Friday October 23, 2020

Foxtel Xplore
Introducing Foxtel Xplore: Viewing and audience data all in one place

In between the FTA TV Upfronts this year, Foxtel Media has been holding Showcase events, delivering messaging to advertisers about what it can offer and reminding marketers there are more options than just those offered by Nine, 10 and Seven.

Speaking at the third and final 2020 Foxtel Media Showcase event today was Foxtel Media CEO Mark Frain.

He reminded guests watching online how the first showcase highlighted what the recent content deal with WarnerMedia meant to the platform, and how the second offered a deep dive into sport on the Foxtel platform.

The third event coincided with the October 23 25th anniversary of the launch of Foxtel in 1995 and highlighted the power of the Foxtel group.

“While this year marks 25 years of delivering premium content and high-value audiences, we continue to evolve our business and lead the market in creating new ways to deliver client growth,” said Frain.

“Through the haze of the pandemic, marketers and agencies need simple, effective solutions. With less money to spend, you need to make smarter decisions. You need media that works and ads that get noticed.”

To people not yet perhaps taking full advantage of what Foxtel can offer, Frain reminded them the platform is more than the fourth line item on a TV plan and more than a TV broadcaster that also does some digital.

Frain also took a pot-shot at Seven’s Upfront the day prior and its various claims about audience size. “We are #1 for live and on-demand BVOD consumption – perhaps Seven forgot that we are a commercial player yesterday?”

Foxtel also reminded the Showcase audience about its intimate relationship with audiences.

“We have always been customer-focused, and now, we know your customers more profoundly than ever,” said Frain. “Because our iQ3 and iQ4 boxes, Go, Now, Kayo and Binge apps are collecting real-time data, we can see exactly what people are watching, every second they are watching it.”

Foxtel explained that the viewing and audience data from its platforms was now all in the one place.

Our frenemies have made big claims in this space in the last few weeks – but at the end of the day, their broadcast TV information – still the main part of their business – is reliant on panel data and inference.

“Ours are the unimpeachable second-by-second actions recorded on millions of digital set top boxes – and until smart TV’s in Australia hit critical mass, those guys will always be playing catch up.”

Introducing Foxtel Xplore

The new Foxtel Xplore data platform is the only data source in market to include both broadcast TV and streaming viewing data, from over 1.1 million iQ3/iQ4 set-top boxes and 1.2 million digital devices currently used by Foxtel Now and Foxtel Go customers.

“Foxtel Xplore is a key element in bringing the collective smarts and growing scale of the Foxtel group to advertisers, and uniting the power of all of Foxtel’s platforms into a powerful, intelligent video offering. We have unleashed the data from our 7.5 million viewers,” said Frain.

Frain said Foxtel was well ahead of the market when it launched Multiview, its panel of over 200,000 people in partnership with Quantium.

We change the game again today, launching the only connected analytical solution across broadcast television and digital – this time, with data from 2.3m digital devices. That’s 11 times more than Multiview and a ton more than the OzTAM STV panel.

“Think TV recently reinforced the power of television to drive advertising awareness and demand metrics. It has proven to deliver twice the sales impact of the next best channel.

“At Foxtel, we’ve always known our audiences are highly engaged. Our viewers pay for their subscription, so they value the content more, and more actively choose to watch.

“It’s pretty intuitive – you attach more value to the things that cost you money.

“Coupled with less advertising clutter, deeper brand integration and multiple audience access points, our argument for highly engaged audiences simply makes sense.

“We look forward to partnering with you; inspired by the abundant opportunity before us, emboldened by the collective power of the Foxtel Group, armed with connected IQ data, and confident that, on our platforms, your ads get noticed.”

Top Photo: Foxtel Media CEO Mark Frain at this week’s Foxtel Group Showcase

Quantium, Fetch TV and Adgile Media launch TV ad effectiveness solution

Australian data science and artificial intelligence leader Quantium, Fetch TV and Adgile Media have partnered to allow consumer goods business to “close the loop” and measure the impact of their TV advertising on actual sales.

