Friday July 24, 2020

Hot Dub Time Machine
Launching today: Hot Dub Time Machine on Nova’s Feel Good Fridays

Hot Dub Time Machine and the Nova Network are joining forces to light up the Feel Good Friday soundtrack from Friday 24 July.

Hot Dub Time Machine’s master of ceremonies Tom Loud will be making his debut on the Nova decks for his time-travelling dance party at 12pm each Friday. The interactive show will include fan requests and shout outs as listeners party their way through music history.

Hot Dub Time Machine launched in 2011 and has gone on to become one of the most in-demand DJ’s in the world. Selling hundreds of thousands of tickets worldwide, the Sydney born one-man dance party has appeared at Coachella, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, London’s Brixton academy as well as a slew of home-grown gigs. His sets feature songs from throughout the decades played in chronological order mixed together in his signature foot-stomping mash-ups and crossfades.

Hot Dub Time Machine’s Tom Loud said, “I’m so excited to join Nova and DJ for the whole of Australia every week!! I’m going to cram as many amazing songs as I can into every show. I guarantee, 100% bangers and of course, the Best. Party. Ever!”

Paul Jackson, NOVA Entertainment’s chief programming & marketing officer said, “Well known to the Australian partygoing audience, and having headlined some of our biggest events including the Formula One Australian Grand Prix and the Australian Open tennis, Hot Dub Time Machine is one of the hottest DJs in the world. His dance through the decades party tracks are the perfect complement to Nova’s Feel Good Fridays and midday will now be the point when the weekend officially starts.”

GfK has been measuring radio audiences, but without station results

With metropolitan radio surveys temporarily paused due to COVID-19, the commercial radio industry commissioned a study to provide the market with a better insight into the size and behaviour of metropolitan audiences, as restrictions began to ease.

The GfK Radio Pulse study reports on the number of Australians listening across all platforms, including broadcast radio, apps, online and smart speakers. The sample included 2,240 respondents across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth and was representative by age and gender.

The GfK Radio Pulse study reports on the number of Australians listening across all platforms, including broadcast radio, apps, online, smart speakers. The study saw I00% of respondents complete an online diary, where they were required to record their radio listening for each quarter hour in an e-diary, using a computer, smartphone or laptop. This compares to 30% of respondents who complete online diaries as part of the regular ratings.

The study was in-field from I7 May – I3 June 2020. All comparisons are with Survey 2 2020, which was conducted by GfK between 9 February and 4 April 2020.

GfK reports that commercial radio audiences had climbed 7.1% to nearly 12 million.

Sydney increased its audience by 343,000 listeners (+9.5%), followed by Melbourne with I75,000 (+4.7%). There were also gains across the three smaller markets of Perth (+I20,000 or +9.0%), Brisbane (+77,000 or +4.7%), Adelaide (+7I,000 or +8.2%).

Breakfast attracted II5,000 more listeners (+I.5%) and Drive 378,000 more (+5.5%). Morning and Afternoon audiences remained strong, with more than 7.5 million listeners tuning in during both dayparts.

ACM shakes up real estate market with listing bundle in 4 regional markets

ACM owner Antony Catalano’s ambitious digital property strategy for his regional media business has taken an important step forward with the announcement that ACM is now bundling real estate print advertising with listings on national property portal realestateview.com.au.

Agents and vendors in four key property markets across three states are now able to bundle print advertising campaigns with a realestateview.com.au listing.

ACM announced in February that Catalano, ACM’s Executive Chairman, had joined the board of realestateview.com.au and, together with business partner and ACM co-owner Alex Waislitz, had secured the largest interest in the online platform.

The bundling offer is being piloted through two of ACM’s leading daily mastheads in Victoria, The Courier in Ballarat and the Bendigo Advertiser, as well as the Illawarra Mercury in NSW and Redland City Bulletin in outer Brisbane.

The bundled print and digital listings push follows the successful February pilot in Newcastle and subsequent roll out in Sydney of the Today Acquire digital marketing platform, which helps vendors find buyers wherever they are in the digital sphere.

