Friday November 8, 2019

News Corp Q1: Weak Aust ad market, but 100,000 new subs YOY

• Foxtel subs up 6% YOY to 3.065m thanks to Kayo/Foxtel Now growth

News Corporation has reported financial results for the three months ended September 30, 2019, its Q1.

Commenting on the results, chief executive Robert Thomson said:

“In the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2020, News Corp showed strong growth at Dow Jones and higher revenues at Move, the operator of realtor.com, but the results were affected by pronounced currency headwinds, a particularly sluggish Australian economy and property market, and comparisons with a prior year in which there was a significant one-time revenue item.

“We are pleased to note tangible progress in our efforts to secure payment for our high-quality content from digital platforms, a global cause which News Corp has led for more than a decade. With the dominant platforms under intense regulatory scrutiny, there has been a fundamental shift in the content landscape, highlighted by Facebook’s decision to pay a significant premium for our premium journalism. This development establishes a precedent that changes the terms of trade and we expect a positive financial impact at our News and Information Services segment, beginning this fiscal year.”

During a conference call this morning, Thomson put a heavy emphasis on the work undertaken by News and the benefit all publishers are now getting from Facebook paying for content. “Other publishers around the world should feel free to send us a commission,” said Thomson.

“Our efforts to simplify the company continue apace. We are in active discussions about a sale of News America Marketing and also are reviewing the potential sale of Unruly. We are taking steps to reduce our sum of the parts discount, while investing in our digital businesses, to the benefit of all shareholders.”

The company reported fiscal 2020 first quarter total revenues of US$2.34 billion, 7% lower compared to $2.52 billion in the prior year period. The decline reflects an $84 million, or 3%, negative impact from foreign currency fluctuations and a $48 million, or 2%, negative impact from the absence of the net benefit related to News UK’s exit from the gaming partnership with Tabcorp for Sun Bets received in the prior year. The rest of the decline primarily reflects lower print-related advertising revenues at the News and Information Services segment, lower subscription revenues at Foxtel, continued pressure at REA Group due to challenges in the Australian housing market, and a difficult prior year comparison at the Book Publishing segment. Adjusted Revenues (which exclude the foreign currency impact, acquisitions and divestitures as defined in Note 2) declined 4%.

Financials for some of the Australian operations included:

News and Information services

Revenues in the quarter decreased $99 million, or 8%, as compared to the prior year, reflecting a $35 million, or 3%, negative impact from foreign currency fluctuations. Within the segment, Dow Jones revenues grew 6%, while revenues at News America Marketing and News Corp Australia declined 10% and 11%, respectively. Revenues at News UK declined 22%, primarily due to the absence of the $48 million net benefit related to the exit from the gaming partnership in the prior year. Adjusted Revenues for the segment decreased 5% compared to the prior year.

Advertising revenues declined 8% compared to the prior year, of which $15 million, or 3%, was related to the negative impact from foreign currency fluctuations. The remainder of the decline was driven by weakness in the print advertising market, primarily in Australia, and lower home delivered revenues, which include free-standing insert products, at News America Marketing.

Closing digital subscribers at News Corp Australia’s mastheads as of September 30, 2019 were 542,400, compared to 442,400 in the prior year (Source: Internal data).

Subscription Video Services

Revenues in the quarter decreased $51 million, or 9%, compared with the prior year, of which $34 million, or 6%, was due to the negative impact from foreign currency fluctuations. The remainder of the revenue decline was driven by the impact from lower broadcast subscribers and changes in the subscriber package mix, partially offset by higher revenues from Foxtel’s OTT products, Kayo and Foxtel Now. Adjusted Revenues for the segment decreased 3% compared to the prior year.

As of September 30, 2019, Foxtel’s total closing subscribers were 3.065 million, an increase of 6% compared to the prior year, primarily due to the launch of Kayo and modest subscriber growth at Foxtel Now, partially offset by lower broadcast subscribers. 2.326 million of the total closing subscribers were broadcast and commercial subscribers, and the remainder consisted of Foxtel Now and Kayo subscribers. As of September 30, 2019, there were 430,000 Kayo subscribers, of which 364,000 were paying subscribers, and 385,000 Foxtel Now subscribers, of which 375,000 were paying subscribers. As of November 5th, there were 402,000 paying Kayo subscribers. Broadcast subscriber churn in the quarter was 14.4% compared to 12.9% in the prior year, reflecting the impact of the price increase implemented in October 2018 as well as increased volume of churn from lower-value customers on expiring contracts, and was lower than the prior quarter. Broadcast ARPU for the quarter increased 2% compared to the prior year to approximately A$78 (US$53).

In the quarter, revenues at REA Group decreased 14% to $149 million from $173 million in the prior year, primarily due to lower revenues associated with weakness in listing volumes and fewer new project launches, the negative impact from foreign currency fluctuations and the extended duration of Premiere All listings.

Foxtel continues channel refresh with launch of FOX SLEUTH and FOX SCI FI

Foxtel has announced a further step in its major refresh of Entertainment and Movies channels with the launch of two new FOX-branded Entertainment channels – FOX SLEUTH and FOX SCI FI on December 17.

The announcement was made at Foxtel’s red-carpet event to mark the premiere of their new Entertainment and Movies line-up attended by John Travolta together with Australian actors Liana Cornell star of Britannia and David Berry from Outlander.

FOX SLEUTH celebrates the murder mystery genre by presenting beloved and iconic characters including classic whodunnit series Vera, Endeavour, Murder, She WroteMurdoch MysteriesPoirot and Magnum P.I.

