Monday October 26, 2020

Seven Upfront
Seven Upfront: Angus Ross and Kurt Burnette on schedule shake-up

By James Manning

• Brand support: “We now have $85m+ in forward investments for 2021”

The biggest surprise from the Seven Upfront was the reveal at the end of the Upfront event from director of network programming Angus Ross that Seven had secured a deal with Fremantle to broadcast Australian Idol.

Both Ross and Seven chief revenue officer and director of the Olympics Kurt Burnette see big upsides from Seven schedule for audiences and advertisers.

The return of the singing show from hibernation won’t be happening in 2021 though, Seven has commissioned the series for 2022.

Angus Ross

Is there room for The Voice, Australia’s Got Talent and Australian Idol on the one channel?

“It gives us control over three of the most powerful formats in the world,” Ross told Mediaweek. “I like having an armoury of formats like that to roll out when we want to.”

Ross said there were no concerns about the amount of talent available in Australia to provide performers for all three formats. “Since we have called for performers for The Voice, ITV has been inundated with the casting and some of the talent has been incredible. We are very confident in all those formats and we will roll them out as we see fit.”

An upside of having all these popular formats is that it shuts out Nine and 10 from commissioning one of the formats. “Large scale entertainment and variety formats are very important to the schedule. You just can’t be running scripted reality shows all year long, you have to have variety and we now control the here biggest formats in that space.”

Ross pulled the trigger quickly on recommissioning Screentime’s SAS Australia, announcing its return at the Upfront just after the first two episodes screened. “The numbers for that second episode 16-39 and 25-54 went higher, so it was a bit of a no-brainer. It falls into our strategy of commissioning proven, power formats. It is an established, proven format from Channel 4 in the UK. Even though they are a very different network to us, we thought it had potential. It had a troubled birth because of Covid. We started filming in New Zealand and we had to abandon that. Thanks to the work of Screentime and our executives we have still managed to get it on air. It is delivering for us in spades.

SAS Australia is also on track to become our biggest show ever on 7plus after 150,000 extra viewers watched the Monday night episode.” That figure should be bigger now in the few days since we spoke with Ross.

Seven is anticipating less disruption to its 2021 schedule as shows originally slotted for 2020 will finally be ready. “By mid-December we will have banked all of our first-half programming up until the Tokyo Olympics. We have finished Holey Moley and we are shooting Farmer Wants a Wife now and by December we will have also finished Big Brother and Ultimate Tag.

We don’t want a repeat of what happened this year when we lost three formats that were supposed to go to air. In 2021 we will have all of the rounds in the chamber, so look out!

Advertising already rolling in for 2021

Kurt Burnette

Seven is not only hoping its viewers will be patient when it comes to finally watching the formats that have been promised for some time. The advertisers too have been waiting for their sponsorships to be activated onscreen.

“All of the Tokyo Olympics brands have been waiting and the vast majority are still committed,” Kurt Burnette told Mediaweek. “We now have over $85m in forward investments for 2021 before we even factor in the AFL market. That is money committed to the Olympics and the major franchises. We have already had some re-commit to SAS Australia too for 2021.”

Burnette said being part of the delayed Olympics is a strong statement from a brand. “If you are going to build a brand with a message to connect to Australians coming out of the most horrendous year on record – a event about patriotism and bring the world together – is there a finer moment to be a part of? That is the sort of discussions we are having with brands who are excited to be a part of it.”

Burnette said the 2021 Seven schedule is perhaps its best since the network launched the Athens Olympics of 2004. “Back then we were launching programs like Dancing with the Stars and had programs like Desperate Housewives and Lost. I’m not suggesting we will do the sorts of numbers those shows had, but we are now offering one of the biggest shake-ups in many years.

“What that means is growth opportunities for brands.”

Seven levels score in 2020 ratings battle: “Imagine what we’ll do in 2021”

By James Manning

It was no coincidence that Seven CEO James Warburton chose to hold Seven’s 2021 Upfront just days before the broadcast of the delayed AFL Grand Final.

Seven’s ratings have not been trailing Nine by much and a good result in Week 43 would let them boast a tied TV ratings scoreboard, and that’s just what happened.

The clash between Richmond and Geelong saw the biggest AFL TV crowd in four years and set the bar high for the biggest audience of 2020. It will take a special Rugby League State of Origin turnout to beat Seven’s 3.812m average audience from Saturday night.

Seven confirmed on Sunday it had won its 17th week of the 2020 ratings survey year, levelling the score with Nine, with one week drawn. Commercial audience shares for the survey year to date are also both level between Seven and Nine at 37.6 per cent.

The win comes after the first ever prime time AFL Grand Final, which secured Seven a record-setting 76.0 per cent network commercial share, the highest ever recorded by OzTAM, and the launch of SAS Australia, which debuted as the #1 entertainment show on Monday and Tuesday.

