Wednesday February 3, 2021

Holey Moley
Holey Moley: Matt Shirvington on larger than life first season

By Trent Thomas

Seven got into the swing of things on February 1, when Holey Moley launched the network’s first 7:30 tentpole program for 2021.

Holey Moley had 983,000 capital city viewers tune in for the show’s launch making it Seven’s biggest launch in over three years.

Mediaweek caught up with Holey Moley commentator Matt Shirvington to talk about bringing the epic mini-golf format to Australia.

Returning to Seven

It has been a busy seven months for the former Olympian who joined the Sydney news team in July after spending over 12 years at Foxtel.

The move saw Shirvington return to his first home after getting working with the network on Beyond Tomorrow in 2005.

Shirvington described the decision to join the free to air network as a leap of faith from both sides but he is loving life at Seven.

“I had an opportunity in the newsroom and James Warburton (Seven CEO & MD), encouraged me to take the chance to get into the Seven stable and nothing was concrete in regard to anything else.

“When the opportunity came for the chance to do a screen test for Holey Moley and Ultimate Tag I wanted to push myself and get out of my own wheelhouse. These shows were perfect and in particular Holey Moley to use the skills I already had from sports presenting and commentating.”

Signing up for Holey Moley 

Shirvington said that he was excited about the interesting blend of entertainment and sports in Eureka Productions’ Holey Moley which reminded him of some famous formats.

“Initially it reminded me of a couple of shows, one of those being the American series of Wipeout, another one that I watched as a kid was It’s a Knockout, and Takeshi’s Castle a little bit too as well.”

The format is a wild ride and Shirvington said that you just have to embrace it and he hopes he was able to provide value in how he approached the show.

“You tell these people they have to be on fire set, or that they have to walk through a giant windmill, or pushed into a pool, or zipline into a pole. You can’t explain to people what’s going to happen next and those moments speak for themselves.

The thing I was focused on the most was trying to tell the story of the competition and what was happening on the course and then in-between all of that was letting it happen and unfold.

Holey Moley

Filming an epic show during a pandemic

Filming a larger than life show like Holey Moley was always going to be a challenge, but the production team had an even greater challenge when Covid-19 delayed filming and altered plans. Shirvington said the challenges made the season even more fulfilling.

“I am so proud to be a part of this show and I think part of that is because so many people did so many great things to adapt in a world where TV and movie productions were being delayed or cancelled. Everyone really valued the chance to work on something like this and put in a heap of work.

We would get our daily Covid test at 1 pm and once we got all clear we would jump in a car at 5pm and start shooting around the clock and not be back at the hotel till 6:30am. It was long shoot days and after the arduous task of having the full brain scrape Covid test done as well, unfortunately. We were so lucky to go ahead we would have done anything.”

Working with Rob Riggle

Shirvington admitted that he never expected his career to place him next to American comedian Rob Riggle, but they hit it off from the start.

“I learned a lot sitting next to Rob Riggle who is one of the most renowned comics in the world right now, and I was able to learn through osmosis some of the nuances of comedy.

“When we were being fitted for our mustard jackets and after all the pleasantries, he asked me where can I watch the NFL? And I was like, this is perfect, this guy is going to be a good friend and we went straight to the pub and watched the NFL.”

Holey Moley

Holey Moley’s Matt Shirvington and Rob Riggle

Swimming with Sharks

More than one shark appears in Holey Moley with famed Australian golfer Greg Norman serving as the resident golf pro who Shirvington enthused brings a level of credibility to the show.

“Unfortunately I did not get to interact much with Greg who did all of his stuff out of Florida remotely, but for him to be involved in the design of the Holey Moley course is pretty cool. And his interludes with Riggle were awesome as well.”

Holey Moley

Holey Moley TV Ratings

When asked about the premiere episode’s TV ratings, Shirvington admitted that he was waiting with bated breath for the results.

“I think everyone had high hopes for it and I was very nervous, it kind of reminded me of going into competition when I was an athlete myself. The success of the show was due to the work that was put in by the team along with the background of the players and a cross-section of society who just want to have fun and get an insight into real people.”

holey moley

The Back Nine

When asked what the rest of the season has in store after teeing off, Shirvington said that the show has more birdies than bogeys in its future.

“The best is to come for this show. We haven’t seen all the holes yet or the most flamboyant characters. The vast array of backgrounds for this show is phenomenal. And yet to be revealed is Greg Norman’s masterpiece the Tomb of Nefer-Tee-Tee.”

Chefs reveal the right recipe for the new ABC comedy Aftertaste

By James Manning

Erik Thomson and Closer Production’s Matt Batt on creating and casting.

Launching on ABC on February 3 the new half-hour comedy-drama Aftertaste. It tells the story of superstar chef Easton Ellis who returns to Australia in shame after an incident in his Shanghai restaurant that sees him turn on a customer who complained.

Erik Thomson stars with a remarkable cast including Rachel Griffiths.

A new Mediaweek podcast recorded this week features James Manning and Andrew Mercado interviewing actor and producer Erik Thomson and Aftertaste co-creator and co-producer Matt Bate.

Here are some highlights from the podcast.

How Thomson found the Aftertaste producers

Matt Bate: “The producer of the series Rebecca Summerton thrust a piece of paper into my hand and said ‘read this and tell me what you think’.

“Back then it was called Yes Chef from writer Julie De Fina. It made me giggle and laugh because it was so brilliantly written. I grew up in kitchens, my parents are cooks and my brother is a cook.

“I then met Erik who was looking for a production company to partner with.” Thomson is also a producer on the series.”

Thomson: “I also saw the same document and had a similar response. It was beautifully written and very funny. Julie and I had a chat with the network who were also keen before we approached Matt at Closer ProductionsThe original document was quite different from the way the show has ended up. It was a great example of a beautifully executed pitch document to get peoples’ interest and then we developed it further.”

