Friday January 29, 2021

I’m a Celebrity
How 10 cashed in on I’m a Celebrity’s hot start to 2021

By Trent Thomas

I’m a Celebrity continues to buck the traditional summer trend of ‘sport only’

I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! has given 10 a strong start to the year. Season 7 of the show achieved its highest ever commercial shares with an average of 853,000 national viewers, its biggest total audience since 2017. The season is #1 in all key demographics.

However, it’s not just in the TV ratings that the show is kicking goals with Network 10 also enjoying a strong commercial start to the year with I’m a Celebrity sporting a robust sponsor list which includes BCF, McDonald’s (2nd year), Plush, Mitsubishi, Oz Lotto, Youfoodz, Origin (3rd year), Bedshed (2nd year), Carnival (2nd year) and Youi.

Read more: Antelope to Kangaroos: Stephen Tate on I’m a Celebrity’s wild ride in 2021

Mediaweek caught up with Network 10’s national sales director Lisa Squillace to discuss how the commercial team made the most of its launch program.

Commercial Results

Squillace said that 10 was happy with the commercial results that I’m a Celebrity has achieved to kick start the year. The show has gained six new sponsors while only losing one from 2020.

“We have had a fantastic start to 2021, continuing our momentum from 2020 and have had an amazing launch platform in I’m a Celebrity to launch our other programs, which is super exciting.

“This year we have not only been able to commercialise this format but to do it with super relevant clients who are extremely happy and have seen success.”

Producing I’m a Celebrity during Covid

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, I’m a Celebrity went from the South African jungle to the North Queensland bush, using the same set as the UK and German iterations of the show, which Squillace said has worked out well.

“We truly believe that being based in Australia really plays into our overall strategy in 2021 of coming home – with everything being based in Australia.

“It also allowed ease of product being delivered as well. When the show was based in South Africa, we would get so far down the road that we were ready to go and we just couldn’t get the product over in time.”

Appealing to Advertisers

Squillace said that the ratings, paired with the feeling of old-fashioned family entertainment, has been part of the broad appeal to sponsors. The Effect team also worked hard to incorporate the commercial elements into the show without affecting the product.

“Those guys are really married up to our production team, as well as our programming team, and are our conduits between the marketers and programming. We have a range of brilliant processes which craft the briefs together with the agency and collaborate the whole way through. What is also distinct to 10 is that we allow clients to view and see the sets and integration highlights before the shot goes to air – which doesn’t happen everywhere – to avoid nasty surprises.”

Case studies

When asked for a few examples of this year’s integrated partnerships Squillace offered up a few examples the first was the show’s partnership with Youfoodz, who featured in a hungry games trial but also had digital sponsorship and Premium Pause activation on 10 Play.

“They were a new sponsor this year which we tied into the general theme of hunger. Those celebrities are really hungry, and with the relevancy of a food challenge and supplying a Youfoodz meal to the celebrities enabled authentic comments and they were genuinely excited, and this elevates the association.”

 

When asked for comment on the partnership CMO, Simon Jarvis, from Youfoodz said: “We had direct and consistent communications with the team to get our product exposure to the standard we needed. Within the first week of our activation appearing in the program, we saw a considerable increase of new visitors, helping drive conversions and achieve KPIs for the week in review. Overall, this activation delivered a strong and positive impact for Youfoodz weekly performance.”  .”

Another example offered by Squillace was Origin, which has benefited from being associated with I’m a Celebrity for three straight years.

“It was their third year on the show, and they keep coming back which is really good because they can capitalise on their association from a multi-year partnership.

“We did a whole heap of research with the marketing science group which shows recall of returning sponsors is 11% higher than new sponsors as well as a 15% increase for returning sponsors on purchase and consumption.

“Origin tied into the cultural goodness of the show and have demonstrated energy being used in a good way.”

