Tuesday February 18, 2020

Seven West Media releases interim financial results

Seven West Media has reported a statutory loss after income tax of $67.0 million on total revenue of $773.3 million. 

Underlying net profit after tax was $69.3 million, down 22.5 percent on the previous year. EBITDA of $136.6 million and EBIT of $119.7 million were down 20.1 percent and 20.8 percent respectively versus the prior corresponding period.

Seven West Media reconfirmed the strategy to transform the group into an agile, content led organisation but claimed a difficult operating environment with challenging advertising market conditions contributed to the decline in financial performance.

Seven West Media managing director and chief executive James Warburton said: “Over the last six months, we have executed on a number of major strategic initiatives, including the investment in our new content strategy for our primetime entertainment schedule which commences in April; a major re-organization and cost out plan delivering $45 million of gross savings; the divestment of Redwave; and proposed sale of Pacific Magazines.

“The ACCC’s decision on Pacific Magazines is due in April 2020. We continue to work with the ACCC to address their concerns. While management was disappointed that certain stakeholders blocked the Prime Media merger, we have secured a strategic stake of 14.9%. Working down debt remains a key priority with a number of initiatives underway.

“In Television, the Seven Network was the number one free to air network by revenue share, increasing its share 0.4% pts to 38.8% in 1H20.”

Seven’s digital offerings continue to rapidly scale, with revenue growth of 58 percent and EBIT growth of 205 percent in 1H20 compared to the prior corresponding period. In the 2019 calendar year, BVOD consumption on 7plus grew 33 percent.

The value of Seven West Ventures portfolio also grew 27 per cent to $103 million year on year.

Seven West Media reported delivered revenue of $772.4 million (excluding share of associates), down 3.2 percent on the prior period, and claimed that this was driven by ongoing weakness in the broader advertising market.

Excluding significant items, total Group costs (including depreciation and amortisation) for the 6 months to 28 December 2019 increased 0.9 percent to $653.6 million, with cost savings in The West and Pacific being offset by cost growth attributable to one-off events, investment in Seven Digital, third party productions and the consolidation of 7Beyond and Community News Group.

Excluding the consolidation of 7Beyond, Seven’s costs were broadly flat, with The West and Pacific recording cost reductions of 11.0 percent and 9.0 percent respectively.

Significant items of $165.5m before tax related to the impairment of the television license, onerous provisions and impairment of assets against content and other items.

FY20 Trading update and strategic priorities:
• Trading conditions have remained consistent with the first half
• Subject to market conditions and improved ratings, Underlying EBIT expected to be
between $165m to $175m
• Expect BVOD market to grow over 30% in FY20
• New cost-out program targeting a further $20m for execution in 2H20 for benefit in FY21
• Closure on Pacific sale
• Strategic reviews of undervalued/surplus assets following inbound enquiries

James Warburton said: “We will continue to be creative and apply entrepreneurial thinking. My mandate is to dramatically change the business which means transformative M&A opportunities are very much on the agenda.

“I believe we have the team, the platform and the strategy to transform and grow this business to increase shareholder value.”

Other news:
• Seven West Media confirmed that 7News increased its position as Australia’s most watched news service in 2019, growing viewing share in every market.
• Seven’s boasted that its AFL audience for the 2019 season increased by 3 percent and Test cricket went up 12.5%. The network also confirmed thet they were in discussions with Cricket Australia to review the Big Bash season and product moving forward.
• Seven’s claimed that is content led growth strategy will invigorate its entertainment schedule in Q4 of FY20 with several well established, and new franchises during prime time.
• Trends in Pacific Magazines remained consistent with prior periods.
• Revenue growth in the BVOD market accelerated in the July to December period, increasing 42 percent year on year.
The West launched its paywall in the period which is tracking ahead of expectations, delivered $7 million of cost savings and completed the integration of Community News Group.

Rod Prosser
ViacomCBS ends sales partnership with Foxtel & merges sales team with Network 10

ViacomCBS Networks Australia and Foxtel Media have announced their advertising representation partnership will be concluding in mid-April. 

Foxtel Media has represented MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., MTV Music and MTV Dance branded subscription television channels and digital platforms in Australia since July 2014 initially as MCN before rebranding last year as Foxtel Media.

 The two companies will collaborate on a disengagement process, with business continuing as usual during the transition period.

Ben Richardson, General Manager and SVP of ViacomCBS Pay Networks said: “Foxtel Media have been great advocates of the ViacomCBS subscription channels over the past five years and I’d like to thank them for their partnership and commitment over this time.”

Foxtel Media CEO Mark Frain said: “We have enjoyed a successful sales partnership with ViacomCBS over the years and wish them only the very best in their future efforts.”

Following this announcement ViacomCBS Networks International announced the merger of its Australian sales teams, including Network 10, the ViacomCBS subscription brands MTV, MTV Dance, MTV Music, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., and their related digital and event properties, effective mid-April once the agreement with Foxtel Media comes to an end.

The merged sales team will be led by Rod Prosser who becomes chief sales officer, Network 10 and ViacomCBS. ViacomCBS’ senior director ad sales & brand partnerships Australia & New Zealand Vanessa Winley will report to Prosser, joining his leadership team.