As Seven detailed in its Upfront presentation, from June 2020, Seven has led in total people and all key demographics, including 25-54s and 16-39s. The success of Big Brother, Farmer Wants A Wife and now SAS Australia, combined with the AFL and Seven’s regular ratings winners 7NEWS, Sunrise, The Chase, Home and Away, Better Homes and Gardens and The Morning Show, delivered these results.

Angus Ross,

Angus Ross, Seven’s director of programming, said: “We lead every key demo since June, a huge turnaround from the first half of the year. The success of our new prime time tentpole strategy, with Big Brother, Farmer and now SAS, has proven hugely successful for us. Add to that the AFL, which has seen significant year on year ratings growth, and our unbeatable content spine, and it’s clear that momentum is with us at Seven. It’s going to be a tight race to the end of the year.

“We’ve been able to level the score in 2020 with a schedule significantly impacted by Cvid-19 – we’re down two and a half prime time tentpoles and lost the AFL for two months. Imagine what we’ll be able to do in 2021 with a fully loaded prime time schedule, a full AFL season and of course, the Tokyo Olympics – set to be the biggest event ever.”

Read More: Seven reveals 2021 schedule: Delayed programs finally arrive

IMAA agencies launch Insights and Innovation webinars with media partners

The Independent Media Agencies of Australia (IMAA) has announced the launch of its “Insights and Innovation” series of webinars for members in conjunction with media owners.

Over the next five months, an exclusive IMAA member only webinar series will be held with each of the IMAA’s media owner partners especially tailored for independent media agencies to inspire and inform members.

Each webinar will focus on specific issues, trends and innovations, business updates and looking ahead to 2021.

For example, the Foxtel webinar looked at the US election with Annelise Nielsen, live from the campaign trail in Miami, while Foxtel CEO Mark Frain discussed what is coming up in 2021.

Verizon Media will also look ahead at the opportunities to supercharge brands in 2021 and unveil some exclusive product reviews.

Other media owners participating include ARN, EMX, Facebook, JCDecaux, Kargo, News Corp, Network 10, Nine Network, Nova Entertainment, oOh!media, QMS, Quantcast, SCA, Seven Network, Shopper Media, Spotify, Val Morgan and VMO.

Foxtel CEO, Mark Frain, said: “The collective push and support that the IMAA champions is something that Foxtel Media is hugely supportive of. We also believe that we have an important role to play in empowering our partners across the IMAA with a depth of insight into our audiences and direct access to the breadth of our talent. The Insights and Innovation webinar series is a fantastic initiative, and we were proud to help the IMAA launch this to the market.”

Verizon Media managing director ANZ, Paul Sigaloff, said: “There has never been a more important time to bring the industry together, connect with and inspire one another. The IMAA plays a pivotal role in doing that. As a founding member, we’re proud to support the Insights and Innovation series building on Verizon Media’s commitment to look after the people within the media industry at large. We are focused on being good partners, being good members of the advertising industry and good citizens to society. Our hope is to share insights and ideas that inspire the indies and build on their digital skill set.”

News Corp Australia managing director of national sales, Lou Barrett, said: “The IMAA plays a very important role in our industry, they are incredibly collaborative and deliver real value. Supporting the IMAA’s Insights and Innovation series underlines our commitment to clients and agencies to provide them with invaluable insights and new ideas to help grow their business.”

IMAA general manager, Sam Buchanan, added: “Our Covid-19 series of webinars for members, covering areas such as legal, HR and the economic outlook, have been really well received by members. Given we are still operating with COVID restrictions, we wanted to give each of our media partners a unique opportunity to engage with members. The ‘Insights and Innovation’ series will continue weekly into the new year and we’ve had a fantastic response so far.”

Channel 7 WA Telethon sets another record – over $46m

West Australians have once again outdone themselves, this time raising a staggering$46,331,097 for Telethon 2020. Even in a year of unprecedented hardship, individuals and corporates from around the state dug deep and donated, all for the sick kids of WA.

The Channel 7 Telethon, which was broadcast LIVE from the Crown Theatre Perth over two special nights (Saturday 24 October and Sunday 25 October), had all the elements that Telethon is renowned for – community, family entertainment and a reason to be thankful.

7NEWS presenters and Telethon hosts Basil Zempilas, Susannah Carr, Rick Ardon, Tim McMillan, Angela Tsun, Adrian Barich and Amelia Broun were joined by comedian and Kath & Kim star Peter Rowsthorn, The West Australian’s Jenna Clarke and Sunrise’s Matt Tinney – as they presented the all-new Telethon. Unlike anything viewers had seen before, the 53rd Telethon included a lot of surprises including a new set, in a new location with new segments including the Kids Couch with hard hitting questions from our Student Ambassadors.

