Tuesday October 13, 2020

Russel Howcroft: Gruen panellist on hit show’s return for important season

By James Manning

Russel Howcroft has worked in advertising and media for some time and this year is being rewarded with co-hosting and contributor roles on two of arguably the best shows on TV and radio.

He’s been with Gruen as a regular panellist since it first launched as The Gruen Report over a decade ago, and much more recently he replaced John Burns as co-host on the highest-rating metro radio show in Australia – 3AW breakfast.

He returns tomorrow to the 2020 season of Gruen which he agreed was an important season for the show.

At Gruen Howcroft works alongside host Wil Anderson and regular panellist Todd Sampson plus guest panellists that include Dee Madigan, Karen Ferry and Christina Aventi.

Gruen is a CJZ and ABC co-production with executive producers Nick Murray, Anderson and Polly Connolly. The ABC executive producer is Nick Hayden.

“It’s important in that we are going to be able to discuss the role advertising and communication play in a year like this,” Howcroft told Mediaweek. “The government has used the power of advertising profoundly in order to get its message out there. That demonstrates the importance of paid communication.

I like discussing how important advertising is. We have seen that writ large in the last six months.

“It is almost not possible for the government to spend too much in the communication to the public about Covid. They need to do whatever they can do to get the message out there. Media is now so fragmented you need to use advertising to get that job done.”

There’s been so much happening in 2020, how can Gruen start to deal with it?

Gruen tends to be immediate…looking at just what has recurred over the last week,” said Howcroft. “This year there isn’t any harm in doing a bit of retrospective, certainly in episode one. It would be interesting to examine the communication from March when the pandemic kicked off with ad ‘X’ from the Federal Government.”

Howcroft said it was hard to measure if the Government ad spend had been enough, referring to his earlier comment about it being impossible to be spending too much. “If they are in every newspaper every day and on every TV station in every break, and continuously on every radio station, I would understand the strategy.”

Howcroft will be contributing from Melbourne this year, and he noted after the experiences of 2020 so far, that is something viewers will now be used to.

In fact being physically separated won’t hurt the content of the show. He explained before a show, the panellists and the host “never talk” about the program.

“In past series I would arrive on the stage at a taping 15 minutes before we start. Wil and I would talk about the footy. I won’t talk to Todd at all, and just say g’day to the other panel members.”

See also: Russel Howcroft: Gruen panellist on hit show’s return for important season

Now that he no longer works in advertising or his former job at Network 10, Howcroft said he remains very connected to the industry.

I am still an avid follower of the ad world and it remains a big part of my life. I love looking at good, new TV advertising which has been my core interest. I will have to do a bit more work this year because I am not as deep in advertising as I was at PwC.”

Because of his new radio job, Howcroft said he tries to be tucked up in bed about 8.30pm these days. As to missing some of the primetime hours that marketers use to spread TV communications to consumers, Howcroft replied. “The good news is there is YouTube.”

Howcroft noted that although the TV audience fragments quite dramatically after 8.30pm or maybe 9pm some nights, it doesn’t mean they are leaving the mainstream media. “They can still be reached via BVOD and other means.”

Tomorrow in Mediaweek: How Russel Howcroft is handling the 4.15am alarm to work on Australia’s #1 radio show

Top Photo: Russel Howcroft with Wil Anderson and Todd Sampson on Gruen in 2015

Are Media
Are Media coalition addresses Coercive Control in Activist Agenda campaign

Are Media (formerly Bauer Media) has launched its latest Activist Agenda campaign which demands governments around the country introduce a nationally consistent offence aimed at non-physical domestic abuse, known as Coercive Control.

The publisher has built a coalition of significant women’s groups and legal advocates to lobby State and Territory governments to criminalise Coercive Control, which in New South Wales is associated with 99% of cases where a woman is murdered by her partner or ex-partner.*

The Coercive Control campaign is the third iteration of Are Media’s Activist Agenda.

In 2019 the ‘Stop Elder Financial Abuse’ campaign, launched in partnership with the Australian Banking Association (ABA), secured agreement from governments to establish baseline minimum standards for Power of Attorneys and to create a mandatory national online register.

In 2018, the Federal Government agreed to remove the GST on women’s sanitary products following years of lobbying and Are Media’s ‘No Gender Selective Tax’ campaign.

Brendon Hill, CEO at Are Media said: “Our first two Activist Agenda campaigns have both driven significant legislative change for women of all ages across Australia. Now we are taking on the unacceptable practice of coercive control which is the root cause of serious injury and murder of women across the country. Over the coming six months our leading brands will help educate and inform our audiences and, together with our coalition partners, lobby State and Territory ministers to make meaningful changes and end violence towards women.”

Coercive control is the foundational element of domestic abuse towards women in which the perpetrator uses emotional, psychological and other non-physical abuse to intimidate and control their partner. It is an inevitable lead up to physical abuse and, too often, to domestic homicide.

Developed by Story54, Are Media’s commercial insights, content and marketing division, and spearheaded by The Australian Women’s Weekly and Marie Claire, together with 40 of Are Media’s leading brands, the coalition includes White Ribbon, Small Steps for Hannah, Women’s Safety NSW, Queensland Women’s Legal Service and journalist and author of ‘Look What You Made Me Do’, Jess Hill.

An advertising campaign called ‘Join the Dots’ which highlights the indicators of Coercive Control has been created by Story54. Designed to drive education and encourage people to sign a petition calling on laws to be changed, the ads will run across Are Media’s women’s brands with specific ads targeting men across its auto division.

Jane Waterhouse, general manager of Story54 said: “Our brands are well placed to drive understanding and awareness of such a complex issue and through our magazines we have the ideal environment to share these harrowing stories and spark an in-depth conversation with our audiences.”

The coalition is a single issue, politically bi-partisan group calling on governments to take immediate steps towards introducing an offence of Coercive Control, including:

• Each State and Territory committing to criminalising Coercive Control by the end of 2021.
• Putting in place a consultation period, particularly with organisations on the front line, to provide input into how the new law would operate.
• Guaranteeing the necessary resources and funding to ensure the judiciary and the police are trained and effectively able to enforce the law.

The launch of the ‘Criminalise Coercive Control ‘campaign was held today at the head office of Women’s Safety NSW in Sydney.

Nicky Briger, editor of Marie Claire, said over the coming months the media group would be using all its titles and its 30 million strong social network to underline the appalling way in which many women around Australia are emotionally and psychologically abused by their partners.

