By James Manning
Seven West Media CEO James Warburton and director of network programming Angus Ross on 2020 programming challenges
JW: When I came into the organisation and sat in front of the board for the first time, it was clear to me that Sunday to Thursday was a problem.
We have total domination with sport at the back end of the week.
Our problems were too much focus on number one and total people and not enough focus on the demographics.
Everything we have done so far [since I arrived] has been geared around investing more in content.
Hopefully there has been a bit of a surprise about how much we have got to attack the 7.30pm slot.
It is not going to take much for us to be absolutely back in leadership of all the key demographics.
We don’t program for an hour a day like some. We smash it out across the schedule from sunup to sundown with a lot of really, really powerful content.
Telling advertisers the problem and the plan
JW: I couldn’t have been any more frank and open about our recent performance. The market appreciates that, but you also have to tell them what you are going to do about it – explain the problem, but also detail how you are going to fix it.
More AFL on Thursday nights?
JW: We would love as much AFL as we could get on Thursday nights. We will support the AFL in whatever they want to do. If there is talk about a twilight Grand Final we will support them. It is not up to us to lead discussions on that.
Why did you acquire the rights to Big Brother?
AR: It is still one of the most iconic and well known franchises in the world. The plans that Endemol Shine have for it got us very excited. They presented an interesting take on in their plans to relaunch it in this market.
They have been blown away by the number of responses they have already had for the number of people who want to take part.
Whenever the brand gets mentioned it always creates a lot of chatter.
[When asked about Seven showing clips of a set being built in Sydney Harbour, Ross replied:]
That just might have been stock footage. I can’t answer anything on that.
We have only just signed the deal and we don’t yet know where it will be based.
Where did the idea for Plate of Origin come from?
AR: It’s a Seven Studios idea. It was something that developed through discussions about owning the cooking space. We now have all the biggest names in food in the one place and we will have an Olympic launch pad for the new series. It will be a perfect time to launch a new show and there clearly seems to be a demand for it. The market sustains two cooking formats already and there is a big, big advertiser demand for more of that content.
The schedule James Warburton outlined seems to fill your 7.30pm slots across the full year?
AR: James came in with a very clear brief. He wanted year-round 7.30pm strip programming targeting 25-54. No more weeks of patchwork quilt programming due to cost pressures with gaps in the format.
He identified there was more investment needed in the 7.30pm entertainment schedule. We have responded to that brief.
What is your current thinking about the number of nights a format can sustain each week?
AR: Some of these shows will be part of a two pronged stripped attack each week at certain points of the year. Some of the shows will have more episodes than others. There will be some weeks when we run two different franchises.
We will be attacking five nights a week – Sunday to Thursday. Sports and Better Homes and Gardens takes care of the rest.
People forget that in 2018, Seven won everything – all people and every single demographic [metro network].
We have a really good base of news and sport. It is much harder to turn around a declining news brand or a declining sport than it is to fix 7.30pm. We have a number of key 7.30pm brand that do work, we just need to fix the other parts of the year.
Top Photo: James Warburton with Sunrise executive producer Michael Pell
By James Manning
• Natalie Harvey and James Bayes on Seven sales initiatives for 2020
Seven network sales director Natalie Harvey and Seven digital sales director James Bayes
Why has CODE7 returned now?
NH: We used CODE7 initially two years ago. To make sure it was right we rested it for a while, but we are ready to go now. We have some campaigns locked in.
CODE7 is live now and will halve the workload of the agency and works across broadcast and digital. It is how we deliver on dynamic trading campaigns based on a CPM and we guarantee an audience outcome with no more make goods. The dashboard we have allows people to make sense of our audiences as its shows our audiences by day and by week. It is the start of the future of trading.
What are you aims for 7CAP which enables contextual ad placement?
JB: 7CAP is a broadcast product but the digital team has been intimately involved.
NH: We put a brief through 7CAP this week looking for family moments and we got around 14000 moments within our content with family moments coming up. That gives the advertiser specific opportunities to align the brand with those moments in the linear broadcast and we haven’t been able to do that before.
JB: We know it works. You put your spot in the right contextual environment adjacent to relevant content and the cut through and brand impact of that is going to be greater.
What 7CAP allows us to do is to automate that and do it at scale.
We run all of our schedule through AWS artificial intelligence machine learning and every five seconds it takes a frame out of the content and then codes it.
