Thursday June 11, 2020

Podcast Week: Favourites from Howcroft, Fennell & The Briefing

By James Manning

• Plus New Howie, Ruck ’n Roll at 100, Jay Walkerden has been busy

Russel Howcroft’s Best

A recommended listening list from the host of Brand New World.

“I am a sporadic podcast listener,” Howcroft told Mediaweek. “I love listening to NBC’s podcast of Meet The Press. I listen to that most Mondays and it gives me a great insight into US politics. I also listen to The Squiz which is great. I get sent lots of podcast links and I then have a listen. I listen to Wil Anderson. He is interesting because he’s a rule breaker, and one of the rules he breaks is length of podcast. It can be quite a long haul when you settle in with Wil, but it is time well spent. I also like the artwork [from James Fosdike] that he uses. I also enjoy The Howie Games and he is also very prolific. Howie and Wil went to school together. The plane is my usual podcast moment. Since working from home I have not been flying every single week which has interrupted my podcast habit.”

Listen to Brand New World here.

Marc Fennell’s Best

SBS broadcaster and host of Audible’s Nut Jobs has given Mediaweek some of his podcasting recommendations:

Wind of Change is a great American podcast.” It links German rock band Scorpions to the CIA!

“There are now a lot of daily news podcasts. My recommendation is The Intelligence from The Economist. It has great international news and interesting stories. Some daily news podcasts have a bit of self-importance and take themselves a bit too seriously. This just gets on with it and is not too busy trying to tell you how important it is.

Dan Ilic’s Irrational Fear podcast is great and should absolutely be a TV show. It’s the sort of live satirical TV that you just wish was on a Saturday night.

The Eleventh, about Gough Whitlam’s dismissal, I have just finished and I recommend it.”

Listen to Nut Jobs here.

The Briefing’s Best

Tom Tilley and Jan Fran, hosts of PodcastOne’s new daily The Briefing are broadcasting its 40th episode this week. On a special Queen’s Birthday episode this week they presented the five most downloaded episodes:

1. 5G conspiracy theory explained
2. Clementine Ford on online abuse
3. Posting fake news online
4. Real talk about mental health
5. Discussion about Black Lives Matter protests

Listen to the special episode of The Briefing here.

New from Jay Walkerden’s Podshape

We have written before about the new podcasting company Podshape launched by Nova’s former head of podcasting Jay Walkerden. This week he revealed another two additions to his stable.

Good Yarns features unreal stories from very real Aussies hosted by comedian Shad Wicka. Wicka a breakfast radio host was let go by Cairns station Hit FM after a stunt involving the PM and the C-bomb earlier this year.

Wicka says of his new podcast, “We all have at least one unreal story we love to share. Something to bring out at the pub or BBQ with some mates. Good Yarns features a new guest with a story tell every week. Incredible, hilarious or really interesting are the only filters they have to live by and all I have to do is kick back, have laugh and soak up a Good Yarn.”

The second podcast is the popular Am I A Bad Mum? series that has had over 150 episodes, amassed a large following and is currently being featured by Apple Podcasts.

The tri-weekly podcast takes a lighter look as life as a mum through the eyes of two mums with four kids between them.

Rachel Thaiday one half of the Bad Mum team said of the new partnership:

“We love what Podshape stands for, telling stories that can help make a difference and that’s what our podcast is about. We want anyone that listens to know that we are all in this together and being a mum is not easy and sometimes it’s good to sit back and have a laugh about some of our mess-ups.”

Jay Walkerden said: “Both of these titles further enhance our offering which is telling great Australian stories that can help shape peoples lives. These two titles remind us in a very serious world sometimes we have to sit back and smile and both podcasts start with that in mind.”

See Podshape’s catalogue here.

New from The Howie Games

As Mark Howard closes in on his 100th episode of The Howie Games, don’t miss episode #96 which is his interview with Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy which is delivered in two parts. If AFL is more your thing, you can always chose #97 with dual Brownlow Medal winning captain of Fremantle, Nat Fyfe, which Howie has chopped up into three episodes.

Listen to The Howie Games here.

Music and comedy unite for new ABC podcast CrossBread

ABC is breaking new ground, with the launch of CrossBread, the six-part musical comedy fiction podcast, now available, starring ARIA award-winner artist Megan Washington, John Waters (Lennon: Through a Glass Onion) and Chris Ryan (King Kong: The Musical). CrossBread follows the spectacular rise and infamous demise of the once hugely popular Christian rap outfit CrossBread.

Also starring comedians Kate McLennan (Get Krack!n, The Katering Show) Aaron Chen (Aaron Chen Tonight) and Sami Shah (QI, ABC Melbourne), the story of CrossBread is told through interviews with the band, and includes audio from their concerts, rehearsals and studio sessions.

Hailing from Melbourne’s outer suburbs, CrossBread, were a hugely successful Christian rap outfit, fronted by brother and sister duo Josh and Joan Burns. After lighting up GodTube in 2015, CrossBread became Christian music superstars literally overnight, garnering a legion of dedicated fans, but, just as quickly… they disappeared.

