Tuesday September 3, 2019

Seven’s year not done with yet: Expecting a strong Q4

• How Nine has helped build interest in Seven’s summer
• Advertisers get the power of live sports 52 weeks of the year

By James Manning

It won’t belong before new Seven West Media chief executive James Warburton will be spruiking the network’s highlights for 2020.

However before we get there, Seven is very focused on making its fourth quarter 2019 work hard for its advertising partners.

Seven has been challenged more than ever in the 13th year since it started its ratings winning streak. But Network Sales Director Natalie Harvey reminded Mediaweek there is still three months of the survey year to go and she believes Seven will grow year-on-year in Q4 – October and November.

The channel will be promoting its post-September schedule during the AFL finals season, which gets underway Thursday evening.

The Australian drama highlight, from Seven Studios, is its new series Secret Bridesmaids’ Business with Abbie Cornish.

Also coming is The Real Dirty Dancing and Ladies’ Night. The former is a short run series and the latter is the female version of The Real Full Monty and lasts for one night only.

Harvey said the women’s version of the Monty format performs better than the blokes in other markets, and Seven is hoping for similar take up here. “We are hoping for a pretty good number.”

Ladies Night

Seven is not giving up on relationship shows, bringing back Bride and Prejudice a little earlier than it did last year. “These are real couples. Not people who are meeting each other for the first time,” explained Harvey. “The footage we have seen is very emotional and it can be tough to watch as they try to improve their relationships. It is a different sort of program to some of the others viewers have seen.”

Although Mediaweek notes Seven’s success in news and breakfast TV daily, not everybody remembers that and Harvey is keen to remind of its regular performers, in and out of primetime. “People sometimes forget about the base Seven has and the consistency it delivers every night.”

The AFL Grand Final this year is on September 28, and Seven launches its season of cricket on September 29 with a women’s international clash.

Seven’s cricket deal means it can now boast AFL or cricket in every week of the year.

Men’s test cricket starts a little earlier this year on November 21. “We are expecting the increases we had of cricket viewers in key demos last year will return again this year.

While The Ashes are on another network, it drives positive sentiment about cricket which is great for us.

Although Seven might seem underdone at 7.30pm on weeknights lately, Harvey pointed out both Real Dirty Dancing and Bride and Prejudice will be running in the slot. “Look at our schedule last year and what it delivered. This year we have a better schedule than last year when we delivered some pretty good audiences in Q4. We are confident we will have as good or better result for a second consecutive year.”

Harvey said the Seven schedule after the AFL finals is still in market, and she noted some of the content doesn’t offer as many integration opportunities as formats like My Kitchen Rules and House Rules. A second 2019 season of My Kitchen Rules was originally planned for Q4, but those plans were abandoned earlier this year.

Seven is also expecting good BVOD results for its Q4 programming in addition to strong live viewing.

When asked about how involved the new CEO James Warburton has been with the Seven sales team in the short time since his appointment, Harvey said: “He’s been incredibly supportive and he brings a different type of energy and he understands what we do.”

But will James Warburton be able to take the stage at the Seven Allfronts pointing to Seven being #1 for a 13th straight year?

“It’s pretty close,” said Harvey. Still too early to call? “Yes!”

Pedestrian goes to the movies: Acquires Open Air Cinemas

Nine-owned youth publisher Pedestrian Group has announced its acquisition of American Express Openair Cinemas, formerly owned by Fairfax Events.

Known for bringing hot-ticket films to more than 100,000 cutsomers in 10 iconic locations across Australia and New Zealand over spring and summer, Openair Cinemas will operate independently within the existing company structure, with support from Pedestrian Group’s Partnerships and Studio teams to bring both branded and white-label ideas to life.

The team, led by head of Openair Cinemas events John Amrhein, will make their home the Pedestrian Group HQ in Sydney’s Surry Hills, effective immediately.

Pedestrian Group CEO Matt Rowley said American Express Openair Cinemas’ integration is the right next step in Pedestrian Group’s growth story.

