Monday March 30, 2020

Nine to enter Q2 with most 2020 content locked and loaded

By James Manning
• The one Nine series that is completed, but can’t be screened yet

The television industry has entered the last week of ratings before the two-week Easter survey break. The Q1 schedule is defined by the time Easter falls every year and in 2020 that means there are eight survey weeks in Q1, leaving 32 weeks to run uninterrupted starting April 19.

Nine has managed to win all of those weeks and the final episodes of MAFS should guarantee that the channel and the network wins the current week too.

Married at First Sight has done another good job this year and the 9Now numbers are bigger again.

Nine’s program director Hamish Turner told Mediaweek the opposition threw up some challenges this year.

There was more competition this year demographically from Survivor. Survivor‘s done a good job carving out appeal to a core audience. I’m a big Survivor fan.” But it still remains some distance behind MAFS, the market leader. “Demographically MAFS’s has been pretty robust and sat around the same level from launch through to now, with live viewing on 9Now up significantly. The 9Now VOD numbers are strong again as well.”

How strong? Twenty-one episodes of MAFS have a VOD VPM in excess of 300,000, with episodes 4, 8, 12 and 16 in excess of 400,000.

Turner noted how times had changed, impacting viewing and schedules in recent weeks. “We’re in a very different climate now with what’s happening in the world and we’ve got Lego Masters coming up.

Sitting down with the family in confinement is going to be the perfect antidote to what’s going on. I’m looking forward to seeing Lego launch post-Easter, because it’s the kind of content we need right now.

Nine’s schedule has been restructured to track the progress of COVID-19, and no one knows how long that might take.

“We’re catering to the news cycle. The new cycle is so rapid and changing so quickly that there’s clearly a real hunger for news.

“Those numbers at 9pm are remarkable. There’s an appetite for news, and as a broadcaster, we’re here to serve the audience, and be the outlet that can provide that information.

“All the free-to-air’s are doing their job in that space. I know that certain commentators have said that we need more entertainment. We will go back to entertainment, but it will be at the right time, and at the moment there’s clearly an appetite for news, and the fast moving news cycle, because it’s affecting everyone. We’re in unprecedented times where people are losing their jobs and losing their future with decisions that are made out of Canberra.

“Once we move into a different stage of the shutdown process, the frequency of those news specials, and the times of those news specials will change and will evolve with what’s happening.”

For viewers wanting a break from the news cycle, Nine has plenty of viewing alternatives. From next week it will have four other multichannels when 9Rush launches, [more on that tomorrow] plus a growing 9Now library.

Turner noted how fortunate he and his colleagues at Nine, most working remotely from home, were to be still employed.

“Everyone’s kind of in this balancing act, but we’ve still got jobs and we should all feel very lucky and thankful that we’re still employed, because there’s many Australians who are not, and it’s very sad, very sad.”

To accommodate the 9pm COVID-19 news specials, Nine put Doctor Doctor and Paramedics in hiatus. Turner said he expects they should return after Easter.

“We’ve tried to protect those brands, as a broadcaster, if the prime minister is talking about shutdowns, then we need to be providing that information on a free-to-air platform.”

Other programming challenges include filling the gap on Thursday and Fridays where there is no live NRL across Nine and Gem.

Once Lego Masters finishes, Nine will have The Voice to take its place. It’s not quite finished yet though.

“We’ve got a plan for The Voice. The majority of the series and has been shot. We’ve still got the live episodes that haven’t obviously been put in the can yet, but we’re confident we’ll be able to deliver those.”

Nine has been able to complete filming earlier this month of Australian Ninja Warrior, but The Block has been closed down with construction of the new properties about half complete. Nine still has some time up its sleeve and is hoping the complete the series.

Turner noted: “We wanted to ensure that the Blockheads could go home to their families in this time of uncertainty. You’ve got to ensure that you’re looking after the participants and the people behind the show as well. This is what we are faced with, but we’re confident that we’ll be able to fully deliver what we said we would at our up fronts.”

One of the disappoints for Nine is that it is unable to screen Travel Guides. The season has been filmed and is ready to go, but for obvious reasons it won’t go to air. Turner explained because of the current climate it would not make sense to promote overseas or Australian travel. The program also has commercial partnerships linked to the various segments which also prevents the broadcast.

CRA reports jump in RadioApp and podcast listening

Consumers have increased their consumption of radio via smart phones, smart speakers and podcasts in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, according to Australian industry data.

The numbers are in contrast to reports from the US, where research firms have reported a drop in March podcast listening linked to fewer commuters making journeys to the office.

Commercial Radio Australia chief executive officer Joan Warner said early figures showed there had been a lift in the number of Australians listening to radio via the industry’s RadioApp as well as a strong increase in podcast listening.

“We’ve seen a 20% increase in users and a 22% increase in time spent listening to radio on smartphones via RadioApp over the past week,” she said.

“There has been a similar jump in the number of requests for radio streams using the Alexa voice assistant on Amazon smart devices. Streams were up 26% last week compared to a month ago.”

The RadioApp smartphone app allows listeners to easily access more than 300 Australian radio stations in one place.

Meanwhile, data from The Australian Podcast Ranker shows podcast downloads increased by 15% overall in the week commencing March 16, with consumption of news podcasts up around 30%, compared to the same week in February.

