By James Manning
• TV platform now bursting with close to 2m sports subscribers
Foxtel and Foxtel Media yesterday explained in a virtual sales event why advertisers have been returning to the platform after the major winter sporting codes shutdown in March this year.
Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany noted in anormal year he would be “lecturing” advertisers in an event space. “This year because of what has happened we get to have an intimate chat.
“In 2020 the power of sport is building brands like no other year. It is not just about ratings, but also the fabulous emotional connection that we get through sports. Covid-19 has delivered 2020 in away that we never ever pictured. For brands wanting to grow their business there has never been a better time to be connected with sport.
“When it comes to sport, the Foxtel group can deliver like no other.”
Delany revealed just how big the 2020 audiences have been since the major sports reopened.
“This year we have gone from big lows to great highs. The Foxtel group has had more sports subscribers than at any time in the past 25 years.
“There are three big takeout from today I want you to remember.
“The first thing to remember is that with our digital growth we now have premium reach.
“The second thing is we have invested around data and technology and we now have intelligent video.
“The third thing is that there has never been a better time to invest in advertising in sport with Foxtel.”
Delany was keen to point out what the growth of the Kayo platform meant to advertisers.
But before Kayo enjoyed the return of sports, Delany noted how those customers turned to movies and video on demand. “Year-on-year video on demand growth was up 83%.”
The return of sport started on May 28 with the return of the NRL. “We then had a complete rebound with Kayo. The subscriber numbers are now over 600,000 which makes it one hell of a sports platform. When you add it together to the Foxtel premium platform we now have close to 2m sports subscribers.
“The NRL audiences are up year-on-year 15% comparing the first 18 rounds of each year. That includes set top viewing plus Foxtel Now and Kayo. The viewing from digital subscribers is up 150% in sport year-on-year. A very big shift in a year FTA NRL viewing was back 3%.
“The AFL is a similar story when it comes to growth. Motorsport continues to be huge and Supercars has done a great job this year and viewing there is up around 30% with digital up 80%.
In AFL, equivalent data highlights massive fan engagement with the 2020 season so far with live audiences up +32% compared to the first 17 rounds of the 2019 season. Average audiences on Foxtel are up 10%, and Foxtel Now, Foxtel Go and Kayo audiences are up over 200%.
Delany added: “What is winning these days? Winning is delivery big audiences, not just premium niche.”
Foxtel Media CEO Mark Frain climbed out of Supercar to explain in more detail about the offer to advertisers. “Agencies and advertisers are critical to our success – you add to the experience on air and you push us to places of creativity.
“Patrick mentioned our audiences – we now have a bigger sports audience than we have ever had. Foxtel Media should be the first call when you think about sport.”
Frain then highlighted a number of advertisers who has been using Foxtel’s sports audiences recently with great outcomes – McDonald’s for the summer of cricket, Ford for the launch of Ford Ranger across Friday Night Football, AHM across the summer of sport and Nescafé for a campaign using Fox League’s Fletch and Hindy.
“A big story is the growth in streaming – the growth in video and the growth of intelligent video across Foxtel Go, Foxtel Now and Kayo. Across NRL and AFL consumption was up over 150%, giving advertisers a war chest of video inventory to buy from us. Supercars streaming growth was up close to 100%.
“This offers an opportunity to reappraise what you do with us and what you spend with us. We represent an amazing set of sports assets which have never been as big.
“The Foxtel group is now something different – bigger, with more innovation with greater scale than ever before. Some media owners claim they deserve more. I strongly disagree. You have to earn the right [for more] and hopefully today we have done just that.”
Frain added: “We are gearing up for the biggest season of Cricket EVER with Virat Kohli and his team, India over here with the Cricket and the Rugby Champs uniting fans, there never has been a better time for brands to harness the power of sports to connect with Australians.
“The opportunity to integrate and bring brands to life alongside sport has never been bigger. At Foxtel Media we are never satisfied with the status quo, which is why we are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with sports integration – from on- and off-field product placements to digital content and talent opportunities – now is the time for brands to get on board sports in Australia.”