FOX SCI FI is the doorway to non-stop supernatural, paranormal and science fiction programming including Heroes, the original Charmed, Battlestar Galactica, the Star TrekThe Original Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Deep Space 9.

FOX SLEUTH and FOX SCI FI add to Foxtel’s new FOX-branded entertainment channels: FOX ONE, FOX FUNNY, FOX H!TS and FOX CRIME which launched on November 7.

Foxtel Executive Director Television Brian Walsh said: “The launch of the FOX SLEUTH and FOX SCI FI channels in December completes a major refresh of our Entertainment and Movies line-up providing Foxtel viewers with the best of TV and on demand for summer.

“The all-new line-up creates a distinct group of channel propositions and personalities that make Foxtel more accessible for viewers and provide us with more supplier flexibility to bring the world’s best content to our customers.  They also strengthen our long association with the FOX television brand and confirm Foxtel as the brand’s exclusive home in Australia.

“FOX SLEUTH will be the home of the classic whodunnit, appealing to the armchair detective in us all.  The channel will feature authentic, sometimes playful characters such as Vera’s DCI Vera Stanhope played by Brenda Blethyn and Poirot starring David Suchet, all much loved by murder mystery fans particularly women.

“FOX SCI FI provides the best in science fiction and supernatural TV and is designed to appeal to the entire family with strong characters and storylines driving the mysterious, cheeky personality of the channel.

The announcement of the two new Foxtel channels follows today’s joint announcement with NBCU of a new multi-year content agreement which includes key scripted content for Foxtel’s suite of FOX-branded channels. For more info on that announcement read here.

John Travolta celebrates new Foxtel brands and his own movie channel

John Travolta has joined Foxtel’s Patrick Delany and Brian Walsh in celebrating the launch of a further two new Foxtel channels and the unveiling of the new Foxtel Movies.

See also: Foxtel continues channel refresh with Fox Sleuth and Fox Sci Fi

To mark John Travolta’s appearance to launch Foxtel’s new movies line up, Foxtel will also launch a John Travolta pop-up movie channel over the next three days to watch live or on demand all the Hollywood star’s most loved movies including Saturday Night Fever, Grease, Pulp Fiction, Face/Off, Primary Colors and The Taking of Pelham, 1, 2, 3.

The launch event started with Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany welcoming Travolta. He said, like Travolta’s movie career, Foxtel has been twisting and turning during its 24 years and dared to dream big. “Our big dream is what we have been executing all year. The best of TV and movies on demand all in one place.

John Travolta with Wentworth’s Susie Porter and Outlander’s David Berry

Delany also referred to its recent content negotiations, including recent deals with BBC Studios and just this week, NBCUniversal.

Foxtel executive director of television Brian Walsh reminded people of the history of Fox from its appearance in 1915 with founder William Fox through to Rupert Murdoch and Barry Diller launching Fox Broadcasting in 1986.

“Foxtel has been the proud custodian of the Fox brand in Australia for close to 25 years and we are honored to be part of that rich heritage. Tonight marks the beginning of a new era as we launch the new Fox channels.”

Foxtel now boasts nine Fox-branded channels.

John Travolta then took the stage with former Foxtel host Renee Bargh who now hosts Extra in Hollywood. She revealed Travolta was her first celebrity interview when she joined the US entertainment brand.

Travolta admitted he was very excited about getting his own channel. “I saw the ad earlier today and somebody finally got it right in the editing room, selecting the best moments from some of my films.”

Earlier in the day when Travolta filmed some Foxtel promos and an interview, he got to meet some of the Foxtel creative team and personally congratulated them.

Brian Walsh with Damon Herriman and Lauren Grimson

Attending the Foxtel event organised by Jamie Campbell and his team were many executives from the TV platform, Foxtel talent including Damon Herriman and Lianna Cornell, plus channel managers and distribution partners including executives from CBS, NBCU, Fremantle and Foxtel Media’s Mark Frain.

Top Photo: John Travolta with Patrick Delany

Yours in 2020: ABC announces its programming slate for next year

The ABC has announced its 2020 programming slate with an eye on being the home of distinctive and inclusive stories.

“In a world overrun by global media giants, Australian stories have never been more important. Equally, the ABC has never been more essential to the Australian people, said Michael Carrington, ABC Director Entertainment & Specialist.

“In 2020, the ABC will be the engine room of Australian creativity, putting more Australian faces, voices and stories on screen than any other broadcaster.

“The stories we share will speak to and for all Australians, firing their imagination through bold content and creativity. We will engage new audiences by increasing the diversity of our programs and people, on and off screen, sparking meaningful change in how we see ourselves and each other.”

Highlights revealed today include new series:

• Fight for Planet A: The Climate Challenge and Big Weather (and how to survive it) both fronted by Craig Reucassel
•  Reputation Rehab which explores the culture of outrage and along with Shaun Micallef’s On the Sauce examines Australia’s relationship with alcohol
Outback Ringer and Australia’s Ocean Highway take us into the secret world of Australia’s top end and the ocean’s depths.
• Two-parter Dark Emu, with author Bruce Pascoe, and feature-length documentaries Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra and The Australian Dream, share the voices of Indigenous Australia and explore broader themes of race, identity and belonging.
• Revelation, the new documentary series from award-winning ABC journalist Sarah Ferguson, unpeels layers of cover-up to expose the full, shocking picture of clergy abuse in Australia.