Called Q.Measure TV, the partners say the solution will offer the type of reporting that advertisers have come to expect in the digital world – timely, accurate and immediately actionable.

Quantium’s executive for media & marketing, global markets, Lawrence Puang, said: “Existing solutions prove TV works. Q.Measure TV goes further in enabling advertisers to optimise their TV advertising strategies to maximise sales.

This is a game changer in measurement and accountability for a sector that spends, on average, more than two-thirds of its advertising budget on TV.

“Never before have FMCG advertisers been able to see exactly who they reached at an anonymised level, to measure how those consumers have responded and then accurately optimise campaigns to drive customer acquisition and incremental sales for existing shoppers,” Puang said.

How Quantium works with its partners

Adgile Media creates proprietary, rich, structured data from live and on demand TV content to validate media schedules and fuel smart TV measurement and analytics. Fetch TV measures the viewing behaviour of 7% of Australian TV households, across nearly 3m hrs of viewing per day.

Fetch CEO Scott Lorson said: “Closed loop reporting, built on high quality first party data sets, and at a scale that reliably reflects the total market, is incredibly powerful. It promises to reinforce the value of free-to-air TV advertising, and enhance the ability of advertisers to optimise their investment decisions for this critical media.”

Partners in pilot study

Quantium worked with a group of six FMCG organisations to pilot the new capability, including Mars Wrigley Australia, for whom marketing insights manager, Joanna Lepore, said: “We haven’t seen anything like Q.Measure TV in the Australian market; the robustness and granularity of analysis is truly impressive. This will be an enormous value add for brands looking to innovate in advertising, both to more accurately demonstrate ROI and to better understand our audience through their reaction.

“As an evidence-based company, we were proud to be part of the product development process from the very beginning, as it allowed us to see the complexity and rigour behind bringing this innovation to market.”

How Q.Measure TV works

Advertisers will access performance data across a range of metrics delivered through the Q.Measure TV Interactive Portal which makes extracting actionable insights incredibly simple.

Key data points include conversion rates, precise demographic breakdowns on consumers reached and then converted and the advertising levers that can be pulled to drive acquisition and sales.

Q.Measure TV also enables advertisers to compare the success of their campaigns with others in their category enabling them to react in real-time to changes in category marketing dynamics.

Q.Measure TV will officially launch to the marketplace in Q2 FY21.

Tim Gilbert
Tim Gilbert returns to Nine to host networked Friday evening radio

Tim Gilbert is returning to radio to host a new Friday night program on Nine Radio’s 2GB, 3AW and 4BC.

Your Weekend with Tim Gilbert will be heard on Friday’s 7pm-8pm across the non-NRL/AFL months, providing tips and ideas on how you can make the most of the weekend.

“Whether it’s fishing, travel, spending time in the kitchen or fixing the back deck during lockdown, Tim will have something for everyone each Friday night.” said Greg Byrnes, head of content for Nine Radio.

“Tim knows talk, our audience knows Tim and this new show is the perfect launchpad for his long-awaited return to radio.”

Gilbert has worked across Channel 9 and Sky News but began his broadcasting career at 2GN in Goulburn, before several years at 2UE.

“I’m excited returning to my first love, radio, three decades after my first gig in Goulburn. In a very heavy news cycle, we’ll be taking you down the bright side of the road for an hour each Friday night and exploring everything that’s good in the world. I can’t wait to work with some of my great mates again and chat with the Nine Radio listeners,” Gilbert said.

The Undoing
Mercado on TV: Rich white people doing it tough…and return of Housos

The Undoing (Monday on FoxShowcase) is a new drama about an uber rich woman with a permanently startled look whose seemingly perfect life is rocked by gossip and intrigue. No, not Roxy Jacenko, it’s Nicole Kidman’s new HBO drama.

