By James Manning
“It has been a very challenging year, but we are coming out the other side of it now,” is how Guardian Australia managing director Dan Stinton summed up 2020 three quarters through the tumultuous year.
The Australian operation of the global newsbrand has enjoyed increased engagement from readers as have publishers globally during 2020.
“We have had a massive surge in audience – we went from about 6m monthly when the bushfires were on in January and then we virtually doubled our audience to almost 12m,” Stinton told Mediaweek. “We were already on a fairly strong growth trajectory and we remain the fastest growing publisher from an audience perspective in Nielsen’s top 10.
“What the coronavirus has done this year was to accelerate that very quickly. That has had a major benefits for us – more readers have been prepared to support Guardian Australia financially.
“Regarding advertising it was quite scary for us at the start of the pandemic, which saw more advertisers cancelling rather than booking. We are now able to report however that ad bookings have rebounded very strongly and that comes after people realise we have had massive audience growth. Advertisers are recognising we are one of the leading news brands in the country and booking with us direct.
“Programmatic advertising has suffered this year which is more a symptom of the market. It went down a lot and then came back, but it hasn’t recovered yet to what it was before the pandemic. We expect more growth heading into Christmas though.
“To summarise, what the pandemic has done is accelerate trends already taking place. For example audiences moving from print to digital have increased and there has been an increase with peoples’ propensity to pay for news and there has been an increase in advertisers moving from print to digital.”
Guardian Australia’s New Zealand play
“We just dipped our toe in the water,” said Stinton about how Guardian Australia flirted with editorial expansion into New Zealand with just one hire and a freelance budget.
“We have really been encouraged with the response from that. What we now have for readers in New Zealand is a specific section on the home page that launches with New Zealand-specific stories. It launched last year and the traffic has been amazing and there is much interest from advertisers too.
“We are now in the process of planning our next move in New Zealand. It is likely that there will be greater investment.”
While Guardian Australia maintains a full time reporter, Stinton noted the pool of contributing writers.
The publisher is expected to make an announcement soon too about advertising representation in New Zealand.
Investment roadmap for Australia
“We are well ahead of our audience and revenue projections that were outlined in our current strategic plan a couple of years ago,” said Stinton. “We have done that with a newsroom which is comparatively small compared to News Corp Australia and Nine.
“We are definitely going to be investing more into expanding our newsroom and broadening our coverage which will start in 2021. We are currently planning that investment.”
GroupM Australia chief investment officer Nicola Lewis (pictured) has been promoted to Global Chief Growth Officer of Finecast, GroupM’s fast-growing Addressable TV business.
In her new role Lewis will work alongside Global CEO Jakob Nielsen and the global leadership team to supercharge the Finecast global footprint, with expansion into 20 countries over the next 24 months.
The move will see Lewis return home to Europe in December to take on the global position, and to be closer to her family.
In her time as Chief Investment Officer, Lewis has evolved and futureproofed the Investment and Partnerships capability at GroupM, creating a highly skilled and passionate Investment Community of more than 400 people across Mindshare, MediaCom, Wavemaker and Essence, focused on delivering the best value and investment opportunities for GroupM clients.
She has also been key to bringing GroupM’s market-leading innovations to market, working with her direct team to build out the first Programmatic Digital OOH Marketplace, in partnership with Hivestack, launching Motion Content Group in Australia, and assisting with the growth of Finecast.
GroupM will be appointing a replacement to oversee Investment and Partnerships in due course.
Lewis has been Chief Investment Officer of GroupM since 2018, and before that she was Chief Investment Officer of GroupM agency Mindshare, and prior, spent 17 years of her career working in senior commercial positions within large media organisations.
GroupM Australia CEO Mark Lollback said: “While we’re incredibly sad to see a talented member of our leadership team move on, Nicola has made an incredible contribution to the growth and development of GroupM, our agencies, and our people creating a strong and sophisticated Investment & Partnerships community across GroupM Australia, led by strong investment leads in each agency. Her progression from Mindshare, to GroupM and now to Finecast, is exactly the kind of fulfilling career development that GroupM offers all our people and we’re pleased that she remains part of the GroupM family.”
Nicola Lewis said: “As CIO, I’ve been fortunate to work with an incredibly smart group of people who have helped me strengthen and futureproof GroupM’s approach to investment and partnerships. It’s been deeply satisfying to collaborate with our media owner partners to push the market forwards, enabling GroupM to consistently deliver optimal value to our clients. It has also been a pleasure to be part of the Finecast journey so far. As the second international territory to launch in 2018, we’ve seen it grow phenomenally as clients adopt addressable TV, so the opportunity to drive the global expansion of Finecast, delivering the power of TV with the precision of data for GroupM clients around the world, is incredibly exciting. Of course, I will miss my beloved Australia, but after 18 years away am happy to be moving back closer to my family.”
