Wednesday October 7, 2020

TV’s best bullshit detector: The return of Gruen to ABC

By James Manning

• Wil Anderson on the new season and one hell of a talking point

ABC’s Gruen will be a little bit different this year with the fallout from Covid impacting the way the weekly CJZ series about marketing is produced. Regular panellist Russel Howcroft will be in Melbourne, while fellow panellist Todd Sampson and host Wil Anderson will be in Sydney, but with no studio audience. The regulars and their guest panellists though will have the biggest talking point they’ve ever had in 12 years of TV.

This year has impacted all us, including host Anderson who told Mediaweek yesterday about his 2020 challenges. As Anderson discusses his last remaining paying gig, for now, he recalled how things unfolded after Covid arrived.


Gruen 2020 will again feature [L-R] Todd Sampson, Dee Madigan, Wil Anderson, Karen Ferry and Russel Howcroft

See also: Wil Anderson week: Unemployed stand-up on return to TV and future plans

“It’s interesting to go from someone who has just watched how other people have adapted to the new world, to now being in the middle as one of the people who has to adapt to the new world.

“I feel grateful I have had a few months sitting around thinking about it and watching other people doing it in the way that something like Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell didn’t really get an opportunity.

“They were doing a show with an audience full of people one week and the next week they couldn’t have anyone. We have been pretty lucky to at least have a think about what it is we need to do and how our show can benefit from the current circumstance rather than be just hampered by it.”

Gruen promo: The whole world may have changed but one thing remains true: as long as there’s advertising, there’s bullshit. And if you can find a better bullshit detector than Gruen, we’ll beat it by ten percent

Anderson was referring to the first season of Mad As Hell this year which launched in February and ended in late April. A lot changed in that 12-week period.

Anderson said there was no way he, Sampson and Howcroft could start the new season of Gruen other than by looking at Covid-19 and its impact.

“I always like to think of Gruen as a consumer of the show. In the old days when something happened in the news the great thing about [Working Dog’s TV series] The Panel was that you would always be excited about what the people on the show would say about it. I really wanted to know what Rob Sitch or Glenn Robbins or Kate Langbroek were going to say about it.

“With a show like Gruen there is an appetite from the audience for the conversation we will have about the changed world that hasn’t been had yet. There have been many other conversations about the new world of course, but not by us looking through the Gruen prism seeing the world through advertising and marketing.

“All advertising and marketing didn’t stop, some was paused and some was ramped up. A lot of the messages about Covid-19 were delivered by advertising and marketing. There’s a lot to say about brands and what brand messages worked in the new world and what messages had to be changed. The conversation we had about tourism in 2019 is a completely different conversation to one we would be having about tourism in 2020. You could say the same also about alcohol, the banks, and many other topics.

“We would just be silly to ignore the changed circumstances of the world because they are going to infuse every conversation we now have on the show even if it doesn’t start about Covid.”

Anderson said Gruen has a unique way of talking about things everybody is already discussing. “That’s why our most successful seasons in the past with regard to audience numbers have been when we do a special in the middle of something.

“They might have been Gruen Nation shows around an election or Gruen Sweat we did during the Olympics. The idea that we are having a conversation about something that everybody in Australia is also engaged in brings great value to our show.

“The very DNA of our show is to explain the world through advertising and marketing. It gives us a blank slate to start again with all sorts of conversations.”

Some Gruen fans lamented that the show wasn’t on air this year when they might have needed it most. “I know the point they are making,” responded Anderson. “What we have this year is probably the best of both worlds. My suspicion is, unfortunately, we are still slap bang in the middle of what the world is going through. What we have had the opportunity to do is not just react in real time. We have had an opportunity to see what has happened to be able to put some stories together about how people first reacted and then how they reacted in the second wave. We have the opportunity to be in the middle of it still, but having had time to think and reflect about it.

Thursday: In Podcast Week, Wil Anderson reviews his podcast plans, business model and the Tofop superhub!

The Bachelorette
The Bachelorette 2020: How EP Hilary Innes doubled the love with sisters

By Trent Thomas

Earlier this year Network 10 revealed that The Bachelorette Australia would feature two Bachelorettes. While this wasn’t a world-first after being done in America and New Zealand, it is a first in that the two Bachelorettes are sisters with Elly and Becky Miles.

The Bachelor Australia’s executive producer at Network 10 Hilary Innes told Mediaweek how this choice came about, how the season will work, and how 2020 will differ from any other.

