Tuesday March 3, 2020

Fox Footy superstars launch season 2020 with new faces, new shows

• Riewoldt on the couch, Max on 360 + Adam & Symon, Ben & The Professor

Under a burst of Autumn sunshine on a rooftop at Crown Towers, Foxtel executives yesterday pulled the covers off the talent driving a new season of Fox Footy.

The only thing more impressive about Foxtel’s Fox Footy channel than its rights deal (every game of the year live and ad-break free bar one) is its talent line-up featuring over 40 commentators, journalists and former stars who live and breathe the national winter sport.

Two new shows arriving on the schedule, and still being fine-tuned in pre-production, are Premierships and Footy Trips from former Gogglebox TV critics Adam and Symon, plus Narrow World of Sports, an ambitious Friday night two-state project from James ‘The Professor’ Rochford and Andrew ‘Barney’ Barnett.

Fox Footy hosts Jonathan Brown and Nick Riewolt

The footy launch was hosted by Jonathan Brown and Nick Riewoldt with help from Sarah Jones and Eddie McGuire. With Fox Sports boss Peter Campbell and head of TV Steve Crawley at the launch, Riewoldt mentioned he and his Fox Footy colleagues were hopeful that a recent salary hike for US commentator Tony Romo might make ripples in Australia. (CBS is to retain US NFL analyst Tony Romo at US $17 million annually).

Joining Campbell and Crawley from Sydney were Foxtel group director of publicity and talent Jamie Campbell and Fox Sports director of marketing and communications Brendon Moo. Busy Fox Footy publicist Stefanie Rezzara was trying to wrangle 30+ commentators and hosts between TV and press interviews and photo shoots with one of Melbourne’s finest photographers Fiona Hamilton.

Fox Sports bos Peter Campbell with TLA founder Craig Kelly

Fox Footy programming highlights for 2020 include:

• Eddie McGuire and Sarah Jones to host Fox Footy’s weekend of live action

• As many as 40+ games in 4K Ultra HD during season 2020

• For the first time, the weeknight AFL 360 show hosted by Gerard Whateley and Mark Robinson which feature every coach during the season. Other guests will be newly-appointed 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 and Big Blue Mark ‘Sellars’ Maclure prepare to debate and unpack the biggest stories of the round.

• On The Couch on Mondays after AFL 360 returns with a new-look team again lead by Gerard Healy. Healy, Garry Lyon and Jonathan Brown will be joined by former Saint, Nick Riewoldt to dissect the weekend gone and the week ahead.

• Mike Sheahan returns for another season of Open Mike on Tuesday evenings with Bob Murphy back in July for his show, Bob. Murphy will join a famous sports fan in their own environment before passing back to Sheahan to close the season.

• In 2020, Saturday Stretch after Saturday Footy on Fox will round out the night for footy fans. Hosted by Dermott Brereton, Brad Johnson and Sarah Olle the fun 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. It will be their return to television since the passing of their great friend Danny ‘Spud’ Frawley.

• Televised podcast show, The First Crack, will beat everyone else to the finish line Sunday after Bounce. The revolving panel of three will offer fans their first fix on all games and stories played out in the round that just was.

The Fox Footy team includes 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, Matthew Pavlich, Mike Sheahan, Nick Dal Santo, Nick Riewoldt, Sarah Jones, Sarah Olle, Sharni Layton and Tom Morris.

Top Photo: Fox Footy team 2020

It's still game on: Steve Crawley on News Corp's Olympic coverage

By Trent Thomas

In December of last year News Corp named a 44 person team to cover the Tokyo Olympic Games, the largest since Sydney 2000 and it will be led by Fox Sports head of television Steve Crawley, who has been appointed News Corp Australia Olympic director, and The Sunday Telegraph’s editor Mick Carroll, who will be Olympic editor.

News Corp Australia will serve as official and exclusive print partners and an official digital partner of the Australian Olympic Committee. While there is some doubt as to whether the Games will proceed as planned, News Corp continues to prepare until advised of a postponement or cancellation.

Crawley spoke with Mediaweek about what to expect from News Corps coverage and what is special about covering an Olympic Games.

Crawley says that while he has been named Olympic director he will lean heavily on Mick Carroll’s experience. 