Created and written by Declan Fay (Ronny Chieng: International Student), Chris Ryan and Megan Washington, CrossBread is the classic ‘rags-to-riches-to-ruin’ story paralleling the best rock and roll tales of all time.

The series is an outcome of the ABC $1 million podcast fund callout. The initiative launched in 2017 for new and emerging podcasters supports community-based creatives with remarkable Australian stories to tell. Other podcasts to receive funding so far are Fierce Girls, Mindfully, Animal Sound Safari, Parental Guidance Recommended, Alice Fraser Trilogy, Little Tiny and No Feeling is Final.

Listen to CrossBread here.

Ruck ‘n Roll turns 100

Ruck ’n Roll is a weekly podcast with broadcaster Kevin Hillier, rock singer Brian Mannix and sports journo and broadcaster Rohan Connolly that grew out of a shared passion for sport, music and taking the piss out of each other.

Part of Hillier’s Howdy Partners Media stable, the series launched two years ago and is celebrating its 100th episode this week. The podcast began as an occasional segment during Kevin’s weekend summer radio show has turned into a popular podcast with a loyal following.

Long before COVID 19 made social media lists compulsory and tedious, the Ruck ’n Roll team were parading their top fives on all manner of subjects – singers who act, actors who sing, child performers, pretty boy bands and love songs plus their good and bad list for icons like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, U2, Madonna, Cold Chisel and many more.

Listen to Ruck ’n Roll here.

May another record at SCA for live radio streaming & PodcastOne

As COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease, SCA’s live radio streaming remains a constant with more people tuning into Hit and Triple M stations than ever before.

May was another record breaking month for SCA for live radio streaming, which increased another 3% month on month and 42% year on year to reach 1.3 million listeners*. Catch up radio podcasts also had a huge month , rising 47% year on year with 3.4 million downloads^ of popular Hit and Triple M shows.

Smart speakers too remain a popular choice for listeners, reporting 2 million listening hours in May and an average session of 2 hours and 10 minutes.

SCA PodcastOne Australia podcasting downloads are up 127% from March to May. The month of May saw the biggest download month for PodcastOne Australia since its launch in 2017. Hamish and Andy and The Howie Games recorded their biggest month of downloads ever.

Meanwhile SCA radio streaming audiences continue to grow as they listen for longer, with a 30% increase in reach and 47% jump in total listening hours per month*.

Listening on demand, including live radio streaming across mobile, tablet and smart speakers, as well as catch up radio podcasts, exceeded all past records in May:

• 9.1 million active live radio streams, up 3.4% month on month and 38% year on year, with 10 million total listening hours, up 3.7% month on month and 30% year on year*
• Live radio streaming on mobiles and tablets is up 18% from March to May and smart speakers are up 21%*
• More than 14,000 listeners tuned into Hit’s Virtual Trivia weekly games, hosted by Hughsey and Ed, with 670,000 questions answered
• Listeners have loved the return of their footy fix on Triple M, with Rush Hour reporting 530,000 downloads, The Rub 325,000 downloads and Triple M Rocks Footy at 200,000 downloads during May
• Social video views across Hit and Triple M have jumped 300% year on year**

“We expected live radio streaming and catch up radio podcasts to increase during lockdown with people working from home, but what we have found is that live radio streaming has become part of people’s daily routine. May was once again a record breaking month across our digital audio products, with more listeners tuning into Hit and Triple M for longer than ever before,” SCA chief sales officer Brian Gallagher said.

“The trend to listen across a range of devices continues to grow. Audio has proven to be a key companion choice as we move back into more normal routines.”


* Adswizz Audiometrix May 2020
^ Omny Studio May 2019 vs May 2020
** Facebook Insights March to May 2019 vs 2020

ABC and Daily Mail hold top spots in May Nielsen news rankings

After the delayed April Nielsen Digital Content Ratings data was released just a week ago, the May data has shown the top two spots are again held by ABC and Daily Mail Australia.

The longtime owner of top spot,, has managed to improve its ranking from #6 to #4, but it has also seen its audience drop 5% month-on-month, slipping below 10m.

ABC, Daily Mail Australia and are the three publishers holding their audiences over 10m a month. All publisher on the May top 10 saw their audiences decline versus April.

The biggest fall was at The Guardian which slumped 22%.

Total time spent in the Current Events and Global News (CEGN) sub-category is returning to normal levels after the uplift recorded in March 2020 during the COVID-19 lockdown. In May 2020, audiences spent 13% and 24% more time on CEGN sites than in January 2020 and February 2020 respectively.

Nielsen reported ABC News websites retained the top rank position for the fifth consecutive month with a unique audience of 12.8 million in May 2020.

Daily Mail Australia ranked second with a unique audience of 10.6 million, followed by with 10.2 million. reported a unique audience of 9.6 million. moved up from seventh to the sixth position while The Guardian dropped to seventh place. The Age and the Australian Community Media Network maintained respectively the eighth and ninth spot.