Innes said the reason for the choice was to be authentic and to react to the mood in the community. When talking to Elly Miles from season seven of The Bachelor the jigsaw pieces began to come together.

“We stay in touch with these people and see how they are going and what they are up to, and she talked to us about her sister and the more we talked the more it felt really wonderful.

“They are not too far away in age and are very good friends, it is a very relatable idea with the siblings with the support you could offer each other, and interesting how they would react to finding love together on The Bachelorette.

These girls are perfectly cast for the world that we are in at the moment. They are really joyful bubbly and authentic young women. I know Elly has been on The Bachelor before, but they are both really real and relatable and it feels like fresh air.”

The Australian series will be unlike the American season in 2015 where the men chose between the two Bachelorettes in the first episode with one of the ladies being sent home immediately. It will also differ from the New Zealand season earlier this year where a second Bachelorette joined after the show was already underway, with both sisters here starting the show together on the red carpet and continuing their journey together to the final rose.

The format will work with the same number of male contestants as a regular season of The Bachelorette with both women able to date and give roses to whoever they want in that group. The pool of men aged between 24-35 is made up of an even number based on the profiles of both Bachelorettes but they aren’t assigned or locked into either woman.

Innes: “We always get a detailed profile of the types of men or women the Bachelor or Bachelorette are attracted too and had past experiences with, and Elly and Becky gave us that. They are a bit far apart in age, 25 and 30 and are looking for very different sorts of men who are in different parts of their lives. We had to make sure we had the right contingency of men for both Elly and Becky.”

When the men applied, they assumed it was for one Bachelorette and did not find out that they were in for double trouble until they saw them on the red carpet.

“We kept it quiet so that it would be a surprise for the guys because it was the first time that it has happened with two sisters. It was very much a moment we wanted to catch on camera with how the guys reacted and we got some very funny moments.”

Innes said that the men welcomed the news and saw it as a double chance to find love.

“It was quite even between the two sisters, there were some guys who were unsure for a while because it takes some time to get a date. Some were hanging out in cocktail parties to talk to each of them for a bit, but it was reasonably evenly split.

“Because you have sisters you get a bit more insight because we have shot them talking to each other and debriefing after their dates or cocktail parties. If the guys like one sister they will go to the other sister to get some intel or advice, it’s a different layer that we have in the series.”

Innes said that one key component to the show that hasn’t existed before is the close bond between the Miles sisters as they go on this journey together. Which also means there isn’t much conflict or competition between them.

“These girls are not only sisters, but they are best friends and they are very supportive of each other. Becky talks about watching Elly on The Bachelor with Matt Agnew and how hard it was to see her younger sister heartbroken. If one girl early on signalled interest in one guy the other one will support her. We never got the sense that they would go after the same guy. The men are very definite too and you will see that quite quickly in the series.”

This is the second season in The Bachelor/ Bachelorette universe that has been impacted by Covid-19 after the mid-season shut down of The Bachelor with Locky Gilbert.

“There were small compromises here and there with activities but not as much as in Locky’s season.

“The main area that it affected production is in terms of where people live, with more people from interstate in this season. When you get to the hometown episodes that is where it impacts you because you just can’t travel. We have more hometowns in this season of The Bachelorette due to doubling up.”

Innes said that while it would have made it easier, choosing contestants from one city or state wasn’t considered.

“We like to be fair and in order to get the depth of characters, jobs, ages, you can’t just narrow it to one state. There is a real difference based on where people come from and their upbringings that play into this and it gives the girls more chances to find someone that they can connect with. It also provides more variety, young guys from Sydney are different from young guys in Brisbane who are then different from young guys in Perth.”

When asked if this new format could lead to a combined Bachelor and Bachelorette show Innes said that it hasn’t been considered, but she will have to go away and think about it.

“It sounds like a supersized Bachelor world. You know what I say to that? Who knows?”

The Bachelorette Australia will premiere on October 7 at 7:30 pm on 10 and 10 Play.

New driver: Are Media appoints Andrew Beecher as CEO of Auto division

Are Media has appointed Andrew Beecher as standalone CEO (acting) of Are Media’s automotive business across digital, print and broadcast.

Announcing Beecher’s appointment at the end of last week, Are Media CEO Brendon Hill said: “Andrew is a proven leader with a passion for automotive audiences. He has a track record in transforming automotive media properties and we see a strong future for these brands that require a specialist focus within the wider Are Media portfolio. With that in mind, Andrew has the mandate to establish the automotive brands division as a standalone business, independent from the core Are Media portfolio.”