Thomson has had smaller roles in South Australian productions before, but this is his first series shot there. “I asked my agent, who is also Julie’s agent, if they had any writers with projects I could do in South Australia because I wanted to work at home.

Erik Thomson’s ‘bastard chef’ in the kitchen

“The series originally was set in Hobart. That changed very quickly after I said to Julie if she minded if it was set in Adelaide. She said it was fine and it has turned out the perfect place to make it. As it turns out if it had been planned for Hobart it wouldn’t have been made because of Covid restrictions…we were very lucky.”

This is a second series Thomson has helped produce after the Seven series 800 Words which ran for three seasons. “The producers complemented each other well. Rebecca and Matt have known each other and worked together for a long time. I wasn’t working out of the production office with day-to-day duties, that was very much Rebecca and Matt’s place. I was fortunate enough to be involved from the beginning to the end and come in as an outside eye sometimes. Getting the right team on board at the absolute beginning was the secret and we got that with Matt and Rebecca.

Bate noted that the Me Too movement happened during the writing of Aftertaste and they felt they were reporting from the frontline. “We had to acknowledge it and it played into the existing story about the meeting of the young and the old in the new world.”

Playing the bastard chef

Thomson’s character of Easton West, the cranky, angry chef, dominates the series before Diana stands up to him in an intriguing relationship between the veteran and the newcomer. “To emphasise what was happening in the world we had to make Erik’s character into a real bastard,” said Bate.

Thomson: “Easton had to be that man. We wanted to explore how far he would go with power and how he would take advantage of people who really want something.

Erik Thomson working on Aftertaste

Aftertaste: Casting the comedy

The producers have assembled a fantastic cast including Wayne BlairRenny Hii and Rachel Griffiths. Matt: “It goes without saying now that the cast has to be diverse and should represent our society now. It was such a joy to be able to get incredible actors like Renny. And Wayne is just one of the funniest people I have ever met. He is such an amazing actor and we all just fell in love with him. He is an actor who is not afraid to try anything, just amazing.”

But it’s relative newcomer Natalie Abbott that really leaves a lasting impression as she has a role as important as Thomson’s. Abbott is best known for work onstage in Muriel’s Wedding The Musical.

Bate: “We had Erik from the beginning, and we had to find an actor for the crucial role of Diana who plays opposite Erik’s Easton West. It was a real nightmare to find that person and we watched a lot of tapes from a lot of people. Natalie was not our first choice. But when we went back after talking to her about the character, she reinterpreted the role wonderfully and really appeared as Diana. We knew then we had found her, and she got even better as we progressed. She had never worked in film or TV before, but came in like an absolute veteran. She is truly a natural.”

Thomson: “As the storyline became Easton and Diana leading the cast, we all got nervous realising we would need to find someone strong enough to be Diana. Because it was such a big role, we also needed someone who had skills and craft. Natalie is really the most gorgeous person to work with which makes it even better.”

When asked who the lead character might be based on, Thomson said there is one particular chef that comes to mind. He said he was channelling a chef he wouldn’t name for legal reasons. “Let’s call him Gordon.” He explained further: “It is really a pastiche of a lot of people.”

Thomson was able to schedule work on both Aftertaste and Back to the Rafters last year. He hoped to take some time off between the two series, but because of Covid, filming both the ABC comedy-drama and the return of the Rafter family via Amazon Prime took longer than expected. “But it all worked out in the end.”

Listen to the Mediaweek Aftertaste podcast here.

Main photo: Erik Thomson and Natalie Abbott in Aftertaste

Recording the Aftertaste podcast (clockwise from top left): Mediaweek’s Andrew Mercado and James Manning, Erik Thomson, Matt Bate

Kayo Sports
TV deal: How to get Kayo Sports streaming service for just $5 a month

Telstra and Kayo Sports have joined with the winter football codes AFL and NRL with a discount deal that will appeal to many sports fans.

The offer comes just one day before Nine and Kayo will officially launch their new Stan Sports streaming package.

The Telstra headline news is that eligible AFL or NRL Telstra Live Pass customers can qualify for a discount of $20 a month for 12 months on a Kayo Sports subscription. Total annual saving if you want Kayo Sports – $240.

Telstra’s Kim Krogh Andersen, Foxtel’s Patrick Delany, Fox Sports’ Hannah Hollis, Kayo’s Julian Ogrin and NRL’s Andrew Abdo

The fine print on the deal for existing Telstra customers is that they must have had a Telstra AFL or NRL Live Pass prior to December 22 last year. Customers who qualified after December 22, or want to join now to get a deal, will get a smaller discount of $10 a month off the Kayo subscription for 12 months. Still a saving of $120 annually though.

Telstra will no longer stream live coverage of AFL or NRL matches via its Live Pass. The move comes nine years after Telstra launched its Live Pass in 2012 (and on mobile devices in 2014).

At a launch event today, Telstra CEO Andy Penn noted in the past few years the Telstra Live pass around 3m users annually. The AFL Live and NRL Live apps will remain powered by Telstra, and still offer replays, live scores, highlights, statistics and other existing features apart from the live streaming.

The new deal doesn’t impact the existing Live Pass access to the Netball Live Official App or MyFootball Live App.

Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany, who also spoke at the launch event, told Mediaweek that this move would impact significantly on the total Kayo user numbers. Delany also noted how good the 2020/21 summer had been for Foxtel and Kayo with record numbers watching Australia v India cricket tour in T20s, ODIs and Test Matches in record numbers.

The AFL’s CEO Gillon McLachlan and NRL CEO Andrew Abdo also attended the event. McLachlan and Telstra boss Penn were in Melbourne, with Delany and Abdo in Sydney.

Gillon McLachlan and Andy Penn

Delany told Mediaweek: “Some Kayo customers already have Live Pass access, but there is a hell of a lot that don’t. Like a lot of our products, there is some crossover. There are also Kayo customers that take Foxtel. They like the Kayo form factor, and they want to have it even though they could use Foxtel Go.