People are craving news, but are also looking for a sense of community and seeking new forms of entertainment that they can enjoy while isolated or working from home,” Warner said.

“Live radio is a trusted and familiar medium that allows audiences to feel connected, stay in touch with what people are talking about and find out what businesses are open or shut in their local area.

“We also expect more people will discover podcasts during the weeks and months ahead, either to seek information or to escape it for some light relief.”

The Australian Podcast Ranker, launched by CRA and Triton Digital last October, provides information on the most popular podcasts from a range of major podcast publishers, including Southern Cross Austereo, News Corp Australia, NOVA Entertainment, Schwartz Media, TOFOP Productions, SEN/Crocmedia, The Parent Brand, Australian Radio Network, Nine Radio, ARN/iHeartMedia and Stitcher.

GfK’s Radio Insights research conducted over summer found that 74% of listeners said they would turn to radio for information in an emergency situation.

2020 TV Week Logies Gold Coast event has been cancelled

Bauer Media, publishers of TV Week, has announced some major changes to how the 2020 TV Week Logies will be run due to the coronovirus pandemic – however, the awards will still be held in some form.

Fiona Connolly, Bauer Media group publisher, said on the weekend: “Given the global COVID-19 pandemic the 2020 TV WEEK Logie Awards will not proceed as planned on the Gold Coast on Sunday, June 28, nor any of the ancillary public events.

“But we will continue with our nominations announcement and online voting campaign and are working with our partners on a TV broadcast alternative and will advise of those details when we have them.”

Connolly said that more details would be released soon but reiterated online public voting across the Most Popular categories is still expected to begin in May.

The new edition of TV Week features a round-up the best shows to binge in a stay-at-home special. The TV Week team list the 50 of the best TV shows. Those titles include Bloom, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Test and Call the Midwife. Also MAFS’ couple Lizzie and Seb share some news about their relationship ahead of the finale and what pushes Neighbours’ Harlow to snap?

Top photo: Two Toms: TV Week editor Thomas Woodgate with the Gold Logie bad boy

Celia Pacquola wins Dancing With The Stars

In 10’s Dancing With The Stars grand finale, Celia Pacquola and partner Jarryd Byrne where the winners earning a $50,000 donation to Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre in the process.

On her win Celia said: “I really think it will be a few months from now before I realise or understand what this all means. 

“For right now, I’m so happy for Jarryd, he deserves this so much. It feels great to be on a show that’s inspirational and aspirational, it feels like we did some good.”

Even though Claudia Karvan was on the top of the leaderboard it was Celia who took home top prize when the viewer votes and judges’ scores were combined. Christian Wilkins danced his way to runner up ahead of Claudia who placed third and Ed Kavalee who placed fourth. 

The Dancing With The Stars grand finale opening dance featured judges Sharna Burgess and Tristan MacManus. With Craig Revel Horwood judging from his home in the UK.

After facing their redemption dances, the first round saw Claudia and Aric clear the floor with a score of 30 followed by a three-way tie with Celia, Christian and Ed who all scored 24 points. The fusion dances saw Claudia and Aric once again scoring top marks.

On Celia’s win Sharna Burgess said, “What I love about Celia winning this competition, is that she is every woman. She had the ups and the downs, she showed her vulnerability and her strength. It was a gift to watch her blossom and she truly deserved the win.”

Amplifying Australian music and supporting the music industry

Foxtel’s music channels MAX, CMC and [V] will broadcast all-Australian music commencing from 9am every Monday from April 6, to extend its support of the Australian music community, by helping to raise awareness of those in the music industry who are doing it tough during this unprecedented crisis.

The music industry has been decimated with the livelihood of touring artists and all its associated staff and businesses completely ground to a halt during this crisis period. As part of Foxtel music channel’s awareness campaign, MAX, CMC and [V] channels are proud to unite with the music industry’s charity, Support Act, which provides crisis relief to those affected personnel.

Support Act www.supportact.org.au calls on music lovers to help Australia’s music industry through this period and is committed to doing what it can to help those in need, from the thousands of artists, roadies and other music industry professionals who have lost their entire livelihood due to the cancellation of concerts, festivals, tours and shows.

Fraser Stark, Foxtel’s group general manager, entertainment & music, said: “As we enter a time of untold disruption it’s good to remember that we’ll get through this together and, when we do come together, it will certainly be with song. Musicians, and the wider live performance industry, have been immediately hit with the closure of venues and festivals. To hold a torch during this difficult impasse, [V], MAX and CMC are proud to play all-Australian music each Monday from April 6. We’ll use the moment to draw attention (and donations from those who can spare it) to the fine work of Support Act – which is already out there supporting artists in tough times.”

Clive Miller, Support Act CEO said: “Artists, crew and music workers are facing a bleak and uncertain financial future and are sometimes amongst the most vulnerable with regards to mental health and wellbeing. Please help us to support our music workers through this difficult period and help them be in a position to bounce back louder and prouder than ever once the pandemic has passed.”

Twitter names first head of agency for Australia

Twitter has announced the appointment of Emily Foat (pictured) as head of agency in Australia. The new role is a first for Twitter Australia, which will see the company provide further support to its network of agency partners.

Twitter has reported growth both in global audience numbers and brand partnerships with 150 million average monetisable daily active users recorded last quarter, up 21 per cent year-on-year.