Jakob Nielsen, Finecast Global CEO, says: “WPP is investing in technology, data and people to support the growth and success of Finecast and we’re now live in 5 markets with more to come. I am incredibly excited to welcome Nicola to the Finecast Global leadership team. Her past experience leading investment, driving innovation and delivering commercial growth, makes her perfectly placed to lead our engagement with agencies and clients, support the markets and work closely with media owners all over the world.”
The Australian Directors’ Guild has announced the winners of the 2020 ADG Awards via a virtual ceremony hosted this evening from Sydney.
Ben Lawrence has taken out the Best Direction of a Feature Film (Budget $1M or over) Award for his much-lauded feature Hearts & Bones. The film was released in the US last week following its successful Australian release earlier this year.
The Awards were notable for the number of female directors to win ADG Awards – 10 of the 19 Awards were won by women, a reflection of the industry’s move towards gender parity.
Amongst the many female directors to be applauded this year, Josephine Mackerras won the ADG Award for Best Direction of a Feature Film (Budget under $1M) for Alice, Maya Newell won Best Direction of a Documentary Feature for In My Blood It Runs, and Emma Freeman received the Award for Best Direction of a TV or SVOD Mini-Series for Stateless: Episode 3.
ADG President Samantha Lang said: “The Awards come at a moment when key creatives and organisations in our screen industry are lobbying government to ‘Make It Australian’ and keep Australian storytelling on our local and global screens. The films, television shows, music videos, student films and commercial work of directors nominated and awarded tonight are a shining example of the creative, cultural and fiscal success of Australian content. It’s also heartwarming to see an immense diversity of Australian directors awarded tonight – a reflection of who we are – both as content creators – and audiences.”
A record 202 entries were received in this year’s ADG Awards, up from 117 in 2019.
The Awards celebrate the outstanding work of Australian screen directors over the past year across 19 categories including film, television, online, music and advertising.
Any Australian Directors’ Guild member is able to submit for the ADG Awards. The judging panels are drawn from ADG membership (Full Members).
The ADG Awards recognise excellence in the craft and art of directing, as well as honouring individual contributions by Australian screen directors to the screen industry. The Awards are the only opportunity for Australian directors and their work to be acknowledged by their directing peers. The Awards cover the breadth of screen directing with categories across feature film, documentary, television, subscription video on demand, commercial, short film, animation, online, music video and interactive media.
The full winners list is below. The 2020 ADG Awards Ceremony is available to be viewed online via social media on the @AustralianDirectorsGuild Facebook page. For a digital copy of the program for the show or go to the awards section on ADG website.
2020 ADG AWARDS WINNERS LIST
Best Direction of a Feature Film (Budget $1M or over)
Proudly sponsored by ASDACS
Ben Lawrence – Hearts and Bones
Best Direction of a Feature Film (Budget under $1M)
Proudly sponsored by Panavision
Winner prize $10,000 Camera Package
Josephine Mackerras – Alice
Best Direction of a Documentary Feature
Proudly sponsored by Screenrights
Maya Newell – In My Blood It Runs
Best Direction of a TV or SVOD Drama Series
Proudly sponsored by ABC
Jeffrey Walker – The Commons – Season 1 Episode 1
Best Direction of a TV or SVOD Mini-Series
Proudly sponsored by Docklands Studios Melbourne
Emma Freeman – Stateless – Episode 3
Best Direction of a Documentary Series
Proudly sponsored by Media Super
Rosie Jones – The Cult Of The Family – Episode 1
Best Direction of a TV or SVOD Comedy Series
Proudly sponsored by The Post Lounge
Matthew Saville – Upright – Episode 5
Esben Storm Award for Best Direction of a Children’s TV or SVOD Drama Program
Proudly sponsored by Australian Children’s Television Foundation
Kacie Anning – Hardball – Episode 6
Best Direction of a TV or SVOD Drama Serial
Proudly sponsored by Fremantle
Kate Kendall – Neighbours – Episode 8052
Best Direction of an Animated Project
Proudly sponsored by Animal Logic
Jo Boag – Alice-Miranda Friends Forever
Best Direction of Commercial Content
Allan Hardy ACS – Volvo Penta Makes Australian Farming Possible (Allabah Pastural Co.)