Seven West Media’s chief revenue officer Kurt Burnette
Seven reported that it had already signed off on most Olympic partnerships
KB: Having 11 major sponsors already, and the last one to be completed before the end of the year, is unprecedented. I have never seen that many commitments this far out of the games.
This gives us a signal that 2020 is going to be a much better year than 2019. This year has been a tough year with advertisers unsure and the Olympics represents a known entity they can commit to. The people I talk to say it gives them a chance to forward plan and go long for a change instead of short term [trading].
With paywalls in 2012 [Foxtel] and 2016 [Seven], Seven is promising everything for free from the Tokyo games
KB: This is the first time TV audiences will get to see everything at an Olympics for free.
We will be covering Tokyo on Seven and 7TWO with six additional curated channels and then another 35+ streams of multiple sports that give viewers the chance to choose and athlete or a sport.
Improving the FTA drama viewing experience
KB: We launched Secret Bridesmaid’s Business with solace 60 second spots where the break would countdown with the ad running. We did some preliminary research that showed that Westpac had a recall rate of 80% from those spots. Our dramas next year will have shorter breaks – we need to make drama a better experience and that’s what we will be doing.
More advertising opportunity during Big Bash League
KB: Cricket will have strategic timeouts in Big Bash League matches. Cricket Australia spoke to the players about it and we saw it as a great opportunity to get not just ads, but also on ground activations and strategic messaging. We will give it the special treatment it deserves.
Top Photo: Kurt Burnette with Seven’s Charlotte Valente and James Warburton
By Claudia Siron
• Jess Eva co-hosts ‘Moonman In The Morning’ at Triple M
With the huge shift from regional to metro radio, Eva is content in her new role at Triple M co-hosting breakfast show Moonman In The Morning alongside Lawrence Mooney, the soon-to-depart Gus Worland, and Chris Page. Eva told Mediaweek what it’s like co-hosting a show with three men, her experiences in metro radio, and her favourite moments so far at the new gig.
Eva said she is very grateful for her time in the smaller radio market. “I loved Sunshine Coast Radio. I have so much respect for every regional and provincial breakfast team. I was doing that for 13 years where you’re also playing producer, audio producer, breakfast announcer, semi promotions manager, meeting with the guys from Harvey Norman or something trying to get a sales pitch over the line; then you teach yourself how to edit video to get your social likes up, and it’s all purely for the love of radio,” explained Eva.
“You don’t get many ratings results and for most of my regional time we didn’t have ratings at all, so the only reason why you would work hard is because you love radio and you want to create a good product. Coming to Sydney you surrounded by four or five producers, an audio producer and a video producer.”
Eva has only been familiar to co-hosting a two-person radio show for her entire career, and is now co-hosting a four-person radio show. Eva said it was quite challenging at the start with adjusting to the team size. “However after the first couple of days, I thought to myself ‘oh my gosh. I’m getting paid more money than I’ve ever been paid before and I have to talk less’,” laughed Eva.
“Everyone in that show has something valid to say. We have this mindset that as long as the speakers sound good, it doesn’t matter who’s talking.”
Eva said she feels like one of the luckiest people in Australia working with Lawrence Mooney. “Anyone that’s met Mooney knows that he is one of the greatest minds in radio; to be able to work alongside him and observe and learn from him is fantastic,” shared Eva.
“There is no school in the world that would give you that training and he’s very generous in the way that he teaches you how to perform. I feel like I’ve improved more in the last eight months than I have in 13 years in radio. He has a genuine desire for this show to work and he is very generous in passing on his knowledge.”
On that note of working alongside Mooney, Eva shared with Mediaweek how she doesn’t mind working with the team of men as she gets along with them really well. “I love the boys and I would honestly tell you otherwise, because I want to make my experiences as real as they can for other women who are going into all-male environments,” said Eva. “Of course men are going to act a little differently to women off-air, but I quite enjoy it; It’s like having a whole bunch of brothers, and at the end of the day they stand up for you, they protect you.
“I had an incident I spoke about on-air a couple of months ago where a taxi driver was quite abusive to me, and Moonman was outraged. He talked about it on-air and he was actually emotional. Even though I know from an outside point of view he’s a comedy/satire guy, he has a heart of gold and would go to war for you if necessary. So, how lucky am I?” said Eva. “The male and female relationships have been really beautiful and healthy in my environment and my experiences.”