“Importantly our nine million readers will be left in no doubt where the federal government and each state and territory government stands on the issue. We will be holding our lawmakers to account until the law is introduced,” she said. 

Governments across Australia have consistently failed to address this major issue, despite the overwhelming evidence it is a precursor to physical violence and often murder.

• In NSW between 2017 and 2019 77 of the 78 perpetrators used coercive control on their partner before killing them according to the NSW Domestic Violence Death Review.

Top Photo: At the Are Media Coercive Control campaign launch (left to right): Nicole Byers, editor-in-chief, The Australian Women’s Weekly; Nithya Reddy, advocate and Preethi Reddy’s sister; Jess Hill, advocate and author of See What You Made Me Do: Power, Control and Domestic Abuse; Karen Williams, psychiatrist and founder, Doctors Against Violence Towards Women; Nicky Briger, editor, Marie Claire; and Hayley Foster, CEO, Women’s Safety NSW

Vogue Australia announces Vogue Codes 2020 program and partners

Vogue Australia editorial director Edwina McCann has announced key partnerships and program of events for the fifth annual VOGUE CODES.

From 28 October through to 26 November, Vogue Australia will present VOGUE CODES 2020 as a reimagined virtual series of free events featuring an impressive line-up of local and international speakers to inspire women to be creators of the digital future and encourage female innovation.

Edwina McCann said: “VOGUE CODES is our crusade to see women empowered by technology. We are excited by the opportunity to present the VOGUE CODES event series fully online this year, and we’re making it free to register.

“Our VOGUE CODES webinar series earlier this year was incredibly well received. It gave us a fantastic opportunity to play in the virtual world and take the campaign across geographic borders and audiences ahead of launching this year’s program of events.

“2020 has highlighted the importance of connectivity, community and of bridging the gaps between us. Now, more than ever, we believe women must embrace the technology powering our society to ensure we play a role in shaping the future we all want to see, and 2020 has given us a unique opportunity to extend this message further.

“We’re delighted to have Westpac return as presenting partner for VOGUE CODES 2020 along with our supporting partners Audi and Estee Lauder, and welcome Barbie and Optus who have come on board this year. Together, we are all committed to making this a highly successful campaign which really makes a difference.”

Speakers participating in this year’s events include:

• Debbie Wosskow OBE, co-founder and chairperson of AllBright, is recognised as one of the most prominent serial entrepreneurs in the UK, known for successfully launching and scaling businesses in the areas of digital disruption, the sharing economy and female empowerment.

• Julia Hartz, co-founder and CEO of Eventbrite, a global self-service ticketing and experience technology platform that serves a community of nearly one million event creators.

• Derek Blasberg joined YouTube in 2018 as head of fashion and beauty, a newly created role. A New York Times best-selling author, his first job was as an assistant at Vogue, and in his career he has been the editor-at-large of Harper’s Bazaar and Vanity Fair’s Man on the Street.

• Fanny Moizant, president and co-founder of Vestiaire Collective, the leading global platform for desirable pre-owned fashion.

• Sandra Capponi, co-founder of Good On You, a world-leading source of trusted brand ratings and expertise on sustainable fashion. Good On You empowers shoppers, retailers and influencers to know the impact of brands and make better choices.

• Stephanie Hannon, currently working with Google on the Exposure Notification System, a joint Covid-19 contact tracing platform with Apple. She was previously a volunteer with the US Digital Response group providing tech support to the US government; and former CTO, Hillary for America.

• Aubrey Blanche, director of equitable design & impact at Culture Amp, an employee feedback and analytics platform aimed at managing and developing people and culture within organisations.

• Tip Piumsomboon, principal of Blackbird Ventures, a top venture capital firm seeding the likes of Canva, Zoox and Culture Amp. Blackbird has invested in over 70 companies in a range of industries and typically leads Seed and Series A rounds with follow-on investments.

• Manuri Gunawardena, CEO and founder of HealthMatch, a patient-facing clinical trial recruitment platform. Recognised as the Healthcare honouree in the Forbes ‘30 Under 30 Asia’ list for her innovative approach to empowering patients through digital healthcare.

Vogue Australia’s global first VOGUE CODES initiative was established in 2016 in answer to a gender imbalance in the technology industry with the aim of inspiring more women to pursue careers in tech-related industries.

All events will stream live online with select sessions made available for on-demand replay. For more information on VOGUE CODES 2020 visit vogue.com.au/vogue-codes.

VOGUE CODES 2020 – Program of Events

VOGUE CODES LIVE – 5 November

VOGUE CODES Live creates a platform for young women starting out in their careers to engage and be inspired by leading entrepreneurs. Vogue Australia, together with some of the most influential names in technology, fashion and business, has created a series of talks designed to motivate women to navigate the digital landscape in new and innovative ways. VOGUE CODES Live presents a series of forward thinking Q&A’s, keynotes and in conversation sessions packed with practical tips from international and Australian speakers. Engage with digital innovators and inspiring entrepreneurs who are influencing the technology landscape globally to spark new ideas and empower future female innovation.

VOGUE CODES KIDS – 7 November

Join VOGUE CODES Kids and Code Camp for a fun, engaging and educational virtual workshop just for kids aged 7-12. Each of the five one-hour sessions will include a live workshop for kids to create and develop their own online game.

VOGUE CODES SUMMIT – 10 & 11 November

The fifth annual VOGUE CODES Summit will go virtual for 2020 and take place over two days. Technology touches more roles and careers than ever before and continues to open up new areas of opportunity. The 2020 VOGUE CODES Summit will explore technology as a force for good, how to create a culture of inclusion, and career-defining moments from top Australian business women. Hear from international and Australian speakers who are driving change in the technology industry and discover how to scale your business from founders of successful start-up companies. Melissa Doyle, journalist, author, TV presenter and radio host will MC the Summit.

VOGUE CODES IN CONVERSATION BREAKFAST SERIES PRESENTED BY AUDI

The VOGUE CODES In Conversation Breakfast events presented by Audi Australia will recognise women who drive progress in their fields. The live Q&A events with special guests will all feature an opportunity for guests to engage with speakers and connect over breakfast.

