Roundup: NRL in Vegas, Nine sued by consulting firm, The Monthly’s film critic leaves

nrl in vegas - Foxtel

Meta, Shane Drumgold, Linda Reynolds, Apple hit with antitrust fine, The Brothers Sun, Fox / Disney / Warner Bros sports venture

Business of Media

After Meta’s exit, where to next for Australia’s news media bargaining code?

Last week, the Australian media industry jumped on a unity ticket, with several outlets coming together to advocate that the Albanese government enforce its news media bargaining code, reports Crikey’s Daanyal Saeed.

The reason was tech giant Meta’s largely anticipated announcement that it wouldn’t be renewing its deals with Australian news publishers, negotiated in 2021 after the introduction of the code by the Morrison government.

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Drumgold ‘delighted’ as judge finds inquiry biased

The former ACT director of public prosecutions Shane Drumgold, SC, says he is “delighted” by a court’s finding that the inquiry into the trial of Liberal staffer Bruce Lehrmann for sexual assault had been infected by bias, reports Nine Publishing’s Michael Pelly.

Acting Justice Stephen Kaye declared on Monday that a “fair-minded observer” would conclude that the head of the inquiry, former judge Walter Sofronoff, KC had been “influenced by the views” of Janet Albrechtsen of The Australian.

The trial heard there had been 273 phone interactions – calls, texts and emails – over seven months between Sofronof and Albrechtsen.

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ACT government settles with senator Linda Reynolds over comments made by top prosecutor after Bruce Lehrmann trial

The ACT government has paid senator Linda Reynolds $90,000 and issued an apology for comments made by former director of public prosecutions Shane Drumgold, report the ABC’s Penny Travers and Patrick Bell.

The Liberal senator sued the ACT government and Drumgold over a letter he penned to the Australian Federal Police after Bruce Lehrmann‘s rape trial.

Drumgold’s letter accused Senator Reynolds of “disturbing conduct” and when the letter was later released via a freedom of information request, the correspondence was reported in the media.

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Apple hit with $2 billion EU antitrust fine in Spotify case

Brussels on Monday fined Apple 1.84 billion euros ($2 billion) for thwarting competition from music streaming rivals via restrictions on its App Store, the iPhone maker’s first ever penalty for breaching EU rules, reports Reuters’ Foo Yun Chee.

A basic penalty of 40 million euros was inflated by a huge lump sum included as a deterrent – a first for the European Union’s antitrust authorities.

The European Commission charged Apple last year with preventing Swedish streaming service Spotify and others from informing users of payment options outside its App Store, following a 2019 complaint by Spotify.

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News Brands

Nine sued by consulting firm over ‘false’ reports former Liberal MP Stuart Robert gave them secret government advice

Consulting firm Synergy 360 says it needs to be vindicated with significant damages over four news reports claiming secret advice from then-federal Liberal MP Stuart Robert benefited its clients, reports AAP.

After a parliamentary inquiry, Robert was referred to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (Nacc) in September over claims Synergy channelled money to a company linked to the former frontbencher to win lucrative government work.

Nine-owned masthead the Sydney Morning Herald reported on the allegations from November 2022 to March 2023 in four articles.

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Conflict over the N-word and Gaza surrounds departure of The Monthly’s film critic

High-profile film critic Shane Danielsen has left the news and culture publication The Monthly after a dispute centring on the use of the N-word in a film review, and a subsequent decision by the magazine not to run his story about controversies at the Berlin Film Festival involving the war in Gaza, reports Nine Publishing’s Calum Jaspan.

Danielsen, a Hollywood-based Australian writer, filed a review of American Fiction that included the title of the Flannery O’Connor short story The Artificial N—-r, which is referred to in the script and is a key part of the film’s storyline about the fallout from a black character’s use of racially loaded language.

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Netflix cancels hit show The Brothers Sun after just one season

Netflix has decided not to renew The Brothers Sun for a second season. Season 1 of the somewhat highly anticipated action comedy-drama starring Michelle Yeoh had just debuted with eight episodes on January 4, reports News Corp’s Michael Haskoor.

When the series first debuted, critics praised Oscar winner Yeoh for her standout performance. The show had even spent five weeks in the Netflix Top 10 for English-language series, reaching the No. 2 slot, but it ultimately failed to materialise a large audience.

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Sports Media

Fox, Disney, Warner Bros Discovery sports venture expects 5 mln subscribers in five years

The sports streaming venture formed by Walt Disney, Warner Bros Discovery, and Fox Corp expects to have 5 million subscribers in its first five years, Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch said on Monday, reports Reuters.

The companies last month announced plans for the sports-centric service that is hoping to get younger viewers and will launch later this autumn.

“We’re running really hard and really fast to get the service up and running before the start of the college football season this year,” Murdoch said at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom conference.

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‘Blood everywhere’ – American sports host reacts to NRL in Vegas

NBC Las Vegas Sports anchor, Jesse Merrick, has reacted to the NRL’s season opener in Las Vegas, reports 2GB.

See Also: Mediaweek sideline eye Las Vegas: Delany tosses the coin, Lachlan Murdoch walks the boundary

[Listen to the full interview here]

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