Wednesday September 16, 2020

Nine’s Australian Crime Stories delivers 10 compelling cases for viewers

By James Manning

• The Full Box founders Gerri Coy and Bryan Cockerill spoke to Mediaweek

Sydney-based production house The Full Box has been lurking in the real crime genre ever since the founders Gerri Coy and Bryan Cockerill launched the business a decade ago. Their first commission was Tough Nuts: Australia’s Hardest Criminals for Foxtel’s CI channel.

“Series one ran for eight episodes and then they commissioned a second series of another eight,” Coy told Mediaweek.

Their next commission kept them in the genre too when BBC commissioned The Kangaroo Gang: Thieves by Appointment. “That mini-series was based on Adam Shand’s book The Adventures of Arthur Delany and the Kangaroo Gang.”

The Full Box founders: Bryan Cockerill and Gerri Coy

The partnership with broadcaster and writer Shand has been constant through all of The Full Box series and he became an onscreen contributor when the producers started working on Australian Crime Stories for Nine.

The first two series of Australian Crime Stories was basically a rebadged version of Tough Nuts without original host Tara Moss but with Nine’s Mark Burrows doing the narration.

It worked so well for Nine that the network commissioned more. “We then moved away from dramatised recreations to a more investigative style of storytelling,” Cockerill told Mediaweek.

The first of the new-look Australian Crime Stories was eight episodes while season four, which launches this week on Nine and 9Now, will be 10.

Whatever you do don’t miss the first episode which features Roger Rogerson. “He has been a theme in several episodes before,” said Cockerill. “We first interviewed him for the first two seasons of Tough Nuts and he was also in The Kangaroo Gang.”

Roger Rogerson

Roger Rogerson

The updated Rogerson episode covers the Glenn McNamara and Jamie Gao saga that culminated with the two former cops taking part in the most filmed crime ever (via CCTV) and then the subsequent disposal and discovery of a body.

Cockerill: “When you are confronted by the CCTV vision you see that this is the most cold and calculated thing you will ever see. Some people have said it is pure evil.

One of the interviewees in the Rogerson episode is Daily Telegraph crime reporter Mark Morri. “Like me, Morri feels like he has been conned by Roger,” said Cockerill. “Rogerson comes across as a charming old bloke who did a few dodgy things in his past. But the more you look into this crime you are shocked by what actually happened.”

The new Australian Crime Stories season has a compelling mix of big name crime figures (Rogerson and Lawyer X/Nicola Gobbo for starters), but also some intriguing cases that will trigger much discussion when they are explored onscreen.

“We always search for a range of stories covering different crimes, from gruesome murders to robberies gone wrong. We have found an intriguing mix this series that range from a miscarriage of justice to the work of a con artist. What brings them together is that they are all real and we are able to interview people who were there.

Coy explained the filmmakers try to get away from being too focused on just Sydney and Melbourne. There was a Tasmanian story last series and amongst the new episodes is a South Australian reveal that will fascinate any viewer.

Adam Shand

Adam Shand

Shand conducts the interviews with the talent during this series and does a few pieces to camera hosting each episode. The heavy lifting when it comes to narration is left to Burrows who does a great job of explaining what is happening and why. Particularly useful in the Lawyer X episode for example.

Cockerill and Coy haven’t had knock backs from any crims, coppers or journalists they wanted to get for this season. “We take very seriously our responsibility to tell these stories accurately and truthfully,” said Cockerill. “This is not just a piece of TV, it is their lives.”

“It can be very emotionally draining too for the people taking part as they relive events,” added Coy. “We talk to them a lot before we roll camera whether it be face-to-face or on the phone.”

Several contributors have been on screen all the way through four seasons of Australian Crime Stories including former NSW assistant police commissioner Clive Small, journalist Peter Hoysted (aka Jack The Insider) and former NSW detective Brian Harding among them.

Australian Crime Stories: Mediaweek podcasts

Don’t miss our special series of podcast minis with the creators of Australian Crime Stories, Gerri Coy and Bryan Cockerill, giving an insiders guide to each episode of the real crime series on Nine and 9Now.

The first episode is published to today and looks at Season 4, Episode 1: Roger Rogerson

Listen here.

10 Shake
New FTA TV channel: 10 Shake transmitting 6am on Sunday, 27 September

It’s official. The newest member of the Network 10 family is 10 Shake and the new FTA channel is launching on viewers screens from 6am on Sunday, 27 September.

Every day from 6.00am – 6.00pm 10 Shake will boast programs just for the kids. For the first time on free-to-air TV, young ones will be able to tune into The Loud House, Henry Danger, Sam & Cat and The Thundermans.

Also favourites like SpongeBob SquarePants, PAW Patrol, Dora The Explorer, Butterbean’s Café and locally produced, Ready Set Dance, Totally Wild and Scope.


From 6pm each night the programming mix switches to adults with The Charlotte Show, Teen Mom Australia (Season 1), Ridiculousness (Season 8), Catfish: The TV Show (Season 6) and The Daily Show With Trevor Noah making their free-to-air debuts while The Late Late Show With James Corden, Comedy Central Roasts, Drunk History US, Ex On The Beach UK and Lip Sync Battle will also be entertaining viewers.

Earlier this year Network 10 head of programming Daniel Monaghan told Mediaweek the broadcaster was well aware the market has been expecting a new multichannel from the broadcaster. So what has taken so long?

“We have been talking about a fourth channel for some time and have been investigating a number of options pre the change of 10’s ownership and after,” admitted Monaghan to Mediaweek. “Once we saw Viacom and CBS coming together, and seeing the content they both offer, we realised we could access content that would differentiate it from Bold and Peach.

“Looking at the content made us feel like now was exactly the right time to launch. There was content in the kids’ space we didn’t previously have access to and then some edgier content through the Viacom channels.”

