Wednesday October 30, 2019

Foxtel First: Patrick Delany unveils customer loyalty program

• Are you Bronze, Silver, Gold or Diamond and what do you get?

Foxtel has announced the launch of Foxtel First, a new loyalty program based on the principle that the longer a customer has been with Foxtel, the better their Foxtel First experience will be.

At a launch event inside the board room at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Foxtel chief executive Patrick Delany noted in times of massive choice it is as crucial to keep existing customers as it is to attract new ones.

Presenting alongside the Foxtel boss yesterday were Alice Mascia, Foxtel chief product and strategy officer, and Lisa Johnstone, Foxtel director – loyalty.

As one of the first tenure-based loyalty programs in Australia, Foxtel First does not involve collecting points or spending more, it rewards loyalty based on four levels of continuous customer tenure:

Bronze (0-3 years)
Silver (3-8 years)
Gold (8-15 years)
Diamond (15+ years)

Each level automatically unlocks exclusive categories of benefits that get better the longer a customer has been with Foxtel. Rewards provide the opportunity to see some of Foxtel’s most popular content first, access to event tickets and competitions for money-can’t-buy experiences and enjoying the very best that Foxtel First has to offer. Current rewards, based on customer tenure, include:

Experiences – tickets for sports events and cinema, a Foxtel First welcome gift along with competitions for money can’t buy experiences. This includes thousands of free tickets to Australia’s most popular sporting events this summer including Cricket, A-League and the Australian Grand Prix. And prize draws for experiences that only Foxtel can deliver such as an exclusive meet and greet for a family with the stars of Paw Patrol at Sea World including flights and accommodation.

Viewing – exclusive on demand, advance access to some of Foxtel’s best drama, entertainment, movies, lifestyle and documentaries.
Product – more value from Foxtel with exclusive offers on services such as free multiroom set up and discounted iQ4 set up.
Service – the best service and overall experience from Foxtel with a free Foxtel iQ4 set up and priority customer service.


Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany with Alice Mascia, Foxtel chief product and strategy officer

Delany said: “The launch of Foxtel First is about recognising our customers’ loyalty based on how long they have been with us.  It delivers customers more value through experiences and benefits which only get better the longer they have been with us.

“We have sourced great rewards for our customers through our network of partners across sports, cinema, music and TV. We’ve also lined up our best technology and priority service for our most loyal customers to make sure they are experiencing the best of Foxtel.

“The great thing about Foxtel First is it’s free to join and this is only the beginning. Foxtel First will continue to grow with more benefits and more rewards to be added in the coming months.”

One of the rewards for Diamond customers is quality of service. “You shouldn’t have to wait in a queue,” Delany told Mediaweek about customers who ring the call centres. “There will be a special unit setup and when a Diamond level member rings in it will detect the caller and they will get put straight through.”

Delany likened it to the Chairman’s Club for privileged Qantas flyers. “But this is based on tenure, not how much the company pays the airline.”

There is also an obvious answer as to why Foxtel loyalty is not rewarded by price breaks: “The business objective for Foxtel is to keep the revenue up. We have had a tough time with that principally because of the repackaging that was done in 2014 with $25 and $50 customers. We have now moved the opposite way and added more and more value with $50 and $75 and $100 packages. There is huge value if you are platinum because that now includes Netflix.

“What we are doing with Foxtel First it to reward and acknowledge that.

“If a customer has been with us for 15 years somebody will call them and say ‘We have a new set top box, when can we come out and upgrade you? And when can we give you the new remote?’

We are trying to maintain the revenues, but add far more value.

iQ3 and iQ4 upgrades

Foxtel customers on iQ3 and iQ4 have this week been getting notices from the subscription TV platform telling about the upgrade that will give users the access to Netflix directly through the set top box.

“The new Foxtel packages now have Netflix at a price that is lower than Netflix retail,” said Delany. “For Platinum customers it is included. ABC iview and SBS On Demand are also included in our basic package.”

Netflix has been available for some time for many subscribers through the set top box, but Foxtel isn’t able to monitor the time spent on Netflix by those customers. “Netflix owns its customers and when they to into their app we lose that data reporting. We know when they have gone [from Foxtel], but we don’t know what they did.”