Jeremy Weiss, group manager, marketing and third party sales at Origin said of the partnership: “The program is delivering some good old fashioned family-friendly entertainment, and the ratings are proving this is what people are looking for right now. Through our partnership with the program, 10 ViacomCBS have helped us to bring to life, in a fun way, the type of good energy we try and bring to customers every day when they move to a new house with us.”

The third case study that Squillace mentioned to Mediaweek was the cushy sponsorship that the show had with Plush, which was able to feature in the show in a few different ways.

“Plush has quite a large swivel chair and Dr. Chris and Julia have hosted off that swivel chair several times throughout the series and that showed the comfort and the features of the chair.

“We also used the product as a clue for intruders. When we had Simon and Adam who are ex-Goggleboxers, we actually used the Plush swivel chair to hint at who they were.”

 

When asked how these campaigns help clients like the ones listed above Squillace said that audiences who are super engaged are more receptive to relevant brand messaging.

“The more aligned you are to the show you are watching the more receptive you are to those brand messages. The reason why business keep coming back to sponsorships is that they get a business outcome, and they work.

“What is really important from I’m a Celebrity is that it has bucked the traditional summer trend of ‘sport only’ and in its seventh year it consistently delivers, and it consistently delivers double the ratings of the Big Bash League.

“It also allows clients to not be held back by sporting code deals, and allows traditional summer clients to have a really loud voice on a very successful show.”

Tim Ross on his Designing a Legacy documentary on iconic houses

By James Manning

Comedian, architecture enthusiast, and design nerd Tim Ross has managed to find a way of compacting a guide to some of Australia’s iconic modernist masterpieces into a one-hour ABC documentary.

Designing A Legacy screens on Tuesday, February 2, 8.30pm on ABC TV and ABC iview.

Ross originally had various ideas about how the content could be delivered. “I had explored every idea from six half hours to two one hours,” he told Mediaweek. “We shot a bit pre-Covid which made it a little easier to finish as just one hour.

Doing a program where you travel across the country has been pretty hard. We managed to get in and out of Queensland in a two-week window we had last year.

The program features properties designed by legendary Australian architects including Robin Boyd, Esmond Dorney, Gabriel Poole, John Andrews, Chancellor & Patrick and Ken Woolley.

That list by no means exhausts the pool of architects or properties: “There is more in the tank for future projects,” he noted.

The program starts at the amazing Esmond Dorney house high above Hobart. “I first got inside the house when I performed there once. That is where I met his son Paddy who is featured in the episode at the house.”

One of the highlights of the program is some of the archival footage Ross has managed to unearth. “I was once doing something at RMIT and they told me about some old films they were digitising. I soon realised what an amazing archive they had relating to the building of modernist homes in the 1950s. We use the ABC archive which of course is also amazing.

“The National Archives is also a treasure trove and they love their content being seen. So much of our precious history just isn’t on show.”

Ross was a jack of all trades on the project including being chief researcher. He co-produced and co-wrote Designing a Legacy with Andrew Garrick who also directed. “Andrew and I were previously working on a pilot for something we were sure was going to get up, but it didn’t happen. On that we developed a good friendship and working relationship.”

As to the Tim Ross business model post his radio career, we asked if it meant doing a bit of everything. “yes,” he laughed, “don’t we all?”

He added: “I try and only work on projects I really like. I have a really small team working for me on everything from podcasts to publishing. We have an active little production company Modernista Films.

“Last year we did projects for the Opera House, the National Gallery, the National Archives and Brickworks. Lots on architecture and design. Exhibitions are a large part of what we do.”

With his days of daily radio behind him as Rosso, with and without Merrick Watts, Ross seems very happily occupied. “I absolutely love what I do. We have great partnerships with really interesting people and lots of work with cultural institutions.

“One of the downsides has been a bunch of overseas projects that have been put on hold. They will happen at some stage when we are allowed to travel again.”

Tim Ross: Could he be a TV judge?

With this experience in design and architecture, Ross would make a good judge for one of the various TV shows that touch on the subject.

“I’ve never been asked,” he explained. “Never.”