Among returning series, Gardening AustraliaCatalyst and Compass will help people navigate and find joy in their world and the ABC is proud to again showcase regional Australian stories in Back Roads and Landline.

Hamish Macdonald will join the ABC as the new host of weekly flagship discussion program Q&A and as a senior presenter across television and radio.

In drama, newcomers Stateless and Fallout will join returning favourites Mystery RoadHarrow and The Heights for 2020 as ABC continues to invest in Australian drama.

Also returning is award-winning You Can’t Ask That, as well as Annabel Crabb and the Ferrone family who will travel even Further Back in Time for Dinner.

A new series of Australia’s most popular kids show, Bluey, is coming to ABC KIDS. Since its launch in October 2018 Bluey has become the nation’s most watched children’s program with a total of 152 million program plays and a VPM series rating of 2.3Million*. Also geared towards kids will be Are You Tougher Than Your Ancestors? and fast-paced action thriller Itch.

ABC’s Wednesday night line-up is back with new series of Gruen, The Weekly with Charlie Pickering, Anh’s Brush with Fame, Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell and Julia Zemiro’s Home Delivery.

Tom Gleeson returns to screens with another series of Hard Quiz,  along with fellow comedies of Rosehaven and Black Comedy.

The ABC  thanked their production partners and their state and federal funding partners for their continued support, including Screen Australia, Screen NSW, Screenwest, Screen Queensland, Screen Canberra, Screen Tasmania, Film Victoria, South Australian Film Corporation and Screen Territory.

ABC Radio will be announcing its program and presenter line-ups for 2020 in early December and along with more comedy announcements to coincide with the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in early 2020.

MTV head on how The Veronicas pitched and then filmed their reality series

By Claudia Siron

MTV Australia is home to some of the best-known reality TV and music entertainment in the nation and some domestic versions of well-known shows from overseas. The latest show to land at the youth-culture channel is The Veronicas: Blood Is For Life; a raw look into the personal lives of the iconic pop duo and their relationship with each other and their partners and the media.

Simon Bates, VP Head of MTV APAC, spoke to Mediaweek about how the new reality show came about, what The Veronicas mean to Australian music culture, and what to expect on MTV in 2020. 

See also:
Lisa Origliasso on the uncensored version of The Veronicas on MTV

Bates told Mediaweek the twins pitched the series to MTV, which isn’t that unusual as many people approach MTV for their own show. “I probably get asked about once a week by people saying ‘my life is crazy, I should have a reality show on MTV’; so the approach was a bit like that. Given it was The Veronicas, we met with them and they are amazing people with an incredible life and fantastic career to date. 

“It was a really interesting time in their lives too – so I left that meeting with them feeling really enthused and excited. I’ve always loved and wanted an Osbournes-style show on MTV. This space feels so right for it, because it is that blend of reality, entertainment and music. After meeting the girls, I knew it just felt perfect.

Simon Bates

“The filming went really well,” said Bates. “We produced it internally, so my team in Sydney made the show and we tried to approach it in a really unique way. The girls were really hands-on; they are incredibly talented, visual and creative people as well as musicians, and they’re genuine executive producers on the project.

“Because they were so hands-on with filming, they would sometimes literally be filming themselves when we weren’t even there. When we were there, we really tried to keep it to a skeleton staff; so it’s the most real of a reality show we could make it.

“The girls got very used to us really quickly, and we tried to make sure that when we were in the room, we weren’t very present and they kind of got on with it. Reality television is becoming a lot more formatted, whereas this is very raw –it’s a real look at their lives – which the girls were open to doing. We tested the first episode with a research group and I’m thankful that was the feedback we got from the show. The process was really interesting, really different.”

Bates said what people loved about The Osbournes was they didn’t need to do big things, and they didn’t need to be put into fake situations to get reactions. “Sometimes it was just the little interactions between the family and Ozzy shuffling around on the carpet; it’s the small things that people loved about that show, as well as just that insight into what is an incredible family of amazing and talented people.

“The Veronicas in their way have been brave enough to offer that up to us this time. Their lives are really incredible, but really normal sometimes too. Their relationship as sisters is also fascinating in itself, and their other relationships are interesting as well; with their fans, their partners, the media, airlines, and their mother who is going through some difficult times. All of that is in the show and it’s very real and I think the audience is going to enjoy that.

“We love the way they stick together, they fight, they love each other; their relationship as business partners, musicians and sisters is just brilliant. They’re a really great fit with us at MTV. In fact, when we did some research prior to making this show, MTV’s brand awareness is 98%, and theirs came out exactly the same in Australia – 98%. There wouldn’t be too many other domestic bands that would have that level of awareness.”

The Veronicas will be on every Sunday night on Foxtel, and then a month after broadcast it will be available on YouTube globally. “The show is kind of a co-production internally within MTV between MTV Australia and our new Viacom International Studios. Originally it was going to be short-form, however as we shot the show over six months we just got better footage and we expanded it into something that’s going to be long-form. It will get a big push from my international colleagues to connect that with digital audiences.

“In terms of our local production plans in Australia, we’ve certainly done heaps more in the past year to make a couple of big music shows. We’ve had 20 artists in 10 shows on MTV TRL earlier this year. We’re doing five MTV Unplugged shows. We’ve done Teen Mom Australia,  and we’ve done Cribs and we’ll be doing a lot more of those shows in the future. 

“What they’ve been able to do is give lots of talented Australians the rare opportunity to get on TV in Australia that can also break overseas. At least half of those artists made their TV debut on TRL, because there’s just so few TV opportunities. So that’s been a really nice impact on the increase in local productions.”

