Roundup: Stan Sport subscriptions, Media Code, TV ratings changes + more


• Connect TV, Quickflix, Steve Barrett, The Hollywood Reporter, and Byron Baes

Business of Media

Nine boss fires shot at Foxtel in sports streaming wars

Nine Entertainment CEO Mike Sneesby has lauded the recently launched Stan Sport as Australia’s “largest reaching streaming sports platform”, taking a swipe at Foxtel-owned Kayo Sports, reports AFR‘s Miranda Ward.

The former Stan boss said the new sport offering, announced last November after signing a three-year, $100 million deal with Rugby Australia and locking in rights for the French Open and Wimbledon tennis tournaments, was approaching 150,000 active subscribers.

Sneesby said as Stan has moved into the live streaming space, the entertainment offering has “quickly become Australia’s largest reaching sports streaming platform”.

“This is a powerful proposition for Australian audiences and is providing sporting codes who partner with Nine and Stan the opportunity to reach mass free-to-air audiences and high yields subscription audiences in a model that maximises revenue opportunity.”

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Nine shares rise as Stan Sport subscriptions revealed

Nine Entertainment Co’s newly appointed chief executive Mike Sneesby has revealed the media company’s streaming service Stan gained nearly 150,000 sport subscribers since it began broadcasting rugby union matches earlier this year, reports SMH‘s Zoe Samios.

Stan is considered one of the key growth assets for Nine Entertainment Co with some analysts valuing the business at up to $1 billion. Nine also owns a free to air television network, 60 per cent of real estate portal Domain, key radio assets and newspapers including The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

The $4.8 billion company said third-quarter metro broadcasting revenue was up 6 per cent on a year ago and digital subscription revenue had climbed 20 per cent year on year.

Nine shares closed 2.5 per cent higher at $2.89. The stock has gained more than 20 per cent so far this year and touched a record peak of $3.16 in February.

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Budget 2021: Cash injection to oversee media bargaining code

The Australian Communications and Media Authority will receive more than $4m in next week’s federal budget to support the implementation and administration of the Morrison government’s news media bargaining code, reports News Corp’s James Madden.

The funding comes as a number of Australian media companies are finalising deals with global tech giants, including Google and Facebook, over the use of their journalism content.

Communications Minister Paul Fletcher told The Australian the $4.2m would allow ACMA to deliver the benefits ­provided by the code.

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Connected TV a new challenge to free-to-air television

The free-to-air television networks have dominated consumer advertising since the mid-1950s but in the current decade they are set to be challenged for the first time by what is known as “connected TV”, writes News Corp’s Robert Gottliebsen.

Of course, it’s early days but connected TV advertising is growing at a 30 per cent clip while, according to PwC, free-to-air TV advertising looks set to decline by about 2.5 per cent a year.

Basic internet-driven changes to any industry always start small and many fizzle out. But last week the connected TV movement came to my attention because of a deal between one of the connected TV advertising networks and Morgan Research to target TV advertisements to particular postcodes which have audiences with specific interests who are potential buyers of a particular product or service.

In mass media advertising markets like TV, the slogan that half of all advertising is wasted but no-one knows which half is suddenly broken down, because wastage is slashed.

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Early mover in the streaming wars Quickflix served with winding up application

Quickflix, which was an early mover in the streaming wars, has had a winding up application lodged against it by EnergyAustralia, writers News Corp’s Cameron England.

The company, which launched as an online DVD rental store in 2004 — the same business model as Netflix at the time — was at one stage listed on the ASX and in 2012 hit a peak value of more than $70m.

Quickflix was founded by Perth-based entrepreneur Stephen Langsford, who is no longer involved with the business.

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News Brands

Journalist Steve Barrett rejects claim of threats

A journalist who pursued a tip-off about a $105m tax fraud syndicate has rejected allegations he threatened accused ringleader Adam Cranston, claiming he was only seeking “proof” about the suspected Plutus Payroll scam when he became embroiled in a plot to extort $5m from its alleged masterminds, a court has heard, reports News Corp’s Kieran Gair.

Steve Barrett, who once worked for 60 Minutes, the Seven Network and The Australian, has denied suggestions that he was a participant in the blackmail scheme spearheaded by the crown’s star witness, Daniel Haus­man, arguing he was just allowing the property developer to “mouth off” during a bugged conversation in 2017.

In an at times tense cross-examination, Barrett told crown prosecutor Patricia McDonald SC he was not a party to any “deal” to blackmail Cranston, son of former deputy ATO commissioner ­Michael Cranston, about the alleged fraud during a meeting at the Martin Place officer of tax lawyer Dev Menon.

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The Hollywood Reporter website reveals new look as part of a major digital redesign

The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday relaunched its website.

The relaunched features a modern look that showcases THR’s in-depth reporting, world-class photography and video, and exclusive features.

The updates mark’s first redesign since 2014. The redesign also marks a new chapter for the brand since becoming a part of Penske Media Corporation in September.

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No change to Overnight ratings publication …for now

Could Overnight ratings stop being published in media in order to allow networks to issue a better ‘weekly’ number? writes TV Tonight.

An industry push is on, but it isn’t happening just yet as debate continues amongst the main players.

The upcoming “Total TV” VOZ ratings, encompassing all channels, screens and platforms, will finally be launched by OzTAM in June.

These will give a new perspective on how viewers are consuming content (Linear + BVOD) across TV, Tablets, Mobile and PC. The data will be in addition to current Overnight and Timeshifted results.

OzTAM confirmed to TV Tonight it plans to continue providing Overnight reports to media.

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Cast of Netflix reality show Byron Baes revealed

The secret is out – Byron Baes is underway with cameras rolling on the controversial Netflix reality show, reports News Corp’s Josh Hanrahan and Jonathon Moran.

Among them are former Love Island contestant Elias Chigros and former Bachelorette and Bachelor In Paradise star Nathan Favro.

As previously reported in Confidential, Hannah Brauer, whose parents own Bisque Traders in Bangalow, is also in the cast while loved up couple Dave Frim and Saskia Wotton, who is sales director with fashion label Silk Laundry, are also in.

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