt and Warwick Long with The Conversation Hour; Jacinta Parsons in Afternoons; Raf Epstein in Drive; and David Astle in Evenings. Libbi Gorr returns for Weekends.

In Canberra, Paula Kruger moves to an off-air ABC role next year and is replaced in Afternoons by Georgia Stynes.

Mel Bush joins the Evenings show in Hobart, replacing Louise Saunders who retired this year and Joel Rheinberger will present Breakfast on Fridays and across the weekend.

ABC Radio Perth’s Weekend Breakfast presenter Christine Layton moves into weekday Afternoons next year, taking over from Gillian O’Shaughnessy. Breakfast co-hosts Russell Woolf and Nadia Mitsopoulos present their own shows across the Breakfast and Mornings timeslots with Russell from 5.00am and Nadia from 8.30am each weekday.

Kate O’Toole moves into the Weekends slot in Brisbane presenting Saturday Breakfast from 6.00am and Sunday Breakfast from 10.00am.

There are no changes to ABC Radio Adelaide.

All networked programs return next year including Conversations, presented by Richard Fidler and Sarah Kanowski; Phil Clark and Indira Naidoo on Nightlife: Ian ‘Macca’ McNamara returns with Australia All Over on Sunday mornings; and Trevor Chappell and Rod Quinn on Overnights. Sirine Dimachkie presents the networked Evenings show each Friday, with Christine Anu presenting Saturday Evenings and Craig Quartermaine Sunday Evenings.

AM, The World Today and PM all return in their current timeslots next year.
All ABC metropolitan 2021 line-ups start on air on Monday 18 January.

ABC Regional

Annie Gaffney moves into the presenter’s chair for the Southern Drive program covering South East Queensland.

On the Gold Coast, Nicole Dyer will present Breakfast Monday to Thursdays. Bern Young will present Breakfast on Friday as well as Saturday Breakfast. Matt Webber will present Mornings and Julie Clift will present Drive.

In Longreach, Dan Prosser is new to Breakfast.

GfK to study listening habits over summer, highlights of 2020 survey

The commercial radio industry has commissioned GfK to undertake a fourth annual summer listening survey to examine how consumers engage with media and radio over the holiday season.

The survey will cover consumers in both metropolitan and regional Australia and will look into how and why audiences stay connected over the warmer months.

“Radio plays an important role over summer and with the need to stay abreast of the bushfire season and COVID news, it will be useful to see how media habits change as the new year gets underway,” said Commercial Radio Australia chief executive officer Joan Warner.

GfK’s last Radio Insights Summer Listening Report conducted in January 2020 found that 94% of Australian radio listeners agree radio is a great source of information during the summer season, and 74% said they look to radio for information during an emergency.

Summer radio listening has maintained steady reach over the past three years, with over 80% of radio listeners switching on radio the same amount or more and almost three in four radio listeners saying they are more likely to listen to media than watch it.

Young people aged 10-24 are the most engaged radio listeners in summer, as 82% are more likely to listen to media than watch it and one in five state that they listen to more radio during that time.

GfK Radio Insights is an online radio survey which provides additional perspective to the GfK Australian Radio Ratings, with a 1255 representative sample of people 10+ by age, gender, location of Australians. Survey period January 14 to January 24, 2020.

SBS details busy summer sports schedule: NBA, NBL and much more

SBS is the home of basketball in Australia and this summer it will be covering the National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Basketball League (NBL).

Each week from Sunday 27 December, NBA games will be broadcast live and in HD on SBS Viceland and SBS On Demand.

Fans will have access to the entire 2020-21 NBL season for free, with games broadcast on SBS Viceland and all 162 games available live and free on SBS On Demand. The NBL season starts Sunday 10 January with Melbourne United and South East Melbourne Phoenix headlining a nine-game opening round. The schedule will be announced in stages as the league continues to navigate Covid-19.

NBA and NBL games will be available for catch up on SBS On Demand, and the basketball hub on the SBS Sport website is home to game highlights, condensed mini games, interviews, news, features and more.

New season of NBL starts on SBS in January

SBS Courtside returns from Sunday 27 December. SBS Sport presenter Lucy Zelić and SBS World News journalist Adrian Arciuli will host the 30-minute pre-game show ahead of every NBA game on SBS Viceland.

SBS director of sport Ken Shipp said: “SBS has a proud heritage in bringing the best of national and international sport to Australian fans. We know sport has the ability to bring people from across Australia’s diverse communities together, and we’re proud to be delivering a diverse slate of sporting events. From basketball to figure skating, there’s something for everyone this summer.”