”2019 was a big year for us. We saw revenue tip over the $1b mark globally last quarter, while users grew by double digits. But this growth was no accident. We’ve been laser focused on driving product improvements; specifically improvements that increase the relevance of content in people’s timelines. People come to Twitter to connect with their interests, so we’ve made it easier to find, start and join conversations with features like Topics, Lists and Events. All offer better ways to organise content around topics and events that people care about. For brands and agency partners it means there are now even more ways to connect with a highly engaged audience,” said Angus Keene, head of revenue partnerships at Twitter Australia.

“Emily’s appointment is a key part of our growth strategy here and will help us to deepen our relationships, improve our service and deliver more bespoke solutions to meet the ever changing needs of Australian agencies.”

Foat joined Twitter in 2015, and was most recently client partner lead for government and tourism brands. In her new role, Foat will work closely with local agencies to create scalable programs that drive growth and support agency needs, as well as share deep and broad industry insights to enable agencies to differentiate and adapt in the face of dynamic industry changes.

ViacomCBS Networks Australia launches Together campaigns

ViacomCBS Networks International’s Australian free-to-air and subscription brands, led by Network 10, MTV and Nickelodeon, have launched their Together campaigns which focus on sharing health, safety and well-being messages during COVID-19.

Creative executions of the campaigns include:

• Self-shot videos and live takeovers from celebrity and music talent across the brands.
• Daily engagement through series’ social accounts, encouraging conversation and among fans.
• Original content, including animated and graphics-based, focused on health and social distancing.

 

ViacomCBS Australia and New Zealand chief content officer and EVP Beverley McGarvey said: “Our brands reach and influence many, many Australians every day. In times like these, we have a clear duty to help however we can. The ‘Together’ campaigns are part of our contribution to educating and helping Australians during these uncertain times.

“Now is the time for every person and every business – in Australia and around the world – to work together and help each other.”

Network 10’s #InThisTogether aligns with a similar campaign launched by CBS in the United States which features network talent recording videos, some from their own homes, providing reassurance and promoting togetherness during COVID-19. Talent featured in the promo include Carrie Bickmore, Lisa Wilkinson, Jonathan LaPaglia, Osher Günsberg, Miguel Maestre and Sarah Harris.

Jonathan La Paglia

MTV’s #AloneTogether is a global social and talent led campaign that educates audiences on the importance of social distancing and drives unity through entertainment. A focus on mental health is a vital part of the effort, underscoring that social distancing does not mean social isolation.

Nickelodeon’s #KidsTogether is a multiplatform, global prosocial initiative using Nickelodeon’s most popular characters and talent – including SpongeBob SquarePants, Blue’s Clues & You!, Henry Danger, and Bubble Guppies – to engage with kids and families on tips for staying healthy, and also ideas for activities to do together while in the home during the COVID-19 outbreak with elements aggregated for easy access on a central online destination at nick.com.au/kidstogether.

The #AloneTogether campaign, which was developed by ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth brands in partnership with the The Ad Council in the US, has also been tailored and supported by Pluto TV in markets around the world, and CBS and CBS All-Access, Awesomeness, and Showtime in the U.S.

ViacomCBS Networks International’s Entertainment & Youth Brands are also developing #AloneTogether content to be shared collectively to their more than 500 million social followers, communicating the public health message through their distinct brand voices.

Further details on MTV Australia’s #AloneTogether content will be announced soon.

 

Lockdown viewing: Drunk History Australia released on 10 Play

To assist in your patriotic duty to self-isolate, 10 Play is dropping a surprise new series every day for 10 days, including exclusive access to the brand new series, Drunk History Australia

Australian comedians narrate their favourite stories from history while sipping on their favourite tipple. The result is a hilarious, skewed and anachronistically-challenged anecdote, re-enacted by a comedy ensemble and some very unexpected faces.

Episode one’s buzzed story teller, Anne Edmonds said: “Look, we could all use a stiff drink at the moment and boy did I have a few in this first episode of Drunk History. I can’t help but feel that Dame Nellie Melba would be proud.”

Covering almost 200 years of heritage, the string of comedians will recount 12 stories across six episodes, from cannibal convicts to female indigenous bush rangers, and the first Miss Australia to the country’s darkest political moment – the dismissal of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam.

Here, facts collide with fantasy and like every Aussie knows, the truth never gets in the way of a good yarn.

Drunk History joins Season Two of How To Stay Married which dropped yesterday exclusively on 10 Play. 

Week 13 TV: Nine still the one, but news audiences up everywhere

By James Manning

Interest in COVID-19 and its global spread saw bigger crowds gathered around FTA TV across the week. There were record audiences for all networks and 13 separate entries in the week’s most-watched list were over 1m.

To make the top 20 a show needed to have 850,000+. Four weeks ago, the four episodes of MAFS were the only programs to hit 1m metro while 640,000 got you into the week’s top 20.

Week 14 is the final week of Q1 before we have a two week Easter survey break.

Week 13: Primetime FTA metro shares
ABC 13.5% Kids/Comedy 2.4% ME 0.6% News 4.2% (20.7%)
Seven 17.9% 7TWO 2.7% 7mate 3.0% 7flix 1.6% (25.2%)
Nine 22.3% GO! 2.5% Gem 3.7% 9Life 1.7% (30.2%)
10 10.6% Bold 3.5% Peach 2.1% (16.3%)
SBS 4.5% Viceland 1.1% Food 0.8% NITV 0.2% World Movies 1.1% (7.6%)

Nine: In the first week of the year without any live sport, but bumper news audiences, Nine has continued to keep its ratings leadership. Nine ranked #1 primary channel for six nights, and it was also #1 network across those six nights.