Best Direction of Commercial Advertisement
Luke Shanahan – NZ Post – Little Fibs
Best Direction of an Online Drama Series
Husein Alicajic – One Sided – The Acquired Inability To Escape – Episode 1
Best Direction of an Online Comedy Series
Proudly sponsored by Kaleidoscope Digital
Winner Prize $1000 Screen DIrector’s Identity Package
(Social Media and Website Services)
Michael O’Neill & Dylan Hesp – Australia’s Best Street Racer
Best Direction of a Documentary Short Subject
Karen Pearlman – I Want To Write A Film About Women
Best Direction of a Music Video
Matthew Thorne – The Only Boy Racer Left On The Island (Artist: The Howl & The Hum)
Best Direction of an Interactive or Immersive Title
Matthew Sleeth – A Drone Opera
Best Direction of a Short Film
Proudly sponsored by Panavision
Winner prize $5,000 Camera Package
Melissa Anastasi – Chlorine
Best Direction of a Student Film
Alies Sluiter – Ayaan
Sky News and The Courier-Mail will host the People’s Forum on Wednesday 28 October in Brisbane with Annastacia Palaszczuk and Deb Frecklington taking questions from undecided voters three days out from the Queensland Election.
Sky News chief news anchor Kieran Gilbert will host the one-hour forum at 4:00pm AEST (QLD time). Undecided voters chosen by polling company YouGov will question the leaders on their policies.
Gilbert said: “The People’s Forum approach is the best for a leaders’ debate because it’s real voters face-to-face with the contenders. Sky News has established this forum as a key element of both state and federal election campaigns and a crucial chance for leaders to make their final pitch to voters.”
Paul Whittaker, Sky News Australia chief executive officer said: “The stakes are high for the upcoming Queensland Election, with the winner securing the state’s first fixed four-year term. The Sky News/The Courier-Mail People’s Forum is the only opportunity for Queenslanders to see the leaders go head-to-head and answer questions from undecided voters about their vision for the Sunshine State’s future.”
Chris Jones, The Courier-Mail editor said: “Election campaigns are usually a series of stage-managed picture opportunities where the ‘real people’ have been vetted by party advancers. This will be the first time the leaders won’t have had the chance to see who’s coming – and so the People’s Forum will be the most authentic event of this campaign, with real undecided voters having the chance to ask their own questions of the two women vying to lead our amazing state.”
At 3:00pm AEST/4:00pm AEDT political reporter Tom Connell will host a pre-forum analysis as he anchors Afternoon Agenda with Kieran Gilbert live from the forum venue.
Palaszczuk and Frecklington will then face the group of undecided voters live for questioning from 4:00pm AEST/ 5:00pm AEDT.
The result of the audience votes and who won the debate will be announced when Kieran Gilbert joins Peta Credlin during Credlin at 5:00pm AEST/6:00pm AEDT.
On Saturday 31 October as Queenslanders head to the polls, Sky News will deliver comprehensive coverage and analysis of the Queensland Election 2020.
From 5:00pm AEST/6:00pm AEDT on Saturday join Kieran Gilbert, political editor Andrew Clennell, Deputy Nationals Leader and QLD Nationals MP, David Littleproud, Shadow Northern Australia Minister and former QLD Labor MP, Murray Watt, former LNP QLD Premier Campbell Newman, One Nation leader Pauline Hanson, LNP Senator for QLD James McGrath and former QLD Labor MP and speaker John Mickel.
Sky News anchors Paul Murray, Alan Jones, Laura Jayes, Graham Richardson and Peter Gleeson will also provide insights and analysis on the night.
QLD ELECTION 2020 PROGRAMMING SCHEDULE
Wednesday 28 October
4:00pm AEST/ 5:00pm AEDT Sky News/ The Courier-Mail People’s Forum lice anchored by Kieran Gilbert
Saturday 31 October
5:00pm AEST/ 6:00pm AEDT Queensland Election 2020 anchored by Kieran Gilbert
The Sky News/ The Courier-Mail People’s Forum will also be streamed on skynews.com.au, on ‘Sky News Radio’ through the iHeartRadio App and to Courier Mail subscribers at couriermail.com.au.
Michael Cassel Group has announced the development of a new original musical featuring the music of one of the world’s most iconic rock bands, INXS.