The opportunity from this Telstra offer is very, very big for new Kayo customers and a fabulous growth opportunity for the platform.

Delany added that in 2021, Foxtel and Kayo will continue to be bold and aggressive. “And this is part of that. It is an extraordinary offer from Telstra to tell its customers that $20 of a $25 fee monthly will be discounted.

The deal for Telstra customers at this stage for the first 12 months only, after which time they will need to decide whether to continue with Kayo at $25 monthly.

The Kayo growth plan comes after what Delany called “a really hard year last year”. He added: “In the March/April period when Covid was upon us and there was no live sport, it hit the company hard and you have seen it in our results. Our ad revenue was hit and our pubs and clubs revenue was hit. Kayo was hit because it was digital and people can just turn it off.

“We have enormous gratitude for Gillon McLachlan and Peter V’Landys for getting their sports back on. Our ad revenue subsequently started to come back and our Kayo. subscribers flooded back.

“In the summer, no one knew if Cricket Australia could pull off those Tests and it’s always difficult getting competition happening. It was a great relief they got it away and the controversy surrounding it helped too. And what a great sports contest it was. Our viewing was up 44% in the Tests and the Big Bash League.”

Delany added he is hoping for a much better 2021, but said the Foxtel Group will retain a very strong focus on cost control.

Top Photo: Telstra CEO Andrew Penn alongside sports stars and current AFL and NRL premiers, Tom Lynch and Bachar Houli (Richmond Tigers – AFL), Jahrome Hughes and Brenko Lee (Melbourne Storm – NRL); Bathurst 1000 winners Mark Winterbottom and David Reynolds (Supercars), and Tayla Harris and Madison Prespakis (Carlton – AFLW)

Independent Media Agencies of Australia
Independent Media Agencies of Australia announces 2021 leadership team

The 2021 Leadership Team has strong national representation, with agencies in Victoria, Queensland, and NSW, and will change each year.

The team includes:

• Angela Smith, Managing Director, MediaSmiths (NSW)
• Steve Fagan, Director, Media Republic (Victoria)
• Jacquie Alley, Chief Operating Officer, The Media Store (NSW)
• Tom Frazer, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Half Dome (Victoria)
• Phil McDonald, Partner and Managing Director, BCM Group (Queensland)
• Ant Colreavy, Chairman, Sandbox Media (NSW).

“The IMAA has had a remarkable first year, attracting more than 50 members nationwide in under a year and several media sponsors, developing an alliance with the world’s largest independent agency network, thenetworkone and hosting an exclusive series of COVID-19 and Insights and Innovations webinars for our members, all during a pandemic!” IMAA General Manager, Sam Buchanan said.

“The new IMAA Leadership Team is a great reflection of our national presence and it’s pleasing to see a range of agencies step up to the team for 2021. It’s going to be another big year for us with several initiatives planned.

“I’d also like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank our inaugural outgoing leaders Dominic PearmanNick BehrDan O’BrienDarren McKenzie, and Ant Colreavy – who is staying on the 2021 leadership team.  Their passion and energy have made the IMAA what it is today.”

The IMAA’s second Pulse Survey of its members showed that independent media agencies are predicting a strong recovery from the effects of COVID-19, forecasting an increase in staff and revenue in 2021. The results revealed that almost 90% of agencies expected to boost their workforce numbers this year, while 31% said they had already financially recovered from the impact of the pandemic.

IMAA Leadership Team

Angela Smith, Managing Director, MediaSmiths

Before founding independent agency MediaSmiths in 2007, Angela had worked on both the agency, broadcast and publishing sides of the media industry so she has an incredible insight into how each world works. Since that time Angela has worked across a number of well-known brands across the whole spectrum of media which she leverages with her experienced wider team to get the very best results for all of her clients.

Steve Fagan, Director, Media Republic

Steve has been a part of the media industry for 32 years working for some of the largest agencies in Australia. Eighteen of those years were working for Harold Mitchell, leading a team that serviced some of the most well-known brands in the country, including ANZ Banking Corp, Australian Defence Force, Australian Electoral Commission, Don Smallgoods, Simplot Australia, Ansell Pharmaceuticals, Yakult, Samsonite and Betfair. In 2012 Steve founded Collaborate Communications, which later rebranded to Media Republic in 2018. As a highly experienced media professional, Steve has built strong relationships with his clients and media, becoming a trusted advisor to many over the years. 

Jacquie Alley, Chief Operating Officer, The Media Store

Jacquie Alley has a passion for people and business development, with a 23 year career at The Media Store. With a thirst for learning, she has a BA (Mass Communications), is a qualified Counsellor, Women & Leadership Australia Alumni and Human Resource Management practitioner.

Currently, she sits on the Advisory Board and is the Chief Operating Officer at TMS focused on supporting a great workplace culture, people development, new business growth, operational excellence, increased efficiencies and client intimacy.

Her love of people extends into her extensive volunteering and paid work experience with youth and domestic violence survivors and she is currently championing TMS’s charity partner – Youth off the Streets.

Tom Frazer, Managing Partner and Commercial Lead, Half Dome

Tom started his career in banking and operations, at the time focusing on high growth Tier 1 clients across Australia. After identifying an opportunity to work with similar companies in their growth phase, the idea for Half Dome was born, and he co-founded the media agency alongside Joe Frazer and Will Harms, who brought with them media strategy and buying experience. Since then, the agency has prided itself on creating an environment where people want to work, and companies want to work with, recently being named the fastest growing media or technology business in Australia in the Deloitte Fast 50.

Independent Media Agencies of Australia

Phil McDonald, Partner and Managing Director, BCM Group.

Phil is as versatile as he is experienced. In his 25 year career he has been a director of strategic planning, a global account lead, and a regional CEO of a multi-national agency network. Today he is one of two partners at integrated media company, BCM Group, one of Australia’s longest running independent agencies.