The two nights of non-stop action featured WA’s favourite TV, sports and music stars. There were performances by WA local Samantha Jade, Casey Donovan and the cast of the West End smash-hit musical We Will Rock You, Ian Kenny (Birds of Tokyo) and the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra, actor and musician Joel Jackson, Indigenous artist Gina Williams, as well as the Inneka string quartet.

Telethon 2020: Kate Walsh, Julie Bishop and Nat Fyfe speak to host Basil Zempilas

A roll call of Western Australia’s biggest names turned out for Telethon including WA Premier Mark McGowan, Hollywood actress Kate Walsh, world boxing champion Danny Green, YouTube sensations The Rybka Twins, Big Brother housemates Ian, Hannah and Casey, Paralympian Brant Garvey, West Coast Eagles favourite Nic Naitanui, Fremantle Dockers captain and dual Brownlow Medallist Nat Fyfe, as well as Xavier, Juelz and Pete from Hit 92.9FM and Clairsy, Matt and Kymba from Mix 94.5FM. Senator Mathias Cormann and Perth favourite Julie Bishop were also on hand to lend their support.

Telethon was also flooded with messages of support from Aussies around the globe including those from actor and Founder of Adopt Change, Deborra-Lee Furness, Olympic champion Ian Thorpe, international model Jessica Gomes, Formula 1 driver Daniel Riccardo, comedian Rove McManus, artists Jessica Mauboy and Guy Sebastian, as well as Channel Seven stars.

Top Photo: Richard Goyder, Kerry Stokes and WA Premier Mark McGowan (Source: The West Australian)

Guy Sebastian
ARIA Chart

By James Manning 

• Singles: 24kGoldn holds at #1, Bieber & Blanco highest new entry
• Albums: Guy Sebastian has the 13th Aussie album to top 2020 charts


24kGoldn spends a fourth week at #1 with Mood featuring Iann Dior.

The only change to the top 10 is at #10 with Ritt Momney moving up two places after five weeks on the chart with Put Your Records On. Corinne Bailey Rae’s version of the song peaked at #30 in Australia in April 2006. This is Momney’s first time with a top 10.

The sole new entry into the top 50 comes at #14 – Justin Bieber & Benny Blanco with Lonely. This marks Bieber’s fifth time in the top 50 this year. Bieber’s latest chart success comes as YouTube Originals announced a release date for Justin Bieber: Next Chapter, a follow-up to the hit 10-episode docuseries, Justin Bieber: Seasons, which followed the recording of his album, Changes: Next Chapter. The new doco will premiere on October 30.


(L to R) Pat Handlin – VP, A&R, ANZ; Jen Fontaine – management; Jules Sebastian; Guy Sebastian; Denis Handlin; Ivan and Nellie Sebastian – Guy’s parents)

A new #1 is the third chart-topping album for Guy Sebastian. T.R.U.T.H. is his ninth studio album and is the follow-up to Conscious which peaked at #4 in 2017. The new album has been home to the singles Before I Go (#43 January 2019), Standing With You (#10 July 2020) and the 2019 ARIA Song Of The Year winner Choir (#7 July 2019). Sebastian’s former chart toppers were Just As I Am in 2003 and Armageddon in 2012.

Upon hearing the news, Guy Sebastian told ARIA, “What a journey it’s been. I still can’t believe that one of the most personal albums I have released has resonated with so many people.

“It has been quite an extraordinary year for everyone, and I am really humbled that these songs have connected and helped along the way. Thank you to Denis Handlin, Pat Handlin and my Sony Music family as well as Jen Fontaine and her Private Idaho team and everyone who has supported this album. I am forever grateful.”

Dan Rosen, CEO of ARIA, said, “A huge congratulations to Guy Sebastian on his return to the top of the ARIA Chart. He continues to deliver incredible music, and well into his second decade in the industry he is at the height of his powers. It has all been done with hard work, creativity and talent. He is always one to give back, as showed last year hosting our ARIA Awards. I am absolutely thrilled to see him back at #1.”

#1 T. R. U. T. H. is the 13th Australian album to hit #1 on the ARIA Charts in 2020.