Ever since Big Little Lies, everyone has been trying to replicate that formula, and that includes everyone from Big Little Lies. Reese Witherspoon repeated her character for Little Fires Everywhere (Amazon Prime) and now The Undoing has Nicole Kidman playing another ill-used wife.

The Undoing is disappointing and not even the reliable Hugh Grant can save it. All of these chick lit adaptations are starting to blend into one, and they are getting less relatable with every new crime of passion.

Seven tried doing rich in Between Two Worlds (7Plus) so now they are doing the opposite with two new Aussie comedies. Housos 2020 and Regular Old Bogan (Monday on 7mate) are outrageously rude and crude. Good on Seven for supporting local comedy and proving that political correctness has not killed Aussie comedy.

Paul Fenech has been drop kicking Housos around for nearly a decade as it’s gone from SBS to cinema screens. Housos 2020 sees the residents of Sunnyvale back and looking worse than ever, all locked up together in one filthy house during coronavirus lockdown. Not for the faint-hearted. As Paul Fenech would say, it’s a bit full-on.

Regular Old Bogan is an original Aussie adult animation series. The first was Pacific Heat (Foxtel, 2014) but that Working Dog production didn’t click because it was set on Queensland’s Gold Coast but looked like Florida’s Gold Coast.

Regular Old Bogan doesn’t make that mistake and keeps everything Strayan as. The family are foul-mouthed and dodgy, but because it’s a cartoon they come across more loveable and less ugly than Housos. Looks promising.

Apparently Aussie TV only accepts bogans in comedies. We have never cracked a bogan comedy drama hybrid, like New Zealand did with Westside (9Gem) and Outrageous Fortune (why isn’t this show streaming somewhere).

Brave New World

Brave New World (Stan) is set in the future, where life is one long rave with drugs and sex. It’s the most ambitious adaptation yet of the classic Aldous Huxley novel and it’s gorgeous to look at, but the sex scenes are weirdly coy and fake.

Demi Moore is a sexy bogan in Brave New World but sadly, her role is as skimpy as her nightie. I want moore. Demi has always been underrated so let’s hope this is the start of another comeback. Just nothing dreary about rich white people doing it tough though.

TV ratings: Thursday Week 42 2020

By James Manning

• The Front Bar helps Seven win, despite Sydney tune-out
• Gogglebox #1 non-news with Thursday again 10’s best night

Primetime News
Seven News 933,000/923,000
Nine News 847,000/836,000
ABC News 662,000
10 News First 301,000/176,000
SBS World News 149,000

Daily current affairs
A Current Affair 680,000
7.30 555,000
The Project 262,000/436,000

Breakfast TV
Sunrise 253,000
Today 237,000
News Breakfast 189,000

Late night news
The Latest 385,000
Nine News Late 140,000
ABC News Late 92,000
SBS World News Late 46,000

Thursday TV 

Seven: Home and Away wrapped its week with Luke Jacobz asking a colleague, “Are you going to charge me with stealing your wife, because that’s all you have on me at present.” The triple episode was on 484,000 after three previous nights in the mid to high 500,000s.

Seven unleashed The Front Bar Grand Final Edition to a national audience at 8.30pm on the primary channel. The audience subsequently climbed to 479,000 after 330,000 last week. However, the Sydney audience refused the invite after a bold programming move – just 27,000 in that market. In Melbourne there was 299,000 tuned in.

Highlight of a strong episode was Fitzy on location in a Sydney car park with a truck full of turf. Joining Fitzy were David Koch and the truck driver who looked very much like Nova Sydney breakfast EP Tom Ivey.

Other guests joining Mick, Sam and Andy included Andy Lee, Gil McLachlan, the Rocca Brothers Anthony and Sav plus Eddie Betts.

The Latest then did 385,000.

SAS Australia Uncensored saw the first two episodes go our back-to-back with a late-night audience of 112,000. The uncensored episodes are also available on 7plus.