Foxtel Media’s Sport 202: Breaking All the Records
Host: Hannah Hollis
Talent: Patrick Delany interviewing Peter V’landys
AFL commentators Jonathan Brown and Nick Riewoldt
Cricket commentator Isa Guha with Ellyse Perry
Fox Sports’ Jessica Yates with Supercars CEO Sean Seamer
There was no Supercars rights renewal announcement, but Seamer did say “there will be more good news later in the week”.
During their tenure, Mark and Carl Fennessy oversaw the merger of the Endemol and Shine businesses in Australia and have subsequently led the team’s development and production of many major global entertainment franchises. Industry leaders, they have spent the last decade entertaining the nation and audiences across the globe, leaving behind a healthy pipeline and back catalogue.
Having been with Shine/Endemol Shine Australia for eight years, most recently as chief content officer, Newman will now strategically lead the business’ content pipeline and overarching operations. He joined Shine back in 2012 as creative director, before taking up the CCO post in 2018. Overseeing one of the biggest unscripted production slates in the world, he has been significantly involved in hits including MasterChef Australia, Big Brother, Australian Survivor, Married at First Sight and Lego Masters.
Prior to his appointment at Shine, Newman was head of production and development at Australian broadcaster, SBS. Having begun his career in his native city of London, he has also held a number of roles across the UK’s independent production sector, most notably at the BBC. Throughout his career to date, he has developed, commissioned and produced a host of award-winning programmes, receiving an International Emmy and Best of Rose at the Rose D’or for Go Back to Where You Came From, AACTA awards for MasterChef Australia, Australian Ninja Warrior and Australian Survivor, and Logie awards for Gogglebox amongst others.
Marco Bassetti, chief executive officer, Banijay commented: “The Fennessy brothers have long-served as commendable businessmen at the forefront of the country’s creative industry and we wish them all the best with where their artistic journey takes them next. We now welcome Peter who is a commercially sound producer and entrepreneur and has all the attributes we look for in our leaders. Having been close to the business’ creative core and key in driving the success of the label’s most recent hits, he is an incredible asset to Banijay as we continue to evolve our creative vision and set our strategy in Australia.”
Peter Newman said: “It’s been amazing to work with Mark and Carl over the last eight years and it’s an honour to take up the reins of this impressive newly-combined company. Endemol Shine Australia has always been about supporting and empowering the great people behind the world-class production of our shows. I’m incredibly proud of our workplace culture, our focus on creative excellence and will ensure we continue to do what we do best; working with our broadcast partners to deliver their audiences outstanding content. Banijay generates some of the world’s best TV formats and I can’t wait to bring them to life here in Australia.”
Mark and Carl Fennessy added: “Ten years ago we commenced a journey with Elisabeth Murdoch to ‘Inspire, Create and Shine’. The period since has been like one long day filled with rewarding experiences and great success but the time has come for the next adventure. We’re grateful to the broadcasters for their support and we salute our incredible team of talented executives with whom we’ve had the privilege to lead. We look forward to a much-needed break and extend our best wishes to Banijay.”
By James Manning
• New start-up for Mark & Carl? Will Endemol Shine merge with Screentime?
The news that Mark and Carl Fennessy are departing Endemol Shine Australia has not been a surprise to the television industry. There has been speculation about what Australia’s most successful producers would do next ever since Elisabeth Murdoch sold the Shine production business to 21st Century Fox back in 2011.
As part of their deal when the Fennessy brothers launched Shine Australia with Murdoch back in 2009, they had equity in the business. Shine Australia was formally launched at select gatherings in January 2010 at the Opera House where Murdoch and the brothers briefed the industry about their plans.
After the 21st Century Fox sale there was speculation then as to whether Mark and Carl would use some of the funds from that payday to start up a new production business.
That didn’t happen and they stayed on running the new business which eventually became Endemol Shine Australia after Fox merged the business with the private equity owner of Endemol in 2014.
They were going to depart in 2015 as Endemol Shine Australia launched, but after negotiations they stayed on to run that business successfully.
