Monday October 12, 2020

Lou Barrett
Lou Barrett on challenging year for News Corp Australia clients

By James Manning

• How digital publishing strategy and bespoke solutions are helping

As advertisers and agencies set about kick-starting businesses and marketing campaigns that have been impacted or deferred by Covid-19, News Corp’s managing director of national sales Lou Barrett has been reaching out more than ever with her team to the publisher’s customers.

Barrett was one of the several News Corp Australia executives that took part in the recent IMAA 2020 Bounce Back event last month. The independent agencies have had mixed experiences as to how impacted their businesses have been across 2020.

Barrett told Mediaweek: “We have great bespoke solutions we create that we can tailor to their needs. We are very committed to that category and helping those agencies. That’s why we built things like News Xtend which works well for independent newsagencies.

“More than ever we are dedicated to IMAA agencies and we want to really see them get through this year and help them grow their businesses. We have dedicated group sales directors for those agencies in Sydney and Melbourne. They are pretty special for us.”

Among the topics of interest to media buyers was News Corp’s strategy for regional publishing.

“We now have more than 400 journalists in local areas and we are committed to employing more as we roll out our new hyper local digital mastheads across the country,” said Barrett. “The migration of audiences to digital has been quite successful. There are a number of IMAA agencies in those regional areas as well.

“We have invested in local journalism, moving our business to places and platforms our audiences are turning to every day. That will help us better meet the needs of the agency’s customers and our customers as well.

The move to digital in regional allows us to offers things to both readers and advertisers they wouldn’t normally get.

Barrett said News Corp has maintained its regional sales teams during the transition from print to digital. “Jason Scott, our MD for northern NSW, Queensland and Northern Territory, heads up regional alongside News Corp Australia commercial director Belinda MacPherson who is driving the in-market regional sales teams. News Connect has been very helpful with that as well. We know where these people are, we know what they are buying and what they are thinking about buying. Investing in the data with News Connect has really helped us in that space.”

Among the offers now for advertisers is the cost per completed view video solution. “We are selling that in conjunction with News Connect data and it is working really well. There has been a bit of a focus around long form video on BVOD in the past 12 months. People are coming back to short form video again because we are in a space where we have made it really cost efficient.

“There’s also our new Time In View product which guarantees advertisers quality time in front of their target consumer, with 100% of their message in view in our contextually relevant environments. That, or they don’t pay.”

Although Barrett warned us it was still too early to tell in detail about a market recovery in particular spots, she ventured: “Victoria seems to be starting to move.”

Another victim this year has been the travel sector which News Corp’s Fiona Nilsson talked to Mediaweek about recently.

See also: News Corp’s travel passion: The future of domestic & international tourism

Barrett: “So many other media owners have significantly reduced focus on the travel sector. We are very vested in it. We have been running travel industry forums and have had three so far and we will have more.

“We want to get Australians back out there to see more of their beautiful country.”

Among the advertisers that have stuck with News Corp in print and digital this year is Harvey Norman whose daily spreads are impossible to miss.

“Harvey Norman CEO Katie Page was in here recently at News Corp with our CEO Michael Miller and I talking about it,” said Barrett. “Katie won’t do things that don’t work. The money that she has spent in print and digital is working very well, especially their wraps. She’s there all the time and they have just had their best financial result ever.”

But it’s not just Harvey Norman that is having good results from their News Corp investment. Barrett also mentioned Coles and Woolworth’s, Metcash and Chemist Warehouse, and The Good Guys and JB Hi-Fi.

“We are benefiting from advertisers coming back to trusted media in combination with our News Connect data offering.”

With every News Connect campaign that is booked, subject to a minimum spend, News Corp is giving the advertisers a brand uplift study. “We can measure the effectiveness of those campaigns,” said Barrett.

Barrett also mentioned what Ed Faith told Mediaweek recently, that News Corp can reach 65% of Australian supermarket shoppers because of the deal with Flybuys and Quantium. “We are also measuring footfall traffic in bricks and mortar businesses via location data from Near as well. We can tell where people are shopping and how many. We can track how many people saw a message across the News Network and then went into a store as a result of that.”

See also: How News Corp is assisting FMCG marketers manage 2020 demand

While News Corp Australia is working with clients on their 2020 Christmas plans, Barrett also emphasised what will be huge this year will be Black Friday/Cyber Monday – November 27 and 30.

“It’s going to bigger than ever. People have been shopping online more than ever this year and retailers are seeing it more and more as an early Christmas trading opportunity.

“We are going to have a big retail period leading into Christmas as people won’t be able to go anywhere internationally. Many will still have money coming in from the Government via JobKeeper and JobSeeker.

“We are well-positioned because our print and digital assets are really appealing to retailers.”

With retail remaining strong for many, Barrett said she expects a staged recovery for travel. “So much of it is reliant on overseas travel which is where a lot of the big margins are. Opening state borders will have a massive impact though with state tourism bodies and domestic airlines ready to return when allowed.”

Junior MasterChef: Melissa Leong on another serve of kids in the kitchen

By Trent Thomas

Like most people, Melissa Leong found herself with some free time on her hands during the Covid pandemic, but unlike most this led to making an impromptu season of Junior MasterChef. The show will return for its first season since 2011 when it premieres on Network 10 on Sunday, October 11.

Leong was part of the fresh contingent of new judges to spearhead MasterChef Australia earlier this year that also included chefs Andy Allen and Jock Zonfrillo. This saw the trio go on to lead MasterChef to a ratings resurgence, cementing it as the number one TV cooking show in Australia.

Mediaweek spoke to Leong about her success on MasterChef, the unexpected season of Junior MasterChef and what she has learnt from her cooking show packed 2020.

After replacing long-time judges Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris, Leong was glad that the audience was willing to give the new group of judges a chance.

“My first season on MasterChef was an extraordinary adventure and an exercise in saying yes and taking that leap of faith,” Leong told Mediaweek. “We are all so overjoyed that it came together the way that it did, and it encapsulated so much love and resonated with the MasterChef audience.”

“What Jock, Andy and I bring is a dynamic that is entirely our own. I feel so fortunate to be working with such smart, funny, hardworking, supportive human beings. Our relationship developed really quickly, and I think whenever you find yourself in a work situation when the people around you really do care about you it allows you to rise to the occasion.”

When Leong signed up to the new look MasterChef a return of Junior MasterChef wasn’t discussed, but the newfound success of the franchise and the Covid-19 pandemic led to the show coming together this year. Leong said she jumped at the opportunity to be on the show.