Nine’s news numbers boomed like everybody else’s and all weekday and weekend bulletins had an average over 1.1m. A Current Affair with an average just over 800,000 and a Saturday episode. 60 Minutes also set a recent high with 991,000 last Sunday. The Today show saw its average up to 274,000, climbing from 241,000 week-on-week.

Married at First Sight offered much for people wanting a change of pace with a very different sort of drama with all four episodes over 1m in the reality show’s penultimate week.

Seven: Overall Seven audiences were up 7% week-on-week. The audience growth for its news shows was just over 40% week-on-week. The network’s strength remains its news coverage with last Sunday’s bulletin pushing close to 1.4m metro. The channel ranks #1 in all 6pm primetime news lots except Saturday where Nine pushes into first place. Seven has put Home and Away on hiatus with the 7pm slot being taken over with The Latest which was co-hosted for the week by Michael Usher with Melissa Doyle, returning to Seven’s schedule. What could be the final appearance of one of the network’s most successful franchises ever went to air during the week with the final two 2020 episodes of My Kitchen Rules: The Rivals. The penultimate episode did 502,000 and the final was on 463,000 with a nice tribute in the end credits to one of the format co-creators Brad Lyons who passed away just over a week ago. In breakfast Sunrise was well ahead of the pack with all programs recording bigger audiences. Sunrise’s weekday average was 361,000, up from week 12’s 311,000.

10: No presence in the top 20 this week, but the two episodes of Australian Survivor: All Stars set season highs with audiences of 736,000 on Monday and then 773,000 on Tuesday for the penultimate episode where it was revealed the final three are Mo, Sharn and red hot favourite David. Also performing well was Gogglebox which had a Thursday recent high of 738,000, as did Ambulance Australia on 645,000 on the same night.

News and current affairs programs lifted with The Project 7pm on 595,000 with 10 News First on 535,000 and the 6pm extension of the bulletin on 332,000. The Project 7pm achieved its biggest weekly audience since June 2017 and was up 41% compared to the same week in 2019. 10 News First had its biggest weekly audience since July 2016 and 10 News First 6pm had its biggest weekly audience since it started in December 2019, lifting its timeslot 74% compared with the same week in 2019. Studio 10’s audience was up 19% compared to its 2019 average.

Regarding week 12 Consolidated 7 ratings and BVOD numbers, 10 reported Australian Survivor: All Stars continued to record its biggest 7 day broadcast video on-demand (BVOD) audience across the series. The episode on Wednesday 18 March achieved a BVOD audience of 85,000. Including 7 day TV and digital audiences, the overnight ep lifted 33% to 953,000. The Monday episode lifted 33% to 931,000 while its Tuesday episode lifted 27% to 922,000. Gogglebox’s 19 March episode achieved a total audience of 813,000, lifting 35% with 7 day BVOD and consolidated TV audiences and the 19 March ep of Ambulance Australia soared 70% to 788,000 viewers.

ABC: The Saturday 7pm News made it just over 1m while the weekday bulletins averaged 946,000. The week’s average for 7.30 was 863,000. Q&A posted a recent high with 558,000, outperforming Four Corners which was on 518,000. The most popular entertainment program of the week on the channel was again Doc Martin with 955,000 on Saturday night.

SBS: The weekly average for SBS World News was 196,000 with last Sunday’s bulletin over 200,000 and most other nights not too far below that mark. The channel’s biggest audience were for Tony Robinson’s History of Britain on 253,000 and Great Alaskan Railroad Journeys on 249,000.

ARIA Chart : Third #1 for The Weeknd + Smith Street, Adam Lambert debut

By James Manning

• Singles: Could Saint Jhn or Powfu go where no others can?

Singles

Another week at #1 for The Weeknd with Blinding Lights on top for 10 weeks after 17 weeks on the chart. But let’s look at activity elsewhere in the top 10. Not sure of the gap between listens for #1 and #2, but let’s guess its small. That means there could have been an upset with Roses from Saint Jhn shooting from #7 to #2 in its sixth week on the chart. The single from the US rapper, singer, songwriter, and record producer has hit #1 in the UK.

Saint Jhn

Also making a run for the top is Powfu with Deathbed jumping from #13 to #7 after four weeks on the chart. Could we possibly see one Canadian superstar handing over top spot to another?

Also making some moves on the chart this week were other tracks from The Weeknd’s new #1 album – In Your Eyes is new at #13, After Hours moves from #48 to #17 and Heartless re-enters the chart at #38 for a sixth week.

Just one other new arrival – YouTuber Drip Report with Skechers at #47.

Albums

The first album in four years from The Weeknd has gone straight to #1 which would surprise nobody. After dominating the singles chart for much of 2020, his first album release since 2016’s Starboy has been devoured by fans. Pitchfork called his new After Hours album “his most satisfying collision of new wave, dream pop, and R&B” and it looks set to linger on the chart for many weeks. The Weeknd spat out three albums in the three years from 2013 with Beauty Behind the Madness and Starboy both reaching #1. The last time an artist sat at #1 on both charts was Billie Eilish in April last year.

