Ticker investing to build world-class broadcast studio hub in Melbourne

Ticker news

China – Australia trade war threatens to delay the arrival of new sets

Australian news streamer Ticker is building a next-generation TV studio at its new complex in Port Melbourne.

The new set is designed by iconic Australian set designer Mal Nichols, who has worked with all Australian major television networks, Fox Sports and Sky News. His career spans decades, and he even designed the sets for Prisoner, the TV Week Logie Award ceremonies and Perfect Match.

Ticker’s CEO Ahron Young told Mediaweek: “Mal is a perfect match for Ticker. Our brief is complex, as we want to push the design beyond what we currently know. We want a global vibe with a combination of New York scale and Scandinavian simplicity. My brief to Mal was ‘don’t think about what you’ve done before, think out of the square’.

“We kept going back to the drawing board. This is a set that is completely modular. It’s like a giant Lego set that can be picked apart and shifted around within minutes to create a completely different look and feel for each program.”

Young said this is the biggest investment for Ticker to date and recognises the growing capabilities and expectations of Australia’s streaming industry.

Ticker’s chief operating officer Jed Bertalli added: “We want our audience and our commercial partners to see that we are growing and reinvesting our profits into our product. We continue to hire more journalists and producers in Australia and around the world, to create a new experience for viewers.”

The new studio features a massive LED screen and LED tower with the latest HD pixel the technology, giving it the finest number of pixels in any news set in Australia.

Ticker’s fully HD studios are completely automated, using proprietary technology, with a robotic crane and four robotic cameras.

Mal Nichols

Set designer Mal Nichols from Mal Nichols and Associates explained: “The opportunity to work with the next generation of streaming is exciting. When I was designing sets for Channel Ten in the 80s, I never would have imagined how technology would open up to creative operations like Ticker.

“Ahron wants to incorporate the experience I’ve gained with the streaming characteristics of today’s new frontier.

While working with the major networks over the last few years, I identified how the trend now is to create large-scale imagery in non-traditional studio spaces. I could see how the audience would accept the shift because of their relationships with iPhones and digital platforms. Ticker has jumped on that and maximised the impact.”

For the technology behind the build, Ticker turned to Tinkerlist in Amsterdam to help automate the studio and control room operations. Australian media design firm Lightrise worked with Mal Nichols and Ticker on the design.

Lightrise creative partner Gavain Browne says:

“From a brand perspective, this next stage of Ticker’s evolution is an exciting one.

“We’re looking to really bridge the gravitas of a global news source with an aspirational sense of place that feels like it could be anywhere in the world – where ambition, technology and ideas collide.”

Young said Ticker wants to turn the traditional TV studio approach on its head. Throughout the design process, each partner looked to diversify the use of materials like concrete and Scandinavian timber to fuse it together with dynamic LED lighting design and LED columns for content delivery.

Gavain Browne

Brown continued: “The finished hard set will be augmented with a CGI set extension in the main LED wall with bespoke screen content sitting in a separate triptych monitor configuration.

“We’re not creating a traditional TV studio, it’s a modern broadcasting and streaming hub that will evolve with Ticker’s growing editorial footprint and its commitment to delivering a news-driven product that resonates with like-minded global citizens everywhere.”

The set is being constructed by Richwood Projects, which spans over 40 years in the Australian television industry.

One holdup though has been the trade war between Australia and China.

Young: “The LED panels are being custom built right now in China. It’s a four-week process, and shipping was meant to take two weeks. But with barely any shipping containers heading to China from Australia right now, there’s a crisis in global shipping. We are working through the navigation of this to make sure our screens arrive on time.”

Ticker recently signed on the Australian government’s AusIndustry as a commercial partner, and boasts over 30 companies as major sponsors.

Ticker News broadcasts 17 hours a day live from studios in Australia and Singapore, and will shortly open new studios in the United States.

Looking over the plans, Young added with a grin: “Look, if this whole streaming thing doesn’t work out, at least I’ll have a great spot to play my Xbox on.”

See also: How Australia’s Ticker News channel built a new home in just two weeks

To Top