“I was utterly thrilled, and I loved the idea from the get-go. Kids bring so much joy and energy to a space. While it has been several years since the last iteration I thought why not, there is always an opportunity to learn from our youth and I think we forget there is so much that we can learn from the generations much, much younger than us.”

Almost 2,000 young cooks aged from 9-14 applied for Junior MasterChef Australia. Leong said that these mini chefs have come into the competition after growing up in a different generation of food.

“The greatest joy with Junior MasterChef is how bright our future is with kids like this wanting to cook from such a young age. These are kids who have grown up with MasterChef for most of their lifetime and this is really a testament to how much our food IQ as a nation has progressed. That fascination with food helps us connect and learn about each other’s cultures because a lot of the time the easiest way to learn about each other’s cultures is through food.”

Leong said that she had high expectations but was still surprised by the quality of cooking that was presented.

“The calibre of cooking and their interpretation of the creative challenges really surprised me in terms of their maturity, their artistic conception, and their execution. I really hope that the audience can appreciate just how special these kids are.”

While judging and providing feedback differs between adults and children, Leong said that ultimately the judges’ style doesn’t change.

“We always make a point of being honest and constructive in our feedback, so that doesn’t change. It is a slightly different crowd from MasterChef and MasterChef Junior, but the sentiment remains and what makes a show like MasterChef so special is the continuing thread of a love for food.”

When asked if these mini chefs will be allowed to compete on MasterChef when they are older, Leong said she wasn’t sure but that it would be a wild ride.

“How crazy would that be if they could go on Junior MasterChef and then MasterChef and potentially win both!”

Junior MasterChef Australia will return on October 11 at 7:30 pm on 10 and 10 Play

Regional media companies unite to fight for overdue regulatory reform

• Save Our Voices: SCA’s Blackley, ARM’s Catalano, Prime’s Audsley & WIN’s Lancaster

The country’s leading regional media organisations have united to fight for urgent reforms to outdated and obsolete laws that put the future of local media at risk and threaten to leave 9.2 million regional Australians without local news services.

Australian Community Media (ACM), Prime Media Group, SCA and WIN Network today launched the Save Our Voices campaign fronted by veteran television journalist Ray Martin, aiming to raise awareness of the importance of regional media and highlight the need for long overdue regulatory change. 

The campaign rolls out today with a series of television, radio and newspaper ads and a dedicated website (www.saveourvoices.com.au) featuring interviews conducted by Ray Martin with industry leaders, politicians from all levels of government and community figures.

The message is clear: if regional media businesses are to survive, the government must overhaul media regulations that were devised 30 years ago, at a time before the internet existed. 

ACM executive chairman and co-owner, Antony Catalano, said: “To keep the voices of regional Australia strong and to keep our trusted local news services viable, regional media needs to be able to make commercially sensible decisions that allow us to stay profitable, sustainable and self-sufficient. Regional media outlets that have been part of their communities for decades – and in the case of a number of ACM’s newspapers more than 150 years – need the freedom to structure our businesses efficiently so we can achieve the scale necessary to compete with the unregulated digital services of metropolitan media and global internet giants.”

Echoing Catalano’s sentiments, WIN Network chief executive officer, Andrew Lancaster, said: “Media ownership laws blocking regional media companies from operating efficiently are outdated and from the pre-internet era. To continue to provide essential news, information and support services to regional Australia, our industry needs modern regulations that reflect the dramatic increase in competition facilitated by the NBN.”

Noting the vital interdependency between local businesses and local media, SCA chief executive officer, Grant Blackley, said: “Forty per cent of SMEs are located in regional areas and at SCA, we work with 14,000 of those businesses every day – providing a connection between local communities and local businesses and reinforcing the value of local media to the sustainability and growth of those businesses. We should envision a better place where there is a strong and sustainable local voice and where government recognises the contribution of people and businesses outside the capital cities.”

Prime Media Group, SCA and WIN Network have jointly submitted to government for discussion a commercially sustainable, self-funding plan that will enable regional media businesses to more effectively compete against international and metropolitan media companies now operating in regional media markets.

Prime Media Group chief executive officer, Ian Audsley, said: “We are grateful to the government for acting quickly during the Covid-19 pandemic to help fund public interest journalism via its PING program. Along with JobKeeper, that assistance should see us through the worst impacts of the pandemic. However, we need the government to act quickly again on a more economically sustainable plan to ensure regional Australians receive the very best local media services beyond 2021.”

For more information, visit www.saveourvoices.com.au

Greg Hywood
The return of Greg Hywood: Appointed chairman of Free TV Australia

The peak commercial television industry group, Free TV Australia, has appointed Greg Hywood as its new independent chairman.

Hywood is a Walkley Award-winning journalist and the former CEO and managing director of Fairfax Media. He is widely regarded as having been instrumental in the turnaround of that company in the face of a changing media environment.

Hywood said: “Free of charge to all Australians, commercial television is highly valued by the community; even more so through these stressful times. It is the major investor in Australian entertainment content and is a centrepiece of our creative economy. As a trusted source of news and current affairs, free to air television provides a critical role in keeping our community open and transparent. I am excited by the opportunity to champion such an important contributor to our culture and economy.”

Hywood will work closely with the Free TV board and with the organisation’s chief executive officer, Bridget Fair, on matters affecting the commercial television industry.

Fair said: “We are delighted that Greg has agreed to take on the role of chairman. He has shown that he has a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing the Free TV sector and the media landscape more broadly. There is no doubt he will add significant insight and value to the work of Free TV in supporting and advancing the important contribution commercial television makes to Australia’s culture and economy.”

SEN secures commercial AM cricket rights days from Sydney radio launch

Sports Entertainment Network (SEN) is expanding its cricket coverage, partnering with Cricket Australia (CA) as its major commercial domestic radio rights holder.

The partnership results in SEN securing exclusive AM commercial metro city radio rights to broadcast International and KFC Big Bash League cricket this summer.

Cricket fans can enjoy all the ball-by-ball coverage on 1116 SEN in Melbourne, 1629 SEN SA in Adelaide and for the first time on the new 1170 SEN Sydney, 1053 AM Brisbane, 1620 AM Gold Coast and 657 AM Perth as well as SEN Spirit 621 AM in Bunbury and 1629 AM Mt Gambier. The new Sydney station is expected to launch next week.

