Monday September 2, 2019

Kayo audience data details how Foxtel’s audience is growing

• How much do users love Foxtel’s sports streaming platform?
• Over 200,000 extra for many Cricket World Cup matches

By James Manning

Ten months since Foxtel revealed a beta version of its sports streaming platform, Kayo Sports has finally provided the first information on Australian sports fans’ engagement with the multi-sport streaming service, highlighted by over 25 million hours of content viewed in the three months to June 2019.

The release of Kayo’s viewer engagement highlights follows a recent update on subscriber growth which stated that, since Kayo’s launch in November 2018, subscriber numbers had grown to 382,000 as of 30 June, of which 331,000 were paying.

Kayo chief executive Julian Ogrin (pictured) told Mediaweek that with as many as 50 different sports available from Fox Sports, ESPN and beIN Sports, there is nothing like Kayo available anywhere else in the world. “The level of engagement we are getting is unprecedented for a sports service.”

If you add the numbers using Kayo to the published OzTAM numbers for Fox Sports via linear TV, the subscription TV audience numbers are significant.

Ogrin stressed that “users” is not the same as viewers, as there could be two or more people watching Kayo, especially if it is watched via the app on the television as opposed to a mobile device.

The Kayo boss said that for some broadcasts the number watching Kayo on the big screen could be as much as 50%.

Kayo June Quarter Viewer Highlights

• Time spent on Kayo reached approximately 8.5 hours of weekly user viewing in June driven by the Cricket World Cup with the average customer watching 6 of the 50 different sports available on Kayo each week.

• The recent Cricket World Cup delivered Kayo its biggest audiences since launch with nearly 8 million hours of cricket content streamed across the six-week competition.

• An average of 175,000 users watched Australia’s matches, with 187,000 users watching India’s matches.

• The most watched game was the New Zealand v England final with 220,000 users, followed by the Australia v England match on 25 June with 219,000 users.

• In addition, the India v Australia match on 9 June was the most streamed sporting event on Kayo with over 21 million minutes of viewing and watched by 214,000 users.

• AFL fans are watching an average of 3.5 hours each week, with some regular season games reaching over 100,000 users including the West Coast v Richmond clash on 18 August watched by 130,000 users.

• NRL fans were also watching an average of 3.5 hours each week, with some regular season games reaching nearly 70,000 users.

• Rugby is already drawing large audiences ahead of next month’s Rugby World Cup with over 80,000 users watching the first Australia v New Zealand Bledisloe Cup Game on 10 August.

• The NBA Finals drove big numbers on Kayo, highlighted by Raptors v Warriors Game 6 reaching 113,000 users.

• In Tennis, Aussies got behind Ash Barty’s maiden Grand Slam victory with 64,000 users watching her take out Roland-Garros.

• Formula 1 has also delivered impressive results, highlighted by over 75,000 users watching the German Grand Prix.

One of the big attractions for users are the Kayo minis which package highlights of a match into 10 minutes. Ogrin said as many as 50,000 users have watched a single Kayo Mini. Also a hit with subscribers is the ability to watch a match from the start or join it live if they log in during the course of the event.

With the finals seasons of AFL and NRL running through September, Ogrin said there is plenty of sport coming to keep Kayo subscribers happy.

“We have the Rugby World Cup starting soon and then just a week after that we get into our exclusive cricket season. We are confident the cricket audience will build this year after the success our World Cup coverage.”

While there are just under 400,000 current subscribers, Ogrin noted the customer base is significantly bigger than that with some subscribers coming in and out of Kayo depending on the sports they want to watch.

The Kayo audiences are not just watching content from the Fox Sports channels. ESPN offers many major sports from the current US Open to the forthcoming NFL and NBA seasons. Ogrin noted that one NBA finals match from last season featuring the Warriors and the Raptors had 138,000 users.

He also noted the start of the European football season as covered by beIN Sports is also a big drawcard.

Regarding the future, Ogrin said: “We are continually optimising the business to make sure that we have a superior customer experience in terms of streaming quality. We will continue to work behind the scenes to make sure that we’ve got a world class best practice streaming service.”

Kayo has plenty of capacity for more users, said Ogrin. “On one weekend we had 400 live games, there is no streaming service anywhere in the world that can do that.”

Kayo and Foxtel will be working with MCN to blend the streaming platform audience with the TV audience currently measured by OzTAM, to give advertisers are more accurate picture to the growing audiences watching their ads.

“For example, the Richmond v West Coast AFL match on 18 August reached an audience of 628,000 across Fox Sports, Foxtel Now and Go, making it the third most watched Sunday game on Foxtel this season. When you add Kayo’s 130,000 unique users, the Foxtel group is reaching a very large and diverse audience,” said Ogrin.

Two Melbourne-based investigative reporters get Press Freedom Medals

The Australian Press Council has awarded Press Freedom Medals to two individuals for their major contributions to furthering the causes of free speech and freedom of the press.

Louise Milligan: a Melbourne-based investigative reporter for the ABC’s Four Corners program.
Anthony Dowsley: the Herald Sun‘s crime investigations journalist. He covers organised crime, government and corruption issues.

The awards were made at a luncheon hosted by the Australian Press Council in Sydney today.

“The winners of this year’s Press Freedom Medal are two outstanding journalists whose work exhibits integrity, courage and a spirited pursuit of the truth,” said Neville Stevens, chair, Australian Press Council. “Their reporting demonstrates and reinforces the democratic right to freedom of expression for all Australian citizens and illuminates the importance of a free and independent print and digital media.”

Louise Milligan’s dogged investigation into criminal allegations against George Pell has had a powerful impact. In her reporting more generally, a focus on voices which may otherwise not be heard is a constant feature.

Anthony Dowsley’s five-year Lawyer X investigation led to a Royal Commission which is still underway, while his reporting on the Moorabbin police murders opened up an Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) probe.”

On receiving her award, Milligan said: “I am honoured and humbled to accept this award in a year in which Australian journalists have been targeted simply for telling important stories that are in the national interest. Now, more than ever, we need to strengthen the legislative safeguards to protect journalists’ ability to protect our sources and to hold power to account. Because that is at the core of what we do.”

Dowsley said: “As an industry it has been heartening to see journalists banding together to defend ourselves against authorities intending to intimidate and obstruct press freedom this year. Journalists should not have to work under the threat of prosecution. Public interest reporting should never be an offence.”