Sydney – 28 October: Hosted by Audi Ambassador, Sandra Sully in conversation with author and entrepreneur Jodie Fox

Gold Coast – 29 October: Hosted by Audi Ambassador, Stephanie Gilmore in conversation with Outland Denim’s Erica Bartle 

Melbourne – 25 November: Hosted by Audi Ambassador, Lisa Wilkinson in conversation with Bridget Loudon from Expert360

Adelaide – 26 November: Hosted by Audi Ambassador, Melissa Doyle in conversation with Flavia Tata Nardini from Fleet Space Technologies

Top Photo: Edwina McCann with Melissa Doyle at Vogue Codes 2019

Podcast Ranker
Podcast Ranker: News Corp’s The Night Driver climbs into top 10

Triton Digital has released the September Australian Podcast Ranker. The chart provides insight into the Top 100 Podcasts as well as the Top 10 Publishers in Australia from 1 September through 30 September, 2020, as measured by Triton’s Podcast Metrics measurement service.

ARN/iHeartPodcast Network Australia remains the publisher with the most downloads on just over 11m. PodcastOne Australia has the most active podcasts with 381.

Three new entities appear in the Top 100 Podcast Ranker this reporting period, including This is Actually Happening (Wondery), Watch What Crappens (Stitcher), and Bunga Bunga (Wondery).

Stuff You Should Know (ARN/iHeartMedia) remained in the #1 spot as the most downloaded podcast in the country in September. 

As for the All-Australian Top 100, three new entities appear this reporting period, including The New South Wales Briefing (Southern Cross Austereo), League Pass and Chill (News Corp Australia), and The Imperfects (ARN/iHeartMedia).

Casefile True Crime (Audioboom) remained the #1 spot as the most downloaded podcast in the country. 

Total downloads of all shows by all participating publishers in the month of September is 48.7m.

Participating publishers in the Australian Ranker include ARN/iHeartMedia, Southern Cross Austereo, News Corp Australia, Audioboom, Stitcher, Wondery, Nova, Nine, SEN / Crocmedia, Schwartz Media, TOFOP Productions, Kinderling Kids Radio, Australian Radio Network, Wavelength Creative, NBC News, West Australian Newspapers, and Fear and Greed. Additionally, as of the August 2020 Australian Podcast Ranker, Nine Radio has been expanded to include podcasts from Nine’s Digital and Publishing divisions.

 

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SCA reports September live radio streaming audience surges 58%

SCA’s unique live radio streaming audience has jumped by 58% year on year, making digital audio the fastest growing advertising platform.

Unique listeners reached 1.5 million* in September, demonstrating audience desire to listen on connected devices. SCA’s total digital audio network reach includes audiences across Hit, Triple M and SoundCloud Radio. When combined with SoundCloud’s music streaming platform of 2.5 million monthly listeners, SCA has a market leading advertiser offering.

People are increasingly tuning into Hit and Triple M, with a 27% year on year jump in active live radio streams to reach 9.1 million – the highest ever. 

SCA’s total listening hours also hit a new record of 10.5 million in September, creating more addressable ad opportunities than ever before. 

Smart speakers achieved the highest year on year growth of all devices, up 66% to 2.3 million listening hours. Smart speaker listening has an average session duration of 2 hours and 26 minutes and accounts for almost a quarter of all listening.

The SoundCloud audience also grew by 18% year on year in September^.

“Our digital audio listening and live radio streaming is the fastest growing ad platform in the market right now and continues to break listening records and record extraordinary growth, demonstrating the strength of digital audio. As a growing and addressable channel with a loyal and engaged audience, now is the time to tap into this exceptionally effective channel,” SCA chief sales officer, Brian Gallagher, said.

“SCA audiences are tuning in for longer listening sessions driven by daytime listening on smart speakers and desktop, creating more Instream ad opportunities for advertisers to reach consumers with a high quality ad experience. Our new digital audio attribution products, SCA Footsteps and SCA Soundcheck help complete the consumer journey and prove the ROI of this burgeoning channel.

“SCA is focused on providing our listeners the opportunity to engage with our products whether in home, at the office or on the daily commute where device flexibility enables listening to reach new levels of engagement each month. We urge advertisers to take advantage of this rapid listener behaviour shift and the growing popularity of radio products in the connected home.  We expect this growth to continue as Australian homes around the country are all embarking on a ‘connected makeover’ journey.”

Source:
*Adswizz Audiometrix September 2019 v September 2020
^ SoundCloud 1P Data

The Fox turns forty: Radio stars to celebrate on a fun Friday

SCA Melbourne station The Fox is celebrating 40 years on air this week. To mark the occasion a cavalcade of stars from years gone by will return to the station for a one-off broadcast on Friday 16 October from 9.00am.

Host of Australia’s first and longest-running music countdown, Take 40 Australia, Barry Bissell will be heard alongside the Matt and Jo Show (with Troy Ellis), Osher Günsberg, Hamish and Andy, The Hot 30’s Ugly Phil, Tony Martin, Tracy Bartram and Gavin Wood.

The Matt and Jo Show dominated FM breakfast in Melbourne for close to a decade and the pair remember it fondly with Matt Tilley calling it, “The most impactful 10 years of my life. The best fun and the best people to work with.” Jo Stanley added: “I look back and cannot believe how fortunate we were to have had such creative freedom and the joy of making each other laugh every day.”

Matt and Jo with Troy Ellis

40 Years of The Fox will also reveal how Matt Tilley was able to get his infamous “Gotcha Calls” to air, that Barry Bissell made an on air remark that a young Kylie Minogue was “not really a singer” and Ugly Phil’s minor issue that set Madonna off in a Beverly Hills hotel.

Starting Monday 12 October, The Fox audiences will be treated to a week of celebratory playlists of listener favourites from the last 40 years with pop up birthday messages from some of the biggest music and celebrity names in the country.

In the 90s The Fox was home to one of Australia’s most successful FM radio shows, Tony Martin and Mick Molloy’s Martin/Molloy and in the early 2000s breakfast show Tracy and Matt in the Morning shook up the Melbourne media establishment when it knocked AM institution 3AW off the top of the radio ratings survey.

The Fox dominated as the biggest radio brand in the country and ushered in the era of radio superstars. Some of the biggest names in entertainment have been part of The Fox over the decades including Hamish and Andy, Fifi Box, Jules Lund, Carrie Bickmore, Tommy Little, Dave Thornton, Brendan Fevola, Dave Hughes, Kate Langbroek, Ed Kavalee and Ash London.