Bates said there may very well be more on The Veronicas next year. “I don’t think we’ve ever had as much publicity for a show as we have in the last couple of weeks for The Veronicas. That tells me there’s already so much interest and excitement for this show. I think it’s highly likely we’ll be making more on The Veronicas because their lives just keep moving at a ferocious pace.”

Bates has been getting more approaches from other musical talent that are interested in what they’ve done with The Veronicas, as other talent want to create that sort of show too. “As I mentioned, this isn’t unusual, but some of the people that are now saying ‘hey, I should have a reality show on TV’ are now really great people like The Veronicas, and we’ve got the skills in house and this team that know how to make that show. I hope we get to make more sort of Osbournes style Veronicas-esque reality shows in Australia.”

The Veronicas: Blood Is For Life will be premiere across MTV Australia on Foxtel, Foxtel Now, Fetch and mtv digital platforms at 6pm on Sunday 10 November, and available on global digital platforms from Sunday 15 December.

 

Adelaide agency James wins round 3 of 2020 Siren Awards

Adelaide-based creative agency James has won round 3 of the 2020 Siren Awards, having been awarded top spot in the single category and the overall win for the commercial “Uncomfortable Cough”, which was produced for the Primary Health Network.

Creative director James Rickard (pictured) from James and sound engineer Scott Illingworth from sound studio Seeingsounds brought the ad to life using dramatic audio storytelling with the purpose of shining a light on immunisation.

Of the important message behind the ad, Rickard said: “I wanted to leverage the universal truth, ‘a child’s safety is paramount’, against the fact adults were failing to get immunised and worse still, were endangering children as a result.

“I doubt any parent would be able ignore that terrifying cough, and not be moved by it.”

Illingworth also received a highly commended acknowledgement in the craft category for his work on the commercial.

The work of creatives Ben Clare and Michael Dawson from agency Emotive on the “Foolproof” series of ads for online betting and entertainment website Sportsbet, secured them the win in the campaign category (three ads or more).

Southern Cross Austereo took the win in the craft category for the Beyond Blue ad “The Loop”, in which sound engineer Chris Gates cleverly uses a crescendo of looping vocals to produce a realistic portrayal of an internal struggle with anxiety. The ad has been an ongoing success for creative agency Clemenger BBDO Melbourne, as it was previously awarded the single category and overall win in Round 2.

Joan Warner, CEO of Commercial Radio Australia said: “Our congratulations go out to the talented winners of round 3 of the 2020 Siren Awards. We continue to be amazed by the exceptional quality of Siren Awards entrants and this latest round of winners and highly commended applicants truly exemplify creative excellence and showcase the value of effective radio advertising.”

Remarkably, five ads received highly commended acknowledgements in Round 3 in the single category – Sportsbet ads “Mail Order Oysters” and “Height Surgeon” from creatives Ben Clare and Michael Dawson at Emotive, Homebuyers Centre ads “You Know It’s Time – Guitar” and “You Know It’s Time – Wet Towel” from creative Joe Hawkins at Wunderman Thompson and The Road Safety Commission ad “Miss a runner” from creatives Niall Stephen and Lachy Banton from The Brand Agency.

Receiving highly commended nods in the campaign category were Ralph van Dijk and Dan Staudinger from Eardrum for the Commercial Radio Australia series of ads “CRA Tactical Marketing Campaign”, Ellen Woods and Megan Latter from McCann Melbourne for the Melbourne Airport Parking campaign “Genuine Bargains” and Sarah Mould and Emma Frizzel from Loud for the Ad Standards campaign “Terms & Kinder Conditions.”

In addition to Illingworth’s work on “Uncomfortable Cough”, sound engineer Nick Gallagher from Cue Sound also received highly commended acknowledgements in the craft category for the Homebuyer’s Centre ads “You Know It’s Time – Wet Towel” and “You Know It’s Time – Guitar.”

The 2020 Gold Siren winner will be announced in May 2020, with the winner being awarded a trip to the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Silver Sirens are awarded in each of the three categories: single, campaign and craft. In addition, there is also a client-voted award with a $5000 cash prize, which is presented to the writers of the ad voted the best by a panel of clients.

Round 4 of the 2020 Siren Awards is currently open, with entries closing on 9 November 2019.

With travel sections booming, News Corp reveals new Escape

News Corp Australia has attracted some serious ad dollars for its booming travel brand Escape this year. This coming Sunday it will unveil how it has been ploughing back some of that investment with a design overhaul, plus a range of editorial changes with some of Australia’s best travel writers added to the mix.

With enhanced editorial and a fresh new look, this week’s issue celebrates wanderlust with tales of travel love and obsession. There is a renewed emphasis on the emotion and experience of travel, with evocative storytelling along the journey from inspiration to booking and on-the-ground holiday advice.

News Corp Australia’s general manager, travel Gemma Battenbough said: “The new Escape is bold and exciting for our consumers and customers, not just to inspire future travel but to escape on Sunday too. The new content offering delivers consumers an evolved and cohesive travel destination where they can discover, research, plan and book their holidays.

“As part of our strategy for the new Escape we have introduced a raft of compelling marketing solutions to drive results for our commercial partners, offering them unique opportunities to connect with a premium, mass-scale travel audience.”

Escape editor-in-chief Jana Frawley said: “Wanderlust is the strong and constant desire to go far away, to many different and exotic places, and basically live life in a permanent state of holidaying, it says everything about how we all feel about travel. In the new-look edition of Escape this Sunday, we’re celebrating this awesome state of mind, and its associated feelings of excitement, anticipation, curiosity and joy.