See also: As Bauer becomes Are Media, publisher explores new revenue opportunities

With over 20 years in automotive and digital publishing, Beecher previously led Carsales’ early marketing efforts and launched the display advertising side of the Carsales business. Most recently he led from 2014 to 2019 as CEO and managing director, overseeing the ultimate sale to Nine Entertainment.

“I’m pleased to be working collaboratively with Brendon Hill and the wider Are Media leadership team as we repower these iconic automotive brands with a singular leadership focus, an approach that will benefit our audience, our customers, our employees and the broader business,” Beecher said.

“The respected auto titles in Are Media’s portfolio have long been favourites of Australian motoring enthusiasts and new car buyers. However, an iconic past is not enough in a competitive automotive media landscape in 2020 and beyond.

“My direction for our future success is highly aligned with Are Media’s aspirations for the auto brands. We are the only significant auto publisher in Australia that is genuinely consumer funded via our passionate, loyal and highly engaged subscribers. A renewed focus on subscribers goes hand in hand with delivering our OEM, agency and aftermarket advertisers a premium, uncluttered and effective range of products to connect their brands to our audience.

“My initial focus is ensuring the team of Australia’s best motoring journalists and content creators is empowered to deliver authentic world-class automotive storytelling that inspires and excites. Our readers demand it and so do we,” Beecher said.

The new strategy under Beecher’s leadership will oversee the future growth of mastheads Wheels, Street Machine, Motor, 4X4 Australia and Unique Cars, along with new-car advice site

Beecher takes up his Melbourne-based role effective immediately.

General manager of the wider Trader portfolio of industry and motoring titles, Terry Williams King, will be leaving the business with Hill commenting: “I sincerely thank Terry for the outstanding role he has played managing our Trader businesses in Australia and New Zealand, especially his efforts in growing through multiple platforms.”

SCA launches new digital audio products SCA Footsteps & SCA Soundcheck

SCA has launched two new digital audio campaign attribution products. As digital listening continues to record double digit growth, it’s never been more important to provide SCA’s advertisers with proof that this new advertising platform will really move the needle.

SCA Footsteps measures footfall attribution to digital audio campaigns, and SCA Soundcheck provides campaign and brand effectiveness studies specifically for digital audio. Now, both new products will be offered to advertisers after successful trials.

The two products will capitalise on SCA’s 46% jump in listening hours on digital audio platforms in August*, proving audiences are listening longer and more often.

SCA Footsteps provides advertisers with rich insights from listeners who have heard an audio ad and then gone to a specific location, retailer or precinct as a result within a measured timeframe. When a listener is exposed to a digital audio ad across SCA live radio streaming or SoundCloud, location data on their smartphones is matched with tech provider Hyp to identify store or location visits across Australia to quantify the power of digital audio. 

SCA Footsteps was recently trialled with a leading Australian automotive group using digital audio to drive in-store traffic prior to Father’s Day, resulting in 61% uplift in visitation compared to a control group that had not heard the audio ad.

Footsteps enables advertisers to track how their audience is reacting to audio campaigns with tangible metrics, enabling measurement of campaign ROI.

SCA Soundcheck, which is housed within SCA’s research and insights division SCA iQ, uses ad tracking and retargeting technology to specifically identify listeners who heard an ad and retargets them with a campaign study questionnaire, allowing comparison to a control group of internet users who have not heard the ad. This control versus exposed research methodology provides comprehensive results to inform advertisers of overall campaign effectiveness including increased consideration, ad recall and purchase intent.

The two new products can also be used in conjunction with SCA Fanbase, a data-driven audience targeting product for digital audio campaigns that uses first-party data collected through SCA’s apps and websites to create specific audience segments as well as third party providers.

“Australian audiences are listening to digital audio more than ever before, spending an average of three and a half hours listening** a day. We believe that audio has the power to influence consumer purchasing behaviour like no other medium, with 41% of shoppers more likely to purchase advertised brands^,” said SCA national head of radio sales Nikki Rooke (pictured).

“It is the personalised, one-on-one, intimate nature of the digital audio experience for listeners that makes it so powerful. Our launch of SCA Footsteps and SCA Soundcheck now bring the ability to accurately measure campaign effectiveness in real time, also helping to determine strategies for future campaigns.”