SCA chief content officer Dave Cameron has been at The Fox since the 90s and said: “The Fox has always set the benchmark for on air talent. From the very beginning we have engaged with the best, most experienced entertainers in the country who have created some of the best radio in the world. Our breakfast show Fifi, Fev and Byron has never been as connected to our audience than they are in 2020 and they’re going to have a lot of fun celebrating the last 40 years this week.”

The Fox has also played an instrumental role in creating and nurturing some of radio’s most influential behind the scenes players and content director, Amanda Lee, will host an intimate podcast series, 40 Years of The Fox, with a selection of former leaders including Rex Morris, Brian Ford, Jamie Angel, Dave Cameron and Adrian Brine for a true peek behind the curtains of running one of Australia’s most loved radio brands.

The Fox content director Amanda Lee said: “Pulling together this 40-year celebration of The Fox has reinforced that the people on air and behind the scenes have built who we are and their passion and talent has created one of Melbourne’s most iconic radio stations. Our listeners have always been front and centre in everything we do, and I think they are going to absolutely love this trip down memory lane.”

40 Years of The Fox celebrations can be heard on the Hit App, DAB+, on your smart speaker or via fox.com.au.  The 40 Years of the Fox podcast will be available via The Fox app.

IAB
IAB reaches out to 3000+ smaller publishers with lower membership rate

IAB has announced several new measures specifically developed to support small and medium Australian publishers including a New & Niche Publishers Guide to Digital Advertising that includes resources, advice and information for anyone looking to monetise their content through digital advertising.

A new membership rate has also been announced, that will give these media owners access to IAB research, resources, briefings, and mentorship program.

The measures have been developed for the 3000+ so called long tail publishers Australia-wide who have audience sizes of less than 500,000 people visiting per month. 

Gai Le Roy (pictured), CEO of IAB Australia commented: “One of our key objectives is to help support a sustainable and diverse digital media and advertising market. We are delighted to share these new resources specifically developed for smaller publishers who are evolving digital ad offerings and exploring different revenue models.

“The passion and commitment of these smaller publishers to finding sustainable ways of serving and informing our communities will bring a rich and important chorus of voices across their channels. Although there has always been a rich fabric of small and mid-sized publishers, we are excited to see a range of new titles servicing regional areas as well as other site, apps and podcasts servicing particular niche audiences.” said Le Roy.

Australians consume digital content from many publishers and platforms.  Nielsen’s Digital Media Panel measures the audiences of about 3,800 global and local media owners with Australian audience sizes varying from the very large (nearly 20 million people a month) to the small (about 10,000 people a month). Nearly nine in 10 of these media properties have an audience size of less than 500,000 people visiting per month and three-quarters have an audience size of less than 250,000 people per month.

Jobs 360
News360 announces Jobs360 Roundtable to help Australians back to work

News Corp Australia wants to help Australians get back to work with a special jobs series identifying 100,000 listings across the country today, tips on how to snare a job and the key issues facing Australia’s economic future.

Jobs360 addresses the growing jobs crisis unleashed by the coronavirus pandemic following the worst economic downturn in a century.

The centre-plank of the series is the Jobs360 Roundtable – a panel of key experts debating the big issues confronting Australian workers and employers and their ideas for workable solutions.

It builds on the recent Aged Care 360, which shone a light on the nation’s nursing homes, dissecting the failings posed by COVID-19.

The key findings and proposals from the roundtable panel will be released today outlining changes needed to strengthen the economy and ways to get the jobs market back on track.

Free childcare, scrapping penalty rates for small business, rent relief in the bush and training for older Australians are among the solutions for Australia’s jobs recovery suggested by the high-level 360 think tank spanning business, unions and government.

National editor News 360 Kathy Lipari said the 360 Roundtable was proving an effective means to bring disparate but powerful voices into a single forum to highlight complex issues affecting millions of ordinary Australians.

 “Our trusted news brands bring together a variety of experts whose views and insights are rarely heard within the same forum,” Lipari said.

“We’re able to cut across all divides, whether political or social, and cut to the heart of an issue to hear all sides of a story. And this means we can cast an eye to the future to begin developing practical solutions to problems that can appear intractable.

 “The next issue we will tackle will be the state of the nation’s mental health.”

The high-profile Jobs 360 expert panel featured Federal Minister for Employment Michaelia Cash, Flight Centre chief Graham Turner, Australian Retailers Association chief Peter Zahra, demographer Bernard Salt, Council of Small Business of Australia chief Peter Strong, ACTU president Michele O’Neil, founder of Western Sydney Women, Amanda Rose and Australians whose working lives have been disrupted by the jobs downturn. `

New data released this week revealed 3300 private sector jobs daily have disappeared since March, with more than 3.5 million Australians now relying on JobKeeper to survive.

VMO
VMO’s new benchmark in outdoor measurement: hourly audience planning

Val Morgan Outdoor (VMO) has evolved DART, its audience measurement platform, to create a new benchmark in outdoor measurement, DART R&F.

The planning tool harnesses the power of VMO’s facial analytics data with third-party consumer data and machine learning. Together, this allows VMO to determine hourly audience at a screen level across VMO’s retail, health club and petro-convenience environments. DART R&F delivers clients a new benchmark in OOH audience planning and provides actionable results for campaigns.

“DART represents an enormous wealth of human interaction data that, when calibrated against third-party and independent data sources, it provides a highly accurate and scalable view of true audiences at VMO locations. Whether clients are buying traditional campaigns or programmatic campaigns, marketers can have confidence the audience methodology applied is consistent across all VMO assets and has been independently built and verified. DART R&F utilises the best data science in market to deliver a highly accurate third-party measurement tool that will revolutionise OOH audience planning,” Paul Butler, managing director VMO said.

DART R&F’s granularity of data enables VMO to build accurate measurement of impressions hourly and at an individual screen level.

VMO worked with Data2Decisions to independently build and verify the audience reach methodology, which from today will apply to all campaigns.

“Using the latest machine learning techniques to combine datasets, we were able to create a prediction model of specific audiences by the hour at an individual screen level. This has helped us, in partnership with VMO, to create reach and frequency calculations that provide the most robust measure of OOH audiences to date,” said John Price, Managing Partner Data2Decisions.

Love it or List it
Beyond Rights new US content deal includes Love It Or List It sales

Beyond Rights has announced that it has closed a series of deals with leading broadcasters in the US, totalling 323 hours.