See also: Network 10 launches Shake: Show me the strategy, Dan Monaghan

Key to the success of any FTA commercial TV channel is, of course, is the ability to monetise the dayparts. Looking after revenue for Network 10’s new channel 10 Shake is chief sales officer Rod Prosser.

The decision to go with the 10 Shake programming mix came about after looking at the large library of content at ViacomCBS, Prosser told Mediaweek. “What I was really keen on when Bev McGarvey and the broader management team started talking around the new channel was that it would be very different to what we already had and therefore would not cannibalise our channels Bold and Peach.

“I wanted a channel that would offer us an opportunity to talk to advertisers that we may not have had in the past. Shake allows us to do that. There isn’t another very targeted under-40 channel that can compete with the likes of YouTube for example. It’s now up to us to open up conversations with advertisers.”

10 Shake

As to whether there is much money available for the daytime younger audiences, Prosser said: “The sales proposition will be a little bit different, and we will do a lot of packaging. We have now had a few months selling Nickelodeon as part of ViacomCBS, albeit on a different platform. We know there are a lot of clients from big retailers to toy companies to gaming that are really keen on advertising around younger skewing content.

“We will obviously adhere to the regulations surrounding advertising at that time of day to a younger audience that are attached to our broadcast licence. We will have to get approval on ads that go into some of the programming blocks.”

See also: Network 10 launches Shake: Show me the money, Rod Prosser on sales


Fox Footy’s Gerard and Robbo set a new sporting record: 1000 episodes

By James Manning

• Anniversary episode of AFL 360 screening tonight on Fox Footy Channel

Foxtel’s Fox Footy channel is celebrating a milestone today as its juggernaut AFL 360 will broadcast its 1,000th episode, making it the longest running AFL television show in Australian history.

The institution hosted by prominent odd couple Gerard Whateley and Mark “Robbo” Robinson will celebrate with a 90-minute special on the eve of the final home and away round of the unusual 2020 season.

Having spent 1000 episodes, 60,000 minutes, 3,600,000 million seconds on-air together since episode one in 2010, Gerard and Robbo will look back at some of their most significant and most fun moments and favourite guests of the past 10 years.

Long-serving AFL 360 executive producer Tim Hodges reminded Mediaweek how the show started initially once a week on Wednesdays on Fox Sports before Foxtel secured the football rights. When Fox Footy secured the rights in 2012 the show moved to four nights a week on the Fox Footy channel.

Hodges was hired as EP from Network 10 after it lost the AFL rights.

We were told it might take a while to build an audience for a nightly show, but by the end of the first year the audience had doubled every night of the week from what it used to do as a weekly program. Fans are passionate about the show now and they love Gerrard and Robbo.”

Hodges was part of the team at 10 that won a TV Week Logie for Best Sports Coverage for 10’s final AFL match – the AFL Grand Final. Memorable also for Meatloaf’s performance that year!

A cavalcade of sports stars have appeared on AFL 360 over the years.

“The most significant shows have been high-rating episodes when we covered major events like the tragic death of Danny Frawley, Phil Wash and others, the sackings of various coaches and also when we pay tribute to people when they retire which we will be doing this week.”

The hosts have great relationships with everybody in the AFL. A couple of notable exceptions over the years have been former coach Ross Lyon who just doesn’t get on with Whateley, and Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley who has had a prickly relationship with Robinson over the years.

Hodges revealed that the production team start work each day around 10am. They speak to Gerrard and Robbo during the day and Whateley is first to arrive late afternoon after finishing his radio commitments. “Robbo is always last to arrive as he needs to file his copy at the Herald Sun before he gets here. It’s not unusual for me to be on the phone to him after 7pm wondering what time he will show. There have been days where he walks in at 7.28pm and we scramble to change his shirt and put on some makeup.

AFL 360 producer Tim Hodges (centre) with Gerrard and Robbo plus guests Nathan Buckley and Paul Roos

The show’s longest serving player and coach – Hawthorn premiership superstar Jordan Lewis – and Geelong’s Chris Scott will join the 1000th episode along with the show’s first pairing David King and Mark Maclure.

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan will also be part of the coverage festivities live from the hub in Queensland.

Western Bulldogs legend and AFL 360 regular, Bob Murphy, will present the all-time Top 5 Rascals of the Week, a regular segment that celebrates the cheeky side of the game.

Show-favourites Jack Riewoldt, Nick Riewoldt and Jarryd Roughead will also be live in studio along with a host of tributes shared by Neale Daniher, Nathan Buckley, Alastair Clarkson, Chris Fagan, Nat Fyfe, Nic Naitanui and premiership coach Damien Hardwick.

The evening show that dissects footy from all angles, is also the longest running magazine show on Fox Sports on Foxtel.

AFL 360’s 1000th episode will go to air this Wednesday, September 16 at 7.30pm. It is also available on Kayo and Foxtel on demand platforms.

CBS All Access rebranding as Paramount+ in early 2021

ViacomCBS has revealed “Paramount+” as the brand name for the company’s rebranded global streaming service, building on a legacy of innovation and superior storytelling that distinguishes one of the most iconic brands in Hollywood.

The company’s transformed subscription video on-demand and live streaming service, 10 All Access, will be rebranded as Paramount+ in early 2021 as part of the service’s expansion to feature content from ViacomCBS’ portfolio of broadcast, news, sports and entertainment brands. ViacomCBS will also bring Paramount+ to international markets with an initial debut in Australia, Latin America and the Nordics in 2021.

“Paramount is an iconic and storied brand beloved by consumers all over the world, and it is synonymous with quality, integrity and world-class storytelling,” said Bob Bakish, President and CEO, ViacomCBS. “With Paramount+, we’re excited to establish one global streaming brand in the broad-pay segment that will draw on the sheer breadth and depth of the ViacomCBS portfolio to offer an extraordinary collection of content for everyone to enjoy.