SCA head of streaming sales and operations Jonathan Mandel said: “These new attribution products are in response to demand from brands, agencies and programmatic teams to provide their clients with tangible ROI results, particularly in retail, automotive and food services, demonstrating the positive effect of digital audio campaigns. 

“By coupling this attribution with data-driven audience targeting through SCA Fanbase, advertisers can now complete the digital audio consumer journey by providing attribution such as in-store footfall from SCA Footsteps and increased consideration and brand perception through SCA Soundcheck.”


* Adswizz Audiometrix August 2019 v August 2020
** GfK Share of Audio Study October 2019
^ CRA ‘It’s a Love Thing’ – Colmar Brunton.

Grant Broadcasters strengthens local content and operation teams

Ryan Rathbone (pictured), the group content director for Grant Broadcasters, has announced some key appointments to strengthen the content and operations structure for the company’s Victorian and South Australian Radio stations.

The current regional content director for Victoria, Mark Hyland, will now assume overall responsibility for all 15 radio stations across Victoria and South Australia as well as maintaining his content leadership position with both K Rock 95.5 and Bay 93.9 in Geelong.

Tom Lewis will continue to co-host the highly successful K Rock 95.5 breakfast show as well as taking on the assistant content director for the station.

Woking closely with Mark will be Glenn Bakker, currently the content director for Magic 105.9, 5AU and 5CS in the Spencer Gulf, who will now add operations manager for all South Australian stations to his portfolio.

Adam Connelly has been appointed as the new content director of 5MU and Power FM in Murray Bridge and will continue to host 5MU breakfast.

“As has been proven time and time again at Grant Broadcasters, we are very fortunate to be in a position where the best people for the roles are already in our business. The new structure will allow us to better share the knowledge and experience of our most senior content creators and certainly improve communication across the group.” said Rathbone.

The changes are effective immediately.

Sydney-based EQ Media Group announces new factual series

EQ Media has announced its newest series commissioned by ABC Commercial from an idea developed in house by David Alrich, Brendan Dahill and series producer Justin Corbett.

The show will be available through ABC Commercial at virtual MIPCOM from next week.

The series was motivated by NASA’s challenge to send a manned expedition to Mars by 2030, Elon Musk’s impressive work creating re-useable rockets and his determination to take humanity into a space based future, the plans of Breakthrough Starshot to send a probe to other solar systems, and the studies being done at a number of international Universities to find exoplanets (Planets outside our solar system) in the so called Goldilocks Zone – the orbital area around a sun that can support life. 

David Alrich is the producer/director of the series, with Justin Corbett series producing, Tara Foster post-producing, and Professor Alan Duffy hosting/presenting.

EQ Media and Abacus Media Right have further announced two new factual series which will premiere on SBS Australia, and the A+E Networks UK channels, Sky HISTORY in the UK and HISTORY in Sweden, Poland and Benelux in 2020. 

Hitler’s Secret Sex Life (4×60’): The psychology of Adolf Hitler – and the whole Nazi movement – is a topic that’s generated great debate, endless academic research and speculation. Hitler’s Secret Sex Life distils the latest theories and insights. Each episode is vividly illustrated with archive from the Nazi era, some of it relatively rare, accompanied by in-depth interviews with historians, psychologists, and sociologists.

How the Nazis Lost the War (6×60’): World War II military documentaries are largely told through the eyes of the conquerors. There is no end to stories of the valiant Allies fighting against the odds to bring the evil Nazis to heel and rid the world of their tyranny.  But there is another story to be told. In this series we examine the poor decision-making, hubris, and badly executed plans that belied the myth of Nazi war machine and doomed them to their ultimate failure.

Brendan Dahill, general manager for EQ Media said: “We are delighted to be working again with our partners at Abacus Media Rights, SBS Australia and A+E Networks® to create two series that offer fresh perspective and insight. As the world becomes ever more insular it is good to remind ourselves of the sins of the past.”

Jonathan Ford, managing director, Abacus Media Rights added: “As we have come to expect, EQ has delivered two new exceptional factual series which we believe will have strong appeal to international audiences. This part of the world’s history is well documented but these series take a deep dive into intriguing and untold aspects that we just don’t know enough about.”

EQ Media has offices in Sydney, Los Angeles, Dallas, Vancouver and Auckland and is run by Sydney-based CEO and executive producer Greg Quail and LA-based president and executive producer Jess Fawcett.

