Monday February 3, 2020

Drama and wedding bells at Nine: new season of MAFS airs tonight

By Claudia Siron

With beautifully coordinated weddings and drama-filled dinner parties, it’s no wonder why Nine’s Married at First Sight has been a raging success – especially over the last few years. With its seventh season premiering Monday with the first few couples of 2020 introduced, we spoke to Nine executive producer John Walsh about what makes a show like this receive such a strong reception.

Walsh told Mediaweek there isn’t another show with the same level of commitment required by the contestants. “They have to live together as husband and wife for 10 weeks,” said Walsh. “You don’t have anything like this happen with The Bachelor or the other shows. It’s a whole other level of commitment and it’s much more than a dating show. It’s in its own orbit in that respect. There’s the pressure for them to exist as a couple as opposed to being individual contestants on a show.

When it comes to the honeymooning, the producers keep a lot in mind for what could be the right type of holiday for the different couples. “Sometimes we choose locations for couples based on their interests; some people are more outdoorsy and some prefer a wine country holiday. Some prefer heat, some prefer snow. 

“It doesn’t always work that way though. We think what would be good for them as a couple; sometimes a totally new experience where they’re not completely comfortable or they’re learning or experiencing something new can be good for bonding.”

There’s an initial casting call for people interested in coming onto MAFS. They see if the people auditioning are suitable for TV, because in reality it’s a huge leap of faith coming onto the show. “It’s a physical and emotional commitment to be living with a partner with camera and crew in your face every day. We eliminate people who we think aren’t quite up to it. Once we screen those people out, then they go to the experts for matching.

The crew goes to great lengths to make sure the couples don’t meet until their wedding day. “Even on the day we’re being careful to keep them separated so they don’t catch sight of each other. The big day is a huge operation of coordinating their arrivals to make sure that doesn’t happen, because that would be a real spoiler.”

MAFS executive producer, John Walsh

Relationship experts John Aiken, Mel Schilling and neuropsychotherapist Dr Trisha Stratford will pair 20 brave singles from across Australia, using a mix of neuroscience and their relationship expertise with the goal of creating 10 perfect matches. Walsh told Mediaweek the relationship experts take their job very seriously. “They have a great sense of responsibility in what they’re doing, and it’s very difficult. You can match people for compatibility but you can’t really match for that spark between people. 

They do their very best with all their experience and it’s a very difficult task. They take each relationship very seriously. The experts go in with their very best endeavours to get it right and to make it work.

Walsh said the reality show is a big post-production effort. The weddings start to happen around September and basically from that point on they start the post-production process. “It’s 90-minute episodes; it’s a lot of television. Post-production happens for several months, and we continue with post while we’re on the air for future episodes.”

When Walsh was asked how different the Australian version of MAFS is to overseas versions, he revealed they’re actually very different. “Australia – and I think New Zealand to some extent – are the only ones who do the big reality expanded, super-size version of the show. It’s still a much smaller format in other territories. They don’t have dinner parties, they don’t have commitment ceremonies. These two parts of the show were started in season four in Australia; that’s quite unique to the rest of the world. In America, UK and Europe, it’s much smaller – it’s still like an observational documentary show as opposed to a big reality show.”

Walsh said he thinks the dinner party episodes probably receive the strongest reception from their audience. “People turn on for the love and maybe stay for the drama of the show. The show at its core is still about love and is still the main message that we try to get out. From those relationships the drama flows and it tends to find its peak when they’re all together at the dinner parties. 

If it was just the group dynamic and we didn’t have the personal relationships of the individual couples, then it wouldn’t have the same appeal. The fundamental part of the show is about connecting people who are going to meet at first sight and hopefully find their life partner.

Like all relationships, drama is sometimes a consequence and that’s how you see it play out in MAFS as well. “They compare how they’re travelling and look at other partners and see if they’re doing better than them or wishing they were. People tend to judge themselves in group situations – it happens in MAFS and it happens in real life.”

When we spoke about cost of production, Walsh laughed when he revealed the show is very expensive to produce. “When we switched from the small show to the big show in season four, we made the decision that this absolutely has to feel like a real wedding for the brides and grooms; especially for the brides. If this is their only wedding day, then we want it to feel like a real wedding. 

“We have the cars, the flowers, the reception, the catering. We want them to have that proper experience, and that’s not cheap when you’re doing 10 or so weddings a season. They’re also put in apartments for 10 weeks, which isn’t cheap. But we feel the show warrants it and I think the production value is some of the best on Australian TV. The production team do a fantastic job.”

The most talked-about social experiment, Married at First Sight, will premiere Monday February 3 at 7:30pm on Nine.

Talking Married returns on 9Now with Shelly Horton

Nine’s hit talk show, Talking Married, returns for season three on Monday, February 3, straight after the premiere of Married at First Sight.

Hosted exclusively by Shelly Horton on 9Now, the show will be brimming with brides, grooms and all the inside goss from Australia’s most talked about social experiment.