Nine: A Current Affair managed to find a lawyer urging the recipients of tens of thousands of coronavirus infringements to tear them up as they may be “unenforceable”. The episode was on 680,000 after three nights well over 700,000.

Three hours of medical factual series started with Paramedics on 430,000, then Kings Cross ER on 339,000 followed by A+E After Dark with 231,000.

10: Guests on The Project included Magda Szubanski with the panel and Sacha Baron Cohen with Angela Bishop. The 7pm audience was 436,000.

The Bachelorette saw the sisters continuing trying to find the right man. The audience of 499,000 was down from 534,000 a week ago.

Gogglebox followed with 632,000 watching on the day married couple Matty and Sarah Marie and their friend Jad hosted a Foxtel Showcase event for advertisers.

ABC: Scottish Vets Down Under was on 351,000 after a launch audience of 338,000 a week ago.

The repeat first episode of Joanna Lumley’s Silk Road Adventure was on 237,000.

SBS: The penultimate episode of Michael Mosley: Queen Victoria’s Slum had 155,000 watching.

Secrets of the Tower of London followed with 131,000.

Week 43: Thursday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 10.7% 7 20.1% 9 17.0% 10  14.1% SBS One 4.2%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.8% 7TWO 4.0% GO! 2.8% 10 Bold 3.5% VICELAND 1.3%
ABC ME 0.5% 7mate 4.0% GEM 2.5% 10 Peach 3.0% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 1.7% 7flix 2.2% 9Life 2.3% 10 Shake 0.3% NITV 0.1%
        9Rush 1.1%     SBS World Movies 0.8%
TOTAL 15.7%   30.4%   25.7%   20.8%   7.3%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 10.0% 7 19.5% 9 15.0% WIN 10.6% SBS One 3.5%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.1% 7TWO 6.7% GO! 3.4% WIN Bold 5.2% VICELAND 1.6%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 4.8% GEM 3.6% WIN Peach 3.1% Food Net 0.4%
ABC NEWS 1.3% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 2.6% 9Life 2.3% Sky News  on WIN 2.4% NITV 0.1%
                SBS Movies 0.8%
TOTAL 15.0%   33.7%   24.3%   21.3%   6.4%


87.9% 12.1%
Thursday FTA
  1. Seven News Seven 933,000
  2. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 923,000
  3. Nine News Nine 847,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 836,000
  5. A Current Affair Nine 680,000
  6. ABC News ABC 662,000
  7. Gogglebox 10 632,000
  8. 7.30 ABC 555,000
  9. The Bachelorette Australia 10 499,000
  10. Home And Away Seven 484,000
  11. The Chase Australia Seven 482,000
  12. The Front Bar Seven 479,000
  13. The Project 7pm 10 436,000
  14. Hot Seat Nine 435,000
  15. Paramedics -Encore Nine 430,000
  16. The Latest: Seven News Seven 385,000
  17. Scottish Vets Down Under ABC 351,000
  18. Kings Cross ER Nine 339,000
  19. 10 News First 10 301,000
  20. Kings Cross ER -Ep2 Nine 296,000
Demo Top Five

16-39 Top Five

  1. Gogglebox 10 168,000
  2. The Bachelorette Australia 10 163,000
  3. The Front Bar Seven 102,000
  4. Seven News Seven 100,000
  5. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 99,000