“American Express Openair Cinemas is the perfect fit for the Pedestrian Group, where we’re all about unbridled creativity. From bringing our brands and our clients’ brands to life via the big screen, to innovative pop-up activations and fully themed festivals in multiple cities, the possibilities are insane.”

John Amrhein added: “With its impressive portfolio of youth-focused properties and a core demographic that mirrors our own, there’s no better home for American Express Openair Cinemas than Pedestrian Group. Our events are all about bringing people (and, sometimes, their pets!) together for an experience like no other and the sites do that in their own way, too. We can’t wait to work with the wider team.”

Smells good: The Australian comes wrapped in Chanel today

The Australian has revealed its first broadsheet gloss cover wrap on newsstands today, in partnership with Chanel to launch its latest fragrance.

The premium execution features Margot Robbie who is fronting the campaign for Gabrielle Chanel Essence, a new fragrance launching around the world this week.

First-edition metro CBD copies of The Australian are today wrapped in Chanel and distributed across locations in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

The collectable poster size gloss wrap is a key component of Chanel’s new advertising campaign for the Gabrielle fragrance launch in Australia.

Managing director The Australian, NSW & Prestige Titles, Nicholas Gray, said: “Luxury clients want to communicate their unique brand position through emotive high impact campaigns and we’re delighted that Chanel chose to partner with The Australian to execute this premium advertising solution for their latest fragrance launch.”

General manager sales The Australian & News Prestige Network, Andrew Cook, added: “Through print innovation, strong creative and the scale of this execution the powerful cover wrap will deliver maximum visibility to amplify Chanel’s brand message to an engaged prestige audience.”

The Australian’s partnership with Chanel for the Gabrielle fragrance campaign will also feature in WISH magazine this Friday.

ARIA Awards in partnership with YouTube returning to Nine

The 2019 ARIA Awards in partnership with YouTube Music are preparing to celebrate the biggest night in Australian music. Sharing the musical achievements of the Australian music industry over the past year, the 33rd annual ARIA Awards will be broadcast live from The Star Event Centre in Sydney on Wednesday, 27th November 2019.

The evening will again be supported by the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW and broadcast to screens across Australia on the Nine Network.

Denis Handlin, ARIA chairman and chairman and CEO of Sony Music Entertainment Australia and New Zealand and President of Asia, said: “On behalf of the ARIA board, we welcome back the Nine Network as our television broadcast partner for the ARIA Awards in 2019 and we look forward to working with Nine’s CEO Hugh Marks and his team for a third year. We are also thrilled to again have Destination NSW and The Star help us celebrate another outstanding year for Australian music at this year’s Awards.”

Hamish Turner, Nine Network program director, said: “We’re thrilled to welcome back the ARIA Awards on our screens for 2019, and champion some incredible Australian music in the process. For 32 years the ARIA Awards have delighted us with brilliant performances from some of the biggest names in music, and this year will be no different.”

NSW Minister for Tourism Stuart Ayres, said: “The NSW Government is proud to support the ARIAs through our tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW. These iconic Awards not only provide a significant boost to the State’s visitor economy, but also cement Sydney’s reputation as Australia’s creative arts hub across the Asia Pacific through highlighting and celebrating our incredible home grown talent.”

Dan Rosen, ARIA Chief Executive, said: “The ARIA Awards would not be possible without the incredible support we get from our key partners. I’m delighted that the team at Nine, Destination NSW and The Star are back to help us deliver an event worthy of celebrating another wonderful year of Australian music. ”

Tickets for the public ARIA Party have also been announced, with pre-sale beginning at 9:00am 3rd September and full sale at 9:00am 17th September. For more details please visit the ARIA website.

Dylan Lewis leaving Adelaide breakfast and Nova Entertainment

Nova Entertainment has announced its second major staff departure in a few days.

Last week it was marketing boss Tony Thomas.
This week it is Adelaide breakfast co-host Dylan Lewis.