Nearly 12 months ago French production business the Banijay group signed a deal to acquire Endemol Shine and the ramifications have been playing out across the production world this year as the company roles out its strategy for integrating the two businesses.
For the time being at least it seems both Endemol Shine Australia and Banijay-owned Screentime Australia will continue on as separate entities, but for how long?
The Fennessy brothers are about as hot a property as you can have in the TV business. The news they are leaving the production company that all three Australian FTA broadcasters depend on would be cause for concern. Except for the fact they leave the business in the very capable hands of Peter Newman who has been working alongside Mark and Carl for the past eight years as chief content officer.
Although the Fennessy brothers commented yesterday they were looking forward to a “much-needed break”, they also pointed out they are ready “for the next adventure”.
Mark and Carl would be an asset as part of the executive team at Seven (which had been contemplating appointing a chief content officer) or Network 10 in particular, but it is hard to imagine them ready to work for someone else. Running their own show seems much more likely.
Arguably Mark and Carl’s single biggest success in Australia has been overhauling the MasterChef format which was stripped five nights a week – a format that was then exported around the world.
The list of other successes is long and as recently as last week Nine was detailing how much of its 2021 will be reliant on programming coming from Endemol Shine Australia including Married At First Sight, Lego Masters, Beauty and the Geek and Australian Ninja Warrior.
Network 10 has seemed to be almost on a drip feed from Endemol Shine Australia for some time with hit programming including Australian Survivor, MasterChef Australia and Gogglebox.
Seven has been less reliant on outside productions over the years, but they succumbed this year too and had success with the return of Big Brother to the market.
While Mark and Carl Fennessy have owned the 7.30pm slot for all networks, they have plenty of scripted success too including Lambs of God, Wake in Fright, Blue Murder: Killer Cop, INXS: Never Tear Us Apart, Catching Milat, Pete Allen: Not The Boy Next Door and Mystify with Richard Lowenstein.
Top Photo: Carl (left) and Mark Fennessy
• Special one-off edition supported by YouTube, Nine & Destination NSW
ARIA has announced the 2020 ARIA Awards will be held in partnership with YouTube Music and will return on November 25th, for a one-of-a-kind year. The ARIA Awards ceremony will be held at The Star Event Centre in Sydney and broadcast around Australia on the Nine Network, with performances showcased around the world on YouTube. While there will be no physical audience, the ARIA Awards will be announced live from The Star Event Centre stage.
The 2020 ARIA Awards season launch will be presented online via an ARIA YouTube channel, and presented by Nine’s Brooke Boney. The Fine Arts and Artisan ARIA Awards will now be awarded on the same day as the ARIA Awards in partnership with YouTube Music, showcasing the country’s best talent in all categories on November 25th.
In order to amplify the celebration of Australian music in November, ARIA has partnered with the NSW Government to create a new music event, Great Southern Nights, which will bring 1,000 COVID-safe gigs to Sydney and regional NSW. Great Southern Nights is a NSW Government initiative, delivered by its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW in partnership with ARIA, giving Australian artists a welcome boost and turbocharging live music venues across the state. For more information about Great Southern Nights, visit www.greatsouthernnights.com.au.
Dan Rosen, ARIA chief executive, said, “It has been a hugely challenging year for everyone around Australia and indeed the world. There is no doubt that our music industry has been impacted, first by the bushfires and then by the COVID-19 crisis, and ARIA has been working hard to ensure we are supporting Australia’s artists in their time of need. With this year’s ARIA Awards, we want to celebrate the resilience, strength, and camaraderie that our artists and the music industry have shown throughout 2020, and celebrate the successes of the Australian music industry, both locally and on the global stage. Australia’s music industry is a passionate and determined community, and we can’t wait to showcase that on this night of nights.”
Denis Handlin, ARIA chairman and chairman and CEO of Sony Music Entertainment Australia and New Zealand, said: “On behalf of the ARIA Board, I am excited to announce the return of the ARIA Awards and to bring a moment of celebration and togetherness in this challenging year. This year’s Awards will be different from those we have held in the past, but it provides us with a creative opportunity to showcase our fantastic Australian talent in a unique way to music fans here and around the world. I am thrilled to have the Nine Network as our television partner, as we welcome back Destination NSW and The Star, and we look forward to working with all our partners to create an unforgettable night.”
