Tuesday August 21, 2018

Seven West Media full year results: Revenue, profit & costs down

Seven West Media CEO Tim Worner has delivered the company’s full year results.

Highlights

• Underlying EBIT of $236 million, at upper end of $220-240 million guidance
• Over-delivered on cost out target with group costs down $21 million
• Underlying net profit after tax of $142.5 million
• Group net debt reduced to below $635 million
• Strong resurgence in ratings performance with ongoing momentum
• Forecasting 5%-10% underlying EBIT growth in FY19
• New Prime affiliate agreement delivers material step up in revenue share, effective July 1, 2018, with further step up in FY20

Seven West Media’s managing director and chief executive officer Tim Worner said:

“Throughout the financial year we have maintained a single-minded focus on improving our core business with ratings, revenue and our costs savings initiatives the priority.

“I’m pleased to report that we have delivered underlying EBIT at the upper end of our guidance, we have over-delivered on our cost out targets and significantly reduced our debt.

“Our transformation accelerated in the second half of the financial year and delivered $61 million of cost savings on our initial $40 million target. These savings, which included a 7% reduction in FTEs, more than offset the anticipated AFL uplift and spectrum charge. The transformation will continue in FY19, targeting further cost reductions in each of the three operating businesses and will deliver a $10-20 million net group cost reduction, including cricket.

“At the same time we have delivered a record-breaking ratings performance in the 2018 calendar year to date, and grown our share across every key demo at the expense of our competitors, resulting in a 12th consecutive financial year at number one.

“The momentum will be driven further by our historic six-year agreement with Cricket Australia that, together with AFL, locks in premium sport all year round. Our cricket deal provides us 400 hours of premium sport across the summer, which we will carry live and free across the screens of 7. We are the first FTA network to have both the BBL and Tests, meaning we can cross-promote and monetise the two most popular forms of the sport like never before.

“Having the number one network, channel and multichannel is particularly advantageous as we are now operating in a growing market. The FTA metro market has delivered its second consecutive half of growth, with the sector benefiting from industry initiatives to promote the effectiveness and ROI that only TV delivers. We expect growth to continue in the 2019 financial year.

“Our production business Seven Studios is a key differentiator between us and our competitors. It delivered another year of strong earnings growth, grew our international market presence and is set to capitalise on the exponential global demand for content and formats.

“The recent successful launch of 7plus was a key milestone in our strategy to take full control of our direct to consumer products. It gives us a fully owned and operated platform to evolve our distribution model and drive greater monetisation of our content. Strategic new content deals are reshaping the acquisition and monetisation of rights and our 2.6 million monthly viewers now have more than 6,000 on-demand episodes to choose from.

“Our publishing assets are outperforming in their respective categories, while undertaking significant restructuring. The results are clear, with Pacific’s EBIT up 170% on last year and The West driving improved trends with a refreshed sales strategy.

“We are executing our strategy at great pace, maintaining our focus on the core to continue to drive a stronger performance in ratings and revenue, while transforming the business to be more lean and agile. Growing our studios business, digital assets and investment portfolio underpins growth across the business.

“We very well placed to meet the challenges, and capitalise on the opportunities, ahead of us, and forecast 2019 EBIT growth of 5%-10%.”

Results

Seven West Media reports a profit after income tax of $142.5 million on total revenue of $1,622.8 million. Profit last year was $166m on revenue of $1,679.4m.

EBITDA of $270.9 million is down from $306.7 million in the prior financial year with EBIT of $235.6 million after $261.4 million in FY18.

Outlook

Looking forward, the group’s strategic goals for the 2019 financial year include:

• Underlying 5%-10% Group EBIT growth
• Continued efforts to deliver and identify new cost savings
• Maintain focus on the core: revenue and ratings
• Targeting >40% summer share in growing market
• Ongoing investment in produced content and digital platforms
• Maximise value from owned content through every window
• Drive greater adoption of 7plus to be clear BVOD market leader
• Invest in verticals where we can leverage our audience and platform of brands

oOh!media’s Brendon Cook expecting approval of Adshel buy soon

After failing to convince the ACCC with its arguments that it should be allowed to take over APN Outdoor last year, oOh!media is working its way through another conversation with the market regulator about the proposed acquisition of Adshel from HT&E.

The ACCC has requested extra information about the deal from oOh!media and the organisation is reviewing that information and any other submissions it may have received.

oOh!media released its half year results this week with revenue jumping 11% with an underlying net profit of $14.9m.

Read more here.

oOh!media and Adshel are expecting some initial response from the ACCC by August 30, just over a week away.

“That date could still change though,” cautioned oOh!media CEO Brendon Cook, speaking to Mediaweek after the release of the out-of-home company’s half year results.

Cook added that after the previous ACCC investigation, “they were able to learn a lot about the market, and they made some comments about it last year.

“We and HT&E, and even JCDecaux and APN Outdoor for that matter, have taken on board those comments. Everyone has presumed, based on those comments and the legal advice we all received, that we think the ACCC will be more amenable to this transaction.