Lewis co-hosts Nova 919 breakfast with Hayley Pearson and the two performed well in last week’s GfK radio survey 5, 2019 with their share lifting from 9.7% to 10.6%. That is the station’s best breakfast figure in close to two years and the best ever for Dylan and Hayley working as a duo following the departure of Shane Lowe just under 12 months ago.

Dylan Lewis has spent 13 years with the Nova Network, first joining Nova 100 in 2006 and later becoming part of Nova 919’s breakfast show in 2012.

Paul Jackson, Nova Entertainment’s group program director said, “Dylan has had a great career with the Nova Network over the past 13 years. We would like to thank him for his passion and contribution during his time with the network and wish him well for the future.”

Dylan Lewis said, “I’ve been blessed to have been with Nova for 13 years. I’ve worked with some beautiful people who have become lifelong friends. I’ve had the opportunity to become supreme at my job and I’ve become more handsome with age. Now, I look forward to spending more time with my family back in Melbourne and sleeping in. I also look forward to seeing what the next exciting chapter will be in my career. I think I’ll be a rock star for a while. Watch this space. Love you. Dylan.”

The Dylan & Hayley breakfast show will be heard on Nova 919 for the reminder of the year.

No announcement has yet been made regarding the new Nova 919 breakfast show for 2020.

Box Office: No changes to the top 5 as The Lion King hits $61m

In a quiet week at the Australian box office, the first time this year that back to back weekends have had identical top fives, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood rules once again, as The Lion King continues its attempt to claw its way into the fourth-highest box office total in Australian history.

By Trent Thomas

Despite the mirror-like quality of the top five, the overall box office total doesn’t reflect this as it has posted a decline of 19% on last weekend’s total after producing $9.22m. The silver lining is no film in the top five had a decline on its previous weekend’s total over 29%.

Next week IT: Chapter Two will put a scare into the top five and inject some fresh blood (literally) into the Australian box office.

#1 Once Upon a Time in Hollywood $2.64m

After three weeks the ode to the golden age of Hollywood continues to attract audiences in droves after only a 29% decline on its audience last week. The film now has a total of $16.17m after making an average of $4,989 on 531 screens.



#2 Angel has Fallen $1.43m

The second sequel to Olympus has Fallen once again starring Gerard Butler has kept its silver medal for the second consecutive week after debuting in second spot last week. Its total now sits at $3.79m after only a 20% decline on last weekend, averaging 5,440 on 263 screens.



#3 The Lion King $1.11m

After eight weeks the remake of the 1994 classic is getting agonisingly close to being the fourth highest-grossing film in Australian history as it sits less than $1m behind Avengers: Infinity War. This past weekend it averaged $3,476 on 320 screens which equates to a decline of only 24%.



#4 Fast & Furious: Hobbs and Shaw $778,184

After five weeks the ninth entry to the Fast & Furious franchise still isn’t out of gas as its total has raced to $17.89m, after averaging $3,398 on 229 screens, which makes it the lowest decline for the top five with only 17%.



#5 Ne Zha $509,613

The highest average of the week at $12,430 (27 screens), the Chinese 3D animation film has made it two weeks in the top five after debuting in fifth spot last week with a decline of 21% bringing its total to $1.42m.


TV Ratings Analysis: September 2

• Not much sleep ahead on Bedroom Week as The Block ranks #1
• Nine and 10 jostle for Monday timeslot and demo wins
• Pia wins challenge on Survivor with audience again close to 800k

Monday Week 36 2019

By James Manning

• Seven News 1,051,000/1,012,000
• Nine News 930,000/945,000
• A Current Affair 805,000
• ABC News 650,000
• 7.30 582,000
• The Project 263,000/475,000
• 10 News First 376,000
• The Drum 168,000
• SBS World News 155,000

Breakfast TV

• Sunrise 278,000
• Today 204,000


Home and Away was on 653,000. Its week 35 audience average was 598,000 after 631,000 in week 34.