The Daily Telegraph moved back into the rankings for the May 2020 month, overtaking the tenth spot, which was last month held by Yahoo!.

Sony Music Ent Aust announces new local signings and partnerships

Sony Music Entertainment Australia announced new artist signings and partnerships, continuing its commitment to creative excellence by supporting and promoting incredible local talent.

The announcement includes the signing of renowned recording duo Busby Marou; songwriter, producer and musician Jerome Farah; a partnership with Medium Rare Recordings that starts with the release of Stace Cadet ft KLP’s Energy; a joint venture label deal with Jarrad Rogers’ NOiZE Recordings with Ashwarya as the label’s first signing; and a renewed partnership with Los Angeles-based songwriting and management company Milk & Honey.

Sony Music also confirmed the success of the Artists Unite For Fire Fight: Concert For National Bushfire Relief charity album, following its # 1 chart debut and 12 weeks in the top 40. $320,000 has been raised from the sale of the album to date and all proceeds are being donated to Sony Foundation Australia to go towards directly supporting young Australians in bushfire affected communities.

On these announcements, Denis Handlin, chairman and CEO of Sony Music Entertainment Australia and New Zealand, commented:

“Talent is at the core of everything we do at Sony Music, and we as a company are exceptionally proud to announce these exciting signings as we continue to invest in and foster incredible Australian artists. It is an absolute pleasure to welcome these new signings to the Sony Music family and we look forward to working with them to take each of their unique artistic visions to music fans.

“We are very humbled by the success of the Fire Fight charity album and a special thank you again to the Australian public, the artists and our partners that have made the album such a resounding success, with significant funds raised for those who are very much still in need.”

Top Photo: Busby Marou

ViacomCBS channels combine to commission The Royals Revealed

ViacomCBS-owned Channel 5 and Network 10 have announced that they will co-fund the production of a new 8-part series, The Royals Revealed.

The series marks the second content partnership between the UK and Australian free-to-air networks since the completion of the ViacomCBS merger.

The Royals Revealed will be produced by UK indie Back2back Productions and will be deficit financed by Parade Media Group. The series will take viewers on a journey through all aspects of the British Monarchy, past and present. Focussed on the most influential Royal family members, the series will unpick their personal stories to explore the bigger issues at the heart of the monarchy. Examining the tension between love and duty, the changing face of the monarchy and the private side of the family, the series will bring fresh perspectives to key events and relationships. The series is set to air on both networks later this year.

“The British Monarchy is an endlessly fascinating subject, evidenced by the success we’ve had so far on Channel 5 with our other royal strands. Being able to provide a fresh angle on some of the best-known royal events and sagas is something we know will appeal to our audience,” Cherry Yeandle, Senior Manager, Acquisitions & Co-Productions, Channel 5 commented. “The project is also enabling us to build on our relationship and synergies with Network 10 in Australia.”

Back2back’s Productions Founder/Managing Director David Notman-Watt said: “We are delighted to be partnering up with Parade Media Group on The Royals Revealed, an ambitious and timely series that will shed new light on some of the most important events in recent Royal history.”

Parade’s Chief Content Officer Mark Caulton said: “We are thrilled to be working with such terrific partners as Back2back, Channel 5, and Network 10 on this exciting new series that we know will appeal to both UK and international audiences.”

Late last year, Channel 5 and Network 10 announced With Intent, their first joint co-funded production since the ViacomCBS merger. This scripted mini-series, alongside the The Royals Revealed commission, builds on existing links between Network 10 and Channel 5, which both air Australia’s longest running and successful soap Neighbours.

Netflix donates $1m as coronavirus cuts TV, movie industry work

Netflix and Support Act have announced the creation of a new COVID-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund to help the hardest hit workers in the television and film industry due to the production shutdowns caused by COVID-19 across all of Australia.

Netflix will donate AUD $1 million to Support Act to launch the fund.

The grant is available to the most vulnerable below the line run of show and casual employees in the screen sector, who cannot work due to the near global production shutdown. Workers such as assistants, coordinators, technicians and operators from different production departments like camera, sound, music, art, make-up, costume design, locations and transportation, among others, many of whom are paid hourly wages and work on project-to-project basis, will be eligible to apply for the AUD$1,000 one-time benefit.

In addition to the Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund, Netflix is also making a donation to Support Act to assist its ongoing provision of crisis relief services to musicians, crew and music workers; and its mental health promotion activities which are now also available to arts workers across Australia.

Clive Miller, Support Act CEO said, “The Board of Support Act recognises the huge impact that COVID-19 has had on production personnel across all of the creative industries, and the strong alignment that exists between the music industry and the Screen Arts. We congratulate Netflix on this initiative and we welcome the opportunity to partner with them to help deliver these funds at this extraordinary time of need.”

Myleeta Aga, Netflix director of content for SEA and Australia, said: “We’re grateful to be able to work with Support Act to establish the Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund. We want to help those in the Australian screen industry who most need financial assistance, especially casual workers hit by the current crisis.”