After out of home revenue plunge over $100m, sector sees improvement

The Out of Home (OOH) industry has revealed a decrease of 56 per cent on net media revenue for the third quarter of 2020, posting $95.8 million, down from $218.2 million for the third quarter in 2019.

Digital revenue is sitting at 55.6 per cent of total net media revenue year-to-date, an increase from the recorded 55.3 per cent for the same period last year.

“Although our industry has been hit hard by the global pandemic and the additional lockdown in Victoria, we are seeing the market gradually improve,” said Charmaine Moldrich, OMA CEO.

“In Q2 the OMA reported a drop in revenue of 65 per cent on the year prior, so it is heartening to see advertising spend increase from what was our lowest point. It is especially hopeful as we see lockdown measures lifted across the country in the lead up to what is the industry’s strongest quarter, with Spring, Summer and the Christmas period ahead,” continued Moldrich.

Data shows that as restrictions lift and the weather warms that audiences are returning to Outdoor spaces and places. Traffic is back 75 to 90 per cent of pre-COVID level across Australia^, and there are positive signs of audiences returning to public transport.

“These trends, in addition to lifting of restrictions in Victoria, are hopeful signs that signal the start to industry recovery,” concluded Moldrich.

Box Office: Tenet is first film to break $10m since lockdown

By Trent Thomas

After six weeks Tenet has broken the $10m threshold at the Australian box office, being the first film to do so since cinemas began to re-open following the Covid-19 lockdown.

The #1 film this past weekend was Trolls World Tour which has been in cinemas for six weeks with the last two on top of the Australian box office.

The new entries to the top five this week is new entry  Antebellum, and Cats & Dogs 3: Paws Unite which moves up from #7.

Overall, the Australian box office increased 11% making $3.95m over the weekend.

#1 Trolls World Tour $1.06m

Trolls World Tour has continued its strong performance following three weeks of pre-release and now three weeks of full-scale release in Australian theatres. The family-friendly film now has a total of $4.93m after averaging $3,761 on 283 screens this past weekend.


#2 Tenet $531,435

After six weeks of release the film is still chugging along and adding to its gaudy totals by post lockdown standards. This past weekend the sci-fi flick was shown on 265 screens averaging $2,005.


#3 The Secret Garden $450,886

After three weeks The Secret Garden‘s total now sits at $1.7m. The fourth film adaption of the novel of the same name averaged $1,818 on 248 screens this past weekend.


#4 Antebellum $333,685

The horror film Antebellum opened on 211 screens and averaged $1,581. The film follows the escape from a 19th-century Southern slave plantation by a modern-day African-American woman. And is written and directed by the team of Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz with the film being their feature directorial debuts.


#5 Cats & Dogs 3: Paws Unite $248,627

Cats & Dogs 3 is the sequel to the 2001 original and 2010 sequel Cats & Dogs 2: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. The film moves into the top five this week after its debut at #7 last week. The film averaged $1,207 after being shown on 206 screens this weekend. The film now has a total of $777,916.


TV ratings: Tuesday Week 41 2020

By James Manning

• The Block contestants unveil marketing plans ahead of auctions
• Budget night: Treasurer’s Speech ranks #2 behind only Nine
• Final Halifax: Retribution sees audience lift close to 600,000

Primetime News
Seven News 995,000/1,000,000
Nine News 888,000/899,000
ABC News 714,000
10 News First 332,000/230,000
SBS World News 165,000

Budget specials
ABC Treasurer’s Speech 632,000
ABC News Special 492,000
Seven News: The Latest 168,000
ABC The Business Budget Special 174,000
(Some ABC programs screened on ABC and ABC News)

Daily current affairs
A Current Affair 803,000
The Project 294,000/470,000
The Drum 194,000

Breakfast TV
Sunrise 231,000
Today 190,000
News Breakfast 168,000

Late night news
Nine News Late 105,000
The Latest 158,000
ABC Late News 124,000
World News Late 58,000

Monday TV

Seven: Home and Away started its week on 564,000 and grew to 579,000 for the Tuesday episode.

An exciting development for Seven – the run of primetime evenings devoted to America’s Got Talent have come to an end with the screening of the AGT Live Finale. After 24 episodes, an audience of 283,000 watched spoken word artist Brandon Leake edge out country rock duo Broken Roots as the winner of season 15.

The Latest then screened a Budget Special episode with 158,000 watching.