There were five other albums new to the chart this week:


#4: Skegss with 50 Push Ups For A Dollar. The second album from the Byron Bay garage rock trio Skegss secures a second top 10 entry. The band’s debut My Own Mess peaked at #2 in September 2018.
#10: Powderfinger with Odyssey Number Five: 20th Anniversary Edition. The band’s rerelease of their #1 album from 2000 is back in the chart again after arriving at #2 in September when it was reissued.
#22: Eagles with Live From The Forum MMXVIII. Recorded at The Forum in Los Angeles over three nights in September 2018, this is the band’s first release to feature new members Deacon Frey (son of the late Eagles co-founder Glenn Frey) and country artist Vince Gill along with Don Henley, Joe Walsh, and Timothy B. Schmit. While the Eagles previous live album Hell Freezes Over peaked at #23 in 1994, it did brilliant business in this country as a DVD release where it achieved 20x platinum status. A subsequent Live from Melbourne DVD in 2005 is 13x times platinum.
#23: BTS with Skool Luv Affair. A busy 2020 for the K-pop superstars with their third album chart entry for the rerelease if their second EP from 2014.
#28 Angus Gill & Seasons of Change with 3 Minute Movie. Golden Guitar nominated singer/songwriter and producer Angus Gill teams up with the members of Paul Kelly’s band for this release.
#32 Matt Beminger with Serpentine Prison. The debut full-length solo release for The National’s front man was recorded over 14 days with legendary producer, musician and songwriter Booker T. Jones.


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AFL Grand Final TV Ratings
Week 43 TV: AFL night Grand Final blasts Seven off the charts

By James Manning

It was the week where Seven’s Saturday night programming changed everything. Seven had a narrow lead after six nights in week 43 – 28.1% to Nine’s 27.8%.

However, after Saturday night’s AFL night Grand Final, Seven pushed away and ended up with a winning network share of 35.1%. That was the second-best network weekly share of the year after Nine posted a 40.1% share during the Australian Open tennis in January.

More on Seven’s AFL stats here.

Seven Week 43

Primary share: 27.3% (20.7%)
Network share: 35.1% (30.0%)
Multichannels: 7TWO 2.9% (3.3%) 7mate 3.0% (4.1%) 7flix 1.9% (1.9%)

The network posted its best network and primary channel shares of the year.

The AFL Grand Final national audience of 3,812,000 was the biggest in four years. The metro audience of 2,979,000 was up 36% year-on-year.

Seven’s next best audience not connected with pre or post-match coverage on Saturday was the Saturday 6pm News on 1.017m.

Best non-news and non-sport offering was the first week of SAS Australia with the launch episode on 834,000 Monday and the second episode on 795,000 Tuesday.

The AFL Brownlow Medal coverage on the first night of Week 43 had 654,000 watching.

Home and Away averaged 522,000 and The Chase at 5.30pm was on 504,000.

Nine Week 43

Primary share: 17.4% (19.7%)
Network share: 25.3% (27.5)%
Multichannels: GO! 2.4% (2.4%) Gem 2.6% (2.3%) 9Life 1.9% (1.8%) 9Rush 1.0% (1.2%)

Nine will get its NRL Grand Final boost in the Week 44 data. Meantime its best this week was The Block Sunday with 1.008/1.079m. The other three episodes from Monday to Wednesday were on, in order, 785,000; 793,000 and 808,000.

A Current Affair averaged 694,000 and 60 Minutes was on 519,000.

Next best was the surprise hit The Trump Show with 486,000. 

10 Week 43

Primary share 10.3% (11.3%)
Network share: 16.1% (17.5%)
Multichannels: Bold 3.2% (3.8%) Peach 2.2% (2.3%) Shake 0.4% (0.4%)

Have You Been Paying Attention? again led the way with 735,000 on Monday.

Coverage of the Bathurst 1000 Supercars Race was next best on 671,000 on Sunday afternoon.

Gogglebox was on 630,000 on Thursday. The week’s two episodes of The Bachelorette were on 463,000 on Wednesday and a slighter higher 500,000 on Thursday.

Junior MasterChef’s best was 498,000 on Sunday followed by 454,000 Monday and then 470,000 Tuesday.

SBS Week 43

Primary share: 4.2% (4.4%)
Network share: 7.0% (7.5%)
Multichannels: Viceland 1.1% (1.2%) Food 0.8% (0.8%) NITV 0.1% (0.1%) World Movies 0.8% (0.9%)

Three shows made it to 200,000 and above this week:

Walking Britain’s Roman Roads 225,000
Every Family Has a Secret (Repeat) 217,000
Australia Come Fly With Me 200,000 

* Figures in brackets are Week 42 shares.

NRL Grand Final
TV ratings: Sunday Week 44 2020

By James Manning 

• Nine starts the week with its biggest share of the year
• Nine NRL audience climbs, but in shadow of big AFL crowd
• Best of the rest: Seven’s cruising, ABC’s Restoration & Grantchester

Primetime News
Nine News 1,106,000
Seven News 1,078,000
ABC News 636,000
10 News First 321,000/247,000
SBS World News 190,000

Daily current affairs
Insiders 406,000
The Project 328,000/394,000

Breakfast TV
Sunrise 243,000
Today 219,000
News Breakfast 171,000

Late night news
Nine News Late 526,000

Sunday TV

Seven: Up against the NRL Grand Final, Seven started with Billion Dollar Cruises: All at Sea which did a respectable 454,000.