This will also extend to regional Australia where Sports Entertainment Network has exclusive AM and FM radio commercial radio rights to broadcast and syndicate its international and BBL cricket coverage. 

SEN’s chief sports caller Gerard Whateley will head a commentary team to be announced shortly.

“Through this COVID year, audiences have flocked to the comfort of sport in rare numbers and that will undoubtedly continue with cricket throughout the summer,” Whateley said.

“The Test series against India promises to be enthralling given the events of two seasons ago as Australia looks to put things right with a full strength and settled team against the might of Virat Kohli and his men.

“It will be our honour at SEN to share those compelling contests with audiences across the country,” he added.

Australia will host India this summer for four Tests, three ODIs and three T20s from November to January, while the BBL is scheduled to run from December to February.

SEN’s commitment to cricket will also include a dedicated junior cricket show, the Kid’s Edition and cricket.com.au’s new program The Scoop, to air on Sunday mornings.

SEN executive director Chris Giannopoulos said the network was delighted to continue its partnership with Cricket Australia.

“A thrilling summer of cricket promises much welcome relief in what has been a really tough year and we are excited to renew our partnership with Cricket Australia,” Giannopoulos said.

“Cricket has always been an intrinsic part of summer in Australia and this year promises many incredible matches which we look forward to broadcasting across the national SEN radio network and our regional syndicated broadcast partners.”

Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia interim CEO, said he was excited to see SEN expand its cricket coverage this summer.

“We’re proud to deepen our partnership with Sports Entertainment Network, in what’s already shaping up as a massive summer of cricket.”

“SEN is increasingly becoming a go to destination for sports radio across the country, and we’re looking forward to hearing their experts cover what is going to be a compelling Test series against India.

“Taking the game to all parts of the country is crucial for the health of Australian cricket, and SEN’s syndication network will help take the game far and wide.”

All SEN coverage can also be streamed live on the SEN and CA Live app, along with sen.com.au and cricket.com.au.

Celebrity Apprentice Australia
Nine reveals all-star cast and advisors for Celebrity Apprentice 2021

The cast of Celebrity Apprentice Australia has been revealed, along with Lord Alan Sugar’s celebrity advisors.

Fashion designer and entrepreneur Lorna Jane Clarkson, plus Boost Juice pioneer and investor Janine Allis will act as Lord Sugar’s right hand throughout Celebrity Apprentice Australia. They will keep tabs on the celebrities throughout the series, being Lord Sugar’s eyes and ears on the ground, and most importantly – advise Lord Sugar on who isn’t making the cut, and who he should fire.

They will be joined by the following group of celebrities, each using every trick in the book to compete in a series of tasks to raise money for a charity close to their heart – and ultimately be named the Celebrity Apprentice.

Celebrity Apprentice Australia contestants. 

• ARIA Award-winning pop duo, The Veronicas – Lisa and Jess Origliasso
• English comedian and actor, Ross Noble
• Judge on The Block, interior designer and writer, Shaynna Blaze
• Winner of Australian Survivor: All-Stars and international model, David Genat
• Star of Married at First Sight and social media influencer, Martha Kalifatidis
• Writer, comedian, and star of Here Come the Habibs, Rob Shehadie
• Iconic fashion designer and artist, Camilla Franks
• ARIA Award-winning artist, Anthony Callea
• Professional surfer and Instagram star, Alex Hayes
• Celebrity personal trainer, author and TV personality, Michelle Bridges
• One half of Nova FM’s Fitzy & Wippa radio show, Michael ‘Wippa’ Wipfli
• The most successful woman in Australian Ninja Warrior history and Olympic gymnast, Olivia Viviant

The show was announced at the Nine Upfront 2021, where the company announced that after a six-year wait, Celebrity Apprentice Australia is back on Nine in 2021 with the biggest shake-up the series has ever seen.

Celebrity Apprentice Australia has commenced filming and will air in 2021, and will air on Nine and 9 Now.

Celebrity Apprentice Australia is produced by Warner Bros. International Television Production Australia for the Nine Network, based on the format created by Mark Burnett and distributed by MGM.

John Steedman
Advertising industry legend John ‘Steady’ Steedman announces retirement

WPP AUNZ has announced the retirement of John Steedman as executive director of WPP AUNZ and from his executive roles as chief operating officer and executive chairman Media Investment Management with effect from 12 October 2020.

Steedman, who was appointed director of WPP AUNZ in April 2016, has enjoyed an outstanding career in the advertising business, spanning over 45 years and roles across Australia and Asia Pacific.

The board’s acknowledgment of his strong leadership and extensive industry knowledge, led to Steedman’s appointment as interim chief executive officer of WPP AUNZ from November 2018 to October 2019. Over the past 12 months, Steedman has been chief operating officer of the company.

WPP AUNZ chairman Robert Mactier said: “John has made an enormous contribution to WPP AUNZ and WPP plc as an executive and a director and his experience, advocacy and pragmatism will be greatly missed.

“John is widely respected as an industry leader in the media buying sector and as a passionate advocate on important issues including diversity and inclusion, and R U OK? suicide prevention and he is a leading voice in seeking greater accountability in online media commentary.

“John is much loved by all at WPP AUNZ and by many clients and respected leaders across the industry. We will miss his friendship and contribution, but we understand his desire to take a step back from the frontline.

“On behalf of all at WPP AUNZ, we wish John a very happy and well-deserved retirement.”

WPP AUNZ CEO Jens Monsees said: “With his deep experience, Steady has provided invaluable support and leadership as COO over the past year as we faced the very challenging external circumstances and successfully changed our workplaces to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I have been very grateful for his contribution as we have embarked on our transformation strategy which is now well underway, and he leaves with my thanks and best wishes for the future.”

Steedman said: “It’s been an honour to serve WPP AUNZ and WPP plc for the past 45 years. Over this time, I have been greatly impressed by the calibre of talent and creativity of the people I work with and their energy to embrace change and growth.

“I have been through cycles of both positive tailwinds and tough downturns, and through each one, it is the fantastic clients and colleagues whom I have had the pleasure to work alongside, that has made this journey so rewarding and colourful.

“I have been considering retirement for a while, and now, having well and truly handed the reins over to Jens, is the right time. I wish the board and management all the very best in their future endeavours.”

Steedman has been inducted in the AdNews Hall Of Fame (2018) and the Media Federation of Australia Hall of Fame (2013).