INXS has received recognition locally and internationally for its contribution to the music industry and has sold an estimated 60 million records worldwide. The Grammy nominated and multiple ARIA award winning band was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2001. And their album The Very Best is set to become certified Diamond for selling 500,000 copies in Australia alone, joining other Diamond certified music legends Taylor Swift, Eminem and Ed Sheeran.
Michael Cassel Group will work closely on the development of the new project with legendary business strategist and founder and chairman of Petrol Records and Petrol Live, CM Murphy, who is instrumental in the band’s ongoing global success.
Michael Cassel, CEO/producer said, “This presents an exciting opportunity to create a new theatrical story, using an extraordinary catalogue that has been enjoyed throughout the decades both here in Australia and internationally.”
CM Murphy commented “INXS’s music just continues to push new boundaries and capture the attention and hearts of people around the world. Their music is like poetry, it tells stories, such beautiful stories, it’s just extraordinary. We’re now going to explore how we take these stories into a new dimension; the theatre. And in a time when everything is dark, to be able to speak about creating something new is really special. It’s a light at the end of the darkness.”
Michael Cassel continued, “Developing new work is crucial to the success of the theatrical industry and we need that now, more than ever. We have so many amazing stories to tell and we want to invest and cultivate an environment where we can develop and share these stories in new and exciting ways. There’s no better person than CM to work with as we begin creative development on this show – in fact CM and I have been chatting about this project for some time and I am thrilled that development is officially underway. This is just the beginning.”
Foxtel has released audience data covering a massive weekend of sport with the scale of the Foxtel group’s audience continuing to benefit from Kayo’s growing popularity.
The AFL and NRL match on the weekend were the last live games for 2020 for both specialist footy channels Fox Footy and Fox League. Weekend sports options also include the Bathurst 1000 and Game 2 od the Bledisloe Cup.
On Sunday, Kayo was Australia’s #2 downloaded app with 285,000 unique viewers streaming sports, including 550,000 hours of Bathurst coverage.
Sunday’s Bathurst 1000 attracted an average audience of 424,000 yesterday across Foxtel platforms and Kayo, with the audience making it the #2 rating SuperCars race on STV of all time.
Despite taking the #2 position on the all-time SuperCars ranking list, viewing was down 21% on the 2019 record-breaking Bathurst race with the event impacted by the earlier start time due to forecasted rain, fewer crashes and controversies, and clashes with other major sporting events.
NRL Preliminary Finals weekend
Week 3 Finals round attracted an average audience of 462,000 per match across Foxtel platforms and Kayo; up +5% on last year’s Week 3 Finals with audience growth lead by Foxtel Now, Foxtel Go and Kayo up 80%.
This is the all-time highest rating weekend of NRL Finals Footy on Fox League.
PF#2 between Panthers v Rabbitohs was the #1 match of the weekend across Foxtel platforms plus Kayo with 473,000 making it the #2 highest ever NRL Finals game on Fox League.
AFL Preliminary Finals weekend
AFL Week 3 Finals round attracted an average audience of 467,000 per match across Foxtel platforms and Kayo; down -8% on last year’s Week 3 Finals although streaming audiences on Foxtel Now, Foxtel GO and Kayo continued to grow up +87%.
In 2019, AFL Preliminary Finals involved teams from Melbourne and Sydney, Australia’s two largest STV markets, while the 2020 Preliminary Finals featured teams from Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane.
Port Adelaide v Richmond was the #1 match on the weekend across Foxtel Platforms and Kayo with 476,000 viewers.
The newest hit TV show in Australia is Seven’s new reality series with difference, SAS Australia.
Part of the success on opening night was the controversy surrounding one of the recruits – Roxy Jacenko. The Sydney PR queen was the first voluntary elimination part-way through the first episode. Something that hasn’t happened much in the UK series so far.
Jacenko has copped a battering online from trolls after it was first revealed she would be making an early exit.
Below is how she responded last night on Instagram. The controversy should help keep the show on the radar for viewers with the second of two episodes screening tonight.
Roxy Jacenko on Instagram:
To be candid I shouldn’t even need to post this – but I am left with no choice.
To date I haven’t shared these images because I don’t think that it’s necessary to share an accident where I was fortunate enough to get better when many would have sustained long term and irreparable damage. These photos were 6 weeks exactly before I left to join @sasaust7 – after reading the barrage of comments by people on my Instagram tonight I’ve decided – fuck it – I’ll post.
For the fuck wits that have left comments on the post previous to this which I encourage you to read as it shows how alive and well these keyboard warriors are, let me explain how weak and fake I am.