David Lynn, President and CEO, ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI), said: “With the global launch of Paramount+ we are poised to become as powerful a player in streaming as we are in TV. VCNI is focused on building a meaningful, global brand presence in our key markets, generating material advertising, subscription and licensing revenue from streaming.
“By leveraging the iconic Paramount brand, leading-edge infrastructure from ViacomCBS along with an incredible, super-sized pipeline of must-see content, Paramount+ will deliver an exceptional consumer entertainment experience and significantly disrupt the streaming industry.”

Chief Content Officer & Executive Vice President of ViacomCBS Australia & New Zealand, Beverley McGarvey, said: “The rebrand of 10 All Access to Paramount+ confirms its place in ViacomCBS’ global streaming network which will carry iconic ViacomCBS library content.
“As we continue to build out our multi-platform offering and with a firm focus on building our streaming offering, we’re really thrilled to be bringing the Paramount+ brand to local audiences.”

ViacomCBS has also revealed plans for additional new original series for Paramount+:

THE OFFER, a scripted limited event series from Paramount Television Studios, based on Oscar-winning producer Al Ruddy’s extraordinary, never-revealed experiences of making The Godfather. The 10-episode event series is written and executive produced by Michael Tolkin (Escape at Dannemora and The Player). Ruddy will also serve as executive producer, and Emmy-winning producer Leslie Greif (Hatfields & McCoys) will executive produce and be a writer on the series.

LIONESS, a spy drama created by Taylor Sheridan (Yellowstone) with Sheridan, Jill Wagner, David Glasser, David Hutkin, and Bob Yari set to executive produce. Based on a real-life CIA program, Lioness follows a young Marine recruited to befriend the daughter of a terrorist to bring the organisation down from within. The series is produced by Paramount Network and 101 Studios.

A reimagination of the Emmy-nominated series Behind the Music entitled MTV’s Behind The Music – The Top 40, which will unlock MTV’s vault from the past 40 years for a unique and intimate look at the 40 biggest artists of all time, through their voices and their eyes. The series will be produced by Creature Films and MTV Studios.

THE REAL CRIMINAL MINDS, a true-crime docuseries based on the hit CBS Television series, and produced by XG Productions in association with CBS Television Studios and ABC Signature.

The service is also developing a revival of THE GAME as part of BET’s programming on Paramount+ from CBS Television Studios and Grammnet Productions.

The new original series announced today join the service’s previously announced plans for KAMP KORAL, a new original children’s series from Nickelodeon’s Spongebob Squarepants, and the service’s role as the exclusive SVOD home to The Spongebob Movie: Sponge On The Run in early 2021. Additional new original content will be announced ahead of launch.

This programming will join 10 All Access’ existing offering of more than 10,000 episodes and movies from BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures, Network 10 and more, as well as exclusive original series including The Good Fight, The Twilight Zone, Tooning Out The News, No Activity, Why Women Kill, Interrogation, The Thomas John Experience and Tell Me A Story, as well as upcoming series The Stand, The Man Who Fell To Earth, The Harper House, and Guilty Party.

Freelancing Gems: New centralised job platform showcasing female talent

By Claudia Siron

Recognised as the first of its kind in Australia, Freelancing Gems is a new female-exclusive digital job platform designed for freelancers, consultants, sole-traders and side-hustlers who are leaders in their field, across all industries.

The platform offers them the chance to showcase their skills and experience in a centralised location for Australian employers to find these ‘rare gems’ of talent. With over 1.7 million Australians out of work – and 56% of women losing their jobs during COVID-19 – Freelancing Gems holistically aims to help women get back on their feet.

Founded by industry professionals including founder and former CEO of The Red Republic Fleur Madden, former Daily Mail account director ANZ Amanda Kelly and former CoHort Go’s CMO Kirsty Jackson, the trio caught up with Mediaweek and spoke about their shared mission as well as the future of the job market.

Madden revealed with The Red Republic they frequently used freelancers yet found it was difficult to locate freelancers in one centralised location – and across all industries. “There are other freelancer sites out there, but they’re usually quite niche in their industries, and there isn’t one that champions women in Australia – which I was shocked about. That’s where the concept for Freelancing Gems came from.”

Jackson added: What we’re seeing on our platform predominantly are administration roles, bookkeeping, freelancers from creative industries and HR, but we do certainly see ourselves as a platform for all industries and we encourage freelancers from different industry-backgrounds to apply.”

Madden said being a female founder and working with a lot of other female entrepreneurs, she’s found there are unique challenges women face in business. “Through the work I’ve been doing for the past two decades I was getting asked for some of my business templates and tools. Then I read an article saying women charge 38% less than their male counterparts when sourcing content because they don’t understand what they should be charging. And it was at that moment when I thought ‘I’ve got the tools, I’ve got the templates, I already champion and support women in the work I do – there’s a bigger piece here’.”

The trio of women who come from slightly different backgrounds have known each other for many years and they’ve never actually collaborated until now. “All of us had a similar mission. We’re passionate about women in work and we found we were at a stage in our careers where we were ready to do something with real purpose,” said Madden.

She then added how the three of them were working on the concept prior to COVID. “There is no doubt however that during the pandemic women have been disproportionately disadvantaged than men. The basis of our business was to help women find work, and if anything, there’s never been more of a need to help women find work than right now.

Jackson added: “We know that from COVID well over 1m people have lost their jobs and that more women have been impacted than men. The industries hardest-hit are traditionally industries that women work in, like travel and retail.”

Madden said with the platform they also have a monthly ‘Entrepreneur in Residence’ which is a high-profile businesswoman who women can direct their burning business questions to. “This month we have Chelsea Bonner who is the founder of BELLA Management – Australia’s leading curvy and plus-size modelling agency. If we’re talking about diversity and inclusion, there’s no one better to talk about that than Chelsea.”