The Press Council has awarded the Press Freedom Medal intermittently since 1999, but the honour was reserved for people affiliated with the organisation. The Council decided in 2016 to revitalise the award and open it up to people who, through their work as journalists, legal practitioners, community activists or advocates, help ensure the preservation of free speech, press freedom and open and transparent government.

Past winners of the Press Freedom Medal:

2018Peter Greste, former foreign correspondent, vocal proponent of press freedom and now Professor of Journalism and Communications at the University of Queensland; Gerard Ryle, Director of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
2017Peter Timmins of the Australian Open Government Partnership Network; Michael Cameron, National Editorial Counsel for News Corp Australia.
2016Kate McClymont of Fairfax Media and Paul Maley of News Corp Australia.

News Corp & TripADeal reveal world’s richest global giveaway

Online travel agent TripADeal has created the world’s richest travel prize – a $1 million travel voucher for one lucky winner to enjoy over the next five years.

TripADeal, which sends more than 60,000 travellers around the globe every year, is promoting the $1 million travel campaign through a multi-channel advertising and marketing campaign, including print and digital advertising, digital and direct marketing, retail activations, editorial support, ATL media amplification on radio, TV and outdoor, as well as a creative PR campaign.

To participate, entrants need a daily code word published in one of 28 participating News Corp Australia newspapers over 15 days from September 7 to 21.

Rich Johnston, co-founder of TripADeal, said: “Our core belief is that travel should be an experience enjoyed by everyone and our goal is to offer bucket list experiences at unbelievable prices. We are proud of the fact we make travel an affordable option for all, and believe this promotion and its creative execution with News Corp Australia will reach the largest audience.

“This is the biggest initiative we’ve ever undertaken to boost our brand and our unique offering. We hope people will actively share this competition with friends and family, to increase their chances of winning and be invited along to enjoy the prize.”

Ben English, editor of The Daily Telegraph said: “This exclusive promotion will resonate with our readers, as like all Australians, our audiences love to travel.

“The TripADeal $1 Million promotion offers added value to our audiences across Australia, and due to its exclusivity, its expected to drive an increase in retail sales, while also generating subscription leads for our mastheads.

English said: “We are thrilled TripADeal chose News Corp Australia platforms to execute their campaign, recognising the depth in audience reach and the power of our brands. We are proud that our readers will have the opportunity to win big, with one of the world’s richest travel prizes.”

Twenty-eight News Corp Australia metro and regional print titles in NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, NT and TAS will be participating in the $1 million TripADeal competition, running over 15 days in September.

To be in the running to win, readers must purchase any of the participating News Corp Australia newspapers any day for 15 days from Saturday 7 September through to Saturday 21 September, find the code word in-paper and enter online at million dollar In addition, all 28 mastheads will be giving away one $500 TripADeal voucher every day across the 15 days.

The lucky Million Dollar TripADeal winner will be able to spend $200k every year across a five-year period, with the freedom to choose any dream TripADeal holiday anywhere in the world.

Top Photo: Rich Johnston (TripADeal), News Corp Travel Editor Jana Frawley, Daily Telegraph Editor Ben English and Norm Black (TripADeal) with sand sculpture at Bondi Beach

Pacific Star Network reports Crocmedia financials for 2018-19

Pacific Star Network Limited (PNW) this week announced financial results for the fiscal year ended 30 June 2019 (FY19). The figures are for the first full year of operation after acquiring Crocmedia.

FY19 revenue of $67.0 million was up 140% and underlying EBITDA of $9.0 million (guidance: $8.75-9.25 million) was up 208% on the prior corresponding period (pcp), respectively.

The company noted comparison to the pcp is cautioned with the pcp result only including part year contributions from recent acquisitions.

PNW owns AM commercial broadcasting licenses and broadcasts 24/7 on 1116 SEN and a number of digital licences.

The revenues included a full 12-month contribution from Crocmedia (acquired March 2018) and a full 12-month contribution from AFL Publishing (acquired July 2018).

Activities during the year included acquiring a 25% shareholding in Melbourne United Basketball Club (July 2018) and the sale of Morrison Media magazines Frankie and Smith Journal (divested September 2018).

No cost of the Melbourne United shareholding was revealed.

The Morrison Media sale generated a total cash consideration of $2.400 million less working capital adjustments, resulting in a gain on sale of $0.506m. PNW said the disposal aligned with the group’s strategic direction focusing on sport-related content and complementary assets.

See also:
Pacific Star sells magazines after a strategic review of the company’s publishing assets

AFL Publishing Business

In July 2018, PNW’s wholly owned subsidiary Crocmedia signed an agreement with the AFL to acquire the AFL Publishing business. The business is responsible for numerous football related publications, including the iconic AFL Record publication, which has been the official match program for more than 100 years.

SEN breakfast hosts Garry Lyon and Tim Watson with guest Shane Crawford. The show recorded its best audiences in five years this week as the station reported its biggest ever cume audience.

SEN breakfast hosts Garry Lyon and Tim Watson with guest Shane Crawford. The show recorded its best audiences in five years this week as the station reported its biggest ever cume audience.

The AFL Publications business had a purchase price of $8.1 million comprising $5.850 million cash less working capital adjustments of $0.244 million and $2.250 million prepaid advertising to be retained by the AFL. The AFL Record performance was in line with expectations, with revenue of $6.846 million and net profit after tax at $2.269 million.

See also:
AFL Footy Record has a new home after Hutchy wins tender

Subsequent to FY19, several additional strategic acquisitions were announced including:

Acquisition of 23 Radio Licences

In July 2019, PNW signed agreements to acquire Hobart 1629 AM frequency commercial radio broadcasting licence and 23 narrowband area radio licences covering several regional radio markets as well as Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney, Perth, Darwin, Alice Springs and Gold Coast.

The deal involved a total cash consideration of $6.875 million with $0.250 million paid in December 2018, a further $0.625 million paid in July 2019, and the balance to be paid upon completion.

PMW said the licences will transform its radio platform ownership, significantly expanding its audience reach and providing opportunity to leverage its extensive content portfolio.

PNW will progressively activate licences having regard to available content solutions and respective market considerations. Markets where PNW does not currently provide syndicated content will be a key focus. Some licences have existing broadcasts, which will continue without interruption.