Eva shared her thoughts on the head of Triple M network Mike Fitzpatrick, and said he is a great leader when it comes to teamwork. “At the ACRAs on Saturday night, we were on his table. Every region, no matter where you came from, Mike Fitzpatrick was standing up giving his biggest round of applause in that entire crowd and had the rest of our table up to congratulate. Coming from a regional market, it just really hit me,” said Eva. “I think that’s where the culture of that love and teamwork comes from. I think we were the only network to do that; it’s very uncommon.”
Eva laughed when she said that some of her favourite moments at Triple M have been the hilarious conversations off-air. Although, Eva revealed that on-air, she’s really loved helping people that are in need. “We’ve taken a bit of the Block part of my background. We’ve teamed up with different tradesmen and renovated houses for people who are in desperate need – so I’ve really enjoyed that,” said Eva.
“I’ve also really enjoyed Moonman’s different characters – I think the idea of characters was a really brave thing to bring into the market, because you’re so vulnerable and it’s just you and I think he nailed them,” said Eva. “I love listening to Mooney talk, so sometimes I have to remember it’s my turn to talk and that I’m not an audience member,” said Eva as she laughed.
“Another great moment was the introduction of [executive producer] Laura Bouchet who we poached from Jonesy and Amanda. I think the introduction of her to our show in March was a winning move by the company – she’s the best in the industry and I think she has just fitted in so well and just made our little team complete.”
The parent companies of two of Australia’s biggest production companies are involved in one of the biggest acquisitions ever in TV production.
Analysts have valued that deal at around $3 billion.
The acquisition, which is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory clearances and consultation with the relevant employee representative bodies, will encompass Endemol Shine’s 120 production labels with an estimated 66,000 hours of scripted and non-scripted programming together with over 4,300 registered formats.
Upon completion of the acquisition, Banijay Group will own almost 200 production companies in 23 territories and the rights for close to 100,000 hours of content. Total pro-forma revenue of the combined group is expected to be approximately €3 billion for the year ending December 31st 2019.
In Australia Banijay owns Screentime Australia under the leadership of executive chairman Bob Campbell and CEO Rory Callaghan. The Endemol Shine Group operates Endemol Shine Australia under joint CEO’s Carl and Mark Fennessy.
Once the acquisition has been completed it is expected the two Australian production companies will continue to operate separately.
Marco Bassetti, chief executive officer at Banijay, said: “Endemol Shine brings an incredible array of industry-leading talent, globally-renowned brands and high-quality creative content. Combining the resources of these two companies will instantly strengthen our position in the global market, and our capabilities across genres will further define us as a go-to provider of first class IP worldwide. Welcoming the Endemol Shine brands and talents to our existing business will signal enhanced opportunities in the marketplace, and we are all excited by what the future holds for the combined entity.”
Sophie Turner Laing, Endemol Shine Group chief executive officer, added: “At Endemol Shine, we have continually inspired and entertained audiences around the world, a testament to every single person across the group. This deal takes us into a whole new and exciting chapter and into a new enhanced global content house with many opportunities ahead.”
WA’s remarkable generosity was on full show again across the weekend when the state raised $42,596,034 million for the 2019 edition of the annual fundraising event.
Steve Butler reported in The West Australian:
Underpinned by multimillion donations from the Federal and State Governments and several other WA businesses and philanthropists, the record total pushed Telethon’s combined annual medical funding to almost $350 million since its 1968 inception.
Seven West Media chairman Kerry Stokes said WA was now Australia’s undisputed leader of community giving.
“I know it is,” Stokes, the immediate former Telethon chairman, said bluntly.
“There are even premiers from other States who have asked if we can replicate it for them and I just keep telling them it has to be West Australian. It’s become something way bigger than we ever contemplated and I’m just so excited that we’ve come on this journey.
“This is human spirit on a total Statewide level as well as individual, from the smallest kid giving their pocket money to the people who get treated better than they would have because of all this generosity. It’s not just corporate, it’s the whole community and I think it can still get bigger and we can do even more.”
Top Photo: Seven’s Basil Zempilas reveals the Telethon total last night
Foxtel has announced season 8 of its Australian drama Wentworth has commenced production with three heritage characters from the original Prisoner series entering the compound.
Fans were left reeling at the end of season 7 after the death of two much loved inmates and the staggering reveal that Joan ‘The Freak’ Ferguson is very much alive.