Hamish Turner, Nine Network program director, said: “2020 has been a year like no other. Through adversity the industry has come together to deliver two marquee events, in Music from the Homefront and the Bushfire Relief Concert. Nine are proud to once again support our artists and music community with this year’s broadcast of the ARIA Awards. We are excited to come together and celebrate the local industry and artists.”
Australian artists have figured prominently on the charts over the last 12 months, with over 50 Australian releases having landed in the Top 10 on the ARIA Albums Chart, and 10 Australian albums reaching #1. These achievements will be celebrated during the 2020 ARIA Awards on Wednesday, 25th November 2020.
Cousins Dezi, 41 and Penny, 33 from Team Greece were crowned Plate of Origin champions winning $100,000 with a total judges’ score of 76/90 after a three-course meal showdown with Team Vietnam’s Thanh, 31 and Duncan, 30, shown on Seven and 7 Plus.
Dezi said: “We have represented the Australian Greek community and now we’ve just won Plate of Origin! It is mind-blowing. I’m so grateful, this is beyond anything I could have ever dreamed of.” When asked by Matt Preston if Greek cuisine was the best in the world Penny added: “Of course it is!”
With four teams starting the Grand Final cook, Team Greece and Team Vietnam made the final two after Vietnam’s Combination Broken Rice dish wowed the judges securing an instant spot. Team Cameroon was eliminated after their traditional stew included overcooked prawns. Greece’s Ekmek just topped Italy’s Tiramisu resulting in a three-course menu battle between Greece and Vietnam for the Grand Final title.
Team Greece secured an early lead with their entrée featuring perfectly cooked prawns, while Team Vietnam’s Rice Paper Rolls unravelled with undercooked Morton Bay Bug. Team Vietnam evened the score with a perfect main dish of Pork Belly with Bitter Melon Soup scoring 30/30 while Team Greece lost some points in the main by not resting their lamb after a stressful cook. Team Vietnam had to remake their pastry to avert dessert disaster, but the unbalanced and bitter dish saw Team Greece’s Galaktoboureko secure them the victory.
Team Vietnam were gracious in defeat with Duncan saying: “I just feel so proud to be able to represent the Vietnamese and the Aussie community.” Thanh added: “Our experience on Plate of Origin has been extraordinary, it reminded us that food is a universal language.”
|TEAM GREECE 76/90||TEAM VIETNAM 72/60|
BBQ Prawns with Yiayia’s Pita Bread
Morton Bay Bug Rice Paper Rolls
|Matt: “For me that dish was absolutely perfect.”
Gary: “I really enjoyed that char and that marinade. Absolutely perfectly cooked prawns.”
Manu: “Definitely a great dish, but to make it perfect, another pinch of salt on those prawns.”
Matt 10// Manu 9// Gary 9
Matt: “If you call it a Morton Bag Bug roll, the Morton Bay Bug has to be the star. I just felt I lost it with all those other big flavours.”
Gary: “The freshness and the thoughtfulness in that dipping sauce was delicious, but unfortunately my bug was undercooked.”
Manu: “So was mine unfortunately, but the balance of ingredients you put in with the roll was perfect.”
Matt 8 // Manu 8 // Gary 8
Lamb with Lemon Potatoes and Greek Salad
Pork Belly with Bitter Melon
|Matt: “I absolutely love that Greek salad. Those flavours are unmistakably Greek, but the lamb would have been lovely if it had been rested more.”
Gary: “The lamb was perfectly cooked, but the thing I didn’t love were the potatoes.”
Matt 8 // Manu 8 // Gary 8
|Gary: “You bought a taste of your home into this kitchen and you absolutely nailed it. What I loved was that Bitter Melon soup, it’s just simple perfection.”
Manu: “It was absolutely perfect.”
Matt: “That is pretty close to bring impeccable so congratulations.”