Chairman Craig Coleman and managing director Craig Hutchison said management was confident that near-term double-digit earnings growth can be achieved, while continuing to invest and scale the business for ongoing earnings growth and strategic value.

PNW noted it is actively assessing several corporate and operational opportunities, which are aligned with its strategy and can leverage its unique business attributes.

Online advertising continues year-on-year growth to reach $9 billion

Australian brands and agencies continue to grow their investment in digital advertising with total spend for the 2019 financial year increasing by 7.1% year-on-year to reach $9.0bn (2018: $8.5bn).

Of the total spend, 45% was attributed to Search and Directories, 37% to General Display and the remaining 18% to Classifieds.

The latest IAB Online Advertising Expenditure Report, prepared by PwC, reveals that whilst year on year growth has slowed (7.1% compared to 11% in 2018) reflecting the downturn in Australia’s overall advertising market, all online revenue categories have experienced growth. Search and Directories showed the strongest growth, increasing 8.0% in the twelve months ended 30 June 2019, whilst growth for General Display and Classifieds stood at 7.4% and 4.2% annual growth respectively.

Figure 1: All online advertising categories experience growth in 2019 – Online advertising expenditure, FY19 compared to FY18

Video and mobile continue to dominate investment

Video and mobile continue to gain share of digital investment. The shift from desktop to mobile continues apace with the total mobile advertising market, inclusive of search and display, increasing by $1 billion (or 28.4%) to $4.6 billion. With the introduction of 5G in the near future, faster data transfer speeds provide opportunity for future growth in this segment.

Video remains the fastest growing format of the $3.4 billion display market and now accounts for 44% of total display. Total video advertising now stands at $1.5 billion (up from $1.3 billion in 2018) assisted by the growth of connected TV inventory and revenue.

Gai Le Roy, CEO of IAB Australia, (pictured) said: “We are seeing steady digital growth within a universally challenging advertising environment. When we look some of the notable drivers of this growth, it’s clear that small and medium business investment in digital is growing at a higher rate than traditionally larger advertisers. There are also some key category shifts.  Automotive is again the largest advertiser category for display, but for the first time it is also the largest video advertising category – taking over from FMCG as their spend softens.”

She continued, “It is proven that a slower advertising market offers the brave marketer an opportunity to invest in order to take market share so it will be interesting to see how vertical category investment unfolds over the medium term.”

June Quarter 2019

The report also sets out Q2 (June quarter) 2019 data which shows total online spending is up 5% year-on-year to reach $2.3 billion. Search and Directories experienced strong growth compared to the same quarter in the prior year growing by 10.3% year-on-year to $1.16 billion, Display was up 4.3% to $864 million and video up by a significant 16.7%. Classifieds were down by 5.9% with declining consumer confidence impacting listings.

Figure 2: Online advertising expenditure compared to prior comparative quarter (June quarter 2018)

With a share of 48%, video represents the largest share of general display expenditure for the June 2019 quarter. This is followed by content, native and infeed at 34% and banner/ standard display formats at 17%. Video’s share of general display has grown steadily since September 2018.

Each segment has a component of mobile advertising expenditure with mobile advertising making up 68% of total general display expenditure, an increase from 56% in the June 2018 quarter.

Almost half (49%) of general display advertising viewed on content publisher’s inventory was bought by media agencies via an insertion order or non-programmatic method, down from 58% in Q1 2019. 33% of general display advertising was bought programmatically, an increase of 4% on the previous quarter; taking share from media agencies.

With 47% of content publishers’ video inventory being sold programmatically, video represents the general display type with the largest share sold programmatically either by real time bidding via an exchange or private market place. Connected TV (CTV) contributes significantly to this with 53% of content publishers’ CTV inventory being sold programmatically.

Standard display and infeed/native/content for content publishers are still primarily purchased by agencies at 44% and 55% respectively.

The two advertiser categories that increased their share of display spend for the quarter were Government at 6.7% up from 5.1% last year driven by election spend and Travel which has gradually increased share over the last year to now represent 7.3% of display up from 5.7% last year.

Now in its 12th year of revenue reporting for the digital industry, the IAB Online Advertising Expenditure Report prepared by PwC is recognised as the industry standard for independent market level industry intelligence in Australia. 

Week 35 TV Ratings : Nine grows its lead, 10 has a good week in demos

• The Block was the highest rating entertainment program each night


The Block was the highest rating entertainment program each night it aired and helped Nine win both primary channel and network share across most of the key demographics for another week.

Sunday night’s episode of The Block was the #1 entertainment program across the week, attracting a national average audience of 1.479m (Metro: 1.094m Regional: 385,000). The program also won across all key demographics of 25-54s, 16-39s and Grocery Shopper + Child.

Nine again won the network primetime commercial shares across the demographics 25-54 (37.7%), 16-39 (35.8%), Shopper with Child (37.9%). Nine also #1 Total People (38.6%).

The Block has an average VOD VPM of 90,000 and is up 19% year-on-year.
Nine extended its network all people share year-to-date, now with a 0.2 lead over Seven.


The 6pm Seven news bulletins were the only timeslot champs in primetime as Seven struggled for a winner at 7.30pm.

It continued to dominate breakfast TV and mornings and then again in the important 5pm hour. But there was only one episode of Australia’s Got Talent last week leaving fillers like Dogs Behaving Badly and Celebrity Chase to do battle against proven formats like The Block, Survivor and The Bachelor.

Seven’s only non-news show in the top 30 was AGT with The Chase and and Home and Away just missing that mark.

Highway Patrol was the only show to crack 500,000 Monday-Friday at 7.30pm.


Three of 10’s big mid-year franchises had a great week with the biggest audiences of the year for Australian Survivor, Have You Been Paying Attention? and Gogglebox.

The good news for 10 is that two of these series run after 8.30pm at night proving there is still an audience to be found later in the evening.

The not-so-good news is that the penultimate format to be produced from last year’s Pilot Week, Saturday Night Rove, had a shocker second episode with 138,000 watching.

With 7 day catch-up numbers in, My Life Is Murder’s 21 August ep and Australian Survivor’s 20 Aug ep achieved their biggest ever 7 day BVOD audience of their series. Last Tuesday’s ep of Australian Survivor also achieved its biggest ever total audience of the series (1.04m national), tipping over one million for the first time ever on 10. Last week’s Have You Been Paying Attention? (1.18m) and The Bachelor on Thursday (1.09m) also achieved over one million total audience.