He’s not a big TV watcher. But he’s a fan of Grand Designs and its host. “I like Kevin McCloud a lot. He’s a wonderful bloke and an incredible presenter. We did a couple of shows with him at the Opera House a couple of years ago.”

Ross also likes Restoration Australia on ABC.

Are his radio days really over?

Ross: “You never say never. But it is not something I really think about. I haven’t had any offers in just over a year. It is only Covid that has stopped me from planning the next couple of years. So when I get an offer [for regular radio work] it can be hard as there is usually over a year of work planned. My priorities are always film-based projects like Designing a Legacy.

“They take so much time and so much love goes into them. And ultimately, they are the most rewarding. These projects you can finish too.

Radio is like a race that never finishes. You can finish a marathon and then start again the next day. It is a nice change to work on a single project and finish it.”

For the time being, you can only hear his very occasional radio appearances on ABC’s Double J.

most watched 2020
Box Office 2020: Revenue slides 70% to $400m: Sony’s Jumanji: The Next Level #1

Two 2021 releases are on the way to overhauling 2020’s $22.6m that 39 Aussie movies grossed.

For the past five years, the movie theatres have generated $1.2 billion+ in average annual box office turnover and employed around 13,000 Australians nationally.

Following a buoyant January period where box office was up by 9% versus 2019, the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus in March resulted in forced cinema closures, capacity restrictions, the postponement of film releases and public health concerns about attending theatres.

Despite an almost 70% decline in earnings from 2019, the total 2020 box office of $401m was a testament to the Australian public’s ongoing love of seeing movies on the big screen. This result is especially encouraging given the acceleration of audience fragmentation through growing digital content services coupled with stay-at-home trends during the pandemic.

Jumanji: The Next Level (Sony) was the top grossing film in 2020, followed by 1917 (Universal) and Bad Boys for Life (Sony). Of the top films, only two were released after cinemas re-opened in June 2020: Tenet (Warner Bros.) and Wonder Woman 1984 (Warner Bros).

1917

Brian Pritchett, chairman of the MPDAA and MD Paramount Pictures Australia, said: “The death of cinema has been heralded each time a new technology shifted traditional business models. However the unquestionable enhancement of seeing a film on the big screen as well as the sentimental attachment to the communal experience of going to the movies with family and friends has proven to be robust and durable. And the outlook is bright with an abundance of great films releasing in 2021.”

* Still screening ii Jumanji: The Next Level: Total Cumulative BO at 24 January 2021: $46,741,793 iii Tenet: Total Cumulative BO at 24 January 2021: $16,135,401 iv Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: Total Cumulative BO at 24 January 2021: $47,778,003 v Wonder Woman 1984: Total Cumulative BO at 24 January 2021: $22,787,798

Many of the 39 Australian films released in 2020 had garnered acclaim at festivals and markets prior to the pandemic. While their box office performance was severely impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions, they grossed a total of $22.6m in 2020 with Universal’s The Invisible Man earning over $9m and Roadshow’s Rams taking $4.4m and still screening.

Now and throughout the pandemic, distributors and exhibitors have provided an essential and valued cultural and community resource and a much-needed escape from the stress of this pandemic. With the support of the Government’s JobKeeper scheme, they have also continued to employ thousands of Australians.

2021 has started with terrific results for a stellar line-up of diverse films including Wonder Woman 1984 (Warner Bros.) and The Croods: A New Age (Universal). Australian film The Dry (Roadshow) starring Eric Bana in an adaptation of Jane Harper’s 2016 bestselling debut novel, has earned almost $13m (and is still screening) and Penguin Bloom (Roadshow) grossed $2.5m in its opening week.

The Dry

The Dry

Cinemas are reporting a wide range of Australians attending in 2020 – from young families to older adults – as the enhanced state-of-the-art experience endures as a good value and popular out-of-home social occasion.

As a global business, the movie industry will continue to be impacted by cinema restrictions in key overseas territories, particularly the United States. However, the movie-going experience will survive the Coronavirus pandemic and there is optimism about the many highly anticipated titles that will be released in cinemas in 2021, providing audiences with the irreplaceable collective experience of watching great content on the big screen, together.