Kelly added: “Supporting diversity in the workplace is a strong part of our mission. When we started the business pre-COVID, we were focusing on the diversity piece but ultimately COVID has been our secondary purpose and getting back to work sooner.”

Madden also revealed the platform offers a program for when women sign up they are matched with another woman who’s on a similar journey. “There’s an array of elements to the business. Our mission is to find women work and get paid what they’re worth, but we’re also giving them the tools and support to be able to do that.”

Kelly touched on how the future of work has changed and how there’ll inevitably be a real shift towards the e-economy. “We have found there is an up-take in women going into a style of work when perhaps they didn’t think they were going to before COVID – like freelancing or sole-trader work. Ultimately women are looking for balance after coming out of a more corporate career or having kids. They’re the real reasons why women are looking at different styles of working and we definitely think the e-economy is the way forward.”

Jackson said through this pandemic and the new world we’re adapting to there are still jobs out there. “What we’re seeing is that while employers don’t necessarily have the capacity to have a full-time staff, they are now looking for that freelance market. That’s where the opportunities are for these women to pivot and create new businesses and access the flexibility some have always wanted.”

In terms of plans for the future for Freelancing Gems, Kelly added: “We are Australian-based at the moment but we do have big plans in the next five years to go global, so watch this space.”

Top photo: Founders (from left to right) Amanda Kelly, Fleur Madden and Kirsty Jackson

SBS secures exclusive rights to Tour de France until 2030

SBS has announced that it has retained the exclusive broadcasting rights to the Tour de France until 2030 through an agreement with the owners and organisers Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O).

This will see SBS broadcast the Tour de France live in Australia for the next 10 years. With 2030 marking a 40-year partnership between SBS and A.S.O.

Under the agreement, SBS has the exclusive Australian rights to deliver live, multi-platform coverage (including televisions and digital).

From 2021 to 2030, SBS will broadcast over 300 hours of cycling across the network each year. As part of the new broadcast deal, SBS has secured the exclusive Australian rights to the Dakar Rally and Schneider Electric Paris Marathon, as well as additional men’s and women’s cycling events including the Paris Roubaix, La Vuelta, Fleche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

SBS managing director James Taylor said: “SBS has been home to the Tour de France for 30 years. We’re truly thrilled to extend our long-standing arrangement until 2030, which is a testament to the quality of our partnership with A.S.O. We are absolutely delighted that SBS will continue offering viewers world-class coverage of every minute of this incredible event for another 10 years.”

“The Tour de France is one of the most prestigious events in the sporting calendar, combining a rich cultural experience with magnificent sporting achievements. The Tour’s popularity stretches beyond the world of cycling, bringing people together and contributing to social harmony – that’s what our Charter is all about.”

SBS director of sport Ken Shipp said: “The Tour de France is the world’s biggest annual sporting event and one of SBS’s biggest sporting properties. It’s at the heart of SBS and, every year, we provide extensive coverage for millions of fans across Australia. This new deal reflects a mutual respect between SBS and A.S.O. built over the last 30 years. We look forward to continuing this partnership and investing further in cycling to make our coverage even bigger over the next decade.”  

A.S.O managing director Yann Le Moënner said: “We are proud to have in SBS a trusted and committed partner whose unwavering support has proven stronger than ever. By 2030, end of the newly signed agreement, it will have been 40 editions since SBS has become the home of cycling, a tenure that has seen an ever-growing passion for our events Down Under, crowned by the victories of champions like Cadel Evans, Richie Porte, Mathew Hayman and Caleb Ewan while Toby Price went to win the Dakar Rally twice.

“On top of being accessible to all Australians for free, Le Tour de France, La Vuelta a España, Dakar Rally, Paris-Roubaix and many more events will benefit both from the proven exceptional editorial treatment from SBS and the most innovative digital tools to bring great storylines anytime, to all Australian generations on their preferred platform.”


Screen Queensland
Screen Queensland invests $197,500 into 17 screen festivals

Screen Queensland has announced an investment of $197,500 into 17 screen festivals.

The Queensland events are supported through the V-Fest initiative which is part of SQ’s $3.3 million COVID-19 response package as well as its bi-annual Screen Culture Funding program.

Screen Queensland CEO Kylie Munnich said: “In addition to entertaining our communities and stimulating tourism, screen culture events are a source of inspiration for our industry and present a career-building platform to showcase their creations,” said Munnich.

“We are pleased to deliver this vital support and look forward to giving continued assistance to the delivery of dynamic and diverse virtual festivals and COVID-safe live events in 2020 and 2021.”

Screen Queensland’s rolling Screen Culture Program runs twice a year with the goal to support screen events state-wide, celebrating diverse content across film, games and online. 

Recipients of the first 2020-21 round include the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, Understory Film Festival in Cairns, Game on Festival in Brisbane, Black Screen Touring Film Festival, and Capricorn Film Festival in Yeppoon.  

The first V-Fest initiative was announced in June to enable new and existing screen culture events to deliver virtual screen festivals.

Screen Queensland’s screen culture and community director Rowena Billard said:

“Essential Screen Festival, Port Shorts, Queensland Touring Film Festival, Capfilmfestaccessible and Women in Film and Television are amongst the state’s trail-blazers in this “new normal” world of online film festivals,” said Billard.

“As a society, the importance of screen culture on both the big and small screen as a way of creating connection and wellbeing has been particularly underlined in the current landscape.

“In this way, Screen Queensland is proud to support the economic and cultural recovery of our state.”

Applications are open now for Screen Culture Funding  Round 2 on the Screen Queensland website and close on 5:00pm Friday 23 October.