CF Entertainment, part of the Byron Allen empire, has acquired all nine seasons – 129 hours – of popular Canadian ob-doc series Highway Thru Hell for syndication across the company’s extensive local television network. Produced by Great Pacific Media Inc, the series follows truckers on the treacherous Coquihalla Highway in British Columbia as they battle steep hills, rock falls and winter snowstorms on the hazardous but economically important route.

Series nine of Highway Thru Hell (18 x 60) and series five of Heavy Rescue: 401 (14 x 60) have also been licensed to The Weather Channel. Heavy Rescue: 401, which follows the unique challenges and difficult working conditions endured by tow truck operators and rescue and maintenance crews on a busy highway, is also a Great Pacific Media Inc production.

Animal Planet US has acquired series four and five (12 x 60) of Chasing Monsters, the Untamed Productions 4K title that sees extreme adventurer Cyril Chauquet travel the world’s oceans, rivers and lakes in search of the planet’s biggest – and scariest – fish.

The first five series, totalling 130 hours, of property title Love It or List It, produced by Big Coat Productions in Canada have been licensed to HGTV US, along with season three of Love It or List It Australia (10 x 60), produced by Beyond Productions for Foxtel. The popular original series now has numerous international versions, all helping people decide whether to sell their house and move or invest in it and renovate, in order to meet their changing property needs.

Finally, White Rabbit Project (10 x 60) has been acquired by the Science Channel. Produced by Beyond Productions and featuring the popular hosts of the Emmy-nominated series MythBusters, the series sees the presenters immerse themselves in experiments, builds and tests as they head down the rabbit hole to investigate many weird and wonderful events from pop culture, science and history.

Sherry Fynbo, recently promoted to EVP of sales for North America at Beyond Rights, comments: “Naturally I am pleased to have placed so many hours of key titles with leading American broadcasters. But, most importantly, deals such as these endorse Beyond Rights’ strategy of finding the best international producer partners possible and then working closely with them to invest in great content with long-running potential. This in turn enables us to launch exciting programme brands into the marketplace and then work with our broadcaster clients to help build those brands for their audiences.”

Top Photo: Love It Or List It Australia hosts Andrew Winter and Neale Whitaker

Box Office: The Outpost the only new entry in slow weekend

By Trent Thomas

In a quiet week at the Australian box office, there was only one new entry in the American war film The Outpost which found itself in the number four spot over the weekend.

The Outpost took the spot of horror film Antebellum as the rest of the top five looks entrenched with each film ranging from 3-7 weeks in the top spots. 

Trolls World Tour stayed #1 for the third week in a row as Tenet continues its slow slide down the Australian box office, seven weeks after its release.

Overall, the Australian box office declined 17% after making a total of $3.35m over the weekend.

#1 Trolls World Tour $780,124

After seven weeks in theatres, the film has been boosted by the school holidays over the last few weeks as it continues to find itself in the #1 spot. The film now has a total of $6.48m after producing a weekend average of $3,278 on 238 screens.

 

#2 The Secret Garden $394,839

After four weeks The Secret Garden is still continuing its move up the charts finding itself in second spot, the highest placement the film has achieved since its release. The film averaged $1,687 on 234 screens during the weekend and its total is now $2.53m.

 

#3 Tenet $347,599

While it is sliding down the Australian box office as its weekend totals continue to dip, Chris Nolan‘s sci-fi blockbuster continues to add to its overall total which now sits at $11.34m. This makes the film easily the highest release since cinemas began to re-open after the Covid-19 enforced lockdown. Over the weekend Tenet averaged $1,228 on 283 screens.

 

#4 The Outpost $285,735

The only new film to join the top five this week is based on a 2012 non-fiction book, The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor by Jake Tapper which covers the Battle of Kamdesh in the Afghan war. The film averaged $1,742 on 164 screens.

 

#5 Cats & Dogs 3: Paws Unite $205,649

The kid-friendly release finds itself in the top five for the second week in a row thanks in part to the school holiday surge after it averaged $1,077 on 191 screens.

 

Junior MasterChef
TV ratings: Monday Week 42 2020

By James Manning

• The Block and Have You Been Paying Attention? lead entertainment
• Border Security back for one week, Junior MasterChef improves

Primetime News
Seven News 1,052,000/1,012,000
Nine News 937,000/901,000
ABC News 753,000
10 News First 300,000/197,000
SBS World News 167,000

Daily current affairs
A Current Affair 748,000
7.30 643,000
The Project 306,000/497,000
The Drum 200,000

Breakfast TV
Sunrise 258,000
Today 236,000
News Breakfast 179,000

Late night news
Nine News Late 233,000
The Latest 144,000
ABC Late News 108,000
World News Late 47,000

Monday TV 

Seven: Home and Away started the week with 544,000 after a week 41 average of 538,000.

Border Security: Australia’s Front Line got a weeknight primetime slot for this Monday only with two episodes after 7.30pm on 331,000 and 339,000.

The Monday movie was 2018’s Crazy Rich Asians on 318,000.

Nine: A Current Affair had an average of 720,000 across the weekday episodes last week and started this week on 748,000.

The Block featured some of the fallout teased on Sunday – Sarah and George giving the judges a message and Keith and Harry having a blow-up. There was also a lengthy promo for a Ford Mustang, transporting Tash to other ad partners. The Monday episode was on 863,000 after 898,000 last week.

RBT was then on late again with an hour starting about 8.45pm with 386,000 watching.

After the Late News, 100% Footy was on 57,000 and Footy Classified did 131,000.

10: MasterChef Australia didn’t have a dream debut with 524,000 on Sunday, but it climbed a little last night to 546,000 watching episode two.

Have You Been Paying Attention? managed to grow the audience to 628,000 with Marty Sheargold, Abby Coleman and Melanie Bracewell joining Ed and Sam on episode 24 for 2020. The number was up from 599,000 last week.

Drunk History Australia then did 241,000.

ABC: Australian Story was part one of the story of Di McDonald and a man who terrorised her for years with 619,000 watching.

Four Corners looked how Tinder is helping facilitate sexual assault in an investigation in partnership with triple j Hack for the audience of 553,000.

Media Watch followed on 478,000 and then Q+A did 245,000 with a program with guest Anthony Albanese. Host Hamish Macdonald noted Albanese may not have been first choice though after successive knockbacks from the PM and treasurer.