When Wentworth returns in 2020, the prison community is still reeling from the aftermath of the bloody siege with a new leader at the helm. New characters joining the impressive ensemble of actors include Kate Box (Upright, Les Norton, Rake) as former top dog of Wentworth, Lou Kelly with a reputation for impulsive brutality; Zoe Terakes (Janet King, The End) as Rebel ‘Reb’ Keane a man trapped inside a woman’s skin and Jane Hall (Neighbours, House Husbands) as the new General Manager, Ann Reynolds who charms her colleagues but treats her prisoners with hard line prejudice.
Foxtel executive director of Television Brian Walsh said: “Wentworth has been the shining star of Foxtel’s extensive slate of Australian dramas and we are very proud to call “action” on the new season. We are indebted to the remarkable creative talent involved and to showcase the outstanding line-up of actors who bring to life this compelling series.
“Since its debut in 2013 Wentworth has had a large and loyal worldwide following and continually attracts some of the country’s finest actors and production creatives, we are thrilled to welcome Kate, Jane and Zoe on board.”
Fremantle director of scripted and Wentworth executive producer Jo Porter said: “Some 12 months after we wrapped series 7 it was more than a little bit exciting to see the gates of Wentworth spring open and reveal not only our beloved cast but some new faces join our incredible ensemble of acting talent. We are all so proud of the calibre of actors this production has always been able to attract – and post the first read through it was clear Kate, Jane and Zoe are already comfortable in the skin of their new roles.
“Marcia Gardiner and her team of writers have shaped another exhilarating season and introduced some compelling characters that continue to draw on the legacy of Prisoner while shaping the women to reflect a contemporary Australia. Together with Pino Amenta, Marcia and our incredible writers directors, cast and crew we can’t wait to get started.”
Returning cast are: Pamela Rabe (Joan ‘The Freak’ Ferguson), Kate Atkinson (Vera Bennett), Leah Purcell (Rita Connors), Susie Porter (Marie Winter), Kate Jenkinson (Allie Novak), Rarriwuy Hick (Ruby Mitchell), Katrina Milosevic (Sue ‘Boomer’ Jenkins), Robbie Magasiva (Will Jackson), Bernard Curry (Jake Stewart) and support cast Jacquie Brennan (Linda Miles) and David de Loutour (Dr. Greg Miller).
Wentworth is a Fremantle production for Foxtel with Fremantle director of scripted, Jo Porter and Foxtel’s senior drama consultant, Penny Win as executive producers.
Pino Amenta is series producer for season eight. The directors are Kevin Carlin, Beck Cole, Fiona Banks, Corrie Chen, Roger Hodgman and Mat King.
The writers are John Ridley, Kim Wilson, Peter McTighe, Max Conroy and Marcia Gardner, who is both script producer and writer.
Season 8 is supported by funding from Film Victoria.
Wentworth is distributed by Fremantle International and has been sold to 158 international territories.
Top Photo: Wentworth season 8 new cast Jane Hall, Kate Box and Zoe Terakes
By James Manning
Nine has topped the TV rating chart for another week with a primary channel share of 19.5% and a combined channel share of 29.0%.
Nine’s best was The Block Sunday episode, followed by the Tuesday, Monday and then Wednesday episodes.
Nine has claimed demos wins in key demos for primary and network shares, while Love Island is still the clear leader in BVOD viewing.
Seven had a low share last week, but it slipped to a new survey year primary channel low with 16.9% in week 43. The collection of multichannels pushed the combined channel share to 27.1%.
Seven News had the only entries in the top 20, while Home and Away came in at #22 for the week.
Shows in the top 30 and close to 500,000 each were Motorbike Cops, the return of The Good Doctor and the ever-reliable Better Homes and Gardens.
10 ended the week with a primary channel share of 12.8% with the numbers getting a boost from The Masked Singer final on Monday which was the #1 show of the week with 1.37m watching the reveal and 1.05m watching the remainder of the season finale.
Have You Been Paying Attention? busted above 900,000 for a second successive week and ranked #4 for the week while both episodes of The Bachelorette cracked the top 20.
Elsewhere on 10 Trial By Kyle debuted #1 in its timeslot and Rugby World Cup 2019: England vs. New Zealand Semi Final achieved the biggest audience for a Rugby World Cup game since 2011.
The ABC’s best for the week was again Gruen, but the numbers were lower, down to 640,000.
The best for SBS again was Struggle Street on 255,000.
By James Manning
• Two Tones and I tunes in singles Top 10 have charted for 37 weeks
We start the chart how we have every week for the past 13 weeks with an update on the records busted by Tones and I. Dance Monkey is in week 13 at #1 and has now gone 5x platinum. The track joins Old Town Road by Lil Nas X (2019), Despacito by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee (2017) and Gangsta’s Paradise by Coolio (1995/1996) at equal second in the list of most weeks spent at #1 on the ARIA Singles Chart.