Catalano said he was “excited to round out the ACM property suite by now offering agents and vendors the opportunity to bundle their existing print campaigns with a listing on realestateview.com.au.

“Combining print, realestateview.com.au and off-portal marketing tools such as Today Acquire allows agents and vendors a one-stop shop for property media that target buyers at all stages of their purchase cycle,” he added.

“Realestateview.com.au has a proud 20-year history of delivering cost-effective lead generation for agents and now bundled with print will unlock additional agent brand and property awareness opportunities for our valued clients.”

Realestateview.com.au CEO Toby Balazs said he was excited to be expanding the property portal’s already strong relationship with ACM.

“The combined talent of the groups has allowed us to seamlessly integrate into the ACM sales process and I look forward to seeing the results,” Balazs said.

“Helping agents find buyers at manageable costs is one of our core pillars, and we look forward to working with the ACM team to roll this out to new markets across the country.”

In a further sign of the close partnership developing between ACM and realestateview.com.au, ACM chief marketing officer Paul Tyrrell will now also oversee marketing activity for realestateview.com.au.

Ninja Warrior Cian
Advertisers reveal why they are investing in Nine’s Ninja Warrior

Nine has named its major sponsors for the 2020 season of Australian Ninja Warrior.

The fourth Australian season of the global Ninja Warrior franchise will see the return of major brands including Energizer and KFC, with new sponsors including Sanofi, Aldi and Nutri-Grain also joining the program.

Australian Ninja Warrior is a powerhouse format that dominates the demographics and has a real influence to bring families around the television,” says Nine’s director of Powered, Liana Dubois.

“This makes it a brilliant format for our clients. We are very excited to be partnering with our returning brands and thrilled to have new brands join us on board another action-charged season of Australian Ninja Warrior.”

Ninja Warrior

Battery manufacturer Energizer, returning in its second year, will have on-ground branding with The Power Tower occurring at the end of each heat and semi-final, where for the first time it will be Ninja versus Ninja, as the two furthest and fastest Ninjas each night strive for a game-changing advantage. Energizer will also receive branded logo associated with an on-screen timer shown during Ninja runs, a bespoke, integrated billboard featuring their famous animated Mr Energizer, and an interactive digital fireplace game.

Shivani Maharaj, national head of content & partnerships, Wavemaker, said: “Ninja Warrior is one of Australia’s most loved TV shows and perfectly encapsulates Energizer’s values of power, performance and endurance. We are thrilled to see the new obstacle, The Power Tower, come to life and believe that 2020 is set to be an amazing year for Ninja Warrior.

“Completing production during the pandemic was challenging, but Nine, Powered and Endemol Shine have demonstrated agility and flexibility. The production community deserves a medal for how they are adapting shows, especially those that rely on a live audience.

“We’ve seen what has successfully been done on The Voice and now we will see it on Australian Ninja Warrior. We couldn’t have asked for better partners to work with at this time and we are delighted for Wavemaker and Energizer to be a part of it.”

Nine’s Powered Studios will help design integrated TV commercials for its first partnership with Sanofi Consumer Healthcare this year, covering five of their winter brands: Cenovis, Nature’s Own, Betadine, Bisolvon and Mersynofen. They will position their suite of products as “The Winter Superheroes”, as well as leveraging the Australian Ninja Warrior brand through logo association across POS, digital and print, leaning into their “Winter Superheroes” campaign.

Ninja Warrior Ashlin

Aldi, another major brand coming on board for the first time, will have branded logos appearing on digital perimeter screens alongside the obstacle course and also across the on-screen leader and hero boards.

Returning for its fourth year, KFC will also have branded logos on digital perimeter screens and crowd incidentals with branded foam fingers. Additionally, KFC has commissioned Powered Studios to create a new digital content series called “Thrills and Spills” on the official Australian Ninja Warrior website, with branded playout in-program to drive the series.