Before we list details of the new top 50 debuts this week, a bit more about Billie Eilish who this week clocks up a year in the chart for When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? Also still charting – after 78 weeks if you don’t mind – is her debut EP Don’t Smile At Me.

#4 The Smith Street Band with Live at the Triffid. The coronavirus has left a trail of destruction that includes much of the entertainment industry. Melbourne’s Smith Street Band were supposed to start this week in Perth and end it in NSW. Those gigs were all postponed of course and in an effort to raise funds for their road crew the band has released this complete Brisbane show on bandcamp for just $10.
#8 Adam Lambert with Velvet. Australian audiences have long appreciated the work of the former American Idol finalist, but those who didn’t know much about him had the chance to sample his talents during Queen’s recent stadium tour. Velvet is Lambert’s fourth solo set, and for the rest of 2020 he will be juggling both his jobs with solo shows and more touring with Queen.
#10 Kenny Rogers with All the Hits and All New Love Songs. Two releases from the recently departed country music star chart this week. There are 38 tracks on this double album that should keep most happy.
#11 Childish Gambino with 3.15.20. Not all critics have been glowing in their praise, but there is enough excitement to warrant investigating the latest from over-achiever Donald Glover. It’s his fourth album and the first since Awaken! My Love in 2016.
#26 Conan Gray with Kid Krow. The debut album from the US singer-songwriter who grew up in California, Japan and later Texas and built a career after a self-released single in 2017 attracted a following on Spotify and YouTube.
#27 Kelsea Ballerini with Kelsea. Third album from the US country artists. Her second, Unapologetically, peaked at #12 in 2017.
#38 Kenny Rogers with 21 Number Ones.

TV Ratings March 30 Week 14 2020

By James Manning

• Another giant Sunday share should help secure Nine weekly win
• Nine News and 60 Minutes join MAFS as chart toppers
• 10’s DWTS winner popular with viewers, but not the judges
• Seven’s Ben Cousins doco a timeslot winner in Melbourne & Perth

Sunday news bulletins
Nine News Sunday 1,372,000
Seven News Sunday 1,332,000
60 Minutes 1,017,000
ABC News Sunday 1,001,000
Nine News special COVID-19 854,000
The Latest 673,000
Insiders 612,000
The Sunday Project 371,000/466,000
10 News First Sunday 432,000
Weekend Sunrise 403,000
Seven News at 5 398,000
Nine News First at Five 343,000
10 News First Sunday 6pm 307,000
Weekend Today 273,000
ABC News Breakfast 255,000
SBS World News 191,000

Nine: Another ratings-winning Sunday with a share over 26% – a number that Nine has passed on five of the six last Sundays. The 6pm news had its biggest audience in more than two years. Married at First Sight started its final week as the #1 show in all demos. 60 Minutes devoted the program to COVID-10 coverage a saw its audience numbers climb above 1m.

Seven: The 6pm news was over 1.3m for the second consecutive Sunday. A Sunday edition of The Latest followed at 7pm. Basil Zempilas then hosted the Seven special Ben Cousins: Coming Clean which offered a fascinating insight into how the champion football went off the rails and how he is planning for the future. The show did 791,000 and won its slot in Melbourne with 312,000 and Perth with 164,000. Seven has also reported it has had its biggest ever VOD since 7plus launched with 25.3m minutes and a Sunday commercial FTA share of 37.5%.

10: Dancing with the Stars finished its 2020 season on the last Sunday before survey break with 635,000 watching the announcement of the winner and 623,000 watching the main part of the final night. While Celia Pacquola was the audience fave and the ultimate winner, Claudia Karvan was the judges’ pick as she topped the leader board with perfect scores.
Speaking about the season, ViacomCBS Networks Australia & New Zealand chief content officer and EVP, Beverley McGarvey, said: “This season of Dancing with the Stars has been like no other. The brilliant team have been exceptionally inventive in delivering a safe, world-class season with minimal disruption and lots of creative innovation.
“I’d like to extend my thanks to the incredible team at Warner Bros, the BBC and our own team here at 10 for their tireless efforts in bringing this brilliant season to life each and every week. It was not easy, but your determination was phenomenal.”
McGarvey noted the series ended with the biggest audience of the season and lifted 10’s timeslot audience 20% compared to the same nights a year ago.
The 2020 final night was down on the 2019 finale which aired in Week 17 – 693,000 for the winner announced and 666,000 for the main part of the episode.

ABC: Grand Designs New Zealand went to air after the 7pm News with 527,000 watching. The penultimate episode of Stateless then did 409,000. The episode screened of the drama last week added 129,000 viewers in Consolidated 7 data to 557,000. Stateless has been the most popular ABC drama on iview, along with episodes of The Capture.