See also:
Drama and wedding bells at Nine: new season of MAFS airs tonight
TV guide: Social experiment Married at First Sight returns to Nine

“I’m thrilled to be back hosting Talking Married in 2020. Four nights a week means I’ll be getting four times the gossip and four times the secret confessions from our newlyweds,” says Horton.

The show will also feature never-before-seen audition tapes, extended clips and sneak peeks.

I'm a Celeb: Miguel Maestre crowned king of the jungle

Last night on the I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Season 6 Grand Finale, celebrity chef Miguel Maestre was crowned King Of The Jungle 2020, winning $100,000 for his chosen charity, R U OK?.

Dale Thomas was voted as Australia’s runner-up and Rhonda Burchmore took third place earlier in the evening.

Maestre was the very first celebrity to saunter onto our screens, and from that very moment, Australia fell in love with the celebrity chef.

Warm, infectious and caring, he has a heart of gold which resulted in him being the resident camp chef, leader and dad.

Whether it was listening attentively to Erin Barnett opening up about endometriosis or comforting Tanya Hennessy as she sobbed, our sensitive Spaniard always put everyone else first.  

Every night the celebrities raved about their dinner, with the talented and passionate chef putting a five-star spin on a mundane rice and beans. 

From missing Ricky Martin’s call, to his strong views on Australia day, infidelity and pre-nups, Maestre proved he was as good of a sharer as he was a listener.

He wasn’t afraid to back down in a debate either.

When the topic of Tom Gleeson’s infamous 2019 Logie Awards campaign came up, Maestre challenged Dilruk Jayashina over the idea that it was just a bit of harmless fun. 

Feeling Gleeson was making a mockery of an event that praises the pioneers in Australian television, Maestre said his good friend and colleague Amanda Keller was robbed of the prestigious Gold Logie. 

Maestre competed in an impressive nine trials during his stint on I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! and no had qualms about jumping out of helicopters or pushing his limits to the extreme. 

For Maestre, his participation in trials was fuelled by two reasons. One was to make money and create awareness for his charity, R U OK?, an organisation close to his heart and the other was to make his family proud. 

From crying in the Tok Tokkie about missing his family, to breaking down seeing them crash camp, Maestre was always a blubbering mess when the topic of his loved ones arose.

After an emotional four weeks, the runner ups were ecstatic for Maestre to take the crown and win $100,000 for his chosen charity, R U OK?

R U OK? were also over the moon. R U OK? CEO Katherine Newton said: “Miguel has raised awareness of suicide prevention by highlighting the pressures of those in the hospitality industry and demonstrated what a difference an R U OK? conversation can make. We will use the funds to produce free resources for the industry to build on suicide prevention literacy and confidence levels to lend life-changing support when working or living alongside someone who is struggling with life.

“Both Miguel and Tanya Hennessy’s meaningful connections with their campmates reminded us all you don’t have to be an expert, just a good friend and a great listener. We hope their example will empower viewers to start a conversation with anyone they’re worried about.”

Pacific’s Nicole Bence moves to Seven as Digital Sales Director

Kurt Burnette, Seven West Media chief revenue officer has the appointed Nicole Bence (pictured) as network digital sales director, commencing in the role on Monday, 10 February 2020.

The move comes as Seven is trying to sell its magazine portfolio to Bauer Media, subject to ACCC approval.

Burnette said: “I am delighted to welcome Nicole to the Seven team. Nicole brings with her a wealth of experience from her time transforming the Pacific Magazines commercial team across print, digital and data, to a full 360 audience connection company.

“I’m excited for Nicole to be joining us as we head into a new era of screen convergence, data and innovation. With Tokyo 2020 and the continuing rapid growth of 7plus, 2020 is a key year for our digital sales team, and Nicole is the perfect person to lead it.”

Bence joins Seven from Pacific Magazines, where she was responsible for leading their commercial team through a period of significant business transformation that brought together digital and print teams to drive business results. Prior to her time at Pacific, Bence was digital commercial director for Nova Entertainment, and led the sales and strategy for and at News Corporation’s NewsLifeMedia.

Bence replaces James Bayes who recently departed Seven for a role at The Trade Desk.

Bence said: “It’s a privilege to be joining Seven at this time. With Tokyo 2020 fast approaching and more than 5 million consumers set to engage with our digital assets, I couldn’t be more excited to help contribute to the next phase of Seven’s digital growth. The team have driven incredible momentum in market and I look forward to harnessing their passion and talent as we continue to realise the full value of our powerful audiences, and deliver meaningful business growth for our clients.”

Pacific appoints Alex Noonan editor of InStyle Australia

• Noonan steps up from acting editor as Emily Taylor becomes editor-at-large

Alex Noonan (pictured) has been appointed editor and content director of InStyle, a Pacific magazine brand which could soon be part of Bauer Media Australia.

Noonan has been the acting editor and content director for the past 12 months during Emily Taylor’s maternity leave. Taylor, who has made the move to Melbourne, has chosen to continue her relationship with InStyle as editor-at-large.

Noonan brings more than 15 years of print and digital experience to the position. She has worked across Pacific titles InStyle and marie claire and was also launch content director of online beauty destination BEAUTYcrew.