18-49 Top Five

  1. Gogglebox 10 309,000
  2. The Bachelorette Australia 10 261,000
  3. Nine News Nine 201,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 201,000
  5. The Project 7pm 10 189,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. Gogglebox 10 352,000
  2. The Bachelorette Australia 10 284,000
  3. Nine News Nine 248,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 247,000
  5. The Front Bar Seven 216,000
Thursday Multichannel
  1. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 178,000
  2. Father Brown PM 7TWO 160,000
  3. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 151,000
  4. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 146,000
  5. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 146,000
  6. School Of Roars ABCKIDS/COMEDY 139,000
  7. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 138,000
  8. M- Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban 7 Mate 138,000
  9. Floogals AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 137,000
  10. Murdoch Mysteries PM 7TWO 123,000
  11. Andy’s Aquatic Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 119,000
  12. Fireman Sam AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 118,000
  13. The Big Bang Theory Ep 2 10 Peach 111,000
  14. Sir Mouse ABCKIDS/COMEDY 111,000
  15. The Big Bang Theory 10 Peach 109,000
  16. Love Monster ABCKIDS/COMEDY 105,000
  17. ABC News Mornings AM ABC NEWS 104,000
  18. Neighbours 10 Peach 101,000
  19. Hawaii Five-O (R) 10 Bold 100,000
  20. Odd Squad ABCKIDS/COMEDY 100,000
Thursday STV
  1. Credlin Sky News Live 75,000
  2. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 71,000
  3. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 67,000
  4. Alan Jones Sky News Live 66,000
  5. Outback Opal Hunters Discovery Channel 58,000
  6. PML Later Sky News Live 40,000
  7. Love It Or List It Australia Lifestyle Channel 38,000
  8. Selling Houses Australia Lifestyle Channel 38,000
  9. The Kenny Report Sky News Live 31,000
  10. Dino Hunters Discovery Channel 31,000
  11. Escape To The Country Lifestyle Channel 29,000
  12. OC: Real Housewives Of… FOX Arena 28,000
  13. Selling Houses Australia Lifestyle Channel 27,000
  14. NCIS FOX Crime 26,000
  15. Family Guy FOX8 26,000
  16. Newsday Sky News Live 25,000
  17. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 25,000
  18. Am Agenda Sky News Live 24,000
  19. Emmerdale UKTV 23,000
  20. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 23,000

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

Brian Walsh remembers the launch night of Foxtel 25 years ago

Today marks 25 years since Foxtel was switched on in Australia, reports TV Tonight.

In that time it has brought an array of international drama, Australian originals, major sporting events, movies, news, music and helped cement a long list of stars and creatives.

TV Tonight asked one of Foxtel’s very first employees, Brian Walsh, to reflect on launch night on October 23rd 1995.

Here is what he wrote:

“I was asked to come on board the Foxtel magic carpet ride by the legendary TV figure, Sam Chisholm, whom I’d worked for at Sky in the UK.

“Sam gave me the ask of staging the launch event at our then brand new state of the art studios in Pyrmont, by Sydney Harbour and create some stunts to launch the business.

“I was also tasked with finding the company’s first Director Of Programming.

“We were showbiz right from the start; it’s embedded in our brand, FOX.

“The first night on air was electric and hairy and it lives long in my memory, because we almost never made it, thanks to a last-minute technical glitch.

“Miraculously though and with minutes to spare, the signal was restored and at exactly 1900 hours (7.00pm) on October 23, 1995, Foxtel was launched.

“The first show we put to air was then and remains today, one of the most iconic television series of all time, The Simpsons – on our flagship channel, FOX.”

[Read more]

Broadcaster Sky to open network of high street stores across UK

Sky is to launch a network of high street stores across the UK, saying it wants them to become “social hubs for shoppers”, with the first one opening in Liverpool on Monday despite tier 3 coronavirus restrictions, reports The Guardian.

The plan to start a network of stores, each of which will have a music venue-style “access all areas” stage to host various interactive experiences for customers, comes amid the closure of hundreds of shops as the pandemic takes its toll on the retail sector.

“We are proud to see our shops opening at a challenging time for the UK high street,” said Stephen van Rooyen, the chief executive of Sky UK and Europe. “We’ll bring service, innovation and convenience all in one place, under one roof, at a time when keeping people connected has never been more important.”