SBS: Episode four of How the Victorians Built Britain saw the primetime audience on 205,000.

It was followed by 24 Hours in Emergency on 148,000.

Week 42: Monday
MONDAY METRO
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 14.1% 7 17.3% 9 20.3% 10  14.1% SBS One 4.3%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 1.9% 7TWO 3.6% GO! 2.2% 10 Bold 4.0% VICELAND 1.3%
ABC ME 0.4% 7mate 3.3% GEM 2.4% 10 Peach 2.1% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 1.4% 7flix 1.7% 9Life 1.9% 10 Shake 0.5% NITV 0.1%
        9Rush 1.5%     SBS World Movies 0.6%
TOTAL 17.8%   25.9%   28.4%   20.6%   7.2%

 

MONDAY REGIONAL
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 14.5% 7 16.8% 9 16.9% WIN 11.6% SBS One 4.2%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 1.9% 7TWO 4.6% GO! 2.2% WIN Bold 4.8% VICELAND 1.6%
ABC ME 0.8% 7mate 5.7% GEM 4.1% WIN Peach 2.7% Food Net 0.4%
ABC NEWS 1.0% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 1.2% 9Life 2.7% Sky News  on WIN 2.2% NITV 0.1%
                SBS Movies 1.0%
TOTAL 18.2%   28.3%   25.9%   21.3%   7.3%

 

MONDAY METRO ALL TV
FTA STV
89.1% 10.9%
Monday FTA
  1. Seven News Seven 1,052,000
  2. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 1,012,000
  3. Nine News Nine 937,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 901,000
  5. The Block Nine 863,000
  6. ABC News ABC 753,000
  7. A Current Affair Nine 748,000
  8. 7.30 ABC 643,000
  9. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 628,000
  10. Australian Story ABC 619,000
  11. Four Corners ABC 553,000
  12. The Chase Australia Seven 551,000
  13. Junior MasterChef Australia 10 546,000
  14. Home And Away Seven 544,000
  15. The Project 7pm 10 497,000
  16. Media Watch ABC 478,000
  17. Hot Seat Nine 475,000
  18. RBT Nine 386,000
  19. Border Security – Australia’s Front Line-Ep.2 Seven 339,000
  20. Border Security – Australia’s Front Line Seven 331,000
Demo Top Five

16-39 Top Five

  1. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 208,000
  2. The Block Nine 204,000
  3. Junior MasterChef Australia 10 145,000
  4. Seven News Seven 115,000
  5. A Current Affair Nine 110,000

 

18-49 Top Five

  1. The Block Nine 389,000
  2. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 339,000
  3. Junior MasterChef Australia 10 239,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 232,000
  5. Nine News Nine 225,000

 

25-54 Top Five

  1. The Block Nine 445,000
  2. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 373,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 288,000
  4. Seven News Seven 281,000
  5. Nine News Nine 273,000
Monday Multichannel
  1. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 204,000
  2. NCIS Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 184,000
  3. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 149,000
  4. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 147,000
  5. Doc Martin PM 7TWO 136,000
  6. M- Transporter 2 PM 7mate 125,000
  7. Fireman Sam AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 110,000
  8. Neighbours 10 Peach 109,000
  9. Octonauts PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 109,000
  10. Floogals AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 108,000
  11. Dinosaur Train AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 106,000
  12. Foyle’s War PM 7TWO 106,000
  13. PJ Masks PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 106,000
  14. Law & Order: SVU (R) 10 Bold 105,000
  15. Bananas In Pyjamas AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 104,000
  16. Kiddets AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 103,000
  17. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 100,000
  18. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 97,000
  19. Play School AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 91,000
  20. School Of Roars ABCKIDS/COMEDY 91,000
Monday STV
  1. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 105,000
  2. Credlin Sky News Live 78,000
  3. Alan Jones Sky News Live 77,000
  4. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 73,000
  5. PML Later Sky News Live 62,000
  6. Live: AFL 360 FOX FOOTY 54,000
  7. The Kenny Report Sky News Live 50,000
  8. Newsday Sky News Live 48,000
  9. Live: On The Couch FOX FOOTY 45,000
  10. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 42,000
  11. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 33,000
  12. Live: NRL 360 FOX LEAGUE 32,000
  13. Rusty Rivets Nick Jr. 32,000
  14. Newsday Sky News Live 31,000
  15. Escape To The Country Lifestyle Channel 30,000
  16. AM Agenda Sky News Live 30,000
  17. Ryan’s Mystery Playdate Nick Jr. 30,000
  18. Ready Set Dance Nick Jr. 29,000
  19. Coronation Street UKTV 29,000
  20. Abby Hatcher 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

Melbourne-based TV distributor Fred appoints new sales manager

Fred Media has appointed Zoe Allen (pictured) to join its team in Melbourne as sales manager responsible for Latin America, CEE (including Turkey and Greece), Africa, Israel and VOD.

Allen joins from Beyond Rights in London, previously Beyond Distribution, where she was VP sales, responsible for Benelux, CEE, the Baltics, Israel, inflight and AVOD. Prior to her nearly five-year period at Beyond, she spent two years at Passion Distribution. Allen started her TV career working across research, casting and location scouting at the BBC, and in production companies such as Betty and True North.

Reporting to Fred Media’s COO, Roger Vanderspikken, Allen is now in charge of expanding the client base in each territory and licensing Fred’s growing catalogue from third party producers as well as parent company WTFN, producer of titles such as Emergency, Bondi Vet, Paramedics and Mega Zoo.

Zoe Allen commented: “It has been a strange time to start a new role on the other side of the world, but the team at Fred Media has been extremely welcoming and I am excited to be working with such a great catalogue of existing content, as well as the wonderful new series we have in the wings, such as Harbour Force, which we are bringing to market for pre-sales. I welcome the opportunity to connect with new clients in Latin America, Greece and Turkey and to reconnect with the many wonderful contacts I already have in the other territories.”

Roger Vanderspikken added: “Zoe brings with her a useful understanding of working for a distributor with a parent production company, as well as an excellent track record of selling a wide range of unscripted and kids’ content into a variety of markets. Her background, enthusiasm and love of TV make her a perfect addition to the Fred Media team, and we are pleased to have her onboard for this busy virtual MIPCOM period while we are launching a raft of new programming into the marketplace.”