Pacific’s head of fashion and beauty Susie Hogan said: “We thank Emily for all her hard work and dedication to the InStyle brand over the past five years. The brand has flourished under her direction and we’re pleased she will be taking on the role of editor-at-large.

“We welcome Alex as editor and content director. Alex is an exceptional editor, strategist and has been a content leader at Pacific for 13 years. Over the past 10 months, she has built on the accessible luxury vision for InStyle growing readership by 16% and digital audience by 150%. She will continue to lead the brand from strength to strength.”

Noonan said: “I’m thrilled to be heading up the incredibly talented InStyle team as we enter the brand’s 20th birthday year. A greater focus on local cover talent and cross-platform content creation delivered through a luxury lens is the cornerstone of our new strategy. With growing numbers across all platforms, we’re really excited to see it’s resonating with our audience. InStyle moves products; so we’re focused on delivering to our highly affluent audience’s passion for fashion, beauty and lifestyle with more shopping than our competitors across all platforms.”

Outgoing editor Taylor said: “My five-year tenure at InStyle has been exhilarating, challenging and filled with joy. I am exceptionally proud of what we have achieved. Now, though, is the right time for me to commence an exciting new chapter in my career and I’m thrilled that this will include a contributing role as editor-at-large of my beloved InStyle while leaving the brand in Alex’s highly capable hands.”

Media owners invest in, Catalano joins board has announced Antony Catalano as a new board member. Catalano and his business partner, Alex Waislitz, now hold the largest interest in with an economic stake of 26%.

This is a new venture for the pair who are currently growing their media portfolio alongside the acquisition of Australian Community Media (ACM) in June 2019., Australia’s third largest property portal, has undergone a period of rapid transformation in the last 12 months as it continues to prove its commitment to delivering value to the property industry.

Toby Balazs,’s CEO said: “The opportunity to work with ACM and extend our brand through their network is a clear vote of confidence for the work we’ve been doing. The opportunity will allow us to further grow our audience and deliver improved results for our customers.”

Toby Balazs

On his support of Catalano’s appointment, Balazs added: “Antony has an impressive track record of rapidly growing media businesses, particularly in the real estate category. I feel confident that will grow its market value immensely by becoming part of Antony’s cross-platform media network.”

Late last year successfully completed a capital raise helping to strengthen the business and fuel its focus on delivering choice, cost-effectiveness and flexibility to the property industry.

Catalano commented: “ has a range of industry attractions but its most valuable asset is its highly engaged audience. This audience, coupled with the ability to deliver advertising solutions at speed, presents a compelling opportunity to create a multi-pronged media group inclusive of a property portal.”

ACM and other media publishers who combined account for 36% interest in have over 270 suburban and regional newspapers in circulation. By introducing to the overall advertising solution, customers will have access to a combined digital audience of 5.4m Australians a month. The Real Estate Institute of Victoria and other states also continue to be significant shareholders. will launch a number of new initiatives to market over the next 12 months. “With Antony’s strong relationships across the real estate industry and the strong alignment to our ownership structure of publishers, real estate agents and Real Estate Institutes, we’re now excited to bring together this extended suite of assets to deliver true value to agents, vendors and buyers,” said Balazs.

Seven & Foxtel unite for live broadcast of Fire Fight benefit concert

TEG Dainty and TEG Live has confirmed Seven and Foxtel have joined forces to broadcast Fire Fight Australia (#FireFightAustralia) live, inviting all Australians to come together as the music industry’s best unite to raise money for national bushfire relief.

The broadcasters will present the 10-hour sold out concert live (AEDT) from ANZ Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park on Sunday, 16 February.

Fire Fight Australia will air on Seven, FOX8 HD and [V] from 1pm on 16 February with coverage on Foxtel Now, Foxtel GO and 7plus throughout the event.

Viewers will be encouraged to donate via to support those whose lives have been impacted by the worst bushfire season in living memory. Donations will go to the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal’s Fire Fight Fund*.

The concert will be hosted by writer, actor and comedian Celeste Barber (pictured), who has already raised more than $50 million towards bushfire relief through her own record-breaking online appeal.

Celeste Barber photo by Hugh Stewart

Seven managing director and CEO James Warburton said: “We’re proud to be partnering with TEG and Foxtel on the broadcast of Fire Fight Australia. The tremendous response to this concert demonstrates the willingness of Australians to support each other in their times of need. We’re looking forward to uniting with our partners to fund the production of this special, one-off concert, ensuring national reach to help raise funds to support bushfire relief.”

Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany said: “We are incredibly pleased to be part of this amazing effort by the entertainment industry, our partners TEG Dainty, TEG Live and Seven, and all of the local and international artists who have come together to provide a helping hand to communities affected by the devastating bushfires Australia is continuing to experience. Helping drive donations through our broadcast is another way Foxtel can show its support for people impacted by the fires.”

All concert ticket profits will go towards key organisations providing vital Rescue, Relief & Recovery and Rehabilitation:

Foxtel searches for new landscaper as Charlie Albone finds Better Home

Selling Houses Australia is bidding farewell to one of the show’s original line-up – Charlie Albone.