Independent Media Agencies of Australia

Anthony Colreavy, Chairman, Sandbox Media

Ant has been part of the media industry for 25 years working on both the sales and agency side. Through his various roles he built deep trusted connections with clients and media. This formed his biggest strength – bringing people together and sparked his entrepreneurial spirit. He initially launched the 6DOS company (6 Degrees of Separation) and later went on to be the founder of his agency, Sandbox Media in 2011. 

Independent Media Agencies of Australia

Further information is available from Independent Media Agencies of Australia at:

Ben and Liam
Up in the air: Nova’s Ben & Liam scale new heights with human billboard broadcast

Ben & Liam will be suspended live from a billboard located on Rydges South Park.

In a world radio first*, Nova 919’s Ben & Liam are taking their breakfast show to new heights with a broadcast live from a branded billboard, on top of a building in the Adelaide CBD, on Thursday 4 February.

A crazy idea, years in the making, Ben & Liam said they have always dreamed of doing their show from a billboard and now this is set to become a reality.

Ben & Liam: “We can’t believe we convinced the bosses to give us a billboard to do whatever we want. We thought instead of a picture of us, why not chuck our actual selves on there to give people the authentic experience.

Ben Latimer, Nova 919 head of programming said: “I was a little worried when Ben & Liam came to me wanting creative control of one of our billboards, but I must admit I’m very impressed with the idea they’ve come up with. I can’t believe they’ve actually been able to make this happen and can’t wait to see how it all comes together.”

Taking Nova 919’s Ben & Liam’s marketing campaign to a new level, Tim Kennedy and Melissa Wyness from Adelaide agency MediaNest, have been instrumental in bringing Ben & Liam’s dream to life.

The Rydges South Park has also thrown their support behind the duo, providing the digital billboard on top of their building for the boys to suspend themselves from for the live broadcast.

Tim Kennedy, Managing Director of MediaNest said: “When Ben & Liam came to us with their crazy idea we wanted to do everything we could to make it happen. We pride ourselves on innovative solutions for our clients so it was an opportunity too good to pass up. We’re excited that with the support of the team at Rydges South Park and Nexstage that we could bring the idea to life.”

Ben & Liam will be suspended live from a billboard located on Rydges South Park, corner West and South Terrace. Listen to Nova 919 for all the action on Thursday 4 February from 6am to 9am and follow the progress on Nova’s socials.

Disclaimer – The Human Billboard is, to Ben & Liam’s best knowledge, a world radio first (or so they said)

TV Ratings 2020: Most watched programs of the year- FTA, Multichannel and STV

By Trent Thomas

OzTAM has released the final reports for calendar 2020, incorporating Consolidated 28-day viewing for all of December. 

This is based on the 2020 Calendar year (January- December 2020) as opposed to the 40-week OzTAM survey, so this includes the summer sports schedule and New Years coverage which occurred outside the OzTAM survey periods.

Free to air

The AFL Grand Final was the most watched program in 2020 with 3.016m metro viewers tuning in for the decider between Richmond and Geelong. Coming in second was the NRL grand final between the Penrith Panthers and Melbourne Storm with 2.10m viewers.

The top two non-sport programs last year were both at Nine with The Block‘s winner announcement having 1.83m and Lego Master‘s winner announcement receiving 1.69m viewers. 

The top program from a public broadcaster was the ABC’s coverage of the New Year’s Eve fireworks which had 1.61m.

Nine had the most shows in the top 20 programs of 2020 with 13. 

FTA Top Programs

  1. Seven’s AFL: Grand Final: Richmond V Geelong  Seven  3,016,000
  2. Seven’s AFL: Grand Final: Presentations  Seven  2,294,000
  3. Seven’s AFL: Grand Final: On The Ground  Seven  2,192,000
  4. NRL Grand Final Day -Match  Nine  2,106,000
  5. State Of Origin Rugby League QLD V NSW 3rd -Match  Nine  1,894,000
  6. 2020 Australian Open D8 -Night  Nine  1,874,000
  7. The Block -Winner Announced  Nine  1,838,000
  8. Lego Masters -Winner Announced  Nine  1,692,000
  9. State Of Origin Rugby League NSW V QLD 2nd -Match  Nine  1,658,000
  10. New Year’s Eve 2020: Midnight Fireworks ABC TV  1,614,000
  11. State Of Origin Rugby League QLD V NSW 1st -Match  Nine  1,606,000
  12. MasterChef Australia – The Winner Announced   10  1,592,000
  13. Married At First Sight -Finale  Nine  1,562,000
  14. 2020 Australian Open D14 -Men’s Final  Nine  1,531,000
  15. Seven’s AFL: Grand Final: Pre Match Entertainment  Seven  1,487,000
  16. Lego Masters -Launch  Nine  1,479,000
  17. The Block -Grand Final  Nine  1,470,000
  18. Married At First Sight -The Final Dinner Party  Nine  1,447,000
  19. Lego Masters -Finale  Nine  1,432,000
  20. Melbourne Cup Carnival: Melbourne Cup-Race   10  1,412,000


The ABC’s multichannels were dominate in 2020 led by the coverage of COVID-19 enforced lockdown in Melbourne, and Bluey (which appeared three separate times in the top 20).

The most watched multichannel program by a commercial broadcaster was the Women’s T20 World Cup final which had 545,000 viewers.

Other strong performers were the Australian Open on Gem and the US Election on ABC news.

