Monday May 25, 2020

Nine confirms management buyout of Stuff under CEO Sinead Boucher

Nine Entertainment has confirmed that it has signed an agreement for the sale of Stuff Limited, in a transaction which is expected to complete by May 31, 2020.

The transaction will be a management buyout with Stuff chief executive Sinead Boucher, taking over the business as it returns to New Zealand ownership.

The sale price was just NZ$1. The terms of the deal see Nine continue to own the printing plant at Petone and lease the facility back to Stuff. It has also been revealed Nine will receive a percentage of the proceeds of the sale of Stuff Fibre announced earlier this month.

“We have always said that we believe it is important for Stuff to have local ownership and it is our firm view that this is the best outcome for competition and consumers in New Zealand,” said Hugh Marks, CEO of Nine.

Sinead Boucher said the transaction gives Stuff, as a wholly New Zealand owned media business, far greater certainty in an industry navigating through the challenging waters of the post COVID-19 ad market.

“Today is an important moment for Stuff as a business,” said Boucher. “It is great to take control of our own future with the move to local ownership and the opportunity to build further on the trust of New Zealanders, who turn to us for local and national news and entertainment every day. We are looking forward to working closely with staff, customers and our audiences as we embark upon what we believe will be a great new era for the business and the independent journalism it is built on.”

Nine acquired ownership of Stuff in 2018 following its merger with Fairfax Media.

Stuff Limited operates New Zealand’s largest news website,, and also owns nine daily newspapers including The Dominion Post and The Press, the recently awarded weekly newspaper of the year, Sunday Star-Times, and the New Zealand social media network Neighbourly.

Mediaweek’s guide to Binge Part 1: Pricing and content highlights

• A streaming service so good they made up a word for it: ‘Unturnoffable’

This is the official launch release for Binge that went to media May 22:

Binge, Australia’s newest and most exciting entertainment streaming service, jam-packed with the best content from around the globe launches this Monday, 25 May.

Australians looking for unturnoffable entertainment will get just that, with Binge offering more than 10,000 hours of ad-free on demand content, all from just $10 per month.

See More:
• Mediaweek’s guide to Binge Part 2: CEO Julian Ogrin on strategy
• Mediaweek’s guide to Binge Part 3: Buying advice – why and why not?

Binge will bring together the best local and international content on a dedicated entertainment streaming service, providing Australians a new way to indulge in their favourite shows and movies.

With the most extensive collection from the world’s best creators including WarnerMedia, NBCU, FX, BBC and Sony, Binge will feature a huge catalogue of HBO hits and deliver much-anticipated Warner Bros.’ produced scripted originals from HBO Max.

Julian Ogrin, CEO of Binge said: “Binge speaks to the heart of what great entertainment viewing is about, something that is so good you can’t switch off.  BINGE will provide permission to indulge in the shows you love and the shows you can’t get enough of; it’s entertainment that’s unturnoffable.

“This is a next generation streaming service that we want to go beyond providing the best content by creating an emotional connection with viewers based on unapologetic entertainment pleasure, a place you can escape to for that precious ‘me time’. We couldn’t be more excited to pull the curtain back and show Australia this incredible product.

“The time is right to unleash this new service providing Australians with the best in drama, lifestyle, reality and movies. With an amazing line-up of entertainment from the world’s best brands, Binge will have something for everyone, whenever you want to watch, on your favourite device. And with new content added daily, there will always be something fresh to enjoy.”

New customers can sign up for a two-week free trial from Monday, 25 May at and be watching all the ad-free on demand Binge content on their favourite device with no lock in contracts. Customers can choose from three pricing tiers starting at $10 per month (1 stream, SD), $14 per month (2 streams, HD) and $18 per month (4 streams, HD).

Binge Launch Content Highlights

• More than 10,000 hours of the best local and international content across premium drama, lifestyle, reality and movies.
• Many of the best and most talked about shows in the world right now including Succession, Westworld, Big Little Lies, Breeders, The Plot Against America, The Outsider and Mrs. America.
• All-time top-rated TV shows, including 6 of the top 10 (according to IMDb): Chernobyl, The Wire, Band of Brothers, Planet Earth I and II and Blue Planet II.
• All-time favourite dramas and comedies like Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, The Office, Seinfeld, Modern Family and The Walking Dead.
• An extensive collection of the world’s biggest movies including the Fast & Furious, Jurassic Park, Mission Impossible and DC Universe collections. Plus all-time great movies from directors like Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino.
• Acclaimed documentaries including David Attenborough’s Frozen Planet, reality including Real Housewives and Keeping Up with the Kardashians and lifestyle favourites such as Grand Designs UK and Making It with Amy Poehler.
• New to Australia releases including Hugh Jackman starring in his latest hit Bad Education and in June, BBC’s White House Farm, a six-part factual drama based on real life events.

Binge has been built on a next generation technology platform with innovative features that will enhance the viewing experience including:

Binge Centres – the place to find out more about the shows and movies, with behind the scenes interviews, footage and information.
Binge Lists – users can save shows for later, rewatch a favourite or continue from where they left off.
Discover – curated carousels powered by a team of experts, not just algorithms, to help users discover content by mood, theme, moments, Top 5’s and more.

“We have had time to observe and listen to what streamers want from their service. We know streamers can spend on average up to 10 minutes trying to find something to watch, with innovative features Binge will make the browsing experience easier, so all customers have to do is sit back and enjoy the shows and movies they want to watch,” Ogrin said.