The 38-year-old landscaper has decided to step down from the award-winning Selling Houses Australia after the new series finishes following 13 years of working alongside interior designer Shaynna Blaze and property guru, Andrew Winter.

Albone will still be seen on Selling Houses Australia throughout season 13, which will premiere on the LifeStyle channel next month.

He will also be seen on Seven soon as a new member of the Better Homes & Gardens team.

“It’s a real honour to be asked to be part of such an amazing team,” says Albone in a statement released by Seven at the same time Foxtel announced his departure. “I will be sharing lots of new and interesting ideas for your garden that will inspire and push boundaries, as well as advice on how to make your outdoor living the best it can be.”

LifeStyle general manager Wendy Moore said: “After 13 amazing years on an iconic show like Selling Houses Australia, we are obviously really sad to say goodbye to Charlie, but he will always remain a part of the LifeStyle family, and we wish him nothing but happiness in his new venture.”

Albone added: “I have loved being part of Selling Houses Australia and am incredibly grateful for everything the show has done for me. However, I have an opportunity I cannot turn down and will allow me to spend more time with my family. So it’s with a heavy heart that I hand the gardening shears to someone new but wish them, and the show, all the best moving forward.”

A search is now on for a landscape designer to join the top-rating Foxtel series alongside Andrew Winter and Shaynna Blaze, with a nationwide search for his replacement.

“Charlie has been an integral part of the success of Selling Houses Australia and we wish him well,” said Brian Walsh, Foxtel executive director of television.

“Television shows evolve or they end, so we will take this opportunity to revisit the Selling Houses format and reshape it for the new decade. There are literally hundreds of thousands of gardening enthusiasts throughout Australia, so we’re now on the lookout to find who will join the team on the show. It’s a great opportunity to create a new star of the screen,” he said.

To apply or to find out more, visit The successful applicant will join the team for Season 14 of Selling Houses Australia and will also become News Corp Australia’s new gardening columnist, writing a weekly column across the major Sunday newspapers and appearing in other News Corp publications.

Charlie Albone and his Selling House Australia colleagues Andrew Winter and Shaynna Blaze

Charlie Albone and his new Better Homes TV family including Johanna Griggs, Adam Dovile (DIY), Dr Harry Cooper (Vet), Graham Ross (Gardening), Tara Dennis (Decorating & Design), “Fast Ed” Halmagyi (Chef), Karen Martini (Chef), Pete Colquhoun (Architect), Sam Wood (Health & Fitness), Melissa King (Gardening) and James Tobin (Tech & Motoring)

Nova Entertainment creates interactive audio commercials

Nova Entertainment has announced an industry-first, with the introduction of leading technology to create interactive audio commercials, an extension of the company’s voice and digital audio strategy.

Nova has created a Google Assistant Action that adds activation and interaction for audiences listening to radio or podcast commercials in cars, at home and on the move. Listening with Google Assistant-enabled devices can use the Action to interact with their radios or smart devices and provides a new audience and greater commercial opportunities.

Fayad Tohme

Fayad Tohme, Nova Entertainment’s chief digital officer said, “This is a significant evolution for NOVA’s digital audio marketing capabilities. For the first time, listeners will be able to interact directly with a smart advertisement, responding in real time to a call to action, requesting more information, and even connecting directly with an advertiser. The result is a more interactive, engaging experience for the listener and greater impact for advertiser.”

The Action will launch via a special competition advertisement in the newly-minted Adelaide breakfast show, Nova 919’s Ben & Liam. This geo-targeted advertisement will invite listeners in South Australia to use voice commands to enter an exclusive competition to win tickets to Nova’s Red Room with Guy Sebastian, live in Adelaide on 14 February.

Peter Charlton

Peter Charlton, Nova Entertainment’s chief commercial officer said, “Voice-driven interactivity is an important next step down the path of personalisation for Nova. Our priority has always been to evolve the listening experience in line with changes to the lives and habits of our audiences. The ubiquity of voice-command can’t be ignored, and neither can the clear chance it represents to deepen our audience connection. This is an exciting creative and commercial opportunity for Nova and our partners, and we look forward to seeing it in action.”

In February 2019 Nova Entertainment launched a unique, voice-activated experience for the Nova audience, with the release of an Amazon Alexa skill. The innovative move saw Nova Entertainment lead the industry in offering a unique and interactive voice experience for listeners.

Nova has since released new capabilities to further enhance the users’ experience and introduce unique advertising propositions for clients, including the launch of a flash briefing skill to provide Alexa customers with news headlines and the launch of a Google Action in December 2019 with access to podcasting and News Briefs to bring the listeners the latest in Australian and International News.

This extension of Nova Entertainment’s voice strategy is another addition to Nova Entertainment’s digital portfolio with further diversification into new, future-facing platforms that includes GOAT, the mobile-first millennial platform and Nova Entertainment’s partnership with Acast to become the biggest commercial podcast player in Australia.