Multichannel Top Programs

  1. Coronavirus Pandemic: Melb Stage 4 Lockdown  ABC NEWS  580,000
  2. ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 Final Aus V Ind  9Gem  545,000
  3. Bluey  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  530,000
  4. Bluey  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  394,000
  5. ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 Final Aus V Ind -Presentation  9Gem  369,000
  6. 2020 Australian Open D9 -Day -Gem  9Gem  353,000
  7. Kangaroo Beach  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  351,000
  8. USA Votes: Joe Biden Victory Speech  ABC NEWS  326,000
  9. Planet America: USA Votes Special  ABC NEWS  303,000
  10. Seven’s AFL: Tuesday Night Football  7mate  299,000
  11. Peppa Pig: Peppa’s Pumpkin Party  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  297,000
  12. Fire Fight Australia Concert-Multi  7TWO  293,000
  13. Kangaroo Beach  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  293,000
  14. The Snail And The Whale  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  287,000
  15. Bluey  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  284,000
  16. ABC News Special Coverage: Coronavirus Pandemic  ABC NEWS  281,000
  17. USA Votes: Joe Biden Victory Speech Analysis  ABC NEWS  272,000
  18. Seven’s Cricket: First Test – Australia V India D3 S2 Multi  7mate  266,000
  19. The Monster At The End Of This Story  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  261,000
  20. Stick Man  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  254,000



Sport absolutely dominated the subscription TV ratings by taking every spot in the top 20 for last year. The top 13 places went to India’s tour of Australia led by the two sides second T20 game which had 469,000.

Following the cricket, the NRL had the next most-watched event on STV with the preliminary final between the Penrith Panthers and South Sydney Rabbitohs getting 363,000 viewers. 

STV Top Programs

  1. Live: T20: Aus V Ind Game 2  Fox Cricket  469,000
  2. Live: ODI Aus V Ind Game 2  Fox Cricket  456,000
  3. Live: T20: Aus V Ind Game 1  Fox Cricket  452,000
  4. Live: T20: Aus V Ind Game 2  Fox Cricket  448,000
  5. Live: T20 Innings Break  Fox Cricket  416,000
  6. Live: ODI Aus V Ind Game 1  Fox Cricket  404,000
  7. Live: T20 Innings Break  Fox Cricket  398,000
  8. Live: ODI Aus V Ind Game 2  Fox Cricket  393,000
  9. Live: Aus V Ind 2nd Test Day 1  Fox Cricket  392,000
  10. Live: ODI Aus V Ind Game 3  Fox Cricket  388,000
  11. Live: Aus V Ind 1st Test Day 3  Fox Cricket  383,000
  12. Live: T20: Aus V Ind Game 1  Fox Cricket  378,000
  13. Live: Aus V Ind 2nd Test Day 1  Fox Cricket  377,000
  14. Live: NRL: Broncos V Eels  Fox League  371,000
  15. Live: Aus V Ind Test Tea Break  Fox Cricket  367,000
  16. Live: NRL: Pf#2 Panthers V Rabbitohs  Fox League  367,000
  17. Live: NRL: Roosters V Eels  Fox League  363,000
  18. Live: Motorsport: Supercars Bathurst 1000  Fox Sports 506  356,000
  19. Live: NRL: Storm V Raiders  Fox League  355,000
  20. Live: T20: Aus V Ind Game 3  Fox Cricket  354,000
Stan Sport
Stan Sport launches Super Rugby coverage and reveals commentating team

Mike Sneesby on the expanded offering: “This is the start of a new era”

Nick McArdle was the host of a launch event today for the Super Rugby AU season, the first sport coming to the new Stan Sport platform. Nick McArdle co-hosted with Roz Kelly. McArdle joins Stan Sport and Nine’s WWOS from Fox Sports, while Kelly returns to Nine after most-recently working at 10.

Every match of the 2021 Super Rugby competition will be available on Stan Sport, the new home of rugby, and a weekly Super Rugby AU game every Saturday on Nine. Kicking off from February 19th, all games will be presented by a team of hosts and experts and produced by the Wide World of Sports team.

Stan’s recently announced add-on sport package will be the only place to watch every match of the Super Rugby AU, Super Rugby Aotearoa and Trans-Tasman tournament, along with every match of the Rugby Championship, Bledisloe Cup, Shute Shield, Hospital Cup, Currie Cup and New Zealand’s National Provincial Championship, plus Super W, Wallabies and Wallaroos test matches, SANZAAR Union home tests and more for $10 a month. Consumers can pre-activate the sport package now to get a 30-day free trial for a limited time by visiting:

Spearheading the line-up of talent are rugby hosts Kelly and McArdle, both of whom have interviewed the who’s who of the sport, and have experience hosting some of the biggest blockbuster events in the world over their distinguished media careers.

Joining them will be a team of former Wallaby superstars including Tim Horan, Morgan Turinui, Drew Mitchell and Justin Harrison, former All-Black legend Andrew Mehrtens, and former dual-code international star Allana Ferguson to analyse and explain every aspect of the match.

Experienced commentators Sean Maloney and Andrew Swain will be there to call every cunning play, crunching tackle and heart-stopping moment of all the biggest games throughout the year.

Nine’s head of Rugby Murray Shaw said: “I’m extremely proud of the incredibly talented and qualified line-up of talent we have brought together to deliver what will be the most comprehensive rugby coverage seen to date in Australia. We are bringing a fantastic product to rugby fans new and old as we kick off a new era of the game.”

For the first time in the professional era, Super Rugby will be available to a free-to-air audience on Nine, with a game from the competition broadcast each Saturday live on 9Gem. Wallabies test matches played in Australia and New Zealand will also broadcast live on Nine.

jeff bezos
Jeff Bezos announces he’s stepping down as Amazon CEO

Bezos will be leaving the CEO position with a net worth of $US182 billion.

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, has announced that he will be stepping down from his post. Bezos has held the role of CEO ever since he founded the company over 30 years ago. 

In a blog post written by Bezos and published openly, Bezos, 57, said that he is excited to transition to the role of Executive Chair of Amazon in Q3. Taking the CEO position will be the company’s top cloud executive Andy Jassy.