There were some great characters pulled over during Highway Patrol and you can help feeling sorry for some of them. However many are better off the road than on it. The episode did 492,000 which wasn’t enough to stop it ranking fourth in the slot. It was followed by Motorbike Cops on 477,000.

The Rookie then did 399,000 followed by S.W.A.T. on 255,000.


A Current Affair caught a social media predator in a special episode with 805,000 watching. The week 35 average audience was 745,000 after 742,000 in week 34.

The Block got underway with Bedroom Week, which is already causing havoc among the teams. Tonight on the show some of the former stars of earlier seasons will be paying a visit. The Monday episode did 906,000 after 918,000 a week ago.

Nine then surrendered first place as This Time Next Year took second place with its audience of 588,000 after 655,000 last week.

Footy Classified did 131,000 in AFL metro markets with 84,000 in Melbourne.


The primary channel narrowly outrated Nine as #1 25-54 and other key demos last night.

The Project started its weeknight run under half a million with 475,000, which just got it into the top 20. The week 35 average for the 7pm half hour was 459,000 after 448,000 in week 34.

Australian Survivor featured Pia winning her first challenge, which gave her immunity during the vote for the second visitor to Exile Beach. That ended up being Simon much to the surprise of Janine and Pia who will be in damage control tonight. The episode was just under 800,000 after the Monday and Tuesday episodes last week pushed just above 800,000.

Have You Been Paying Attention? continues to deliver for 10 with a timeslot win as regulars Ed and Sam were joined by Marty Sheargold, Abby Coleman and Anne Edmonds. The episode was way ahead of any competition with 747,000, down a little from last week’s 788,000.

10 calculated the audiences for the episodes of Survivor and HYBPA? screened a week ago grew to 1.06m and 1.25m respectively with encore screenings, timeshift and BVOD.


7.30 began explaining how everybody is getting ripped off by electricity prices and how hard it is to navigate the system for the best deal. The episode did 582,000. Its week 35 average audience was 549,000 after 519,000 in week 34,

Australian Story was on 573,000 after 8pm, followed by Four Corners and more disturbing images from Hong Kong with 532,000 watching.

Media Watch looked at product integration on The Block during its episode with 496,000 watching.

Q&A then did 308,000.


A repeat of the doco series Elizabeth at 7.30pm ranked #1 on the channel last night with 179,000.

Two episodes of 24 Hours in Emergency then averaged 167,000. This actually had a bigger national audience than Elizabeth.

Week 36 TV: Monday
ABC13.0%717.0%921.1%10 15.3%SBS One4.5%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY2.9%7TWO3.2%GO!2.9%10 Bold3.0%VICELAND1.0%
ABC ME0.5%7mate3.7%GEM2.7%10 Peach2.3%Food Net1.2%
ABC NEWS1.3%7flix1.4%9Life1.9%  NITV0.1%
  7Food0.5%    SBS World Movies0.5%
TOTAL17.7% 25.8% 28.6% 20.5% 7.3%


ABCSeven AffiliatesNine Affiliates10 AffiliatesSBS
ABC10.8%719.4%917.7%WIN12.3%SBS One3.6%
ABC ME1.2%7mate5.0%GEM4.8%WIN Peach1.8%Food Net1.2%
ABC NEWS1.1%7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)2.4%9Life2.0%Sky News  on WIN1.7%NITV0.2%
  7food (QLD only)0.2%      
TOTAL15.8% 30.9% 28.1% 19.1% 6.2%


Monday FTA
  1. Seven News Seven 1,051,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 1,012,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 945,000
  4. Nine News Nine 930,000
  5. The Block Nine 906,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 805,000
  7. Australian Survivor 10 790,000
  8. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 747,000
  9. Home And Away Seven 653,000
  10. ABC News ABC 650,000
  11. The Chase Australia Seven 609,000
  12. This Time Next Year Nine 588,000
  13. 7.30 ABC 582,000
  14. Australian Story ABC 573,000
  15. Four Corners ABC 532,000
  16. Hot Seat Nine 520,000
  17. Media Watch ABC 496,000
  18. Highway Patrol Seven 492,000
  19. Motorbike Cops Seven 477,000
  20. The Project 7pm 10 475,000
Demo Top 5