I fractured my hip and pelvis when on a horse for a job – the saddle slipped and I fell off. I got back on the horse so as not to bother the rest of the riders and disrupt their ride and then took myself to Emergency where I spent the next two days.
Followed by 6 weeks on my back with daily Clexane injections and physio, orthopaedic surgeon appointments etc. So if weak and pathetic is showing up to @sasaust7 because I had committed to it 6 months prior and put 6 days a week training into it no matter what my injuries were well then so be it.
I think what it shows was, I had a commitment, I showed up and I tried my very best – which given the circumstances was a hell of a lot given my situation. I recall saying to my orthopaedic surgeon – “I may have to fall out of a chopper can you suggest a way to do this with my fractures” his answer was simply “don’t” – I did what I could but the reality is, my health is my number one priority with two children and a staff of 22 who rely on me – not a show for people’s entertainment and to give them something to troll/gossip about subsequently.
Having had cancer some three years ago I know that I didn’t need to take the chance of doing myself more harm. Anyway I think it simply shameful I had to post this and as I went to include my hospital discharge paperwork I stopped myself and thought – you know what –
Fuck them – this is more than enough! I don’t need to prove anything to anyone I don’t know!
By Trent Thomas
The Australian box office suffered a steep decline of 37% after making $2.12m this past weekend. This was despite two new releases being on top of the charts in new #1 City of Lies and #2 André Rieu’s Magical Maastricht: Together in Music, with no film being able to crack the $300,000 mark.
Long-lasting films Trolls World Tour and Tenet once again found themselves in the top five as they continue to be the best performing films in Australia since cinemas began to re-open.
The films to drop out of the top five this week were The Secret Garden and Cats & Dogs 3: Paws Unite which could be a reflection in changing viewing habits coinciding with the end of school holidays.
Following a series of delays and two years after its original release date, City of Lies is finally released in Australia. The film is based on the book Labyrinth by Randall Sullivan and follows a retired police detective and journalist who try to find out the truth about the Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. killings. The film averaged $1,720 on 162 screens.
André Rieu‘s latest special celebrates 15 years of his hometown concerts with a selection of his most memorable performances and songs. The special release averaged $2,099 on 129 screens which was the highest average for the weekend.
After eight weeks Trolls World Tour continues to find itself in the top five as its total revenue has now made it to $6.80m, after averaging $1,338 on 185 screens this past weekend.
Chri Nolan‘s sci-fi blockbuster was the most screened film in the country after being shown on 213 screens this past weekend making an average of $952. After eight weeks the film has now made a total of $11.63m.
The American war film has now spent two weeks in the top five after averaging $853 on 164 screens.
By James Manning
• Screentime’s SAS Australia Monday’s new favourite, #1 on debut
• Seven ranks #1 network, The Block helps keep Nine #1 primary
• 10 in the mix too as HYBPA? blitzes both in Monday key demos
Seven News 1,018,000/991,000
Nine News 957,000/941,000
ABC News 733,000
10 News First 324,000/222,000
SBS World News 179,000
Daily current affairs
A Current Affair 731,000
The Project 333,000/530,000
News Breakfast 186,000
Late night news
Nine News Late 196,000
The Latest 141,000
ABC News Late 137,000
Seven: Home and Away started the week on 582,000 after an average audience of 511,000 last week.
SAS Australia was perhaps a brave commission, but it has paid off big time so far with a timeslot winning 834,000 on debut, knocking of The Block and pushing Junior MasterChef lower. SAS Australia won its timeslot 25-54 and grew Seven’s numbers significantly compared to same time last year. The early exit of Roxy Jacenko might rid the show of one of its more colurful characters, but it is driving a torrent of chatter on social media that money can’t buy.
The US drama The Rookie returned with the first two episodes of season two with audiences of 280,000 and then 235,000.
Nine: A Current Affair started its new week with a Brady Halls story about the victim of a drunk driver accident. The episode had an audience of 731,000 after an average of 695,000 last week.
The Block gave viewers an idea why the host on Sunday night called it the toughest week yet. However up against SAS Australia, the audience of 783,000 was down from 860,000 a week ago.
An hour of RBT followed with 365,000.
After Nine News Late, 100% Footy had 41,000 viewers while Footy Classified was on 135,000.
10: The Project featured an interview with Niall Horan about his cancelled Australian live tour and his new virtual concert to be broadcast from the Royal Albert Hall. The episode pushed the show back over half a million after 7pm to 530,000.