The Sunday movie was 2018’s A Star is Born which was on 284,000. 

Nine: The NRL match that saw the Storm hold off a second half Panthers resurgence had 2,103,000 watching across metro markets. Nine has calculated that the audience was up 20%+ year on year in key demos. The program was of course also #1 in all demos on Sunday and gave Nine a huge lead to start off the week.

Wins between now and the end of survey just five weeks away are crucial for boasting rights after Seven drew level last week. See separate item today.

The NRL Grand Final regional audience of 863,000 pushed the national average audience for the match to 2,967,000. That trailed the AFL Saturday crowd of 3.812m significantly.

10: An audience of 394,000 saw guest Jeff Kennett laying into Project co-host Peter van Onselen for suggesting Dan Andrews was not running a communist state. “Well what would you call it?” asked Kennett. “Over the top,” van Onselen replied before Kennett got stuck in.

10 then screened the most recent Graham Norton Show with 218,000 watching.

10 will be looking for a recovery this week as the two nights of football finals have been brutal with network shares of 6.3% and 10.9%.

ABC: It will be hard to improve on last night’s Restoration Australia which detailed the amazing work undertaken on a classic homestead just outside of Wellington in regional NSW. The audience was 494,000 which ranked the program #2 behind only the NRL Grand Final.

The series final of Grantchester then did 431,000 which also ranked #2 behind the football.

Week 43-4: Friday-Sunday
ABC15.2%718.8%915.0%10 10.9%SBS One4.6%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY3.0%7TWO2.5%GO!2.9%10 Bold3.1%VICELAND1.3%
ABC ME0.6%7mate4.2%GEM2.3%10 Peach2.5%Food Net0.9%
ABC NEWS2.8%7flix3.3%9Life2.4%10 Shake0.5%NITV0.2%
    9Rush1.4%  SBS World Movies1.5%
TOTAL21.7% 28.7% 24.0% 17.0% 8.5%


ABC6.3%760.8%98.5%10 3.1%SBS One2.3%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY1.8%7TWO1.7%GO!1.8%10 Bold1.8%VICELAND0.5%
ABC ME0.2%7mate1.5%GEM2.1%10 Peach1.0%Food Net0.5%
ABC NEWS1.1%7flix1.9%9Life1.2%10 Shake0.5%NITV0.1%
    9Rush0.8%  SBS World Movies0.7%
TOTAL9.5% 65.8% 14.4% 6.3% 4.0%


ABC9.9%715.2%942.6%10 6.0%SBS One4.0%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY1.8%7TWO1.5%GO!2.5%10 Bold2.4%VICELAND0.7%
ABC ME0.3%7mate2.0%GEM1.9%10 Peach2.1%Food Net0.9%
ABC NEWS1.5%7flix1.4%9Life1.6%10 Shake0.4%NITV0.2%
    9Rush0.7%  SBS World Movies0.5%
TOTAL13.5% 20.0% 49.3% 10.9% 6.2%


ABCSeven AffiliatesNine Affiliates10 AffiliatesSBS
ABC10.5%712.2%942.4%WIN4.9%SBS One3.4%
ABC ME0.7%7mate3.0%GEM3.6%WIN Peach2.1%Food Net0.6%
ABC NEWS1.4%7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)1.8%9Life1.7%Sky News  on WIN1.3%NITV0.2%
        SBS Movies0.5%
TOTAL14.4% 19.1% 50.0% 11.5% 5.5%


All People Ratings

Friday Top 10

  1. Seven News Seven 934,000
  2. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 913,000
  3. Nine News Nine 790,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 757,000
  5. ABC News ABC 620,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 555,000
  7. Gardening Australia ABC 537,000
  8. The Chase Australia Seven 490,000
  9. Vera (R) ABC 490,000
  10. Better Homes And Gardens Seven 479,000