Matt 10// Manu 10// Gary 10
Galaktoboureko with Mastic Ice Cream
Vietnamese Coffee Tart
|Manu: “A few little faults, but I think it was a really, really delicious dish.”
Gary: “Filo pastry was lovely and crisp on the top; custard was beautifully smooth and tasty.”
Matt 8// Manu 8// Gary 8
|Manu: “The dessert was out of balance.”
Matt: “Despite the incredible effort you made to save the pastry, the flavour of your dessert was just too bitter.”
Matt 6 // Manu 6// Gary 6
Nova’s Red Room Live Stream with Illy, presented by Frank Health Insurance, is the next virtual concert connecting fans and artists.
Australian performer Illy will appear on the virtual stage for a performance and fan Q & A in early October, performing his new track Loose Ends and popular hits.
Listeners can win an invitation to take part in Nova’s Red Room Live Stream with Illy by entering here and listening in to Smallzy’s Surgery on the Nova Network.
Since his arrival on the Australian music scene, Illy has won an ARIA Award for Best Urban Album in 2013, followed by Best Australian Live Act in 2017. In 2019, Illy released the ARIA Platinum single Then What and ARIA Gold single Lean On Me featuring Robinson.
Illy is currently finishing his sixth LP, The Space Between. He recently released his latest track Loose Ends, a collaboration with Australian favourite G Flip, following Last Laugh earlier this year.
Established in 2012, Nova’s Red Room has seen performances from over 250 international and local artists. In April 2020 Nova launched Nova’s Red Room Live Stream to keep artists and fans connected during Covid. Conan Gray, YUNGBLUD, Dua Lipa, Kita Alexander, BENEE, James Bay and The Vamps were the first artists to share their time with Nova listeners through Nova’s Red Room Live Stream.
By Trent Thomas
The release of The Mandalorian season 2 trailer has seen the show return to the #1 spot in Australia after The Boys (Amazon) moved up to #1 in New Zealand.
The Mandalorian has been a dominant force on the charts all year with the Disney+ Original being a driving force in the launch of the digital platform and has enjoyed a good performance on the TV Demand charts ever since.
Not much was given away about the storyline in the new season as the show picks up from the end of the first season with The Mandalorian (Din Djarin) departing to find a home for The Child (Baby Yoda). The trailer shows that Din is searching for the Jedi, hoping The Child can find a home with them. An extra wrinkle to the story is that the Jedis and Mandalorians are ancient enemies that fought many battles against each other.
There have also been rumours of Rosario Dawson reportedly playing a live-action Ahsoka Tano, and the return of Boba Fett played by Temuera Morrison.
Due to the upwards surge the show enjoyed thanks to the second season’s trailer, this is an indication that The Mandalorian will not slow down any time soon with season 2 approaching.
By James Manning
• As lockdown ends The Block & Halifax keep Nine #1
• Brushed: Viewers prefer Anh Do’s Todd Sampson portrait
Seven News 1,085,000/1,014,000
Nine News 966,000/935,000
ABC News 762,000
10 News First 346,000/233,000
SBS World News 200,000
Daily current affairs
A Current Affair 781,000
The Project 316,000/452,000
The Drum 195,000
News Breakfast 202,000
Late night news
The Latest 192,000
ABC Late News 130,000
Nine News Late 105,000
Seven: After 495,000 to start the week on a footy-impacted Monday, Home and Away climbed back to 553,000 on the primary channel.
Seven then went with a Plate of Origin marathon that was not part of the original plan. However ratings dictated it made sense to wrap the show in one fell swoop with the semi-final and final back-to-back. The final audiences were 349,000 and then 335,000.
Nine: A Current Affair went from 776,000 on Monday to 781,000 on Tuesday.
On The Block the teams were back already from lockdown as work progressed on the bedroom and bathroom week. Although the renovators were actually away for six weeks, work carried on creating the additions to each property and on return getting those rooms ready was underway. The Tuesday audience was 807,000 after 823,000 last week.
The sniper was still on the loose in Halifax: Retribution with 517,000 watching after 501,000 last week.