Rolling Stone Australia launches online platform

Following the announcement of its return to the local market in November, Rolling Stone Australia has today launched its online platform.

The site launches today with premium content across a wide range of platforms including digital, social, podcasts, custom, video, merchandising, events and more. Rolling Stone Australia features original as well as syndicated Rolling Stone content most relevant to the Australian audience.

With the local content strategy led by Poppy Reid, Managing Editor, and Tyler Jenke, Editor, the site launches with content covering music, politics, sports, TV, film and culture. It’s hero launch feature is a deep dive into globally recognised Australian drill-rap act OneFour, which asks the question: ‘Have Western Sydney’s “realest” summoned a 21st century assault on free speech?’

The partnership to bring Rolling Stone to Australia, under a license agreement between Rolling Stone’s parent company, Penske Media Corporation, and The Brag Media, marks the brand’s tenth international edition.

ARIA Chart: Grammys/triple j lift artists, Pet Shop Boys top 10

By James Manning

• Singles: The Weeknd holds at #1, Flume/Vera Blue top 10


The Weeknd has held at #1 for a second week with Blinding Lights. Holding on at top spot has kept Dance Monkey from returning to #1 as Tones and I spends another week at #2.

The only song that is new to the top 10 this week is Rushing Back from Flume featuring Vera Blue which ranked #2 on the triple j Hottest 100. After 18 weeks on the chart it has hit a new peak at #8, lifting from #24 last week.

The chart’s biggest mover this week though were tracks from the Billy Eilish album When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? Her former #1 Bad Guy has rocketed back into the top 10 at #3 from #21 after 44 weeks in the chart. The song also topped the triple j Hottest 100 last week. Also feeling the love from the Eilish fans after her Grammy wins was Everything I Wanted with the tune that originally peaked at #2 climbed from #20 to #11 after 11 weeks on the chart.

The only new top 50 entry is from Mallrat with Charlie in at #50 for the Brisbane musician, singer and rapper. The release came in at #3 on the Hottest 100.


Billie Eilish has returned to #1 as fans rediscover her album When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? after her Grammy victories a week ago and her #1 ranking on triple j’s Hottest 100. The album has been in the ARIA chart for 44 weeks and didn’t have to climb far this week, moving to #1 from #5.

Don’t Smile At Me, the 2017 EP from Eilish, has re-entered the top 20 at #25 after a previous peak at #6. The EP has been on the charts for a total of 72 weeks so far.

The only new top 10 entry, and the only new top 50 debut this week, belongs to Neil Tennant and Chris LoweHotspot from Pet Shop Boys spends its first week on the charts at #8.

Albums this week that got a Hottest 100 bump included About Us from G Flip (ARIA chart #39 to #23) which was in the Hottest 100 top 10, as was Better in Blak from Thelma Plum (ARIA chart #74 to #31).

TV Ratings: February 2

By James Manning

• Nine’s Australian Open the only game on proper TV night
• I’m A Celebrity holds up against the tennis, MKR tumbles

Although Nine has faced some formidable opposition from BBL cricket and jungle antics across the two weeks of the Australia Open, Seven and 10 got serious last night trying to woo away some of Nine’s tennis crowd.

Did they succeed? Yes and no.

Nine’s Australian Open Men’s Final audience was steady year on year – 1.589m in 2019 and 1.524m in 2020. That easily gave Nine another massive AO share of 40.0%. That was its second-best share of the fortnight after 44.7% on Monday last week when Kyrgios played in primetime. That Monday also delivered the single biggest TV audience of the Open – 1.872m watching Kyrgios.

On Saturday night a metro audience of 890,000 saw Sofia Kenin win the women’s title. That was down from 1.171m in 2019.

Seven’s My Kitchen Rules: The Rivals opened its revamped format on 498,000. This has set a record no one ever wants – the lowest launch audience in the history of the format. The audience will of course bounce back – but by how much this week and will missing the first episode of a revamped format make people think they won’t be able to get into the season?

10’s I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! ended on 884,000 with the announcement of Miguel as the winner after the regular part of the final episode did 803,000. The final episode of the 2019 season went out in week 8 last year. Even so the year-on-year comparison is good for 10. The Winner Announced that year did 895,000 while the remainder of the series final did 684,000.

The Celebrity comparisons against the week of the Men’s Final last year (Week 5) see Celebrity on 644,000 and 691,000 against the tennis.

On the ABC a David Attenborough doco did 380,000 followed by Maigret on 339,000.

Earlier in the day an audience of 292,000 watched David Speers hosting his first episode and the season debut of Insiders.