ViacomCBS’ executive vice president Australia and New Zealand Paul Anderson said: “Today’s announcement is a great step in realising the benefits of merging the ViacomCBS businesses in Australia and New Zealand.

“By aligning the sales strategy across our free-to-air and subscription TV brands, we are in the best possible position to monetise the power of our great assets.”

Prosser said: “The ViacomCBS subscription brands including MTV, Nickelodeon and Nick Jr., have incredibly strong, young and loyal audiences. When you combine these brands with the strengths of Network 10’s brands and platforms, the collective offering will engage every age and every stage under 50.

“Together, we have brands, shows and events that share a sense of irreverence, a passion to immerse, inspire and engage through moments that define popular culture.”

The merged sales team will see one team represent some of Australia’s most loved brands such as MasterChef Australia, Australian Survivor, The Bachelor Australia, The Bachelorette Australia, Bachelor In Paradise, SpongeBob SquarePants, Henry Danger, PAW Patrol, Ridiculousness, Geordie Shore, Teen Mom and The Veronicas: Blood is for Life, plus branded live events. 

Mediaweek on location: The Crown series four in New York (sort of)

By James Manning

• SVOD platforms Netflix and Stan on the prowl for drama originals

Amongst the TV buyers looking over the productions on offer from British production houses in the past week in Liverpool and London have been buyers from streaming platforms. From Stan to Netflix, and FTA broadcasters from around the world , brands looking for TV content sat in darkened cinemas looking at previews and hearing pitches, as well as taking separate meetings to initiative or close deals.

While platforms like Stan and Netflix are in the market to acquire third-party product, they are also keen to get in early to commission originals for their platform.

While Stan is only interested in Australian rights, Netflix will gobble up rights for as many markets as it can.

After the success of its local commissions – from No Activity and Wolf Creek to the more recent The Gloaming and The Commons – Stan has been in the market looking for more opportunities.

One just announced last week in London and Sydney was a commission from BBC One and Stan from the British writing duo Harry and Jack Williams’ – the drama The Tourist.

The series is produced by award-winning production company Two Brothers Pictures (also the home of Baptiste, The Missing, Liar) in association with Stan plus Highview Productions; all3media international and the South Australian Film Corporation.

The storyline sounds not unlike Stan’s Wolf Creek – in the glowing red heart of the Australian outback, a British man is pursued by a vast tank truck trying to drive him off the road. An epic cat and mouse chase unfolds and the man later wakes in hospital, hurt, but somehow alive.

The six-episode series does cover a broader canvas than the outback with twists and turns not just in Australia, but also in Singapore and on the beaches of Bali.

See also:
New major co-pro revealed from Stan and Fleabag producers
Australian SVOD platform returns to the outback in new series

The world’s biggest commissioner of content as present is Netflix. Currently filming in the UK is the latest season of the drama tracking the rule of Queen Elizabeth II from her ascension to the throne to the present day.

The producers are currently filming season four of The Crown and for the last two weekends have been filming Princess Diana in scenes set in London and New York.

Scenes of Diana Spencer on the streets of London being pursued by paparazzi were actually filmed in the streets on London with extras wearing 80s outfits as they dodged 1980s model cars.

The scenes in New York were actually filmed in Manchester. Mediaweek was lucky enough to have a ringside seat to scenes that recreated Princess Diana’s 1989 solo visit to New York, where her Royal Highness visited a homeless shelter.

Stevenson Square in Manchester’s Northern Quarter was turned into what looked like a very authentic New York street scene complete with a subway station, yellow cabs, and New York style traffic lights. The attention to detail even included New York newspapers in vending machines, bill posters for New York events and shop signage for 80s retailers.

One street in the suburb was blocked off for local traffic and a growing crowd of onlookers as word spread the Princess was in town.

Making one of her first public appearances as perhaps the most-anticipated character yet in The Crown was actress Emma Corrin as Diana.

Emma Corrin in a photo call from a previous drama Pennyworth

While Mediaweek had a great seat for the action, we weren’t able to get a decent picture of Corrin. Between scenes the series producers surrounded the actress with assistants wielding umbrellas.

The current series of The Crown in production will be the penultimate for the show after creator Peter Morgan revealed recently there would now be just five seasons after initially planning six.

Morgan explained last month: “I had imagined The Crown running for six seasons…but it has become clear to me that [season five] is the perfect time and place to stop.”

Some sceptics think the series might be losing its momentum with audiences. The Crown failed to make the top 10 shows on Netflix in the UK in 2019.

After season two of The Crown screened, a British audience of around 7m was estimated. The director general of the BBC, Tony Hall, later mocked the figures, pointing out many of their dramas reached much bigger audiences. For example, The Bodyguard, which had an initial broadcast audience of 17m for its final episode.

However, Netflix has denied any drop off for audiences globally for The Crown. In January the SVOD platform claimed a global audience of 73m households have watched The Crown since it launched in 2016.