Delany isn’t too concerned about people using the Foxtel box to watch other TV platforms. “They are using our box which we want as we are putting everything in one place to make it easy.”

During his presentation Delany referred to the future launch of Foxtel apps. Later talking to Mediaweek he was reluctant to put any timeframe on it.

“We are working on stuff all the time. At the moment we want to bed in the ABC and SBS. They are not inconsiderable technology programs as they both have a huge amount of content.”

Kayo will remain a big focus for Foxtel across the summer, said Delany.

“The Kayo customer is very different to the Foxtel customer and they behave very differently and they watch different sports in different volumes and they come and go more which is the nature of streaming. What we are excited about is coming into the second cycle of Kayo because it launched in November last year. We know all the people who have come and gone from Kayo and we know exactly what they like and we can almost predict who is going to come back.

“The legend of Kayo builds as more people know about it and understand it.”

Top Photo: Patrick Delany at the launch of Foxtel First

Big week for new Nova Entertainment PD & CMO Paul Jackson

• Robbie Williams performs for smoothfm, six ARIA Nova Red Rooms

Nova Entertainment has made two major announcements today – one for each of its radio brands – Nova and smoothfm.

The announcements come just days after Nova Entertainment revealed a major new marketing campaign for Nova 969, the first big move under its new marketing boss Paul Jackson.

The marketing operations were folded into Jackson’s role as programming boss after the departure of Tony Thomas earlier this year.

The smoothfm announcement is that Robbie Williams will be the latest artist to feature in the series smooth’s Feel Good Night With. This exclusive showcase event is staged rarely with former guest artists Spandau Ballet and Michael Bublé.

The smoothfm partnership with Williams comes just three weeks before the much-anticipated release of his first ever Christmas release – the double album The Christmas Present. The new set will be divided into two parts – Christmas Past and Christmas Future.

smoothfm listeners will be given the chance to win tickets to the Williams performance which will be early in 2020.

The other major announcement this morning is that Nova’s ARIA Red Room event will again be returning for 2019. This year the Nova Red Room events will be presented by Mitsubishi. There will be six separate Nova Red Room events. Mediaweek reported on every showcase performance in ARIA Week last year, but this year it looks like a grueling schedule for people wanting to see every act this time.

Listeners will have the chance to attend Nova’s Red Room ARIA Week shows by listening to Nova network from Monday 4 November.

Dan Rosen, ARIA chief executive officer said, “ARIA Week is a brilliant way to extend the celebration of Australian music across November in the lead up to the ARIA Awards. I am thrilled to once again partner with Nova to showcase our incredible Australian talent at these very special gigs”.

Peter Charlton, Nova Entertainment’s chief commercial officer said, “It’s fantastic to have a brand of Mitsubishi’s calibre on board for Nova’s Red Room ARIA Week. The partnership between Nova’s Red Room, as our premium experiential music brand, and the ARIA Awards, arguably the most prestigious celebration of Australian music, is already a potent one that’s proven hugely popular with fans. We’re excited to now have Mitsubishi ASX in the mix alongside some of music’s biggest names for what’s shaping up to be our best year yet.”

Nova’s Red Room ARIA Week artists are Birds of Tokyo, Dean Lewis, Guy Sebastian, Illy, PNAU and Tones and I.

The schedule is:

Illy – Thursday 21 November – The Lair @ The Metro.
Guy Sebastian – Saturday 23 November @ The Factory Theatre.
PNAU – Monday 25 November @ The Factory Theatre
Dean Lewis & Birds of Tokyo – Tuesday 26 November @ The Factory Theatre
Tones and I – Friday 29 November – The Lair @ The Metro

Paul Jackson, now Nova Entertainment’s chief programming and marketing officer oversaw the launch of the new marketing campaign to reinforce Nova 96.9’s position as the leading music network and showcase the station’s on-air line up in Sydney, with a multi-platform campaign that launched on Sunday 27 October.

The high impact campaign focuses on Nova’s strategy to provide the “freshest hits, highlight the power of live entertainment and showcase the station’s strong and consistent on-air line up in Sydney”.

An evolution of the Love Nova TVC series, the new commercial brings to life Nova 96.9’s on air line up, Fitzy & Wippa, plus Smallzy and Kate, Tim & Marty, alongside some of the world’s biggest music artists.

