Roundup: NRL’s new ad campaign, Swifties suck up video data, Media Code

NRL grand final 2023 Panthers

Vice Media, ABC, Ita Buttrose, Sarah Harris, Sport broadcasting

Business of Media

$1b for journalism at risk in new warning over Google, Facebook

Former competition boss Rod Sims has warned of a $1 billion blow to journalism if Google and Facebook spurn the federal code that requires them to pay for Australian media content, amid fears that some digital giants want to abandon the scheme, reports Nine Publishing’s David Crowe.

Three years after the landmark code was put in place, former treasurer Josh Frydenberg also backed the policy as a “blueprint for future negotiations” on commercial deals to invest in public interest journalism.

The federal government is seeking new commitments from the digital giants to negotiate with Australian media companies on a second round of funding deals, while also bringing TikTok into the scheme because of its growing social media power.

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How Swifties sucked up 15,000 hours of video data

Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour has not only broken records for being the highest-grossing music tour of all time, but the pop superstar is challenging telco records too, after Swifties used around 35 terabytes of data during her Melbourne shows last weekend, reports Nine Publishing’s David Swan.

Speaking to journalists to preview Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Telstra’s executive in charge of technology development and innovation, Channa Seneviratne, revealed that Swift’s stadium shows had posed a unique challenge for the telco.

Telstra’s data showed that Taylor Swift fans used about 200 per cent more data than other major concerts at the MCG, consuming the equivalent of 15,500 hours of video across the three nights in Melbourne. With that same amount of data, fans could stream Swift’s Eras Tour concert film on repeat for 1.7 years.

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Vice Media to stop publishing on, plans to cut hundreds of jobs

Vice Media said it would stop publishing content on its flagship website and plans to cut hundreds of jobs, following a failed effort by owner Fortress Investment Group to sell the embattled digital publisher and its brands, reports The Wall Street Journal’s Alexander Saeedy and Alexandra Bruell.

The moves were laid out in an internal memo from Chief Executive Bruce Dixon, a copy of which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

“It is no longer cost-effective for us to distribute our digital content the way we have done previously,” Dixon told employees in the memo. He said the company could partner with established media companies to distribute its content. “As part of this shift, we will no longer publish content on”

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News Brands

Former ABC senior producer Richard Quentin McDermott lodges claim in court over underpayments totalling $288,000

A former ABC senior producer is suing the taxpayer-funded broadcaster for underpayments and is seeking more than $288,000 in compensation, reports The Australian’s Sophie Elsworth.

Richard Quentin McDermott – an ABC employee for 21 years up until 2020 – held numerous positions at the broadcaster including his most recent role as a senior producer at the TV program Australian Story.

In the statement of claim filed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia in Sydney on January 25, McDermott claims the ABC breached the Fair Work Act and he is subsequently owed $288,443.41 in compensation for underpayments.

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Ita Buttrose’s last supper at ABC a subdued affair

Ita Buttrose chaired her final board meeting at the ABC last week, but her last supper at the public broadcaster was without fanfare, reports The ABC’s James Madden and Sophie Elsworth.

Buttrose, whose five-year tenure as ABC chair will conclude next Wednesday, broke bread with the other eight members of the board – including managing director David Anderson – after last Thursday’s board meeting in Sydney, in what Diary understands was a quiet affair.

There were no non-board guests at the dinner, and no formal speeches. Just a few words from board members, thanking Buttrose for her service.

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Sarah Harris’s emotional tribute to colleague Jesse Baird

Channel 10 star Sarah Harris has made an emotional tribute to her former Studio 10 colleague Jesse Baird, who was allegedly murdered by his ex-boyfriend, reports News Corp’s Carla Mascarenhas.

“It is hard to talk about Jesse in the past tense because he was more than just a colleague, he was our friend … a little brother,” she told viewers through tears.

She described Baird as an “absolute star” who was “quick on his feet whether it was water skiing or feeding a croc” live on air.

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Sports Media

Let’s go: First look at the NRL’s new ad campaign for 2024 season

We know how the NRL will market itself to American fans, but what about its pitch to the locals, asks Nine Publishing’s Adrian Proszenko?

Rugby league’s new television advertisement will officially screen from Monday, but here’s a sneak peak at the campaign. While the sell to the United States revolves around the game’s collisions – “No pads, no helmets, no fear” is the tagline ahead of next weekend’s historic double-header in Vegas – the focus for the local market is the countdown to kick-off for the 2024 season.

Narrator Gyton Grantley tells fans that, after 13,276,980 agonising seconds, the off-season is over and the “unreal” action is about to commence.

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NRL calls for ‘technologically neutral’ overhaul to sport broadcasting

A controversial overhaul of Australia’s anti-siphoning laws, which grant free-to-air television channels first dibs on broadcasting rights for major sporting events, should be amended to allow all free video platforms to negotiate broadcast deals, the NRL says, reports News Corp’s Jack Quail.

Fronting a Senate inquiry into new legislation which proposes to stop streaming services from outbidding free-to-air television networks, NRL corporate affairs boss Misha Zelinsky said a “technologically neutral” approach was needed to bolster the game’s revenue and expansion.

“Essentially when the list was conceived, we lived in a very different world … now of course people take their content in all manner of ways,” Zelinsky said.

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