“Escape is about dreaming, planning, researching and booking. With this is mind, we’ve enhanced the Escape offering with inspiring, emotional, evocative and experience-led content for our consumers. We’re also excited to introduce to our armchair travellers new content across affinity categories, such as food, culture and sport. I can’t wait for our readers to experience the all new Escape this Sunday.”

Escape’s tribe of talented travel writers consists of more than 50 contributors including Kendall Hill, Rebecca Andrews, Kerry Parnell, Amanda Woods, David Smiedt, Angus Fontaine and Dilvin Yasa.

The new Escape extends digitally across escape.com.au with dedicated sections for the new columns and an invigorated content approach.

New for advertisers are cross-platform integration products, along with exclusive opportunities within Escape’s first glossy special edition and the brand’s extension into 20 key regional markets on Tuesdays, both launching in early 2020.

Mercado on TV: Neighbours EP Jason Herbison on Erinsborough High

By Andrew Mercado

Back when they were Grundys, the production house’s first TV drama was Class of ’74 and now 45 years later, Fremantle is back in school with Neighbours spin-off Erinsborough High.

The five-episode series is due to Neighbours’ growing online popularity, particularly on Channel 5’s VOD platform My5 in the UK, that wanted something exclusive. Local audiences can see it on 10Play from November 11.

Executive producer Jason Herbison told Mediaweek there has always been talk about doing a spin-off, using the hospital, police station or high school. But since there hasn’t been an Aussie high school drama since 1999 when Heartbreak High ended, school seemed the obvious choice. “It’s great for teen-based and intergenerational stories with students, teachers and cranky parents.” Herbison said.

Georgie Stone plays Mackenzie Hargraves on Neighbours

The cast of Erinsborough High are familiar because “we started introducing them a few months ago in Neighbours”. For an online audience, the tone is darker and the storylines are edgier. Expect social issues, inappropriate behaviour and the sweetest moment for ground-breaking Mackenzie (Georgie Stone).

Neighbours achieved its highest ever My5 figures this July and “that was unusual because volume usually dips during a UK summer,” Herbison explained. “It probably had a lot to do with Madeleine West (playing both Andrea and Dee) and Kerry Armstrong (as their mad mother), because ratings went up too. That is a story that is far from over.”

Kerry had the best attitude from day one and Madeleine is an unstoppable force who is now doing a director training program with us,” joining fellow Neighbours cast members Scott Major, Simone Buchanan and Kate Kendall behind the scenes.

With its 35th anniversary next year, former characters will continue to drop by, although “sometimes it’s practical, when just about every actor in Melbourne has done the show,” Herbison laughed. “Actually, I get a kick out of bringing back favourites and I think the audience does too.”

Top Photo: Erinsborough High main cast [L-R] Lachlan Millar, Benny Turland, Darius Amarfio-Jefferson, Grace O’Sullivan, Olivia Junkeer and Georgie Stone

TV Ratings Analysis: November 7

By James Manning

• Seven #1 all people with News, soap & Good Doctor
• The Bachelorette #1 entertainment and key demos for 10
• Angie visits hometowns of final four, one then eliminated

Thursday Week 45 2019

• Seven News 881,000/870,000
• Nine News 749,000/793,000
• A Current Affair 666,000
• ABC News 612,000
• 7.30 482,000
• The Project 251,000/415,000
• 10 News First 166,000 (Screened on 10 Bold)
• The Drum 136,000
• SBS World News 120,000

Breakfast TV

• Sunrise 287,000
• Today 185,000

Seven

Home and Away ended the week on 532,000, its third successive night under 600,000.

The second episode of The Good Doctor this week did 434,000 after 484,000 on Wednesday.

Nine

RBT was on 422,000 and 370,000 for two episodes after 7.30pm.

Love Island then did 225,000.

10

The Bachelorette was down to the final four last night and Angie Kent visited the hometowns of each. Sydney-sider Jackson was eliminated at the end of the episode despite taking Angie to the family’s pie-making factory and feeding her a gluten free pie! The episode did 696,000 after 644,000 a week ago. The audience helped 10 to rank #1 under 50 and all key demos.

The third week of Trial By Kyle levelled out with 284,000 watching after 281,000 a week ago.

During the day 10 covered Oaks Day as part of its Melbourne Cup Week rights and the 5pm news was broadcast on 10 Bold. The biggest race day audience was for the Oaks race close to 6pm.

ABC

The return of Grand Designs Australia started with the Graceville container house with 462,000 watching.

A Shetland repeat then did 202,000.

SBS

Ainsley Harriott visited Wollongong for his Ainsley’s Australian Market Menu with 144,000 watching.

The second part of Trevor McDonald’s Indian Train Adventure did 161,000 after 8.30pm. The channel took the opportunity to promo yet another series features old blokes travelling on trains – this time it’s the ever popular Tony Robinson.