“To celebrate our ongoing partnership with Ninja Warrior, we’ll be showcasing all the Ninjas’ nailbiting, risk-taking and go-for-it moments in our new digital content series, ‘Thrills and Spills’. To all the Ninjas: fire up, unleash your free spirits, and we look forward to celebrating with you at the top of Mt Midoriyama,” said Kristi Woolrych, chief marketing officer, KFC Australia.

Joining in its first year, Nutri-Grain will have an integrated back story in-program featuring footage of Ironman and Ironwoman competitors. Nutri-Grain-branded logo will appear on the digital perimeter screens alongside the obstacle course and be visible during the Ninja runs.

REA, AAMi, Ahm and Optus will also leverage Australian Ninja Warrior through billboard association.

Season four of Australian Ninja Warrior premieres on Sunday, July 26, at 7.00pm on Nine and 9Now.

Ultimate Tag
Seven commissions Endemol Shine for another 7.30pm reality hit

The Seven Network has commissioned Ultimate Tag from Endemol Shine Australia (ESA), to air on Channel 7 in 2021 as part of its continuing content led growth strategy.

The new commission extends the partnership between the companies following the successful collaboration on Big Brother Australia.

Ultimate Tag is an epic tournament of tag to find Australia’s ultimate taggers. It takes the universally known game of tag and elevates it to a level and scale never before seen.

Commenting on the commission, Seven’s network programming director Angus Ross said: “This is part of our tent pole strategy that delivers epic entertainment to all audiences. We’re excited to be partnering with Endemol Shine Australia to bring Ultimate Tag, a dynamic new format, to Australia next year. Endemol Shine are the masters of supercharging shows to massive success in Australia, and with Ultimate Tag we know they will deliver a great show that our viewers will love, just as they have done with Big Brother this year.

“We can’t wait to bring Ultimate Tag to our audience next year and continue our content led growth story that has reestablished Seven as the place for brands to reach key demographics.”

Mark Fennessy, CEO, Endemol Shine Australia, said: “It’s the fastest and most intense competition ever seen – a supersized family game that just became a sport. Everyday Runners must avoid our professional Taggers – a mischievous group of highly skilled freerunners, parkour artists and elite athletes. It moves at a frightening speed that delivers momentary thrills, surprising victories and startling defeats. Ultimate Tag is blockbuster family entertainment at its pulsating best – the Ultimate Test on the Ultimate Playground.”

Originally created by event entertainment specialists Znak & Co, Ultimate Tag’s launch on FOX marks broadcast’s highest-rated unscripted Summer debut in three years and FOX’s highest-rated and most-watched unscripted Summer debut in eight years.

Casting is open now at ultimatetagcasting.com.au with more details to be announced at Seven’s 2021 Upfronts later this year.

Hermione Norris
Mercado on TV: From Between Two Worlds to Wentworth: Redemption

By Andrew Mercado

• New series prove that Aussie drama can still be thrilling and relevant

With local drama points abandoned, and networks wanting to self-regulate their own quotas in the future, will this be the last time we see two incredible Aussie dramas airing in the same week, like Between Two Worlds (Sunday on Seven) and Wentworth: Redemption (Tuesday on FoxShowcase).

Australian dramas about wealthy families have rarely worked, because local budgets have never been able to deliver the necessary lushness. Bevan Lee, the creator of Between Two Worlds, has had prior experience writing about rich families for Sons & Daughters, Possession, The Power The Passion, Paradise Beach, Pacific Drive and A Place To Call Home. Only the last one had the budget to pull it off, and it helped that it was period too.

Between Two Worlds must have cost a bomb to make but it’s been worth every cent because it looks amazing. There are no beige studio sets, because the obscenely wealthy family lives in a penthouse towering over Sydney. Even the poorer family lives right on the beachfront, and locations like this will have overseas viewers salivating.

Between Two Worlds is a slow burn, and the third hour is particularly twisted. Bevan Lee once wrote about a woman with a split personality, who woke up one morning to see scrawled in lipstick on her mirror: “I’m back you frigid bitch”. It’s great to have Bevan Lee back, and Between Two Worlds is magnificent in every way.