Saturday Top 10

  1. Seven’s AFL: Grand Final: Richmond V Geelong Seven 2,979,000
  2. Seven’s AFL: Grand Final: Presentations Seven 2,304,000
  3. Seven’s AFL: Grand Final: On The Ground Seven 2,181,000
  4. Seven’s AFL: Grand Final: Pre Match Entertainment Seven 1,481,000
  5. Seven News Seven 1,017,000
  6. Seven’s AFL: Grand Final: Post Match Seven 1,008,000
  7. Nine News Saturday Nine 823,000
  8. Seven’s AFL: Grand Final: Preview Seven 535,000
  9. ABC News ABC 466,000
  10. Seven’s Horse Racing 2020 – Cox Plate Seven 436,000
Sunday FTA
  1.  NRL Grand Final Day -Match Nine 2,103,000
  2.  NRL Grand Final Day -Presentation Nine 1,290,000
  3.  NRL Grand Final Day -Entertainment Nine 1,145,000
  4. Nine News Sunday Nine 1,106,000
  5. Seven News Seven 1,078,000
  6. ABC News Sunday ABC 636,000
  7. Nine News: Late Edition Nine 526,000
  8. Restoration Australia ABC 494,000
  9. Billion Dollar Cruises: All At Sea Seven 454,000
  10. Grantchester ABC 431,000
  11. The Sunday Project 7pm 10 394,000
  12.  NRL Grand Final Day -Womens NRL -Presentation Nine 355,000
  13. The Sunday Project 6.30pm 10 328,000
  14. 10 News First 10 321,000
  15.  NRL Grand Final Day -Womens NRL Nine 285,000
  16. M- A Star Is Born Seven 284,000
  17. Landline PM ABC 272,000
  18. Sunday Footy Show Nine 261,000
  19. Seven News At 5 Seven 256,000
  20. ABC News AM ABC NEWS 255,000
Sunday Multichannel
  1. ABC News AM ABC NEWS 255,000
  2. Weekend Breakfast: 10 AM ABC NEWS 242,000
  3. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 227,000
  4. The Breakfast Couch AM ABC NEWS 191,000
  5. Insiders AM ABC NEWS 153,000
  6. Dot. AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 150,000
  7. Dinosaur Train AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 130,000
  8. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 121,000
  9. Fireman Sam AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 106,000
  10. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 103,000
  11. The Hive AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 101,000
  12. Bananas In Pyjamas AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 100,000
  13. Play School AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 99,000
  14. Death In Paradise 9Gem 99,000
  15. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 97,000
  16. PJ Masks PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 95,000
  17. Atomic Blonde 9GO! 95,000
  18. Andy’s Wild Workouts AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 94,000
  19. Go Jetters PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 93,000
  20. Digby Dragon PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 91,000
Monday STV
  1. Get’em On Side FOX LEAGUE 175,000
  2. Live: NRL Women’s: GF Broncos V Rooster SFOX LEAGUE 138,000
  3. Live: Finals Footy On Fox GF Day FOX LEAGUE 106,000
  4. Outsiders Sky News Live 83,000
  5. Live: F1: Portugal Race FOX SPORTS 506 68,000
  6. Outsiders Sky News Live 61,000
  7.  NRL: Panthers V Storm FOX LEAGUE 59,000
  8. Live: Finals Footy On Fox GF Day FOX LEAGUE 56,000
  9. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 56,000
  10. Weekend Live Sky News Live 54,000
  11. Prime 9 ESPN 42,000
  12. Live: MotoGP Teruel FOX SPORTS MORE 38,000
  13. Prime 9 ESPN 34,000
  14. Outsiders Sky News Live 34,000
  15. Live: F1: Grand Prix Sunday FOX SPORTS 506 31,000
  16. Live: MotoGP: The Grid FOX SPORTS MORE 31,000
  17. Selling Houses Australia Lifestyle Channel 29,000
  18. Highway Patrol FOX8 29,000
  19. Country House Revisited Lifestyle Channel 29,000
  20. Sharri Sky News Live 28,000

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

Seven West Media floated merger with ViacomCBS' Network 10

Seven West Media chairman Kerry Stokes held talks with US entertainment giant ViacomCBS about merging his company with rival broadcaster Network 10, a move that would have reduced the amount of television networks available to viewers and reshaped the local media industry, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Zoe Samios

Stokes’ free-to-air television, digital and newspaper company started trying to sell several assets including the studios business that produces Home and Away earlier this year to reduce its multimillion-dollar debt pile. But the talks with ViacomCBS, which began in April and have since ended, suggest Stokes is also open to selling the entire media company that owns Channel Seven and The West Australian.

The sources said the informal proposal discussions included merging functions such as the Seven and ViacomCBS sales and marketing teams. The ViacomCBS sales division currently represents 10, Nickelodeon and MTV in Australia.

[Read more]

The real reason Quadrant bought outdoor advertising business QMS

Quadrant Private Equity managing partner Jonathon Pearce, whose firm finalised a deal to purchase outdoor advertising business QMS Media just before the COVID-19 crisis hit, is doubling down on the business’ nascent sports media and technology division to drive growth outside its traditional billboards business that has taken a hit during the coronavirus pandemic, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

When the deal struck in October 2019, which valued QMS equity at $420 million, no one could have predicted that extended COVID-19 lockdowns and forced working from home would throw the outdoor advertising market into such disarray.

However, COVID-19 has not stopped Quadrant putting another $100 million into its investment at the Barclay Nettlefold-led business after the acquisition.

Pearce said Quadrant’s attraction to QMS – it has a history in outdoor advertising, having previously owned and listed APN Outdoor – was its burgeoning sports media and technology division, which has global ambitions.