Week 5 TV: Friday-Sunday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 11.8% 7 17.9% 9 26.6% 10  7.6% SBS One 4.3%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.7% 7TWO 2.7% GO! 4.0% 10 Bold 3.8% VICELAND 1.4%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 3.0% GEM 2.6% 10 Peach 2.8% Food Net 1.1%
ABC NEWS 1.5% 7flix 2.1% 9Life 2.5%     NITV 0.1%
                SBS World Movies 0.8%
TOTAL 16.6%   25.7%   35.8%   14.2%   7.7%


ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 9.6% 7 18.5% 9 25.2% 10  7.3% SBS One 5.0%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.7% 7TWO 2.8% GO! 5.0% 10 Bold 4.3% VICELAND 0.8%
ABC ME 0.7% 7mate 3.1% GEM 3.7% 10 Peach 2.4% Food Net 0.8%
ABC NEWS 1.5% 7flix 2.6% 9Life 2.4%     NITV 0.1%
                SBS World Movies 1.5%
TOTAL 14.5%   27.1%   36.4%   13.9%   8.2%


ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 8.6% 7 14.0% 9 40.0% 10  11.8% SBS One 4.0%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 1.7% 7TWO 2.3% GO! 2.2% 10 Bold 3.3% VICELAND 0.6%
ABC ME 0.4% 7mate 1.9% GEM 1.8% 10 Peach 1.8% Food Net 0.8%
ABC NEWS 0.9% 7flix 1.3% 9Life 1.9%     NITV 0.0%
                SBS World Movies 0.7%
TOTAL 11.6%   19.6%   45.9%   16.8%   6.1%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 9.4% 7 15.8% 9 32.1% WIN 10.6% SBS One 3.8%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.3% 7TWO 3.2% GO! 3.0% WIN Bold 3.7% VICELAND 0.7%
ABC ME 0.5% 7mate 3.0% GEM 3.8% WIN Peach 1.5% Food Net 0.4%
ABC NEWS 1.1% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 1.5% 9Life 2.3% Sky News  on WIN 1.0% NITV 0.1%
TOTAL 13.4%   23.7%   41.2%   16.8%   5.0%


90.5% 9.5%
All people ratings

Friday Top 10

  1. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 994,000
  2. Seven News Seven 946,000
  3. 2020 Australian Open D12 Night Nine 745,000
  4. Nine News Nine 686,000
  5. ABC News ABC 626,000
  6. 2020 Australian Open D12 Late Nine 586,000
  7. The Chase Australia Seven 555,000
  8. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League The Qualifier Inn Brk Seven 448,000
  9. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League The Qualifier S2 Seven 431,000
  10. Endeavour (R) ABC 431,000


Saturday Top 10

  1. 2020 Australian Open D13 Women’s Final Nine 890,000
  2. Seven News Seven 879,000
  3. 2020 Australian Open D13 Women’s Final Presentation Nine 729,000
  4. Nine News Saturday Nine 708,000
  5. ABC News Sa ABC 591,000
  6. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League The Knockout Seven 561,000
  7. 2020 Australian Open D13 Women’s Final Pre Match Nine 501,000
  8. Vera (R) ABC 483,000
  9. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League The Knockout Seven 423,000
  10. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League The Knockout 2 Seven 411,000
Sunday FTA
  1. 2020 Australian Open D14 Men’s Final Nine 1,524,000
  2. Seven News Seven 1,076,000
  3. Nine News Sunday Nine 966,000
  4. 2020 Australian Open D14 Men’s Final Presentation Nine 962,000
  5. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! The Winner Announcement 10 884,000
  6. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Grand Finale 10 803,000
  7. ABC News Sunday ABC 702,000
  8. 2020 Australian Open D14 Men’s Final Pre Match Nine 683,000
  9. The Sunday Project 7pm 10 508,000
  10. My Kitchen Rules: The Rivals Seven 498,000
  11. Singapore’s Secret Forests With David Attenborough ABC 380,000
  12. Maigret (R) ABC 339,000
  13. The Sunday Project 6.30pm 10 335,000
  14. Customs (R) Nine 318,000
  15. Weekend Sunrise Seven 298,000
  16. Insiders AM ABC 292,000
  17. 10 News First 10 272,000
  18. Manifest (R) Nine 265,000
  19. The Graham Norton Show Encore 10 240,000
  20. Nine News: First At Five Nine 234,000
Sunday Multichannel
  1. Bathurst 12 Hour 7mate 148,000
  2. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 143,000
  3. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 141,000
  4. Law & Order: SVU Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 138,000
  5. Insiders AM ABC NEWS 133,000
  6. Law & Order: SVU (R) 10 Bold 131,000
  7. Kiri And Lou AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 121,000
  8. Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 118,000
  9. Bananas In Pyjamas AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 116,000
  10. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 112,000
  11. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 111,000
  12. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 110,000
  13. Bondi Rescue Ep 3 (R) 10 Bold 110,000
  14. Peter Rabbit ABCKIDS/COMEDY 108,000
  15. Play School AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 105,000
  16. Dot. PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 105,000
  17. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 105,000
  18. Floogals AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 104,000
  19. Border Security Australia’s Front Line 7TWO 104,000
  20. Hey Duggee ABCKIDS/COMEDY 101,000
Sunday STV
  1. Live: Motorsport: Bathurst 12 Hour FOX SPORTS 506 66,000
  2. Outsiders Sky News Live 63,000
  3. Outsiders Sky News Live 50,000
  4. Live: Wt20 Tri Series: Aus V Ind FOX CRICKET 48,000
  5. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 41,000
  6. Live: T20: Nzl V Ind Game 5 FOX CRICKET 35,000
  7. Live: World Sevens Series FOX SPORTS MORE 35,000
  8. Live: World Sevens Series FOX SPORTS MORE 34,000
  9. Rugby: Super Rugby Mini FOX SPORTS 506 33,000
  10. Selling Houses Australia Lifestyle Channel 33,000
  11. Live: World Sevens Series FOX SPORTS MORE 31,000
  12. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 30,000
  13. Magnum P.I. FOX One 29,000
  14. NCIS: New Orleans FOX Crime 29,000
  15. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 29,000
  16. Selling Houses Australia Lifestyle Channel 29,000
  17. Selling Houses Australia Lifestyle Channel 28,000
  18. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 28,000
  19. Criminal Minds FOX Crime 27,000
  20. Live: A League C Coast V WSW FOX SPORTS 505 27,000