16-39 Top Five

  1. Australian Survivor 10 274,000
  2. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 239,000
  3. The Block Nine 236,000
  4. This Time Next Year Nine 127,000
  5. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 124,000


18-49 Top Five

  1. Australian Survivor 10 417,000
  2. The Block Nine 415,000
  3. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 415,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 242,000
  5. Nine News Nine 232,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. Have You Been Paying Attention? 10 472,000
  2. The Block Nine 461,000
  3. Australian Survivor 10 455,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 307,000
  5. A Current Affair Nine 291,000
Monday Multichannel
  1. Floogals ABCKIDS/COMEDY 166,000
  2. Rusty Rivets ABCKIDS/COMEDY 165,000
  3. Dinosaur Train ABCKIDS/COMEDY 164,000
  4. Spicks And Specks ABCKIDS/COMEDY 162,000
  5. Go Jetters ABCKIDS/COMEDY 161,000
  6. Andy’s Wild Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 152,000
  7. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 149,000
  8. Kiri And Lou PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 148,000
  9. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 146,000
  10. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 143,000
  11. Doc Martin PM 7TWO 142,000
  12. Octonauts PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 138,000
  13. Neighbours 10 Peach 137,000
  14. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 135,000
  15. Play School Art Time PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 128,000
  16. Charlie And Lola ABCKIDS/COMEDY 126,000
  17. PJ Masks PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 124,000
  18. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 121,000
  19. The Justine Clarke Show! PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 116,000
  20. Hey Duggee ABCKIDS/COMEDY 115,000
Monday STV
  1. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 69,000
  2. Live: AFL 360 FOX FOOTY 66,000
  3. Live: On The Couch FOX FOOTY 56,000
  4. Live: NRL 360 FOX LEAGUE 55,000
  5. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 54,000
  6. Credlin Sky News Live 54,000
  7. Family Guy FOX8 49,000
  8. Kenny On Media Sky News Live 47,000
  9. Family Guy FOX8 42,000
  10. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 40,000
  11. Abby Hatcher Nick Jr. 40,000
  12. NCIS TVH!TS 39,000
  13. Kid-E-Cats Nick Jr. 36,000
  14. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 36,000
  15. Peppa Pig Nick Jr. 36,000
  16. Live: Controversy Corner FOX LEAGUE 35,000
  17. The Simpsons FOX8 34,000
  18. Beat Bugs Nick Jr. 33,000
  19. Blue Bloods TVH!TS 32,000
  20. Border Security: Australia’s Front Line FOX8 32,000

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's Hugh Marks hosting ScoMo fundraiser

On Monday evening at the Nine Network’s legacy Sydney studios on Artarmon Road, Willoughby, CEO Hugh Marks is hosting a $10,000 per head dinner for the federal division of the Liberal Party’s fundraising arm, the Australian Business Network, reported The AFR’s Joe Aston yesterday.

The Prime Minister is the guest of honour but will also wheel out Communications Minister Paul Fletcher, Trade Minister Simon Birmingham, Education Minister Dan Tehan, Cities Minister Alan Tudge and Assistant Minister for Superannuation Jane Hume. No doubt they’ll all have to cop an earful about press freedom – as if the rubber chicken and the cooking wine won’t be hard enough to swallow on its own.

[Read the original]

News Brands

News Corp offer: Digital subscribers get a Samsung Galaxy tablet

News Corp Australia is marketing a number of subscription offers to its various metro, suburban and regional newspapers where the price includes a Samsung tablet. News brands promoting the offer on home pages this morning include The Daily Telegraph and NewsLocal.

The NewsLocal pitch to readers offers digital subscribers a Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 – valued at $249 – when they purchase a 12-month NewsLocal subscription offer, bringing online community stories from across the wider Sydney region, ACT and Newcastle.

For $7.50 per week for the first 12 months, when readers take this 12-month subscription offer (minimum cost $390), they also get the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0.