The 2020 World Superbikes Championship will continue this month, with the seventh round of the tournament airing from 2.00-3.00pm AEDT on Saturday 19 December. SBS will also air Cycling Highlights: The National Road Series 2020 from 3.00-4.00pm AEDT.

Speedweek will continue to bring fans wheel-to-wheel moments and on-track entertainment every Sunday from 1.00-3.00pm AEDT on SBS in 2021. Speedweek is a motorsport show that covers many forms of Australian and International motorsport.

Every Sunday afternoon from January 3 – January 17, SBS will broadcast the 2020-21 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating from Japan. After competitions were cancelled in Canada and France due to Covid-19, figure skating takes centre stage in Osaka for the final stage in the Grand Prix.

Every day at 5.30pm AEDT from Monday 4 January – Saturday 16 January, SBS will broadcast highlights of the 2021 Dakar Rally. An annual rally raid organised by the Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO), the Dakar Rally is an off-road endurance race, famous for its difficult terrain and riding conditions. Featuring 12 stages totalling nearly 5000 kilometres, audiences will witness motorcycles, cars, quads and trucks traverse dunes, mud, grass, rocks and other off-road terrain in an effort to complete each stage of the race. The 2021 edition will be held in Saudi Arabia for the second time.

From January 24, SBS will broadcast three major Australian Beach Volleyball tournaments. The Cobram Barooga Classic in Victoria, the Australian Championships from Manly in February, and the Australian Beach Volleyball Tour Finals from Coolangatta in March.

Photo: Aussie Ben Simmons in the NBA

Basil Zempilas
Basil Zempilas to lead new breakfast team on 92.9 Triple M

The new Lord Mayor of Perth, Basil Zempilas, is joining the city’s newest radio station, 92.9 Triple M to headline an all-new breakfast show in 2021 with co-hosts Xavier Ellis and Jenna Clarke.

Zempilas will anchor the all-new 92.9 Triple M Breakfast show after the station launched on 1 December 2020, following Zempilas being elected Perth’s 56th Lord Mayor in October of this year. The new show announcement comes just four days after he exited 6PR (see below).

A native West Australian, Zempilas began his media career at the Seven Network as a sports reporter and has worked as a sports anchor at Seven, produced his own AFL show, Basil’s Footy Show, and has been a long time member of Seven’s AFL commentary team. During his career he has covered the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, 2002 Winter Olympics, 2004 Athens Games and 2008 Beijing Games. In 2018 he joined Seven’s Weekend Sunrise as co-host.

No stranger to radio and SCA, Zempilas was previously a part of the 92.9 Breakfast show between 2008-2013, and more recently co-hosting 6PR’s breakfast show.

Also on the new breakfast team is former AFL player Xavier Ellis and Jenna Clarke, assistant editor of The West Australian. Ellis has just finished his role on the old 92.9 breakfast show Xavier, Juelz and Pete. Clarke, who started her radio career at SCA in Perth a decade ago, is also making a name for herself on TV as part of Paul Murray Live.

Zempilas said: “I love Perth, I love to have a laugh and I love sport – so when Triple M arrived, it was the perfect fit! I’m a local through and through, and the opportunity to take that even further with Triple M is really exciting – and I’m so thrilled to share the experience with Xav and Jenna. Xav has the footy banter covered, and Jenna is one of the most accomplished journalists in the business. We’re locals so we’re looking forward to giving our listeners a show that is important to our community. It’ll be a great ride!”

SCA chief content officer, Dave Cameron said: “There’s no-one more ‘Perth’ than Basil Zempilas, and having Baz be a part of launching 92.9 Triple M with a brand-new breakfast show in 2021, reinforces the fact that Triple M is here to cement itself with local content delivered by locally loved personalities just for local listeners. Baz combined with Eagles favourite and current 92.9 host Xavier Ellis, plus razor-sharp journalist Jenna Clarke make this a hugely exciting new local show, and we can’t wait to finally give listeners what’s long overdue at breakfast – something fresh and fun to wake up with. 92.9 Triple M has arrived – time to shake the city up a bit!”

Head of the Triple M Network, Mike Fitzpatrick, said: “This will be an FM breakfast show that is different from everything else on the radio in Perth. It will give listeners a real alternative to the regular breakfast offering. Think of it as radio’s version of a chili scramble, not plain old cereal.”