The creation of this fund is part of an announcement Netflix made in March to set up a USD $100 million fund for those whose jobs have been affected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has since been increased to $150M. Netflix’s donation to Support Act, as well as to other organisations around the world (including India, Japan, UK, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Columbia), is part of the $30 million of the hardship fund that will be dedicated to providing emergency relief to out-of-work crew across the broader film and television industry in the countries.

Applications for the fund will open at 9AM on Monday 15 June. For more information about the fund, application process and eligibility criteria, please visit:

TV Guide: AFL is back! Seven days of coverage on Fox Footy

Virtual Crowd Noise will debut in round 2 as the AFL season finally continues on Fox Footy and Kayo. The sounds of fans will differ for all clubs and stadiums, enhancing the fan experience.

Fox Footy is also bringing fans as close to the game as possible with the return of Fox Air, an aerial cable camera that will fly up and down the ground showing play from every angle.

Led by Nick Riewoldt and Jonathan Brown, Fox Footy’s live action begins before the first siren sounds every round and continues until the locker rooms are empty on a Sunday.

In 2020 and for the first time ever, every coach will join Gerard Whateley and Mark Robinson and the AFL 360 team on Monday nights. Nathan Buckley and Damien Hardwick will come together for the return episode ahead of their upcoming clash. Melbourne captain Max Gawn, Carlton cult figure Eddie Betts, Richmond star Jack Riewoldt and Collingwood gun Adam Treloar will feature on Players Night on Tuesdays.

On Wednesdays, the legends are back, with Shinboner David King, Big Blue Mark Maclure, former Hawk champions Jordan Lewis and Jarryd Roughead debating and unpacking the biggest stories of the round.

On The Couch will return on Mondays after AFL 360 with AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan joining the new-look star- studded team lead by Gerard Healy for their first episode back. Healy, Garry Lyon and Brown will be joined permanently on the couches by Riewoldt, dissecting the weekend gone and the week ahead.

Mike Sheahan returns for another season of Open Mike on Tuesday evenings, launching with Bulldogs Premiership star, Dale Morris.

Dermott Brereton, King, Robinson and Anthony Hudson start the footy day early with Saturday Countdown from midday.

Saturday Stretch after Saturday Footy on Fox will round out the night for footy fans. Hosted by Katherine Loughnan, Brad Johnson and Tom Morris the trio will provide the best wrap of the biggest day in footy.

Bounce host Jason Dunstall will aim to keep funsters Andrew Gaze, Cameron Mooney, Sharni Layton and Bernie Vince in check after the footy on Sunday nights.

The First Crack, will be begin all post-game chat on Thursday, Friday and Sunday footy after the games. The revolving panel of three will offer fans their first fix on all games and stories played out in the round that just was.

Fox Footy’s commentary team includes the biggest names in the business: Adam Papalia, Alastair Lynch, Andrew Gaze, Anthony Hudson, Ben Dixon, Bernie Vince, Bob Murphy, Brad Johnson, Brenton Speed, Cameron Mooney, David King, Dermott Brereton, Dwayne Russell, Eddie McGuire, Garry Lyon, Gerard Healy, Gerard Whateley, Jason Dunstall, Jon Ralph, Jonathan Brown, Jordan Lewis, Katherine Loughnan, Kelli Underwood, Leigh Montagna, Mark Ricciuto, Mark Robinson, Mike Sheahan, Nick Dal Santo, Nick Riewoldt, Sarah Jones, Sharni Layton and Tom Morris.

(Channel 504 on Foxtel)

AFL Tonight 7pm
AFL 360 at 7.30pm
On The Couch at 8.30pm

AFL Tonight 7pm
AFL 360 7.30pm
Open Mike at 9pm

Fox Footy Live (Speed Round) 6.30pm
AFL Tonight 7pm
AFL 360 7.30pm

Thursday Night Footy on FOX (game)
The First Crack (after the footy)

AFL Tonight 7pm
Friday Night Footy on FOX (game)
The First Crack (after the footy)

Saturday Countdown at 12pm Super Saturday (games)
Saturday Stretch (after the footy)

Sunday Footy on FOX (games)
Bounce (after the footy)
The First Crack (after Bounce)

Super Rugby and Foxtel agree to revised broadcast deal ahead of July 3 kick-off

Rugby Australia and Fox Sports completed a deal for the broadcast of the new Super Rugby AU competition, which commences on the 3rd of July.

The five-team competition will include the four Australian Super Rugby franchises and also feature the return of the Western Force. Teams will play each other twice across a 10-week round-robin tournament, before a two-week finals series which will be played on September 12 and 19.

The season kicks off with the Queensland Reds hosting the NSW Waratahs at Suncorp Stadium on Friday, July 3.

All 22 matches will be broadcast exclusively live and ad-break free during play in High Definition on Fox Sports on Foxtel, Foxtel NOW and streamed on Kayo.

The revised broadcast arrangement was completed on Wednesday and Rugby Australia’s interim CEO Rob Clarke said:

“We are excited to announce the return of professional Rugby in Australia and the kick-off of Vodafone Super Rugby AU on July 3.”