Meanwhile Tones and I has spent a fourth week at the top n the UK with 81,000 chart sales over the past seven days, including 9 million streams. Dance Monkey outperformed its closest UK competitor, Regard’s Ride It, by almost double.
Tones and I also has another tune in the top 10 with Never Seen the Rain reaching a new chart peak at #10 after 14 weeks creeping higher. Only two Australian artists have had two singles in the Top 10 in the same week in the last decade: Harrison Craig in June 2013 and Karise Eden in June 2012. Before that, Savage Garden also joined that club in June 1997.
There was only one new arrival debuting in the top 50 this week – Katy Perry with Harleys in Hawaii at #36. The track is the third single to be released from her forthcoming sixth studio album with inspiration came from riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle in Oahu with fiancé Orlando Bloom.
The Mauboy magic sweeps across the top of the ARIA Albums chart this week as her fourth studio album Hilda lands at #1.
It’s the first time there has been a new album at #1 since Post Malone replaced Tool at the top of the chart in the first week of September.
Hilda is Mauboy’s second solo #1 and features a collection of songs co-written by her. Mauboy’s other trips to the top of the chart were for The Secret Daughter soundtrack in October 2016 and as member of the cast of the film The Sapphires in August 2012.
With Mauboy and Tones And I at the top of the Albums and Singles Chart, this is the first week since August 2004 that two Australian female solo artists have sat at the top of both ARIA Charts. The last time this occurred, Missy Higgins topped the Singles Chart with the Scar EP and Paulini was at #1 on the Albums Chart with One Determined Heart. It is only the third time this has happened in ARIA chart history.
Seven other albums found their way onto the chart on debut:
#6 Various Artists on Triple J Like A Version 15. The previous compilation peaked at #6 a year ago while the collections #9 to #13 all peaked at #1. The new compilation features covers performed by Amy Shark, Adrian Eagle, Holy Holy, Thelma Plum, Vance Joy, The Presets, Cub Sport, Parcels, Lily Allen, The Wombats and more.
#7 Alter Bridge with Walk The Sky. The sixth album from the Florida rockers led by singer/guitarist Myles Kennedy.
#9 Horrorshow with New Normal. The Sydney hip-hop duo score a third top 10 appearance for their fifth album.
#10 Foals with Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 2. The second album from the band this year after ENSWBL Part 1 in March this year which peaked at #11.
#15 Christie Lamb with Broken Lines. The third album from Lamb, one of the Australian country music artists on the ABC Music roster. Lamb was voted CMC Female Artist of the Year 2018.
#23 James Arthur with You. Third album from the UK winner of The X Factor back in 2012.
#38 Bad//Dreems with Doomsday Ballet. The third album from the Adelaide rockers was supported by shows in Sydney and Brisbane on the weekend with Melbourne, Perth and their hometown in the next fortnight.
By James Manning
• Nine Sunday winning way: News, The Block & 60 Minutes
• ABC’s Total Control close to half a million, 200k on catchup
• Seven News 901,000
• Nine News 867,000
• ABC News 633,000
• Insiders 331,000
• The Project 227,000/353,000
• Offsiders 154,000
• SBS World News 148,000
• Sunrise 222,000
• Today 180,000
Bride & Prejudice – The Forbidden Weddings ran after 7pm with 440,000 watching. The biggest audience last week was 484,000 on Tuesday.
Sunday Night then did 376,000.
The Block saw the delivery of the hallways, media rooms and studies. Mitch and Mark were again the winners, narrowly in front of Jesse and Mel. The winner last night also got to drive home in a new VW Touareg loaded with $10,000. The Sunday episode did 1.087m after 1.098m on Sunday a week ago.
60 Minutes kept Nine ranked #1 with 610,000 after 535,000 a week ago.
The Sunday Project was on 353,000 after 363,000 a week ago.
The Graham Norton Show did 300,000 followed by NCIS on 288,000.
The Sunday afternoon coverage of the Supercars on the Gold Coast did 286,000.
Total Control managed to attract the channel’s biggest audience with 495,000. The audience of 454,000 last week grew to 641,000 when adding in consolidated 7 data. The drama continues to be #1 on iview for the ABC.
The primary channel has had successive Sunday shares over 6% for the first time this year since the first two weeks of January.