In overnights across the week, 10 reigned in the demos with seven of the top 10 shows in under 50s and all key demos, including the top six shows in 16 to 39s, thanks to The Bachelor Australia, Australian Survivor, Gogglebox and Have You Been Paying Attention?

This strong performance led to Channel 10 being #2 across the week in under 50s and 18 to 49s, and #1 in 16 to 39s.

It was a week of audience highs with Gogglebox achieving its biggest episode since October 2018, Have You Been Paying Attention? achieving its biggest episode of the year and Australian Survivor Monday achieving the biggest episode on 10 ever. Channel 10 and Network 10 grew their audience week on week and achieved their fourth consecutive week of year on year share growth. Gogglebox, Have You Been Paying Attention?, The Bachelor Australia, Australian Survivor, The Project, My Life Is Murder and The Living Room were all up week on week.


Utopia delivered the biggest audience for a second successive week, 683,000, giving Working Dog key hit programming on both the ABC and Network 10 at present.

The next most-watched non-news programs were Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell, Hard Quiz and Australian Story.
The 7pm weekday news averaged 624,000 while 7.30 averaged 549,000 Monday to Thursday.


The final episode of London: 2,000 Years of History did 233,000.
The UK flavour continued to attract audiences with Royals At War the next best on 220,000.
Tony Robinson’s Coast To Coast was the third of three shows pulling over 200,000 with 215,000.

ARIA Chart: Taylor time as Lover lodges at #1, TFS and Waax chart

• Singles: Taylor Swift takeover, but she can’t trump Tones and I


Thirteen of the 18 tracks from the new Taylor Swift album Lover took up a spot on the ARIA top 50 this week, but none of the tracks were able to stop Tones and I from a fifth week at #1 with Dance Monkey. As well as dominating the Australian chart, momentum continues to build internationally for Toni Watson with the backing of Bad Batch Records and Sony Music. In the UK, Dance Monkey hit a high of #40 after four weeks on the chart. Across Europe the song has landed in the top 10 in at least nine different markets.

In the US, Apple Music has hosted Watson at the Beats One studio in Los Angeles where she was selected to be part of the Apple Music Up Next Artists program.

Apple sponsored Melbourne-based freelance writer Alice Clarke to visit LA where she spoke with both Watson and former Sydney music journalist-turned TV and later Apple Music executive Rachel Newman about Aussie music and its importance to Apple Music. Read more here.

The highest-charting Taylor Swift tune is the new album’s title track, which was also the only new entry into the top 10 this week. Lover sits at #3 in its second week on the chart.

The only new chart entry song not from the Taylor Swift song catalogue this week was the debut at #30 of 5 Seconds Of Summer with Teeth. The song is also featured on the third season soundtrack for the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why.


As boldly predicted last week, Taylor Swift has gone straight into the chart at #1 with her new album Lover. There’s also been some chart love for two of her previous six albums with Reputation climbing from #41 to #30 after 94 weeks on the chart. Swift’s album 1989, which has been charting for five years, lifts from #49 to #42.

Seven other albums debuted in the top 50, two of them in the top 10:

#3 Brockhampton with Ginger. Texan rappers release their fifth album.
#10 Tropical Fuck Storm with Braindrops. Melbourne rock band reach the top 10 with their second album after the first peaked at #25 last year.
#11 Waax with Grief. The debut album from the Brisbane band was co-produced by Bernard Fanning and Nick DiDia from their Byron Bay La Cueva Recording studios.
#24 Winterbourne with Echo Of Youth. First album from the Aussie duo of James Draper and Jordan Brady.
#35 Dan Mullins with Duende. First album from Alan Jones’ producer has been getting a promotional push at 2GB.
#36 Young Thug with So Much Fun. The first album from the Atlanta rapper after a long list of Mixtapes and singles dating back to 2011.
#49 Knocked Loose with A Different Shade of Blue. The second album from the Kentucky hardcore punk outfit.

Top 10 Game Charts: Yu-Gi-Oh! has the winning hand at #1

Only one new entrant in the Australian physical games charts top 10 this week, but it’s gone straight to the top spot. Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution for Nintendo Switch has ruled at retail in another extremely quiet week for new releases.

By Luke Reilly, games editor, IGN Australia

Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist was originally released on PS4 and Xbox One way back in 2015, and on PC in 2016. This new Switch version includes all the post-release DLC that was made available for the existing versions of the game.

Beginning in 1996, Yu-Gi-Oh! is a Japanese multimedia juggernaut that spans manga, anime, novels, films, trading cards, games, and truckloads of other merchandise. If you haven’t a clue about it, know you’re not alone – but it’s worth pointing out Yu-Gi-Oh is *checks notes* one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time, estimated to hover somewhere between Transformers and Toy Story in terms of revenue.

Two-through-10 is business as usual, with kart games, Rockstar blockbusters, and evergreen Nintendo exclusives making up the numbers.

TV Ratings Analysis: September 1

• The Block bathrooms delivered…eventually…but audience happy
• Hans brightens the judging panel on Seven’s Australia’s Got Talent
• Survivor gets a Boost: Janine wins reward and immunity challenges

Sunday Week 36 2019

By James Manning

• Seven News 944,000
• Nine News 876,000
• ABC News 599,000
• The Project 231,000/434,000
• 10 News First 268,000
• Insiders 381,000
• Offsiders 140,000
• SBS World News 127,000

Breakfast TV

• Sunrise 239,000
• Today 204,000


The evening started well with Adelaide’s gift to the world of cabaret – Hans – joining the Australia’s Got Talent judging panel. Last week AGT was Seven’s sole early evening entertainment offering standing up to the opposition. AGT was again competitive last night with 696,000 although it ranked third in the timeslot. Seven is dragging this series out though. Last night singer Jennifer Anderson and comedic magician Lioz Shem Tov are the next two acts through to the AGT grand final. But first there is another semi-final in a week’s time.

Later in the evening Sunday Night’s Matt Doran reported on Foreign Accent Syndrome. Later in the episode Melissa Doyle reported on the new movie Ride Like A Girl with director Rachel Griffiths and cast member Mick Molloy. The episode was on 406,000 after 477,000 a week ago.