Screen Culture Funding 2020/21 Round 1 recipients
• ACS Outback Cinema Masterclass (Winton)
• Animation Alliance Australia Presents (Brisbane)
• Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) (South East Queensland)
• Australian Independent Film Festival (Brisbane)
• Black Screen Touring Film Festival (Far North Queensland)
• Caloundra Film Festival
• Capricorn Film Festival (Yeppoon)
• Game On Festival (Brisbane)
• Queensland Touring Film Festival (Regional Queensland locations)
• Sanctuary Film Festival (Gold Coast)
• Sydney Film Festival – Travelling Film Festival (Regional Queensland locations)
• Understory Film Festival (Cairns)

V-Fest recipients
• Best of Port Shorts
• Capfilmfestaccessible
• Essential Screen Festival
• Queensland Touring Film Festival
• WIFT (Women in Film and Television) Queensland – Women’s Virtual Film Festival

the masked singer osher
The Masked Singer finale hits a ratings high note

The final mask has been lifted, the final song sung, and Network 10 reports the verdict is in: the second season of The Masked Singer Australia was a smash hit.

Over the past five weeks, the most colourful and entertaining show on television intrigued and captivated the nation, right up to the moment Bushranger was revealed as Bonnie Anderson and revealed as the winner.

bonnie anderson

Hosted by Osher Günsberg and starring Jackie O, Dave Hughes, Dannii Minogue and Urzila Carlson as the guessing panel, the 2020 season of The Masked Singer Australia consistently beat all challengers, ranking #1 in its timeslot and #1 in under 50s and all key age groups (25 to 54s, 16 to 39s and 18 to 49s).

See also: How Covid couldn’t stop 10 & Warner Bros finishing The Masked Singer

The show posted a national total average audience of 1.23 million viewers, including a capital city total audience of 915,000.

Minutes viewed on 10 Play reached 26 million and its live stream audience jumped 50% compared to 2019.

The Masked Singer Australia also ranked #1 entertainment show on social media every time it went to air, achieving 293,000 interactions on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

the masked singer ratings

ViacomCBS Australia and New Zealand Chief Content Officer and EVP, Beverley McGarvey, said: “In its second year, The Masked Singer Australia has cemented its position as one of the most popular family entertainment shows in the country.

“Great performances, a play along guessing game and one jaw-dropping moment after another is a winning combination across all platforms and with all ages. My sincere appreciation and thanks to Osher, Jackie, Dave, Dannii, Urzila for their talent, energy and for bringing their A game when we needed it most! Thanks also to our amazingly talented celebrities for braving the stage and bringing us such pure entertainment.

“COVID and the resultant lockdown in Melbourne created some significant challenges for us and I would like to thank our creative, imaginative and resilient crew, our partners at Warner Bros., and the team at 10 led by executive producer Stephen Tate,” she said.

“Thank you also to our viewers. Their enthusiasm for the show is incredible. We can’t wait to bring The Masked Singer Australia back in 2021.”

The key commercial partners for The Masked Singer Australia in 2020 were Big W, Vodafone, Foster Grant’s available at Chemist Warehouse and KFC.

Network 10 and ViacomCBS Chief Sales Officer, Rod Prosser, said: “Thank you to all our commercial partners for their support this year. The creativity and integration they brought to the show was first class.

The Masked Singer Australia has cemented its position as one of the biggest shows on TV and our partners are a critical part of its success.”

The Masked Singer Australia at a glance:

2020 season average, total audience, national: 1.23 million
2020 season average, total audience, capital cities: 915,000
2020 season average, television, national: 1.18 million
2020 season average, television, capital cities: 867,000
2020 season average, BVOD: 40,000
2020 season: #1 entertainment program on social media each night it aired

The Boys
TV Demand: The Boys shoot to #1 off the back of 2nd season

By Trent Thomas

Australia has a new #1 on both the Digital Original and Overall TV charts with The Boys claiming top spot off the back of its season two premiere on September 4. The eight-episode season will be released weekly on Amazon Prime Video which should continue to boost the season throughout its release.

The Amazon Original was developed by Eric Kripke for Prime Video and is based on the comic book of the same name by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson. The series follows a team of vigilantes as they attempt to stop a team of superheroes who abuse their abilities and are backed by a big corporation.

The series is lead by New Zealand actors Karl Urban (Star Trek) and Antony Starr (Banshee) who represent opposite sides of the struggle. Urban plays Butcher, the leader of the eponymous team The Boys, and Starr plays Homelander, the leader of the superhero group The Seven.

Netflix Original The Umbrella Academy has stayed #1 on the Digital Original and Overall TV charts in New Zealand.

TV ratings: Tuesday Week 38 2020

By James Manning

• The Block build takes on sense of urgency as Covid impacts
• Brighton builders and Halifax keep Nine #1 with both shows up
• Disappointing debut for Todd Sampson’s BodyHack in 7.30pm slot

Primetime News

Seven News 1,059,000/1,007,000
Nine News 1,026,000/985,000
ABC News 748,000
10 News First 340,000/211,000
SBS World News 194,000

Daily current affairs

A Current Affair 719,000
7.30 602,000
The Project 323,000/512,000
The Drum 179,000

Breakfast TV

Sunrise 265,000
Today 249,000
News Breakfast 200,000

Late night news

ABC Late News 133,000
The Latest 123,000
Nine News Late 116,000

Monday TV

Seven: After 591,000 on Monday Home and Away backed up with 570,000 last night.

Plate of Origin recovered a little to 410,000 after 342,000 on Monday.

The 2012 movie Taken 2 was then on 193,000.

Nine: A Current Affair started its new week on 733,000 and dropped a little to 719,000 for the Tuesday episode.

The Block kept the pressure on the renovators with the seemingly impossible task of finishing the master ensuite and ordering all the materials for the rest of the build to avoid Covid shortages. The Tuesday episode did 821,000 winning the slot, after 753,000 a week ago.

Halifax-Retribution was then on 508,000 for episode four after 500,000 a week ago.

10: The primary channel had its first single figure survey Tuesday this year with a disappointing debut for Todd Sampson’s BodyHack on 346,000.