“A huge thanks goes to our broadcast partner of 25 years Fox Sports, who have backed the revised competition format for 2020 and have delivered the best possible news to rugby fans across the country today.”

Head of Fox Sports Peter Campbell said:

“It might not be Super Rugby as we know it, but it’s super to have rugby back on Fox Sports.

“Additionally, Foxtel has also reached an agreement to air the New Zealand Super Rugby Aotearoa competition, which starts this weekend, so rugby fans can settle in to watch more of the sport they love.

“The return of Super Rugby AU continues the return of live sport to our screens following the resumption of the NRL competition and this week the AFL premiership.

“We are beginning to see more sports announce and release their plans to return to competition and Foxtel is the best place to see it all.”

Queensland COVID comedy series Retrograde picked up by ABC

Screen Queensland along with ABC, Screen Australia and Film Victoria have announced their investment in a topical 6×22-minute comedy series called Retrograde, by Queensland production companies Orange Entertainment Co and Unless Pictures, that will start filming this month, with both the storyline and filming process reflecting the realities of COVID-19.

Retrograde features a group of thirty-something friends who reunite to drown their sorrows as they question their life choices at a virtual bar in the time of COVID-19. The six-part, narrative comedy series will premiere on ABC and iview, Wednesday 8 July at 9.30pm.

Kylie Munnich, Screen Queensland CEO, congratulated co-producers Orange Entertainment Co and Unless Pictures on their ability to quickly identify this audience opportunity, pitch a fresh and entertaining series to the market, and secure investment in an inventive production that will create approximately 25 local jobs and expend more than $700,000 in the Queensland economy.

“This is an edgy series that captures the quirks of socializing in isolation told through an experimental and decentralised filming model that is clever in form and function,” Munnich said.

See also: 
Screen Queensland says paused productions prepping to resume
CEO Kylie Munnich on ‘safe destination with world-beating locations’

The cast members in the series include Pallavi Sharda, Ilai Swindells, Maria Angelico, Esther Hannaford and Nick Boshier, with guest star Ronny Chieng. The cast will film from their respective locations, activated by remote technical operators, who all work in sync with the overarching technical director, as they record a group video chat that forms the central storyline.

The Queensland production team includes co-creator/producer/writer Meg O’Connell (Content, Robbie Hood), executive producer Kurt Royan, and producer Jackson Lapsley Scott. Rounding out the creative team are director Natalie Bailey (Avenue5, Run, The Thick of It), co-creator Mark O’Toole (Black Comedy), producer Dan Lake, lead writer/co-producer Anna Barnes (Content, The Strange Chores), script producer Sophie Miller (The Family Law) and writers Declan Fay (Ronny Chieng: International Student) and Michele Lee (Hungry Ghosts).

Meg O’Connell said the team was finding it challenging to create content under COVID restrictions.

“We’re having to think laterally and be resourceful and collaborative in entirely new ways, ways we couldn’t have predicted a few months ago, but we’re discovering it’s a satisfying and fulfilling process to be responding and responsive to the times.

“For most of us, lockdown has been a destabilising time. For the thirty-something characters in Retrograde, they’re finally having the existential crises they put off having in their twenties. They’re being forced to look at their reflections in the mirror (or video call) and are asking: Do I like what I see?”

Production credit: Retrograde is an Unless Pictures & Orange Entertainment Co production for the ABC. Principal production investment from Screen Australia, in association with Screen Queensland. Developed with the assistance of Film Victoria. Created by Mark O’Toole & Meg O’Connell. Producers Meg O’Connell, Dan Lake, Jackson Lapsley Scott. Executive Producer Kurt Royan. Directed by Natalie Bailey. ABC Executive Producer Que Minh Luu.

Top Caption: L-R: Meg O’Connell, Kurt Royan and Jackson Lapsley Scott

TV Ratings Wednesday June 10 Week 24 2020

By James Manning

• Big Brother and return of AFL should secure week for Seven
• MasterChef still simmers close to 1m as tastiest show on TV
• Best of rest: Summer Bay, Front Bar, Home Delivery, Robinson by rail

Seven News 1,168,000/1,118,000
Nine News 1,043,000/973,000
ABC News 778,000
A Current Affair 701,000
The Project 374,000/577,000
7.30 524,000
10 News 434,000/293,000
Sunrise 287,000
News Breakfast 232,000
Today 216,000
The Drum 202,000
SBS World News 173,000

Seven: The third and final night of Big Brother for the week was key to another win for Seven. Seven has now won three consecutive nights all people and with support from the AFL over the remaining three nights it should be hard to beat.
Although Big Brother trailed MasterChef all people and in key demos, the series continues to lift Seven’s numbers significantly in the 7.30pm timeslot. With a first week average audience of around 800,000 the series should remain there although a move to Sunday to Tuesday episode could see some more audience movement next week.
The Wednesday episode started on 748,000 and climbed to 805,000 for the eviction. That was enough to help secure Seven as Wednesday #1 network and primary channel in all key demos. The final four housemates arrived while there was another one-sided vote for the evictee – with Soobong the third person out.