10: The Project started its weekday run on 457,000 Monday, but it slipped slightly to 452,000 on Tuesday.
Episode two of this short season of Todd Sampson’s Body Hack was on 306,000 after 339,000 last week.
An Ambulance Australia repeat was then on 275,000.
ABC: Todd Sampson was featured on Anh’s Brush with Fame which was an unfortunate piece of programming with the presenter stretched across two channels at the same time. Sitting for his portrait was a little less life-threatening than risking his life on Body Hack. Sitting for his portrait also rated better with 638,000 watching, more than double watching him on Body Hack. The good news is that Sampson had a total metro audience of 944,000!
The penultimate episode of Further Back in Time for Dinner then did 543,000.
SBS: Noni Hazlehurst was hosted and starred in some of the highest-rating TV shows in the past. Last night SBS was hoping for some of that ratings magic again as she hosted the first episode of the three-part season two of Every Family Has a Secret. The launch did well with 284,000 on board.
Alice Matthews kept the theme going in an episode of Insight about DNA uncovering family secrets with 196,000 watching.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.6%||7TWO||3.3%||GO!||1.9%||10 Bold||4.1%||VICELAND||1.3%|
|ABC ME||0.5%||7mate||3.1%||GEM||3.0%||10 Peach||2.5%||Food Net||0.9%|
|9Rush||1.5%||SBS World Movies||0.7%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.7%||7TWO||3.9%||GO!||1.9%||WIN Bold||4.5%||VICELAND||1.9%|
|ABC ME||0.8%||7mate||6.0%||GEM||5.1%||WIN Peach||2.9%||Food Net||0.8%|
|ABC NEWS||1.3%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||2.2%||9Life||3.1%||Sky News on WIN||2.0%||NITV||0.3%|
|TUESDAY METRO ALL TV|
16-39 Top Five
18-49 Top Five
25-54 Top Five
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
The NBN Co will spend $4.5 billion over the next two years to provide almost 10 million households and businesses with the option of high-speed fibre connections, in a change of political direction by the Coalition government, The AFR’s Phillip Coorey.
Years after building a controversial system which mostly used copper to connect homes to fibre nodes in the street, the government will announce on Wednesday an upgrade which will devote $3.5 billion to laying high-speed fibre cables down streets past homes.
Householders looking for vastly higher web speed will be able to have their homes connected by fibre to the network free of charge. They will, however, pay higher prices for their broadband plan, in line with the $149 a month paid by consumers already connected directly by fibre.
These prices will continue to be set by retailers.
On Tuesday, NBN Co announced a similar plan for business. At a cost of $700 million, about 1.4 million businesses would be eligible to have fibre rolled out to their premises free of charge. It will spend an additional $300 million improving internet services in the regions.
The announcement of a fresh $4.5 billion investment in the nation’s broadband infrastructure is a moment that countless Australians have been howling in frustration for since the Coalition tore up Labor’s original plans for a majority fibre to the premise network, back in 2013, reports The AFR’s Paul Smith.
Under the stewardship of Malcolm Turnbull as communications minister and Tony Abbott as prime minister, the government decided that a copper and HFC (cable TV infrastructure) laden multi-technology-mix would be both cheaper and more quickly deployed than the fibre network it frequently described as “gold-plated”.
Under the new plans, 75 per cent of households will have access to one Gigabit per second (Gbps) speeds by 2023, which is light years ahead of what customers on fibre-to-the-node plans can currently achieve.
News Corp shares crept higher with an up market in the US this week following its Dow Jones investor day, where the company laid out expectations for subscriptions and advertising, comments US analyst Jason Aycock.
Loop Capital reiterated its Buy rating, saying a sum-of-the-parts analysts implies that Dow Jones is materially undervalued. The company says it thinks the total addressable market is 12m domestic paying subscriptions, vs. today’s total of 3.3m; and Loop notes Dow Jones has already reached deals with Facebook and Apple, with ongoing negotiations for other properties.
While other news media divisions have seen profitability decline, Risk & Compliance is growing at a compound annual rate of 24%.