The hours before deadline are always frantic on The Block and the end of bathroom week was no exception. Scotty Cam called “tools down” bang on 7.30pm last night and one team had time to get dressed up before he arrived. Tess and Luke were the week’s winners with Elise and Matt not far behind. The Sunday episode was on 975,000 meaning it outrated both 6pm TV news bulletins last night. The Block audience was down from 1.11m a week ago.

On 60 Minutes, Liam Bartlett was reporting from Hong Kong on the protests. He was joined on the show by 60 Minutes guest contributors Peter Overton meeting the man with no arms and no legs, while Karl Stefanovic took viewers inside the crazy times at the Trump White House, speaking with two former high-profile Trump aides, Omarosa Manigault Newman and Anthony Scaramucci, who have turned on the President. The episode did 677,000 after 627,000 a week ago.


Aussie rockers Boy In Bear were the very late final guest of The Sunday Project. Thankfully the episode ran over to give them a few minutes at the desk. The audience pushed over 400,000 after 7pm to 434,000 after 381,000 the previous Sunday.

It was Janine Allis’ night on Australian Survivor as the Boost Juice founder first won the reward challenge and then backed it up with her first immunity win. The tribal council got to vote on the first person sent to Exile Beach, which was Daisy. She has a chance to return to the game later this week. The episode pulled the largest Sunday audience this season of 751,000.

Two episodes of Instinct followed on 253,000 and then 123,000 for the repeat.


The second episode of the two-part Judi Dench’s Wild Borneo Adventure was on 404,000 after 7.40pm.

Episode five of Les Norton kicked of two hours of Australian drama. After 353,000 a week ago, last night was on 337,000.

The second episode of Glitch managed to pull 108,000 to its late Sunday slot after the third season launched on 142,000 a week ago.


Patti Newton’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? did 139,000 at 7.30pm.

Week 35-36 TV: Friday-Monday
ABC10.4%722.7%919.1%10 9.3%SBS One5.6%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY2.9%7TWO3.4%GO!3.1%10 Bold2.8%VICELAND1.1%
ABC ME0.6%7mate4.6%GEM2.4%10 Peach2.4%Food Net1.3%
ABC NEWS1.4%7flix3.0%9Life2.3%  NITV0.2%
  7Food0.6%    SBS World Movies0.8%
TOTAL15.3% 34.3% 26.9% 14.5% 8.9%


ABC11.3%714.9%917.9%10 5.5%SBS One6.2%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY3.6%7TWO4.8%GO!5.3%10 Bold3.1%VICELAND0.7%
ABC ME1.0%7mate4.3%GEM4.0%10 Peach3.3%Food Net1.6%
ABC NEWS1.4%7flix5.6%9Life2.9%  NITV0.4%
  7Food0.9%    SBS World Movies1.4%
TOTAL17.3% 30.4% 30.1% 12.0% 10.2%


ABC9.2%718.5%924.5%10 13.4%SBS One3.2%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY2.6%7TWO2.7%GO!4.4%10 Bold3.7%VICELAND1.2%
ABC ME0.7%7mate4.2%GEM2.1%10 Peach2.2%Food Net1.0%
ABC NEWS1.6%7flix1.2%9Life2.3%  NITV0.2%
  7Food0.8%    SBS World Movies0.4%
TOTAL14.1% 27.4% 33.2% 19.3% 6.0%


ABCSeven AffiliatesNine Affiliates10 AffiliatesSBS
ABC10.2%719.3%922.1%WIN8.0%SBS One3.5%
ABC ME1.2%7mate6.2%GEM4.0%WIN Peach1.8%Food Net1.2%
ABC NEWS1.4%7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)1.9%9Life2.4%Sky News  on WIN0.8%NITV0.3%
  7food (QLD only)0.5%      
TOTAL15.3% 32.o% 32.8% 13.6% 6.3%


All People Ratings

Friday Top 10

  1. Seven News  Seven   903,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight  Seven   805,000
  3. Nine News 6:30  Nine  752,000
  4. Nine News  Nine  735,000
  5. A Current Affair  Nine  575,000
  6.  ABC News   ABC  555,000
  7. Better Homes And Gardens  Seven   510,000
  8. The Chase Australia  Seven   509,000
  9. Gardening Australia   ABC  456,000
  10. Hot Seat  Nine  413,000


Saturday Top 10

  1. Seven News  Seven   751,000
  2. Nine News Saturday  Nine  663,000
  3.  ABC News-Sa   ABC  609,000
  4. Deep Water   ABC  364,000
  5. Poldark   ABC  272,000
  6. Getaway  Nine  265,000
  7. Weekend Sunrise  Seven   254,000
  8. 10 News First   10  232,000
  9. Antiques Roadshow (R)   ABC  223,000
  10. Weekend Sunrise – Late  Seven   219,000
Sunday FTA
  1. The Block  Nine  975,000
  2. Seven New Seven   944,000
  3. Nine News Sunday  Nine  876,000
  4. Australian Survivor   10  751,000
  5. Australia’s Got Talent  Seven   696,000
  6. 60 Minutes  Nine  677,000
  7.  ABC News Sunday   ABC  599,000
  8. The Sunday Project 7pm   10  434,000
  9. Parky!  Nine  407,000
  10. Sunday Night  Seven   406,000
  11. Judi Dench’s Wild Borneo Adventure   ABC  404,000
  12. Les Norton   ABC  337,000
  13. 10 News First   10  268,000
  14. Instinct   10  253,000
  15. What The Killer Did Next  Seven   251,000
  16. Sunday Afternoon NRL Live  Nine  245,000
  17. Insiders AM   ABC  244,000
  18. Weekend Sunrise  Seven   239,000
  19. The Sunday Project 6.30pm   10  231,000
  20. Seven News At 5  Seven   230,000
Sunday Multichannel
  1.  NCIS Ep 2 (R)  10 Bold  160,000
  2. Insiders AM   ABC NEWS  137,000
  3. M- Battleship PM  7mate  132,000
  4. Border Security – Australia’s Front Line  -7ETPW.3OPM  126,000
  5. Bluey AM   ABCKIDS/COMEDY  125,000
  6. Ghostbusters   9GO!  124,000
  7.  NCIS (R)  10 Bold  121,000
  8. Play School AM   ABCKIDS/COMEDY  116,000
  9. Moana  9GO!  114,000
  10. Bananas In Pyjamas AM   ABCKIDS/COMEDY  110,000
  11. London Has Fallen   9GO!  109,000
  12. Little Princess AM   ABCKIDS/COMEDY  107,000
  13. School Of Roars AM   ABCKIDS/COMEDY  106,000
  14. Law & Order: Svu (R)  10 Bold  105,000
  15. Dinosaur Train   ABCKIDS/COMEDY  103,000
  16. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom AM   ABCKIDS/COMEDY  103,000
  17. Fixer Upper – A Restaurant Renovation  9Life  103,000
  18. Chris Tarrant’s Extreme Railways PM  7TWO  102,000
  19. Floogals   ABCKIDS/COMEDY  99,000
  20. Peppa Pig AM   ABCKIDS/COMEDY  98,000
Sunday STV
  1. Live: NRL Dragons V Wests Tigers  FOX LEAGUE  273,000
  2. Live: NRL Sharks V Raiders  FOX LEAGUE  186,000
  3. Live: Motorsport: F1: Belgium Race  FOX SPORTS 506  106,000
  4. Live: Sunday Night With Matty Johns  FOX LEAGUE  106,000
  5. Live: F1: Belgium Pit Lane Race Day  FOX SPORTS 506  67,000
  6. Outsiders  Sky News Live  58,000
  7. Outsiders  Sky News Live  54,000
  8. Live: Basketball: FIBA World Cup  FOX SPORTS MORE  41,000
  9. Selling Houses Australia  Lifestyle Channel  41,000
  10. Live: Us Open Primetime  ESPN  41,000
  11. Paul Murray Live  Sky News Live  36,000
  12. Live: Big League Wrap  FOX LEAGUE  36,000
  13. Live: NRL Pre Game Sunday Ticket  FOX LEAGUE  35,000
  14. The Simpsons  FOX8  34,000
  15. Dogs Make You Laugh Out Loud  FOX8  34,000
  16. American Dad!  FOX8  33,000
  17. Selling Houses Australia  Lifestyle Channel  31,000
  18. Teen Mom Australia  MTV  31,000
  19. Live: Euro PGA European Masters Final  FOX SPORTS 503  31,000
  20. Midsomer Murders  UKTV  30,000

