Roundup: Max rollout in Aus?, Carrie Bickmore, Footy grand finals

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Amazon, X hit with trademark lawsuit, ABC on TikTok, Betr

Business of Media

Warner Bros streaming boss flags local Max rollout

Warner Bros Discovery’s head of streaming says the broadcasting giant expects to launch its Max platform locally in 2025, putting at risk one of the most lucrative pipelines of content for Foxtel and its Binge platform, reports Nine Publishing’s Sam Buckingham-Jones.

Warner Bros Discovery produces shows like The Last of Us, Succession, Euphoria and The White Lotus through its HBO subsidiary – that programming has ended up on Foxtel because of a long-term licensing deal last renewed earlier this year and up for negotiation in 2025.

But Jean-Briac Perrette, Warner Bros Discovery’s president of global streaming and games, gave the clearest indication yet that the company would launch the Max platform in Australia.

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Amazon’s behind the scenes back-down in bid for TV ad millions

Late last month, Amazon told local media companies that, come September 30, they would need to hand over 30 per cent of the revenue they make from ads that run on the Amazon Fire TV device, report Nine Publishing’s Sam Buckingham-Jones and Mark Di Stefano.

The networks – Seven, Nine, Ten and SBS – were clearly unhappy, threatening to pull their streaming apps (like 7plus, 9Now, 10Play and SBS On Demand) from the device.

Days after that new policy was to begin, the word is Amazon has backed down. The networks are being told not to worry – the global policy does not apply to them. But a spokeswoman for Amazon told us: “The advertising content policies apply globally.” Amazon was “working closely with our partners on the timeline and specific details of their implementation”.

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Elon Musk’s X hit with trademark lawsuit from marketing agency

X Corp, formerly known as Twitter, was sued in federal court in Florida on Monday by a legal-marketing company that claims the social media giant’s new name infringes its trademark incorporating the letter “X,” reports Reuters’ Blake Brittain.

The lawsuit by X Social Media claims that X Corp, which owner Elon Musk began rebranding to X from Twitter in July, was likely to cause consumer confusion.

The case appears to be the first of what could be numerous trademark disputes with Musk’s company over the letter “X,” which is commonly used in tech branding.

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Veteran ABC journalists are out, TikTokers are in

Earlier this year, the ABC drew a sackful of journalistic derision when it decided to make its award-winning political editor Andrew Probyn and veteran producer Brihony Speed redundant, reports Nine Publishing’s Mark Di Stefano.

The ABC’s management, led by David Anderson and Justin Stevens, thought the Canberra bureau was “top heavy” and the political editor position “old fashioned”. Besides, it believed letting Probes go could free up budget funds to hire younger, cheaper workers who make content for social media platforms such as TikTok.

So how many TikTok journalists are now at the ABC? The broadcaster has disclosed in Senate estimates questions taken on notice that Aunty hires the equivalent of “8.5 full-time equivalent positions whose primary role is producing content … that is published through ABC TikTok accounts”. The vertical video team also makes content for Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts.

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The Project star Carrie Bickmore set for TV comeback

The forthcoming Deal or No Deal reboot from Channel 10 could be set to have an Aussie TV icon as its host, reports News Corp’s Joshua Haigh.

According to the latest rumours, former anchor of The Project, Carrie Bickmore, is the current front-runner to host the forthcoming series.

Channel 10 is understood to be desperate to get the TV star on board, however, there’s just one slight catch; she might be too expensive for the broadcaster.

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Sports Media

Footy’s grand final TV ratings: Who won the battle of the codes?

Australian rules pipped rugby league in the weekend’s battle of the grand finals, with the AFL season ender being watched by a total average audience of 3.75 million viewers nationally (metro capitals, regional markets and live streaming), while the NRL clash attracted an average audience of 3.52 million, reports Nine Publishing’s Karl Quinn.

The results for both games represent a significant increase on last year, when the AFL grand final was watched by an average 3.06 million viewers and the NRL by 2.76 million.

The AFL match drew roughly the same number of people in Sydney (324,000) as the NRL did in Melbourne (349,000), further evidence, as if it were needed, that each city remains implacably wedded to its own code.

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Bookmaker asks for more time to process largest gambling payout ever

Online bookmaker Betr has begun the slow process of paying tens of millions of dollars to its customers after the young start-up’s 100-1 promotion caused the largest payout in sports gambling history, report Nine Publishing’s Mark Di Stefano and Sam Buckingham-Jones.

Tens of thousands of Australians flooded the new company’s app nearly a year ago, placing lucrative $10 bets on the Penrith Panthers at the promotional 100-1 odds. On Sunday night, the Panthers stunned the Brisbane Broncos 26-24 to win their third consecutive premiership title.

Betr launched the promotional deal in September last year, which gave all new customers the chance to bet on the outcome of five events, including the Melbourne Cup, NBA basketball, FIFA World Cup and the 2023 AFL and NRL premierships.

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