“Mick has done a couple of Olympics at the front of News Corp and he is just a gem to work with, and a team player. They call me director of Olympics but the reality is Mick is looking after me and I am following him around most of the time.”

Steve Crawley, head of live sport at Fox Sports, pictured at their Artarmon headquarters in Sydney. Britta Campion / The Australian

This is Crawley’s seventh Olympic Games that he has covered in some capacity, and while he says that Sydney and London have been the best Olympic Games that he has worked on, Tokyo has a real chance at being just as special.

“ When you go to an Olympics you work so hard that you never want to go to another one ever again. About a year out you think, jeez I hope I get to go to these games.

“I know the issues that are happening with the coronavirus and all the speculation, and I have no control over that whether it’s on this year or on next year, either way, I can’t wait.”

The big News Corp Australia team includes:

Matt Kitchin (News Editor), Heath Kelly (Masthead Digital Editor), Cameron Tandy (Photographic Editor), Wally Mason (The Australian), Luke McIlveen, Matty Johns, Trent Dalton, Andrew Rule, Paul Kent, Yvonne Sampson, Phil ‘Buzz’ Rothfield, Kieran Gilbert, Leo Schlink, Jessica Halloran, Jacqueline Magnay, Jamie Pandaram, Jon Ralph, Peter Badel, Ben Horne, David Riccio, Will Swanton, Brent Read, Wayne Smith, Jai Bednall, Reece Homfray, Miranda Wood, Scott Gullan, Julian Linden, Emily Benammar, Lauren Wood, Joe Barton, Selina Steele, Chris Paine, Alex Coppel (photographer), Phil Hillyard (photographer), Adam Head (photographer), Sarah Reed (photographer), Jason Brookes (video), and production staff.

Crawley says that News Corp will deliver the best coverage of an Olympic Games that the company has ever done and the key to that is the diversity of the team.

“We will be taking a team of 40 something people to Tokyo if it’s on. Those will be making content for  newspapers, on websites, and on podcasts.”

With such a diverse group of talent Crawley says that News Corp will be offering a variety of quality content options from the serious to the silly.

“We will have Yvonne Sampson who studied Japanese for four years in secondary school, and Matty John’s first Olympics and perhaps even Reg Reagan may take a walk, downtown, I have no idea what is going to happen there.

“We’ve got Trent Dalton who is probably the best writer Australia has ever produced – if he is not the best he is definitely in the grand final. He is just a beautiful writer and I can’t wait to read his Olympics stuff.”

Crawley doesn’t pretend to know the secret formula to a covering an Olympics and says you know within yourself whether you did a good job or not.

“When I was a kid I conned my way into working Wimbledon and I was dry reaching because I was thinking I was going to get found out, and it’s really scary but what you don’t realise is the big events write themselves and they are the easiest ones to cover.

“You are only as good as the great athletes and contests which write themselves.”

Top Photo [L-R]: Jessica Halloran, Jamie Pandaram, Andrew Rule, Yvonne Sampson, Matty Johns, Kieran Gilbert, Phil ‘Buzz’ Rothfield, Miranda Wood

Formula 1 returns with Rolex Australian Grand Prix on 10

The 2020 Formula 1 season kicks off with the Rolex Australian Grand Prix on Friday the 13th of March and runs till the 15th of March on Network 10. 

This will mark the 25th year of Formula 1 racing in Melbourne and as the drivers line up for the season opener at Albert Park.

Daniel Ricciardo will undoubtedly be looking for a better performance after a disappointing 2019 on his home track. Lewis Hamilton will be looking to start the season with a podium finish, as he chases a Michael Schumacher-equalling seventh drivers’ title in 2020.

10’s team will feature Aussie F1 legend Mark Webber and motorsport caller and presenter Matt White alongside host Roz Kelly, F1 expert Tom Clarkson, F1 great Alan Jones and reporters Scott Mackinnon and Kate Peck for all the wheel-to-wheel action and trackside colour.