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

Here comes VOZ: new total TV standard for viewing on all screens

The average Australian home has 1.8 TV sets but 6.6 screens in total (many have more!). People are consuming broadcast content across all of them, inside and outside the home, writes OzTAM CEO Doug Peiffer in The Australian.

Getting a true picture of total TV viewing has been a challenge. The imminent launch of Virtual Australia, or VOZ, however, is set to change that, bringing these two world-class measurement systems together in a single database, creating Australia’s new total TV reporting standard for viewing on all screen types, wherever and whenever it takes place.

Early insights from VOZ will begin to be reported in late February, with daily data available from late April.

[Read more]

Sophie's choice sees former friends go to war over reality TV star

The genteel streets of Hunters Hill were the scene for one almighty showdown last weekend as two of Sydney’s leading agents – Titus Day and Sean Anderson – went head to head over the spoils of celebrity Sophie Monk, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Andrew Hornery.

“We had been friends for 20 years, I went around to his [Sean Anderson’s] home to sort it out on Saturday and look him in the eye … let’s just say we are not friends anymore, it was a pretty tense visit,” Titus Day, who had been managing Monk’s career on and off for a decade, told Hornery.

In December, Monk’s lawyers sent her management firm Media Talent Management, owned by Day’s wife Courtney, a notice of termination. Day says he was completely “blind-sided” by the news that his former close friend and ally, Anderson, had signed Monk up as a client.

Anderson confirmed Day’s visit to his family home, which is understood to have caused considerable anxiety given it was unannounced and had followed heated exchanges between the two over Monk.

[Read more]

HBO trademark move signals Australian streaming push

US entertainment giant HBO has officially secured a local trademark for a streaming service in a clear sign the entertainment giant behind Game of Thrones and The Wire is considering setting up a standalone business in Australia, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Zoe Samios.

HBO’s owner, US telecoms giant AT&T, last week revealed it had taken a $1 billion revenue hit as it withheld key shows in its portfolio from streaming services such Netflix and Hulu as it prepares to launch its own direct-to-consumer service, HBO Max, in May. Part of that launch includes commissioning original series.

Foxtel currently has the exclusive rights to air HBO content in Australia, a deal with two years left to run.

[Read more]

News Brands

Chris Kenny: Anti-Murdoch hysteria is both baseless and bizarre

After using Australia’s horrifying bushfires to promote their climate change policies, some hysterical types are now using them to escalate their media wars, fitting up News Corp for no smaller crime than wrecking the Earth, reports The Australian’s Chris Kenny.

Richard Cooke writes for fringe leftist publications in Australia such as The Monthly. He seems to be as obsessive as Stephen Mayne when it comes to Rupert Murdoch and his media companies.

While Cooke is unknown at home, outside angry activist Twitter circles, the bushfire tragedies provided a pretext to share his bizarre Murdochophobia views in The Washington Post.

Beyond Twitter and the public broadcasters, there is a limited market for this sort of conspiracy theory. But Cooke also was used by Al Jazeera to run similar lines.

[Read more]

See also:
Australia’s catastrophic fires are a moment of reckoning for Murdoch’s media empire by Richard Cooke in The Washington Post

The Australian’s first look inside Malcolm Turnbull’s autobiography

Malcolm Turnbull’s keenly awaited autobiography, A Bigger Picture, isn’t due out until April. But The Australian’s Media Diary has never been deterred by a silly release date., reports Nick Tabakoff.

Today we can exclusively unveil the first juicy excerpts from the former journalist’s book (let’s just say they fell off the back of a truck). And with perfect timing, they will cause curly questions to be asked in Canberra in the year’s first sitting week.

The Turnbull book excerpts reveal the private text message correspondence between the former PM and Liberal powerbroker Mathias Cormann after the second leadership vote of August 2018 that saw Scott Morrison take the prime ministership.

Many political analysts believe Cormann’s decision to switch allegiances to Peter Dutton was the biggest factor in dooming Turnbull’s prime ministership.

Turnbull’s book, being published by Hardie Grant, will reveal that in the hours after he was deposed, Cormann dropped him a text to say he was “very sorry” and tell the ex-PM that he wasn’t part of an “insurgency”. But an angry Turnbull replied by telling Cormann he should be “ashamed” and accusing him of being “weak and treacherous”.

