Roundup: SBS Upfront cancelled, Logie Awards changes venues, Australian Open

Australian Open Nick Kyrgios

• 2SM radio host under investigation, The Voice: Generations, and the BBC

Business of Media

The UK shouldn’t disarm itself in the soft-power war

There are very few ways in which Great Britain can still claim to be a global power. It does not set the terms of world trade, as China does, writes the Washington Post‘s Mihir Swarup Sharma.

It has ceded the waves to the US Navy, which boasts five times as many aircraft carriers. It does not have regulatory or standard-setting power, unlike the European Union it so huffily left. Sure, the United Kingdom has nuclear weapons. But then, so does North Korea.

What North Korea does not have, to its great loss, is the British Broadcasting Corporation. To this day, the BBC spans the world as effortlessly as the Royal Navy once did; indeed, it may be the only imperial legacy that has a purpose in the 21st century.

That’s why it’s deeply worrying that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative government, filled with boosters of “Global Britain” and defenders of the country’s imperial past, seems intent on rendering this last great British asset valueless.

[Read More]


2SM radio host Marcus Paul off-air after Charlise Mutten quiz question

Radio broadcaster Marcus Paul will remain off air for at least the rest of this week as 2SM bosses investigate an on-air incident that was widely criticised as inappropriate, report News Corp’s Mibengé Nsenduluka and Jonathon Moran.

Richard King initially told listeners Paul was off for a “well earned break” but later a representative for the station confirmed an investigation was underway.

“Marcus Paul won’t be working on air for at least the remainder of this week,” the represenetaive said. “During that period of time we are conducting a more thorough investigation of the process. There will be no further comment until such time as that investigation is finalised. The station does not condone in any way what was said or inferred by the statements that were made on air.”

It is the latest development after Paul publicly apologised for an on-air blunder on his Marcus Paul In The Morning show on Thursday, in which he asked radio listeners to answer a trivial question about alleged murder victim Charlise Mutten to win singer Adele’s new CD.

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The Voice: Generations solves Seven’s predicament

Seven was facing an early 2022 predicament, which may have been solved with a new global brand for ITV in the process, reports TV Tonight.

With the Winter Olympics beginning on February 4, Seven knew that there was little point in kicking off a new season and quickly hitting the pause button.

But allowing Nine and 10 a free-kick without competing against high profile reality shows could also prove problematic.

The answer was to turn to The Voice, the biggest show in 2021, for a (very) short run format variation: The Voice: Generations.

The concept was devised by ITV Studios Australia to meet Seven’s unique challenge. Just three episodes will screen from Monday.

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SBS cancels 2022 in-person Upfronts

SBS has been forced to call off its plans for an in-person Upfronts next month, reports TV Tonight.

The broadcaster held off a late 2021 event in the hope of an in-person function on February 16.

“We were really looking forward to sharing a glass of bubbly and some great food with you all in February, but Omicron has other ideas,” SBS advised guests yesterday.

“While we’re not going ahead with out in-person events, you’ll be getting a preview of the amazing content coming to SBS in your inbox on Monday February 21. Stay safe and see you soon!”

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Logie Awards moves venues for 2022

The Logie Awards are moving venues, reports TV Tonight.

After two years at The Star, Gold Coast, it is shifting next door to the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The move is to give the event more room to be staged.

The TV Week event still comes with the support of the Queensland Government via Tourism and Events Queensland with funds to directly support each TV network in flights and accommodation.

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Sport Media

Ratings bonanza: Television figures show true power of Special Ks

Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis have rejuvenated the way the world views doubles – and they have the television ratings to prove it, writes SMH‘s Sam Phillips.

In the closing stages of the Australian pair’s thrilling three-set win against 15th seed Ariel Behar and Gonzalo Escobar at Kia Arena, television ratings figures provided to the Herald and The Age by Nine revealed there was an average of 280,000 viewers watching in Melbourne and 197,000 in Sydney.

According to Nine, those sorts of numbers are typically reserved for prime-time singles matches featuring the sport’s biggest names rather than a third-round doubles match.

Another industry figure said the pair are drawing similar ratings to the very best singles players left in the men’s and women’s draw, putting them on par with Ash Barty, Rafael Nadal, Alex de Minaur, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The extraordinary ratings show the true value of the pair’s rejuvenation of doubles, though they are yet to displace any singles matches from Rod Laver Arena.

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