Andy Jassy started working as a marketing manager for Amazon in 1997. In 2003, he founded Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon’s cloud computing offshoot. He worked as senior vice president of AWS, before moving to the position of CEO which he has held ever since.

Bezos has been sure to make it clear that just because he is stepping down from the position does not mean that he’s retiring. 

“As much as I still tap dance into the office, I’m excited about this transition,” he wrote.

“Millions of customers depend on us for our services, and more than a million employees depend on us for their livelihoods. Being the CEO of Amazon is a deep responsibility, and it’s consuming. When you have a responsibility like that, it’s hard to put attention on anything else. As Exec Chair I will stay engaged in important Amazon initiatives but also have the time and energy I need to focus on the Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post, and my other passions. I’ve never had more energy, and this isn’t about retiring. I’m super passionate about the impact I think these organizations can have.”

In 2018, Amazon became the world’s most valuable brand, taking the title away from Google. Jeff Bezos will be leaving the CEO position with a net worth of $US182 billion ($A239 billion), according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index.

TV Demand: WandaVision takes the #1 spot, but only just

By Tess Connery

Currently, there are four episodes of WandaVision available to stream.

WandaVision has been climbing the charts steadily over the last few weeks, but this week has found itself sitting atop both the Overall and Digital Original charts for both Australia and New Zealand. The show has bucked the recent trend of releasing an entire series at once, instead choosing to go back to releasing an episode week by week – very fitting for a show that takes so much inspiration from classic TV. Currently, there are four episodes available to stream, with the ninth and final episode of season one due for release on March 5th. It feels like a safe bet that as more episodes are released, WandaVision will continue its run at the pointy end of the charts.

It’s a good sign for Marvel – WandaVision is the first show from the iconic studio to be released on Disney+, but with three other Marvel shows set to be released goes on, they’ll be hoping that WandaVision’s success is a sign of things to come.

Its biggest competition is The Mandalorian, also streaming on Disney+, which previously hit number one off the back of its second season. WandaVision has only squeaked ahead this week, at 39.2 points difference from the market average, while The Mandalorian came in at 39.0 points.

The bottom half of the top ten is where most of the movement this week is. Last week Grey’s Anatomy sat at fifth in the overall Australian charts but has dropped from the top ten entirely this week. Taking its position is Shameless, which dropped from fourth to fifth. The Big Bang Theory also found itself at seventh in the overall charts, not having made the top ten last week.

SciFi thriller The Expanse came in at fourth digital original and ninth overall this week. Another show releasing week by week episodes, season five’s finale episode is set to be released on Amazon tomorrow. 

mediaweek podcasts Discovery
New Mediaweek podcasts: ABC’s Aftertaste + Discovery’s Darren Chau

Culinary TV creations, and Discovery’s growing Australian slate.

This week, two new Mediaweek podcasts delve into the culinary arts and giant opals.

Chefs reveal the right recipe for the new ABC comedy Aftertaste

Aftertaste star and co-producer Erik Thomson and co-creator Matt Batt join Mediaweek’s James Manning and Andrew Mercado to discuss their culinary TV creation. Which superstar chef did Thomson channel for his angry cook?

Listen to the podcast here.


After Taste

Factual TV special: Outback Opal Hunters and Aussie Gold Hunters

As a new season of the global hit Outback Opal Hunters launches this week, Discovery’s Darren Chau talks to Mediaweek about Australia’s biggest commissioner of international programming. Hear all about Discovery’s growing Australian slate, the new character The Bishop, and the biggest single opal haul ever discovered in the series.

Listen to the podcast here.

You can also listen via your favourite podcast platform. Remember to subscribe to the Mediaweek podcast to get alerts when new episodes are uploaded.

holey moley
TV Ratings: Summer survey, Tuesday week 6

By Trent Thomas

• Holey Moley backs up big launch night by driving Seven to primary and network win
• Nine dishes up Tuesday night Travel Guides and Millionare specials
• Twin brothers Alex and Jack quit The Amazing Race due to mental health

Holey Moley saw a dip from its premiere episode going down from 983,000 to 737,000 but the show was still comfortably the top non-news show for the evening and was #1 in all key demos. And Seven won the night with a primary share of 21.3% and a network share of 29.6%.

The episode saw garbo Mark Duncan bag the Holey Moley plaid jacket and golden putter – and a place in the Grand Final.

Duncan snatched victory after defeating Jasmine Finlay and Michelle Natoli in a three-way putt off on bath time’s biggest hit, Putter Ducky, for his chance to putt for $100,000 on Greg Norman’s top-secret Grand Final hole, the Tomb of Nefer-Tee-Tee. 

Brand new Holey Moley holes Surf N’ Turf and Putter Ducky also shared the limelight with Australia’s cheekiest, trash-talking puppet Agro, who put in a solid performance on The Distractor.

Holey Moley was followed by The Good Doctor which returned for its fourth season with 415,000 viewers.

Nine’s Travel Guides improved on the 584,000 that it had last Tuesday as the guides visited the Whitsunday islands. This was followed by a Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? prime time special that saw KIIS FM’s Will and Woody win $64,000 for charity.

On 10’s The Amazing Race Australia, the teams left Far North Queensland and headed south to Australia’s adrenaline capital, the Gold Coast. But sadly, despite coming second at the first Pit Stop, The Twin Models, Alex and Jack, chose to withdraw from the Race due to Alex’s mental health. The Super Sikhs won the second leg of the race with its being pre-determined that this was a non-elimination episode, no team was sent home. The episode had 493,000 viewers which was only slightly behind the 501,000 the episode had on Monday for its launch episode. 

On The Project 472,000 tuned in to watch Lisa Wilkinson interview Natalie Portman about rewriting fairytales and life in Australia. Portman is down under to film Thor 4: Love and Thunder.

On the ABC Foreign Correspondent returned with 359,000 viewers while Tim Ross’s doco Designing a Legacy aired at 8.30pm and had 322,000.