92.9 Triple M’s Breakfast with Baz, Xav and Jenna can be heard from 6am on January 18, 2021.

Basil and Millsy’s 6PR farewell

Zempilas only finished his career with Nine-owned 6PR last Friday.
He had been part of Breakfast with Steve Mills and Basil Zempilas since 2014, before that co-hosting with Adrian Barich.
On his final 6PR show, Zempilas told the listeners: “I love coming to work in the morning in this environment, there is nothing like it. I have had the privilege of working in lots of broadcasting environments and there is none better than this one. A lot of that is because of working with you Millsy. I am a better person, and I am a better broadcaster.
Zempilas also thanked a big team of producers and their panel operators. He also went through the ranks of management which has changed a little over the years. That list included Martin Boylen, Adam Lang, Barrie Quick, Gordon Hill, Emily White, Greg Byrnes and Tom Malone. He also mentioned their ratings record.
“When we started in breakfast we hadn’t beaten the ABC for 16 years. And in survey 8, 2017 we got past them for the first time. We have now beaten them in five of the past nine surveys.
“Change is good, I wish Gareth Parker [moving to breakfast in 2021] nothing but great success. From me it’s not farewell, but just goodbye for now.
An emotional Mills recalled 16 years of radio at 6PR. Additional management thanked by Mills were John Solvander and Declan Kelly.
Both announcers thanked their families who joined them in the studio for the final break.

Seven’s return to motorsport: details of January event coverage

Key details around the Seven Network’s return to Australian motorsport coverage have been confirmed ahead of the opening round of the Australian Racing Group’s championships at Symmons Plains Raceway in January.

The Tasmanian event, featuring TCR Australia, S5000, Touring Car Masters and Trans Am racing, will mark the much-anticipated return of motorsport to the screens of Seven, and is set to include 12 hours of live coverage across the unique Monday and Australia Day Tuesday event.

On the free-to-air channel 7mate, there will be two hours of coverage on Monday, followed by five hours on Australia Day.

A huge 12 hours of coverage will be live-streamed on Seven’s commercial free-to-air BVOD platform, 7plus, over the two days.

For the network that pioneered motorsport coverage here in Australia and around the world through its famous Bathurst 1000 broadcasts that started in the 1970s, the event will mark the start of a season of motorsport on Seven that includes ARG’s suite of categories and events, plus broadcasting of the Supercars Championship.

Seven motorsport in January

Monday, January 25

1200-1800, 7plus
1530-1730, 7mate

Tuesday, January 26

1100-1700, 7plus
1100-1600, 7mate

ARG and the Seven Network have also confirmed the broadcast team that will bring the coverage to life at all seven ARG events in 2021, including the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships events.

Seven’s Mark Beretta will lead the coverage and will draw upon his intimate knowledge of the sport and its personalities.

7SPORT presenter Abbey Gelmi will add motorsport to her resume, assisting Beretta in the host role at selected rounds. Gelmi has worked at Seven on its AFL, cricket and horse racing coverage, as well as its reality program House Rules. She will also play a role in the network’s upcoming program Ultimate Tag.

The coverage has also recruited former Australian cricket star turned Seven commentator Brad Hodge to its team. Hodge is a motorsport competitor in his own right and will add his flair behind the microphone.

Leading the commentary from inside the box will be Greg Rust, Matt Naulty and Richard Craill, supported by a new set of pit lane callers including former Supercars news breaker Chris Stubbs, Australian rally champion and SAS Australia star Molly Taylor, Jessica Dane, Jack Perkins and current Supercars driver and former Bathurst 1000 winner David Reynolds.

It will be a shift of roles for Reynolds, who will transition from being in front of the camera to behind the microphone.

The coverage will be led by ARGs executive producer of broadcast Andrew Janson and executive producer, Seven Motorsport, Anna Stone.

Managing director Seven Melbourne and head of network sport Lewis Martin said: “ARG offers motorsport lovers a great mix of racing categories and drivers as well as an unbeatable line-up of talent, from the commentary box to pit lane.

“We can’t wait to welcome a whole new generation of fans on January 25 for day one of a jam-packed year of motorsport on Seven.”

Matt Braid, CEO Australia Racing Group, added: “It feels like a long time coming, but ARG, our competitors and the Seven Sports team are really looking forward to showcasing some great racing action when we head to Tasmania in January.”

Seven Motorsport anchor Mark Beretta said: “It’s just fantastic that motorsport will return to the screens of Seven in such a big way in 2021. And what a great way to kick it all off down at Symmons Plains in January with such a strong, diverse group of categories including TCR Australia, S5000, Touring Car Masters and Trans Am. So much horsepower, so many great drivers and so much to look forward to.”