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

Nine details offer for Macquarie Media shares, outlines radio plans

Nine Entertainment Co has released a bidders statement about its offer to acquire the remaining shares of Macquarie Media it doesn’t own to take full control of the company.

When Nine acquired Fairfax it became the majority owner of Macquarie Media as Fairfax’s controlling stake of 54% passed to Nine.

Nine has set up a vehicle to purchase the remaining shares called Nine Bidder, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nine. The directors of Nine Bidder are Nine chief executive Hugh Marks, Nine managing director of publishing Chris Janz, and Rachel Launders, Nine general counsel and company secretary.

In the document, Nine notes the independent directors of MRN unanimously recommend that [shareholders] accept the offer in the absence of a superior proposal and subject to the independent expert appointed by MRN opining (and continuing to opine) that the offer is reasonable.

Nine reminded MRN shareholders in the document the scope of the Macquarie Media assets:

• 2GB Sydney News-Talk is the most listened to station in Sydney and has been the number 1 radio station for over a decade, with 22.1% commercial share
• 3AW Melbourne News-Talk is the most listened to station in Melbourne, with 23.0% commercial share
• 4BC is Brisbane’s only commercial talk station with 12.6% commercial share
• 6PR is Perth’s only commercial talk station, with 13.7% commercial share.

Macquarie Media’s sports offering is delivered via Australia’s first national commercial sports radio network, the Macquarie Sports Radio network, which operates dedicated sports channels in Sydney (954AM), Melbourne (1278AM) and Brisbane (882AM).

MRN also includes digital and online media platforms and Macquarie Media Syndication, which is responsible for the syndication and delivery of programming content.

MRN principally generates revenue from the sale of advertising across its network of radio stations and royalties and commissions.

That business model has been under pressure on the past few weeks with as many as 80 advertisers boycotting the station in protest at comments made by breakfast host Alan Jones. It is not known how long those advertisers will remain off air.

Macquarie Media head of commercial Mark Noakes reached out to advertisers last week as the boycott continued to grow:

“For 122 consecutive surveys, spanning more than 15 years, Sydney listeners have voted 2GB as their favourite radio station. Our audiences have proven to be not only substantial in number, but also incredibly loyal to our stations and presenters.

“In a challenging and results-driven commercial environment, advertisers are searching for the most successful ways to connect their brand with their target audience. There is no denying Macquarie Media’s track record of success and these latest audience figures solidify Macquarie Media’s standing as an attractive commercial proposition for any advertiser.

“We remain grateful to our commercial partners for continuing to choose Macquarie Media’s channels to connect with their customers.”

See also:
2GB’s message: “Attractive commercial proposition for any advertiser”

Should Nine successfully acquire the shareholding it is seeking, the bidding document says it is intended that MRN’s existing business units will be integrated into Nine’s corporate structure.

Nine will then conduct a review to align the MRN business with Nine’s strategic objectives for the Nine group as a whole. Subject to that review, it is intended that the Nine Group will continue to operate the MRN business.

Regarding employees, Nine will conduct an analysis of its ongoing resourcing requirements for MRN as part of the Nine Group’s broader consolidation analysis.

ACMA to examine Bruce Gordon's Prime stake after ASIC request

The media regulator will run the ruler over WIN Corporation owner Bruce Gordon‘s holdings in Prime Media after it was revealed the corporate watchdog has pushed him to divest interests in the rival regional television broadcaster to under the compulsory takeover threshold, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

A spokesperson from the Australian Communications and Media Authority confirmed the industry regulator would be looking at Gordon’s holdings in Prime.

Late on Friday evening after market close, Gordon’s lawyers revealed ASIC had contacted WIN about its holdings in Prime following a number of transactions, including the selling of shares and the increasing of a cash-settled share swap, which has given him an economic interest in the company without voting rights.

Gordon’s shareholding in Prime is just 3.25 per cent after a selldown of stock from 14.99 per cent in May. However, Gordon has periodically increased a cash-settled share swap in Prime. As of Friday, his economic interest in Prime was over 20 per cent, more than was previously thought.

[Read the original]

No major changes to lifestyle website ABC Life after review

ABC managing director David Anderson has completed a review of the public broadcaster’s controversial website ABC Life and has decided against any major changes despite an efficiency review suggesting it was an area of potential savings, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Jennifer Duke.