The Block
Week 41 TV: The Block and NRL rank Nine #1 network & primary

Nine’s week started with three huge wins Sunday to Tuesday, a narrow win Wednesday and a narrow loss Thursday. That was enough to keep the lead despite Nine slipping behind Seven on Friday and Saturday.

Seven had the biggest slide this week with network and primary share down.

10 was more competitive this week, particularly on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, yet it posted single figure primary shares on the four other nights.

Nine Week 41

Primary share: 20.5% (19.7%)
Network share: 29.4% (27.9)%
Multichannels: GO! 2.9% (2.5%) Gem 2.7% (2.3%) 9Life 2.1% (2.2%) 9Rush 1.2% (1.2%)

Nine was the clear leader for another week with The Block Australia’s #1 entertainment show of the week. Sunday night’s Room Winner episode was #1 show for the week and attracted a national average audience of 1.439m (Metro: 1.058m Reg: 381,000) and won all key demographics of 25-54s, 16-39s and Grocery Shopper + Child.

Nine had the #1 commercial shares across all key demographics: People 25-54s (39.4%), People 16-39s (36.4%) and Grocery Shopper + Child (40.1%). Nine also won Total People with a share of 39.5%.

Nine also had the # 1 primary shares across all key demographics: People 25-54s (27.37%), People 16-39s (25.53%) and Grocery Shopper + Child (28.8%). Nine also won Total People with a share of 27.45%.

Nine dominated the top 10 shows of the week with a total of seven spots, driven by The Block and news programs.

A Current Affair averaged over 700,000 for the week, 60 Minutes was just under 600,000 and Halifax: Retribution finished its season on 556,000.

Seven Week 41

Primary share: 18.7% (21.3%)
Network share: 28.3% (31.1%)
Multichannels: 7TWO 3.4% (3.6%) 7mate 4.2% (4.3%) 7flix 2.0% (1.9%)

Seven had the second and third best primary and network shares of the week but was unable to match its performance from the week prior. Seven’s share was down week-on-week by both measures.

Seven allowed Nine to build what turned out to be a winning lead after Seven posted sub-15% primary shares Sunday to Tuesday before recovering later in the week off the back of two AFL finals.

The AFL clashes set up what could be a tantalising Richmond v Geelong Grand Final if both teams manage to hold off very tough opposition in Port Adelaide and Brisbane. Both semi-finals this week saw national audiences over 1m which resulted in network metro shares close to 35% both nights.

Seven’s only entries in the top 30 for the week were the football and Seven News which was ranked #1 every night of the week.

Home and Away averaged 538,000 across the week while Better Homes and Gardens did 477,000.

ABC Week 41

Primary share: 12.3% (13.1%)
Network share: 17.3% (17.6%)
Multichannels: Kids/Comedy 2.5% (2.5%) ME 0.5% (0.5%) News 1.9% (1.9%)

A brilliant episode of Australian Story had the channel’s biggest audience of the week with 746,000 watching a tribute to life and time of Aunty Jack’s Thin Arthur – Rory O’Donoghue.

ABC weekday News averaged 667,000 and Hard Quiz did 644,000.

Over half a million for the channel were Four Corners on 570,000, the season final of Mad as Hell on 540,000 and 7.30 on 515,000.

The Treasurer’s Speech just missed that mark with 497,000 on Tuesday night.

10 Week 41

Primary share 10.3% (9.5%)
Network share: 16.9% (15.9%)
Multichannels: Bold 3.8% (3.5%) Peach 2.4% (2.4%) Shake 0.4% (0.5%)

The Bachelorette was behind the network’s growth this week with improved shares on Wednesday and Thursday. The two episodes in launch week were down historically but were demo champs up against the other offerings on those nights.

10 is able to claim four of the top 10 entertainment shows in under 50s and all key demos (25 to 54s, 16 to 39s and 18 to 49s) thanks to the launch week of The Bachelorette Australia, Have You Been Paying Attention? and Gogglebox.

Network 10 and 10 continue to record the most growth of any commercial network and primary channel in 2020, up 10% and 9% year-to-date respectively. 10 Bold has achieved 20 months of consecutive year-on-year audience growth, while 10 Peach has achieved 38 consecutive weeks of year-on-year growth in its key demo of 16 to 39s.

10 Shake in only its second week on air saw share on 0.4% after its first week share of 0.5%.

SBS Week 41

Primary share: 4.9% (4.5%)
Network share: 8.1% (7.6%)

Multichannels: Viceland 1.2% (1.2%) Food 1.0% (0.9%) NITV 0.2% (0.1%) World Movies 0.9% (0.8%)

The final episode of the three-episode season of Every Family Has a Secret was again the most-watched show of the week with 276,000.

Michael Portillo popped up in an unusual timeslot on Saturday night with Greatest Railway Journeys which was down on his regular ratings with 139,000.

* Figures in brackets are Week 40 shares.

Bon Jovi
ARIA Chart

By James Manning

Singles: New arrivals from Pop Smoke, Shawn Mendes and Blackpink
Albums: Icons return – Queen, Bon Jovi, Mariah, Mel C & Roger Waters chart

Singles

A second week at #1 for 24kGoldn featuring Iann Dior with Mood.

The only new arrival in the top 10 was Jason Derulo with Take You Dancing which sits at #10 after a steady claimb up the chart for the past seven weeks. This is Derulo’s first solo top 10 since Want To Want Me hit #4 back in April 2015. Meanwhile Derulo’s #1 collaboration with Jawsh 685, Savage Love, sits at #4 this week after 17 weeks on the chart.

The highest of five new entries in the top 50 is at #11 from Pop Smoke. The posthumous release of What You Know Bout Love comes from the #1 album Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon.

The title track from the next Shawn Mendes album Wonder lands at #13 on debut. The Canadian singer/songwriter’s album is due just in time for Christmas on December 4. This is Mendes’ first time on the chart since his #1 with Camila Cabello, Senorita, from July last year.

Also new this week:

#27 Blackpink with Lovesick Girls. One of two tracks new from this week’s #2 album.
#39 Savage and Metro Boomin featuring Drake with Mr Right Now.
#42 Blackpink featuring Cardi B with Bet You Wanna.

Album Highlights

#1: Queen are the highest-charting of five iconic rock and pop artists who have spanned long careers and who return to the chart this week. The Queen, Adam Lambert album Live Around the World features performances across the past six years. The album includes the complete playlist from February’s Fire Fight charity concert performance in Sydney. This is the second Queen release to top the chart in the past two years after the soundtrack to Bohemian Rhapsody spent some time at the top of the charts. It’s still charting too – sitting at #40 as it celebrates two years on the chart next week.