Big Brother 2020 launch week

Monday Big Brother Arrival 853,000
Monday Big Brother 866,000
Monday Big Brother Eviction 930,000
Tuesday Big Brother 817,000
Tuesday Big Brother Eviction 842,000
Wednesday Big Brother 748,000
Wednesday Big Brother Eviction 805,000

Home and Away had its best night of the week with 692,000.
The Front Bar followed Big Brother in AFL markets with 418,000 across the metro markets with 213,000 in Melbourne. Two great guests were Matthew Richardson and former AFL boss Ross Oakley.

Nine: A Current Affair dropped 100,000 from Tuesday with 701,000 last night.
Taronga: Who’s Who in the Zoo and then Paramedics both just made it over 400,000.
Nine’s midweek share just made it to 16% on Tuesday and Wednesday, its lowest return from the two nights this year.

10: MasterChef continues to sizzle for the channel and must be the best performing entertainment series on TV at the moment. And arguably the second best this year after Married at First Sight. The biggest thing in the show’s favour is its demographic delivery for advertisers, something it achieves over five nights every week.
Last night Reece, Emelia and Poh qualified for an immunity challenge tonight. This featured a split judges’ decision with Melissa giving Poh a bad review while Andy and Jock thought it was a good dish. The audience was on 978,000 easily winning the timeslot in all demos.

 ABC: Craig Reucassel was the guest on Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery with 555,000 watching after 566,000 last week.
The Weekly with Charlie Pickering was steady with 532,000 after 531,000 last week.
At Home Alone Together was then on 359,000.

 SBS: The numbers only dropped slightly from a launch audience of 286,000 for Filthy Rich and Homeless to 272,000 for the second episode.
Earlier in the night another train series launched with 284,000 watching the Europe episode of Tony Robinson’s World By Rail.

Week 24 TV: Wednesday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 11.7% 7 21.2% 9 16.3% 10  15.2% SBS One 5.5%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.3% 7TWO 3.0% GO! 2.3% 10 Bold 4.0% VICELAND 1.5%
ABC ME 0.4% 7mate 2.7% GEM 3.2% 10 Peach 2.3% Food Net 1.1%
ABC NEWS 1.4% 7flix 1.6% 9Life 1.7%     NITV 0.2%
        9Rush 1.2%     SBS World Movies 0.9%
TOTAL 15.9%   28.6%   24.7%   21.6%   9.2%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 11.2% 7 18.4% 9 16.5% WIN 12.6% SBS One 4.7%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.4% 7TWO 3.9% GO! 2.9% WIN Bold 5.8% VICELAND 1.0%
ABC ME 0.8% 7mate 3.4% GEM 4.8% WIN Peach 2.3% Food Net 0.8%
ABC NEWS 1.3% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 2.2% 9Life 2.0% Sky News  on WIN 2.5% NITV 0.2%
                SBS Movies 0.9%
TOTAL 15.7%   28.0%   26.3%   23.2%   7.7%


88.3% 11.7%
  1. Seven News Seven 1,168,000
  2. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 1,118,000
  3. Nine News Nine 1,043,000
  4. MasterChef Australia 10 975,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 973,000
  6. Big Brother Eviction Seven 805,000
  7. ABC News ABC 778,000
  8. Big Brother Seven 748,000
  9. A Current Affair Nine 701,000
  10. Home And Away Seven 692,000
  11. The Chase Australia Seven 677,000
  12. The Project 7pm 10 577,000
  13. Hot Seat Nine 574,000
  14. Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery ABC 555,000
  15. The Weekly With Charlie Pickering ABC 532,000
  16. 7.30 ABC 524,000
  17. 10 News First 10 423,000
  18. The Front Bar Seven 418,000
  19. Paramedics Nine 415,000
  20. Taronga: Who’s Who In The Zoo Nine 412,000
Demo Top 5

16-39 Top Five

  1. MasterChef Australia 10 302,000
  2. Big Brother Eviction Seven 229,000
  3. Big Brother Seven 215,000
  4. The Project 7pm 10 153,000
  5. Nine News Nine 133,000