The outcome of the review into the one-year-old website comes after criticism that lifestyle content is an inappropriate use of taxpayer money, as the subject matter is well covered by commercial outlets, and as the government’s three-year funding freeze on the ABC’s budget kicks in.

An ABC spokesman said the public broadcaster had now completed its review and there would be no significant changes to the website.

“As with any new program initiative, it’s appropriate to assess whether it is meeting its objectives and where it sits within the overall mix of ABC content,” he said in a statement.

“The review looked at the performance of ABC Life against its objectives, surveyed some of its audience and looked at its overall reach.”

The review showed an average of 332,000 weekly users and found 86 per cent of readers were satisfied with its quality while 84 per cent believed it fit well with the ABC.

[Read the original]


Bauer Media may close Elle magazine as licence deal ends

Bauer Media looks set to close women’s fashion and beauty magazine Elle, with its licensing deal with French media giant Lagardere on the verge of ending, reports The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich.

The near expiry of the Elle licence comes just weeks after The Australian reported that Bauer was considering closing Elle and Harper’s Bazaar, which could be the first big move by chief executive Brendon Hill.

It is understood US-based media group Hearst Magazines, which owns the licence of Harper’s Bazaar in Australia, is not happy with the fashion masthead’s local performance.

A Bauer spokesman said Elle, which has been licensed by the company in Australia since 2013, is a key brand within its portfolio. “It is one of the world’s most well-recognised magazine brands, with Elle Australia being one of 45 editions globally,” he told The Australian.

“Bauer Media has strong relationships with both Lagardere and The Hearst Corporation and remains committed to supporting Elle in Australia now and in the future.”

Bauer booked revenue of $224.3 million in Australia last year, of which about $142.1m came from the sale of magazines. A further $48.8m of its revenue came from advertising.

[Read the original]


Coles withdraws ads from 2GB after Alan Jones' controversial comments

Supermarket giant Coles has joined the advertising boycott against Alan Jones‘ radio program on 2GB following the host’s inflammatory comments about New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Laura Chung.

A Coles spokesperson said: “Coles values diversity, respect and actively promotes the rights of all of our team members and our customers.

“We stopped advertising on the Alan Jones program on Friday 16th August and have subsequently stopped advertising on 2GB.”

Coles is just one of the brands that has withdrawn its support for the radio shock jock. Others include ME Bank, Bing Lee, mattress brand Koala, Anytime Fitness and hardware retailer Total Tools.

[Read the original]

Alan Jones advertising boycott likely to cost $1 million

Nine Entertainment Co could potentially renegotiate its $114 million takeover bid for Macquarie Media if the radio business suffered a significant earnings hit amid a sponsor boycott against star broadcaster Alan Jones and a weaker advertising market, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Jennifer Duke.

Nine, which owns this masthead and has a 54.4 per cent stake in Macquarie, made a conditional offer in August to buy the rest of the radio network.

A bidder statement from Nine released to the ASX on Friday explains that one of the conditions is “no adverse material change” such as an ongoing reduction to the annual underlying consolidated earnings (before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) at the network of $3 million or more.

A 2GB source said the latest ad boycott was the “worst ever” for Jones’ show, adding that while in the past advertisers had resumed spending once the backlash quietened down there is now growing pressure from social media groups Mad F–king Witches and Sleeping Giants Australia discouraging brands from returning.

It’s not clear how much revenue has been lost due to the boycott so far but one source close to 2GB estimated it could be as much as $1 million.

[Read the original]

Triple M presenting James Reyne’s Boys Light Up anniversary tour

The Boys Light Up, one of Australian Crawl’s most loved songs, will turn the big 4-0 in 2020 and to celebrate, James Reyne will tour the nation paying homage to this enduring tune.

The song was written by James Reyne, and featured on the album of the same name, released in 1980 on EMI.  It was Australian Crawl’s debut album and also featured Indisposed, Downhearted, Beautiful People and Hoochie Gucci Fiorucci Mama.

Triple M will be presenting the shows around Australia, starting with a Wollongong on October 30 and ending in Brisbane on November 27.

Reyne reflected on the song today, saying, “Boys Light Up is turning 40! By jove, who woulda thunk it. If I’d known what gave it legs I would’ve bottled it and drunk it. And I’m delighted that so many take this song into their hearts ‘cause it never really was a hit – it just scraped into the charts. But it seems to hit a nerve, a chord, a nail, a bell, a spot ‘cause I tell ya, we don’t play it I’m likely to get shot! Or met by blokes in car-parks full of vinegar and piss who wanna know what game I’m playing, wanna know, “What game is this?!” They say they’ve got it on the record on CD, 8-track, cassette and they drove 500 miles not to hear it! Most upset!

“So it’s always fun to play tub-mother-thumping with the band and these are the good old days so c’mon and clap a hand. It’s bigger and it’s brighter with god-damned age some guile; And grand! And once upon a time remember? It got banned. ‘Cause I think “they” thought the title celebrated smoking dope!

“But it had nothing to do with it. It’s what you’d call a trope. A figure, then, of speech for euphemist results and irony of ironies and censorship and tyrannies.

“It’s about a fab and natural act for CON-senting adults.”


'We're in a hole': Struggle Street puts spotlight on rural battlers

Most people in Barry Warburton‘s position wouldn’t want to be shadowed by a film crew – but for the 54-year-old dairy farmer, who features in the new season of SBS’s Struggle Street, it was a welcome distraction, reports The Age’s Michael Lallo.

“If you’ve got nothing to do, your mental health can suffer,” says Warburton, who lives in the drought-stricken Riverina region with wife Rosey and their two children. “I actually enjoyed having [the crew] come out here … and it’ll be good for city people to see the problems facing other parts of the country.”

In its first two seasons, Struggle Street focused on impoverished inner-city and suburban residents; its third season, which starts on October 9, was filmed entirely in the Riverina.

Wagga Wagga’s mayor and its St Vincent de Paul president were among those who welcomed the chance to discuss the region’s problems.

“I was totally surprised,” says Marshall Heald, SBS’s TV and online content boss. “I think they recognised that the benefits of spotlighting these issues would outweigh any potential negatives.”

Heald believes the 7 million Australians who live in regional or remote areas are under-served by major media outlets. “They face higher rates of poverty and poorer health than people in major cities, and they have unique challenges because of their geographic isolation,” he says.