Wentworth: Redemption is back thanks to Logie wins and a fan campaign that convinced Foxtel and Fremantle not to end the show last year, as originally planned. Now Wentworth feels rebooted as it introduces two more heritage characters from Prisoner in spectacular fashion.

Wentworth cast

Cast of Wentworth: Redemption

Lou Kelly (Kate Box) and Reb Keane (Zoe Terakes) are wilder than ever now, a Bonnie and Clyde type couple that prove challenging for Boomer (Katrina Milsovec). That’s because Reb is a transgender male and in a first for Australian TV, played by a non-binary actor. Well done.

It’s this sort of authenticity that makes this season premiere one of its best yet. Wentworth more than deserves this reprieve, but what will replace it after it ends next year, given Foxtel are agitating to drop their 10% Aussie drama quota?

Wentworth

Ann (Jane Hall) & Vera (Kate Atkinson) in Wentworth: Redemption

Commercial networks like Seven want all their adult drama quotas gone too. They are also keen to dump their children’s TV quotas, because “nobody watches” them at 6am on 7flix. Funny that. There may well be a conversation in altering these quotas, but networks should remember they have certain community standards to meet in exchange for their broadcast licences.

At a time when so few shows are being made, Between Two Worlds and Wentworth prove that Aussie drama can still be thrilling and relevant. Long may our stories continue, because they won’t if quotas are totally abandoned.

Photos: Hermione Norris in Between Two Worlds

OzTAM TV Ratings Delayed

Media News Roundup

Business of Media

10 confirms Supercars exit, Seven in pole position

Network 10 has pulled the pin on negotiations for a potential return for V8 Supercars, leaving Seven West Media in the box seat to be the free-to-air broadcaster of motorsport from next year, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

In May, The Australian Financial Review revealed that 10 was preparing to walk away from Supercars as it was a loss-making endeavour for the network.

It is understood that Supercars and 10 were discussing a two-year deal, worth in the mid-to-high single digit millions.

However, the ViacomCBS-owned broadcaster confirmed to the Financial Review that it would not be the free-to-air broadcaster beyond 2020.

“Network 10 will not renew its contract with the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, which expires at the end of this year,” Network 10 director of sport production Adam Cush said.

“Network 10 has enjoyed a great relationship with the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship over the past six years and it’s been a privilege to bring our audiences world-class racing.

“We look forward to finishing on a high with the 2020 Bathurst 1000 in October. We wish the drivers, crews and all those behind the scenes the very best for the 2021 season.”

The current six-year record $241 million deal between 10 and Foxtel, signed in 2013, began in 2015 and finishes at the end of the 2020 season. It was brokered by then Supercars chief executive James Warburton, who is now Seven chief executive and has a small stake in the Archer Capital-owned racing body.

[Read more]

Telcos tackle traffic spikes Netflix brings streaming back up to speed

Australian telcos are gearing up to deal with extra pressure on their networks as US entertainment giant Netflix and video-sharing site YouTube return the video quality of their programming to pre-coronavirus pandemic levels, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Zoe Samios.

Netflix and YouTube were among a group of services to reduce the amount of data used for video streaming in an effort to help the networks cope with the extra traffic as social-distancing restrictions forced a large segment of the public to work from home.

The media platforms compressed their bit rates – the amount of data per second consumed on a digital network – of their streams. Netflix uses many different streams for a single film or television show, some with higher bit rates, but the decision meant the highest bandwidth streams had been removed. At the time it told consumers they may notice a “very slight decrease” in quality.

However multiple telco and streaming sources have confirmed that YouTube and Netflix are no longer reducing bit rates, a decision which has coincided with heightened restrictions in Victoria. Netflix declined to comment. A YouTube spokesperson confirmed that the company had starting lifting restrictions on a “country-by-country basis”.