Star
Disney+ reveals series, movies and pricing for its new streaming brand Star

Star is promising new originals and hundreds of TV series and movies at launch.

Disney+ has unveiled full details of Star, its new general entertainment brand, launching on the streaming platform on 23 February.

Star will nearly double the amount of content available on Disney+ in Australia, launching with hundreds of seasons from 155 TV series, almost 450 movies and a slate of 4 exclusive Star Originals at launch.

To keep Disney+ suitable for audiences of all ages and maintain the Disney+ experience parents expect, new parental controls will also launch on 23 of February and will include the ability to set limits on access to content for specific profiles based on content classifications and the ability to add a PIN to lock profiles with access to mature content.

TV series available on Star

Disney+ subscribers will be able to stream hundreds of seasons of TV series like Alias, Felicity, Desperate Housewives, Bob’s Burgers and Ugly Betty.

The Emmy Award and Golden Globe-nominated comedy series black-ish starring Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross and Yara Shahidi, Shonda Rhimes’s critically-acclaimed legal drama Scandal and feminist comedy Dollface created by Jordan Weiss will also be available for subscribers to watch.

Movies available on Star

Award-winning movies available at launch include James Cameron’s TitanicThree Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and The Grand Budapest Hotel, along with classics like Pretty Woman, Die Hard, The Devil Wears Prada, and Moulin Rouge.

Introducing Star Originals

From launch, Disney+ will become the exclusive home of Star Originals. Titles streaming on Disney+ include crime thriller Big Sky from visionary storyteller David E. Kelley (Big Little Lies, The Undoing), Love, Simon spin-off series Love, Victor written by the film’s original writers Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger (This Is Us) and adult animated sitcom Solar Opposites, co-created by Justin Roiland (Rick & Morty) and Mike McMahan.

Drama series Helstrom, executive produced by Paul Zbyszewski along with Karim Zreik and Jeph Loeb, will also be available at launch. Other projects premiering in 2021 are premium series Dopesick and The Dropout and new content from the Kardashian Jenner family among many more.

Kylie Watson-Wheeler, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, The Walt Disney Company Australia and New Zealand, said: “From the day Disney+ launched in November 2019, Australians have welcomed us into their homes and have been blown away by the depth and breadth of our content.

“The launch of Star marks the beginning of an integral new part of Disney+, making it bigger, bolder and even more exciting. The arrival of almost one thousand blockbuster movies and seasons of iconic television series, plus exclusive Star Originals promises to make Disney+ the ultimate choice for high quality entertainment with even more to explore for everyone.”

From 23 February Australian customers can access the new Star content by subscribing to Disney+ for $11.99 per month, or $119.99 annually.

Full details on how to subscribe will be available on disneyplus.com. Current prices for existing subscribers (prior to 23 February) will be honoured for six months, with the price change taking effect on the next monthly or annual renewal date for subscribers following 22 August 2021.

TV Ratings: Summer survey, Thursday Week 5

By James Manning

• Double elimination on Celebrity leaves 7 to battle for victory on Sunday
• Nine’s Getaway and another iconic Aussie movie help primary/network win
• Seven’s week ends with AFLW football Thursday, BBL cricket final Friday

The penultimate episode of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! saw a double elimination last night as Adam and Dippa departed last episode on the Australian set. The Thursday installment was the winner in the timeslot, under 50 and in all key demos. The regular episode was on 725,000 last night and the elimination audience climbed to 762,000.

The seven remaining celebrities will now be reunited on a live series finale to screen Sunday night on 10. The channel’s next best last night was The Project on 460,000.

Nine managed to win the night with the best primary and networks shares. Nine News and A Current Affair were both top five with ACA a timeslot winner at 7pm. Getaway didn’t win its timeslot, but its audience of 345,000 was part of Nine’s winning schedule. As was another iconic Australian movie. After The Castle and The Dish, Nine went with Crocodile Dundee last night with 252,000 watching. The Friday Aussie classic will be Crocodile Dundee II.