Week 6: Tuesday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 10.6% 7 21.3% 9 19.0% 10  12.1% SBS One 4.8%
ABC KIDS/ ABC TV PLUS 2.6% 7TWO 3.6% GO! 1.3% 10 Bold 3.9% VICELAND 1.4%
ABC ME 0.4% 7mate 3.5% GEM 2.7% 10 Peach 3.0% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 2.1% 7flix 1.2% 9Life 2.0% 10 Shake 1.1% NITV 0.1%
        9Rush 1.0%     SBS World Movies 1.2%
TOTAL 15.7%   29.6%   26.0%   20.2%   8.6%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 9.9% 7 23.3% 9 15.2% WIN 10.1% SBS One 4.5%
ABC KIDS/ ABC TV PLUS 2.3% 7TWO 5.9% GO! 1.6% WIN Bold 5.4% VICELAND 1.3%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 6.3% GEM 2.5% WIN Peach 3.1% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 1.3% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 1.6% 9Life 2.4% Sky News  on WIN 1.4% NITV 0.2%
                SBS Movies 1.4%
TOTAL 14.2%   37.1%   21.8%   20.1%   8.3%


89.0% 11.0.%
Tuesday FTA
  1. Seven News  Seven  991,000
  2. Seven News At 6.30  Seven  956,000
  3. Nine News  Nine  952,000
  4. Nine News 6:30  Nine  924,000
  5. ABC News  ABC TV  737,000
  6. Holey Moley Australia  Seven  737,000
  7. A Current Affair  Nine  668,000
  8. Travel Guides -Special  Nine  641,000
  9. Home And Away  Seven  600,000
  10. The Chase Australia  Seven  494,000
  11. The Amazing Race Australia   10  493,000
  12. The Project 7pm   10  472,000
  13. 7.30  ABC TV  472,000
  14. Hot Seat  Nine  420,000
  15. The Good Doctor  Seven  415,000
  16. 10 News First   10  369,000
  17. Foreign Correspondent  ABC TV  359,000
  18. Who Wants To Be A Millionaire -Special  Nine  337,000
  19. Designing A Legacy  ABC TV  322,000
  20. The Chase Australia-5pm  Seven  316,000
Demo Top Five

16 – 39 Top Five

  1. Holey Moley Australia  Seven  183,000
  2. The Amazing Race Australia   10  129,000
  3. Nine News 6:30  Nine  123,000
  4. Nine News  Nine  122,000
  5. Travel Guides -Special  Nine  113,000


18 – 49 Top Five

  1. Holey Moley Australia  Seven  316,000
  2. Nine News  Nine  235,000
  3. The Amazing Race Australia   10  231,000
  4. Nine News 6:30  Nine  222,000
  5. Travel Guides -Special  Nine  209,000


25 – 54 Top Five

  1. Holey Moley Australia  Seven  350,000
  2. Nine News  Nine  275,000
  3. Nine News 6:30  Nine  264,000
  4. The Amazing Race Australia   10  263,000
  5. Travel Guides -Special  Nine  262,000
Tuesday Multichannel 
  1. Bluey  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  203,000
  2. NCIS Ep 2 (R)  10 Bold  182,000
  3. Kangaroo Beach  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  162,000
  4. Bluey  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  142,000
  5. Peppa Pig  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  131,000
  6. Floogals  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  131,000
  7. Noddy Toyland Detective  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  130,000
  8. Inspector George Gently  7TWO  123,000
  9. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation  10 Bold  121,000
  10. Pie In The Sky  7TWO  120,000
  11. Brave Bunnies  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  120,000
  12. Bananas In Pyjamas  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  119,000
  13. Neighbours  10 Peach  118,000
  14. Highway Patrol-Ep.2  7mate  116,000
  15. Play School  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  113,000
  16. Outback Opal Hunters  7mate  110,000
  17. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Ep 2  10 Bold  105,000
  18. Kiri And Lou  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  104,000
  19. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  103,000
  20. Outback Opal Hunters (R)  7mate  103,000
Tuesday STV
  1. The Bolt Report  Sky News Live  81,000
  2. Paul Murray Live  Sky News Live  68,000
  3. Alan Jones  Sky News Live  66,000
  4. The End  FOX SHOWCASE  59,000
  5. Credlin  Sky News Live  57,000
  6. PML Later  Sky News Live  50,000
  7. The End  FOX SHOWCASE  47,000
  8. The Kenny Report  Sky News Live  38,000
  9. Below Deck  FOX Arena  36,000
  10. NCIS  FOX Crime  34,000
  11. First Edition  Sky News Live  32,000
  12. Escape To The Chateau: DIY  Lifestyle Channel  31,000
  13. Selling Houses Australia  Lifestyle Channel  30,000
  14. NCIS: Los Angeles  FOX Crime  30,000
  15. Peppa Pig  Nick Jr.  29,000
  16. Coronation Street  UKTV  29,000
  17. First Edition  Sky News Live  27,000
  18. NCIS  FOX Crime  26,000
  19. Antiques Roadshow  Lifestyle Channel  25,000
  20. Blue Bloods  FOX One  25,000

Shares all people, 6pm-midnight, Overnight (Live and AsLive), Audience numbers FTA metro, Sub TV national
Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2021. 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

Chau Chak Wing awarded $590,000 in defamation case

Chinese-Australian businessman Chau Chak Wing has been awarded $590,000 in defamation proceedings he brought against the ABC’s Four Corners program, reports AFR‘s Max Mason.

Chau sued the ABC, Fairfax Media (which is now owned by Nine) and Nick McKenzie, investigative journalist at The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, over a Four Corners episode broadcast on June 5, 2017.

Chau’s barrister, Bruce McClintock, argued in court that the joint investigation was defamatory because, among other things, it painted him as a spy for the Chinese Communist Party.

Federal Court Justice Steven Rares found that while the program did not suggest that Chau had engaged in any act of espionage, he was nevertheless defamed and the ABC and Nine were ordered to pay costs.