Earlier in the night Sampson returned as a guest panellist on The Project with 512,000 after 7pm.

Later in the night a repeat episode of Ambulance Australia was on 281,000.

ABC: Anh’s Brush with Fame did 649,000 with Father Bob Maguire sitting for his portrait.

Episode three of the five-part Further Back in Time for Dinner followed with 537,000.

SBS: Michael Portillo ended his series of Great Asian Railway Journeys with a visit to Singapore for 304,000 viewers.

Insight followed on 197,000 before Dateline had 137,000.

Stage 16 of the Tour de France was on 140,000.

Week 38: Tuesday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 13.5% 7 16.0% 9 20.8% 10  9.7% SBS One 7.4%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.3% 7TWO 3.3% GO! 2.7% 10 Bold 3.8% VICELAND 1.7%
ABC ME 0.5% 7mate 3.6% GEM 2.6% 10 Peach 2.6% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 1.5% 7flix 2.2% 9Life 2.9%     NITV 0.0%
        9Rush 1.3%     SBS World Movies 0.8%
TOTAL 17.8%   25.1%   30.2%   16.1%   10.8%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 13.1% 7 16.0% 9 16.9% WIN 9.0% SBS One 5.8%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.2% 7TWO 4.0% GO! 3.8% WIN Bold 4.5% VICELAND 1.9%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 5.8% GEM 4.1% WIN Peach 3.0% Food Net 0.7%
ABC NEWS 1.3% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 2.0% 9Life 2.6% Sky News  on WIN 2.4% NITV 0.1%
                SBS Movies 0.6%
TOTAL 17.2%   27.8%   27.4%   19.0%   9.1%


88.5% 11.5%
Tuesday FTA
  1. Seven News Seven 1,059,000
  2. Nine News Nine 1,026,000
  3. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 1,007,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 985,000
  5. The Block Nine 821,000
  6. ABC News ABC 748,000
  7. A Current Affair Nine 719,000
  8. Anh’s Brush With Fame ABC 649,000
  9. 7.30 ABC 602,000
  10. The Chase Australia Seven 587,000
  11. Home And Away Seven 570,000
  12. Further Back In Time For Dinner ABC 537,000
  13. The Project 7pm 10 513,000
  14. Halifax Retribution Nine 508,000
  15. Hot Seat Nine 493,000
  16. Plate Of Origin Seven 410,000
  17. Todd Sampson’s Bodyhack 10 346,000
  18. 10 News First 10 340,000
  19. The Chase Australia 5pm Seven 329,000
  20. The Project 6.30pm 10 323,000
Demo Top 5

16 – 39

  1. The Block Nine 195,000
  2. Nine News Nine 142,000
  3. The Project 7pm 10 140,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 135,000
  5. Todd Sampson’s Bodyhack 10 96,000


18 – 49

  1. The Block Nine 364,000
  2. Nine News Nine 273,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 268,000
  4. The Project 7pm 10 226,000
  5. Seven News Seven 198,000


25 – 54

  1. The Block Nine 414,000
  2. Nine News 6:30 Nine 324,000
  3. Nine News Nine 322,000
  4. Seven News Seven 258,000
  5. The Project 7pm 10 255,000
Tuesday Multichannel
  1. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 199,000
  2. Aussie Salvage Squad PM 7mate 173,000
  3. Highway Patrol Ep.2 Pm (R) 7mate 160,000
  4. Highway Patrol PM (R) 7mate 142,000
  5. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 129,000
  6. CSI: Miami (R) 10 Bold 124,000
  7. Love Monster ABCKIDS/COMEDY 120,000
  8. Neighbours 10 Peach 118,000
  9. Spicks And Specks ABCKIDS/COMEDY 111,000
  10. Dino Dana ABCKIDS/COMEDY 107,000
  11. Building Off The Grid 9Life 106,000
  12. Peter Rabbit PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 106,000
  13. Octonauts PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 106,000
  14. School Of Roars ABCKIDS/COMEDY 106,000
  15. Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 105,000
  16. Escape To The Chateau 9Life 104,000
  17. Rusty Rivets ABCKIDS/COMEDY 103,000
  18. New Tricks 9Gem 103,000
  19. Inspector Morse PM 7TWO 99,000
  20. Bargain Hunt PM 7TWO 99,000
Tuesday STV
  1. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 82,000
  2. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 72,000
  3. Credlin Sky News Live 68,000
  4. Alan Jones Sky News Live 61,000
  5. Wentworth FOX SHOWCASE 54,000
  6. The Kenny Report Sky News Live 44,000
  7. 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown UKTV 43,000
  8. Live: AFL 360 FOX FOOTY 41,000
  9. PML Later Sky News Live 40,000
  10. Live: The Back Page FOX SPORTS 503 37,000
  11. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 37,000
  12. Highway Patrol FOX8 34,000
  13. Escape To The Chateau: DIY Lifestyle Channel 33,000
  14. AM Agenda Sky News Live 33,000
  15. Escape To The Country Lifestyle Channel 32,000
  16. Jeopardy! FOX Classics 31,000
  17. Escape To The Country Lifestyle Channel 31,000
  18. Blaze And The Monster Machines Nick Jr. 30,000
  19. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 30,000
  20. Newsday Sky News Live 29,000

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

BBC Studios achieves record 2019/2020 performance

BBC Studios, the BBC’s largest commercial subsidiary, has announced its 2019/2020 financial results following completion of the audit process in August.

The company finished the last financial year in a position of strength, with sales up 17%, profit (EBITDA) up 14%, and BBC content investment up 19% for titles including His Dark Materials and Dracula, all at record levels. The business also had its best ever year for content sales, up 21%. Returns to the BBC were up 14% on the previous year, with the dividend up 8% at £71m.

Since year end, the coronavirus pandemic has had a significant effect on BBC Studios’ activities and will impact its returns to the BBC this year 20/21.