Week 45 TV: Thursday
THURSDAY METRO
ABCSevenNine10SBS
ABC10.2%718.3%916.1%10 15.5%SBS One3.8%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY3.0%7TWO3.8%GO!4.0%10 Bold3.7%VICELAND1.2%
ABC ME0.9%7mate4.9%GEM3.0%10 Peach2.2%Food Net1.5%
ABC NEWS1.6%7flix2.4%9Life2.5%  NITV0.1%
  7Food0.8%    SBS World Movies0.4%
TOTAL15.6% 30.2% 25.7% 21.4% 7.0%

 

THURSDAY REGIONAL
ABCSeven AffiliatesNine Affiliates10 AffiliatesSBS
ABC10.2%720.5%913.0%WIN12.4%SBS One3.7%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY2.5%7TWO4.8%GO!4.7%WIN Bold4.1%VICELAND1.2%
ABC ME1.1%7mate4.9%GEM5.3%WIN Peach2.0%Food Net1.1%
ABC NEWS1.5%7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)2.0%9Life2.9%Sky News  on WIN1.4%NITV0.2%
  7food (QLD only)0.7%      
TOTAL15.3% 32.8% 25.8% 19.9% 6.2%

 

THURSDAY METRO ALL TV
FTASTV
86.1%13.9%
THURSDAY FTA
  1. Seven News Seven 881,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 870,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 793,000
  4. Nine News Nine 749,000
  5. The Bachelorette Australia 10 696,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 666,000
  7. ABC News ABC 612,000
  8. Home And Away Seven 532,000
  9. The Chase Australia Seven 500,000
  10. 7.30 ABC 482,000
  11. Grand Designs Australia ABC 462,000
  12. Hot Seat Nine 438,000
  13. The Good Doctor Seven 434,000
  14. RBT -Tx1 Nine 422,000
  15. The Project 7pm 10 415,000
  16. RBT -Tx2 Nine 370,000
  17. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 301,000
  18. Sunrise Seven 287,000
  19. Trial By Kyle 10 284,000
  20. Hot Seat -5pm Nine 264,000
Demo Top 5

16 – 39

  1. The Bachelorette Australia 10 223,000
  2. The Project 7pm 10 96,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 90,000
  4. Seven News Seven 87,000
  5. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 87,000

 

18 – 49

  1. The Bachelorette Australia 10 365,000
  2. Nine News 6:30 Nine 188,000
  3. Seven News Seven 172,000
  4. The Project 7pm 10 164,000
  5. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 164,000

 

25 – 54

  1. The Bachelorette Australia 10 393,000
  2. Nine News 6:30 Nine 240,000
  3. Seven News Seven 218,000
  4. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 216,000
  5. A Current Affair Nine 212,000
THURSDAY Multichannel
  1. M- Die Hard PM (R) 7mate 149,000
  2. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 145,000
  3. Father Brown PM 7TWO 141,000
  4. A Touch Of Frost PM 7TWO 134,000
  5. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 129,000
  6. Floogals ABCKIDS/COMEDY 127,000
  7. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 126,000
  8. Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales 9Go! 125,000
  9. Luo Bao Bei ABCKIDS/COMEDY 119,000
  10. Octonauts AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 115,000
  11. Pawn Stars-Ep.2 Pm 7mate 115,000
  12. Nella The Princess Knight PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 114,000
  13. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 112,000
  14. Qi ABCKIDS/COMEDY 112,000
  15. Pawn Stars-Ep.3 Pm 7mate 112,000
  16. Go Jetters AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 112,000
  17. Bondi Rescue Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 110,000
  18. Andy’s Safari Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 107,000
  19. Survivor: Island Of Idols 9GO! 107,000
  20. Death In Paradise 9Gem 107,000
THURSDAY STV
  1. The Great Australian Bake Off Lifestyle Channel 97,000
  2. Outback Opal Hunters Discovery Channel 62,000
  3. Gold Rush Discovery Channel 60,000
  4. The War Of The Worlds FOX One 53,000
  5. Love It Or List It Australia Lifestyle Channel 52,000
  6. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 52,000
  7. The Simpsons FOX8 45,000
  8. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 42,000
  9. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 40,000
  10. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 39,000
  11. The Simpsons FOX8 37,000
  12. Credlin Sky News Live 34,000
  13. Rusty Rivets Nick Jr. 33,000
  14. Father Brown UKTV 32,000
  15. PML Later Sky News Live 30,000
  16. Border Security: International FOX8 30,000
  17. Midsomer Murders UKTV 29,000
  18. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 29,000
  19. Border Security: Australia’s Front Line FOX8 29,000
  20. Kid-E-Cats Nick Jr. 29,000

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

Fox reports first quarter fiscal 2020 revenues of US$2.67b

Fox Corporation this week reported financial results for the three months ended September 30, 2019. Fox is the company that operates former Twenty-First Century Fox assets including Fox News Media, Fox Entertainment, Fox Sports, Fox Television stations and sports cable networks.

The company reported total quarterly revenues of US$2.67 billion, a 5% increase from the $2.54 billion of revenues in the prior year quarter. The increase in revenues included affiliate revenue growth of 4%, driven by a 14% increase at the Television segment, partially offset by a 2% decline in advertising revenues. The company also reported a 65% increase in other revenues, reflecting growth at both the Television and Cable Network Programming segments and higher revenues associated with the operations of the Fox Studios Lot for third parties.

Commenting on the results, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lachlan Murdoch said:

“Fox Corporation’s first full fiscal year is off to a solid start. The company delivered strong financial results in the quarter and we are making tremendous progress on the operational goals and strategic initiatives that we outlined at our Investor Day in May. As just one example, we’ve seen our programming investments in the Fox Network deliver ratings growth, including The Masked Singer, WWE Friday Night Smackdown, Thursday Night Football and the NFL on Fox. At the same time, we have successfully renewed distribution agreements with many of our largest partners that reflect the strength of our brands. This progress gives us further confidence in the company’s differentiated strategy and our ability to deliver long-term value for our shareholders.”