In February 2020, Chau won a non-related defamation proceeding against the Herald for a story on its website that linked him to a US bribery scandal.

[Read More]

Media Code

Google, Facebook set to pay for Australian journalism after Labor backing

New laws forcing tech giants to pay for Australian journalism used to generate ad revenue have gained Labor’s initial support, but the party says Google`s threats must be addressed before they make a final decision, reports News Corp’s Clare Armstrong.

The opposition has decided to vote for the federal government’s proposed media bargaining code in the lower house but will wait until an inquiry report is handed down on February 12 before backing the law in the senate.

Labor’s communications spokeswoman Michelle Rowland said the evidence given to the inquiry showed there were a “number of concerns that need to be considered”.

“It’s well past time this government gave credible responses to the concerns raised, including how the code will support the media in the event Google and Facebook withdraw from Australia and no revenue flows to the media as a result,” she said.

Rowland said it was not good enough for the government to repeatedly say “we don’t respond to threats” in the face of Google’s claim the code would force it to withdraw from Australia.

“No one is saying the government should respond to threats; we’re saying the government should do its job and find a way to support the media without disrupting millions of Australians and small businesses,” she said.

[Read More]

Canada joins tech giants fight, mulling new media laws

Canada is readying legislation that would force social media companies to compensate Canadian news publishers, following Australia’s looming world-first media bargaining code, as the regulatory push expands internationally, reports News Corp’s David Swan.

Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault told MPs of the plans last week, according to The Globe and Mail, and said that Canada was looking closely at developments in Australia.

He’d tweeted last month that “we stand in solidarity with our Australian partners” and that “when facing the web giants, we must stand united.”

The Canadian government has reportedly not settled on whether to follow Australia’s approach, which deals with a market power imbalance with an arbitration process, or France’s path which has been to force Google to pay for news by deeming news snippets at copyrighted material.

Canada is also proposing to create a new regulator to oversee how Google and Facebook grapple with illegal content like hate speech and child pornography, reports say.

[Read More]


Channel 7 to decide future of The Chase amid Andrew O’Keefe allegations

Channel 7 is yet to decide on the future of already recorded episodes of The Chase after host Andrew O’Keefe was charged with common ­assault and issued an apprehended violence order, reports News Corp’s Jonathon Moran.

The Daily Telegraph ­understands network bosses are considering their options as to whether or not to bin six months worth of episodes of the quiz show that were filmed last year.

At press time, The Chase remained in Seven’s schedule at 5pm weeknights.

O’Keefe, 49, has vowed to defend the allegations in court and is set to appear in Waverley Local Court on Thursday charged with common assault relating to the ­alleged incident on Sunday morning at the Randwick home he shares with partner Orly Lavee.

Police will allege the television host punched haematologist Dr Lavee in the face, punctured her lower lip, pulled her hair, kicked the back of her legs and spat on her.

O’Keefe is a former chairman and ambassador for domestic violence foundation White Ribbon Australia.

In 2017, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for his charity and television work.

Yesterday, a spokesman for the Council for the Order of Australia said any decision on his OA would be made once court proceedings are complete.

[Read More]

The Project panellist Peter Helliar ‘truly sorry’ as damning video resurfaces

Comedian and television personality Peter Helliar has apologised to former Collingwood Magpies defender Heritier Lumumba after footage resurfaced of his 2017 interview on Channel 10’s The Project, reports News Corp’s Nic Savage.

Lumumba represented the Magpies for 10 years between 2005-2014, and since retiring from the sport has claimed he endured a “culture of racist jokes” at the club.

The 2010 premiership player claimed he was nicknamed “Chimp” by teammates, and said he was “ostracised internally” after speaking out against racism.

During an exclusive interview with The Project’s Waleed Aly in 2017, Lumumba discussed his experiences with racism in the AFL.

“Heritier has the opportunity to become a really strong, significant voice in the battle against racism with the AFL and Australian sport,” Helliar said.

“My only thing — it would be really helpful if we heard more detail, specifically with the nickname.

“We can’t find anyone who would speak to us who knew of that nickname over a playing career of 10 years.

“Even if you have to name names, take us into your experience. Paint the picture so we understand it more. Because if you don’t do that, then it just sounds like you’re smearing an entire club.”

[Read More]

Axed: Playing for Keeps, Trial by Kyle, Celebrity Name Game, One Born Every Minute Aus.

10 has confirmed the fate for a number of shows which were in limbo, including WAGs drama Playing for Keeps, which last aired in 2019, reports TV Tonight.

Playing for Keeps is not coming back,” Head of Programming Daniel Monaghan told TV Tonight.

But there is some hope for more of My Life is Murder, starring Lucy Lawless. The production is moving to New Zealand with 10 to have a second window after an Acorn TV premiere.

“We will still broadcast My Life is Murder. I don’t think it will be this year but if it is, it wouldn’t be much before the end of this year.”

There’s also no more for One Born Every Minute Australia or Trial by Kyle with the latter sounding like it was the host’s choice.

“He hates it. He talks about it on the radio. It’s not coming back. Just ask him! I really liked it and I like Kyle, but it’s not returning,” said Monaghan.

Grant Denyer hosted Celebrity Name Game is also not returning.

[Read more]

Rita Ora in hotel quarantine ahead of The Voice

UK singer Rita Ora is in hotel quarantine in Sydney ahead of The Voice production getting underway, reports TV Tonight.

The series is coming to Seven with Ora joining Guy SebastianKeith Urban and Jess Mauboy as coaches.

Opposition home affairs spokeswoman, Kristina Keneally criticised her quarantine telling The Guardian, “Every celebrity who takes up a place in quarantine is a place denied to a stranded Australian.”

But sources tell TV Tonight that Ora’s hotel quarantine is privately funded and separate to caps on arrivals.

[Read More]

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