The premiere of Secrets of the Railway visited Cairns with 241,000 watching which put the channel in the top 20.
Next best was Egypt’s Top 10 Treasures with 219,000.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.8%||7TWO||3.0%||GO!||5.0%||10 Bold||3.2%||VICELAND||0.8%|
|ABC ME||0.5%||7mate||3.7%||GEM||3.6%||10 Peach||3.3%||Food Net||1.6%|
|7Food||0.6%||SBS World Movies||0.8%|
|ABC||9.7 %||7||17.6%||9||18.6%||10||11.6%||SBS One||4.8%|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||3.3%||7TWO||3.3%||GO!||4.1%||10 Bold||3.3%||VICELAND||0.9%|
|ABC ME||0.6%||7mate||3.8%||GEM||3.3%||10 Peach||2.7%||Food Net||0.9%|
|7Food||0.7%||SBS World Movies||1.0%|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.9%||7TWO||2.7%||GO!||4.2%||10 Bold||3.0%||VICELAND||1.5%|
|ABC ME||0.5%||7mate||3.6%||GEM||3.5%||10 Peach||1.5%||Food Net||1.0%|
|7Food||0.6%||SBS World Movies||0.7%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.5%||7TWO||4.2%||GO!||4.1%||WIN Bold||3.3%||VICELAND||1.6%|
|ABC ME||0.9%||7mate||4.4%||GEM||5.5%||WIN Peach||1.6%||Food Net||1.1%|
|ABC NEWS||1.2%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||1.6%||9Life||2.6%||Sky News on WIN||1.2%||NITV||0.3%|
|7food (QLD only)||0.2%|
|SUNDAY METRO ALL TV|
Friday Top 10
Saturday Top 10
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
Quadrant Private Equity is ready to jump back into out-of-home advertising.
The AFR’s Street Talk reports that four years after selling out of what was APN Outdoor – and five years after listing it on the ASX – Quadrant has a board-recommended deal to buy digital signage and sports advertising specialist QMS Media.
Lender sources told Street Talk on Sunday the private equity firm would acquire QMS in full and had offered more than $1.10 a share for the privilege, which is more than where the company’s shares have traded for about 18-months.
The deal would value QMS at north of $500 million including debt.
QMS management, headed by CEO and major shareholder Barclay Nettlefold, is expected to remain at the company under Quadrant’s ownership. It is not known whether Nettlefold is rolling his 15 per cent-odd stake into the bid vehicle, although Quadrant would likely demand he retains significant skin in the game. It could also help thwart off any rival suitors.
Netflix Australia paid only $341,793 in tax for the 2018 calendar year despite reaping an estimated $600 million to $1 billion from local subscribers, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.
While the US-based streaming giant nearly doubled the amount of income tax it pays in Australia from $175,516 in 2017, it continues to use a corporate structure which allows a Netherlands-based subsidiary to recognise the hundreds of millions of revenue earned here.
“We comply with all Australian and international tax law,” a Netflix spokesman said.
The Financial Review is not suggesting Netflix is doing anything against the law. However, it does call into question how effective the Australian government’s tax reforms have been in getting digital companies like Netflix, Google and Facebook to recognise the money they earn from Australian consumers and businesses in Australia.
Netflix Australia acts as a collection, payment processing and content delivery support business. It charges a fee to Netflix International BV for those services.
AMPD Research, a subsidiary of Media Partners Asia, believes Netflix has 5.3 million subscribers in Australia following a June consumer survey.
Netflix has three tiers for its streaming service; $9.99 for basic, $13.99 for standard and $19.99 for premium. However, Netflix only increased the price of its premium tier earlier in October from $17.99.
Foxtel and NBCUniversal are close to finalising an expanded content agreement across broadcast and streaming, locking in rights to help the News Corp-majority owned pay television business build a back catalogue of programming for a new drama and entertainment streaming service, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.
The deal will be for TV shows and movies on both broadcast and streaming video on-demand, making the deal incredibly important for Foxtel in its efforts to launch a new drama and entertainment streaming service. Sources indicated Foxtel was targeting around March or April next year for a launch of the new service.
NBCU is also understood to be close to an agreement with Foxtel’s smaller rival Fetch.
“Foxtel is close to an agreement with NBCU and looking forward to making an announcement in the coming weeks,” a Foxtel spokesman said.
NBCU declined to comment.
It’s believed Foxtel will now turn its attention to trying to nail down new deals with Discovery, Viacom and Turner.