Loop has a US$20 price target on NWSA, implying 36% further upside from a recent close of US$14.74.
J.P. Morgan reiterated its Neutral rating and a US$16 price target (9% upside).
One of the country’s top TV executives says the tyranny of distance means a WA government plan to set up a film studio would need a better foundation of people skilled up in TV and film roles to be viable, reports WAToday’s Hamish Hastie.
In August the McGowan government announced it was seeking proposals from the private sector to build and operate a film studio in Western Australia with a sound stage up to 3716 square metres big.
David Mott has been in the TV industry for more than 40 years and is the head of ITV studios Australia, which produces shows such as The Chase, The Voice, Love Island and I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here.
The former Channel 9 Perth boss said ITV bosses were having ‘conversations’ about what a WA studio could look like and the state ticked a lot of boxes for a television hub including amazing locations and weather, but WA’s ‘creative spine’ would need to be bigger and healthier.
“We talk about editors on The Voice, there probably aren’t too many of those sorts of people over there,” Mott said.
“I don’t mean for this to be a negative, there would need to be a community, a hub of specialist people that saw it as a great opportunity to live in an amazing state but to know there was work over there.
“That could be a controversial comment to make but it is certainly something that we look at.”
Under the WA government’s plan, it was envisaged the screen facility would sit within a 20 kilometre radius of the Perth CBD, close to public transport and with the potential for future expansion.
In its proposal the government said the facility would also need to be designed to meet the needs of the games and immersive technology sectors.
Former British Labour parliamentarian Tom Watson has signed on as an adviser to Flutter Entertainment, reports The AFR’s Myriam Robin.
Which was unexpected, given Watson’s work to limit the harmful effects of gambling while he was in Parliament. Not to mention comments he gave to the BBC in 2014 calling the company “dirty”, after it took bets on the outcome of Oscar Pistorius‘ murder trial.
These days, Watson says he plans to use his new role to “drive positive change” and “protect those who may be potentially vulnerable to harm”. In other words, he wants to do good inside the tent. While being paid what Flutter assured the British press is “less than six figures”.
Still, we wonder if Watson figured on spending his post-parliamentary career enriching Rupert Murdoch? Or, at the very least, sanitising his investments.
Here in the antipodes, the Labour firebrand is best known for his role as a lead interrogator and fierce critic of News Corp during the phone-hacking scandal. And a good portion of Flutter – the owner of SportsBet, BetEasy and Paddy Power – has plenty to do with the Murdochs.
The family’s broadcast business, Fox Corp, is a major shareholder and commercial partner of Flutter.
A Queensland tradie who claims he has been ridiculed on a tabloid television show and dubbed “Australia’s rudest repairman” has asked a court to force the TV network to pull its story from the internet, reports News Corp’s Vanda Carson.
Byron Cockburn, 59, owner of Brisbane-based Same Day Appliance Repairs Pty Ltd, alleges A Current Affair ran a defamatory story on him on televisions nationwide on September 6 where it called his business practices dishonest, saying he overcharged customers and claiming he told an unhappy customer he hoped her house would burn down.
He alleges the report by staffer Chris Allen greatly injured his character, credit and reputation and brought into public hatred, ridicule and contempt, according to documents filed in the Federal Court in Brisbane.
Cockburn has asked the court to force the Nine Network to take the story down from Facebook and various websites and to be permanently ban the network from republishing the story.
Nine Network Australia has not yet filed a defence to the claims.
The case is due in court on October 13 for its first case management hearing.
One week after Weekend Sunrise presenter Simon Reeve was dumped from Channel 7, he received an email from network chairman Kerry Stokes, reports news.com.au’s Sarah McPhee.
The billionaire businessman referred to Reeve as having just “been made redundant”.
“I’m so sorry,” Stokes said on July 3, according to court documents seen by news.com.au.
That same day, Seven West Media chief operations officer Bruce McWilliam emailed Reeve to say he was “part of the DNA of this place since before I can remember”.