Quadrant also sees opportunities for QMS to come together with radio in Australia, Pearce said.

“When we first invested into QMS, it was high on the agenda as to what we can do in terms of leading that industry consolidation. At the same time, I’ve got lots of things going on, so whether or not we’d lead it or someone else leads it, we see a natural synergy with out-of-home and radio,” he said.

[Read more]

Google, Facebook and YouTube attract 80%+ of Australian digital ads

Google, Facebook and YouTube have increased their already substantial share of the digital advertising pie in Australia, leaving less than 20% for news and other websites, according to a new report from the competition regulator, reports Guardian Australia’s Amanda Meade.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission report was released on Friday as the government puts the final touches on its legislation to force the digital platforms to share revenue with Australian media companies.

The platforms may be forced to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in fines if they fail to comply with the proposed news media bargaining code which was unveiled by the treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, in July.

“The ACCC notes that for a typical $100 spent by advertisers in 2018, $49 went to Google (including ad tech services), $24 to Facebook and $27 to all other websites and ad tech,” the report says.

“This trend has continued in the 2019 calendar year, with $53 to Google, $28 to Facebook and $19 to all other websites and ad tech.”

[Read more]

ABC chair Ita Buttrose demands answers on arts coverage

ABC chair Ita Buttrose personally ordered a review into the public broadcaster’s arts coverage, amid deepening concern over the weakening of the sector’s prominence across the organisation’s various platforms, reports The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich.

It’s understood Buttrose’s extraordinary intervention in demanding the review followed the unveiling in June of the ABC’s long-awaited five-year strategic plan, which included up to 250 staff being laid off – with as many as 50 from the “entertainment and specialist” unit – in a bid to plug an $84m budget hole.

New arts programming on the broadcaster’s primary television channel plummeted from 114 hours in 2008-09 to just 15 hours a decade later, in 2018-19. The most recent annual report for 2019/20 does not measure the amount of time dedicated to specialist content, such as arts coverage, and the ABC did not respond to questions about the latest numbers.

[Read more]

‘Authenticity’ key to Coles crisis response and higher marketing spend

Despite sales booming during the coronavirus crisis, supermarket giant Coles has increased its marketing and advertising spending to reach customers during the uncertainty, reports The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich.

The retailer’s marketing boss Lisa Ronson said it brought on two additional agencies to help with its communication at the beginning of COVID-19, given the unprecedented health crisis.

“We’ve spent a little bit more, and that’s mainly on the COVID communication because our customers were looking to us for vital information around safety in our stores, sanitisation, opening hours and the basic communication,” Ronson said.

Her comments come ahead of her appearance at the Australian Association of National Advertisers annual conference RESET next month, together with her boss, Coles chief executive Steven Cain.

Ronson, who is an AANA board member, said the chief marketing officer and CEO relationship was “really important” because it was the customer facing aspect to the CEO role.

[Read more]

News Brands

When the public side with the powerful over press freedom, we all lose

Late last Thursday, on the eve of the AFL grand final public holiday, Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services issued a statement likely to have a significant impact on how journalists report on the government’s handling of the state’s second wave of coronavirus, writes Osman Faruqi in The Age.

DHHS announced that a public servant had been referred to the police for leaking a draft of a government document detailing the road map out of restrictions.

In September, the Herald Sun reported the draft, dismissed by premier Daniel Andrews at the time as having “no status”, even though it proved to be remarkably accurate.

I understand there’s no love lost among many Victorians, particularly those who support the Andrews government, and the Herald Sun. I’m hardly the paper’s biggest supporter. Andrew Bolt wrote his first column attacking me as an “arrogant and contemptuous barbarian” when I was still at uni writing for the student paper. Nearly a decade on, he’s far from my biggest fan.

But this issue is bigger than one story in the Herald Sun.

[Read more]

ABC lawsuit: Businessman says broadcaster acted with malice towards him

The ABC is being sued for $52m by a major property investor who says the national broadcaster’s “false” reports forced him into a fire sale, reports News Corp’s John Rolfe.

In a damages claim filed with the Federal Court in Sydney, Kevin Young also alleges the ABC’s reports caused a substantial drop in the number of people using his real estate buying service, known as the Property Club.

The claim, which The Daily Telegraph obtained from the court, accuses the ABC of acting with malice.

“The respondent (the ABC) displayed reckless indifference to the truth or falsity of the representations by failing to make obvious and available inquiries which would have ­established the falsity of the representations,” the claim said.

[Read more]


Karl Stefanovic promises to nude run if Trump loses US election

In a startling bid for ratings and attention Karl Stefanovic has threatened to strip naked and run nude through one of Melbourne’s most significant public landmarks, reports News Corp’s Fiona Byrne.