The female K-Pop band Blackpink is one of the five artists new to the top 10 this week as their first Korean language album sits at #2 on debut.

Just stopping short of achieving a 10th ARIA #1 were Bon Jovi with 2020 their 15th album landing at #3. This is the band’s first album since This House is Not for Sale made it to #1 in 2016. The new album features tracks inspired by events across the year including Covid-19 (Do What You Can), veterans and post-traumatic stress disorder (Unbroken), politics (Blood in the Water), civil unrest (Lower the Flag) and the murder of George Floyd (American Reckoning).

#4: 21 Savage & Metro Boomin with Savage Mode II. The US rapper 21 Savage and producer Metro Boomin join forces again and land a top 10 hit album, the sequel to their 2016 EP.
#8: Corey Taylor with CMFT. The debut solo album from Slipknot and Stone Sour singer and songwriter. He was last on the chart when Slipknot’s sixth album We Are Not Your Kind peaked at #1 last year.
#11 Bryson Tiller with A N N I V E R S A R Y. The third album from the US R&B singer after his second True Self peaked at #12 in 2017.
#14 and #30 King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard with Demos Vol. 1 + Vol. 2 and Live In Asheville ’19. Melbourne’s very prolific King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard take out their fifth and sixth Top 50 entries for 2020 as they debut at #14 with Demos Vol. 1 + Vol. 2 and at #30 with Live In Asheville ’19.
#16 Mariah Carey with The Rarities. The celebration of the 30th anniversary of Mariah Carey’s first album continues with these previously unreleased tracks. The album has also coincided with the release of her memoir The Meaning of Mariah Carey. Seven are reportedly in discussions to try and get Carey as a coach on The Voice in 2021.
#18 Oasis with (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? Another music milestone, this time the 25th anniversary of the second Oasis album. The album originally topped the Australian chart for five weeks upon release in 1996.
#19 Angie McMahon with Piano Salt. A seven-track EP from the Melbourne singer-songwriter with alternate versions of five tunes from her debut album plus two covers – Bruce Springsteen‘s The River and Lana Del Rey‘s Born To Die.
#31 Hilltop Hoods with State of The Art (Instrumental Edition). The instrumental version of the Adelaide hip hop group’s fifth album is the first release in a limited-edition vinyl series of the trio’s four most recent studio albums.
#35 Roger Waters with Us + Them. The soundtrack to the concert film of the same name featuring the founding member of Pink Floyd and his band. A dazzling collection of Pink Floyd tunes and solo Waters material. Tracks come from shows in Amsterdam during his world tour which also included Australian dates and featured inventive use of giant video screens. The band features the US guitarist Jonathan Wilson.
#37 Melanie C with Melanie C. This self-titled set from the former Spice Girl is her eighth solo album. She is well aware of the hurdles she faces, recently telling the BBC: “I’m making a pop-dance record and I’m a mature artist, so I have to accept that some radio stations are not going to be playing me anymore.”
#42 Cosmo’s Midnight with Yesteryear. A second album from the Sydney electronic duo made up of twins Cosmo and Patrick Liney. Their debut What Comes Next peaked at #36 two years ago.

 

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TV ratings: Sunday Week 42 2020

By James Manning 

• The Block: Harry and Tash drive off with the cash in a Mustang
• Nine cruises to a Sunday win with News, Block & 60 Minutes
• CJZ’s Sunday magic again for Seven with The Biggest Storm
• Return of Junior MasterChef manages launch audience of 524k
• Renovation Australia’s Millers Point mansion gets 484k

Primetime News
Seven News 930,000
Nine News 913,000
ABC News 686,000
10 News First 197,000/244,000
SBS World News 143,000

Daily current affairs
The Project 328,000/372,000
Insiders 331,000

Breakfast TV
Sunrise 218,000
Today 214,000

Late night news
Nine News Late 268,000

Sunday TV

Seven: Filling the 7pm slot was the 7News special Cruising: The Biggest Storm. The program looked at the history of cruising and the cloud hanging over its future. The CJZ-produced program featured interviews with insiders, whistleblowers, experts and ordinary travellers, and revealed the stories of passengers who contracted Covid-19 on board cruises. After finding a big Sunday audience with Murder in the Outback earlier this year, CJZ has done well again with Cruising ranking #2 in the slot with 658,000, outperforming the launch of Junior MasterChef.

Staring around 9pm, Crime Investigation Australia featured the man dubbed the Mornington Monster. With a finish after 10pm the episode was on 281,000.

Nine: The Block featured the reveal of the Living/Dining spaces and in the lead-up Scott Cam had lunch at his Melbourne residence, a former Block unit in the Port Melbourne complex which the Herald Sun revealed recently cost him just over $2m, with Jimmy and Tam. He managed to find out they have $80,000+ at their disposal as the series reaches its final few weeks. After a good room from Harry and Tash, it looked like Daniel and Jade could be on track for a successive win with a space that wowed the judges. Judge Darren disagreed with Shaynna and Neale earlier in the night but they were all in agreement on how good this work was. Jimmy and Tam were judged last – they had a lamp and storage, but were missing one key feature – a dining table! Shaynna was right: “What were they thinking?” Especially with all that cash in the bank. The room winner was Harry and Tash, although the viewers chose Daniel and Jade, and Harry and Tash got $10,000 plus the use of a Ford Mustang for a week. The audience of 992,000/1,086,000 comes after 981,000/1,058,000 seven days ago.

This week on The Block could be interesting with Harry and Tash in trouble with Keith and Sarah and George having a special “@#$% the judges” week after successive weeks of poor marks.

60 Minutes followed with Tom Steinfort reporting on a fightback underway led by high-profile Australians who have been subjected to cruel and targeted attacks on social media. Former NRL coach Anthony Seibold, who was the victim of a horrendous attack, has launched his own investigation to track down those who spread vicious untruths about him on social media. Channel 9’s Erin Molan, who has suffered years of unrelenting abuse on Facebook and other platforms, is now campaigning for much tougher penalties, including prison sentences for perpetrators of trolling. The episode was on 667,000 after 578,000 last week.

Nine had an audience of 119,000 watching the Suncorp Super Netball final in the afternoon.

10: MasterChef Australia judge Melissa Leong was the final guest on The Project before the show segued into the launch of Junior MasterChef Australia. After Sunday 7pm did 358,000 a week ago it was on 372,000 last night.