[Read the original]

New and returning dramas at Seven and Nine held back to 2020

Seven’s upcoming Bevan Lee drama Between Two Worlds has been held back for a 2020 premiere, reports TV Tonight.

But network sources are extremely pleased with the finished product and are considering it to kick off their year.

The high concept thriller led by UK actor, Hermione Norris (Cold Feet, Spooks, Luther), also features Philip Quast, Sara Wiseman, Aaron Jeffery and newcomers Tom Dalzell, Melanie Jarnson and Megan Hajjar.

Another Seven drama Australian Gangster, initially flagged for 2018, may also have to wait for 2020 due to legal matters. It stars Les Norton lead Alexander Bertrand.

Meanwhile Nine may also be holding off season four of Doctor Doctor with Rodger Corser until 2020.

[Read the original]

Petra Starke on The Block: Euphemisms go down in a Blayze of glory

If you’ve ever spent your weekends perusing real estate listings, you know agents can sometimes have a rather colourful take on English when describing their properties, reports the Sunday Mail’s Petra Starke.

After watching The Block for several weeks, I’ve noticed the judges do the same thing; Shaynna Blaze, Neale Whitaker and Darren Palmer have their own special set of euphemisms to describe the contestants’ rooms, from the styling to the fittings to the ever-present faux fur throws (seriously, where are they all coming from? Does Shaynna have shares in a vegan rug company?).

I’ve compiled this handy glossary of design terms to help you understand what’s really going on The Block.

“European-style laundry” – a tiny room that’s too small to actually do laundry in.

“Statement rug” — so expensive that exactly what the statement is will become apparent after you spill your first red wine on it.

“Butler’s pantry” — a walk-in-wardrobe for your dirty dishes.

“Venetian plaster” — like regular plaster but with more tourists.

“Melbourne styling” — looks like someone would drink coffee in it.

“Scandinavian styling” — looks like someone would have a sauna in it.

“Hollywood styling” — looks like someone would do cocaine in it.

“Wow factor” — something in the room is gold.

“Sexy” — something in the room is black.

“High end” — you can’t afford it.

“Artwork” — a royalty-free photo someone found on the internet, blew up in Photoshop, printed on to canvas in China and then charged $300 for.

[Read the original]

Sports Media

Network 10 expands team covering the 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival

Network 10 has revealed its full team of hosts and reporters covering the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

With the 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival two months away, it all begins with AAMI Victoria Derby Day on Saturday, 2 November, followed by Lexus Melbourne Cup Day on Tuesday, 5 November, Kennedy Oaks Day on Thursday, 7 November and Seppelt Wines Stakes Day on Saturday, 9 November.

Network 10’s broadcast will be anchored by coverage hosts Matt White and Roz Kelly, with Francesca Cumani spearheading the racing team.

Making her mark as fashion reporter is Anna Heinrich who along with roving reporters Kate Peck and Beau Ryan, will be covering all things celebrity and fashion in the world-famous Birdcage. They’ll also be dropping by The Park, home of Australia’s largest and most prestigious fashion event, Myer Fashions on the Field.

With The Park set for a stellar line up of entertainment, music fans and racegoers alike are in for a treat. Scott Tweedie will be on hand as Roving Reporter so viewers at home don’t miss a thing.

Network 10’s head of sport, Matt White said: “A huge part of the Melbourne Cup Carnival is the fashion, the celebrity spotting and all the glitz and glamour that truly makes it one of the best events on the Australian sporting calendar.

“You’ve already heard about our incredible team of racing experts, and now I’m thrilled that we have assembled such a talented bunch of reporters to bring viewers all the colourful action from around the track.”

Photo:  10’s Melbourne Cup Carnival team: Beau Ryan, Kate Peck, Matt White, Roz Kelly, Scott Tweedie, Anna Heinrich

TV rights: Nine wants to axe NRL club for second Brisbane team

Rugby league broadcaster Channel 9 wants to kill off an existing NRL club to make way for a new Brisbane team in a move that could leave one of Sydney’s nine traditional clubs facing extinction, reports News Corp’s Phil Rothfield.

The network wants – and is likely to get – the competition changes by 2023 when the next multibillion-dollar TV broadcast deal is in place.

Channel 9’s director of sport Tom Malone has told The Sunday Telegraph the network was against increasing the number of teams from 16 and wants at least one club to go to accommodate a new team.

“That could come from another team being relocated there, or better still another club being discontinued and a new club established in Brisbane,” Malone said. “In a perfect world you’d probably have one or two less teams.

“What clubs should go? I’m not going to get into that one. It’s a hard decision but probably one that needs to be made in the longer-term interests of the game.”

Foxtel chief executive Patrick Delany also wants a second Brisbane team as part of the next broadcast deal but does not support moves to kick out a club.

“They love their rugby league in Brisbane and it seems a natural fit,” Mr Delany said. “You get that inter-city rivalry which enhances tribalism and that’s ultimately what we want.

“It’s all about generating more fans and bigger TV audiences. I don’t know if you’d get that real tribal traction with rugby league in Perth that you’d get in Brisbane.”

[Read the original]

ScoMo ready to fight against Nine’s ambitious NRL team dream

• PM says TV plan is “rubbish”, commentator wants Sharks moved to Perth

Scott Morrison has defiantly declared his beloved Cronulla Sharks will survive any attempt from the NRL to cut a Sydney suburban team from the premiership, reports News Corp’s Phil Rothfield.

The Prime Minister was in the crowd of 18,985 for Paul Gallen’s farewell game at Shark Park on Sunday, on the day league broadcaster Channel 9 revealed its shock agenda to chop at least one team from the competition as part of the next multibillion-dollar TV deal.

“Channel 9 doesn’t run the game, the NRL does,” Morrison said. “This is rubbish. Cronulla is here forever. Suburban grounds are the heart and soul of rugby league.”

Some league identities have shown support for Channel 9’s plan, including their own commentator, Blues legend Brad Fittler.

Fittler has suggested the NRL follow the AFL’s model in relocating teams from South Melbourne to Sydney and Fitzroy to Brisbane.

“To me I think the Cronulla Sharks could go to Perth and have this history that goes on forever and play some games at Cronulla and some at Perth and work out what makes it viable financially,” he said. “Taking Manly to the Central Coast looks like a no-brainer to me, it’s a northern part of Sydney, it encapsulates that area and they’ve got the same vibe about both the areas.”

[Read the original]

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