Week 12-3 TV: Friday-Sunday
FRIDAY METRO
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 13.9% 7 19.9% 9 16.2% 10  8.1% SBS One 4.3%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.7% 7TWO 2.8% GO! 4.1% 10 Bold 3.7% VICELAND 1.5%
ABC ME 0.5% 7mate 4.7% GEM 4.3% 10 Peach 2.6% Food Net 1.4%
ABC NEWS 4.1% 7flix 2.3% 9Life 2.0%     NITV 0.2%
                SBS World Movies 0.9%
TOTAL 21.2%   29.8%   26.5%   14.3%   8.2%

 

SATURDAY METRO
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 13.8% 7 18.2% 9 18.3% 10  5.9% SBS One 5.9%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.5% 7TWO 3.4% GO! 3.4% 10 Bold 4.2% VICELAND 1.0%
ABC ME 0.3% 7mate 3.1% GEM 5.4% 10 Peach 2.3% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 3.3% 7flix 3.0% 9Life 2.2%     NITV 0.3%
                SBS World Movies 1.3%
TOTAL 21.0%   27.7%   29.2%   12.5%   9.6%

 

SUNDAY METRO
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 10.9% 7 19.2% 9 26.8% 10  11.7% SBS One 4.0%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.1% 7TWO 1.8% GO! 3.3% 10 Bold 2.8% VICELAND 0.5%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 3.6% GEM 3.3% 10 Peach 1.8% Food Net 0.5%
ABC NEWS 3.8% 7flix 1.0% 9Life 1.7%     NITV 0.1%
                SBS World Movies 0.6%
TOTAL 17.3%   25.6%   35.1%   16.4%   5.6%

 

SUNDAY REGIONAL
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 11.0% 7 19.7% 9 22.2% WIN 10.6% SBS One 4.1%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.2% 7TWO 3.1% GO! 3.9% WIN Bold 3.5% VICELAND 0.4%
ABC ME 1.0% 7mate 3.2% GEM 3.8% WIN Peach 1.6% Food Net 0.7%
ABC NEWS 3.9% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 0.7% 9Life 1.5% Sky News  on WIN 2.1% NITV 0.1%
                SBS Movies 0.7%
TOTAL 18.1%   26.8%   31.5%   17.8%   6.0%

 

All People Ratings

Friday Top 10

  1. Seven News Seven 1,201,000
  2. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 1,156,000
  3. Nine News Nine 1,117,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 1,060,000
  5. ABC News ABC 852,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 735,000
  7. The Latest: Seven News Seven 649,000
  8. Gardening Australia ABC 647,000
  9. The Chase Australia Seven 645,000
  10. Hot Seat Nine 554,000

 

Saturday Top 10

  1. Nine News Saturday Nine 1,174,000
  2. Seven News Seven 1,128,000
  3. ABC News ABC 1,007,000
  4. Doc Martin ABC 955,000
  5. A Current Affair Nine 686,000
  6. The Latest: Seven News Seven 609,000
  7. 10 News First 10 439,000
  8. Getaway Nine 437,000
  9. Agatha Raisin ABC 402,000
  10. Weekend Sunrise Seven 385,000
Sunday FTA
  1. Nine News Sunday Nine 1,372,000
  2. Seven News Seven 1,332,000
  3. Married At First Sight Nine 1,161,000
  4. 60 Minutes Nine 1,017,000
  5. ABC News Sunday ABC 1,001,000
  6. Nine News Special: Covid-19 Nine 854,000
  7. 7news: Ben Cousins: Coming Clean Seven 791,000
  8. The Latest: Seven News Seven 673,000
  9. Dancing With The Stars – The Winner Announced 10 635,000
  10. Dancing With The Stars 10 623,000
  11. Grand Designs New Zealand ABC 527,000
  12. The Sunday Project 7pm 10 466,000
  13. 10 News First 10 432,000
  14. Stateless ABC 409,000
  15. Confessions Of A Serial Killer Nine 408,000
  16. Weekend Sunrise Seven 403,000
  17. Seven News At 5 Seven 398,000
  18. Insiders AM ABC 394,000
  19. The Sunday Project 6.30pm 10 371,000
  20. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COME DY 370,000
Sunday Multichannel
  1. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 370,000
  2. ABC News AM ABC NEWS 229,000
  3. Offsiders AM ABC NEWS 227,000
  4. Insiders AM ABC NEWS 218,000
  5. Planet America’s Fireside Chat ABC NEWS 213,000
  6. Weekend Breakfast: 10am AM ABC NEWS 195,000
  7. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 188,000
  8. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 174,000
  9. Think Twice PM ABC NEWS 173,000
  10. A View To A Kill 9Gem 169,000
  11. John Wick 9GO! 169,000
  12. ABC News Weekend ABC NEWS 167,000
  13. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 165,000
  14. Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 156,000
  15. ABC News PM ABC NEWS 154,000
  16. Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them 7mate 153,000
  17. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 149,000
  18. Shaun The Sheep AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 145,000
  19. Bananas In Pyjamas AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 144,000
  20. Think Twice ABC NEWS 125,000
Sunday STV
  1. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 82,000
  2. Outsiders Sky News Live 81,000
  3. Outsiders Sky News Live 77,000
  4. Sharri Sky News Live 74,000
  5. Outsiders Sky News Live 72,000
  6. Business Weekend Sky News Live 59,000
  7. Business Weekend Sky News Live 54,000
  8. Weekend Live Sky News Live 53,000
  9. Weekend Live Sky News Live 51,000
  10. In My View Sky News Live 50,000
  11. Weekend Live Sky News Live 49,000
  12. Selling Houses Australia Lifestyle Channel 44,000
  13. Chris Smith & Friends Sky News Live 43,000
  14. 24 Hours In Emergency Lifestyle Channel 40,000
  15. Weekend Live Sky News Live 38,000
  16. Sunday Agenda Sky News Live 36,000
  17. Midsomer Murders UKTV 36,000
  18. Ryan’s Mystery Playdate Nick Jr. 35,000
  19. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 34,000
  20. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 33,000

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

Southern Cross Austereo mulls options for capital injection

Southern Cross Austereo is believed to be considering convertible notes to help it trade through the advertising hit from the coronavirus pandemic, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

Sources said a number of investment banks are pitching to Southern Cross to help the radio network and regional television broadcaster work out the best way forward. Last week, the company’s long-time advisor Luminis Partners was sounding out which investment banks would be available to work for Southern Cross.