We got ahead of ourself yesterday with excitement about how the contestants would qualify for immunity this week on Junior MasterChef. The audience found out last night that Laura and Ruby will be safe from elimination. Andy got to wear his Three Blue Ducks apron instead of sporting MasterChef merch. The audience of 454,000 after 546,000 on Monday last week.
Have You Been Paying Attention? saw Sam and Ed joined by Tony, Susie and Celia with the 10 audience growing to 735,000, over 100,000 up on 628,000 a week ago. The show ranked #1 Monday in all the key demos.
Dave Hughes then portrayed Don Bradman in Drunk History Australia with 288,000 watching.
ABC: Australian Story featured part two of To Catch a Stalker with 617,000 watching.
The rest of the night saw Four Corners on 478,000, Media Watch on 491,000 and then Q+A on 284,000.
SBS: The second season of The Great House Revival is in Dublin where a brave renovator is taking on a 1926 Georgian townhouse from the early 19th century. The series launched with 164,000.
A repeat of 24 Hours in Emergency then did 123,000.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.6%||7TWO||3.6%||GO!||1.9%||10 Bold||4.1%||VICELAND||1.3%|
|ABC ME||0.3%||7mate||3.3%||GEM||2.7%||10 Peach||2.1%||Food Net||0.7%|
|ABC NEWS||1.7%||7flix||1.3%||9Life||1.8%||10 Shake||0.3%||NITV||0.1%|
|9Rush||1.2%||SBS World Movies||0.6%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||1.8%||7TWO||5.1%||GO!||2.5%||WIN Bold||5.4%||VICELAND||1.5%|
|ABC ME||0.5%||7mate||4.9%||GEM||4.6%||WIN Peach||2.9%||Food Net||0.6%|
|ABC NEWS||1.0%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||1.5%||9Life||2.0%||Sky News on WIN||2.2%||NITV||0.3%|
|MONDAY METRO ALL TV|
16-39 Top Five
18-49 Top Five
25-54 Top Five
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
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found Channel Seven Sydney in breach of broadcasting rules for failing to disclose a commercial arrangement in relation to a segment on The Morning Show in May 2020.
The program included a segment titled ‘The latest trends for your winter wardrobe’, which promoted clothing ranges at department store Big W.
An ACMA investigation found that while some viewers may have recognised the segment was an advertisement, this was not sufficient to meet the requirements of the Television Industry Code of Practice.
“Viewers should not be left to guess whether a segment is a paid advertisement,” ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said.
“Broadcasters have an obligation to disclose arrangements of this kind. Failing to do so can harm people’s confidence in the credibility of Australian factual TV programs.”
Under the Code, broadcasters must adequately bring the existence of the commercial arrangement to the attention of viewers.
“This investigation should serve as a reminder to all TV broadcasters to review their internal processes and assure themselves that they have the right procedures in place to comply with disclosure rules,” O’Loughlin said.
Channel Seven Sydney has indicated that human error was the cause of their failure to disclose the commercial arrangement and that their client, Big W, had no involvement with this breach.
In response to the findings, Channel Seven Sydney will report to the ACMA in three months on the effectiveness of the actions it has taken. This includes implementing a new sign-off procedure to ensure commercial arrangements are acknowledged in the credits of the program, as well as further education and training of staff.
This is the first ACMA investigation into compliance with the current disclosure provisions.
British broadcaster ITV is to increase its focus on streaming to compete with rivals including Netflix, in a move that will lead to job losses at its traditional TV broadcasting operation, reports The Guardian’s Mark Sweney.
The move, which involves the formation of a new on-demand division that will become the home of the BritBox and ITV Hub streaming services, marks the first step towards the hugely successful streaming model pioneered by Netflix.
ITV said viewers could expect more new content commissioned for its streaming services, in the same way that Netflix and Disney+ have built global businesses with exclusive hits such as Stranger Things and The Mandalorian, but it said the reorganisation did not signal the end of household hits from The X Factor to Love Island being made available on traditional TV.
BritBox, a joint venture with the BBC that operates in the US, UK and Australia and is to be rolled out to 25 countries, is growing at pace, with more than 1 million paying subscribers. ITV Hub+, which offers an ad-free experience, has attracted about 500,000 subscribers. The BritBox UK venture made a loss of £21m last year and ITV has forecast that it will lose around £55m to £60m this year.
China is officially home to the world’s biggest movie box office, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
Movie ticket sales in China for 2020 climbed to US$1.988 billion on Sunday, surpassing North America’s total of $1.937 billion, according to data from Artisan Gateway. The gap is expected to widen considerably by year’s end.