“We won’t second guess what they are doing, but hopefully they will see things the way we and our lawyers see it.”

When asked if they had noticed that any big advertisers had expressed concern about what market consolidation might mean for ad rates. Cook said: “No, we haven’t. To be fair, out-of-home competition hasn’t been reduced by this transaction. People don’t buy out-of-home per se – they buy different products within out-of-home for different reasons. There is competition across company and within formats.

“A large proportion of industry revenues comes from five holding companies who have their own trading desks, which represent a significant portion of the revenue of any media company.

“We have to perform for clients in terms of return on investment.

“The reality is there are significant counter-prevailing conditions that would affect any media company and make it more difficult for any traditional media company to think it could increase rates against performance-based metrics.”

As to any concerns from smaller out-of-home competitors, Cook said: “It is not our position to comment on that. It is up to the ACCC to factor in what is self-interest and what is real.”

Essential Media explores life in space under new owner Kew Media

It has been a big month for Essential Media and Entertainment with the release of the feature documentary Living Universe in cinemas and an accompanying TV series on ABC, Search For Second Earth.

By James Manning

Essential Media CEO Chris Hilton told Mediaweek production on Living Universe started eight years ago.

“I went to Cornell University to meet the space scientist who put the Rover on Mars and I asked him, if he had a show, what would he want it to be. The ideas in Living Universe were his and I have produced it.

“It had a long gestation – five years in financing with partners dropping in and dropping out. It ended up three years in production at a cost of about $7m.”

Hilton said about $1.3m of that went on CGI.

“It is a French-Australian co-production because they managed quite a bit of money for the CGI, which was done in France.”

Clearly proud of the final product, Hilton added: “It turned out pretty awesome.”

The official production credits list it as a co-production between Essential and ZED in France with co-production partner CuriosityStream.com in the US and financed with the assistance of Screen Australia, Create NSW, and Creative Europe – MEDIA Program of the European Union.

It is hoped the production will have wide appeal. “It is pitched at a general audience with the hope kids and parents might go together. It worked well in test screenings.”

Hilton called it “pretty nerdy” with a storyline that covers the search for life on other planets.

“The people in Living Universe are like evangelists. Given there are trillions of stars in the universe it would be impossible that life doesn’t exist on another planet around another star.

“The question our documentary asks is how do we find out given the nearest is 4.5 light years away. Our fastest space craft, Voyager 2, took 40 years to get to Pluto, which means it would take 80,000 years to get to the nearest planet around the nearest star.”

Hilton is a believer that there must be life elsewhere after working on many science films over the years. However, he noted perhaps only be a robot could be sent on an inter-galactic mission.

“That means we have to look after this place even if we do find life on other planets because we won’t be able to get there very easily.”

Living Universe is narrated by Dr Karl Kruszelnicki for Australia, while the four-part Search For Second Earth documentary series launched on ABC last week in a Tuesday timeslot.

This is an excerpt from the full article, which appears on Mediaweek Premium. Read the full article here or subscribe to Mediaweek Premium here.

Editor Lisa Green on celebrating 70 years of Bauer’s House & Garden

Bauer Media has become the biggest publisher of mass homes titles in Australia following the acquisition of Country Style, Inside Out and HomeLife.com.au.

By Kruti Joshi

Apart from this, the publisher has another reason to celebrate. One of its original brands in the homes category, Australian House & Garden, turned 70 earlier this year. Lisa Green has been its editor for 12 years.

“The magazine has changed quite significantly,” she told Mediaweek. “The pace of things has brought about the biggest change. We are now publishing content on multiple platforms.

“When I first started we sat down and mapped out our website.”

However, there are two things that remain unchanged, according to Green. The first is the role of the editor. “We have been mini business managers in a way for a long time. You always have to be across everything that is going on,” Green said.

The second thing that hasn’t changed is the interest and passion that people have about their homes in Australia.

“It hasn’t ever really waned. You do see some correlation in the long term with what is happening in the property market and magazine sales. If you look right back, you can see where the booms and dips have been. It feels more constant now,” Green said. “Even if the property market is a bit wobbly at the moment, it may just be an indication that people are renovating more.

“Either way, the homes magazine market has been stable – certainly for House & Garden.

This is an excerpt from the full article, which appears on Mediaweek Premium. Read the full article here or subscribe to Mediaweek Premium here.

New research from Bauer urges brands to better understand women

Advertisers are failing to keep pace with the evolution of Australian women. There are two emerging codes that are redefining what it is to be a woman in 2018, according to new research from Bauer Media.

Marketers are largely overlooking the semiotic codes called Bold & Brave and Free Agent, which are increasingly representative of contemporary Australian womanhood.

Bauer, in partnership with leading brand strategy agency The Lab, interviewed thought leaders including academics, social commentators and business leaders and carried out semiotic analysis of TV, film, social media and content across a number of categories. The findings were then explored with female consumers aged 18-24 and 34-45.