Murdochs agree to cap on Fox Corporation voting power

The Murdoch family has for the first time agreed to a cap on their voting power in the new Fox Corporation, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

The restriction applies even if they acquire more shares in the company above the set level in order to help facilitate a multibillion-dollar share buyback and encourage liquidity in voting stock.

The Murdoch Family Trust agreed on Wednesday (Thursday AEDT) to have its voting rights in Fox Corp limited to 44 per cent in perpetuity or until the Murdochs sell out of the company, which is unlikely.

If the Murdochs were to acquire more than 44 per cent of voting stock, Fox Corp would still reduce the family’s voting power to 44 per cent.

The Trust currently owns 38.4 per cent of Fox’s Class B shares, which hold voting rights. As part of the deal, the Murdochs cannot buy more than 1.75 per cent of Fox Corp in any rolling 12-month period.

[Read the original]

Film Victoria announces record production year for screen industry

Film Victoria has reported annual production expenditure surpassing $250 million for the first time.

In 2018/19 Film Victoria’s investment in 70 screen projects generated $251 million for the Victorian economy, trending up over the last five years by 45%, and created 8,347 employment opportunities.

This result represents a return on investment of $12.90 for every dollar Film Victoria committed to the production of 19 feature films, 23 digital games, and 28 television, online and virtual reality projects last financial year.

High-end television drama continues to be a strength with $191 million generated by local projects, including Bloom, Wentworth Season 8, Hungry Ghosts and My Life is Murder, and season 4 of US TV hit Preacher, the largest television production to film in Victoria in more than a decade. 

Children’s television also remains strong, with highlights including Little J & Big Cuz and Mustangs FC, which was nominated for an International Emmy Kids Award.

The Dry and True History of the Kelly Gang were two Film Victoria-supported narrative features filming extensively in regional Victoria.

In documentary filmmaking, last year saw an increase in support for projects made for the big screen, including social impact films 2040 and The Australian Dream.

Victoria’s digital games industry continues to grow its reputation as one of the world’s top game production destinations. In 2018/19, investment by Film Victoria in games projects, including Dead Static Drive, Wayward Strand and the global sensation Untitled Goose Game, generated more than $3.9 million for Victoria.

News Brands

Ita Buttrose pulls ABC’s Q&A show over ‘call to violence’

The ABC is investigating whether its Q&A program breached editorial standards by allowing panellists to apparently advocate violence, arson and extrajudicial killings, reports The Australian’s Matthew Denholm.

After a flood of complaints about Monday’s program, ABC managing director David Anderson on Thursday conceded “elements” may have been “offensive”.

Q&A has always sought to tackle difficult issues and present challenging and thought-provoking content,” Anderson said.

“However, I can understand why some viewers found elements of this episode confronting or offensive.

“We have received audience complaints about the program, are assessing the concerns raised and will investigate whether the program met the ABC’s editorial standards.”

ABC chairwoman Ita Buttrose backed Anderson’s decision to investigate the program, saying it would be removed from all ABC platforms.

“I agree with David’s statement, which I’ve discussed with him,” Buttrose told The Australian. “We can’t do much more than issue the statement that we have, and we won’t be repeating the program. The plan is to take it off.”

[Read the original]

Radio

Ben Fordham off-air for the rest of 2019 as he shares personal news

2GB’s Ben Fordham has made the difficult decision to wrap up his radio show for the year in order to spend more time with his father.

Ben shared the personal news on his show on Thursday, telling his listeners he’s decided to take the rest of the year off due to his dad’s deteriorating health.

John Fordham has been fighting a battle with throat cancer for some years now, and the devastating disease recently returned.

Ben says he’s so happy his father could be alongside him when he won Best Talk Presenter at the Australian Commercial Radio Awards last month, and now it’s time to put work aside to spend more time with him.

“I’ve spent the day with him today and I’ve actually made the decision late yesterday that I’ll be wrapping up the radio show either at the end of today or tomorrow and that’ll be it for the year.

“I want to spend the rest of the year with him.”

Hit103.5 Cairns turns 25 with world’s biggest game of Wheel of Fortune

This week marked a milestone for Hit103.5 Cairns with the station celebrating its 25th birthday. Since first launching on the airwaves back in 1994 as Hot FM, the station renamed under the Hit Network brand to Hit103.5 in 2016.

Celebrating the past 25 years, Hit103.5’s breakfast team Carly & Seamus broadcast live from Cairns Esplanade in front of the Reef Eye. Visitors were treated free breakfast provided by McDonald’s and coffee and cake thanks to Jackley’s Bakehouse.

The station celebrates its launch in 1994

The station celebrates its launch in 1994

Hit103.5 turned the Reef Eye into the world’s biggest game of Wheel of Fortune. Listeners had the chance to spin the wheel and win a range of different prizes throughout the morning.

SCA Cairns general manager Richard King said: “Hit103.5 is proud to be celebrating 25 fantastic years in Cairns. For a quarter of a decade now we have connected with the people of Cairns, providing entertainment, laughs and music. We have formed long standing relationships with local businesses and supported events, festivals and charity fundraisers.

“We would like to thank our loyal listeners for tuning in and helping to make Hit103.5 the station it is today. We have had a huge amount of fun, and we can’t wait for the next 25 years to be just as good.”

Television

SBS reveals first artists for Eurovision – Australia Decides 2020

SBS and production partner Blink TV have announced the first two artists to compete in Eurovision –Australia Decides in February 2020.