Tech giants Google and Facebook making headlines with others’ news

Last month, Prime Minister Scott Morrison offered vocal support for the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission after it recommended making big tech companies such as Google and Facebook pay for Australian news content, writes columnist Jennifer Oriel in The Australian.

Discussions about such reforms often are complicated by jargon about algorithms and taxation law that makes the case for reform a rather technocratic affair. But the basic principle of fair pay for fair work stands and democratic governments have the duty to uphold it against multinational companies exploiting legal loopholes to profit from Australian workers.

Put simply, digital platforms such as Facebook and Google should pay news producers for the news they produce, and the new legislation would ensure it.

Last week, the US House judiciary subcommittee on antitrust released a lengthy report after investigating antitrust concerns about Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.

Traditional media pays journalists to report, investigate and analyse news with money raised from advertising revenue and subscriptions. The COVID-19 pandemic has destroyed the business model as corporations try to recoup losses by slashing their advertising budgets. Australia needs a new deal to ensure the free press has a fair go and its workers have a future.

[Read more]

BGH's offer for Village Roadshow 'fair and reasonable'

A yet-to-be-published independent expert’s report has declared BGH Capital’s takeover offer for Village Roadshow both fair and reasonable, as the cinema and theme park business’ largest independent shareholder agitates for the Australian regulator to stop the deal, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

The Village Roadshow board is soon expected to release an independent report by Grant Samuel declaring the scheme fair and reasonable ahead of the November 26 vote for shareholders.

[Read more]

News Brands

BGH's offer for Village Roadshow 'fair and reasonable'

A yet-to-be-published independent expert’s report has declared BGH Capital’s takeover offer for Village Roadshow both fair and reasonable, as the cinema and theme park business’ largest independent shareholder agitates for the Australian regulator to stop the deal, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

The Village Roadshow board is soon expected to release an independent report by Grant Samuel declaring the scheme fair and reasonable ahead of the November 26 vote for shareholders.

[Read more]

News Brands

Rudd has become Murdoch's accuser, but once he was his cheerleader

Kevin Rudd is treading – albeit much more dramatically – a well-worn path among Australian politicians. Those who wield power – or covet it – curry favour with Rupert Murdoch. Those out of power, and whose political ambitions are over, criticise him, comments University of Sydney academic Rodney Tiffin in The Sydney Morning Herald.

This pattern became firmly entrenched following the 1987 changes to media ownership laws. Under Bob Hawke and Paul Keating, Murdoch took over the Herald and Weekly Times publishing company, which gave him control of newspapers accounting for about two-thirds of daily circulation. This is a degree of concentration not matched in any other Western democracy. Labor politicians since have had many, many opportunities to regret Hawke and Keating’s decision.

[Read more]

'Cynical': Network Ten blasted for hard-to-find defamation clarification

Network Ten has been ordered to publish a defamation clarification in a more prominent position after a Federal Court judge found the broadcaster had run the text in the terms and conditions section of its website where it was “unlikely to be seen by anyone”, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Michaela Whitbourn.

American Dylan Hafertepen launched defamation proceedings last year against Ten over a November 2018 segment on The Project about the death of his Australian partner Tank Hafertepen, formerly known as Jack Chapman, who died after injecting silicone into his genitals.

The parties reached a settlement on April 24 this year. Ten agreed to publish a clarification on the 10play website for at least 14 days, stating Ten “did not intend to suggest and does not suggest that Mr [Dylan] Hafertepen had anything to do with that death” and if “anyone took it to mean that” the suggestion was unreservedly retracted.

The Federal Court heard last month that Ten published the clarification in May at the bottom of a lengthy “terms of use” page accessed via a link at the bottom of the website.

In a judgment on Monday, Federal Court Justice Anna Katzmann said, “Ten doggedly maintained that it had absolute discretion as to where on the 10play website”, because the terms of a settlement agreement were “silent on the matter”.

[Read more]

Television

'Where will the next Bluey come from?': Kids' TV producers fear worst

The maker of one of Australian television’s most successful exports, the animated series Bluey, is among more than 20 children’s television producers who have warned of job losses and business closures unless the federal government revisits its recently announced screen reforms, reports The Age’s Karl Quinn.

If the government does not adjust its policies urgently, the producers warn, “many thousands of jobs will be lost and highly successful and profitable production companies will be forced to close”.

Under the reforms announced by arts minister Paul Fletcher last month, the free-to-air commercial broadcasters no longer have to screen Australian children’s content. Nor do the streamers have any obligation to do so.

The changes effectively leave the entire sector at the mercy of the ABC and SBS/NITV, neither of which received additional funding for children’s content in last week’s budget.

The changes risk undermining the proven export potential of Australian children’s TV content, says Charlie Aspinwall, co-founder of Ludo Studio, the Brisbane-based company that makes Bluey.

Ludo was among 22 production companies that signed an open letter urging the government to rethink its reforms, which it said had “left the sector stranded”.

The signatories include Jonathan M. Shiff Productions (Mako Mermaids), Northern Pictures (Hardball), Sticky Pictures (Are You Tougher Than Your Ancestors?), Media World (Little J & Big Cuz) and Cheeky Little Media (Bottersnikes and Gumbles), and claim to represent “the majority of independent Australian children’s screen content producers”.

[Read more]

Hamish and Zoë’s new gig – selling Australian travel to Australians

Tourism Australia have deployed husband-and-wife team Hamish Blake and Zoë Foster-Blake in a new $7 million campaign designed to encourage Australians to take a local holiday, reports News Corp’s David Mills.

While the duo say it’s not exactly a tough sell, given everybody in the country feels like a holiday right now, it comes at a critical time, with tourism sector losses estimated to be as high as $1 billion per month since the closure of international and state borders.

The campaign, which will be rolled out from today across print, social media, radio and outdoor advertising, showcases both big-ticket destinations as well as those that may be less familiar.

“There’s no chance you could see all of Australia, and the more you dig the more you find,” Hamish said.

“There’s hundreds and hundreds of places that you might not be familiar with or you might not have been. We’ve got this window of opportunity to explore Australia in a way that we might not have been thinking about a year ago.”

Zoe said like a lot of couples, they had previously put off plans to see different parts of the country.

Hamish said it “wasn’t much of a slogan”, but if the campaign had an underlying message, it would be “Australia: It’s Been Here All Along”.