The mini would-be chefs turned up with a parent at the start of Junior MasterChef Australia as they met judges Andy, Melissa and Jock in the herb garden outside the MasterChef kitchen. Before the first cook commenced, they were presented with their MasterChef aprons by Melissa which was used to introduce each of the 14 contestants. The cooking from all contestants was mighty impressive especially Dev and Laura who were judged as having the two best dishes. “Do you know Peter Gilmore,” asked Jock to Laura. “That is as good as his snow egg.” The nearly two-hour episode launched the season with 524,000 watching, well short what the very first episode did with 2.2m almost exactly 10 years ago, and half of the 1m+ watching the launch of season two in 2011. The launch episode has managed to halve in each successive season.

Two episodes of FBI followed on 288,000 and 162,000.

On Sunday afternoon 10 had an audience of 233,000 watching game one of the Bledisloe Cup as Australia managed to secure a draw.

ABC: Series three of Fremantle’s Restoration Australia is not a lot different to Grand Designs Australia from the same production company. Both series make fascinating viewing for those who enjoy renovation, although throwing the ABC version up against The Block might limit the numbers watching live. The series started with a major $5m Millers Point upgrade that attracted 484,000 viewers.

Grantchester followed with 468,000.

SBS: Episode three of Ancient Superstructures focused on The Great Wall of China with 178,000 watching.

Next was Top Ten Mummies of Egypt with 130,000 at 8.30pm, which pushed two episodes of Watergate out to a 10.30pm start.

Week 41-42: Friday-Sunday
FRIDAY METRO
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 12.5% 7 25.3% 9 17.4% 10  7.3% SBS One 4.2%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.7% 7TWO 3.3% GO! 4.1% 10 Bold 3.0% VICELAND 1.1%
ABC ME 0.4% 7mate 4.1% GEM 2.5% 10 Peach 2.0% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 2.0% 7flix 2.2% 9Life 2.2% 10 Shake 0.6% NITV 0.1%
        9Rush 1.4%     SBS World Movies 0.8%
TOTAL 17.6%   34.9%   27.5%   12.8%   7.2%

 

SATURDAY METRO
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 12.4 7 24.8% 9 19.0% 10  5.3% SBS One 4.8%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.6% 7TWO 3.2% GO! 3.2% 10 Bold 3.3% VICELAND 0.9%
ABC ME 0.4% 7mate 4.9% GEM 2.7% 10 Peach 1.9% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 1.7% 7flix 2.5% 9Life 1.9% 10 Shake 0.6% NITV 0.3%
        9Rush 1.6%     SBS World Movies 1.0%
TOTAL 17.2%   35.4%   28.3%   11.1%   7.9%

 

SUNDAY METRO
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 12.1% 7 19.3% 9 23.7% 10  12.2% SBS One 5.0%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.4% 7TWO 1.3% GO! 2.6% 10 Bold 3.5% VICELAND 0.6%
ABC ME 0.4% 7mate 3.7% GEM 2.8% 10 Peach 2.3% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 1.5% 7flix 1.7% 9Life 1.8% 10 Shake 0.4% NITV 0.1%
        9Rush 0.9%     SBS World Movies 0.7%
TOTAL 16.4%   26.0%   31.9%   18.4%   7.2%

 

SUNDAY REGIONAL
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 11.8% 7 21.2% 9 19.5% WIN 9.6% SBS One 4.4%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.7% 7TWO 1.5% GO! 3.3% WIN Bold 4.6% VICELAND 0.7%
ABC ME 0.8% 7mate 5.0% GEM 5.0% WIN Peach 2.2% Food Net 0.5%
ABC NEWS 1.4% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 1.5% 9Life 2.3% Sky News  on WIN 1.6% NITV 0.2%
                SBS Movies 0.4%
TOTAL 16.8%   29.2%   30.1%   18.1%   6.2%

 

SUNDAY METRO ALL TV
FTA STV
87.8% 12.2%
All People Ratings

Friday Top 10

  1. Seven News Seven 872,000
  2. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 861,000
  3. Seven’s AFL: Friday Night Football Finals Seven 802,000
  4. Nine News Nine 801,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 621,000
  6. ABC News ABC 612,000
  7. Seven’s AFL: Friday Night Football Finals – Pre Match Seven 498,000
  8. Better Homes And Gardens Seven 477,000
  9. The Chase Australia Seven 459,000
  10. Vera (R) ABC 459,000

 

Saturday Top 10

  1. Seven’s AFL: Saturday Night Football Finals Seven 865,000
  2. Seven News Seven 794,000
  3. Nine News Saturday Nine 779,000
  4. Seven’s AFL: Saturday Night Football Finals – Pre-Match Seven 635,000
  5. ABC News ABC 623,000
  6. Father Brown ABC 485,000
  7. Seven’s AFL: Saturday Night Football Finals – Post-Match Seven 470,000
  8. Rugby League Final Series SF2 Nine 465,000
  9. Seven’s AFL: Saturday Night Football Finals – Pre-Match Seven 369,000
  10. Getaway Nine 290,000
Sunday FTA
  1. The Block -Room Winner Nine 1,086,000
  2. The Block Nine 992,000
  3. Seven News Seven 930,000
  4. Nine News Sunday Nine 913,000
  5. ABC News Sunday ABC 686,000
  6. 60 Minutes Nine 667,000
  7. 7news Presents: Cruising – The Biggest Storm Seven 658,000
  8. Junior MasterChef Australia – Launch 10 524,000
  9. Restoration Australia ABC 484,000
  10. Grantchester ABC 468,000
  11. The Sunday Project 7pm 10 372,000
  12. FBI 10 288,000
  13. Doc Martin (R) ABC 284,000
  14. Crime Investigation Australia: Most Infamous Seven 281,000
  15. Nine News: Late Edition Nine 268,000
  16. The Sunday Project 6.30pm 10 266,000
  17. Landline PM ABC 258,000
  18. 10 News First 10 242,000
  19. Rugby: 2020 Wallabies V New Zealand Test Live 10 233,000
  20. Insiders AM ABC 223,000
Sunday Multichannel
  1. Motorsport: 2020 MotoGP Post Show 10 Bold 175,000
  2. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 152,000
  3. Offsiders AM ABC NEWS 147,000
  4. ABC News AM ABC NEWS 144,000
  5. Motorsport: 2020 MotoGP Live 10 Bold 138,000
  6. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 130,000
  7. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 129,000
  8. Floogals AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 121,000
  9. M- Kingsman: The Golden Circle PM (R) 7mate 119,000
  10. Death In Paradise 9Gem 117,000
  11. Shaun The Sheep ABCKIDS/COMEDY 114,000
  12. Bananas In Pyjamas AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 113,000
  13. Insiders AM ABC NEWS 108,000
  14. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 107,000
  15. Kiddets AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 105,000
  16. Andy’s Baby Animals ABCKIDS/COMEDY 104,000
  17. School Of Roars ABCKIDS/COMEDY 102,000
  18. Would I Lie To You? ABCKIDS/COMEDY 102,000
  19. Dinosaur Train AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 102,000
  20. Play School AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 100,000
Sunday STV
  1. Live: Bledisloe Cup NZV AUS Game 1 FOX SPORTS 505 218,000
  2. Live: Rugby: Test Match Post Game FOX SPORTS 505 120,000
  3. Live: F1: Germany Race FOX SPORTS 506 118,000
  4. Live: Test Match Pre Game FOX SPORTS 505 89,000
  5. Outsiders Sky News Live 75,000
  6. Outsiders Sky News Live 70,000
  7. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 67,000
  8. Live: MotoGP France FOX SPORTS More 60,000
  9. Rugby: Mitre 10 Cup FOX SPORTS 505 43,000
  10. In My View Sky News Live 40,000
  11. Live: F1: Grand Prix Sunday FOX SPORTS 506 39,000
  12. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 36,000
  13. Live: Moto3 France FOX SPORTS More 36,000
  14. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 36,000
  15. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 35,000
  16. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 35,000
  17. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 35,000
  18. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 35,000
  19. 24 Hours In Emergency Lifestyle Channel 35,000
  20. Chris Smith & Friends Sky News Live 32,000