In May, Virgin Media said it would shut its last 53 retail stores and disappear from the UK high street. The cable TV company, which had 140 stores in 2016, said the pandemic had accelerated a shift towards online customer service.

[Read more]

Taxi advertising company Adflow acquired by fleet branding company

Taxi advertising company Adflow has been acquired by the Covertrue Group which incorporates fleet branding company Liberty Signs.

David Cross CEO of Covertrue Group said: “With our vast knowledge around fleet branding and desire to grow the business into new verticals, Adflow perfectly fits our expertise and passion for exceptional vehicle branding and communication.”

General Manager for Adflow Luke O’Connor said; “Cost-effective vehicle advertising such as taxi backs and vehicle wraps represent an essential part of the out-of-home sector and act as a great attention multiplier for brands or campaigns. This acquisition will streamline production times and create a larger national footprint for advertisers.”

As part of the sale agreement Adflow has entered into an exclusive partnership agreement with Black and White cabs (owned by previous proprietor P2P Transport) ensuring operations and logistics across the taxi network remain aligned.

The Adflow fleet of 3,000 cabs and rideshare vehicles covers all major capital cities along with a large regional network throughout NSW.

Live Nation’s Ticketmaster appoints new chair and managing director

Ticketmaster Australia and New Zealand, a Live Nation Entertainment company, has announced a series of leadership changes and executive appointments as part of the company’s growth and expansion across Australia and New Zealand.

Maria O’Connor, who has served as managing director of Ticketmaster Australia and New Zealand for the last 28 years, has been promoted to the chairman of Australia and New Zealand. Former CEO of the West Australian Football Commission (WAFC) Gavin Taylor will be taking on the role of managing director for Ticketmaster Australia.

O’Connor joined Ticketmaster in 1983 when the company operated as BASS under the Victorian Government. Over more than three decades at the company, O’Connor has been instrumental in many milestones and has played an integral part in shaping the ticketing industry in the region. In her role as chairman, O’Connor will continue responsibility for her long-term industry relationships and look for opportunities to grow Ticketmaster’s business in the region.

Gavin Taylor will be finishing in his role as CEO at the WAFC on the 12th November 2020, prior to moving to Melbourne in early January to commence in the role.

Additional senior executive promotions within the business include:

Jim Kotsonis, who has been with the company since 2001 and served as finance and operations director will move to the newly created position of executive vice president of Ticketmaster Australia and New Zealand.

Justin Pule, who began his career at Ticketmaster New Zealand in 2007 and has been running the business since 2010, will now serve officially as managing director of Ticketmaster New Zealand.

Harley Evans, who joined the business in 2019, continues as managing director of Moshtix Australia and New Zealand servicing the general admission sector. Taylor, Pule and Evans will all report into Kotsonis in the new structure.

Susie Kyrou, formally of ad-tech giant Rokt, has been appointed to the new role of general manager of data and insights at Ticketmaster Australia and New Zealand. Kyrou will be responsible for the rollout of Ticketmaster’s local data and insights division.

Photo: Maria O’Connor and Gavin Taylor

News Brands

ABC sending Sarah Ferguson and Michael Rowland for US election

Ward-winning journalist Sarah Ferguson (pictured) will be deployed to Washington DC to take up a special in-depth reporting role for ABC News.

“The drama of the US story is compelling,” said Ferguson. “It’s the other side of the coin in the great superpower stand-off. And I’ll be reporting in the aftermath of an era-defining election.”

ABC Director, News Gaven Morris said: “We have a top-notch team in the Washington bureau and Sarah’s superb long-form and investigative reporting will add formidable firepower to our coverage of the fascinating and significant US story.”

Also heading to the US for the ABC is News Breakfast co-host Michael Rowland. Taking his place on the show alongside Lisa Millar will be Paul Kennedy and David Speers.

Currently reporting for the ABC from the US are Washington Bureau Chief David Lipson and North America Correspondent Kathryn Diss, with Chief Foreign Correspondent Phil Williams supporting the bureau for the US election. Ferguson’s US posting will be a short-term one of approximately six months.