[Read more]

News Brands

NSW Police demand journalist Jamie Pandaram show shopping receipts

Police said they were targeting shoplifting offences, but their ‘proactive operation’ left The Daily Telegraph’s award-winning sports journo asking why he was the one singled out – again:

I always imagined myself to be a militant warrior in a situation like this, writes Pandaram in The Daily Telegraph.

Having observed so much of the filmed injustice in the United States and Australia recently, I had a warped sense of my own courage – if ever I was confronted unfairly by police, I’d have my phone out, asking questions, demanding answers.

It’s what I do for a living – have done since I became a journalist 18 years ago.

But now, surrounded by three NSW Police officers demanding to see receipts to prove I’d paid for my groceries at Marrickville Metro, I’m ashamed to say I froze.

By the time I’d been shown their badges, told I was being recorded, surrounded in a way that I was cornered, and asked to produce receipts for each item in my grocery bag, I was too stunned to talk, let alone whip out my phone and record this encounter.

It took a few minutes before the shock turned to boiling anger.

It was 10 years ago that I was pulled over by police in Redfern and asked if the car I was driving belonged to me.

That day, just like today, I was wearing a baseball cap.

[Read more]

Law reform: Curb on defamation mega-payouts to celebrities

A new defence for public interest journalism and an effective cap on defamation payouts are key features of a national model law that awaits approval on Monday by state and territory attorneys-general, reports The Australian’s Chris Merritt.

The scheme aims to end massive payouts in which celebrities have won more for harm to their reputations than injured workers could win for the loss of a leg.

The changes in the model bill are the result of the first stage of a national defamation reform project now examining defamation responsibilities and liabilities of internet platforms.

The model law’s restored cap on damages is aimed at reinforcing the original goal of ensuring defamation awards for harm to a person’s reputation – known as non-economic losses – have a rational relationship to the size of payouts for physical injuries. When the cap was introduced in 2005, it was indexed and now stands at about $400,000.

However, judges have applied it in a way that has allowed them to exceed the cap – in some cases by 100 per cent – which has broken the relationship with compensation for physical injuries.

Actor Geoffrey Rush won $850,000 for harm to his reputation when the cap was just under $400,000; the four Wagner brothers each won $750,0000 from Macquarie Radio when the cap was $398,500; and actress Rebel Wilson and barrister Lloyd Rayner each won $600,000 when the cap was $389,500.

[Read more]

Media companies heading to mediation over Pell contempt charges

Media companies will go to trial on contempt of court charges over their reporting connected with Cardinal George Pell‘s conviction on sexual abuse charges if a mediation ordered by a Supreme Court judge fails to resolve the case, reports The Age’s Adam Cooper.

Thirty journalists and news organisations are accused by Victorian prosecutors of breaching a suppression order imposed by the County Court, which in December 2018 prevented media from reporting the guilty verdicts a jury reached against the cardinal. Their reporting did not name Cardinal Pell or the offences involved.

Barrister Matt Collins, QC, appearing for the media, raised the idea of mediation before Justice John Dixon on Thursday and told him settlement negotiations between the parties had “gone off the tracks”.

The Office of Public Prosecutions proposed having one of the court’s judicial registrars oversee the mediation.

But Justice Dixon ruled out the use of a judicial registrar.

“Having regard to the nature of the allegations that are before the court it would be inappropriate for a judicial officer to be involved in a mediation process,” he said.

However, he approved the appointment of former Federal Court judge Ray Finkelstein, QC, to act as a private mediator to facilitate talks between lawyers for the media and prosecutors to help iron out points of difference before the trial.

The parties are to attend the mediation before Finkelstein in August and then return to Justice Dixon on September 2.

[Read more]

Entertainment

Nick Cave's global streaming concert hit by technical issues

Hundreds of Nick Cave fans are demanding refunds after the global online streaming event was plagued with buffering and freezing glitches, reports London-based Latika Bourke in Nine newspapers.

Organisers have emailed those who purchased tickets to apologise. They said the performance would be put online for ticket holders to watch from Friday afternoon until Sunday.