In another email on July 16, he wrote: “You’ll leave a big hole as you’ve been part of the weekend line up for so long. Won’t be the same without you as you’re part of our DNA.”
Reeve is now suing Seven and has filed a statement of claim in the Federal Court over entitlements he believes he should have been paid, alleging a breach of his “ongoing contract” and misrepresentation as to his employment.
“The ongoing contract did not permit Seven to unilaterally cease making the payment of salary to Reeve, or in the alternative fees to SRP,” the papers allege.
Simon Reeve Productions Pty Limited (SRP) is the second applicant on the court documents.
After a difficult upbringing with heavy drinking and homelessness, radio king Kyle Sandilands never imagined he would make it big, reports News Corp’s Mibenge Nsenduluka.
Earlier this year, the Kyle and Jackie O Show marked 20 years on-air and Sandilands told Confidential that the show’s success has been mind-blowing.
“It’s almost ridiculous to think that… My aim was to be good enough to maybe go to the Gold Coast one day and maybe do a practice show at the Gold Coast, that’s when I was in regional Queensland that was my aim,” he said.
“So it’s been a really wild and fun ride and because of my anti-authority drilled into my system for some reason as a kid, I just took that through the whole radio business.
“Old bosses used to threaten to fire me saying, ‘you can’t say this, you can’t do that’. I was like ‘well I can just be me’, I can’t really do anything [about it]. So if you don’t want me to do what I do, maybe you shouldn’t have hired me.”
The KIIS FM host, 49, became homeless during his teenage years after getting kicked out of his family home.
He eventually quit hard partying and heavy drinking, which helped him stay focused and progress at Townsville radio.
He said he’s reminded of just how far he’s come whenever he goes back to his hometown.
“It’s when I go back to Brisbane and I drive down a street that I used to walk around when I was homeless, that’s when it really comes back as a real feeling but other than that it’s a distant memory,” he said.
Now a radio star, Sandilands’ multi-million dollar empire includes several properties and lucrative businesses, including his Nueva Sangria which he says also had unexpected success.
“It’s been more successful than I thought. It was just a little side project and it was only ever going to be available online and on our website. It’s doing very well,” said Sandilands, who rarely drinks.
The Chaser released a video this week taking the piss out of The Star Casino’s handling of Covid safety.
Proving again The Chaser should have its own regular TV show, the low-budget but hilarious prank has passed 600,000 views and is heading toward 1,000,000.
The stunt – performed by newcomers Aleksa Vulovic and Alex Apollonov – involves the Chaser comedians repeatedly attempting to get into The Star, while pretending to have Covid.
The duo tried their best to gain access to the Casino while looking like they should be turned away, from dressing in hospital gowns to giving themselves 48 degree fevers using a concealed heat-pack. Surprisingly they were still allowed entry to the casino. “My head was still really hot after I got inside,” said Alex. “I must have drunk 3 or 4 of their complimentary water bottles. They’re obviously very used to catering for sick customers.”
Aleksa reckons that The Star staff seemed more interested in how much he was prepared to lose at the Casino than his health: “When I rocked up with my hospital gown and drip, the first thing they asked me was whether I had a star casino gold membership card.”
The Star was fined $5000 in July for crowding too many people into its venue in breach of public safety rules. “One of the security guards had a missing button on his blazer. You could immediately see how much the casino has been suffering financially since they had to pay a whopping $5000 fine for their previous Covid offences,” said Aleksa.
Alex: “Next time we want to sneak drinks into the casino we’ll just put them in a hospital drip bag.”
The Chaser say they are not worried about retaliation from The Star. “There’s no point suing us, we already lost all our savings on big wheel during our filming breaks,” said Aleksa.
The shoot didn’t all go according to plan. “The cops arrived as we were preparing ourselves in the park, saying numerous bystanders had reported an escaped hospital patient,” said Aleksa.
The Chaser’s managing editor Charles Firth said: “The Star Casino doesn’t care about the well-being of its patrons under Covid. So it’s exactly the same as before Covid.”
There will be more revelations about the video shoot on the new Chaser Report podcast this week.
Watch the video here.