Netflix content boss Ted Sarandos explained the drama’s popularity grows each season and that for the third season, 21m homes globally were watching in the four weeks following its release.

Top Photo: On location with The Crown in New York aka Manchester

Good Weekend continues to deliver premium content to the masses

By Claudia Siron

Good Weekend is the longest-running, well-read newspaper inserted magazine in the country – found inside The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

The lift-out has close to a million readers who’ve received quality content on weekends for more than three decades. The editor of the weekly title Katrina Strickland spoke to Mediaweek about what content receives the strongest reception, recent highlights for the brand, and plans for a podcast launching next month.

Strickland explained how they write definitive stories on the people, places and issues that matter to Australians. “These longform features are the heart and soul of the magazine,” said Strickland. “Augmenting them are humourous shorter columns by the likes of Danny Katz, Benjamin Law, Amelia Lester and Paul Connolly; recipes and reviews to help readers decide what to cook and where to eat out on the weekend; tips on how to style your home and plan your next holiday; and our two most-loved columns, The Two of Us and The Quiz.”

Strickland said Good Weekend’s readers love stories that go to the heart of who we are as Australians, how we live and where we’re going. She said they can be profiles or trend stories, great sagas or huge injustices. They can be serious, funny or heart-wrenching. 

The ones that get the greatest response tend to be stories in which the people featured have been through something significant – so there’s a compelling story trajectory, a lot of human emotion, and lessons or life changes out of it. Our readers also love a really strong political profile.

Good Weekend has an almost even male/female split among readers. Strickland said: “The majority are A/B social demographic, about 64% are tertiary educated and their household income is 28% higher than the average Australian household. It’s a mass market magazine with a premium readership, a rarity in the market.”

Strickland shared some of the brand’s recent highlights. On the Australia Day weekend, they did a 16-page bushfires wraparound which featured the best photographs The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age photojournalists had taken of the bushfires. “This was conceived and put together in little more than a week, against a very tight deadline. The photographs in the wrap, and many others, were then sold through Nine’s The Store, with profits going to the rural fire services of Victoria and NSW, and WIRES. The wrap received an incredible response, with some readers buying multiple copies of the magazine, others sending copies to friends and family overseas, and one reader buying a copy of every single photo in the wrap.

Strickland also highlighed the number of journalism awards the magazine’s writers have won over the past year. “Melissa Fyfe for her story on the Melbourne doctor who mapped the clitoris; Tim Elliott for stories on smoking’s new frontier, the anti-vaxxer movement and the Wentworth by-election; Amanda Hooton for stories on the vaginal mesh disaster and on the banking royal commission; Konrad Marshall for a series of profiles on sports people; and Mick Barnes for his moving piece on life in a retirement home. These awards underline the quality of writers in our stable, and their ability to pick topics that resonate.”

Strickland said the brand plans to launch Good Weekend Talks in March. “For this weekly podcast a feature story from the magazine will be read out loud, followed by a Q&A style conversation between myself, the writer of the story and another expert in the field.” Strickland revealed they hope to augment this with live events, also staged under the Good Weekend Talks banner, throughout the year.

 “Another plan we are working towards is doing The Quiz Live events in both Sydney and Melbourne. We will also launch 52 Best Wineries mid-year, a list of the best wineries across Australia and New Zealand by respected wine writer Huon Hooke and his team at The Real Review. But most importantly – in terms of plans for 2020 – our main focus will remain on publishing quality features that get Australia talking.”

Top Photo: Katrina Strickland, editor of Good Weekend

Why ARN extended radio contract with KIIS 101.1’s Jase & PJ

ARN announced this week it had extended the contracts for Melbourne’s KIIS 101.1’s breakfast show hosts Jason ‘Jase’ Hawkins & Polly ‘PJ’ Harding.

Jase & PJ in the Morning launched in Melbourne in 2018 as part of ARN’s strategic direction for KIIS 101.1.

Despite disappointing recent ratings, ARN is forecasting “growth and strength for the station” and the wider KIIS network. ARN has launched a new marketing campaign for Jase & PJ with the positioning ‘They’re always up to something’ aimed at capturing the energy of the show.

The announcement comes off the back of the recent re-signing of four of ARN’s top-rating breakfast shows – Sydney’s KIIS 1065’s The Kyle & Jackie O Show and WSFM’s Jonesy & Amanda in the Morning, Melbourne’s Gold 104.3’s The Christian O’Connell Breakfast Show and Brisbane’s 97.3FM’s Robin, Terry & Bob, continuing the investment in its suite of talent.

Jase and PJ aren’t yet in the same league as the above mentioned ARN stars along the east coast. However Hawkins could well be if he didn’t depart Australian radio for a few years in New Zealand.

With a little bit more support from previous employers, Hawkins could be one of the highest-rating broadcasters in Australia.

Hawkins made his name in radio as part of the extended Kyle and Jackie O team during their heyday at 2Day FM. Some of the radio pranks he and Geoff Field were put through are one of the reasons K&J built a huge audience.

