Roundup: Foxtel’s cricket broadcast deal, Jonathan Holmes, Bridgerton S3 delay

Roundup: Bridgerton delay

The Guardian, Alan Jones’ auction, Google and Meta, Jason Kubler

Business of Media

Foxtel pays more for less in $1.5b cricket TV deal

Foxtel will pay more for less in its new cricket broadcast deal, coughing up almost $140 million a year under its new seven-year agreement with Cricket Australia, reports the AFR’s Sam Buckingham-Jones.

The deal comes to nearly $1 billion over the term from 2024-25 to 2030-31, and is almost double that paid by Seven in its cheaper, renegotiated deal as the free-to-air broadcaster.

By sticking with the current broadcasters the only difference for cricket fans will be a shorter 43-game Big Bash League season, down from 61 games, and that all of Seven’s games will be available to stream on the 7plus app.

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News Brands

Ex-Media Watch host roasts media regulator

Former ABC Media Watch host Jonathan Holmes has taken aim at Australia’s media regulator and its capacity to oversee journalistic standards, slamming its adverse ruling against the public broadcaster for an investigation into cable TV network Fox News and its coverage of the US 2020 election, reports the Sydney Morning Herald’s Zoe Samios.

Holmes, in his role as chair of ABC Alumni, said the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) “needlessly damaged” the reputation of ABC’s flagship investigative program, Four Corners, when it ruled it had misled viewers in its two-part series, which largely focused on Fox News’ coverage of former US president Donald Trump.

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Bridgerton filming ‘postponed’ after bosses ‘axe’ season three storyline

Filming for the third series of Bridgerton has reportedly been postponed after bosses “axed” a key storyline, reports News Corp’s Alex Doyle.

The Netflix period drama, which stars Regé-Jean Page, Phoebe Dynevor and Nicola Coughlan, is returning for another instalment following the smashing success of the first two seasons.

However, fans might have to wait longer than expected for another season.

Filming on the show has reportedly been halted after executive producer Shonda Rhimes wasn’t happy with the “direction” of the storyline.

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Guardian offices closed until 23 January due to ongoing fallout from suspected ransomware attack

The Guardian is continuing to be severely impacted by a suspected ransomware attack which hit the publisher’s global IT systems on 20 December, reports Press Gazette’s Dominic Ponsford.

Guardian Media Group chief executive Anna Bateson sent a note on Monday, 2 January, saying that all staff must continue to work from home. Staff have been told to work remotely since the incident began.

Bateson said: “This is a further update on the serious disruption to our network and IT systems that began before Christmas. As a result of the steps we took to secure our network, a number of key systems have been taken offline and remain unavailable.

“To reduce strain on our networks and help the enterprise tech, ESD and other involved teams focus on the most essential fixes, everyone must work from home until at least Monday 23rd January in the UK, US and Australia, unless you are specifically asked to work from our offices.”

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Alan Jones to auction Bentley, Bollinger, sporting goods after South Highlands property sale

Veteran broadcaster Alan Jones is selling 600 personal items, including a Bentley Continental, sporting memorabilia and artworks following the $17.5m sale of his sprawling Southern Highlands farm, south of Sydney, reports The Australian’s Lisa Allen.

With an expected selling range of $70,000 to $90,000, the 2006 Bentley Continental Flying Spur is the largest offering, but the auction by Lawsons will also include a large variety of goods from fashion items to horse saddles as well as signed photos of rock stars and sporting legends including Roger Federer and Betty Cuthbert.

The vast catalogue, which opens for sale on January 6, hit the internet late on Sunday night and offerings also include a framed Sir Donald Bradman-signed bat estimated to fetch $200 to $300.

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Social media

Google and Meta’s advertising dominance fades as TikTok, streamers emerge

For the first time in nearly a decade, the two largest players in online advertising are no longer raking in the majority of U.S. digital-ad dollars, a decline that industry insiders expect to continue in years to come, reports The Wall Street Journal’s Patience Haggin.

Alphabet Inc.’s 1.14% increase; Google and Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc.’s 3.81% increase accounted for a combined 48.4% of U.S. digital-ad spending in 2022, according to estimates from research firm Insider Intelligence Inc.

Their combined U.S. market share hadn’t been under 50% since 2014, said Insider Intelligence, which expects that number to drop to 44.9% this year.  

The ad businesses of Google and Meta are still growing, but Insider’s data suggest the pace is slower than the rest of the U.S. digital-advertising market.

Insider forecasting analyst Zachary Goldner said the erosion of their combined market share was the result of brands having access to more advertising formats.

Google and Meta each faced headwinds in 2022, as people spent less time online than in the early days of the pandemic; marketers concerned about a possible economic downturn reined in ad spending; Inc. and ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok continued their emergence as a force in digital advertising; and more streaming services started to embrace advertising.

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Kubler seals another upset win as Australia beat Spain in the United Cup

Jason Kubler’s golden summer continued in Sydney on Tuesday night after a second straight victory in the United Cup, leading Australia to a 3-2 win in their tie against Spain, reports The Age’s Michael Chammas.

The new cult hero of Australian tennis, who last year made it to the fourth round of Wimbledon as a qualifier, played far better than his No.107 ranking would suggest, beating Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 at Sydney’s Ken Rosewall Arena.

Kubler’s victories in this tournament have come against world No.27 Daniel Evans and world No.39 Ramos-Vinolas. It will catapult him up the rankings in the coming days. He is expected to reach a career-high ranking of 81st in the world. His previous best ranking was No.91 in 2018.

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