2020 Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix: 
Friday, 13 March. 10.30am – 6.00pm AEDT on 10 Bold – Formula One Practice
Saturday, 14 March. 11.00am – 6.30pm AEDT on 10 – Formula One Qualifying
Sunday, 15 March. 11.00am – 6.00pm AEDT on 10 – Formula One Race

TV executives Troy and Finlayson launch new production house

TV executives Jude Troy and Richard Finlayson (pictured) have joined forces as co-owners and directors of Wooden Horse, a production company dedicated to taking premium scripted Australian stories to a global audience.

Troy, the ex-head of TV production and acquisitions for eOne Australia and former partner in Hopscotch, and Finlayson, former Director of Television at the ABC and COO at SBS, bring together a wealth of experience and extensive local and international networks in an unrivalled partnership.

Based in Darlinghurst, Sydney, Wooden Horse will focus on developing a pipeline of world-class IP that will continue to be fed as projects move into development.

Matt Okine’s Stan Original Series The Other Guy season 2 (also streaming on Hulu in the US) is the first show produced under the Wooden Horse banner in partnership with Aquarius Films. The same team is also working together on the feature film adaptation of Okine’s debut novel Being Black n’ Chicken n’ Chips.

With Finlayson’s projects from his company Headland Media, Wooden Horse has eight projects in various stages of development with Australian broadcasters, international distributors and screen agencies. They include a six-part drama for Stan written by Jane Allen (Cleverman) and based on a true crime set in Cape York; a comedy series written by James O’Loghlin (collaborators include Alison Bell, Tristram Baumber and Natesha Somasundaram) and a literary adaptation of the critically acclaimed novel by Emily Maguire, An Isolated Incident.

Additionally, Wooden Horse has just secured the adaptation rights from Curtis Brown for award-winning young novelist JP Pomare’s In the Clearing– a psychological thriller that draws inspiration from the infamous Australian cult, The Family.

The team is also working with Polly Williams and Entertainment One in the UK on a British Australian co-production created by Giula Sandler (Glitch) whose recent work on White House Farm for ITV has garnered international attention.

“Our partnership is a case of the whole being more than the sum of its parts,” said Finlayson. “Jude has an outstanding reputation for creative judgement and indomitable energy. Most of all, we both believe in the incredible potential of the Australian television industry and our focus will be on working with the best writers and talent, finding the best people and partners to grow with us to bring great projects to life.”

Troy said: “I’m delighted to partner with Richard on Wooden Horse. He is greatly respected among our industry peers and his experience and relationships are unparalleled. Our skills complement each other perfectly and I look forward to shaping the company alongside him. At Wooden Horse, we believe in strength through collaboration and I can’t think of a better person to partner with. We also hope to leverage our local and international relationships to collaborate externally with the best of the best.”

In their first hire, Alexandra Cameron has joined the company as development and production coordinator. Cameron met Troy when she was working as a producer’s attachment for The Other Guy season 2. A former News Corporation journalist Cameron worked with Jungle Entertainment, and on productions including Lambs of God and A Place To Call Home.

SBS director of News and Current Affairs, Jim Carroll, to retire

Just a week after launching his expanded Tuesday night TV line-up, SBS has today announced that Jim Carroll (pictured), director of news and current affairs, will retire from the role on 31 August 2020.

During Carroll’s seven years in the position, SBS has reshaped its newsroom to align with a growing commitment to digital platforms, expanded its domestic news coverage, established European and China Bureaus, delivered fresh approaches to flagship current affairs brands Dateline and Insight, and launched new offerings aligned to the SBS Charter, including The Feed, Small Business Secrets and Where Are You Really From?

See also:
“A very strong year”: Jim Carroll shakes up SBS current affairs line-up

James Taylor, SBS managing director, said: “Under Jim’s leadership, SBS has cemented itself as one of Australia’s most trusted media sources, with a well-earned reputation for impartial and independent reporting on global and domestic issues. He has also guided the newsroom in its focus on stories otherwise untold – particularly of First Nations and multicultural communities – contributing to SBS’s differentiated position in the Australian media market.

“As we continue to adapt to changing audience behaviours, Jim’s ongoing development of our news and current affairs offering and investment in building a multi-skilled team, has ensured that Australians increasingly have access to this output at their convenience. I am incredibly grateful for his significant dedication and contribution.”