Analysts have long predicted that the world’s most populous country would one day top the global charts. But the results still represent a historic sea change: North America has been the global box office’s centre of gravity since the dawn of the motion picture business.
It only took a pandemic to accelerate the transition.
Thanks to China’s effective containment of Covid-19, the country’s tens of thousands of theatres are operating at 75 percent of usual seating capacity, while filmgoers are demonstrating little hesitation about returning to the multiplex.
Secret sex, cringe worthy crushes and how Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Kyle Sandilands were all on the cards during a Monday morning media blitz, reports News Corp’s Mitchell Van Homrigh.
Premier Berejiklian dedicated half an hour to live radio interviews.
She first appeared on 2GB where host Ben Fordham warned viewers about a potentially “confronting” interview. It ended up being a discussion over the same talking points she had reiterated last week before allowing callers to ring in and praise the premier.
The next spot in her diary was booked by Kiss FM – where she was interviewed by Kyle and Jackie O.
Shock Jock Kyle Sandilands waited just under two minutes to tell Berejiklian “don’t you find secret sex is always better?”.
She brushed the question off but took the bait when Sandilands claimed the Premier and him were similar because he was “having sex with seven different people at the radio station in Perth” when he worked there.
“Well there’s a record I can’t beat,” she said.
She also knocked back suggestions she would be appearing on The Bachelorette.
“Ah no, I don’t think so. I would have thought about it but I don’t have the time,” she said.
3AW breakfast host Ross Stevenson was back on air this morning. After having a Covid-19 test on Sunday the announcer was off air yesterday awaiting the result. However after a negative result he returned to work on Monday afternoon when he pre-recorded an interview with AC/DC’s Angus Young ahead of the new album from the world’s best rock band.
Stevenson recorded the interview with his co-host Russel Howcroft and they promised listeners Young would tell some great stories. The interview was played after 8am on their show this morning.
Stevenson told listeners this morning he got his negative Covid result back 18 hours after taking the test. Howcroft has also previously had a Covid test. He added his result took 24 hours to come through.
With only two new cases reported yesterday, Stevenson said he thought it would be highly unlikely he might be one of those two people.
Liberal senator James Paterson has called for Chinese state media to be denied unrestricted access to the federal parliament as “journalists”, warning there is a risk they could be involved in “espionage activities”, reports The Australian’s Ben Packham.
He told a Senate estimates hearing that a June 26 incident in the Prime Minister’s courtyard, when a representative of China’s Xinhua News Agency was reported for filming other journalists, had alarmed some occupants of the building.
“We now know that on that day – we didn’t know it at the time – that two members of the Xinhua News Agency were raided by ASIO in connection with a foreign interference investigation,” Senator Paterson said.
He urged the Department of Parliamentary Services and Senate president Scott Ryan to consider rule changes that would prevent state media from one-party, totalitarian countries having “unfettered access” to the parliament for themselves and their guests.
Commentator Peta Credlin’s performances at Daniel Andrews’ daily coronavirus press conferences are a mixture of overt political partisanship interlaced with some good journalism. For people concerned about journalistic ethics, it is an unsettling combination, writes Melbourne academic and former associate-editor of The Age Denis Muller.
Credlin’s presence at the Andrews press conference must be tolerated in the interests of a free press, but it changes the dynamics of those occasions by introducing a politically inspired combativeness that is otherwise absent.
And any journalistic good it does is tainted by the breaking of those professional promises and by its association with Sky at night, the antithesis of what journalism is about.
TV program buyers are shifting tactics in the wake of a pandemic-disrupted year which has stalled production on high-profile US television shows and put studio audience-powered “shiny floor” entertainment formats out of action, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Michael Idato.
As a result the four-day “virtual” Mipcom, a digital reboot of the world’s biggest content sales market, has been busier than expected.
Royal Flying Doctors, the reboot of the 1980s Australian drama The Flying Doctors, is among the Australian titles being showcased at the market along with a new UK submarine thriller Vigil, an edgy new drama It’s a Sin from Queer as Folk creator Russell T. Davies and a re-telling of the Christiane F. story, titled We Children From Bahnhof Zoo.
Perhaps the biggest trend emerging from the market is a shift away from major US studio content, in part because of Covid-related production delays, but also because many studios now funnel content to their own direct-to-consumer platforms.
For Australian content sellers, like ABC Commercial, those delays are a potential boon. “North America really has embraced the virtual market, they’re being very proactive,” Jessica Ellis, head of ABC content sales and distribution, says. “They’re reaching out seeing what we’ve got in the pipeline.”