Cobra Kai
TV Demand: Cobra Kai begins to slither up the chart ahead of new season

By Trent Thomas

The Mandalorian has continued to run away with its lead as it continues to grow bigger by the week as its second episode is released on Disney+.

If betting agencies put odds on the TV Demand charts then The Mandalorian would be paying about $1.01 to finish 2020 at #1 in both Australia and New Zealand.

Lower down on the charts one show that is beginning to rise is Cobra Kai which has rejoined the Digital Original charts at #4 in both Australia and New Zealand. This is a good sign for the show’s future prospects as it has not even released its third season yet, with the trailer released this week ahead of the January 8 release.

This will be the first season on Netflix after the show received a new lease on life after releasing its first two seasons on the YouTube Premium platform. The show has enjoyed a surge in popularity since moving to Netflix with built-up anticipation of the first episodes since April 2019.

The new season is shaping up as a culmination for many of the show’s storylines for both the original characters and the younger generation that has entered into Karate Kid folklore through Cobra Kai. The third season will also explore Mr. Miyagi’s back story when Danny travels to Japan, and will see Johnny in direct conflict with his former mentor John Kreese.

Big Mouth has joined the Digital Original chart in NZ after launching its fourth season, but this can be considered an underperformance after the show’s second season release saw it go to #1 in Australia and NZ.

TV ratings: Summer survey, Tuesday Week 51 2020

By James Manning

• Big Bash League Strikers’ win pushes Seven over the top
• Cricket the only non-news programming in the top 10

The Tuesday Big Bash League clash between the Adelaide Strikers and Hobart Hurricanes lacked the dramatic finish the audience saw on Monday night. The cricket had an audience of 431,000 watching the first innings and 436,000 the second. However, it was still an enthralling game that ultimately saw the Strikers win off the back of a good innings from captain Alex Carey after a memorable bowling display from veteran Peter Siddle.

Elsewhere last night the biggest audiences were attracted to Nine’s 20 To One repeat (331,000), ABC’s Outback Ringer (310,000) and 10’s NCIS (274,000).

Week 50: Tuesday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 11.2% 7 20.2% 9 14.8% 10  10.6% SBS One 5.5%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.1% 7TWO 4.2% GO! 2.8% 10 Bold 3.8% VICELAND 1.5%
ABC ME 0.5% 7mate 3.4% GEM 3.3% 10 Peach 3.9% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 2.0% 7flix 1.4% 9Life 3.1% 10 Shake 0.6% NITV 0.1%
        9Rush 1.8%     SBS World Movies 1.1%
TOTAL 16.8%   29.2%   25.9%   19.0%   9.2%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 10.5% 7 20.2% 9 11.8% WIN 11.4% SBS One 5.3%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.3% 7TWO 5.7% GO! 2.1% WIN Bold 4.5% VICELAND 1.5%
ABC ME 1.2% 7mate 4.6% GEM 4.7% WIN Peach 3.3% Food Net 0.8%
ABC NEWS 1.7% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 2.4% 9Life 2.8% Sky News  on WIN 1.8% NITV 0.1%
                SBS Movies 1.0%
TOTAL 16.8%   32.9%   21.5%   21.1%   8.8%


85.7% 14.3%
  1. Seven News Seven 912,000
  2. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 852,000
  3. Nine News Nine 788,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 786,000
  5. ABC News ABC 634,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 620,000
  7. 7.30 ABC 508,000
  8. The Chase Australia Seven 483,000
  9. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League – Hob V Ade S2 Seven 474,000
  10. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League – Hob V Ade S1 Seven 464,000
  11. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League – Hob V Ade Inn Brk Seven 460,000
  12. Hot Seat Nine 368,000
  13. The Project 7pm 10 367,000
  14. 20 To One – (R) Nine 331,000
  15. Outback Ringer ABC 310,000
  16. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 303,000
  17. London Zoo: An Extraordinary Year ABC 287,000
  18. 10 News First 10 280,000
  19. NCIS 10 274,000
  20. Sunrise Seven 255,000
Demo Top Five

16-39 Top Five

  1. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League – Hob V Ade Inn Brk Seven 110,000
  2. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League – Hob V Ade S1 Seven 103,000
  3. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League – Hob V Ade S2 Seven 101,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 81,000
  5. Seven News Seven 77,000