Carroll added: “The past seven years have seen some of the most significant stories of my lifetime, including ongoing conflicts and issues but also moments of triumph and joy. Rapid change in the way Australians consume news has also been at the forefront of our strategy, and I’m incredibly proud of our evolution in providing trusted, balanced and accurate reporting across multiple platforms.

“As I look back over the seven years, what I have found most rewarding are the small moments. The people in our news coverage, and on Insight, Dateline and The Feed who invite us into their lives and trust us to share their stories. These are the stories that set SBS apart, and help to break down misconceptions about issues, communities and individuals.

“Leading the fantastic SBS News and Current Affairs team is one of the great jobs in Australian journalism; it has been an absolute privilege.”

Carroll will retire from the role on 31 August 2020. Recruitment for a new SBS director of news and current affairs will begin immediately.

Aussie journalists turn their coronavirus tests into news stories

Two prominent Australian journalists have turned recent medical tests into stories for their respective media organisations. Both reporters have recently returned from international trips and both reported feeling unwell following their return to Australia.

News Corp Australia entertainment reporter Jonathon Moran details his health scare in The Daily Telegraph today.

“Being told to wear a mask and go straight to hospital is a pretty scary thing,” wrote Moran.

“With the coronavirus spreading and given the fact I’d displayed flu-like symptoms after travelling to Jakarta a week ago, I was advised by my bosses to go to a doctor.

“I had a sore throat, headache and a slight temperature but nothing I wouldn’t usually work through.”

Moran said he rang the government coronavirus hotline and was told to go to his GP but that he didn’t need to self-isolate. His GP said they didn’t do testing and for that he would have to go hospital immediately. He took himself to St Vincent’s Hospital in the inner-Sydney suburb of Darlinghurst.

“Staff at St Vincent’s emergency department reception were neither polite nor particularly helpful. They didn’t seem fazed at all about coronavirus.”

Moran will have to wait until today for his test results. The interruption to his workday didn’t stop the prolific Moran from filing a number of stories for today’s website and newspaper.

Steve Marshall

Meanwhile on A Current Affair on Monday, Sydney-based reporter Steve Marshall reported on his health concerns. Marshall returned from a trip to Europe recently and had a stopover in Singapore. After feeling unwell, Marshall went and had himself tested for coronavirus.

Marshall was unable to film inside the medical facility where he gave three DNA samples and had a blood test. Viewers saw a re-enactment of what happened during the test.

The bulk of Marshall’s story centred around his frustration at not being able to find out the results of the test.

“What this means is I have to stay home, I have to file my script and my voiceover for this story from home because I can’t go into work just in case I am coronavirus positive,” he told viewers.

“I mean, if this is Australian’s frontline detection and defence against a looming pandemic, then I’m extremely worried.”

Marshall eventually found out his was not carrying the virus over three days after his medical test.

ACA host Tracy Grimshaw told viewers Marshall actually tested positive for Rhinovirus (the most common viral infectious agent in humans) and would not be returning to work until he had recovered from that.

Watch Marshall’s report here.

Top Photo: Jonathon Moran

Box Office: The Invisible Man creeps its way to #1

By Trent Thomas

• Miss Fisher’s first foray onto the big screen makes it into the top five

The Australian box office has a new #1 in The Invisible Man with the 1933 horror film remake generating over $2.5m in revenue in its first weekend of release. 

It is joined in the top five by fellow new release Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears which is the first Australian film to make the top five this year.

The two films to make way this week is Emma which has made $3.12m so far after three weeks of release and 1917 which ended its run in the top five after eight weeks in theatres with its total currently sitting at $$22.31m.

Overall, the Australian box office declined 9% on its previous weekend falling below the $10m threshold making $9.12m.

#1 The Invisible Man $2.52m

The remake of the original film series based on the novel of the same name by H. G. Wells and a reboot of The Invisible Man film series which released its original two films in 1933 and 1940.  In its first week of release, it averaged $7,850 on 322 screens.



#2 Sonic The Hedgehog $1.74m

The high octane family-friendly flick finds itself slipping down to the second spot of the Australian box office after three weeks of release, with its total now at $9.23m. The film averaged $5,823 on 300 screens.



#3 Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears $1.04m

The first feature film release of the 2012 television series Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries debuted to a strong reaction from its local audience after making an average of $2,768 on 376 screens making it the most shown film in the country this past weekend.