Radio National’s Hamish Macdonald has emerged as the hot favourite to become the ABC’s new Tony Jones, hosting Q&A, reports Nick Tabakoff in his weekly column in The Australian.
Macdonald, who also co-hosts 10’s The Sunday Project with Lisa Wilkinson, will stand in for Jones on Monday night for the second time in a fortnight on a Q&A drought special.
That means that with Jones having been off the show entirely in October (as he has been preparing to launch the sequel to his “Day of the Jackal-style thriller”, The Twentieth Man), Macdonald has been the main host, with Fran Kelly and Annabel Crabb hosting the other weeks.
News Corp Australia is looking to launch a news and lifestyle website called Yanomi early next year, targeted at millions of Asian-Australians, reports The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich.
Yanomi will feature original content, mostly on beauty, travel, food, relationships, identity and personal experiences, plus stories from the media group’s vast operations.
News is hoping to fill a void in the Asian-Australian community, particularly among younger members who feel misrepresented in mainstream media. It is one of the nation’s largest and fastest growing communities, consisting of 3.6 million people and forecast to rise to 4.8 million in a decade.
Yanomi is the winner of News’s second annual business ideas program, News Bolt, which received 150 ideas from more than 100 staff. After a lengthy process over many months, Yanomi was chosen by News executives, led by executive chairman Michael Miller.
“The big benefit of News Bolt is that it provides an avenue for everyone at News Corp to express their creativity every day,” Miller said.
“We are seeing a pipeline of highly innovative business ideas that are helping underwrite News Corp Australia’s long-term future.”
The idea of Yanomi came from the personal experience of Chinese-Australian News employee Jacklyn Szetu. She worked on the project with colleagues Michael Geedrick and Christie Molloy.
Prime Media non-executive chairman John Hartigan has warned rural newsrooms are facing an existential threat that means regional broadcasters who do not become part of bigger media businesses will fail without major regulatory changes, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Jennifer Duke.
The former News Corp Australia chief executive, who in November announced his plan to retire from Prime, also expects Bermuda-based billionaire and major Prime shareholder Bruce Gordon will back the merger of Seven West Media with its regional affiliate.
“There’s no question that the market is heading to a level where it can no longer support three regional commercial television [networks]. If you look at any measure, but even if you compare our revenues to the period of the financial crisis, we’re significantly down,” Hartigan said.
“This is a pretty sad thing. And the greatest casualty has been, and will continue to be, the 6pm news,” he said. News bulletins are expensive to produce and are typically less attractive for advertisers than entertainment content.
“Unless there’s significant, and I mean really substantial regulatory reform, the market will ultimately fail,” he said, adding that eight newsrooms across several broadcasters had been closed in regional areas and more would like shut this financial year.
Seven chief executive James Warburton has committed to maintaining the local news bulletins, saying his plan is to invest in the expanding business.
Hartigan said he was comforted by these comments as only companies with big balance sheets like Seven could absorb the costs of maintaining many newsrooms.
Carrie Bickmore has refused to buy into the public intrigue surrounding her contract negotiations with Network 10, reports News Corp’s Fiona Byrne.
Bickmore, who is unquestionably the female face of Channel 10, is yet to commit to a new deal with the network, sparking no end of speculation and wild rumours about what could eventuate in 2020.
“I don’t talk s— about the s—, I just don’t,” Bickmore said in summing up her contract situation.
But sources do talk and word is Bickmore and 10 are getting closer to an agreement.
If you ever wanted to see what genuinely diverse casting looks like, tune into 10’s reboot of The Amazing Race Australia, reports The Age’s Karl Quinn.
The 11 teams of two who will compete for a $250,000 cash prize represent as good a cross-section of Australia as you could hope to see on the screen.
There’s a gay couple; a pint-sized Asian-Australian brother and sister; a pair of African-Australian psych nurses; Greek-Australian millennial siblings; a pair of Aussie Rules-playing lads who cheer themselves on with testosterone-fuelled yelps of “the boys!”; a farmer and a firefighter in their late-50s. There’s even a couple of nuns and – perhaps the most representative pair of all in this day and age – a couple who proudly describe themselves as social media influencers.
Australia, meet Australia.
Stephen Tate, 10’s head of factual and light entertainment, says the network always aims for diversity in casting reality shows, but “it’s not always possible because we don’t always have the people show up. But with this one, people from all walks of life have come out of the woodwork. It’s by far the most diverse cast we’ve ever managed to attract to any franchise, which is really exciting.”