Mediaweek’s guide to Binge Part 2: CEO Julian Ogrin on strategy

By James Manning

The online press briefing that preceded the Monday May 25 launch of the new streaming service Binge helps explain what the service is. It’s not a version of Foxtel. There was no sight of Foxtel boss Patrick Delany or executive director of TV Brian Walsh.

Binge of course has access to most of the programming pool that Foxtel manages, but Binge has its own content creators and marketing team.

See more: Mediaweek’s guide to Binge Part 1: Pricing and content highlights

When it comes to TV, most Foxtel drama and much lifestyle and reality content will also be available.

Binge launch buzzwords

Our vision – kill the scroll
Champion the freedom to indulge
We are hi-jacking the category with best drama, entertainment & movies

Binge CEO Julian Ogrin (pictured) explained to Mediaweek that when any of those shows screen on Foxtel they will also be available on Binge.

While all of the content can be selected on-demand, there will also be a handful of live channels. We will find out which ones on Monday!

Movies seem to be a work in progress this stage – Binge is calling the movie library “an extensive collection” with further details to follow.

Mrs America credit FX

Binge customers won’t see many ads. Content that streams simultaneously with Foxtel will carry the same ads that Foxtel runs, but all Binge on-demand content will be ad free.

Binge is expecting to be an addition to the streaming services people have, not a replacement for any, including Foxtel.

“Audiences will look at our product and make up their minds,” Ogrin told Mediaweek. “Our aim is not to compete with Foxtel, it is a massive market, Australia, and we are going to really go hard for that streaming market.

How big a market? Ogrin said there are currently 4m homes in Australia with streaming subscriptions, that market is forecast to grow to 8m in 2023.

Succession credit HBO

Ogrin explained why Kayo costs $25 and Binge starts at just $10.

“First and foremost, Kayo is all about live sport. It’s predominantly a lot of sport, we’re talking about the Netflix of sports. One of the things with Kayo is we actually are delivering over 700 hours of live sport on a weekend. You can imagine the complexities of running that service over and above say, a video entertainment, media on-demand entertainment service. Hence that price point.

“What we did when we looked at Binge, firstly, we studied the market. The market pricing has obviously been set.”

It’s clearly no accident that the HD package prices for Binge, Netflix and Stan are all $14.

See also: Mediaweek’s guide to Binge Part 3: Buying advice – why and why not?

Ogrin: “We researched that price point so there is an entry-level price point of $10. What we do know, through our research, and we’re pretty confident, the real hero will be that $14 with two streams and high definition.

“First and foremost, people want HD. Secondly, there are a lot of households now that are multi-device, with multi-person users. You’re looking at targeting the data we presented today, the number of devices and users in the household is growing. Hence the reason that $14 will be the logical entry point for most consumers.”

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills credit NBCUniversal

One thing that Binge won’t be doing is promoting itself to Kayo customers.

“It’s a different product, different category,” said Ogrin. “This is all about selling Binge into the audiences that want entertainment. Kayo’s job is to build audiences, the newer sporting audiences, into the streaming world there as well.”

Mediaweek’s guide to Binge Part 3: Buying advice – why and why not?

If you like your TV and movies, and you have steered clear of Foxtel so far because of the cost, then it’s going to be hard not to rush to on Monday screaming “take my money”.

See More:
Mediaweek’s guide to Binge Part 1: Pricing and content highlights
• Mediaweek’s guide to Binge Part 2: CEO Julian Ogrin on strategy

Foxtel now has a history of involvement in streaming platforms (Presto and now Kayo). There are two things Foxtel seems to have learnt from its journey so far – keep it simple and keep it cheap. Kayo is simple, Binge, well, not exactly. Kayo is cheap compared to previous ways of having to get access to all of the subscription TV sports. Binge is brilliant value, which makes it OK for now that there are still a few grey areas around movies and bits and pieces of the TV offering. (We have yet to road test the streaming platform, but if Kayo is anything to go by, the tech side of the equation should be OK.)

Why you’d say ‘yes’

For $10 (standard def or $14 high def) you will suddenly have access to a very impressive treasure trove of drama television and movies.

But wait, there’s more, Binge has also added a collection of the finest lifestyle and tackiest reality programming too.

The Binge potential customer base is pretty big – two thirds of the country who have resisted, for various reasons, jumping on board with Foxtel.

Depending on your monthly entertainment budget, this is our ranking of the best bang for the streaming buck. (Prices for HD packages)

• Binge $14
• Netflix $14
• Stan $14
• Amazon Prime Video $7

That’s a pretty amazing package of TV programs and movies for $49.


• Kayo $25

Buy your broadband or mobile phone coverage from Optus and you might qualify for Optus Sport at no extra charge.

Why you’d say ‘no’

Quite a few reasons to quality for this category. But Foxtel officially is OK with that, acknowledging it is not for everyone.

1. The cost. Starting at $10 seems a bargain, but not everyone has a spare $10, particularly at the moment. If you have carefully curated a collection of free viewing options you could just be wondering where you are magically going to find the time to start investigating an extra 10,000 hours of extra content.

Australian FTA broadcasters offer a selection of 21 live channels – soon to be 22 when 10 adds its new ViacomCBS stream. Add to that an impressive library of on-demand content from iview, SBS On Demand, 7plus, 9 Now and 10 Play.