18-49 Top Five

  1. MasterChef Australia 10 468,000
  2. Big Brother Eviction Seven 381,000
  3. Big Brother Seven 366,000
  4. The Project 7pm 10 271,000
  5. Seven News Seven 265,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. MasterChef Australia 10 490,000
  2. Big Brother Eviction Seven 429,000
  3. Big Brother Seven 408,000
  4. Seven News Seven 342,000
  5. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 318,000
WEDNESDAY Multichannel
  1. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 245,000
  2. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 185,000
  3. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 184,000
  4. Shaun The Sheep AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 184,000
  5. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 177,000
  6. Go Jetters AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 169,000
  7. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 156,000
  8. Neighbours 10 Peach 144,000
  9. Dog Loves Books ABCKIDS/COMEDY 137,000
  10. Hey Duggee ABCKIDS/COMEDY 136,000
  11. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 131,000
  12. NCIS: Los Angeles Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 129,000
  13. Book Hungry Bears AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 125,000
  14. NCIS: Los Angeles (R) 10 Bold 124,000
  15. Nella The Princess Knight PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 123,000
  16. Floogals PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 121,000
  17. Thomas And Friends: Big World! Big Ad ABCKIDS/COMEDY 121,000
  18. Agatha Raisin & The Quiche Of Death 9Gem 119,000
  19. Love Monster AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 118,000
  20. Dot. AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 117,000
  1. Selling Houses Australia Lifestyle Channel 71,000
  2. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 70,000
  3. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 65,000
  4. Credlin Sky News Live 59,000
  5. Richo & Smith Sky News Live 44,000
  6. Jeopardy! FOX Classics 43,000
  7. Selling Houses Australia Lifestyle Channel 40,000
  8. Highway Patrol FOX8 37,000
  9. Live: AFL 360 FOX FOOTY 37,000
  10. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 37,000
  11. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 36,000
  12. PML Later Sky News Live 36,000
  13. The Kenny Report Sky News Live 35,000
  14. Border Security: Australia’s Front Line FOX8 34,000
  15. The Simpsons FOX8 34,000
  16. The Amazing World Of Gumball Cartoon 33,000
  17. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 33,000
  18. Border Security: Australia’s Front Line FOX8 33,000
  19. Live: Supercars All Stars E-Series FOX SPORTS 506 32,000
  20. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 30,000

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


Axed MasterChef contestant at centre of radio scandal

Outgoing MasterChef contestant Sarah Tiong has blasted a radio host for being racist, reports News Corp’s Jonathon Moran.

Tiong, 29, was doing the rounds of media after her shock elimination from the top rating cooking show on Tuesday night when the incident occurred with Triple M Sunraysia breakfast host Matman.

“Today, in an Australian radio interview with Triple M Sunraysia, the host greeted me by saying, ‘ni hao ma’,” Tiong wrote in a post on Instagram.

“I do not believe this went to air. However, I felt uncomfortable and shocked. The call was immediately ended. This is racism. What an insensitive, tone deaf thing to say. Please, check yourself and do better.”

Tiong, whose mother is of Malaysian descent, was born and raised in Sydney.

Asian fusion cooking has been a signature for her throughout the MasterChef competition.

Matman, whose real name is Matt Jonsen, apologised for his comments.

“Triple M Sunraysia unreservedly apologises for the offence caused by comments made to Sarah Tiong off-air this morning,” a spokeswoman for the station said.

Questioned by one of her more than 90,000 followers on whether or not the radio host was racist or “trying to be cultural or respectful”, she doubled down on her stance.

“It is racist to assume I identify as Chinese and speak the Chinese language,” she responded.

[Read more]

Erin Molan apologises for ‘clumsy, inappropriate 2GB segment’

Erin Molan has reiterated her apology for what she has called a “clumsy and inappropriate” radio segment, reports News Corp’s Jonathon Moran and Karlie Rutherford.

The mother of one has been at the centre of controversy after she was accused of mocking the names of Pacific Islander rugby league players during 2GB radio’s Continuous Call Team show.

“There was no discussion or segment last Saturday regarding how to pronounce Polynesian names – nor was I attempting to pronounce or ‘mock’ a Polynesian player’s name,” Molan said.

“My remarks were an attempt to reference a story that’s been told multiple times on-air. They were clumsy and inappropriate. I apologised on-air last Friday and that apology stands.”

Breaking her silence, Molan was highly critical of online publication The Daily Mail and claims to be consulting defamation lawyers.

“The words ‘in-joke’ or ‘inside joke’ have been directly attributed to me by the Daily Mail in headlines and the body of articles multiple times,” she said. “It has also been repeated as fact in numerous other publications and in personal and public social media posts. The quote is completely made up.”

She added: “The reporting of this has been some of the most inaccurate, irresponsible and malicious I have seen. I have engaged a specialist defamation law firm. I have the utmost admiration and respect for the Polynesian community – especially those who play our game.”

[Read more]


Netflix permanently pulls Chris Lilley shows over racial depictions

Netflix has removed four comedy shows featuring outspoken Australian performer Chris Lilley from its platform in Australia and New Zealand, reports Variety.

Lilley’s questionable depictions of characters in a range of shows have previously raised questions about racial discrimination. Now they have run afoul of the global re-evaluation of Black people’s position in society, and their on-screen portrayal, following the death of George Floyd in the custody of U.S. law enforcement.

Deadline previously reported that the four programs include Angry Boys, Summer Heights High, We Can Be Heroes and Jonah From Tonga.

Netflix offered no direct comment on the matter, but confirmed to Variety that four shows starring Lilley have been removed permanently. Unlike HBO Max’s treatment of classic film Gone With the Wind, the four shows will not return with a disclaimer or other warning.

Lilley also features in the series Ja’mie: Private School Girl and Netflix original Lunatics, which features a South African character called Jana. Both will remain on the service.