#4 Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)  $607,275 

After four weeks the Margot Robbie lead adaption of the DC comic book series has just sneaked past the $10m threshold for total revenue. This past weekend the film averaged $2,249 on 270 screens.



#5 The Call of the Wild $518,989 

After two weeks the film based on the novel of the same name by Jack London published in 1903 has brought its total to $1.64m after averaging $1,981 on 262 screens.


mafs married at first sight reunion
TV Ratings: March 2

By James Manning

• New weddings on MAFS as Lizzie walks down the aisle again
• Audience says “I do” to TV’s hottest show as Nine wins again
• Plus: Nick voted off Survivor All-Stars, ABC Monday slips

A Current Affair began its new week on Nine with reporter Alison Piotrowski from on location in Bigga talking to host Tracy Grimshaw about the Twelve Tribes Sect and a police investigation believed to be looking for possible burial sites. The episode did 779,000 after a week nine average of 644,000.

The day after the drama of Sunday’s commitment ceremony saw two new weddings on Married At First Sight including the return of the unluckiest bride ever – Lizzie. At the start of the episode company director Michael was very unhappy about how he is being treated. Law graduate and his new wife Stacey didn’t seem convinced when he said: “We are in a bad place now, but we will come back bigger and stronger than ever.” The Monday episode of the hottest show on TV did 1.087m after 1.026m a week ago.

Nine’s Monday movie was 2015’s Train Wreck and it did 207,000 with a finish close to midnight.

On 10 The Project featured Hughesy promoting his show later in the night and actor Eddie Perfect with updates on the spread of coronavirus. The Monday edition was on 448,000 after 7pm after an average of 391,000 last week.

On Day 27 Harry was the subject of much discussion on Australian Survivor: All Stars as remaining contestants were eager to find out what his advantage was. It gave him the ability to shut down the next Tribal Council, if he didn’t get to Tribal Council he was wondering if he should have given that advantage to Nick who is part of his plans to go all the way. Turns out he should have passed it on. Nick was sadly voted out in another Blind Side at Tribal Council organised again by David who continues to be the master strategiser. The Monday episode did 602,000 after 647,000 a week ago. Tonight it’s merger time with 12 contestants remaining.

Hughesy, We Have A Problem lifted to 335,000 thanks in part to the presence of Hamish Blake after a week ago the show rated 276,000.

Home and Away averaged 586,000 across last week on Seven and it started week 10 on 575,000.

My Kitchen Rules: The Rivals was on 451,000 after 489,000 a week ago.

9-1-1 then did 361,000. The Latest replaced S.W.A.T. in the schedule with a 10pm special edition on the coronavirus with 217,000 watching.

The wonderful story of Marlion Pickett was featured on ABC’s Australia Story with 602,000 watching.

Four Corners then looked at young Australians growing up without a gender. The episode did 483,000, down from 794,000 a week ago.

Media Watch then did 551,000, also down from its record high of 764,000 a week ago.

Similarly Q&A dipped from its 535,000 a week ago to 394,000 last night.

Week 10 TV: Monday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 14.9% 7 16.6% 9 24.2% 10  12.7% SBS One 3.9%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.2% 7TWO 3.2% GO! 2.9% 10 Bold 3.1% VICELAND 0.7%
ABC ME 0.3% 7mate 3.8% GEM 2.7% 10 Peach 2.5% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 1.5% 7flix 1.1% 9Life 1.5%     NITV 0.2%
                SBS World Movies 0.9%
TOTAL 18.9%   24.8%   31.3%   18.4%   6.6%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 13.3% 7 19.5% 9 18.9% WIN 10.1% SBS One 3.4%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.5% 7TWO 4.3% GO! 3.6% WIN Bold 3.9% VICELAND 0.5%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 5.4% GEM 4.6% WIN Peach 2.1% Food Net 0.5%
ABC NEWS 1.2% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 1.0% 9Life 2.1% Sky News  on WIN 2.1% NITV 0.1%
                SBS Movies 0.7%
TOTAL 17.7%   30.2%   29.3%   18.3%   5.2%