For the first time the campaign features international stars Miley Cyrus and the Black Eyed Peas, and local artists Amy Shark and Guy Sebastian alongside returning artists Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Shawn Mendes and Chris Martin.

The marketing campaign will run across free to air television, out of home plus digital, social and cinema.

Jackson told Mediaweek the exclusive deal with Sony Music’s Robbie Williams was tied in with his worldwide return to the music scene. He noted that the ARIA Week strategy for the Nova Red Room shows has been to make them bigger every year as Nova throws its supports behind the artists, this time with six shows over five days this year.

To be able to get Tones and I performing this year is amazing.”

smoothfm doesn’t have too many artists showcases, but Jackson said, “We want to make them special events that will really make people say ‘wow’. Robbie Williams will be one of those. I would like to think we might be able to do more of these, maybe as many as two or three a year. We have set the bar very high and we are only going to do household established names.

As to being able to manage both the Nova Entertainment programming and marketing roles, Jackson told Mediaweek. “In my previous life in the UK both programming and marketing sat under the one remit. It will work fine here. I am getting a lot of pleasure out of being really close to both parts of the business. The music and the announcers are marketing to the audience every day.

Everything we do externally now will be more connected than it’s ever been.”

Nine takes control: Three east coast radio stations on brink of closure

By James Manning

As Nine Entertainment Co flexes its muscles on its radio assets, the chairman of the soon-to-be delisted Macquarie Media Russell Tate continues to deliver pink slips to people in the radio division.

Last week it was Macquarie Media CEO Adam Lang who was told his services were no longer required.

Yesterday it was the announcers and staff of the Macquarie Radio Sports business who were told that the game was up. All sports all the time, but not much longer.

Just three days in fact – all sport talk programs, which account for much of the time across the weekday and weekends, will case at 11pm Friday.

Sports broadcasting on radio is at the crossroads. While Crocmedia’s SEN Sports Radio appears to be thriving, the Macquarie Sports Broadcasting experiment has come to a grinding halt just 18 months after launching. In that time there was no glimmer that the shows were reaching an audience. The highest rating for the Sydney station in that time was just 1.1% with a low of 0.5% earlier this year. In the supposed sporting capital of Australia, the highest Melbourne share in that time was 0.4%. The breakfast show in that city, relayed out of Sydney, has been on 0.1% for most of this year.

Sydney’s other sports radio station, Sky Sports Radio, is without a breakfast show after the recent departure of Terry Kennedy.

Announcers at Macquarie Sports Radio have been having some fun on air after the decision to axe the brand was revealed yesterday. The Ox and Marko drive show yesterday hosted (a previously planned) segment about the correct way to sack people.

Macquarie Sports Radio breakfast with Jimmy, Piggy and Levy

Meanwhile the breakfast show with Mark “Piggy” Riddell and Mark Levy bounced on air this morning, claiming they were on their final farewell tour.

The drive show hosts were famously sacked from SEN in 2017. They both said yesterday they were showed some respect this time by Russell Tate and that Macquarie would be looking after them.

In a short statement yesterday, Russell Tate said:

“Macquarie Media Limited today announced that development of its Macquarie Sports Radio stations in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane will be paused and reviewed over the summer months and that the current schedule of sport talk programs will cease as of 11pm, Friday 1 November.

“Over the coming months, Macquarie Sports Radio will continue live sport broadcasts including all scheduled Test Match, BBL, One-Day Internationals & International T20 Cricket matches as well as its English Premier League coverage. The stations will draw an increased amount of content from local and international partners, including Macquarie Media’s News Talk stations and Nine, and will continue to access Macquarie National News services for constantly updated sporting news.”

There has been some speculation that Nine could be soon simulcasting some of its programs like the Today show.

Other sources have said Crocmedia could be running the numbers about using the frequencies to expand into the Sydney and Brisbane markets. It already broadcasts a separate signal into South Australia for the Adelaide market.

Top Photos:  Marko and The Ox

Foxtel boss Delany on Neroli Meadows: ‘No one has a job for life’

By James Manning

Just a day after it was revealed that Fox Sports will not be renewing the contract of popular Fox Footy and Fox Cricket reporter and host Neroli Meadows, Foxtel boss Patrick Delany has defended the decision to Mediaweek.