Nine: A Current Affair featured a great interview Tracy Grimshaw has with US Professor of Medicine and Surgery and CNN medical analyst Dr Jonathan Reiner about Donald Trump and his blink and you’ll miss it hospitalisation for Covid-19. The episode was on 803,000 after 759,000 on Monday.

The Tuesday episode of The Block carried Budget updates from Chris Uhlmann in Canberra. The episode covered the living/dining room builds and the Blockheads showed of their marketing plans for the Brighton properties. Judging by the work so far these homes should attract big dollars. The Tuesday audience was 894,000 after 809,000 a week ago.

The season finale of Halifax: Retribution saw Jane Halifax finally confront the sniper terrorising Melbourne. The final episode was a season high 577,000 after 496,000 last week.

10: The Project started its weekday run on 508,000 and that became 470,000 for the Tuesday episode. The menu included Trump, Covid, The Budget and Mariah Carey’s new book.

After US royalty (Trump) on Monday night, the channel went with Prince William: A Planet for Us All which didn’t break the run of smaller audiences in the 7.30pm slot. The doco did 311,000 despite screening just hours after it screened in the UK on ITV. A good crowd should be returning Wednesday night with the launch of The Bachelorette.

Two episodes of Ambulance Australia then did 211,000.

ABC: Budget night on the ABC started with a preview during the news with 714,000 watching.

Leigh Sales then introduced the Treasurer’s Speech at 7.30pm with 518,000 watching and another 114,000 on ABC News.

A Budget News Special then did 492,000 followed by Budget Reaction on 333,000.

Louis Theroux: The Night in Question looked at sexual assaults on US campuses with 145,000 watching.

SBS: The final episode of the short season of Every Family Has a Secret pulled an audience of 277,000 and could be the channel’s most-watched program again this week after 260,000 last week.

Insight was then on 184,000 followed by a Dateline repeat with 150,000.

Week 41: Tuesday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 10.7% 7 14.7% 9 23.0% 10  9.6% SBS One 5.7%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.1% 7TWO 3.5% GO! 2.6% 10 Bold 4.3% VICELAND 1.2%
ABC ME 0.7% 7mate 4.1% GEM 2.9% 10 Peach 2.7% Food Net 1.1%
ABC NEWS 2.8% 7flix 2.3% 9Life 2.5% 10 Shake 0.3% NITV 0.1%
        9Rush 1.1%     SBS World Movies 0.9%
TOTAL 17.3%   24.5%   32.2%   17.0%   9.0%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 10.2% 7 15.4% 9 18.9% WIN 7.0% SBS One 4.9%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.0% 7TWO 4.4% GO! 2.8% WIN Bold 5.1% VICELAND 1.4%
ABC ME 1.1% 7mate 7.6% GEM 4.2% WIN Peach 2.5% Food Net 0.8%
ABC NEWS 2.6% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 2.1% 9Life 2.8% Sky News  on WIN 2.8% NITV 0.2%
                SBS Movies 0.7%
TOTAL 16.9%   29.5%   28.7%   17.4%   8.1%


87.9% 12.1%
Tuesday FTA
  1. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 1,000,000
  2. Seven News Seven 995,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 899,000
  4. The Block Nine 894,000
  5. Nine News Nine 888,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 803,000
  7. ABC News ABC 714,000
  8. Home And Away Seven 579,000
  9. Halifax-Retribution Nine 577,000
  10. The Chase Australia Seven 525,000
  11. Budget 2020: The Treasurer’s Speech ABC 518,000
  12. The Project 7pm 10 470,000
  13. Hot Seat Nine 469,000
  14. Budget 2020: An ABC News Special ABC 388,000
  15. 10 News First 10 332,000
  16. Prince William: A Planet For Us All 10 311,000
  17. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 302,000
  18. The Project 6.30pm 10 294,000
  19. Hot Seat -5pm Nine 291,000
  20. America’s Got Talent Seven 283,000
Demo Top Five

16-39 Top Five

  1. The Block Nine 229,000
  2. A Current Affair Nine 117,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 112,000
  4. The Project 7pm 10 103,000
  5. Seven News Seven 102,000