In its response to the crisis, and guided by a focus on the health and wellbeing of its people, the business has continued with its strategy to make the boldest British programs, supporting both the BBC Public Service and its international customers with the global demand for quality content, alongside a reduction in investment and discretionary costs.

Tom Fussell, interim CEO of BBC Studios, said: “2019/20 was an outstanding year, and we’re extremely proud of how the BBC Studios team has worked together to deliver both brilliant content and record-breaking commercial returns, as well as a progressive culture. Since year end, the environment in which we operate has changed dramatically, but the performance of the business in 19/20 has given us a position of strength from which to weather the current challenging times. We have worked hard to protect and support our workforce, and we have seen over the past few months programmes such as EastEnders, Top Gear, Dragon’s Den and our new David Attenborough-fronted natural history landmark The Green Planet return to production, alongside the delivery of titles like A Suitable Boy made by our indie partner Lookout Point.

“We are working hand-in-hand with our major customers to help them understand and respond to the acceleration of changes in audience behaviour and we will keep a careful eye on both investment and costs. I am confident that our relentless focus on the best of bold British creative will guide us through.”

Tim Davie, director-general of the BBC and former CEO of BBC Studios, added: “Now more than ever, BBC Studios has a critical part to play in the BBC’s future. I have seen first-hand how this part of the BBC brings tangible benefits for audiences in the UK and abroad, program-makers, licence fee payers and the wider creative industry. This ranges from keeping crucial sources of information like The One Show or Horizon on air during lockdown, growing our award-winning centre of excellence for natural history in Bristol, and building the global profile of exciting new brands like Bluey while continuing the evolution of much-loved ones like Top Gear or Doctor Who. These results show both success for the business and put it on a good footing for future challenges.”

Performance overview

2019/20 was a best ever financial year for BBC Studios, with an enviable pipeline of new business. Sales were up 17% at a record £1,388 million (2018/19: £1,189 million), while EBITDA increased by 14% to £181 million (2018/19: £159 million). Returns to the BBC were a record £276 million (2018/19: £243 million), up 14% year on year – taking BBC Studios’ total contribution in the two years post-merger to over £500m.

The business saw the highest ever levels for both content sales, up 21% and content investment into rights for the BBC, up 19% to £187.5m (2018/19: £157.9m).

BBC Studios was the UK’s most commissioned creator of new content in 2019 , with 77 new commissions in the year: 49 for the BBC and 28 from third-parties including global SVOD services. This makes 53 commissions from third parties to date, including the Jon Favreau collaboration Prehistoric Planet for Apple and the Terry Pratchett adaptation The Watch for BBC AMERICA. A series of new or extended partnerships were signed with major customers including HBO Max, ZDF and Yandex.

Full ownership of UKTV brought immediate benefits, with a very good year in both share of commercial impacts (SOCI) and revenue. The business worked more closely with BBC Studios while retaining its distinct UKTV brand and culture, and BBC Studios’ rights ownership in the UK was simplified.

BritBox went from strength to strength, reaching 1.2m subscribers in North America after year end to become the fastest-growing targeted SVOD service. As well as launching in the UK and initiating plans to launch in Australia, BBC Studios, alongside ITV, announced an intention to roll out BritBox globally, which could see the streaming platform expanding up to 25 territories worldwide. 

As BritBox escalates its plans to launch in Australia later this year, joint venture partners BBC Studios and ITV recently appointed Moira Hogan from Network 10 as country manager.

See also:
Streaming wars: Britbox appoints country manager ahead of launch

Peacock Reaches Over 15 Million Sign-Ups, Comcast CEO Says

NBCUniversal streaming service Peacock has reached more than 15 million sign-ups, Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts told a virtual conference on Tuesday, reports The Hollywood Reporter‘s Georg Szalai.

Management said at the end of July that Peacock had reached 10 million signups, with Roberts saying back then that the streamer’s early momentum “exceeded our high expectations”. NBCU has said it hopes Peacock will attract 30 million to 35 million monthly active accounts by 2024.

Roberts said on Tuesday that Peacock has now reached over 15 million sign-ups. “I am encouraged” about the streaming service’s early days, he said, also mentioning that in Comcast’s broadband-only homes Peacock is already the no. 2 app just behind Netflix, while in homes with the Xfinity X1 TV service platform it is no. 3 behind Netflix and YouTube, but “closing in” on the second spot.

[Read more]

News Brands

Google: We don’t oppose a code

Google has published a new open letter to users that seems to position the internet giant as being more amenable to paying news media for content that it uses, reports News Corp’s Chris Griffith.

Google had earlier published a letter to users saying their ability to search on Google and YouTube would be hurt by the new media bargaining code being implemented by media watchdog the ACCC.

While not conceding ground, the new letter took on a more conciliatory tone.

“Over the past few weeks, we’ve been really clear that we do not oppose a code of conduct governing the relationship between news media and digital platforms like Google,” the new letter says.

“We want to see a strong future for Australian media. We’ve already agreed to pay a number of publishers to license their content for a new product, including some in Australia, as well as helping train thousands of Australian journalists.

“It’s part of our bigger commitment to the Australian economy, including working with over a million businesses of all sizes, helping support almost 100,000 jobs, sharing revenues through the YouTube Partner Program, and paying tens of millions of dollars in tax in accordance with Australian Law.”

[Read More]


Sony Music secures another blockbuster week at Aussie radio

Sony Music Entertainment continues to flex its muscles on the official Australian radio airplay charts, with the label landing a second consecutive week with a Hot 40 market share above 40%, reports The Music Network’s Zanda Wilson.

Sony Music now holds a 43.73% share of the Hot 40, and 39.01% of the Hot 100.

The results give them a comfortable lead as the #1 label at Australian radio.