Hawkins later left the show and got a drive slot on 2Day FM and eventually had to hand over his top-rating shift to Hamish and Andy when SCA decided to network Hamish and Andy around Australia in drive. (Not a stupid decision, to be sure!) He later moved to breakfast radio in Brisbane on the successful Labby, Stav & Abby show at B105.

After some strong growth earlier last year, ARN are hopeful they can get momentum back to the underperforming FM frequency. There was really no choice for ARN other than to re-sign the talented KIIS Melbourne duo. Plan B for the KIIS network in Melbourne is to make plan A work. And with Jase and PJ they should be able to.

Listeners to the station get some real insights into the lives of the breakfast hosts to the extent you can almost feel like an intruder at times.

The Monday Jase & PJ podcast extra that went out this week had an insight into their Friday team lunch which just so happened to coincide with their re-signing.

A few minutes into the podcast you start to wonder, ‘Did this really go to air?’ No it didn’t, but maybe it should have!

Of the Melbourne re-signing, ARN CEO Ciaran Davis said: “ARN has secured our top talent right across the network until 2022 and beyond. Live and local content delivered by trusted on-air talent is more important now than ever and we’re delighted that Jase & PJ will continue in Melbourne as part of ARN’s strong offering in that market. Jase & PJ create excellent, engaging content and they consistently execute innovative client campaigns that resonate with audiences across on-air, digital, and on-demand.”

ARN’s national content director Duncan Campbell added: “Jase & PJ  have a genuine friendship and on-air chemistry that makes for great radio. They have consistently delivered exceptional content and their loyal audiences love them and I’m excited to see them continue to build momentum in breakfast this year and beyond. They’re a critical part of ARN’s plans for the future and are great examples of the strength of our talent across the network.”

On continuing with KIIS 101.1, Jason ‘Jase’ Hawkins said: “I’m so stoked to have the opportunity to continue this crazy adventure with a best mate and with everyone who listens to the show through 2020 and beyond. Every morning is mayhem and you never know what PJ is going to say next, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Polly ‘PJ’ Harding added: “Our listeners are awesome and I’m so excited Jase and I can keep doing the show we love in Melbourne. We’ve got heaps of fun stuff planned and can’t wait to share what’s coming next!”

Krempelwood announce $19 million Australian programme initiative

UK independent programme financier Krempelwood has launched a $19 million programme funding initiative for Australian broadcasters and producers, extending into Australia for the first time. 

Krempelwood was founded in 2008 by Blair Krempel and Mark Wood.  Initially a branded content agency for production companies, the business enjoyed many successful broadcast and online commissions before evolving into the programme finance business it is today.

The company works with leading media buying companies to provide additional revenues in order to fund returnable series with international tape and format sales potential.

Blair Krempel, Director and Co-Founder, Krempelwood, said: “We have successfully financed 40 shows in just four years, helping UK broadcasters and producers meet their creative ambitions through access to new money.  Our model puts the creative idea first – we are programme-led rather than deal-led. Krempelwood funds ambitious ideas with domestic and international appeal, those which will help broadcasters punch above their weight and reach their programming ambitions. Australia is one of the most prolific producers of high-quality content in the world, so we are delighted to be launching this initiative.”

As independent brokers, Krempelwood’s discussions start with a programme that a broadcaster would like to commission. Subject to agreeing to principles with the producer, they then access the relevant finance to fully fund productions to allow that project to go ahead.

Mark Wood, Director and Co-Founder, Krempelwood, said: “We are a solution to a problem first and foremost; we start with a programme idea, then look for the right deal. If the creative idea is right, the rest will follow. That’s why our discussions start with what the broadcaster wants to commission but, because of a financial shortfall, cannot.  We want people to come to us with those scenarios.”

Krempelwood’s recent projects include Eight Days That Made Rome (produced by October Films for Channel 5 and broadcast internationally by Smithsonian Channel); Jo Frost On Britain’s Killer Kids (produced by Woodcut Media for A+E Networks Crime + Investigation; One Night With My Ex (produced by Twofour for Channel 5); and Inside Hotel Chocolat (produced by BBC Studios for Channel 5). They have also co-produced programming in the UK for Nickelodeon, MTV, History Channel, Discovery Channels, Sky One, Sky Sports and Sky Arts.

HuffPost announces ‘Proud Out Loud’ for Mardi Gras and Pride Month

HuffPost Australia has launched ‘Proud Out Loud’, a series celebrating the stories of influential change-makers within the LGBTQ community as part of Pride month and the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival celebrations.

The series showcases five Australian identities alongside global figures from the UK, India, Canada and beyond. In line with the official Mardi Gras theme, they reveal what matters most to them through harrowing, funny and relatable personal experiences of identity.

Profiled in the series is local Aboriginal drag artist and curator of Koori Gras: Blak Nulla, Nana Miss Koori, gay rapper and saxophonist of Kenyan and Sri Lankan Tamil heritage JamarzOnMarz, Trans activist Holly Conroy, non-binary Transgender woman Chloe London AKA Sunday Best, and S.Q.U.A.D (STRONG. QUEER. UNITED. AMAZING. DIVAS) a non-binary Aussie performance group of WAAPA graduates who are taking the London drag scene by storm. 