Delany also defended Foxtel against a suggestion it might not be doing as much as it could for women in sports media.

Meadows yesterday responded to fans who were upset about her departure from the broadcaster.

“The past week has been challenging,” Meadows wrote in a letter she posted on social media.

“[But] this past 24 hours has been incredible. I can’t thank you all enough for the messages of support.”

After a spur of the moment off-season trip to Croatia, Meadows returned to the news that she would no longer be part of the Foxtel family.

“After 10 years in two cities, my time at Fox has come to an end,” she wrote. “I have had an incredible time with many sensational people.

“Doing boundary for both AFL and cricket this past year has been a dream come true, 20 years in the making.

“I love what I do for a living and grateful I get to do it. I’m not sure what’s next, which is scary but also exciting.”

On Ticker TV yesterday on Mediaweek on Ticker, anchor Ahron Young asked Mediaweek about women on Fox Sports and why it would let go a female host on a broadcaster dominated by men.

Meadows was also briefly part of Nine’s new-look AFL Footy Show launched during 2019

Later in the day Mediaweek posed that question to Foxtel chief executive Patrick Delany.

“We have plenty of women on the network and from time to time people go,” he replied. “People don’t have jobs for life.”

As to the circumstances surrounding the decision not to renew Meadows’ contract, Delany said: “I don’t want to comment on the particular circumstances. But Foxtel and Fox Sports are not short of women or not giving women opportunities, it is quite the opposite.

Finishing off her letter about her axing, Meadows said: “Thank you to all the players, coaches and administrators who trusted me to share their stories and all the people who chose to spend their time tuning in to watch.

“I’ve met some brilliant people and made some wonderful mates.”

Neroli Meadows

So far that social media post has been liked over 7,000 times, and generated 800 replies.

Among the comments were many from media colleagues, including Seven’s Melissa Doyle who is also facing an uncertain TV future after Seven shuttered her program Sunday Night.

Doyle commented: “You are a star. A knowledgeable, balanced, well researched, talented lovely star.”

The Australian’s cricket writer Peter Lalor commented: “Stunned and saddened. I’ve watched her work on cricket for over 10 years. Neroli is one of the best in the business. Hard working, smart and well connected. Breaks news. Gets great interviews. Knows footy and cricket inside out. This is terrible.”

Just last year Meadows was hosting two new shows on Fox Footy.

See also: Inside Neroli Meadows’s two new Fox Sports shows for the AFL season

TV Demand: Stranger Things equals GoT's record for 19 straight weeks at #1 + Impulse joins the charts

By Trent Thomas

Stranger Things has now equalled Game of Thrones record for most consecutive weeks at #1 on the TV Demand charts in Australia, while also achieving this feat in New Zealand 18 out of 19 weeks. This is in part thanks to the momentum created by the series third season release on Netflix on July 4.

The series is now a week away from being the outright record holder for 2019 and looks at short odds with no show closing the gap in a meaningful way this week.

The only real movement of note this week is by the sci-fi series Impulse which has made the Digital Original charts in NZ and is currently the only Youtube show to make it on the TV Demand charts in Australia or NZ. This comes after premiering the series 10 episode second season on October 16, 2019.

The series follows 16-year-old Henrietta Coles (Maddie Hasson) who has the ability to mentally move objects and teleport without control over her destination. The show explores her feelings about her powers which are triggered by her feelings of fear about past events.

The series is executive produced by Lauren LeFranc (also showrunner), Doug Liman, David Bartis, and Gene Klein.

TV Ratings Analysis: October 29

By James Manning

• Everyone wishes they had a 7.30pm franchise like The Block
• Renovators + Nine News and ACA build Nine another big win
• 10’s new series not so Amazing on night two as nuns eliminated
• Will Nine move on Today? Sunrise metro lead 120,000

Tuesday Week 44 2019 

• Seven News 922,000/884,000
• Nine News 782,000/842,000
• A Current Affair 738,000
• ABC News 593,000
• 7.30 469,000
• The Project 248,000/434,000
• 10 News First 313,000
• The Drum 146,000
• SBS World News 128,000

Breakfast TV

• Sunrise 301,000
• Today 179,000

Seven

Home and Away did 578,000 after 624,000 on Monday.