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

ACCC welcomes France Google move on media payments

Australia’s competition tsar Rod Sims has welcomed France’s move to order Google to negotiate with media companies, and says he’s working closely with regulators across the globe, including in France, as Australia moves towards a mandatory media bargaining code, reports The Australian’s David Swan.

On Thursday night a Paris appeals court upheld an order for Google to negotiate with media groups in a long-running dispute about revenues from online news.

The French skirmish closely echoes the fiery battle playing out between media companies and Facebook and Google in Australia, over to what extent tech giants should compensate media companies for news.

[Read more]

‘Clash of ideas’ keeps newsrooms vibrant, says Free TV chair Greg Hywood

Former Fairfax Media boss Greg Hywood has urged journalists to embrace “clashes of ideas” as a way of preserving vibrant and independent newsrooms, reports The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich.

Hywood, who has just been appointed chairman of Free TV, the peak body of the nation’s commercial television broadcasters, told The Australian that having “a diversity of voices in media” was critical to the future of the industry.

The former journalist and Fairfax editor cited the example of Nine news political editor Chris Uhlmann’s recent criticism of Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews in an editorial piece that ran in Nine’s metropolitan masthead The Sydney Morning Herald on September 16 but not in sister publication The Age in Melbourne until the next day.

The 66-year-old’s appointment as chairman of Free TV comes two months after he completed a review of Seven West Media’s print operations in Western Australia.

As Free TV chair, Hywood will focus on changing industry regulation, including the news media bargaining code that would allow media companies to negotiate with Google and Facebook over payment for news content on their platforms.

[Read more]

NY Times interview: James Murdoch more critical of Trump than News Corp

Rupert Murdoch’s youngest child with his second wife, Anna, is loath to get into the epic family drama that found its climax in the 15 months between pushing a deal to sell 21st Century Fox to Disney and ankling the family business he once hoped to lead, reports The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd.

But in his briskly analytical way, over lunch and a subsequent phone call, he tried to explain why he “pulled the rip cord,” as he put it, after deepening estrangement with his father and brother and growing discomfort over the toxicity of Fox News and other conservative News Corp properties.

“I reached the conclusion that you can venerate a contest of ideas, if you will, and we all do and that’s important,” he told me. “But it shouldn’t be in a way that hides agendas. A contest of ideas shouldn’t be used to legitimise disinformation. And I think it’s often taken advantage of. And I think at great news organizations, the mission really should be to introduce fact to disperse doubt — not to sow doubt, to obscure fact, if you will.

“And I just felt increasingly uncomfortable with my position on the board having some disagreements over how certain decisions are being made. So it was actually not that hard a decision to remove myself and have a kind of cleaner slate.”

[On US politics, James Murdoch said:]

“I’m just concerned that the leadership that we have, to me, just seems characterised by callousness and a level of cruelty that I think is really dangerous and then it infects the population,” he said, referring to the Trump administration. “It’s not a coincidence that the number of hate crimes in this country are rising over the last three years for the first time in a long time.”

[Read more]

News Brands

ABC blames bushfires, coronavirus as it cancels 2021 cadet intake

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has cancelled its 2021 cadetship intake, citing disruption from bushfires and the coronavirus as major contributors to the decision, reports The Age’s Danielle Collis.

The 12-month paid cadetship program is offered each year to eight journalism graduates with one taken on in each state and territory.

An ABC spokeswoman said the pause of the cadetship program was due to numerous reasons.

“Firstly, because of disruptions caused by the bushfires and coronavirus it hasn’t been possible to carry out the full training schedule for the current cadets, which we’ll need to complete next year,” she said.

[Read more]

The Age dumps Michael Leunig’s anti-Dan cartoon

First it was Chris Uhlmann’s evisceration of Dan Andrews’ extreme Melbourne lockdown.

The Australian’s Nick Tabakoff reports on a second instance in which a critical snapshot of life under Dan has been chucked out by jumpy senior editors at Nine’s The Age newspaper. And as with Uhlmann, the item was pulled because it was deemed too sensitive in Melbourne’s current mindset.

In this case, it was a cartoon by The Age’s marquee cartoonist, Michael Leunig, scheduled for publication on Monday, September 7.

[Read more]

Kevin Rudd petition calls for royal commission into media ownership

The former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd has launched a petition calling for a royal commission into News Corp’s dominance of Australia media, arguing Rupert Murdoch’s media company employs tactics that “chill free speech and undermine public debate”, reports Elias Vistonay with AAP in Guardian Australia.

The petition, launched on the Australian Parliament website on Saturday, had gained more than 38,000 signatures by Sunday morning, with Rudd tweeting that the popularity of the petition had caused the website to suspect users signing it were robots.