Holly Conroy

HuffPost Australia has teamed up with the Verizon Media Studio team for the first time ever to create an original mini-documentary, ‘Coming Out Stories’ that dives deeper into Australian journeys of identity and coming out, told through personal accounts. 


Carly Williams, Senior Editor at HuffPost Australia said: “HuffPost Australia is incredibly proud to be providing a platform for the LGBTQ community to share their stories. ‘Proud Out Loud’ fits into our wider editorial plan to create content that focuses on cutting-edge, people-first narratives within the themes of sustainability, identity and life.

“‘Proud Out Loud’ is a testament to the types of stories we want to share, of people who are inspirational advocates for change and are making waves. This year we’re excited to be launching more content around International Women’s Day, Harmony Day, NAIDOC Week and Drag Expo to name a few.”

Producer/Director: Carly Williams, Senior Editor (HuffPost)
Editor/Camera: Sam Lax, Video Producer (Verizon Media)
Consulting Producer : Elly Westaway, Social Media Producer (Verizon Media)

Top Photo: Nana Miss Koori

MAFS recap & ratings: Experiment is too much for mum-of-two Poppy

In the tenth episode of Nine‘s Married at First Sight, the 10 couples commenced the next phase of the TV experiment: intimacy week. 

Living under the same roof, Hayely and David were finally sailing smooth seas by engaging in playful activities to test their intimacy levels. Who knew these two could get along again after last week’s rough patch during the honeymoon period and notorious dinner party?

Hayley and David (credit: 9Now)

Over in Tash and Amanda‘s apartment, poor communication continued to be their major fault. After Tash walked off during a heated (one-sided) argument, she moved into a different apartment. After separately speaking to their closest friends in the social experiment, they decided to seek help from John Aiken who told them “good listening comes from good speaking”.

At Connie and Jonethen‘s place, the new bride believed she was still fighting for her hubby’s attention, as his first love is his mobile phone. She decided for their first exercise during intimacy week would be writing each other letters, which definitely pushed Jonethen out of his comfort zone. 

Connie and Jonethen (credit: 9Now)

Stacey and Michael are still in their puppy love phase – or in other words, Michael is completely infatuated with his new wife. He created a ‘fun’ activity to push Stacey’s boundaries in intimacy week: forcing her to go out in public with all of her make up removed and hair styled by her goofball husband. “You’re sleeping on the couch tonight,” she said to him. I personally don’t see how this is intimate, it just sounds like a game of ‘truth or dare’. It somehow worked though, as she quietly laughed (probably mortified, even though she didn’t have to be) and told Michael he didn’t have to sleep on the couch anymore.

However, things did turn sour for the couple. Stacey told producers the next morning that Michael came home drunk that night and said horrible things to her – a repeat of the first night of their honeymoon.

Stacey (credit: 9Now)

At Poppy and Luke‘s, the new groom stayed positive and tried his best to find out who the real Poppy is. Unfortunately, Poppy was still ‘not being herself’ and couldn’t shake off the feeling of missing her baby boys. Due to this, she left the experiment which meant Luke had to leave as well.

Married at First Sight returns tonight at 7:30 pm on Nine and 9Now.


Top photo: 9Now

Box Office: Sonic the Hedgehog races to #1 with $3.87m

By Trent Thomas

Despite the production issues that it has faced including major delays due to negative fan reactions to the main character’s design, Sonic the Hedgehog has enjoyed a good first week of release finishing #1 with close to $4m in revenue.

It was a busy week for new releases with two other films joining the top five in Emma and Fantasy Island which entered at #4 and #5 respectively in their first week of release.

The films to drop out of the top five were Bad Boys for Life which has made $17.59m over five weeks and the war film Midway making $2.96m over the last three weeks.

Off the back of the Academy Awards, a few films have seen an uptick including the winner for Best Picture- Parasite which went from #15 to #7 making $749,072 which is 34 weeks after its first week of release. 

Overall, the Australian box office has increased by 10% on the prior weekend making $14.77m.

#1 Sonic the Hedgehog $3.87m

The famous video game character has found his way to the big screen opposite antagonist Doctor Robotnik played by Jim Carey as the film averaged $10,626 on 365 screens.



#2 Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) $2.59m

In its second week of release, the DC film drops to #2 at the Australian box office but has still managed to make over $2m as it only declines by 33% on its previous weekends total. The film averaged $8,213 on 316 screens as it has brought its total to $7.93m.



#3 1917 $1.20m

After six weeks the film is still performing strongly with the Golden Globe winners total sitting at $20.60m. This past weekend the Sam Mendes directed film declined only 23% as it averaged $3,889 on 310 screens.



#4 Emma $1.07m

The film based on the 1815 novel of the same name by Jane Austen has made it into the top five in its first week of release after averaging $3,551 on 302 screens.



#5 Fantasy Island $1m

The horror film based on 1977 television series of the same name has brought a TV classic back to life and it finds itself in the top five this week. The film averaged $4,616 on 217 screens.