There is also the ad supported Tubi, the public library service Kanopy, and the free level on YouTube. And if you buy your broadband from Optus or one of other partnering ISPs you might qualify for a Fetch box and starter channel pack for no extra cost.

2. You love sports. If you do you and can afford it you would have Kayo or the sports package as part of a Foxtel subscription. If you rarely watch movies or drama, there’s not much for you at Binge.

3. You are a Foxtel subscriber, and yes it may cost a few bob, but you are happy with your set top box and your subscription package. There is nothing that Binge has that you won’t also find on Foxtel. And there are a few things Foxtel has that you won’t find on Binge. Movies for instance. Which ones? It’s complicated. You get the feeling Foxtel and Binge are still feeling their way through the movie rights minefield about what exactly will go to Binge and when. More on that in Mediaweek when we get that information.

ViacomCBS executive that led 10 acquisition loses global role

Armando Nuñez, who has been a leading force in global television for over three decades, is moving into an advisory role at the ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group.

He will pass the leadership baton for the division to veteran licensing and distribution executive Dan Cohen, who will assume his new role next month.

Nuñez was the executive who oversaw the acquisition of Network 10 and was the executive that former 10 CEO Paul Anderson reported to after the sale. He transformed CBS Studios International into a worldwide distribution leader, was named Chairman, Global Distribution Group and Chief Content Licensing Officer for ViacomCBS when Viacom and CBS completed its merger in December 2019. He was charged with leading the integration of CBS and Paramount’s global licensing/distribution teams.

“Thanks to Armando’s exceptional leadership, the critical work to unify our global licensing and distribution operations is complete, and the team is moving forward with a comprehensive strategy for the future,” said ViacomCBS President and CEO Bob Bakish. “In fact, we are already making material progress growing this key business, driven by our combined strength in studio production and our unrivalled library of hit franchises and titles across TV and film. With a smooth transition between outstanding leaders, and with Dan at the helm, we continue to be in the best position to thrive.”

“When Bob asked me to lead this group post-merger, part of the plan was that I would transition from day-to-day leadership to an advisory role once the two teams were integrated and a future strategy was set,” said Nuñez. “Working side by side with Dan, that process has gone faster than expected and is now complete. We are well-positioned wherever this rapidly evolving media landscape takes us, and I can’t think of anyone better to lead us forward than Dan.”

“Together, Armando and I have established a solid foundation for this division,” said Cohen. “We’ve built a world-class team and have a treasure trove of quality content that will propel this division forward. I couldn’t be more excited to lead this group into the future.”

Cohen has served as President, Global Content Licensing for ViacomCBS since the merger in December 2019. He was responsible for all content licensing for ViacomCBS-owned programming to third-party platforms and led the licensing teams in setting strategy and guiding negotiations across the global marketplace and finding strategic distribution opportunities.

Nuñez has held senior leadership positions in international and global media for more than 35 years. Previously, he was President and Chief Executive Officer for the CBS Global Distribution Group and Chief Content Licensing Officer for CBS Corporation, with oversight of CBS Television Distribution and CBS Studios International.

Kyle and Jackie O’s 20 years of radio mayhem: 60 Minutes explained

Was it a slow week on 60 Minutes or did Nine’s current affairs program have an explosive story it had been sitting on for months?

Karl Stefanovic’s story about ARN’s The Kyle and Jackie O Show finally made it to air last night, a couple of months after the interviews had been filmed. The footage included time Stefanovic spent with Kyle Sandilands in Los Angeles.

The program carried interviews with Jackie Henderson and Sandilands together and separately.

The biggest talking point to emerge from the episode was the clip 60 Minutes used to promote the program. Sandilands seemed on the verge of revealing a secret illness. However when the show went to air, Sandilands explained he had nothing to reveal and was only joking.

“If I die tomorrow I just wanted to let you know I love you and it’s been wonderful.” [Kyle tears up]

“There is a condition I have been diagnosed with and haven’t spoken to anyone about.”

The deception caused (surprise!) immediate kickback on social media with Nine the aim of much of the criticism for choosing to run the clip as if it was about the detail what was wrong with the radio superstar.

Sandilands did reveal he had high blood pressure, measuring it during the program.

This morning on the KIIS FM breakfast show, Sandilands explained he didn’t think Nine would use that joke as a promo for the program. Not only did it promote the show, 60 Minutes chose to lead the episode with Kyle and Jackie O, covering the first two segments of the show that ran for about a total of 20 minutes.

Henderson revealed this morning that 60 Minutes shot so much footage of the radio hosts and only part of it was used. Regarding a medical episode, Sandilands said he is visiting Sydney’s tip cardiologist today to check on any potential problem.

When discussing the 60 Minutes episode this morning, by way of explanation Sandilands said he realised he was starting to talk about a sadness he has been carrying around, and at the last minute turned it into a medical emergency joke.

Both Kyle and Jackie O teared up this morning when Sandilands revealed he has an inner sadness, feeling he is continually let down by people around him.

One of the bits of information listeners gleaned from 60 Minutes was that Henderson told Austereo bosses that after their first couple of shows together 20 years ago she didn’t think the combination would work.

Henderson always said she still gets nervous for Sandilands, worried that one day he will say something that will end it for him, and perhaps her.

When Stefanovic touched on their superstar salaries, mentioning $50m each, Henderson said “don’t believe everything you read”, while Sandilands suggested the amount was correct.