Seven had its first taste of football this year with the launch of the AFLW season as Collingwood took on Carlton. The game screened on Seven and 7mate across different markets. The audience was 198,000 with 124,000 in Melbourne.

Laura Tingle hosted her final 7.30 last night with 485,000 watching before the return of Leigh Sales next Monday. Another final last night was the end of Rick Stein’s Secret France with 289,000 pushing it into the top 20.

Week 5: Thursday
THURSDAY METRO
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 10.8% 7 16.1% 9 17.3% 10  16.4% SBS One 5.8%
ABC KIDS/ ABC TV PLUS 2.9% 7TWO 3.8% GO! 3.1% 10 Bold 3.9% VICELAND 1.2%
ABC ME 0.4% 7mate 2.0% GEM 2.4% 10 Peach 2.9% Food Net 1.1%
ABC NEWS 2.2% 7flix 1.8% 9Life 2.8% 10 Shake 0.7% NITV 0.3%
        9Rush 0.9%     SBS World Movies 1.1%
TOTAL 16.2%   23.7%   26.5%   24.0%   9.5%

 

THURSDAY REGIONAL
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 9.1% 7 16.3% 9 14.3% WIN 15.7% SBS One 6.4%
ABC KIDS/ ABC TV PLUS 2.5% 7TWO 5.8% GO! 2.9% WIN Bold 4.6% VICELAND 1.3%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 2.5% GEM 4.2% WIN Peach 4.1% Food Net 0.8%
ABC NEWS 2.0% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 2.0% 9Life 2.9% Sky News  on WIN 1.1% NITV 0.7%
                SBS Movies 1.1%
TOTAL 14.3%   26.7%   24.3%   25.5%   10.3%

 

THURSDAY METRO ALL TV
FTA STV
87.5% 12.5%
Thursday FTA
  1. Seven News  Seven Network  915,000
  2. Nine News 6:30  Nine  911,000
  3. Nine News  Nine  902,000
  4. Seven News At 6.30  Seven Network  874,000
  5. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Elimination  Network 10  762,000
  6. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!  Network 10  725,000
  7. A Current Affair  Nine  674,000
  8. ABC News  ABC TV  648,000
  9. 7.30 Summer  ABC TV  485,000
  10. The Project 7pm  Network 10  460,000
  11. Hot Seat  Nine  446,000
  12. The Chase Australia  Seven Network  430,000
  13. Getaway  Nine  345,000
  14. 10 News First  Network 10  336,000
  15. Would I Lie To You? (R)  ABC TV  307,000
  16. Rick Stein’s Secret France  ABC TV  289,000
  17. Law & Order: SVU  Network 10  270,000
  18. Hot Seat Nine  265,000
  19. The Project 6.30pm  Network 10  263,000
  20. Nine’s Afternoon News  Nine  253,000
Thursday Multichannel 
  1. NCIS (R)  10 Bold  182,000
  2. Bluey  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  177,000
  3. Kangaroo Beach  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  176,000
  4. Father Brown  7TWO  135,000
  5. Peppa Pig  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  133,000
  6. Neighbours  10 Peach  132,000
  7. Peppa Pig  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  130,000
  8. Noddy Toyland Detective  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  130,000
  9. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  123,000
  10. Bluey  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  123,000
  11. Peter Rabbit  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  120,000
  12. School Of Roars  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  117,000
  13. Hawaii Five-O (R)  10 Bold  115,000
  14. Fireman Sam  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  114,000
  15. Go Jetters  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  114,000
  16. Point Break  9GO!  109,000
  17. Bananas In Pyjamas  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  106,000
  18. Floogals  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  105,000
  19. Hey Duggee  ABC Kids/ABC TV Plus  104,000
  20. Fixer Upper  9Life  103,000
Demo Top Five