TV Ratings: February 17

By Trent Thomas

• MAFS ranks No. 1 again in all major markets
• 613,000 tune in for Australian Survivor:  All Stars blind side
• MKR improves enough to get over 500,000 hump

Married at First Sight continues to be a TV ratings powerhouse for Nine with the show yet to fall under 1 million metro viewers in 2020. Last night was no different with 1,091,000 tuning in to see the first night of intimacy week, as Poppy and Luke were the first couple to call it quits.

MAFS 7:30 pm slot domination helped Nine to another strong overall night with the top primary channel share of 23.0% and the top network share of 29.7%. The network was also helped by the strong performance of A Current Affair which had 749,000 metro viewers.

Seven will be glad to see an uptick in viewers for MKR: The Rivals which got over 500,000 metro viewers which is an increase from last Monday’s performance of 439,000. This was the first episode of the week due to the Fire Fight Australia concert airing on Seven Sunday night.

The top rated non-news show for Seven was Home and Away which had 600,000 viewers, the channel also had the top news bulletin last night with 974,000. Seven finished second in both primary (17.9%) and network shares (26.0%)

Ten has continued its steady 7:30 pm performance once again falling behind MAFS but comfortably topping MKR producing 613,000 metro viewers and yet another classic Survivor blindside which is becoming a common occurance of this All Stars Season. The episode also had the biggest 25 to 54 audience of the year. 

The Project also performed well for 10 last night with 509,000 viewers tuning in before Australian Survivor.

The ABC had a very strong night almost nabbing the second best primary share of the night with 16.4%. This was thanks to its strong top 10 line up of:

• Four Corners 774,000
• Australian Story 725,000
• ABC News 704,000
• Media Watch 689,000

SBS had a 3.3% primary share and a 6.2% network share with Planet Expedition and Michael Mosley: Trust Me, I’m a Doctor featuring in its prime time slot.

Week 8 TV: Monday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 16.4% 7 17.9% 9 23.0% 10  12.4% SBS One 3.3%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 1.8% 7TWO 3.0% GO! 3.0% 10 Bold 3.4% VICELAND 1.2%
ABC ME 0.5% 7mate 3.7% GEM 2.4% 10 Peach 2.3% Food Net 1.1%
ABC NEWS 1.3% 7flix 1.3% 9Life 1.3%     NITV 0.1%
                SBS World Movies 0.5%
TOTAL 20.0%   26.0%   29.7%   18.1%   6.2%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 14.8% 7 20.5% 9 18.3% WIN 9.2% SBS One 3.4%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 1.7% 7TWO 4.3% GO! 3.7% WIN Bold 3.8% VICELAND 1.2%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 5.0% GEM 4.4% WIN Peach 2.0% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 0.7% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 1.2% 9Life 1.7% Sky News  on WIN 2.1% NITV 0.2%
                SBS Movies 0.0
TOTAL 17.8%   31.1%   28.1%   17.2%   5.8%


88.8% 11.2%
Monday FTA
  1. Married At First Sight Nine 1,091,000
  2. Seven News Seven 974,000
  3. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 965,000
  4. Nine News Nine 870,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 861,000
  6. Four Corners ABC 774,000
  7. A Current Affair Nine 749,000
  8. Australian Story ABC 725,000
  9. ABC News ABC 704,000
  10. Media Watch ABC 689,000
  11. 7.30 ABC 660,000
  12. Australian Survivor: All Stars 10 613,000
  13. Home And Away Seven 600,000
  14. The Chase Australia Seven 567,000
  15. The Project 7pm 10 509,000
  16. My Kitchen Rules: The Rivals Seven 501,000
  17. 9 1 1 Seven 458,000
  18. Hot Seat Nine 444,000
  19. Q+A Le ABC 410,000
  20. The Chase Australia 5pm Seven 374,000
Demo Top 5

16 – 39

  1. Married At First Sight Nine 307,000
  2. Australian Survivor: All Stars 10 207,000
  3. The Project 7pm 10 111,000
  4. Bad Moms Nine 106,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 105,000


18 – 49

  1. Married At First Sight Nine 525,000
  2. Australian Survivor: All Stars 10 348,000
  3. The Project 7pm 10 223,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 219,000
  5. Nine News Nine 215,000