The 60 Minutes report touched on some of the low-lights during their career, including the infamous 2009 lie-detector test with a 14-year-old girl.

There were things we did that were terrible,” said Henderson. “But we have never planned any of them. When they happen it is not nice.

“You get criticised for not standing up to him,” said Stefanovic later.

“I am not his mother. It is not my responsibility to always pull Kyle up. If I feel he has crocked the line I will definitely pull him up. And I am less afraid to do that now.”

PacificAus TV initiative: Australian content boost for audiences across region

Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Fiji will have access to more Australian television content through the PacificAus TV initiative delivered by Free TV Australia.

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts Paul Fletcher said that the PacificAus TV Initiative is a great way to broaden audiences for much-loved Australian screen content.

“Our close neighbours across the Pacific can now enjoy more Australian television content including lifestyle programs, news, drama and sports on their local free-to-air television stations through the initiative. I want to acknowledge the efforts of FreeTV who made this possible,” Fletcher said.

“We are excited to share with our Pacific neighbours so many of the quality television programs that Australian audiences know and love,” said Bridget Fair, CEO, Free TV Australia. “Through our Pacific partner broadcasters PacificAus TV will offer the best of Australian drama, entertainment, children’s programming, sport and lifestyle shows to viewers in our region.”

Pacific audiences will be able to watch episodes of iconic Australian programs including Neighbours, Better Homes & Gardens, Totally Wild, Border Security, 60 Minutes, The Voice, MasterChef, 800 Words, Paramedics and Lego Masters. Sports fans will not be neglected – Free TV Australia is in the process of finalising agreements for live matches and review shows from Australian sporting codes including football, netball, cricket, rugby league and AFL.

A full list of programs is available on the PacificAus TV website.

Week 21 TV: Nine back in front with best shares in four weeks

By James Manning

Despite trailing Seven in primary share for the last four nights of the week, and in network share for three of the last four, Nine has won the week in both measures.

The key to its wins was the final two nights of Lego Masters 2020.
Nine will now have two weeks of NRL before the AFL resumes.

Seven Week 21
Seven News was a timeslot winner at 6pm across seven nights of the week with all bulletins on 1m or higher.
However there was a fair gap until the next best – the Sunday episode of House Rules High Stakes on 641,000.
Home and Away averaged just over 600,000 and Better Homes and Gardens was just under 600,000.
Sunrise remained a breakfast winner with 296,000 across the Monday to Friday episodes.

Primary all people 17.7%
Network all people 25.8%
Multichannels 7mate 2.8% 7TWO 3.2% 7flix 2.1%

Nine Week 21
The network’s support from its multichannels was a little less powerful than it was last week. The combined share from Nine’s four multis was 8.2% compared to Seven’s three multis delivering 8.1%.
The ratings split final episode of Lego Masters drew the biggest audience of the week with 1.434m for the announcement of the winner and then 1.220m for the rest of that episode. The channel was unable to crack 500,000 from Tuesday onwards at 7.30pm.
A Current Affair was close to 743,000.
60 Minutes was on 667,000, up over 100,000 week-on-week. The revised figure though is a lot less than the audience of 725,000 that OzTAM released as the preliminary overnight number.

Primary all people 19.3%
Network all people 27.6%
Multichannels Gem 2.6%, GO! 2.6%, 9Life 2.0%, 9Rush 1.0%

10 Week 21
The primary channel is claiming #1 ranking 16-39 and 18-49, and #2 under 50 and 25-54.
The channel continues to compete strongly in the 7.30pm slot Sunday to Thursday, winning three of the five. MasterChef cracked 1m one night, did over 900,000 in three others and then came close with 898,000 on Monday. The cooking show is up 50% compared to its 2019 average.
Have You Been Paying Attention? also continues to do well on Monday with 883,000 this week, its biggest ever third episode audience.
The Project averaged just over 600,000 which is strong given its Friday numbers were under 450,000.
As the thriller The Secrets She Keeps gets close to its climax the overnight audience was over 500,000 which is a very strong result for a post-8.30pm start and up 23% week-on-week.
10 Bold was again the #1 multichannel with 4.0%.

Primary all people 14.4%
Network all people 20.6%
Multichannels 10 Bold 4.0%, 10 Peach 2.2%

ABC Week 21
For another consecutive week all 7pm news bulletins were over 800,000.
Both Death in Paradise and Australian Story just missed that mark with audiences of 798,000 and 786,000.
7.30 averaged 631,000 and Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery returned with 620,000 in the Hard Quiz timeslot.
Just short of 600,000 was the penultimate episode of Mystery Road on 572,000 and the wonderful Miriam Margolyes Almost Australian on 573,000.

Primary all people 13.0%
Network all people 17.7%
Multichannels Kids/Comedy 2.5%, News 1.6%, ME 0.6%

SBS Week 21
A new series of Who Do You Think You Are? started with Lisa Wilkinson pulling a launch audience of 416,000. Can Bert Newton do better this week?
For a change there wasn’t a train show in the top two with a repeat of King Arthur’s Britain: Truth Unearthed next best on 296,000.
Trains weren’t far away though with The World’s Most Beautiful Railway on 283,000. The final of Britain’s Cathedrals with Tony Robinson was on 281,000.