“On behalf of the team at Sony Music, we sincerely thank our valued partners for their support of our artists as they continue to express their artistry and creativity through this unique and challenging time,” Sony Music Entertainment chairman & CEO of Australia and New Zealand, Denis Handlin, tells TMN.

Recent chart highlights come from TikTok star-turned #1 charting act Jawsh 685, with the New Zealander’s Jason Derulo collaboration still in the Top 5 after 13 charting weeks.

[Read more]


With no audience and no red carpet, TV's Emmy awards go virtual

When the curtain rises on the 72nd annual Emmy Awards, a virtual telecast promising 138 stars from 114 locations across 10 countries, the only certain thing is that the winners will not have to thank their families. If all goes to plan, they will be sitting beside them, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Michael Idato.

The event, American television’s so-called night of nights, is sailing uncharted territory. In a television teaser for the event aired on US television, host Jimmy Kimmel asks the question: “How will we pull it off?” His answer? “I don’t know.”

This year’s Emmys will break with a number of awards night traditions. There will be no red carpet, due to social distancing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. And no sweeping shots of the stars; Kimmel will host the event from LA’s Staples Centre without an audience present.

Instead the telecast, which recognises excellence in the television “arts and sciences”, will depend on a smooth transition between the 114 different locations it will cross to, where both presenters, nominees and winners will be waiting expectantly.

There are eight Australians nominated for 10 Emmy awards this year: Hannah Gadsby is in two categories for her Netflix special Douglas, as is Antonio Gambale for his work scoring the Netflix series Unorthodox. Costume designer Justine Seymour is also nominated for her work on Unorthodox. All of those will be handed out at the Creative Arts Emmys, in the week preceding the main event.

And in Monday night’s primetime Emmy telecast five Australians are up for the year’s top awards: Hugh Jackman (HBO’s Bad Education) and Cate Blanchett (FX’s Mrs America) in outstanding lead actor and actress, Sarah Snook (HBO’s Succession) and Toni Collette (Netflix’s Unbelievable) for outstanding supporting actor in a drama and limited series respectively, and Tony McNamara (Hulu’s The Great) for outstanding writing for a comedy series.

[Read more]

Chaser's Julian Morrow in court battle over The Checkout

For years, ABC consumer affairs program The Checkout pursued a rich variety of business identities for alleged deceptive and misleading conduct. Now the program’s executive producer Julian Morrow, one of the founders of The Chaser, finds himself in court accused of … deceptive and misleading conduct report SMH‘s Samantha Hutchinson and Stephen Brook.

Morrow is locking horns with a former business partner, producer Nick Murray, whose company Cordell Jigsaw makes TV hits such as Gruen and Bondi Rescue. CJ used to jointly produce The Checkout with Morrow’s Giant Dwarf production company.

Now both sides are fighting in the NSW Supreme Court over lucrative producer tax offsets – amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Giant Dwarf claims Cordell Jisgaw, as they’re referred to in the documents, breached its contract and stopped Giant Dwarf from getting two extra seasons of The Checkout made, and wants compensation.

Last week in the NSW Supreme Court, Cordell Jigsaw had a loss, failing in its attempt to get a bank account frozen.

The dispute stretches back to April 2019, when CJ agreed to sell its shares in The Checkout joint venture to Giant Dwarf for $50.

Morrow was already in discussions with the ABC about making another consumer affairs program, possibly a new series of The Checkout. But Cordell Jigsaw didn’t know. The planned ABC deal hit the skids in May when the ABC asked CJ to sign an effective deed of release so it could proceed with the planned production. CJ refused.

Last November, The Checkout Pty Ltd and Giant Dwarf took legal action, claiming that Cordell Jigsaw had breached the share sales agreement by refusing to sign the release.

In December the ABC pulled the pin on discussions with Giant Dwarf, saying this was “after Giant Dwarf’s public statements and correspondence and dealings with the ABC made it clear we are not creatively aligned”. Ouch.

[Read more]

Sports Media

Revealed: Channel 7’s dramatic declaration in TV rights war

Channel 7 has dramatically closed its coffers on cricket for the rest of the year in a move which has put instant pressure on the game, reports News Corp’s Ben Horne.

The network is contracted to pay $75 million a year for the rights, yet on Tuesday paid considerably less than its first $25 million instalment before declaring Cricket Australia won’t see another cent from them this summer.

Cricket Australia had the option to flip the tables on Seven and make their own escalation in the TV rights war, but on Tuesday night maintained a dignified stance of refusing to condemn its broadcast partners, even after Fox Sports also put the squeeze on its part of the $1.2 billion six-year deal by only partially paying the $33 million they owed.

The part payment is based on a belief by Seven and Fox that the value of the Big Bash League will be diminished this summer, with the situation now at crisis point heading into urgent negotiations this week.

Seven chief executive James Warburton called on an independent expert to assess the new value of the rights, which the network has essentially asserted is only worth in the vicinity of $15-20 million for the entire summer.

Cricket Australia’s position is poles apart, with interim chief executive Nick Hockley on Tuesday night reinforcing the governing body’s position that the quality of the summer will not be compromised.

“…We are more confident than ever about staging a successful BBL, which is by far and away the most watched sporting league in Australia on a per-match basis,” Hockley said.

[Read more]

Broadcast war escalates as Seven, Fox refuse to pay in full

Seven is threatening to terminate the final four years of its contract, report Nine Publishing’s Jon Pierik and Chris Barrett.

Its failure to pay any more fees this summer stands to have wider ramifications for CA. The sport is underpinned by television rights fees and has already made drastic cuts in recent months. Sources say CA had cash reserves of $60m at the end of June and it has also secured a $50m line of credit from the Commonwealth Bank, so players, staff and executives won’t be left out on the street, but the breakdown with broadcasters is alarming for the game.

The part payments come after Foxtel and Seven each wrote to CA last week claiming a breach of contract. CA has until September 23 to respond to their claims.

[Read more]

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