Ratings can often spike off the back of a clever stunt, but a nude dash in these restrictive COVID-19 times might be a bit much even by Stefanovic’s cheeky standards.

The Channel 9 Today host has made the reckless vow based on Donald Trump and his chance of winning the US election.

Stefanovic is predicting the “nutcase” will win.

Stefanovic made the comments of Fox FM’s FiFi, Fev and Byron show.

[Read more]


10 backs Studio 10 despite ratings shock after Kerri-Anne Kennerley axing

Six weeks after it’s highly promoted and controversial relaunch with Irish dancer Tristan MacManus as co-host, Studio 10 is still struggling to build an audience, reports News Corp’s Fiona Byrne.

The Channel 10 morning show underwent a purge in September with Kerri-Anne Kennerley and Joe Hildebrand departing and MacManus, best known as a judge on Dancing With The Stars, joining the brilliant Sarah Harris as host.

Harris is unquestionably one of the best TV hosts in the country – she could host anything.

The show kicked off its new era with a fresh set on Monday, September 14 drawing 54,000 viewers based on five capital city audience ratings data.

Since then it has hit a high of 53,000 on October 9, a low of 26,000 on October 16 and on Friday had 41,000 viewers.

In the five-week period from September 14 to October 16 it averaged 41,000 viewers on the five capital city ratings which was 20 per cent down on the same period in 2019. It was however up eight per cent in under 40s viewers.

[Read more]

Regular Old Bogan, from back shed studio to 7mate

After Mark Nicholson and Sebastian Peart pitched their animated comedy Regular Old Bogan they were quickly greenlit, reports TV Tonight.

There was just one problem.

“We told them we had a studio built out the back, so when we got the contract in, we said, ‘Shit, we have to build this thing now!’” Nicholson tells TV Tonight.

“We had to get the company incorporated, we had to set up bank accounts. We write in our lounge room, I produce from the kitchen table and Seb animates from his bedroom.”

Stepmates Studio, as they have since formalised, were invited by Seven to pitch based on a previous web comedy Fighting ISIS, in which four Aussie bogans go over to the Middle East to fight ISIS.

Head of multichannel programming Billy Betts spotted the series following an article in The Guardian and extended a rare invitation to pitch.

[Read more]

Sports Media

Seven hopeful on future AFL night grand finals after ratings bonanza

Seven West Media executives have declared the first night AFL grand final a resounding success, and that the league should strongly consider an evening timeslot for the season-decider again next year and into the future, reports The Australian’s John Stensholt.

Saturday’s success will see Seven urge the AFL to consider a permanent move of its season-decider, traditionally held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on the last Saturday afternoon in September, to a prime-time evening slot.

“It is about showcasing the biggest game of the year and where the audience is most available and that is at night,” Seven’s Melbourne managing director Lewis Martin told The Australian.

“I’d have to say visually it was spectacular. I don’t think there’s anything about (Saturday) night that people could possibly have any negativity about there being a night grand final.”

[Read more]

AFL Grand Final at night looked great but it must never happen again

The Richmond dynasty and all the euphoria that flowed from that crowning achievement turned into an hour-long poker game in our household by Sunday morning, writes News Corp’s John Rolfe.

The 7.30pm Grand Final start meant young Tiger fans had hit the wall by half time and were forced to watch the second half unfold the morning after the night before.

The AFL should listen to the fans and return its marquee contest to a 2.30pm contest next season.

The AFL gleefully accepted the chance at this timeslot because of the Cox Plate double-booking, and yet there is not a single reason why Gillon McLachlan shouldn’t revert to the long-held tradition immediately.

The game drew a national average audience of 3.812 million people, up 30 per cent on last year’s snorefest between Richmond and GWS but still short of the 4.12 million in 2016 (Dogs-Sydney) and 4.443 million in 2005 (Sydney-West Coast).

You can spin TV ratings any way you like, but in a COVID era where fans were trapped in homes instead of dispersed across tens of thousands of barbecues they weren’t the lay down misère that would force the league to lock away this timeslot.

[Read more]

Fox Sports to can apps and focus on website

The changing viewing habits of sports fans has prompted Australia’s premier sports channel to axe its apps and simplify its range of digital subscription services, reports The Australian’s Emily Ritchie.

Fox Sports announced on Monday it would be closing all of its apps, which include Fox Footy, Fox League, Fox Sports multi-sport app and Fox Cricket, by the end of November.

Fox Sports executive editor Luke McIlveen said the decision reflected the shifting viewing habits of customers.

“With more than 80 per cent of total traffic now using, this is a natural time to retire these free apps with declining use, without dis­appointing sports fans,” McIlveen said.

“Fans are overwhelmingly telling us they prefer to access their sports news and match stats and results through their browser.”

[Read more]

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