Primary all people 5.0%
Network all people 8.3%
Multichannels Viceland 1.3%, Food 1.0%, World Movies 0.9%, NITV 0.2%

ARIA Chart: Teskey Brothers score first #1, first Oz live #1 since AC/DC

By James Manning

• Singles: DaBaby joins an exclusive club that can boast an ARIA #1


As we explained last week here, the club of performers who hit the top of the ARIA Singles Chart is hard to get into. DaBaby has done it, ending the run of 17 weeks where either The Weeknd or Saint Jhn have been #1.

Rockstar from DaBaby featuring Roddy Ricch hits #1 in its fifth week. The track comes from DaBaby’s third album Blame It On Baby which peaked at #4 in February 2020.

German DJ Topic featuring A7S snuck into the chart at #49 last week with Breaking Me and it has shot to #25 this week.

At #37, Katy Perry’s Daisies is the highest new entry this week. It is her first time in the chart this year with the first single to be released from her next album.

Also new to the top 50 this week:

#41 StaySolidRocky with Party Girl
#45 Kygo & OneRepublic with Lose Somebody


The Tesky Brothers came close to a #1 album last year when their second studio album Run Home Slow peaked at #2. However the Melbourne band have now scaled the top of the album chart with Live at the Forum, recorded in November last year and featuring tracks from the first two albums plus a cover of John Lennon’s Jealous Guy. The Tesky Brothers took home three trophies at the 2019 ARIAs – Best Group, Best Blues & Roots Album and Engineer of the Year. Not surprisingly their new album also tops this week’s ARIA Vinyl Albums Chart. Another milestone for the band is being the first Australian act to top the chart with a live album since AC/DC with Live in 1992.

Josh Teskey, of The Teskey Brothers, said after hearing the news:

“We are completely gobsmacked to reach the number one spot. I guess it just goes to show how much everyone misses attending gigs right now!”

Dan Rosen, CEO of ARIA, added:

“Congratulations to The Teskey Brothers, and their entire team, on their first #1 ARIA album with Live At The Forum. They blew the roof off the place at last year’s ARIA Awards, and are one of the best live bands in the country. To see a live album top the ARIA Chart during these restricted times just goes to show how much we all crave the live music experience. As we look to get the live music industry back on its feet, we cannot wait to see Aussie bands like The Teskey Brothers return to venues and festival stages around the country.”

Live At The Forum also becomes the seventh Australian #1 on the ARIA Albums Chart in 2020.

Other top 50 album debuts this week:

#10 Polo G with The Goat. The second album for the Chicago rapper comes 12 months after the release of his debut Die a Legend.
#15: Future with High Off Life. The US rapper Future achieves a new chart peak with his eighth album.
#19: Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit with Reunions. Singer-songwriter Jason Isbell and his band The 400 Unit also achieve a new chart high with their seventh album. David Crosby is among the guests, singing backing vocals.
#37: Charli XCX with How I’m Feeling Now. The second album in less than 12 months from the UK pop artist, this one written and recorded during self-isolation.


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Top Photo: The Teskey Brothers celebrate #1 album with label boss Michael Gudinski

TV Ratings Sunday May 24 Week 22 2020

By James Manning

• Year nine launch of The Voice: Great singers, flat ratings
• Talent quest plus the Karl, Kyle & Jackie O show keep Nine #1
• MasterChef goes fishing: Wins demos as Tracy misses top 12
• Memorable shoot-out highlight of final Mystery Road

Seven News 1,178,000
Nine News 1,132,000
ABC News 774,000
The Project 336,000/521,000
Insiders 488,000
Nine News Late 431,000
10 News 357,000/259,000
Sunrise 268,000
SBS World News 216,000
Today 194,000
The Latest 165,000

Seven: Seven News ranked #1 across the network.
House Rules: High Stakes then did 674,000 as Lenore and Bradley were overwhelmed after entering their newly renovated property. The episode posted a new series high with 674,000 watching.
The 2016 movie Jack Reacher: Never Go Back then did 319,000. 

Nine: The Voice is Nine’s latest winning Sunday night franchise. It helped the network rank #1 primary and #1 network. The show started unearthing plenty of good singers, but arrived with flat ratings year-on-year. There was few formalities at the start of the new season – a quick tune from the coaches (the first time the same four have returned for a second season), a quick intro to the audience then it was into the first act – young 16-year-old Adam, with full mullet, who managed to get all four chairs turning around. After a pitch from Kelly, Delta, Guy (“I had the fro, you’ve got the mullet”) and George he chose to go to team with Team Adelaide (Guy). Fourteen-year-old Despina then turned all the coaches too and after the pitches she chose Boy George who was the first to turn his red chair. Then Roxane from WA also got four red chair turns, as you might expect for a professional singer of 20 years who doesn’t think she has an expiry date. She went with Boy George too who ended the episode with three on his team.
The season launch of The Voice did 1,012,000. That was enough to win the all people timeslot. Historically it was the third consecutive year the show has just managed to hit 1m on launch – 2018 did 1.029m and then 2019 started with 1.011m.
Nine’s much-hyped 60 Minutes followed with the Karl, Kyle and Jackie O episode with 698,000 watching. Although this preliminary number might change – last week’s 725,000 was later time corrected to 667,000.

10: The Project managed 521,000 after 7pm after 574,000 on Sunday a week ago.
MasterChef opened a fish market last night with guest chef Josh Niland from Paddington seafood restaurant Saint Peter. The elimination episode was to sort out the top 12 for the program and marks the halfway mark of the 12th season. A name-the-fish segment granted some from elimination before the remaining cooks had to prepare a piece of kingfish. Tracy didn’t impress the judges and became the 12th person to depart the program. The episode did 932,000 after 949,000 a week ago. The fish episode did well against The Voice in the demos, winning under 50.