88.9% 11.1%
Monday FTA
  1. Married At First Sight Nine 1,087,000
  2. Seven News Seven 949,000
  3. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 938,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 888,000
  5. Nine News Nine 881,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 779,000
  7. ABC News ABC 700,000
  8. 7.30 ABC 681,000
  9. Australian Survivor: All Stars 10 611,000
  10. Australian Story ABC 602,000
  11. Home And Away Seven 575,000
  12. Media Watch ABC 551,000
  13. The Chase Australia Seven 497,000
  14. Four Corners ABC 483,000
  15. My Kitchen Rules: The Rivals Seven 451,000
  16. The Project 7pm 10 448,000
  17. Hot Seat Nine 429,000
  18. Q+A ABC 394,000
  19. 9 1 1 Seven 361,000
  20. 10 News First 10 355,000
Demo Top 5

16 – 39

  1. Married At First Sight Nine 332,000
  2. Australian Survivor: All Stars 10 199,000
  3. A Current Affair Nine 118,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 110,000
  5. The Project 7pm 10 104,000


18 – 49

  1. Married At First Sight Nine 530,000
  2. Australian Survivor: All Stars 10 318,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 214,000
  4. A Current Affair Nine 205,000
  5. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 204,000


25 – 54

  1. Married At First Sight Nine 583,000
  2. Australian Survivor: All Stars 10 343,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 274,000
  4. A Current Affair Nine 261,000
  5. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 258,000
Monday Multichannel
  1. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 164,000
  2. Noddy Toyland Detective PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 160,000
  3. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 159,000
  4. Dot. PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 153,000
  5. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 152,000
  6. Olobob Top PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 145,000
  7. Bob The Builder PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 140,000
  8. Neighbours 10 Peach 137,000
  9. Doc Martin PM 7TWO 137,000
  10. Hey Duggee ABCKIDS/COMEDY 136,000
  11. Octonauts PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 135,000
  12. School Of Roars ABCKIDS/COMEDY 130,000
  13. Peter Rabbit ABCKIDS/COMEDY 126,000
  14. The Expendables 3 9GO! 124,000
  15. ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 Aus V Nz 9Gem 123,000
  16. Spicks And Specks ABCKIDS/COMEDY 118,000
  17. Rusty Rivets ABCKIDS/COMEDY 118,000
  18. The Enforcer PM 7mate 117,000
  19. Pawn Stars PM 7mate 117,000
  20. Floogals AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 113,000
Monday STV
  1. Live: ICC Women’s T20 Post Game FOX CRICKET 123,000
  2. Live: ICC WT20 World Cup: Aus V Nzl FOX CRICKET 93,000
  3. Live: ICC Women’s T20 Innings Break FOX CRICKET 83,000
  4. Live: ICC WT20 World Cup: Aus V Nzl FOX CRICKET 74,000
  5. Outlander FOX One 59,000
  6. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 56,000
  7. Call My Name: Ellyse Perry FOX CRICKET 53,000
  8. Credlin Sky News Live 52,000
  9. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 48,000
  10. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 47,000
  11. Family Guy FOX8 42,000
  12. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 40,000
  13. PML Later Sky News Live 38,000
  14. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 37,000
  15. Family Guy FOX8 37,000
  16. Live: Cricket: ICC Women’s T20 Post Game FOX SPORTS MORE 32,000
  17. The Simpsons FOX8 30,000
  18. NCIS FOX Crime 29,000
  19. Kenny On Media Sky News Live 29,000
  20. Ryan’s Mystery Playdate Nick Jr. 28,000

Shares all people, 6pm-midnight, Overnight (Live and AsLive), Audience numbers FTA metro, Sub TV national
Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2018. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM

Media News Roundup

Business of Media

ABC urged to consider selling inner-city offices

The ABC has been urged to consider selling its capital city offices in areas such as Sydney’s Ultimo and Melbourne’s Southbank and moving to “purpose-built” facilities elsewhere, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Jennifer Duke.

Federal Communications Minister Paul Fletcher “strongly encouraged” the public broadcaster to explore a sale of its inner-city premises as it grapples with a funding freeze projected to shave up to $84 million off its annual budget.