On Sunday the Labor leader Anthony Albanese distanced himself from the push.

Albanese told reporters in Adelaide that Rudd, as a former prime minister, was entitled to call for a royal commission but he did so as a “private citizen” and the idea was not Labor policy.

[Read more]

Publishing

Harper's Bazaar, Men's Health could return under new licensing deals

Popular magazines Harper’s Bazaar, Men’s Health and Women’s Health could be brought back to life by the end of the year under new license holders after being axed by private equity firm Mercury Capital three months ago, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Zoe Samios and Melissa Singer.

Mercury, which bought the former owner of the magazines Bauer Media (now known as ARE Media) in July, shut down eight titles including NW, OK! and Elle to avoid signing long-term licensing deals with international publishing houses to save money.

Harper’s Bazaar had five months left to run on its contract with Bauer, while Men’s Health and Women’s Health contracts were expiring later this year. All three titles are licensed from Hearst Magazines in the US.

Hearst has been talking to multiple parties about deals that would allow the magazines to continue to be published in Australia. Negotiations were still underway last week. Industry sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity said Women’s Health and Men’s Health will likely be revived by a small publisher called Paragon Media.

Paragon Media is a special interest publisher that prints titles such as Australian Men’s Fitness and Ecogeneration. Paragon chief executive Ian Brooks confirmed the talks and said he was hopeful of finalising the deal.

Brag Media, the new publisher of Rolling Stone Australia, will also launch a new magazine in the next few weeks. It is unclear whether it will be a former title from ARE Media. ARE Media staff are currently de-commissioning Harper’s Bazaar while Hearst continues talks with prospective buyers.

[Read more]

Television

Ex-Carlton AFL star slated to find love on Nine’s Married At First Sight

A former Carlton footballer who hit trouble off the field is looking for love the reality juggernaut Married At First Sight, reports News Corp’s Fiona Byrne.

It has been a long time coming but MAFS is following suit with reality casting trends in Australia and has for the first time added a former AFL player to the ranks of singles seeking romance and attention on the smash hit series.

Jake Edwards is widely believed to be one of the grooms on the new season of MAFS which is currently filming in Sydney.

Edwards had a brief career with Carlton, being a third-round pick in the 2005 National Draft aged 19. He made his senior team debut in 2008, playing five games. He was delisted at the end of the 2009 season.

[Read more]

Nine drama boss: Halifax Retribution success good for industry

“I’m a firm believer that we roll out drama in episodic form, whether it’s on a free to air network, or even if it’s on streaming,” Nine head of drama Andy Ryan, tells TV Tonight.

“I believe in giving audiences some form of closure and satisfaction at the end of each episode, but pulling them through to next week.”

It’s a strategy that has paid off for Nine with Halifax: Retribution which concluded last week with its highest numbers across the season at 556,000 metro viewers.

In timeshifted numbers, the series has performed even better. In such treacherous times for Australian drama (when is it not?) Halifax is cause for optimism.

Halifax is a good news story for Nine and a good news story for television and the drama sector. I think the fact that we can hold our numbers week on week, lift them and then finish the season higher than where we started is kind of unprecedented these days. We’re delighted.

“When you deliver a show that resonates with the audience, they’ll come. The figures over the 28 days are over one and a half million (national),” he continues.

[Read more]

Sports Media

Cricket Australia’s two options in Seven Network rights war

The Seven Network’s bold move to apply for an independent arbitrator to recast the value of the COVID-hit summer will force Cricket Australia (CA) to make a call next week on whether they will agree to the process or consider their own options at the Supreme Court. But it’s only the tip of the iceberg, reports News Corp’s Ben Horne.

Seven’s ultimate objective remains to try and blow up the entirety of their $450 million TV rights deal and get out of cricket, or at the very least, the Big Bash.

The positive is CA and their chief broadcast partner Fox Sports – who pay $130m a year – are aligned and are close to a new deal.

[Read more]

Gideon Haigh on cricket turmoil: So bad you wonder why Seven bought it

[Seven’s CEO James Warburton has been] damning his network’s main summer fare and partner Cricket Australia, accusing “the most incompetent administration I’ve ever worked with” of producing a product that was “not acceptable” and a season his network would “not support”. A “train wreck”, in fact.

What kind of broadcast boss talks this way publicly about their content and its provider? The sort who in Seven’s annual report describes his strategy as multi-pronged with three key strategic pillars involving tentpoles to complement Seven’s dominant daily spine of news, sport and entertainment.

What Warburton wants, of course, is a discount on his rights fee – as much, it is said, as 40 per cent. He’s like the piqued lover at the door saying: “That’s it, I’m going … I’m going, right now … This is me going … Right out that door … Me. The door. Going through it … The next thing you see will be … etc.”

Fans shmans. For a big enough discount he’d broadcast whatever. Seven would show My Kitchen Sucks if it could be made for cheap. This is an argument about price not value.

[Read more]

Premier League's UK pay-per-view TV deal under fire from furious fans

The Premier League drew criticism and disdain from across football and beyond on Friday when it announced plans to screen matches played behind closed doors on UK pay-per-view TV, reports The Guardian.

With seven months having passed since fans were last allowed to attend stadiums and with the top flight in dispute with government and the rest of the football pyramid over its responsibility to help stave off financial disaster for the game, the news was the public relations version of conducting a two-footed tackle on yourself.

In a temporary arrangement that is to be reviewed at the end of October, half of the remaining matches over the next three weeks will be shown on BT Sport and Sky Sports’ pay-per-view platforms, priced at £14.95 a match. That fee comes on top of a standard subscription charge and, for many fans, the cost of season tickets that have already been paid for, and deferred, because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

[Read more]

Thoroughbred racing set to defy slump in TV broadcasting deals

Thoroughbred racing is set to defy the nationwide trend of a “coronavirus slump” in TV broadcasting deals, with the value of its media rights likely to soar in line with the surge in the sport’s audience numbers during the pandemic, reports The Australian’s James Madden.

Racing NSW is halfway through a five-year deal with its broadcast partners, Channel 7 and Sky Racing, but industry insiders say the broadcast rights are expected to increase significantly when the parties return to the negotiating table ahead of the next deal.

The situation in Victoria appears more uncertain. Channel 10 last year struck a five-year, $100 million deal with the Victoria Racing Club for the broadcast rights to the four race days across Melbourne Cup week, but the 2019 coverage delivered disappointing ratings for the network.

[Read more]

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