18-49 Top Five

  1. The Block Nine 411,000
  2. Nine News 6:30 Nine 225,000
  3. A Current Affair Nine 219,000
  4. Nine News Nine 193,000
  5. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 192,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. The Block Nine 452,000
  2. Nine News 6:30 Nine 269,000
  3. A Current Affair Nine 256,000
  4. Nine News Nine 239,000
  5. Seven News Seven 229,000
Tuesday Multichannel
  1. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 209,000
  2. NCIS Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 177,000
  3. School Of Roars ABCKIDS/COMEDY 172,000
  4. Peter Rabbit PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 169,000
  5. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 168,000
  6. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 168,000
  7. Aussie Salvage Squad PM 7mate 167,000
  8. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 166,000
  9. Octonauts PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 164,000
  10. Andy’s Aquatic Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 156,000
  11. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 145,000
  12. Highway Patrol-Ep.2 Pm (R) 7mate 145,000
  13. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 145,000
  14. Love Monster ABCKIDS/COMEDY 144,000
  15. Nella The Princess Knight PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 137,000
  16. Go Jetters PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 136,000
  17. Aussie Salvage Squad-Ep.2 Pm 7mate 135,000
  18. Highway Patrol PM (R) 7mate 133,000
  19. Sir Mouse ABCKIDS/COMEDY 132,000
  20. Spicks And Specks ABCKIDS/COMEDY 130,000
Tuesday STV
  1. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 93,000
  2. Budget 2020 Live Sky News Live 74,000
  3. Credlin: Budget 2020 Special Sky News Live 61,000
  4. Credlin Sky News Live 58,000
  5. PML Later Sky News Live 52,000
  6. Live: NRL 360 FOX LEAGUE 41,000
  7. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 37,000
  8. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 36,000
  9. The Kenny Report Sky News Live 34,000
  10. Live: AFL 360 FOX FOOTY 32,000
  11. The Simpsons FOX8 30,000
  12. The Simpsons FOX8 28,000
  13. Selling Houses Australia Lifestyle Channel 28,000
  14. Highway Patrol FOX8 28,000
  15. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 27,000
  16. Jeopardy! FOX Classics 26,000
  17. Live: The Back Page FOX SPORTS 503 26,000
  18. Long Lost Family Lifestyle Channel 26,000
  19. Border Security: America’s Front Line FOX8 25,000
  20. Live: NFL: Packers V Falcons ESPN 25,000

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Media News Roundup

Business of Media

Budget 2020: ABC set for years of decreased funding in real terms

The ABC is set to face ongoing cuts to its budget in real terms, with funding for broadcasting – which covers the national broadcaster and SBS – subject to a 0.7 per cent decrease in real terms from 2019-20 to 2020-21, and a 3.7 per cent decrease in real terms from 2020-21 to 2023-24, reports The Australian’s Rachel Baxendale.

The decrease reflects the Morrison government’s decision in the 2018 budget to freeze ABC funding at 2018-19 levels until at least 2021-22, saving $84m. The broadcaster’s average staffing level fell from 4069 people in 2019-20 to 4030 in 2020-21, necessitating a recent round of redundancies.

The freeze has been partially offset by a $33m package for the screen sector and a $7.6m package over four years to assist SBS in providing enhanced language services, both of which were announced earlier this year, as well as the $44m “Guaranteeing Australia’s Public Broadcasters” package announced in last year’s budget, which runs for three years from 2019-20 and provides supplementary funding for the ABC and SBS.

[Read more]

The Village Roadshow roller coaster may have more twists and turns

Village Roadshow’s largest independent shareholder, New York-based funds manager Mittleman Brothers, will use its increased shareholding to vote against two proposed takeover structures by private equity firm BGH Capital, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

The funds manager also has hired lawyers in an attempt to get the Australian Securities and Investment Commission to step in.

On Tuesday, Mittleman Brothers – which has made clear it does not believe the offer price, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, was high enough – increased its shareholding to 10.1 per cent, up from 8.5 per cent, making it the largest independent shareholder in Village Roadshow.

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How oOh!media is helping Swinburne students’ road safety campaign

oOh!media is helping four Swinburne University students save young road users’ lives, by promoting their animated road safety campaign across its digital billboards and other signage in Melbourne.

The campaign has just gone live across roadside, retail, bus shelter and café locations as Melbourne’s lockdown measures start to ease. It is the result of behaviour change program Re:act, which challenges university students to come up with ideas to raise road safety awareness among adults aged 18 to 25. This demographic is almost twice as likely to be killed in traffic accidents than their parents, according to data from Australian Roads.

The ‘You miss a lot when you’re distracted’ campaign was devised by students Laura Hughes, Caitlin Xavier, Stephanie Powell and Thomas Pritchard. Their creative approach depicts vulnerable road users oblivious to the virtual presence of wild animals in the city, to highlight the topic of distraction.