The Melbourne-based couple said their ultimate Aussie getaway was one complete lap of the continent.

[Read more]

First review of Nicole and Hugh in HBO’s The Undoing: “Preposterous”

Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant star as a couple torn apart by scandal in David E. Kelley‘s Big Little Lies follow-up for HBO.

If you’ve ever been part of a group project at school where each member decides that someone else will pick up the slack – resulting in a half-completed mess that reflects poorly on everyone involved – the new HBO drama The Undoing should send a chill of familiarity down your spine, comments Inkoo Kang in The Hollywood Reporter.

It’s almost hard to believe that stars Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant, series writer David E. Kelley (Big Little Lies) and series director Susanne Bier (The Night Manager, the Oscar-winning In a Better World) could come up with a show so limp, so generic, so dispiritingly bad as this six-hour drama that only has enough story for a two-hour feature. (Five episodes were sent to critics.) It’s as if all the key decision-makers were in a collective spell, made to trust that someone else would do the work of making their program watchable.

[Read more]

Sports Media

Foxtel reveals streaming numbers lift AFL and NRL ratings year-on-year

Foxtel has reported the NRL Week 2 Finals round attracted an average audience of 447,000 per match across Foxtel, Foxtel Now, Foxtel GO and Kayo; up +27% on last year’s Week 2 Finals.

This is the all-time highest rating weekend of NRL Finals Footy on Fox League (Foxtel Platforms + Kayo).

Breaking the NRL numbers down, Foxtel reported that linear audiences were +6% YoY and the streaming audience (Go/Now/Kayo) up +170% YoY.

The NRL SF#2 Eels v Rabbitohs was the #1 match of the weekend across Foxtel Platforms + Kayo with 448,000 making it the #2 highest ever NRL Finals game on Fox League of all time.

The NRL SF#1 Roosters v Raiders attracted an audience of 445,000 making it the #4 highest ever NRL Finals game on Fox League of all time.

Looking at Foxtel’s Fox Footy channel, the AFL Week 2 Finals round attracted an average audience of 389,000 per match across Foxtel, Foxtel Now, Foxtel GO and Kayo; up +4% on last year’s Week 2 Finals.

While linear audiences down -12% YoY, the streaming audience (Go/Now/Kayo) was up +110% YoY.

Friday night’s SF#2 between Richmond v St Kilda attracted a cumulative audience of 383,000 across Foxtel, Foxtel Now, Foxtel GO and Kayo; up +2% on the corresponding Friday night fixture last season (Geelong v West Coast).

Saturday night’s SF#1 between Geelong v Collingwood attracted a cumulative audience of 395,000, making it the highest rating match of the Week 2 Finals round. This was up +6% on the corresponding Saturday night fixture last season (Brisbane v GWS).

Preliminary Final weekend one of the biggest ever in Australian sport

This weekend will be one of the biggest in Australian sporting history with Seven promising fans a powerhouse Preliminary Final triple-header – Port Adelaide v Richmond, Brisbane Lions v Geelong and The Front Bar Preliminary Final Edition – along with two of the Spring Racing Carnival’s truly iconic races, the Caulfield Cup and The Everest.

The coverage begins Friday night with a match-up at Adelaide Oval between a rejuvenated Port Adelaide team looking to continue its fairytale 2020 rise and a battle-hardened Richmond side chasing its third flag in four years.

Seven has announced commentators Bruce McAvaney and Brian Taylor (pictured) will be at Adelaide Oval for the big clash, and will again lead Seven’s coverage at the Gabba on Saturday night, when hometown favourites the Brisbane Lions square off against Geelong, with Chris Scott’s men riding high after their imposing 68-point Semi Final win over Collingwood.

Seven’s commentary team of Wayne Carey, Luke Hodge, Daisy Pearce, Hamish McLachlan, James Brayshaw, Luke Darcy, Matthew Richardson, Abbey Holmes, Jude Bolton and Mark Soderstrom will also feature in the coverage. Both broadcasts will start at 7.00pm AEDT on Channel 7 and 7mate in Sydney and Melbourne.

Saturday’s sporting action kicks off at 12.00pm AEDT with two of the biggest meetings of the Spring Racing Carnival – Everest Day at Royal Randwick and Caulfield Cup Day – on Channel 7, 7TWO and 7plus.

The weekend will finish on a high when Hamish McLachlan and Jacqui Felgate host the AFL’s 2020 Brownlow Medal count from 7.00pm AEDT on Sunday.

The Preliminary Final action gets off to an early start at 8.30pm AEDT on Thursday night when The Front Bar team puts the finishing touches on its own meticulous Grand Final preparations, with three-time premiership Cat Paul Chapman and Melbourne midfield star Angus Brayshaw joining Mick Molloy, Sam Pang and Andy Maher at the bar.

Managing director Seven Melbourne and head of network sport Lewis Martin commented:

“This week we embark on the biggest festival of sport in Australian history. With the AFL Preliminary Finals, The Front Bar Preliminary Final edition, The Everest and Caulfield Cup, topped off by the Brownlow Medal count, Seven is the only place to be this weekend.”

Post-match on Friday night, Adam Cooney and Cam Luke will settle in on the Armchair Experts sofa, offering viewers their unique take on all the fallout of the Power-Tigers Preliminary Final before looking ahead to the Lions-Cats clash.

AFL locks in locals to rock historic Brisbane Grand Final

The AFL has gone local for its 2020 Toyota AFL Grand Final entertainment, with rising rock band DMA’S, pop powerhouse Cub Sport and Wolfmother lead singer Andrew Stockdale among the acts to play at the historic premiership decider, reports the AFL’s Callum Twomey.

In the first ever night Grand Final and flag clash played outside of Victoria, the Australian bands will perform at the Gabba on October 24 in front of what is expected to be the most watched game in football history.

Brisbane’s own Sheppard will also perform, as will Electric Fields featuring Thelma Plum and Busby Marou, in what is an all Australian line-up. The Queensland Symphony Orchestra is also set to deliver a key performance on the biggest stage.

The acts will be split across pre-game and half-time slots to maximise the new entertainment format in the historic decider. Sheppard, whose hit song Geronimo was released in 2014, will take the stage at half-time. 

The League has also booked in Mike Brady to perform legendary song Up There Cazaly from the MCG on Grand Final day, with the performance to be beamed into the Gabba during the night.

[Read more]

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