Forward bookings for advertising markets have become incredibly muddy over the past fortnight as the coronavirus pandemic rips through financial markets and advertisers cancel or push back spending.

[Read more]

Nine, Seven tower joint venture TX Australia sues ACCC

A broadcast tower joint venture between Nine Entertainment and Seven West Media is taking legal action against the competition regulator arguing it lacks authority to mediate a dispute with Network Ten over access to its infrastructure, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Zoe Samios.

Ten had been seeking access to TX Australia’s towers but was unable to agree a price. The case was taken to the ACCC, which ruled it had the power to arbitrate the dispute, a point TX Australia disagrees with.

The case is the latest in a saga spanning years between TX Australia and Ten. Ten was previously a joint owner of TX Australia with Seven and Nine. However the pair seized on Ten’s descent into administration in 2017 to activate a clause allowing them to buy its stake in the transmission tower operator for a combined $22 million last May.

[Read more]

Seven likely to push back studios and ventures sales

Seven West Media is expected to hold fire on a range of asset sales, including its ventures portfolio and studios business, amid increasing lockdowns and fallout from the spread of coronavirus in Australia, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

Seven had already been in discussion with the banks in its syndicate and talks are well advanced.

Seven has been looking to sell Seven Studios, its ventures portfolio – which includes stakes in Airtasker and SocietyOne – and its half stake in broadcast infrastructure business TX Australia – to ease its large debt burden, which sat at $541.5 million at its half-year results.

Given the economic backdrop and uncertainty around programming pipelines, with many shows across Australia and different studios being impacted by production shutdowns because of coronavirus concerns, it’s believed Seven has made the decision to hold out on selling most of the assets it has earmarked so it can get appropriate prices later on.

Sources told the Financial Review that prospective buyer ITV is unlikely to buy anything at this point as it deals with the fallout of the coronavirus on the production industry.

[Read more]

Regional broadcasters request emergency relief from Minister

Regional television broadcasters WIN Corp, Prime Media and Southern Cross Austereo have urged the government to provide emergency assistance to tackle an existential crisis for media outside of capital cities amid the COVID-19 pandemic, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

The three broadcasters held emergency meetings with Communications Minister Paul Fletcher last week to discuss the collapse in the advertising market caused by the spread of the virus in Australia.

“Minister Fletcher has heard from many stakeholders in the media sector in the past week,” a spokesman for the minister said. “It’s clear COVID-19 has put the media sector under enormous pressure, particularly through sharp advertising downturns.

“The current situation has amplified the long-running structural issues – particularly competition from global digital platforms which are capturing much of the audience and advertising revenue previously held by television, radio and newspapers.”

[Read more]

Talent manager Glenn Wheatley expresses interest in AAP

Talent manager Glenn Wheatley has emerged as an unlikely potential suitor for the Australian Associated Press after an expressing an interest in buying the newswire service, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Zoe Samios.

All interested parties will be supplied with financial information about the organisation week, but no bids have been lodged. The deadline for bids is April 9.

AAP subscribers including Daily Mail, Guardian Australia and Verizon Media are still in discussions about pooling resources and forming journalism partnerships that could replace the newswire when it closes in June.

[Read more]

News Brands

News Corp Australia cuts paywalls to free up virus reporting

News Corp Australia boss Michael Miller has been assured by government that news media will be deemed an essential service in the event of further shutdowns as the media company opens up its paywalls for metro mastheads during the global crisis, reports The Australian’s Michael Miller.

In a bid to keep Australians better informed during the COVID-19 crisis, News Corp will lift the paywalls on its metro mastheads, including The Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun and The Courier-Mail, to new customers signing up in the next two weeks. They will be given free access for 28 days and 50 per cent off for the following month.

Miller, executive chairman of News Corp Australasia, described the initiative as “the right thing to do”. “We debated as to what do we lock, what we unlock, and we came to the conclusion that we want Australians to stay connected and for people to stay informed,’’ Miller said.

Miller said in his discussions with government the media company had been classified as “an essential service”, which will allow News Corp mastheads, Sky News and Foxtel (majority-owned by News Corp) to keep distributing and broadcasting throughout the crisis.

“The governments have indicated that they consider media and our newspapers to be essential services. So it’s comforting to hear that.”

Miller accepted that some community publications might have to suspend printed editions if there was less activity in the real estate advertising market in the wake of auction restrictions.

[Read more]

Radio

HT&E well positioned to weather pandemic storm CEO Davis

Here, There & Everywhere boss Ciaran Davis will not rush into any merger or acquisition opportunities, but is anticipating another round of consolidation in the media market later this year, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Zoe Samios.