Bride & Prejudice then did 467,000 after 458,000 on Monday.

A Tuesday episode of The Rookie did 299,000.

Nine

A Current Affair did 738,000 after 725,000 on Monday.

The Block continues to conquer most shows that are thrown up against it. The renovating format juggernaut clocked up just on 900,000 Tuesday to easily win the slot after 917,000 a week ago.

Love Island Australia then did 309,000 after 300,000 on Monday.

10

The Project then dropped well below half a million to 434,000 after 509,000 on Monday.

The second night of The Amazing Race saw the numbers slip to 522,000 after debuting on 635,000 on Monday. The nuns were eliminated at the end of the second episode which saw the teams travelling across South Korea.

One Born Every Minute Australia then did 338,000 after launching with 322,000 last week.

ABC

The return of Dream Gardens at 8pm did 300,000.

Price Charles: Inside the Duchy of Cornwall then did 343,000.

SBS

The final of Building Britain’s Canals did 261,000.

Insight then was on 210,000.

Week 44 TV: Tuesday
TUESDAY METRO
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 9.8% 7 16.6% 9 20.4% 10  11.1% SBS One 5.7%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.6% 7TWO 3.5% GO! 3.8% 10 Bold 4.3% VICELAND 1.2%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 5.6% GEM 3.8% 10 Peach 2.4% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 1.4% 7flix 1.8% 9Life 2.5%     NITV 0.3%
    7Food 1.0%         SBS World Movies 0.8%
TOTAL 14.4%   28.5%   30.5%   17.8%   8.8%

 

TUESDAY REGIONAL
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 9.2% 7 18.0% 9 15.7% WIN 8.6% SBS One 5.0%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.2% 7TWO 3.8% GO! 5.0% WIN Bold 4.6% VICELAND 1.2%
ABC ME 1.3% 7mate 7.4% GEM 6.4% WIN Peach 1.9% Food Net 0.8%
ABC NEWS 1.4% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 1.3% 9Life 2.5% Sky News  on WIN 2.0% NITV 0.1%
    7food (QLD only) 0.4%            
TOTAL 15.1%   30.9%   29.7%   17.1%   7.2%

 

TUESDAY METRO ALL TV
FTA STV
86.3% 13.7%
Tuesday FTA
  1. Seven News Seven 922,000
  2. The Block Nine 896,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 842,000
  4. Nine News Nine 782,000
  5. A Current Affair Nine 738,000
  6. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 659,000
  7. ABC News ABC 593,000
  8. Home And Away Seven 578,000
  9. The Chase Australia Seven 549,000
  10. The Amazing Race Australia 10 522,000
  11. 7.30 ABC 469,000
  12. Bride & Prejudice – The Forbidden Weddings Seven 467,000
  13. Hot Seat Nine 450,000
  14. The Project 7pm 10 434,000
  15. Prince Charles: Inside The Duchy Of Cornwall ABC 343,000
  16. One Born Every Minute Australia 10 338,000
  17. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 318,000
  18. 10 News First 10 313,000
  19. Love Island Australia Nine 309,000
  20. Sunrise Seven 301,000
Demo Top 5

16-39 Top Five

  1. The Block Nine 195,000
  2. The Amazing Race Australia 10 176,000
  3. One Born Every Minute Australia 10 123,000
  4. Love Island Australia Nine 117,000
  5. Home And Away Seven 103,000

 

18-49 Top Five

  1. The Block Nine 371,000
  2. The Amazing Race Australia 10 266,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 198,000
  4. The Project 7pm 10 197,000
  5. Home And Away Seven 181,000

 