Roxy Jacenko won’t take criticism surrounding her brief stint on SAS Australia lying down, reports news.com.au’s Bella Fowler.
The Sydney PR queen has launched a fiery rant against those who slammed her short time on Channel 7’s newest reality show, revealing her reasons for bowing out early.
Taking to Instagram shortly after the premiere episode ended, Jacenko defended herself for calling it quits just six hours intro the challenge – sharing that she’d fractured her hip and pelvis just six weeks before arriving at SAS Australia’s Snowy Mountains set.
She described it as “shameful” that she had to explain herself after being inundated with cruel messages.
Posting a series of photos from her hospital bed and one walking with crutches, the business woman and reality star wrote: “To be candid I shouldn’t even need to post this – but I am left with no choice,” explaining that she didn’t think it was “necessary” to share photos of her accident but felt compelled to prove herself after a “barrage of comments” from social media trolls.
Addressing viewers who had slammed her appearance on the show, she said: “For the f***wits that have left comments on the post previous to this … Let me explain how weak and fake I am.”
Sports rights analysts say Rugby Australia must focus on growing its fan base as it makes a crucial decision on a future broadcast partner for the code, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Zoe Samios.
The RA board is weighing up whether to accept a lower price for its broadcast rights but with a chance for greater mainstream exposure on free-to-air television after Nine Entertainment Co made a $30 million a season offer on Friday. RA also received a proposal from longtime broadcast partner Foxtel that industry sources said could be worth as much as $40 million a year.
Industry sources familiar with the discussions previously said Nine is offering $30 million in cash and free advertising to broadcast one Super Rugby match a week on free-to-air television as well as Wallabies Tests and the Rugby Championship. All other Super Rugby games would be broadcast live behind a paywall on subscription streaming service Stan.
Global Media and Sports boss Colin Smith said rugby union risks eroding its audiences if it cannot get more people attending matches through a new broadcast deal.
“The only problem with more of the same [is it’s] going to continue the downward trajectory,” Smith said. “Back in 2004, the average audience for Super Rugby was probably six or seven times greater than it is today. You can’t just bank your dollars because if you bank your dollars and don’t make major changes, then it could continue to erode. Rugby has to recreate itself and build a long-term position.”
Relations between Seven West Media and Cricket Australia have soured to the point where eight independent candidates nominated to settle an argument about the value of the sport code’s summer rights have been rejected by each side on the grounds they are not qualified or have conflicts of interest, report Nine publishing’s Zoe Samios and Jon Pierik.
Seven and CA are in a tit-for-tat dispute over how much the Big Bash League (BBL) and Tests are worth, but hostility between the two organisations reached new heights last week after the governing body reluctantly decided to enter the arbitration process.
The Kerry Stokes-controlled broadcaster lodged paperwork with the Australian Chamber for International and Commercial Arbitration and asked for an independent expert to be appointed two weeks ago, but CA was unwilling to participate in the process until late on Wednesday.
CA finally budged and provided Seven with its own list of experts. Seven put five experts forward to the arbitrator two weeks ago, including businessman and former Tennis Australia chair Harold Mitchell.
Broadcast sources say the best way for Seven to leave cricket would be if the fight heads to court, as it could prosecute a breach-of-contract argument against CA.
Foxtel, which also broadcasts the cricket, is closely monitoring Seven’s plans but does not want to lose cricket. If Seven walks away it would leave the network without a major sport in the summer holiday period.
Penrith and NRL officials were left fuming on Monday night after The Daily Telegraph accidentally revealed Jack Wighton as the winner of the Dally M Medal hours before the official announcement, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Michael Chammas and Christian Nicolussi.
The blunder has prompted ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys to launch an investigation into the matter, with Monday night’s ceremony likely to be the last time the media receive embargoed results.
“I know mistakes do happen but we’ll certainly do an investigation to see how this happened,” V’landys said. “We’ll do an investigation and make sure this never, ever, ever happens again.”
V’landys insists the players were unaware of the winner after event organisers confiscated their phones once the result was accidentally published and then reposted on social media by Daily Telegraph readers. Wighton said he didn’t know the result until the end. However, the Herald understands that may not have applied to all at Fox Sports’ studios, with Ivan Cleary admitting he was aware of the results.
News Corp’s Phil Rothfield posted on social media last night: “Owing to a production error that was out of my control, The Daily Telegraph website accidentally published the winner of the Dally M award before the official announcement tonight. We apologise sincerely for the mistake.”