25 – 54

  1. Married At First Sight Nine 582,000
  2. Australian Survivor: All Stars 10 376,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 263,000
  4. A Current Affair Nine 255,000
  5. The Project 7pm 10251,000
Monday Multichannel
  1. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 178,000
  2. Dirty Harry PM 7mate 148,000
  3. Doc Martin PM 7TWO 137,000
  4. Neighbours 10 Peach 133,000
  5. Law & Order: SVU Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 112,000
  6. Under Siege 9GO! 110,000
  7. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 109,000
  8. Bondi Rescue Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 102,000
  9. Dot. PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 101,000
  10. Noddy Toyland Detective PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 99,000
  11. Midsomer Murders 9Gem 96,000
  12. Spicks And Specks ABCKIDS/COMEDY 94,000
  13. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 93,000
  14. Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 91,000
  15. Friends Ep 2 (R) 10 Peach 91,000
  16. Bargain Hunt PM 7TWO 91,000
  17. The Inspector Lynley Mysteries PM 7TWO 91,000
  18. 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown SBS VICELAND 91,000
  19. Peter Rabbit ABCKIDS/COMEDY 90,000
  20. Octonauts PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 90,000
Monday STV
  1. Outlander FOX One 59,000
  2. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 50,000
  3. The SimpsonsFOX8 48,000
  4. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 47,000
  5. Credlin Sky News Live 46,000
  6. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 44,000
  7. Family Guy FOX843,000
  8. The SimpsonsFOX8 41,000
  9. Family Guy FOX841,000
  10. American Dad! FOX8 41,000
  11. Live: NBA All Star Game ESPN 39,000
  12. Kenny On Media Sky News Live 38,000
  13. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 37,000
  14. Last Week Tonight With John Oliver COMEDY CHANNEL 34,000
  15. Fire Fight Australia Highlights FOX8 33,000
  16. American Dad! FOX8 27,000
  17. PML Later Sky News Live 26,000
  18. The SimpsonsFOX8 26,000
  19. The Kenny Report Sky News Live 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

Business of Media

Jessica Mauboy’s shock split confirmed: Shopping for new agent

Frustrated at the direction of her career, Jessica Mauboy has parted ways with her agent of 16 years, reports News Corp’s Briana Domjen.

Confidential can reveal 30-year-old Mauboy has ended her professional relationship with long-time agent David Champion, of Parade Management, and will manage herself while she looks for a replacement.

She has also enlisted publicist Camille Thioulouse and rehired stylist Mikey Ayoubi, who was sidelined following the now infamous Melbourne Cup outfit debacle, and make-up artist Victoria Baron.

Mauboy has been with recording giant Sony Music Australia since her appearance on the reality television show.

A spokesman for Mauboy confirmed the news, saying the split was amicable.

“It has been an amazing 16 years for both Jess and Champo,” the spokeswoman said.

“There is no bad blood between the pair and Jess is so grateful for everything he has done for her, but it was time for Jess to make a change.”

[Read the original]

News Brands

AFP warrants used to raid ABC valid, Federal Court rules

A case over the validity of police warrants used to raid the ABC’s Ultimo headquarters last year has been dismissed by the Federal Court of Australia, reports ABC News’ Jamie McKinnell.

In June, Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers searched ABC computer systems for files linked to a series of 2017 reports known as “The Afghan Files”.

The reports covered allegations of unlawful killings by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan.

The ABC launched a challenge to the validity of the warrant, arguing it was “legally unreasonable” and included search terms which failed to create any meaningful limitation on the scope.

Federal Court Justice Wendy Abraham on Monday morning dismissed the case and ordered the ABC to pay the costs of the other parties.

In a statement, the ABC’s managing director, David Anderson, said the raid was “an attempt to intimidate journalists for doing their jobs”.

“This is at odds with our expectation that we live in an open and transparent society,” he said.

“We are not saying journalists should be above the law, we’re saying the public’s right to know should be a factor that is taken into account — and legitimate journalism should not be criminalised.”

[Read more]

Ruling over AFP raids on ABC exposes problem with secrecy laws

The ABC’s attempt to strike down the legal basis for a police raid on its Sydney newsroom has been rejected by the Federal Court, which has allowed the Australian Federal Police to keep all the material it seized concerning leaks from the Defence department, reports The Australian’s Chris Merritt.

The raid on the ABC – and another on the Canberra home of News Corp Journalist Annika Smethurst – have exposed the Morrison government to pressure to reform government secrecy.

While the ABC has been defeated in the Federal Court, the High Court is yet to rule on a separate challenge by News Corp Australia that seeks to strike down the legal basis for the Smethurst raid.

While the constitutional argument failed before the Federal Court, News Corp’s challenge in the High Court has drawn support from the Australian Human Rights Commission, which has made a submission to the High Court urging it to apply free speech principles in a way that would mean the warrant underpinning the Smethurst raid was invalid.

[Read more]

Peter Greste: ABC judgment danger for democracy & press freedom

On Monday, the Federal Court issued a judgment that I suspect will come to be seen as a pivotal moment – downwards – in the fight to maintain transparency and accountability of the Australian government and its agencies, comments Peter Greste in a column for News Corp.

In its judgment, the court dismissed an application by the ABC, challenging the validity of a search warrant that the AFP used to raid the broadcaster last year. The police went into the ABC’s Ultimo headquarters in May, searching for evidence of the sources to a series of stories known as The Afghan Files, that alleged Australian Special Forces had been involved in the unlawful killing of civilians.

By dismissing the ABC’s case, the Federal Court has also condoned the AFP’s power to march into newsrooms and even a journalist’s home to hunt for evidence of sources.

[Read more]

Press Council Adjudication: Warren Brown cartoon in Daily Telegraph

The Press Council has considered whether its Standards of Practice were breached by the publication of a cartoon by Warren Brown in The Daily Telegraph on 11 February 2019, reports the News Corp news brand in a summary of the Press Council findings.

The edition in which it appeared also had both a main story and an editorial on the Medivac debate.