25-54 Top Five

  1. The Block Nine 440,000
  2. The Amazing Race Australia 10 277,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 258,000
  4. A Current Affair Nine 225,000
  5. Seven News Seven 222,000
Tuesday Multichannel
  1. M- Jack Reacher: Never Go Back PM (R) 7mate 202,000
  2. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 162,000
  3. CSI: Miami 10 Bold 153,000
  4. Death In Paradise 9Gem 146,000
  5. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 141,000
  6. Highway Patrol-Ep.2 Pm 7mate 141,000
  7. Floogals ABCKIDS/COMEDY 135,000
  8. The Terminator 9GO! 135,000
  9. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 134,000
  10. Nella The Princess Knight PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 134,000
  11. Luo Bao Bei ABCKIDS/COMEDY 134,000
  12. CSI: Miami Ep 2 10 Bold 129,000
  13. Fireman Sam PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 125,000
  14. Poirot 9Gem 124,000
  15. Andy’s Safari Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 119,000
  16. Dino Dana ABCKIDS/COMEDY 119,000
  17. Thomas And Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 117,000
  18. Fixer Upper Tx1 9Life 116,000
  19. Highway Patrol PM 7mate 115,000
  20. Hey Duggee ABCKIDS/COMEDY 111,000
TUESDAY STV
  1. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 63,000
  2. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 55,000
  3. Jones & Credlin Sky News Live 55,000
  4. Blue Bloods TVH!TS 41,000
  5. PML Later Sky News Live 39,000
  6. Live: The Back Page FOX SPORTS 505 38,000
  7. Credlin Sky News Live 37,000
  8. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 37,000
  9. The Simpsons FOX8 36,000
  10. Live: WTA Finals: Barty V Osaka beIN SPORTS 3 34,000
  11. Family Guy FOX8 33,000
  12. The Simpsons FOX8 33,000
  13. Border Security: Australia’s Front Line FOX8 33,000
  14. Batwoman FOX8 31,000
  15. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 31,000
  16. NCIS TVH!TS 30,000
  17. Below Deck ARENA 28,000
  18. Blaze And The Monster Machines Nick Jr. 27,000
  19. Ready Set Dance Nick Jr. 27,000
  20. Escape To The Continent Lifestyle Channel 26,000

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

No penalty after Bruce Gordon breached media control and diversity rules

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found that Bruce Gordon, the owner of WIN Corporation, breached media control and diversity rules in relation to his interests in the Prime Media Group Limited (Prime).

The ACMA found that Gordon acquired a 11.59 per cent shareholding in Prime on 29 April 2019. Together with his existing 14.99 per cent interest, Gordon’s total company interests rose to 26.58 per cent. This placed Gordon in a position to exercise control of commercial television licenses held by subsidiaries of Prime until 24 May 2019, when Gordon divested 43 million shares (11.73 per cent).

Gordon was found to be in breach of the “one-to-a-market” commercial television license rule in eight separate license areas during this time. Gordon’s interests also caused an unacceptable media diversity situation to occur, or to be worsened, in more than 40 license areas.

“Media control and diversity rules exist so that Australians have access to a diverse range of voices in the media landscape. It is up to companies and individuals to ensure that they comply with these important rules at all times, especially where control occurs in more complex shareholding arrangements,” said ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin.

The ACMA considered evidence from Gordon that the breaches occurred as a result of actions taken by a third party that were contrary to his instructions and that, as a result, he could not reasonably have known that he was in breach of media laws. The ACMA also noted that Gordon acted immediately to sell down his shareholding in Prime as soon as he became aware of the mistake.

Finally, the ACMA found no evidence to suggest that Gordon took any actual steps to exercise control over Prime during this period.

“Given the limited duration of the breaches and our satisfaction with the action to rectify the breaches, the ACMA will not take any further action on this matter,” O’Loughlin said.

Under the Broadcasting Services Act, a person is deemed to be in control of a media asset when they acquire in excess of 15 per cent of a company which holds that asset. This is regardless of whether they can exert actual control over the asset, which is a separate test.

Quadrant takes out QMS Media, on front foot to acquire MediaWorks

Quadrant Private Equity’s decision to pay $571.6m for the outdoor advertising company QMS Media has some wondering what is next for the Australian-based buyout fund, reports The Australian’s Bridget Carter.

QMS owns 40 per cent of the New Zealand radio and free-to-air television broadcaster MediaWorks, which has recently placed its loss making television station up for sale through investment bank UBS.

By acquiring QMS, Quadrant is on the front foot to take out MediaWorks, which some believe the private equity firm will carve up and sell off assets to Nine Entertainment, which is said to have made approaches to buy MediaWorks assets in the recent past.