Subscribers will get access to local news from all over Greater Sydney via the Blacktown Advocate, Canterbury-Bankstown Express, Central magazine, Central Coast Express Advocate, Fairfield Advance, Hills Shire Times, Hornsby Advocate, Inner West Courier, Liverpool Leader, Macarthur Chronicle, Manly Daily, Mosman Daily, North Shore Times, Northern District Times, Parramatta Advertiser, Penrith Press, Rouse Hill Times, Southern Courier, Wentworth Courier.

It also includes the four latest regional titles, The St George Shire Standard, The Illawarra Star, The Canberra Star and The Newcastle News.

See full details about the offer here.


2GB’s Ray Hadley forced off-air for medical reasons

Ray Hadley has been forced off-air at 2GB due to a medical condition, confirmed the station’s website yesterday.

After experiencing the extremely painful symptoms of diverticulitis, Hadley informed his listeners at 10.18am that he would need to seek medical help.

“I’ve been battling a problem since last night. It’s a problem that I encounter every couple of years. It’s called diverticulitis.

“I’m about to have, I think, an attack, and the only thing I can do is get to my GP, talk to him and get something done about it.”

Mark Levy stepped in for Hadley, hosting the final two hours of the show and will be back again on Tuesday.

Hadley has released a statement from hospital, saying he hopes to be back on-air on Wednesday.

“I’m currently in hospital having been admitted for the third time in 12 months for diverticulitis.”

I’m hopeful of returning to work on Wednesday and I will be consulting my surgeon about a more permanent solution – which may well involve surgery during my summer break.

“Thank you to all the people who have shown concern.

Lifetime ban: Kyle and Jackie O no-go zone for Sunrise hosts

It seemed like a happy media cross promotion. The Kyle and Jackie O Show was holding a handball tournament on Friday with Kyle Sandilands taking on former PM Kevin Rudd.

Seven’s Sunrise heard about the event and approached KIIS FM to cover it live during their program last Friday. Seven sent out its travelling weather presenter Sam Mac and Seven sports presenter Jim Wilson to be on hand during the live crosses.

Sandilands later found out that the Sunrise hosts mocked the KIIS event, telling viewers they were over it. “I’d rather watch grass grow,” joked David Koch after one cross.

On Monday’s radio show Sandilands issued lifetime bans on the Sunrise hosts.

Part of an on-air spray from Sandilands included:

“They’re banned for life. Don’t beg to come and cover something and then s**t-can it, you pieces of s**t … You couple of old pieces of s**t,” he said.

Sandilands wasn’t on air Tuesday as KIIS FM played a Best Of Kyle and Jackie O show.

Photo: Kyle and Jackie O with with K-Rudd and Jim Wilson before the s**t hit the fan


Cancelled: Saturday Night Rove gone after just two episodes

It was perhaps the riskiest commission of all the 2018 Pilot Week programs. Despite delivering the smallest audience of all the Pilot Week commissions last year, Network 10 saw a glimmer of something worth pursuing with the Rove McManus-hosted Bring Back Saturday Night.

The show finally returned exactly a year after the initial pilot, rebadged as Saturday Night Rove, and the audience for the first episode crept higher by the smallest of margins year-on-year. The format was different, the team had been tweaked and there was some optimism the show might grow from there.

The warning light was how small that first episode audience was. Many new series deliver their biggest audiences with the first episode as viewers sample the product before the numbers slip back a little until they level off.

But the audience for episode two of Saturday Night Rove tanked big time – dropping from 240,000 to 140,000.

TV Tonight has reported that audience checkout for episode two was enough for Rove and 10 to pull the plug:

The lower numbers this week come despite no AFL or cricket in the same slot.

Rove McManus said, “It was clear looking at the numbers that the audience we hoped would find a free-wheeling live show on a Saturday night just weren’t there. We spoke with 10 today and we both called it.