Noel Cook, oOh!media’s chief commercial & operations officer, said creativity was a crucial aspect in any effective out of home campaign.

“Roadside billboards reach large numbers of drivers, but you’ve got to be quick, creative and punchy with your messaging,” he said. “The students’ campaign does just that, and we’re really proud to support them and the Re:act team – it’s a great program about a really important issue.”

The Melbourne campaign is now running after recent local campaign launches in Brisbane and Sydney over the past few months.

oOh!’s support for Re:act is part of the company’s broader approach to road safety. In conjunction with the Outdoor Media Association (OMA), oOh! is committed to working closely with governments and authorities to invest in research and make roads safer.

News Brands

ABC, Nine ‘defamed’ billionaire businessman Chau Chak Wing court hears

The ABC and Nine have been accused of failing to restrain their “tabloid instincts” while they launched a concerted effort to convince “small-minded” Australians that billionaire Chau Chak Wing had “betrayed his country” and was a Chinese spy embroiled in a UN bribery scandal, reports The Australian’s Kieran Gair.

Dr Chau is suing the ABC and Nine, the owner of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, in the Federal Court over a joint investigation that accused the prominent political donor of bribing a UN official and acting as a double agent for the Chinese Communist Party.

On Tuesday, Bruce McClintock, SC, for Dr Chau, said the ABC had used “hokey, sinister music” and “darkened screens” to paint the billionaire property investor as an “international man of mystery” who donated “enormous” sums of money in a bid to influence politicians.

Last year, Dr Chau also won $280,000 in damages in a separate defamation case against The Sydney Morning Herald over a 2015 article.

[Read more]

Sports Media

Foxtel reveals how Kayo has lifted NRL & AFL TV crowds

Foxtel subscribers to one of its sports tiers across various platforms got to see their first weekend of NRL and AFL finals across the last weekend.

Data released yesterday by Foxtel Media gives advertisers an idea of just how big those audiences are and how people are watching in 2020.

Foxtel reported that live viewing was up 17% year-on-year for the Week 1 finals. The average audiences across Foxtel platforms and Kayo was 387,000. The streaming audience watching via Go/Now/Kayo was up 123% year-on-year.

The #1 NRL match of the weekend was the Storm v Eels game with a combined Foxtel + Kayo audience of 432,000. As Mediaweek reported on the weekend, the Foxtel live audience on Fox League for that match was 336,000, meaning there was an additional streaming audience of 96,000.

Foxtel Media also reported the AFL live viewing audience was up 16% on 2019 for the average Week 1 matches. The average audience was 399,000 per match across Foxtel platforms and Kayo. The streaming average audience was up 135% year-on-year for Go/Now/Kayo.

The biggest match of the weekend was Friday night’s Brisbane v Richmond match with 433,000 watching on Foxtel platforms on Kayo. As Mediaweek reported on Saturday, the Foxtel live audience on Fox Footy was 309,000, indicating the streaming audience was 124,000.

Seven takes Cricket Australia to arbitration but court action could loom

Seven West Media has sought official arbitration in its bid to secure a cut in its annual fees with Cricket Australia but the sport’s governing body could call the network’s bluff and head directly to court, reports The Age’s Jon Pierik.

The network has sought an independent expert to determine the rights value of this summer’s fixture, including a four-Test series against India and the Big Bash League. As it stands, that figure is $75 million in cash plus $7 million in free advertising but Seven argues the campaign ahead, impacted by COVID-19 restrictions and the alleged scheduling demands by the Board of Control for Cricket in India, will lack the quality it had signed on for.

[Read more]

Channel Nine set to cut cricket radio broadcast rights

The last link to Channel 9’s iconic cricket commentary is set to be severed in the latest change to cricket’s broadcasting landscape, report News Corp’s Peter Lalor and Ben Horne.

News Corp can reveal that Nine Radio, owner of the defunct Macquarie Sports Radio, is set to give up its broadcast rights to Craig Hutchison’s Sports Entertainment Network, leaving cricket with one exclusive commercial radio partner and the ABC.

Under the previous arrangement, SEN and Nine combined on the one licence, so in essence Cricket Australia has not lost a partner with the shutdown of Macquarie, and in fact should increase national exposure now SEN has new stations in Sydney and Brisbane.

[Read more]

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