[Read more]

Rich and famous lob up for a serve of tennis on final’s weekend

New Margin Call duo Jonathan Chancellor and Christine Lacy detail some of the seating arrangements on the final weekend of the Australian Open in their column in The Australian:

Nine CEO Hugh Marks was seen sitting alongside his 2GB afternoon drive talent Ben Fordham in the front row of the stadium, flanked by Nine’s enduring programming chief Michael Healy and similarly long-serving news boss Darren Wick. The newsman brought Melbourne-based A Current Affair journo-daughter Ashleigh Wick along for the show.

[Read more]

On Nine-owned 3AW this morning, breakfast co-host Ross Stevenson revealed that another guest at the tennis on the weekend, and sitting front row, was former Bandidos leader and “key underworld figure” Toby Mitchell.

David Speers on his move from Sky News to ABC’s Insiders

It’s known as “getting Speered”: a term describing the fate of politicians who try to dodge tough questions from Sky News alumnus David Speers, the new host of ABC’s Insiders, reports The Age’s Michael Idato.


While other broadcasters adopt the performative style of a Crown prosecutor – an approach that invites accusations of bias – Speers simply asks his guests to explain themselves. Those attempting to spin their way out of trouble usually end up in the conversational equivalent of a Chinese finger trap; their embarrassment amplified in the inevitable viral video.

In recent years, Sky has filled its evening schedule with conservative commentators: a strategy some critics predicted would fail. Instead, its weekly audience has grown to more than 1 million viewers, and it’s often the top-rating non-sports channel on Foxtel. “There were plenty of views I disagreed with but that’s not the reason I left,” Speers says. “The beauty of it is that we could have these arguments and thrash out an issue on air.”

[Read more]


Seven delays Big Brother payments amid share price struggles

Seven West Media has delayed payment for major flagship program Big Brother as shares in the television network slumped to fresh record lows ahead of its half-year financial results, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Zoe Samios.

The return of the hit reality-TV show, which previously aired on 10, was announced at the company’s annual Upfronts event last year. The program will cost between $20 million and $30 million to make, according to production sources, and will launch before the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in winter.

Typically, a broadcaster would give a substantial payment to a production house upfront for a new show and provide the rest of the costs in instalments. However, sources close to the discussions said Seven had negotiated with production company Endemol Shine to pay the entirety of the cost at the end of production.

[Read more]

Never mind Brexit, 'the beard is off': Adam Hills finally shaves

Australian comedian Adam Hills has shaved his “Brexit beard”, 15 months after declaring a self-imposed shaving ban until Britain formally left the European Union, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Lucy Cormack.

The host of UK talk show The Last Leg was live on air during a special screening of the show as his fellow hosts Alex Brooker and Josh Widdicombe used electric razors to shave his beard.

Hills then tweeted that he would be selling his beard on eBay with all proceeds to go to Australia’s Red Cross bushfire relief fund.

Hills first made the pledge ahead of the original Brexit deadline set on March 2 last year by former UK Prime Minister Theresa May.

Britain officially departed the EU at 11pm local time on Friday, three-and-a-half years after the country first voted to walk away.

[Read the original]

Andrew O’Keefe takes more time out from The Chase

Production on the 2020 season of Channel 7’s quiz show The Chase has been put on hold “for a couple months” as host Andrew O’Keefe continues to manage his personal and health issues, reports News Corp’s Fiona Byrne.

Filming of the 2020 season of the ratings winning show was due to start in Melbourne this week, with Seven confirming recently that production was “on track” to commence in the first week of February.

However today Seven confirmed the filming of the show would be delayed again – this time by months.

“Production on The Chase is to be held over for a couple of months,” Seven said in a statement.

“Andrew O’Keefe is taking time to manage and recover from a health issue.

“The Chase continues 5pm weekdays on Seven unaffected by this delay.”

[Read more]

The Crown to end a season early with Imelda Staunton on the throne

Bad news for royalists: The queen’s reign will not last as long as previously expected, reports Vulture.

Netflix has announced that its sumptuous royal drama The Crown will end in its fifth season, one season shorter than the six-season plan creator Peter Morgan had originally envisioned for the show. According to a statement from Morgan put out by Netflix, this was a creative decision, since “now that we have begun work on the stories for S5 it has become clear to me that this is the perfect time and place to stop.”

The Crown is currently in production on its fourth season, still starring Olivia Colman as Elizabeth and Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret, which would bring the series into the 1980s as all the drama between Charles, Princess Diana (Emma Corrin), and Camilla (the multi-hyphenate Emerald Fennell) heats up. According to Morgan’s statement, Imelda would bring The Crown “into the 21st century” in the fifth season, which seems to imply that the show would end a little after Diana’s death in 1997, which Morgan also covered with Helen Mirren in The Queen. That’s certainly a major event to end your series on, but it’s really too bad that there’s nothing exciting going on with the royal family at the moment that might generate enough storylines for further seasons. No sir. Everything with the royal family is fine.”

[Read more]

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