“The opportunity to play live in front of Australia again was fun, no matter how brief, and I would like to thank my amazing co-stars, the behind the scenes team and everyone at 10 who got behind Saturday Night Rove.”

A Network 10 spokesperson said, “Unfortunately Saturday Night Rove hasn’t resonated with viewers the way we had hoped, so Rove and 10 have made the decision to remove it from the schedule. Rove is a sensational entertainer and a close friend of 10, and we thank him for all his hard work, and all the laughs, on Saturday Night Rove.”

[Read the original]

Change is coming: Netflix, Amazon, Apple get the jump on regulation

Something remarkable happened in the past few weeks: three of the world’s biggest streaming operators – Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV+ – announced they will make new shows in Australia, reports The Age’s Karl Quinn.

For supporters of local content this is great news, especially since the Netflix show, an eight-part cyber thriller called Clickbait, and Apple’s 10-part adaptation of Shantaram are genuinely Australian in origin (Amazon’s comedy competition LOL: Last One Laughing is a Japanese format).

Pressure has been growing for the streaming players, which are increasingly stealing audience share from free-to-air television – especially where scripted content is concerned – to face some sort of local content obligations.

If regulation is coming – either through a local content quota (as applies to FTA) or, more likely, a requirement to spend a certain proportion of local subscription revenue on local content (as applies to Foxtel) – it makes great sense for the streamers to show themselves willing partners in the creation of Australian content. A good corporate citizen is likely to get off much lighter in a regulated environment than a recalcitrant one.

[Read the original]

The Block co-creator responds to criticism over product placement

Most years since The Block returned with a new business model for its long-delayed third season on Nine there has been talk about the way products are integrated into the show.

Most recently the TV critics on Gogglebox highlighted how sponsors were being mentioned in the current series.

ABC’s Media Watch last night reported on some of the recent criticism:

Nine’s top-rating reality show The Block, which is getting a hammering from viewers – like these ones on Gogglebox – for its blatant product placement.

There have been similar complaints about The Block on social media.

And who can blame the audience for getting annoyed when the program features blatant ads like these woven into the script.

So what does The Block’s co-creator and executive producer Julian Cress have to say about it?

Cress has always been upfront about keeping the sponsors happy, saying the show would not exist without them. And he told Media Watch:

“With any show we make the experience of the viewer is first and foremost in our minds, but of course product placement in free-to-air television is nothing new. The Block has a long history in the integration space and we feel it works for both the audience and our clients.”

Watch the episode of Media Watch here.

Sports Media

Spectre of 14-team competition sparks talk of NRL club cull

Senior figures within the NRL have raised the prospect of a second team in Brisbane as part of a 14-team competition, as they lean towards the long-term shrinkage of the premiership rather than expansion, reports The Australian’s Brent Read.

It is understood the scenario was raised earlier this year by a senior NRL official when discussing the dream scenario for the shape of the competition in years to come.

It is understood the discussion was held internally with a recognition that it would not happen as part of the next broadcasting deal or potentially the one after that.

However, there is a school of thought that rugby league needs to eventually arrive at the magical mark of 14 teams with another side in Brisbane, meaning three of the existing clubs would be forced to make way.

[Read the original]

Channel 9’s sneaky bid to poach NRL final round blockbuster

Channel 9 has done a sudden backflip on its agenda to cut Sydney’s NRL teams, at least when it suits their TV ratings this weekend, reports News Corp’s Phil Rothfield.

The network’s director of sport Tom Malone is now apparently a fan of suburban football and wants to cover the Wests Tigers v Cronulla Sharks blockbuster at Leichhardt Oval that will decide eighth position for the finals.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal Malone rang the NRL on Sunday night to try to switch coverage of the two Sunday games in the final round this weekend.

Fox Sports has exclusive rights to the Wests Tigers v Cronulla Sharks game that is expected to be the highest-rating Fox Sports rugby league game in history.

Meanwhile, the Nine network has been left with a match with no impact on the finals – the Penrith Panthers against the Newcastle Knights – after having their request rejected to switch games.

[Read the original]

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