16-39 Top Five 

  1. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Elimination  Network 10  157,000
  2. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!  Network 10  154,000
  3. Nine News 6:30  Nine  109,000
  4. Nine News  Nine  104,000
  5. The Project 7pm  Network 10  103,000

 

18-49 Top Five

  1. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Elimination  Network 10  286,000
  2. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!  Network 10  275,000
  3. Nine News 6:30  Nine  197,000
  4. Nine News  Nine  194,000
  5. Seven News At 6.30  Seven Network  175,000

 

25-54 Top Five

  1. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Elimination  Network 10  346,000
  2. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!  Network 10  333,000
  3. Nine News 6:30  Nine  248,000
  4. Nine News  Nine  241,000
  5. Seven News  Seven Network  223,000
Wednesday STV
  1. Paul Murray Live  Sky News Live  81,000
  2. Credlin  Sky News Live  57,000
  3. Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail  Discovery Channel  57,000
  4. Chris Smith Tonight  Sky News Live  51,000
  5. Live: AFLW: Carlton V Collingwood  FOX FOOTY  50,000
  6. Inside The News  Sky News Live  48,000
  7. PML Later  Sky News Live  41,000
  8. The Comancheros  FOX Classics  38,000
  9. The Kenny Report  Sky News Live  36,000
  10. The Simpsons  FOX8  29,000
  11. Judge Judy  FOX Arena  28,000
  12. NCIS: Los Angeles  FOX Crime  28,000
  13. Bargain Hunt  Lifestyle Channel  28,000
  14. The Simpsons  FOX8  27,000
  15. Blue Bloods  FOX One  27,000
  16. Highway Patrol  FOX8  26,000
  17. The Big Bang Theory  FOX Funny  25,000
  18. The Big Bang Theory  FOX Funny  25,000
  19. Grand Designs Australia  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

Google’s solution would allow it to control arbitration: ACCC boss

The boss of the competition watchdog has labelled Google’s solution to the proposed news media bargaining code, its News Showcase product, another example of its empire-building take it or leave it proposition as Google claims its threat to pull its search engine from Australia was misrepresented, reports The AFR’s Miranda Ward.

Speaking to The Australian Financial ReviewRod Sims said there was nothing wrong with media companies negotiating deals with the search giant for inclusion in its News Showcase product.

“What Google is saying is we want Showcase to be the only element around which you can have arbitration and since Google completely controls what Showcase is, how can you arbitrate on something that doesn’t exist and which they can control what it is, and therefore they can control the values so they can control the arbitration outcome,” the chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said.

[Read more]

The ACCC flags court action against Google over its market power

Rod Sims has flagged potential court action against Google, as the country’s major media organisations backed the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s push to check the technology giant’s market power, reports The Australian’s David Swan.

The ACCC released an interim report from its digital advertising services inquiry on Thursday, accusing Google of abusing its dominance of the $3.4bn sector, leading to a lack of competition and transparency.

Sims later accused Google of “marking its own homework” because it controlled the entire ad supply chain, and said its dominance was harming Australian publishers and small businesses.

[Read more]

Nine Entertainment chief executive between Sneesby, Holgate, Laing, and Fellows?

The process to find a replacement for outgoing Nine Entertainment chief executive Hugh Marks is understood to have narrowed to two parties, with Stan boss Mike Sneesby still in the mix, along with an external candidate, reports The Australian’s Bridget Carter.

Sources say Chris Janz, Nine’s digital and publishing boss, is no longer in contention for the role.

With respect to the external candidate, it is understood that there is much focus on a number of high-profile women in media.

The understanding is that Nine’s recruiters have been asking plenty of questions about former Blackmores and Australia Post boss Christine Holgate, a former board member of Network 10 who is believed to be keen on the position.

Aspirations are said to exist for Amanda Laing, Foxtel’s chief commercial and content officer — who is also a former Nine executive — to run its stable, or the highly regarded News Corp executive Tracey Fellows.