The ABC declined to comment on the suggestion, made in a letter sent to ABC managing director David Anderson on Monday morning and seen by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

Fletcher did not refer to specific property assets in the letter, but government sources who declined to be identified said the Ultimo office in particular was under-utilised. It was conservatively valued at about $330 million but would probably be worth more if sold to a property developer. This could allow the ABC to consider a more affordable location such as Parramatta in Greater Sydney for its headquarters, the sources said.

[Read more]

News Brands

Racing NSW boss Peter V’landys sues ABC over 7.30 investigation

Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys is suing the ABC and one of its journalists for defamation over a 7.30 investigation in 2019 involving serious allegations of cruelty to horses in the thoroughbred racing industry, reports The Australian’s Brad Norrington.

According to documents lodged with the Federal Court, V’landys claims he was “greatly injured” by his portrayal in the program, and his reputation was brought into “public disrepute, ridicule and contempt”.

The 7.30 story The Final Race, reported by Caro Meldrum-Hanna and aired in October, alleged hundreds of former racehorses were sent to abattoirs. It showed disturbing undercover video footage of animal cruelty.

V’Landys agreed to appear in the program to respond to claims on behalf of Racing NSW, saying no horses in the state were being sent to abattoirs.

An ABC spokeswoman said the broadcaster “will defend the proceedings”.

[Read more]

TV breakfast host calls out ‘disgusting’ online abuse

ABC’s News Breakfast host Michael Rowland has called out “disgusting” homophobic comments on live TV, reports news.com.au’s Alex Turner-Cohen.

“You might have seen on social media Nate was the subject of some disgusting, some disgraceful homophobic comments which we think are just appalling,” he told audiences.

He was referencing Nate Byrne, an ABC colleague who received hate messages on Twitter for appearing in the ABC Mardi Gras float.

“Who’s that in the hot pants?” Rowland asked as he played a clip from the Mardi Gras, showing Byrne join in on the celebrations.

“It’s great to see Nate having a great time,” Rowland said.

Nate Byrne received abusive messages which prompted him to call the world “sick”.

He called the abuse an “unprovoked spray of hatred.”

[Read more]


Judge Judy to end after 25 seasons, but Judy planning replacement

Judge Judy is coming to an end after 25 seasons, host Judy Sheindlin says. At the same time, she isn’t ready to hang up her gavel just yet, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

The syndicated court show host appeared on Monday’s The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where she told DeGeneres that the 2020-21 season of Judge Judy will also be its last. The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that Judge Judy will end production after next season, which will be the show’s 25th season on the air.

“I’ve had a 25-year-long marriage with CBS [Television Distribution, which distributes the show], and it’s been successful,” she said. “Next year will be our 25th season, silver anniversary, and CBS sort of felt, I think, they wanted to optimally utilise the repeats of my program,” she said. “Because now they have 25 years of reruns. So what they decided to do was to sell a couple of years’ worth of reruns. But I’m not tired, so Judy Justice will be coming out a year later.”

It’s unclear whether this will be another syndicated program or for a network or other outlet.

Asked by DeGeneres where viewers will be able to watch the new show, Sheindlin replied: “I can’t tell you yet.”

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New Australia’s Got Talent judge says she expects fireworks

Cameras are yet to roll and already the Australia’s Got Talent judges are firing up, reports News Corp’s Jonathon Moran.

Returning panellist Manu Feildel and newcomer Sonia Kruger have very different expectations this year.

“Why do we always have to bring negativity and people fighting?” celebrity chef Feildel said, referring to the trend of reality shows hyping drama for ratings.

“There wasn’t any drama last year and I don’t think there should be this year.”

But Kruger disagreed as the pair met with other judges over lunch yesterday.

Kruger, who joins Channel Seven after jumping ship from rival Nine, added: “I’ve been joking I finally get paid to judge people because I am quite good at that.”

Alongside host Ricki-Lee Coulter, joining Feildel and Kruger over lunch at Sydney’s Chiswick restaurant were returning judge Shane Jacobson and another newbie, actor Olympia Valance.

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Kyle Sandilands makes Australia’s Got Talent return as guest judge

Kyle Sandilands will return to Australia’s Got Talent but has vowed not to waste his time with the early stages of the competition, reports News Corp’s Jonathon Moran.