[Read more]

MasterChef original calls new judges are ‘slim, gorgeous, well dressed’

Gary Mehigan says the new MasterChef judges are slim, gorgeous, well-dressed – and what Channel 10 should have ordered in the first place, reports News Corp’s Nui Te Koha.

But Mehigan, who helmed the show with Matt Preston and George Calombaris for 11 seasons, said he hasn’t watched the new series with new judges Jock Zonfrillo, Andy Allen and Melissa Leong.

“I look at the three MasterChef judges now and I go ‘You see? That’s what they should have got.’ They are slim and they are gorgeous, they are well dressed,” Mehigan told the Food Bytes podcast with Sarah Patterson, available online on Wednesday.

“If you look at the pictures from when we first started, I mean, that was ridiculous casting … we were kind of the unlikely trio.”

Mehigan isn’t watching the new season of MasterChef, featuring past contestants having another shot at the title, because he was there the first time.

“I’m really excited about the new phase of my life,” Mehigan said. “We had one off, once-in-a-lifetime experiences with those contestants. I don’t need to see them have another go.”

Mehigan, Preston and My Kitchen Rules judge Manu Feildel will feature on the new Channel 7 cooking show, Plate Of Origin. Mehigan said the planned 30-episode series was slashed to 10 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

[Read more]

How David Koch became our most successful breakfast TV host

“Do we need hard hats?” asks David Koch, stepping into a building site on an upper level of a gleaming Sydney skyscraper. The construction manager shakes his head and waves us through, reports The Age’s Michael Lallo.

We’re in the studios of Ausbiz, a recently launched streaming service covering local business and finance. Founded and run by veteran media executive Kylie Merritt, it has the financial backing of Koch, who also serves as executive chairman.

“I’ve never depended on TV for a living because even though you get paid well, it’s high-risk,” says the 64-year-old co-host of Sunrise, Channel Seven’s top-rating breakfast show. “Seven hate me saying this but TV really is a bullshit job compared to what charity workers and emergency services do.”

It’s no secret that many in Australia’s media industry sneer at populist TV shows such as Sunrise. Even Koch’s colleagues in Seven’s newsroom gave him grief when he joined Melissa Doyle as co-host in 2002, likening the program to a populist tabloid newspaper. “They saw it as a put-down,” he says, “but we saw it as a badge of honour.”

The sniggering stopped when Sunrise – co-anchored by Samantha Armytage since 2013 – became a word-of-mouth phenomenon, overtaking Nine’s Today in 2004 and winning every year since.

Michael Pell, Sunrise‘s executive producer, believes Koch’s appeal is typified by his interviews with politicians. Instead of asking how a policy might affect the fortunes of an elected representative or their party, Koch prefers to scrutinise its impact on voters. “He does that instinctively,” Pell says. “He’s been communicating across various platforms since the 1980s … his style is something that predates this show.”

In 1983, Koch launched Personal Investment magazine. Aimed at ordinary Australians intimidated by finance jargon, it included Cleo-style sealed sections (albeit with tax minimisation tips instead of novel sex positions).

Unlike most TV stars, Koch was in his mid-40s when Sunrise made him a household name.

[Read more]

Sports Media

Day before AFL returns, Seven & Foxtel still pushing for $150m discount

Despite league boss Gillon McLachlan declaring last week that “there’ll be no problems” in securing a revised broadcast agreement, a deal is yet to be struck, reports News Corp’s Michael Warner.

But a network insider last night said all parties remained “hopeful” a resolution would be reached before Thursday night’s Collingwood-Richmond season reboot at the MCG.

Broadcast partners Channel Seven and Foxtel are pushing for a reduction of about $150 million on their 2020 payments because of a season heavily compromised by the COVID-19 crisis.

Discounts of about $40 million for 2021 and 2022 are also being sought, while a proposed two-year extension for seasons 2023 and 2024 now appears unlikely.

The rival NRL relaunched its season on May 28, locking away an extended new TV rights deal the same day.

Before the coronavirus crisis hit, the league pocketed an average of $417 million-a-year in TV rights as part of a six-year, $2.5 billion deal that expires at the end of 2022.

This year’s payment is expected to fall below $300 million.

TV cash accounts for about 62 per cent of the AFL industry’s total revenues.

[Read more]

Private equity giant in talks with Rugby Australia

The global private equity giant that bought a $4 billion stake in the UFC is in talks with Rugby Australia to make a game-changing investment in the embattled football code, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Georgina Robinson.

The Herald can reveal the Australian arm of American firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts is in early talks with Rugby Australia, in collaboration with the Melbourne Rebels, about taking a stake in the sport worth “hundreds of millions of dollars”, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter.

The parties met last week and are taking discussions further, based on a 2021 competition model for the professional game that will most likely dismantle the 25-year-old SANZAAR partnership at Super Rugby level and put Australia’s interests first.

Incoming Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan confirmed the firm’s interest and said while Test rugby and the grassroots game were off limits, Super Rugby was ripe for a shake-up.

[Read more]

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