[Read more]

Disney rakes in $600m in Australian revenue, $34m profit

The Walt Disney Company raked in more than $600 million in Australia last financial year, following the launch of its long-awaited streaming service and the release of two blockbuster movies, Frozen II and the latest installment in the Star Wars franchise, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Zoe Samios.

Financial accounts lodged with the corporate regulator this month show the US entertainment giant generated more than $541 million in revenue for the year to September 2020, up from $477 million in 2019. Once other income – such as government grants for feature film and program production – is taken into account, Disney generated over $600 million in Australia during the period.

It booked a $34.2 million profit compared to $23.4 million in the preceding year. Disney paid $4.8 million in tax on that profit, plus $11 million in deferred tax payments. In the preceding year it received a tax benefit of $1.2 million.

[Read more]

Telstra boss Andy Penn says telco is ‘committed’ to Foxtel for long term

Telstra boss Andy Penn has expressed confidence in the long term-outlook for Foxtel and says the telco is committed to its investment in the pay TV platform, despite fierce competition from rival streaming services and its large debt pile, report The Sydney Morning Herald’s Zoe Samios and Elizabeth Knight.

Penn, who presented at a CEDA event to discuss the future of the workplace, told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age that despite Foxtel’s challenges, it still made sense to offer telco customers the product and to invest in the company.

“Foxtel’s challenge as a traditional broadcaster is to deliver,” Penn said. “It’s a difficult transition but I think Foxtel are doing that now with Kayo and Binge and we are committed because we know our customers value that content and to couple it with communications makes a lot of sense. I’m confident that Foxtel over the long term will be successful.”

[Read more]

News Brands

No excuse to delay new defamation laws: NSW tells other states

NSW has warned its patience is running out with states that have not passed uniform defamation laws, and that it is ready to commence the new regime on July 1, reports The AFR’s Michael Pelly.

All states and territories agreed in July 2020 on reforms they say will reduce payouts, cut out trivial claims and better protect “public interest” journalism – and that they would enact the model laws as “soon as possible”.

NSW was first to do so in August, but only South Australia (in October) and Victoria in (December) followed suit. It meant a planned start date of January 1 had to be pushed back to avoid forum-shopping by plaintiffs.

[Read more]

Radio

ACE owned 3MP appoints TRSN to handle their national sales representation

CEO of the ACE Radio Network, Mark Taylor (pictured), this week confirmed that The Radio Sales Network (TRSN) has been officially appointed to represent their Melbourne and Mornington Peninsula Radio station 3MP.

3MP was purchased by ACE Radio in July of last year and relaunched back to its original “Easy Music” format. 3MP will concentrate on the Mornington Peninsula heartland of the station’s broadcast area, where it’s 1377 AM signal is crystal clear.

Mark Taylor said “TRSN have been a tremendous partner of ours for the last four years and have delivered significant revenue growth across our 17 other regional radio stations. So, we are very excited about the TRSN team looking after 3MP for national clients and media agencies.”

Jeremy Simpson, TRSN’s group GM of National Sales added “We love working with the ACE guys and we are thrilled that Mark has the confidence in TRSN to handle 3MP. We represent over 120+ regional radio stations and 3MP’s local focus on the Mornington Peninsula fits our portfolio perfectly.”

TRSN represents the ACE Radio Group including 3MP across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

Sports Media

US broadcaster “super hopeful and optimistic” about Tokyo Olympics, CEO says

Cable giant Comcast’s earnings conference call on Thursday covered various topics of interest to industry insiders and Wall Street analysts, but also at least one that casual sports fans will be keen on: the fate of the planned Tokyo Olympics, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts and NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell were among the executives speaking on Thursday’s call, and they did get a question on the Summer Games, set to begin July 23 after being delayed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Sitting here today, I believe there will be an Olympics. I hope there will be an Olympics,” Roberts said. He argued that the event could be done “in a variety of ways” as sports events worldwide have shown, including with limited or no audiences. “We are super hopeful and optimistic” and believe organizers will find a way.

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