The Masked Singer Australia was an instant hit for Network 10 this year, and the quirky format is just a small reflection of what South Korean television is offering local networks, reports The Age’s Broede Carmody.
Beverley McGarvey, 10’s chief content officer, says the network is open to seeing what else could be adapted from South Korean TV.
“We keep an eye on everything,” she said. “At the moment those South Korean and South-east Asian territories are extremely zeitgeisty. Entertainment is generally so big in those markets.
“But I think we will be having this conversation in a year from now and be talking about a totally different market. Television is quite cyclical. For many years the northern European markets were really interesting and you saw shows like Big Brother and The Voice coming out of that territory.
“And for a long time Israel was making some very interesting television, particularly in the scripted area, so you saw shows like Homeland coming from there.”
Today show anchor Georgie Gardner would be shunted to Nine’s struggling Today Extra morning show in 2020 to replace Sonia Kruger whose role at Nine is under review, TV sources claimed yesterday in comments that drew a swift denial from Nine, reports News Corp’s Annette Sharp.
With executives at the TV broadcaster under mounting pressure to finalise a series of anchor appointments across Nine’s underperforming breakfast and morning line-up before the end of the ratings year, Kruger is said to have been identified as the star most easily shed in a move that could make her the network’s biggest casualty of the new year.
As a consolation, Kruger could keep her role on The Voice– although that too is believed to be under review as the presenter explores her options outside Nine with rival networks.
Nine denied Kruger would be replaced at the helm of Today Extra. It further denied Gardner would take Kruger’s place.
“All of the talk is made up,” said a network spokeswoman.
Gretel Killeen has been signed to host Seven’s rebooted series of Big Brother next year, television insiders said last night, reports News Corp’s Annette Sharp.
Fresh from her surprise appearance on 10’s The Masked Singer, the one-time Midday show comedian entered into talks last month to make her prime-time comeback at the helm of the show she launched in Australia and hosted on 10 for seven years from 2001-07.
Her main rivals for the role are said to have been another former Big Brother host, Sonia Kruger, who hosted the show for three seasons on Nine from 2012-14, and Big Brother alumnus Chrissie Swan with Seven and production partner Endemol Shine looking to bring a sense of Australian heritage to the new show.
Hamish Blake has quashed suggestions that Andy Lee might be headed to the Today show, following a report his sidekick had been sounded out for a role, reports TV Tonight.
“Someone told me yesterday we were both thrown around as hosts. Far out. I’m answering here an article I have no idea about,” he told TV Tonight.
The Lego Masters host said he hadn’t heard any news of Lee joining Today “… only in the context of our friends laughing about a newspaper report. I guess people who run newspapers have to write something. You can’t put out a blank story, so you have to write something.
“Having known Ando for 20 years I’m pretty familiar with our policy on early mornings. I’d be surprised if that changed.”
New Seven Network boss James Warburton is gearing up to make a serious play for NRL broadcasting rights to increase its market share in Sydney and Brisbane, reports The Australian’s Leo Shanahan.
In the boldest move yet by the Seven West Media chief executive since taking the job in August, The Australian understands Seven will make a considered push to steal the NRL rights from Nine Entertainment, with the current deals for both rugby league and AFL set to expire at the end of 2022 and negotiations for new deals to begin over the next year.
Asked directly whether Seven would compete for the NRL free-to-air rights in 2023, Warburton said he was interested.
“News and live sport are central to our DNA,” he said. “We’d be interested in looking at rights when the time is right.”
The Seven boss said holding onto the AFL would be his preference but he floated the idea of taking the State of Origin series if full NRL rights could not be achieved.
The NRL is finally standing up to television network Channel 9 over the season schedule, reports News Corp’s Phil Rothfield.
No longer will the showpiece match of the round be shown on prime-time Thursday nights.
When the NRL draw is released on Tuesday, it will be the most family-friendly schedule we’ve had since the networks took control of the timeslots.
This year the emphasis is on getting fans back to the football rather than just TV ratings that have been average anyway.
You will find the better games next year will be on Saturday afternoons/evenings or Sunday afternoons.
Under the old system, they would have been on a Thursday night.
No more blockbusters on school nights when it’s too late to watch on TV, let alone get to a game and fight the traffic or transport hassles on the way home.
Teams like the Raiders, who have had little or no prime-time exposure for their sponsors, will get more Channel 9 matches.