ABC: A documentary about the Maralinga Tjarutja people followed the news with 449,000.
The audience climbed to 583,000 for the final episode of the second season of Mystery Road. As with the first season, it was a memorable end to another great season and featured a shoot out in the wild west. The penultimate episode of Mystery Road did 572,000 a week ago and that audience has now climbed to 758,000 in Consolidated 7.

SBS: A repeat episode one of the four-part London: 2,000 Years of History did 282,000.
Two premiere episodes of The Clinton Affair then averaged 155,000.

Week 21-22 TV: Friday-Sunday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 13.6% 7 19.7% 9 16.7% 10  9.7% SBS One 4.5%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.5% 7TWO 2.7% GO! 3.8% 10 Bold 4.1% VICELAND 1.2%
ABC ME 0.9% 7mate 2.7% GEM 3.0% 10 Peach 2.7% Food Net 1.5%
ABC NEWS 2.3% 7flix 2.9% 9Life 2.7%     NITV 0.1%
        9Rush 0.9%     SBS World Movies 1.9%
TOTAL 19.3%   28.0%   27.2%   16.5%   9.1%


ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 16.4% 7 16.5% 9 15.4% 10  8.6% SBS One 4.9%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.5% 7TWO 3.6% GO! 3.5% 10 Bold 4.8% VICELAND 1.0%
ABC ME 0.4% 7mate 3.0% GEM 5.1% 10 Peach 2.4% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 1.8% 7flix 3.4% 9Life 2.2%     NITV 0.3%
        9Rush 1.3%     SBS World Movies 0.9%
TOTAL 22.1%   26.5%   27.5%   15.8%   8.1%


ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 11.0% 7 17.6% 9 23.5% 10  15.4% SBS One 5.2%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.1% 7TWO 2.8% GO! 2.7% 10 Bold 3.0% VICELAND 2.2%
ABC ME 0.5% 7mate 3.2% GEM 2.7% 10 Peach 1.4% Food Net 0.7%
ABC NEWS 1.4% 7flix 1.7% 9Life 1.5%     NITV 0.2%
        9Rush 0.7%     SBS World Movies 0.6%
TOTAL 15.0%   25.3%   31.2%   19.7%   8.8%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 12.8% 7 19.9% 9 20.5% WIN 10.3% SBS One 5.0%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.0% 7TWO 4.4% GO! 3.3% WIN Bold 3.1% VICELAND 2.4%
ABC ME 0.8% 7mate 3.0% GEM 3.5% WIN Peach 1.2% Food Net 0.7%
ABC NEWS 1.4% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 1.4% 9Life 1.7% Sky News  on WIN 1.3% NITV 0.2%
                SBS Movies 0.6%
TOTAL 18.0%   28.7%   29.0%   15.9%   8.9%


86.7% 13.3%
All People Ratings

Friday Top 10

  1. Seven News Seven 1,103,000
  2. Nine News Nine 1,027,000
  3. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 979,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 957,000
  5. ABC News ABC 743,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 629,000
  7. The Chase Australia Seven 604,000
  8. Better Homes And Gardens Seven 586,000
  9. Hot Seat Nine 551,000
  10. Gardening Australia ABC 496,000


Saturday Top 10

  1. Seven News Seven 998,000
  2. Nine News Saturday Nine 909,000
  3. ABC News ABC 803,000
  4. Death In Paradise ABC 798,000
  5. A Current Affair Nine 514,000
  6. Call The Midwife ABC 463,000
  7. The Latest: Seven News Seven 450,000
  8. Getaway Nine 441,000
  9. Border Security – Australia’s Front Line (R) Seven 363,000
  10. 10 News First 10 345,000
Sunday FTA
  1. Seven News Seven 1,178,000
  2. Nine News Sunday Nine 1,132,000
  3. The Voice -Launch Nine 1,012,000
  4. MasterChef Australia 10 932,000
  5. ABC News Sunday ABC 774,000
  6. 60 Minutes Nine 698,000
  7. House Rules: High Stakes Seven 674,000
  8. Mystery Road ABC 583,000
  9. The Sunday Project 7pm 10 521,000
  10. Maralinga Tjarutja ABC 449,000
  11. Nine News: Late Edition Nine 431,000
  12. 10 News First 10 357,000
  13. Insiders AM ABC 351,000
  14. The Sunday Project 6.30pm 10 336,000
  15. M- Jack Reacher: Never Go Back Seven 319,000
  16. Nine News: First At Five Nine 318,000
  17. Seven News At 5 Seven 316,000
  18. FBI: Most Wanted 10 313,000
  19. London: 2,000 Years Of History (R) SBS 282,000
  20. Landline PM ABC 278,000
Sunday Multichannel
  1. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 198,000
  2. NCIS Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 149,000
  3. Shaun The Sheep AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 149,000
  4. Insiders AM ABC NEWS 137,000
  5. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 135,000
  6. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 131,000
  7. Mrs. Brown’s Boys-Ep.2 Pm 7TWO 131,000
  8. Nella The Princess Knight PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 130,000
  9. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 130,000
  10. Go Jetters AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 129,000
  11. Border Security – Australia’s Front Line 7TWO 129,000
  12. Border Security – Australia’s Front Line 7TWO 127,000
  13. The Vicar Of Dibley PM 7TWO 126,000
  14. Dog Loves Books ABCKIDS/COMEDY 119,000
  15. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 117,000
  16. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 112,000
  17. Dot. AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 109,000
  18. Weekend Breakfast: 10am AM ABC NEWS 108,000
  19. The Vicar Of Dibley-Ep.2 PM 7TWO 107,000
  20. Floogals PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 106,000
Sunday STV
  1. Outsiders Sky News Live 92,000
  2. Outsiders Sky News Live 91,000
  3. Belgravia BBC First 55,000
  4. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 52,000
  5. Angel Has Fallen Movies Premiere 48,000
  6. 24 Hours In Emergency Lifestyle Channel 45,000
  7. Selling Houses Australia Lifestyle Channel 39,000
  8. Corn & Peg Nick Jr. 39,000
  9. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 37,000
  10. Blaze And The Monster Machines Nick Jr. 37,000
  11. Abby Hatcher Nick Jr. 35,000
  12. S.W.A.T. FOX One 35,000
  13. Mrs. Brown’s Boys UKTV 33,000
  14. Ready Set Dance Nick Jr. 32,000
  15. Outsiders Sky News Live 32,000
  16. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 32,000
  17. Yes Minister FOX Classics 31,000
  18. Casualty 24/7 Lifestyle Channel 30,000
  19. The Simpsons FOX8 30,000
  20. Butterbean’s Cafe 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