After divesting its New Zealand assets to Nine, and shutting down or separately selling off the television arm, it could leave Quadrant with another Australian outdoor advertiser and the hope is that it repeats its earlier success with APN Outdoor.

It is expected that well-regarded media executive Andrew Hines, the Australian chief operating officer of JCDecaux, could be recruited. He was recently spotted having meetings with Quadrant boss Chris Hadley.

A private equity buyout of QMS is likely to be bad news for groups such as Southern Cross Media, which had high hopes to buy the Mediaworks radio operations as part of a move to become a regional player in the audio space.

[Read the original]

 

Chefs, comedians, filmmaker and Kyle feature in $38m tourism ads

Celebrity chefs, comedians and a billionaire businessman are among the famous faces enlisted to spruik Australia in a new $38 million tourism campaign, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Andrew Taylor.

Actor Chris Hemsworth and Paul Hogan will also lend their star power to Tourism Australia’s “Come Live Our Philausophy” campaign, which seeks to promote Australians’ informal approach to life.

The campaign, which will be launched at Sydney Opera House on Wednesday, is centred around nine “philausophies” including mateship, love of nature, no worries attitude, generosity of spirit, sense of adventure and boundless optimism.

Chefs Curtis Stone, Kylie Kwong and Ben Shewry will feature in the campaign as well as comedian Adam Hills, surfer Mick Fanning, writer Kathy Lette and Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes.

Singer Kylie Minogue and filmmaker Warwick Thornton will also be featured during the three-year campaign alongside tourism operators.

[Read the original]

Google, in rare stumble, posts 23% decline in profit

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, said on Monday that its quarterly profit fell 23 percent after it sharply increased spending, in a rare financial stumble by the tech giant, reports The New York Times.

Alphabet reported that its revenue rose 20 percent to $40.5 billion for the third quarter, but that profit dropped to $7.07 billion. Profit, which missed Wall Street forecasts, was hurt by rising costs for research and development and marketing, the company said.

The performance demonstrated the challenges of trying to maintain growth at the company and showed how Google must invest to keep that up. While advertising, rooted in the dominance of Google’s internet search engine, has sustained Alphabet’s bottom line in recent years, that business isn’t growing as fast as it once did. Google is also facing new competition for marketing dollars from Amazon and others.

Alphabet faces other challenges. Google is squarely in the sights of regulators and politicians who want to take down a monopoly. Its employees have been unhappy with management, political conservatives accuse the company of bias and YouTube has been under attack for spreading misinformation.

Entertainment

Confident Geoffrey Rush back in Hollywood spotlight because Al Pacino

Geoffrey Rush has returned to the international stage looking as if he never left it, barely a year after his lawyer said he might never work again, reports The Australian’s Cameron Stewart.

In his first live performance since his defamation case over allegations of inappropriate on-set behaviour, the 68-year-old actor performed a reading of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice alongside Hollywood star Al Pacino in Los Angeles.

“It’s great, it’s good,” Rush told The Australian shortly before the $US500-a-ticket fundraiser.

Rush played the merchant Antonio from whom the moneylender Shylock, played by Pacino, demands a “pound of flesh” for an unpaid debt. Rush’s return to the stage, at the annual benefit event for the Shakespeare Centre of Los Angeles, came after he sued The Daily Telegraph. He won a record defamation payment of almost $2.9m over allegations he behaved inappropriately towards an actor during a production of King Lear in 2015-16.

When asked whether he thought this day would come after the allegations against him, he replied “Any job, you wonder if it’s going to come.” Rush said Ben Donenberg, the centre’s artistic director, emailed him recently to suggest he join the cast for the fundraiser.

The Daily Telegraph is appealing against the defamation ruling in the Rush case, saying the damages were “excessive” and claiming a Federal Court judge was biased.

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News Brands

Equal pay rebellion: BBC paid him £3,000 an episode; she got £465

For years, Samira Ahmed has presented a weekly, 15-minute program on BBC television that allows viewers to question the broadcaster’s executives about its shows. She’s never been paid more than £465 per episode, reports The New York Times.

During much of that time, Jeremy Vine presented another weekly, 15-minute program for the BBC that allows viewers to sound off about the network’s coverage. He was paid £3,000 for each episode.