Hosted on the Gold Coast and broadcast live and exclusively on SBS, two of the country’s greatest female vocalists – Aussie icon Vanessa Amorosi and powerhouse entertainer Casey Donovan – will perform an original song for their chance to represent the country at the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Vanessa Amorosi

Vanessa Amorosi

Amorosi has released four critically acclaimed studio albums, received 16 ARIA and APRA nominations, and released a new album this week, marking two decades since the release of her seminal dance anthem Absolutely Everybody.

Vanessa Amorosi said: “I am so incredibly excited to be part of Eurovision – Australia Decides 2020. I am a proud Aussie and to have the opportunity to sing one of my songs on a huge international stage representing Australia would be unforgettable. I look forward to Australia hearing my song and working alongside friends and fellow musicians on this journey. It’s going to be very special. Listen to my new album Back to Love, released today, and see if you can guess which song it is…”

Donovan became the youngest ever winner of Australian Idol in 2004. Over the last 13 years, she’s made her mark not only as a musician, but also on stage, screen, and as a presenter and writer. She is a multi-award winner, including an ARIA No #1 Award for Listen with Your Heart and Deadly Awards for Best Album, Best Single and Most Promising New Talent. She is currently starring in the musical Chicago.

Casey Donovan

Casey Donovan said: “I’m so excited to be a part of Eurovision – Australia Decides after opening the show this year and seeing the amazing talent. When I was asked I thought, what an amazing thing to be a part of! It doesn’t matter what happens for me, Proud is such an incredible song written by the talented Justine Eltakchi and I’m proud to sing it. I can’t wait to share the stage with some of Australia’s most talented singers. And I mean Vanessa Amorosi…she’s my idol! I love her!”

SBS commissioning editor for entertainment Josh Martin said: “This is the first taste of what is going to be a very special weekend of Australian music! We are delighted that a song submitted to the SBS song portal has found its way to Casey Donovan –one of the greatest voices in the country. Songwriter Justine Eltakchi has a brilliant story and we can’t wait for fans to hear their collaboration when it’s released – it’s really exciting.”

Creative director of Eurovision – Australia Decides Paul Clarke said: “Casey and Vanessa are two of the most respected voices in the country, and we welcome Vanessa home from her years in America. We can’t wait to hear her bring that brilliant voice to the Eurovision – Australia Decides stage on the Gold Coast. We have more exciting artists and songs to announce.”

The live TV final will be broadcast on Saturday 8 February, 7.30pm AEST live and exclusive on SBS.

Sports Media

$1b valuation of NRL digital arm shows early sale would be foolish

An audit of the NRL’s controversial digital investment has confirmed the prediction of the ARLC’s inaugural chairman, John Grant, that the asset could be worth one billion dollars and, therefore, it would be foolish to sell it prematurely, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Roy Masters.

Incoming chair Peter V’landys is a renowned cost-cutter and fears he would roll back the NRL’s digital department, or even sell it to a commercial partner, gained traction at his first press conference when he said, “We’re not going into the space of our media partners”.

However, in a seemingly contradictory comment, V’landys also indicated the ARLC would consider in-house production of NRL games, therefore putting it in competition with media partners, News Corporation, Nine and Telstra.

The audit, which was commissioned to validate a $10m entry in the NRL balance sheet, established that its digital business could double in value in the next two years to just under one billion dollars, based on revenue from a number of sources – direct advertising, sponsorship, sales and broadcast.

[Read the original]

'Don't want to know': CA director Mel Jones to juggle media, board roles

Former international star Mel Jones concedes it will be “tricky” juggling her widespread media commitments with her new role as a Cricket Australia board member, a position she wants to use in improving relations between the governing body and the players union, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Andrew Wu.

Appointed this week to be one of nine directors, Jones follows in the footsteps of former captain Mark Taylor, who served for 13 years on the board while performing commentary duties – in his case with Channel Nine.

To avoid a conflict of interest, Taylor used to leave the room when issues relating to broadcast rights were to be discussed. Taylor was on the board when CA cut ties with long-time rights holder Nine to partner with Seven and Fox Sports on a six-year $1.2 billion deal.

Jones’s media roles have expanded rapidly in recent years. A member of the Fox and SEN radio commentary teams for the home summer, Jones has featured prominently on the Twenty20 circuit with gigs at the Indian Premier League, the Pakistan Super League and Caribbean Premier League. She was also part of this year’s Ashes coverage on Nine, publisher of the Herald, alongside Taylor.

[Read the original]

Ex-cricket, AFL and radio executive lands North Melbourne CEO job

North Melbourne will soon announce that Ben Amarfio, a former senior executive at Cricket Australia, is the club’s new chief executive, reports The Age’s Jake Niall.

Amarfio has won the position and is expected to begin at the helm of the Kangaroos in the coming weeks. He replaces Carl Dilena, who was a victim of the sweeping changes by chairman Ben Buckley‘s board that have seen the CEO, head of football and senior coach replaced within a matter of months, with the Kangaroos also seeking a new list manager.

Amarfio was the head of broadcasting, commercial operations and digital at Cricket Australia for several years, having previously worked at the AFL in the broadcast area, alongside Buckley, when the North chairman was a senior figure in the Andrew Demetriou regime.

Amarfio worked at Cricket Australia from 2012 until late 2018 and was clearly a casualty of the change of CEOs, when James Sutherland stepped down and was replaced by Kevin Roberts.

[Read the original]

Amarfio is also former broadcasting and digital media manager for the AFL and for six years was Melbourne general manager for Southern Cross Austereo.

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