The company, which owns radio stations KIIS, Gold FM and The Edge, is one of the better placed to make a move in the current media landscape, but Davis is wary because of market uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When this is all over, and it will be all over, I have a strong view that the business models will have changed and that there will be consolidation happening again,” Davis said.

To assist with the low spend caused by the pandemic, Davis wants the government to spend more money on advertising through radio.

“The ad market has taken a massive thumping in the past two the three weeks,” he said.

“What we have seen is that the traditional strength of radio, its immediacy, cost-effectiveness, quick turnaround time…they are still there. We are seeing categories of spend increase… but, at the moment, it is not outweighing the loss of revenue.”

A main focus, he said, remains its staff. “It’s literally looking at the core business, protecting cash as much as we can and protecting jobs as much as we can,” he said.

[Read more]

Nick Tabakoff: Alan Jones v Alan Joyce war goes viral

They’re calling it Jones v Joyce II, reports The Australian’s Nick Tabakoff.

Last year, Alan Jones lobbed a huge grenade when he accused Qantas boss Alan Joyce of pressuring Rugby Australia (of which Qantas is the major sponsor) into its explosive sacking of Israel Folau for anti-gay comments. For his part, Joyce described Jones’s claim as “outrageous”.

But last Thursday on his 2GB show, Jones doubled down by opening up another front against Qantas, this time involving the coronavirus.

Jones’s most explosive claim was The Flying Kangaroo had helped hasten the spread of coronavirus in Australia by pressing ahead with direct flights from the virus’s original epicentre, China to Australia, and at the time, playing down the risk.

Jones went on to accuse Joyce personally of “ugly behaviour” and “bucketing” his major competitor, Virgin Australia, amid reported comments relating to Virgin that governments should not be in the business of supporting companies that had been “badly managed” for years. Jones also claimed to have an “audio recording” of Joyce urging his staff on a conference call “to petition their federal MPs against Virgin”.

[Read more]

3AW’s Neil Mitchell calls for an end to Daniel Andrews cold war

Melbourne’s most powerful broadcaster, Neil Mitchell, wants the coronavirus to be the watershed moment that finally ends his longstanding cold war with the city’s most powerful politician, Daniel Andrews, reports The Australian’s Nick Tabakoff. Mitchell is using The Australian to call for a “truce” with the Victorian Premier, following the unprecedented events of recent days.

The 3AW morning presenter believes Andrews’s boycott of his show comes down to a testy interview between the pair in 2017, when Mitchell accused the Premier at the time of “political trickery”. As Mitchell now freely confides: “He was not happy with this interview and not happy with my editorials on several stories.”

But three years on, Mitchell believes it is time for the pair to put their differences aside.

[Read more]

Television

Jonathan LaPaglia rules out Survivor switch to Queensland

When I speak with Jonathan LaPaglia he is hunkered down in California, unable to attend the recently filmed Australian Survivor Reunion, reports TV Tonight’s David Knox.

For host LaPaglia, who is himself an avid fan of the format, it’s a big disappointment but a necessary one. 10 go-to guy Osher Günsberg steps into the studio with LaPaglia announcing the winner via satellite (he declines to reveal quite how that unfolds).

More frustrating is the delay to the next season which was due to film in Fiji in April and screen in coming months. Nor is it practical to relocate to the tropics of Queensland, either.

“Every production around the world has been put on hold and we’re no exception,” he explains.

“It’s not going to be possible until we’re on top of the pandemic -not only from an insurance point of view, but just the logistical point of view.

“You may be able to isolate the cast for something like Survivor, but you have a crew that’s still functioning within the community, wherever that is.

The crew comprises some 200 to 300 people.

“Not only do we have Australians that we transport over to Fiji, but we also have an equal amount of local hire on transportation, construction. catering, security. They’re involved in everything.”

Producers had originally mapped out a three-way final Tribal Council, but tonight only two of David, Moana and Sharna will proceed beyond the very last challenge.

[Read more]

Sports Media

NRL offered $100m emergency fund to bail out struggling clubs

The NRL has been offered a $100 million emergency loan from a British private equity group to bail out struggling clubs facing an uncertain future and possible bankruptcy, reports News Corp’s Phil Rothfield.

The deal has been secured by Melbourne Storm director Bart Campbell and would be used as a line of credit for the clubs but distributed by the NRL on a case-by-case basis.

The loan would be guaranteed by funding from the broadcast deal once the game resumes.

The offer is on the table for the next meeting of the independent Commission to consider.

“We’ve had lots of offers for finance and we’re looking at a number of options,” Commission chairman Peter V’landys said.

[Read more]

The AFR reports:

British private equity firm CVC Capital Partners is believed to be one of the firms to have had informal discussions about a $100 million loan facility to help NRL clubs stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.

[Read more]

Leagues face less lucrative rights deals as seasons suspended

The AFL and NRL are likely to be offered extended but reduced sports rights deals in the wash-up of the coronavirus crisis, which will likely never see the sports return to a high watermark of previous multi-billion-dollar broad­cast deals, reports The Australian’s Leo Shanahan.

Nine Entertainment chief executive Hugh Marks met with NRL boss Todd Greenberg and chief commercial officer Andrew Abdo at Nine headquarters last week to plead their case. The NRL officials were told there would be no payment if the competition did not continue.

Foxtel will also not pay the NRL its share of the broadcasting payment, but is still in active talks with the NRL about what a post-COVID-19 season could look like.

[Read more]

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