The ABC also plans to establish a short-term posting in the South Korean capital of Seoul to expand reporting in North Asia.

As well as Washington, the ABC has posts in Bangkok, Jakarta, Tokyo, New Delhi, Port Moresby, London, Beirut and Jerusalem.

“We’re looking at how we can most effectively deploy our resources to provide the best world coverage for audiences,” Morris said. “The ABC’s Asia Pacific reporting sets us apart and is an essential part of our service.

“On-the-ground reporting for Australians through Australian eyes helps improve our understanding of international events and how they affect our nation and our lives.”


Can Australian Idol 2.0 replicate the success of the original?

Australian Idol 2.0 lands almost two decades after the original launches, and in a very different market. As a result it faces some very specific challenges, writes The Sydney Morning Herald’s Michael Idato.

Genre fatigue is one, coming off the back of the slow fade of The X-Factor, Australia’s Got Talent and The Voice formats in recent years. Tougher too is the commercial environment for launching new recording artists. And as the many knock-offs have shown over the years, if you can’t get your winning artists a no.1 single off the back of the grand final, you’ve probably not got a strong enough hand in the game.

On its side, however, is the fact that in format terms it is almost a template: gimmick-lite, elegantly simple, clearly focused and equipped with a strong brand name. The Block is one example such a template format. MasterChef is another. Big Brother too. It’s a very short list from which almost all other formats spring. My Kitchen Rules from MasterChef. House Rules from The Block. Love Island from Big Brother.

Also on its side is that the only people with shorter television memories than television executives are television viewers. Packaged smartly, delivered sharply and not overcooked in the way that too many television formats are, Australian Idol 2.0 has a shot at success.

[Read more]

The Sound host Jane Gazzo talks radio, TV and the future of music

Jane Gazzo talks to The Age’s Ben Pobjie about the highlights of the first season of ABC’s The Sound?

Interviewing Kylie from London over Zoom to talk about her new album, that was really special. And some of the co-hosts we had, like Russell Crowe, and Bryan Brown in the first episode and it turned out he knew Lime Cordiale really well, he’d watched them grow up. But then there were some of the performances you won’t forget in a hurry. I’m talking about Tones and I singing Never Seen The Rain and it literally does rain – that was never in the script, it just started raining in the last take we did for her. Bliss n Eso performing live on Centrepoint Tower: that was just crazy. Amy Shark in the Bennelong restaurant at Sydney Opera House; she had this Australian choir behind her and it just looked beautiful. They’re some of the things that spring to mind.

Season 2 of The Sound airs on ABC on November 1.

[Read more]

Sports Media

Foxtel's Kayo to make some sports free to watch in strategy backflip

Foxtel’s sports streaming service Kayo will release some games and events from behind the paywall in a major strategic pivot that could change the way it negotiates broadcast deals, reports Nine publishing’s Zoe Samios and Broede Carmody.

Kayo launched in late 2018 and has used a hard paywall in its two-year history. But on Thursday, Foxtel’s chief executive Patrick Delany confirmed Kayo would now pursue a “freemium” strategy so non-subscribers can gain access to some sports, such as the Supercars. The move will also allow advertisers to reach more viewers.

Foxtel’s move is a pivot from the original strategy for Kayo, which involved a hard paywall. The decision to change the model could be perceived in two ways – either it is struggling to attract the subscriber numbers it needs with its current model, or it has recognised the desire for mass audiences by some sports codes. Foxtel claims it’s the latter. Kayo currently has more than 600,000 paid subscribers.

Foxtel said it will start to broadcast some Supercars events for free and has signalled it will branch out into other sports with this approach.

Delany discussed this proposal in talks with Rugby Australia about a new broadcast deal.

[Read more]

See also: Free Super Rugby game on Kayo part of Foxtel’s rights bid

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