Business of Media

Former News Corp executive Peter Tonagh in fight to save AAP

Former News Corp executive Peter Tonagh is leading a large group of investors and philanthropists in the fight to save Australian Associated Press, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Zoe Samios.

Samuel Terry Asset Management managing director Fred Woollard and Australian Impact Investments managing director Kylie Charlton are among a group of more than 10 high profile philanthropists and investors looking to buy the newswire and fact-checking divisions of AAP.

Publishing sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the consortium had been working closely with consultancy TMT Partners and discussions over the price of AAP had already occurred, but that no deal has been made.

The price of the newswire, which was considered loss-making by major shareholders Nine Entertainment Co (owner of this masthead) and News Corp, is estimated in the low millions. The consortium considers most of the value of the investment is to be derived from restructuring the operation, which will not operate with the $10 million it currently receives from Nine and News Corp annually.

Tonagh said the consortium wanted to preserve media diversity and protect journalism jobs.

“Although a number of the consortium members are philanthropists our common goal is to evolve and create an entity that will be self-sustainable as that is critical to ensuring the long term protection of the jobs, journalism and media diversity that is so important to all of us,” Tonagh told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

[Read more]

Mission Bay tapped by ViacomCBS to find new joint head of 10

ViacomCBS has tapped executive search firm Mission Bay to find a chief operations and commercial officer for Network 10, a newly created role following the announced departure of chief executive Paul Anderson in March.

Anderson, who had been 10 chief executive for nearly five years and spent 17 years at the free-to-air network, is not being directly replaced. Instead, ViacomCBS will run its Australian operations with dual heads.

The US entertainment giant promoted Beverly McGarvey to chief content officer and executive vice-president across Australia and New Zealand in March, and the new chief operations and commercial officer (COCO) will run the other side of the business outside of content.

McGarvey and the new COCO will report to Maria Kyriacou, president of ViacomCBS Networks International’s operations in Australia and the UK, who recently moved to the US giant from ITV studios.

[Read more]

Big tech and pandemic forecast to crush niche websites

More news and pop-culture websites, aimed at younger audiences, are expected to disappear from the Australian media scene following the demise of BuzzFeed’s local news site and 10 Daily, reports The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich.

The bosses of well-known pop-culture and news site Junkee expect further changes across digital media this year, including consolidation and the possible retreat or major retraction of international publishers.

oOh!media chief executive Brendon Cook says Junkee boss Neil Ackland’s prediction that publishers without a “clearly differentiated proposition and audience” would come under pressure this year had proved right on the mark. “Gravity is starting to affect the big venture-backed US digital media players and they are quickly realising their significant investments in Australia are not going to deliver a return,” Cook said.

“To have a fighting chance of surviving you either need huge scale or great depth of expertise around your niche audience that’s valuable to advertisers. Where you don’t want to be is somewhere in the middle.”

[Read more]

Ad slash aimed to boost Seven Network audience

The Seven Network is overhauling its commercial offering by cutting ads and shortening breaks during television shows by an average of 30 per cent in a bid to boost its appeal to viewers, who have more entertainment choice than ever before, and cash-strapped advertisers, reports The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich.

The free-to-air television broadcaster, which is part of Kerry Stokes’s embattled Seven West Media, plans to introduce the changes during the long-awaited launch of its new-look reality television show, Big Brother, next month.

Seven’s chief revenue officer, Kurt Burnette, says the changes will improve the experience of watching programs on its TV channels and video-on-demand platform, 7Plus, amid changes to content consumption, driven by the explosion of streaming services. “Research has proven reduced ad loads can deliver more than 25 per cent increased brand recall. We’re acting on that powerful insight after months of planning and analysis,” Burnette said.

Reduced advertising has also been trialled in Seven’s top-rating news services.

“We trialled 1:20 breaks in the news and we saw an increase in audiences,” Burnette said.

[Read more]

Seven in talks to offload production assets amid cost-cutting drive

Seven West Media is in negotiations to offload parts of the in-house production business that makes Home and Away and My Kitchen Rules to Beyond Productions, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Zoe Samios.