18-49 Top Five

  1. Seven News Seven 168,000
  2. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League – Hob V Ade Inn Brk Seven 163,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 162,000
  4. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 160,000
  5. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League – Hob V Ade S1 Seven 157,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. Seven News Seven 225,000
  2. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 217,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 210,000
  4. Nine News Nine 196,000
  5. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League – Hob V Ade Inn Brk Seven 188,000
Tuesday Multichannel
  1. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 184,000
  2. NCIS Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 179,000
  3. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 135,000
  4. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 130,000
  5. Neighbours 10 Peach 129,000
  6. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 125,000
  7. Inspector Morse PM 7TWO 124,000
  8. Hey Duggee ABCKIDS/COMEDY 120,000
  9. Andy’s Wild Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 117,000
  10. Love Monster AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 109,000
  11. The Big Bang Theory Ep 2 10 Peach 106,000
  12. Friends Ep 3 (R) 10 Peach 106,000
  13. The Big Bang Theory Ep 3 10 Peach 104,000
  14. Matilda 9GO! 102,000
  15. Escape To The Chateau 9Life 102,000
  16. Book Hungry Bears AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 101,000
  17. New Tricks 9Gem 100,000
  18. Sir Mouse ABCKIDS/COMEDY 99,000
  19. Pocoyo AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 99,000
  20. 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown (R) SBS VICELAND 97,000
Tuesday STV
  1. Live: Between The Innings FOX CRICKET 191,000
  2. Live: BBL: Hurricanes V Strikers FOX CRICKET 183,000
  3. Live: BBL: Hurricanes V Strikers FOX CRICKET 179,000
  4. Live: BBL Post Game FOX CRICKET 77,000
  5. Live: B4 The Bash! FOX CRICKET 61,000
  6. Chris Smith Tonight Sky News Live 52,000
  7. Credlin Sky News Live 47,000
  8. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 45,000
  9. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 41,000
  10. Inside The News Sky News Live 41,000
  11. Rusty Rivets Nick Jr. 41,000
  12. Rusty Rivets Nick Jr. 41,000
  13. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 40,000
  14. Selling Houses Australia Lifestyle Channel 34,000
  15. PML Later Sky News Live 31,000
  16. Below Deck FOX Arena 28,000
  17. Antiques Roadshow Lifestyle Channel 27,000
  18. Blue Bloods FOX One 26,000
  19. Corn & Peg Nick Jr. 26,000
  20. Border Security: Australia’s Front Line FOX8 25,000

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

'We put our trust in the law': McLachlan not guilty on all charges

Actor Craig McLachlan says he will have “a lot to say” in the new year but for now will enjoy Christmas after he was found not guilty of all charges that he indecently assaulted four women during a Melbourne stage show, reports The Age’s Adam Cooper.

His lead barrister, Stuart Littlemore, QC, smiled as the acquittals were read out.

McLachlan, 55, sat with partner Vanessa Scammell in a Sydney hotel as they watched a video link of magistrate Belinda Wallington delivering her verdicts from Melbourne Magistrates Court.

Several hours later, McLachlan, with Scammell at his side, emerged from the hotel and said they would speak in detail early next year.

“As you can imagine we have a lot to say,” he said. “We have maintained a dignified and respectful silence for the past almost three years and put our trust in the law. And here we are today.”

McLachlan praised Littlemore for his “exceptional captaincy, extraordinary energy and humanity”, and thanked the rest of his legal team.

“But for now, Christmas is upon us. Go and enjoy Christmas with your families. We’re going to this year. Stay safe, be kind to each other, we’ll see you in the new year,” he said.

[Read more]

Rocky horror ride over for vindicated star Craig McLachlan

Craig McLachlan will resume a $6.5m defamation case against Nine newspapers and the ABC over “false allegations of sexual misconduct”, as Australia’s commercial TV channels prepare to do battle for the actor’s first post-acquittal interview, reports The Australian’s Kieran Gair.

The Gold Logie-winning actor, famous for his roles in Home and Away and Neighbours, was acquitted on Tuesday of seven counts of indecent assault and six counts of common law assault against four women during a 2014 production of The Rocky Horror Show.

With partner Vanessa Scammell at his side, a visibly relieved McLachlan all but confirmed on Tuesday what many had long suspected – a forthcoming tell-all interview with the highest bidder.

Industry sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said McLachlan could net as much as $200,000 for his first television interview next year.

Meanwhile, McLachlan’s lawyer, Mark O’Brien, confirmed the actor would also be seeking aggravated damages for “false allegations” made by his former Rocky Horror co-star Christie Whelan Browne and published in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and by the ABC.