The show, Idiot Prayer: Nick Cave Alone At Alexandra Palace, went online at 8pm on Thursday.

It was streamed on the platform Dice but within minutes of the concert starting, users experienced buffering problems and turned to social media, only to discover they were not alone.

Promoters had billed the event as a one-off global live streaming event that would not be put online afterwards.

But in an email to ticket holders, Dice said: “We’re aware that you may have experienced technical issues with tonight’s stream.

“We apologise that it wasn’t the experience you expected, and thank you for your patience.

“The film will be made available to all ticket holders from 4pm AEST Friday 24th July until 4pm AEST Sunday 26th July.

Passwords and links would be emailed at 3.30pm on Friday, the company said.

[Read more]

Podcasting

New York Times pays $25m for company behind hit podcast Serial

The New York Times Company has agreed to buy Serial Productions, the company behind the hit podcast Serial, The Times said on Wednesday, in the paper’s latest move to broaden its digital journalism.

The arrangement will allow Serial Productions to increase the number of shows it makes, said Julie Snyder, the executive editor of Serial Productions, and will allow those shows to then be promoted on The Times’s website, in its newsletters and through its other channels.

“The idea is to drive New York Times readers and listeners toward Serial projects,” Sam Dolnick, an assistant managing editor who oversees The Times’s audio efforts, said in an interview. “There’s going to be ways that we can help Serial tell more stories, bigger stories and, down the road, figure out how our newsroom and theirs can coordinate even more deeply.”

The Times paid about US$25 million for the company, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.

[Read more]

See also: Podcast Week: Fail with Greta Lee Jackson, Madeleine West’s smooth series, Michelle Obama, Audiocraft Fest Saturday, Acast Marketplace

Television

The delay to television ratings is set to drag on into next week

Sources have told TV Tonight that the delay in the release of daily TV ratings is likely to stretch into next week, which would delay launch numbers for Australian Ninja Warrior, Farmer Wants a Wife and Between Two Worlds.

Nielsen has confirmed it is a victim of ransomware, after TV Tonight broke the story on a cyber attack this week.

“Nielsen has become aware of an unexpected disruption relating to the Australian TV Audience Measurement (TAM) data centre environment,” a spokesperson said.

“This disruption is derived from a ransomware attack in which Nielsen was the victim. As a result, TV ratings data remains unavailable. Nielsen can confirm, however, that all households are still collecting viewing data and that referencing sites have not been impacted.”

[Read more]

Roxy Jacenko, Honey Badger, Candice Warner in SAS reality show

Candice Warner and Roxy Jacenko are confirmed to compete in the Australian version of British reality show, SAS: Who Dares Wins, reports News Corp’s Jonathon Moran.

Confidential can verify the wife of cricketer David Warner and prominent Sydney publicist Jacenko will be put through their paces in military special service challenges on the Channel 7 reality show.

Seven is yet to officially confirm any talent for the production but Confidential can also reveal the cast includes Olympic swimmer James Magnussen, former Biggest Loser trainer Shannan Ponton and Shane Warne’s son Jackson.

Filming is now slated to take place around Jindabyne in the NSW Snowy Mountains over the coming weeks.

[Read more]

MAFS star claims psychologist spilt contestants’ secrets to TV producers

Former Married at First Sight bride Jessika Power has alleged a psychologist on the show gave confidential information from contestants to TV producers, reports News Corp’s Nui Te Koha.

Power, who appeared on the Channel 9 show last year, said the network provided counsellors to assist with mental health issues.

“Channel 9 said there are people you can talk to,” Power told reality TV podcast, takeoverau. “These personal things you speak to them about are supposed to be confidential and private, but every time you talked about something, it would get back to a producer.”

Power claimed: “I had two people from my season say to me, ‘Everything I told the psychologist got back to the executive producer.”

Power also claimed MAFS producers made Power and her first groom, Mick Gould, re-enact a fight that happened off-camera.

Channel 9 said it had no comment on Power’s claims.

[Read more]

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