The company already runs a joint venture with Seven Studios, known as 7Beyond, in the US. Television sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity said Seven was trying to offload Seven Studios UK, Slim TV in London, GSTV in New Zealand and the 50 per cent stake in its US joint venture, to Beyond. But the local production house that produces Home and Away, Better Homes and Gardens and House Rules and sales distribution parts of the business will remain with Seven. It is unclear whether Beyond was hoping to acquire the local production division or whether the offer will be substantial enough for Seven to accept.

[Read more]

News Brands

Alan Jones’ legal threat against Nine over ‘sexual violence’ accusation

A furious Alan Jones is understood to be considering taking legal action against his employers at Nine over an editorial in Friday’s The Sydney Morning Herald, reports News Corp’s Matthew Benns.

Bosses at Nine are believed to be furious at the misstep in the week before Jones signs off from his record ratings breakfast slot on the Nine-owned 2GB.

The editorial in today’s newspaper by editor Lisa Davies accused him of encouraging “sexual violence”.

The Nine newspaper has now changed that to encouraging “violence against women” in the online version of the editorial and issued a correction.

“A previous version of this story referred to encouragement of sexual violence,” the correction said.

“This was intended to refer to “violence against women”, examples of which were stated in the story. There is no suggestion that Alan Jones encouraged violence in a sexual context.”

But that may not be enough to appease Jones.

[Read more]


Thank you to the listeners: Ben Fordham says goodbye to Drive

As he left 2GB drive spot for the final time, Ben Fordham paid thanks to the long list of people who have made his journey through radio so far possible.

“I just want to say a few thank yous before I say goodbye, because a lot of people have helped me in the nine and a half years I have been doing this shift, and a lot of people are helping me make the transition to breakfast.”

Fordham thanked the bosses who backed him over the years, and the important people in his life, including his family.

“My wife Jodie, I couldn’t do it without you.”

But most importantly, he thanked the listeners.

“Thank you for giving me a go, thanks for supporting me, thank you for everything… thank you, thank you.”

[Listen here to Fordham’s farewell]

Ben Fordham yet to sign 2GB breakfast radio contract

News of Ben Fordham’s surprise signing to the 2GB breakfast slot made headlines a week ago but it seems the negotiations for the drive presenter to replace outgoing presenter Alan Jones are far from finalised, reports News Corp’s Annette Sharp.

Somehow in the rush to promote Fordham to breakfast – those talks taking place during a flurry of phone calls over one weekend earlier this month – it seems a new contract with Nine Radio has not yet materialised nor been signed off on.

Yesterday Nine Radio boss Tom Malone, a St Ignatius school mate of Fordham’s, refused to comment on internal talk that has it Fordham’s requested pay bump took Nine’s executive and board by surprise in cash-strapped times when Nine’s revenue continues to fall – down $30 million for April with a sharper decline expected for May.

It has left little in the kitty for a pay rise for Fordham at the current time.

He is believed to be earning about $500,000-a-year on that contract – a deal negotiated before 2GB was annexed into the Nine stable. He also has a separate five-year contract with Nine that was negotiated with the TV broadcasting arm after he stepped back from the Today show and wound back his TV commitments in favour of a radio career in 2014.

[Read more]

Sports Media

Neil Breen signs off: After 30 years in print, final story the biggest of all

I write all this as, after 30 years in journalism and a connection to newspapers, this is my last column for The Sun-Herald for the time being. I am relocating to my home town of Brisbane to host breakfast radio on 4BC in the slot left open by the retirement of Alan Jones, writes Neil Breen as he farewell his readers.

In those 30 years, a lot of extraordinary things have happened – but nothing like this.

When you try and put everything on a global scale into perspective, it makes it more remarkable we are on the brink of an NRL relaunch.

During the past eight weeks, I spent day after day outside NRL headquarters at Moore Park and Racing NSW HQ in Druitt Street trying to keep track of the ever-evolving madness.

It was a remarkable passing parade.

The NRL was on. Then it was off. Players and officials from throughout the game scattered into lockdown. Staff were laid off, or stood down, at the NRL and clubs. It was revealed the NRL would go broke if the season was abandoned altogether. Clubs were rapidly running out of money and facing the very real prospect of insolvency. The NRL’s broadcast partner, Nine, publisher of this masthead, blasted the governing body for the money it said was being wasted. NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg was gone. Others followed.

It has been a pleasure to write this column each week and engage with you, the readers. Stay well. Enjoy the reboot of sport. I will. See ya down the road.

[Read more]

Why rugby league will beat the AFL in television’s silent war

Rugby league has outhussled the AFL in the race to start again and now it has a key weapon in television’s Battle of The Empty Stands, comments News Corp’s Robert Craddock.

It’s simply that league looks better – or should we say, less worse – on television without crowds.

League cameramen are already plotting ways to take the vacant stands out of play and in the brief showing of the two football codes earlier this year league looked a more spirited product than AFL when the stands were bare.

There is no hiding the fact the AFL’s greatest moments – when goals are kicked – are what they are because of crowd involvement such as the masses of streamer-waving fans behind the posts.

To show the goals on television you simply have to show the vacant terraces. It’s a desperately deflating look.

The AFL get bigger crowds than league so they will miss them more and for some reason the fact that league is played on a rectangular field seems to make it a better fit on a rectangular television screen.

[Read more]

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