[Read more]

The Australian: Generation next upholds grand journalism tradition

Defying gloomy predictions for the future of journalism, The Australian is again upholding the great newspaper tradition of hiring cadets — five young men and women brimming with enthusiasm and eager to make their mark at the national daily, reports the paper’s Stephen Rice.

Rhiannon Down and Nicholas Jensen join The Australian from Victoria, Ellie Dudley and Jess Malcolm from NSW and Joseph Lam from Queensland, all chosen from a national search that prompted hundreds of applications.

The Australian’s editor-in-chief Christopher Dore said it was always exciting to welcome new young journalists to The Australian, having started at the newspaper himself as a cadet. “There are so many of us here in senior positions, including editor Michelle Gunn, who started out as young reporters on The Australian and have forged impressive careers in journalism.”

[Read more]

Ita Buttrose needs to show us respect by changing ‘smug and boring’ ABC

Janet Albrechtsen, a former ABC board member and columnist with The Australian, writes about the broadcaster and its chair:

The now infamous Four Corners program that [Ita] watched before it aired is a symbol of the worsening bias and declining standards of ABC journalism. Aunty’s open invitation to Malcolm Turnbull and Kevin Rudd to diss on the Morrison government and the Murdoch press whenever they want has turned the ABC into a joke.

I want to believe that ABC veteran Barrie Cassidy was smoking weed when he said it would be “dangerous” for the ABC to recruit more conservatives to panel shows to satisfy cultural diversity. But the man was stone cold serious. Conservatives’ voices are not just ignored, they are treated as morally repugnant. Just as many sections of the left have hardened their views against intellectual diversity, so has the ABC. This public and flagrant wrecking of democratic traditions should not be funded by taxpayers.

[Read more]


David Wiltshire to lead Grant Broadcaster’s River 94.9 Ipswic

Grant Broadcasters has appointed David Wiltshire (pictured) as general manager at River 94.9 Ipswich.

Wiltshire will bring more than three decades of media experience in senior positions at ARN, News Corp and SCA across both content and sales. He also brings a wealth of regional knowledge to the Grant Broadcasters family and says he is looking forward to joining the successful team at River 94.9.

“I’m excited to be given the opportunity to lead the passionate, professional team at River 94.9 and looking forward to continuing the great work they have achieved for clients, listeners and Ipswich’s growing market. I love the station’s commitment to local content, local sales and the community. The talented staff are really showing the way by being the leaders in local content for the region.”

State manager for Queensland and NT Matt Chapman said he was very impressed with Wiltshire’s background and knowledge of the industry: “I am really looking forward to working with David in 2021 and no doubt he will bring a wealth of experience and expertise to this exceptional team.”

Wiltshire will start the role early in 2021.


The Voice: New 2021 judges Keith Urban, Jessica Mauboy, Rita Ora

Boy George, Delta Goodrem and Kelly Rowland are out while Guy Sebastian is back in the fold.

After months of speculation as to who will be on the new look coaching panel as Channel 7 revamps the reality singing show, News Corp’s Jonathon Moran reports the network has brought in three new judges to freshen the format.

Joining Sebastian is British pop superstar Rita Ora, as well as hitmakers Jessica Mauboy and Keith Urban, who was a judge on the first season back in 2011.

“The stars have finally aligned again,” Urban said. “Ten years after spinning in the first season, and just before getting back on stage around the world, I’ve been invited back alongside a very cool and musically diverse panel.”

Anywhere singer Ora has been a coach on The Voice in the UK, as well as The X Factor there.

“I love The Voice and I absolutely adore Australia so this is a match made in heaven,” she said.

Seven boss James Warburton has promised the 2021 season will be “all killer, no filler” with a shortened, punchier season.

[Read more]

Sports Media

Termination, damages on the cards: Seven’s push for better cricket deal

Seven Network’s legal push to secure a better broadcast deal with Cricket Australia will be heard in the Federal Court in mid-March, and could lead to damages or the termination of its $450m deal, reports The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich.

After a brief first case management hearing by Justice Paul Anastassiou on Tuesday morning, involving Seven and Cricket Australia lawyers, David Thomas SC and Jefferey Gleeson QC, respectively, the judge set down March 15 for pre discovery action to start.

Seven’s move to start proceedings under order 15A in the Federal Court is a first step but could – if successful – lead to the seeking of damages or even potentially result in the termination of Seven’s $450m deal.

[Read more]

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