The cartoon depicted two figures running in a loop around the static figure of Kerryn Phelps, then the Member for the Federal seat of Wentworth.

The figure at the front is a bearded man with a head covering, long tunic and sandals, chasing a female doctor or nurse wearing scrubs trailing a stethoscope and with a mobile phone and medicines being thrown up in the air as she appears to run away.

Phelps is holding a piece of paper with the words “MEDIVAC” written on it. Behind the scene the word “Nauru” appears and above the scene is a speech bubble with the words “Do you mind not doing that until I’ve got the bill passed?”.

The cartoon appeared above an article by an opinion writer headed “Doctoring the system” with the subheading: “A Labor-backed plan would allow activists to effectively end offshore processing”.

The publication said the cartoon must be seen as commentary on major front-page news of the day, which was dominating public political debate in the country.

The publication also said by the nature of their work, cartoonists are also opinion columnists who use images and brief words to summarise public events often with biting satire and political commentary.

The Council considers that to the extent there was substantial offence or prejudice caused it was justified in the public interest.

As such, the Council does not consider that the publication failed to take reasonable steps to avoid causing substantial offence, distress or prejudice, without sufficient justification in the public interest.

Accordingly, the Council concludes that its Standards of Practice were not breached.

[Read more]


Former MAFS star Dean Wells slams the show in explosive interview

Former Married At First Sight contestant Dean Wells lifted the lid on the show that made him famous in an explosive radio interview this morning, claiming that MAFS is “so fake”, reports news.com.au.

Wells spoke to Hot91’s Dave, Sam & Ash yesterday after last night becoming the first celeb eliminated from this season of Dancing With The Stars.

When one of the radio hosts questioned his “star” status, season 5 MAFS contestant Wells shot back: “I was on the highest rating TV show in Australian history, and it somehow ridiculously seemed to be about me and some fake little affair.

MAFS is so fake, it’s so silly. I cannot believe people even watch that show. I’ve never watched it before and I never will, it’s so silly. I thought it was common knowledge.”

Addressing the negative public reaction to his MAFS appearances, Wells said: “I don’t blame anyone for having negative opinions of me. Some of the things I did and said I’m not proud of, but I’d also suggest a good 30 to 40 per cent of it is manipulated. They encourage you to say things … or they just blatantly edit a word from one sentence and put it on the end of another sentence so it’s completely incorrect.”

[Read more]

New woes for George Calombaris after attempt at quick sale dashed

Hopes of a quick sale of leases in George Calombaris’ collapsed food empire being locked down today appear to have been dashed, reports News Corp’s Jeff Whalley.

More than 400 staff are set to remain in limbo as administrators try to find new owners to keep some of the 12 venues open.

Any deals are now expected to be announced by the creditors meeting on Thursday in Melbourne.

The door could still be ajar on several venues with ­buyer interest in Gazi and Jimmy Grants venues.

Calombaris’ MAdE Establishment business last Monday appointed restructuring experts KordaMentha over 12 restaurants as it collapsed into voluntary administration.

There were hopes deals could start being signed by today after feverish negotiations over the weekend.

[Read more]

Neighbours star Jodi Anasta reveals character’s ‘brutal’ exit

Neighbours star Jodi Anasta has revealed her character’s upcoming demise on Ramsay St will be “next level brutal”, reports News Corp’s Nui Te Koha.

Anasta, who plays unpredictable Elly Conway on the popular Network 10 soap, said her character’s departure will shock even its most seasoned viewers.

“I don’t have any say in the way I exit the show, but I’m very, very happy with my exit. It will be next level brutal. I can’t believe I get to do this on television,” she told Confidential.

Anasta said working on Neighbours, and reflecting on her character’s choices, has taught her important life lessons.

“I feel through the arc of my character I’ve learned a lot about myself through watching her make good and poor choices,” Anasta said.

[Read more]


Australian podcast market tipped to tap $47m by end of year

A new study from Deloitte says the Australian podcasting market will grow faster than the rest of the globe, with annual revenue expected to reach almost $50 million by the end of the year, reports SMH’s Zoe Samios.

The 2020 Technology, Media & Telecommunications Predictions study suggests more than 1.6 million Australians are now downloading podcast content, an increase of 70 per cent from 2015.

And while global podcasting revenue is expected to grow by 30 per cent this year, Deloitte predicts Australian revenue will grow by 62 per cent, to $47 million. Deloitte says this is driven by increased supply and demand.

[Read more]

Sports Media

AFL decision: No twilight Grand Final for Seven in 2020

THE AFL Grand Final will remain in a day timeslot this season, reports the AFL’s Damian Barrett.

The decision to commit to a day game was reached by the AFL commission during its first meeting of the year in Melbourne on Monday.

The 2020 Grand Final – to be played Saturday, September 26 – will start at 2.30pm AEST, which has been the case in recent years.

AFL chief executive officer Gillon McLachlan has long advocated a personal preference to stick with tradition and keep the Grand Final away from a twilight or night slot.

It is believed McLachlan recommended to commissioners that tradition be maintained at the meeting.

[Read more]

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