The outspoken radio host has signed on for the pointy end of the competition as a guest judge alongside a panel of Sonia Kruger, Olympia Valance, Shane Jacobson and Manu Feildel.

“It’ll be great to be back in the judging seat for Australia’s Got Talent although what’s even greater is the show only needing my judging skills for when all the early rubbish is swept away and only the best of the best remain,” Sandilands said. “I can’t wait.”

Sandilands was a judge on the reality talent show from 2010 to 2013.”

The controversial KIIS 106.5 breakfast host shared the news with co-host Jackie O Henderson on Monday, joined by fellow Australia’s Got Talent judge Sonia Kruger.

Photo: Sandilands with former Australia’s Got Talent judges Dawn French, Timomatic and Geri Halliwell

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James Lipton, creator and host of Inside the Actors Studio, dies at 93

James Lipton, the elegant, articulate wordsmith and theatre academic whose desire to give his acting students a greater insight into their art led to the popular Bravo series Inside the Actors Studio, has died. He was 93, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

Lipton passed away early Monday at his home in Manhattan from bladder cancer, his wife, Kedakai Mercedes Lipton, told The Hollywood Reporter.

“He lived each day as if it were his last,” Kedakai Lipton said in a statement to THR. “His work was his passion, loved what he did and all the people he worked with. He empowered people to do their best, and hopefully his spirit, curiosity and passion will live on.”

Conceived by Lipton in 1994, Inside the Actors Studio was created to serve as a thinly disguised master class for the students of the Actors Studio Drama School, a joint venture of the Actors Studio and The New School. With Paul Newman as its initial guest, each one-hour program featured a top performer in an intimate and in-depth one-on-one interview with Lipton.

Nearly 300 subjects, including many Oscar and Emmy winners, shared the secrets of their craft with Lipton and his audience of students before the TV cameras. The show became one of cable’s longest-running series.

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Sports Media

Simply The Best: The NRL campaign 30 years in the making

The NRL has launched its 2020 marketing campaign, reviving Tina Turner‘s Simply the Best to celebrate 30 years since the iconic anthem, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Michael Chammas.

The video reflects on the biggest stories of the past three decades, including South Sydney’s return, the 1997 Newcastle grand final triumph, the Super League war and the Benji Marshall flick pass in the 2005 decider.

The NRL sought Turner’s approval to use the song, with the music icon endorsing the revival of the classic to be used as part of the game’s advertising campaign.

The NRL sought input from key stakeholders who have shaped the game since 1990 – including past and present players, media identities, administrators and partners to choose 30 iconic on and off field moments which are featured in the campaign.

“Rugby league in Australia is still Simply the Best and that will be our theme for 2020,” NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg said.

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NRL defends TV ad campaign the features most divisive moments

The launch of the NRL’s latest advertising campaign – which pays tribute to its most successful commercial ever – was met with derision by fans on Monday night amid mistakes and last-minute re-edits, reports News Corp’s Jocelyn Airth.

In The Daily Telegraph’s online poll, 72 per cent of supporters believed the NRL ad is a fail with 56 per cent saying the league “stuffed it up”.

The new Simply the Best advertisement – featuring Tina Turner’s hit song last used by the NRL in the 1990s —–was hastily re-edited to remove references to the infamous Super League war and to fix an embarrassing mistake relating to one of the game’s most-loved stars.

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'Netflix of sport' to target Premier League rights after UK launch

A streaming service that is aiming to become a “Netflix of sport” is to expand to 200 countries, including the UK, and is targeting Premier League rights for the British market, reports The Guardian.

The London-based Dazn, which is owned by the billionaire Sir Leonard Blavatnik, currently operates in nine international markets but the high cost of sports rights driven by Sky and BT has delayed a UK launch.

Dazn, pronounced “Dazone”, is little-known in the UK but it has upset the traditional sports pay-TV model overseas. In December, Dazn secured the rights to Champions League football in Germany from 2021, ending Sky’s two-decade grip. Dazn also has Champions League and Premier League rights in Canada and Japan.

Dazn will expand to 200 countries including the UK on 2 May, with an initial focus on boxing.

“Establishing Dazn as the global home of fight sports is just the first step,” said Joseph Markowski, the Dazn senior executive who is to run the new global service.

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