On Monday, accompanied by other prominent BBC presenters and journalists, Ahmed went to court to sue the broadcaster over unequal pay. The BBC has long attracted criticism over disparities in the way it pays its staff, and Ahmed’s complaint comes just over a year after the BBC was forced to apologize to a senior journalist over pay disparities.

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Television

Home ground is best for busy actor Jeremy Lindsay Taylor

Jeremy Lindsay Taylor has appeared in a number of acclaimed Australian TV including Underbelly, Puberty Blues, Offspring, Sea Patrol, Blue Heelers, McLeod’s Daughters and his first series, Heartbreak High.

While other actors are hungry or US success, he is happy to be working at home on 10’s Playing for Keeps.

“I’ve been blessed, for sure,” he tells TV Tonight.

“I just want to keep doing good work. I want to direct. I just directed a music clip which we’re in the process of finishing at the moment.

“I want to keep acting in quality productions. I won’t hang my hat on cracking America. It is what it is.

“I’ve got two kids and one on the way so I don’t want to take them there and I never want to be away from them. If it comes, it comes. But I’m not going to break my back trying to make it there.

“I’m happy here, doing quality stuff, telling Australian stories and interesting stories.”

In Playing For Keeps, Taylor plays fallen Southern Jets coach Brian Rickards who begins season 2 full of guilt and self-loathing over the death of a former teammate.

“He’s no longer a coach. The team went to shit and so now it’s a new season,” he explains.

“And I still have to deal with my captain who slept with my wife.”

While Playing for Keeps continues on 10, Jeremy Lindsay Taylor looks to his growing family and whatever local project next attracts his interest.

“It’s an interesting time in the industry, as you’re well aware. You know, there’s so many different formats these days.

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Game of Thrones: Naomi Watts-led prequel cancelled at HBO

The untitled Game of Thrones prequel from producer Jane Goldman is not moving forward at HBO, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

Said to focus on the “Age of Heroes” and the first ever battle between man and White Walker, Goldman’s prequel – which had filmed a pilot over the summer – will not be advancing to series, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. According to sources, Goldman e-mailed the cast to share the news. HBO, as it typically does on projects in development, declined comment.

The news comes shortly after word of HBO nearing a deal to produce a second pilot based in the world of Game of Thrones, from the minds of author George R.R. Martin and Ryan J. Condal. The series is said to focus on the reign of Targaryen kings in the lead-up to the events of Game of Thrones, aligning the vision of the project much more closely to the days of Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) than the now scrapped Naomi Watts-starring prequel – though still quite a bit earlier than the events of the Emmy-winning HBO series, which wrapped its final season in the spring of 2020.

The pilot pass arrives a day after Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss walked away from a planned trilogy of Star Wars feature films. The duo, who will be credited as exec producers on anything Game of Thrones related at HBO, departed their overall deal with the premium outlet for a five-year, $250 million film and TV pact with Netflix.

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TV Tonight goes behind the scenes at Roving Enterprise’s The Project

Around The Project production office in the Como tower at South Yarra you can invariably catch a staff member transfixed by large screens which will hold their silent gaze for minutes on end, reports TV Tonight.

It isn’t showing breaking news nor newsreel footage.

No, this is a huge Excel spreadsheet which shows the rundown for the nightly program. Segments are meticulously timed with vision, interview, gag and commercial breaks.

Across the day the team will check and re-check the editorial balance, looking for gaps to add extra news or conversations and evaluating room for improvement right up to its live broadcast.

The Project is a goliath of a daily news beast with a staff of around 50 people, many of whom are in their 20s and 30s. Now in their 10th year under executive producer Craig Campbell, joined by Sarah Ashley (one of 2 supervising editors), they are feeding an insatiable news beast 6 days a week.

TV Tonight recently spent a day under the hood to watch how it all unfolds…

10am: The day begins with a production meeting of 18, led by Ashley and Campbell to block out the evening show. There are already several segments locked down including live interviews with Rove McManus for his new kids’ book, visiting Swedish singer Tove Lo, and a long-form story on an inspiring principal giving hope to kids in drought-ridden Trundle, NSW.

At this meeting story producers pitch ideas that need to be packaged by 6:30pm.

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