The Free Agent code recognises the importance of humankind with women participating equally alongside men and being unapologetically themselves. Liberated from self-doubt and cultural norms, women have moved away from being engaged in the struggle to having already won the battle. Realness, honesty and doing things for yourself are celebrated.

Meanwhile, the Bold & Brave code acknowledges the societal change toward protest such as the #metoo movement, but recognises women’s need to take individuals paths to protest. It also demonstrates women as embracing positions of power and authority to achieve positive change.

However, the research shows Australia remains a conservative country when it comes to the representation of women. The other two of the total four semiotic codes reflect this. The Woman’s Touch and Inner Girl are more traditional and dominant in the society, and are being recycled by some Australian brands.

On the back of the research Bauer Media is launching Speak Her Language, a series of content and creative workshops with Story54. The aim of it is to give marketers a deeper understanding of how to connect with the new identities of Australian women by leveraging The Significant Study insights for more effective campaigns.

Story54 GM Jane Waterhouse said: “The Australian woman continues to evolve and yet this is not reflected in how brands are communicating with this important half of the population. This research shows that women now see their status and position in society very differently from even five years ago and it’s crucial that marketers keep up with this change.

“Bauer continues to invest to provide our partners with the latest trends and research on the Australian woman. Ultimately our goal is to help brands have a more progressive representation of Australian women in advertising, to keep pace with what’s happening around the world.”

The Significant Study is the latest finding from Bauer Media’s ongoing Female Futures initiative. Since the launch of the initiative, Bauer brands have campaigned for No Gender Selective Tax and launched The Weekly’s Women of the Future, 10 Million Words corporate promise and digital home Women to Love.

The company also launched a series of content and creative workshops with Story54.

APN Outdoor becomes sole advertising provider for Sydney Airport in landmark deal

The new agreement spans more than five years.

APN Outdoor has extended its existing contract with Sydney Airport in a new landmark deal.

The five-and-a-half-year agreement covers advertising assets across all domestic and international terminals, as well as external billboards approaching and within the Sydney Airport precinct.

The extension of the partnership between APN Outdoor and Sydney Airport will add T3 Domestic terminal to the former’s already existing assets at T1 International terminal and T2 Domestic terminal.

APN Outdoor will take on the rights to T3 on July 1, 2019. This is the first time Sydney Airport has worked with one advertising provider across external billboards and all its terminals. The extension of the T1 and T2 agreement is effective January 1, 2019.

As part of the new agreement, Sydney Airport will upgrade existing advertising assets and develop new assets at T3.

APN Outdoor chief executive officer and managing director James Warburton said: “Sydney Airport is the gateway to Australia and we are very proud to be its advertising partner and delighted to be able to extend and expand our relationship with the airport.

“The addition of T3 to our existing contracts for T1 and T2 creates a fantastic opportunity for Sydney Airport, APN Outdoor, marketers and agencies to create new and innovative marketing campaigns across Australia’s busiest airport.

“We are very excited about the innovation the partnership between Sydney Airport and APN Outdoor will create, including the development of new digital assets and new ways of using airport advertising that will enhance the passenger experience.

“At the same time, we will capitalise on Dn’A – APN Outdoor’s new industry-leading data and analytics capability – to help create more engaging and effective campaigns for advertisers at Sydney Airport, as well as furthering our investment in research to deepen our understanding of airport audiences.”

Sydney Airport general manager for retail Glyn Williams said: “The partnership with APN Outdoor will enable Sydney Airport to deliver a strategic advertising portfolio across the airport precinct, harnessing technology and innovation to enhance the experience for the more than 43 million passengers we serve each year.”

Warburton said APN Outdoor plans to appoint a senior sales lead and other dedicated specialists to work with Sydney Airport.

The expansion and extension of APN Outdoor’s agreement with Sydney Airport follows the addition of Queenstown Airport to the company’s New Zealand airport assets earlier this year and the renewal of its contracts with Christchurch Airport, as well as the Adelaide and Parafield Airports.

Top Photo: Sydney Airport GM for retail Glyn Williams, and APN Outdoor CEO and MD James Warburton

Adshel New Zealand introduces Live Panoramas format

The new ad format will be initially launched in three locations: two in Auckland and one in Wellington.

Adshel New Zealand has expanded of its Immerse portfolio of products with the addition of Adshel Live Panoramas. It combines Adshel’s static Panorama format with the smart digital capability and technology of Adshel Live.

Adshel Immerse will now allow another option for advertisers to wrap an entire bus shelter containing a digital screen and utilising all six creative rotations on that screen exclusively. This is equivalent to advertising a 6×3 billboard at street level.

Adshel sales and marketing director Ben Gibb said: “Our traditional Panorama product has been a popular way of delivering large format impact at street level. In recent years we’ve converted some of our best Adshel Immerse sites to Adshel Live sites. Adshel Live Panoramas will enable advertisers to completely takeover the bus shelter and the digital screen. To combine the impact of a Panorama with the opportunity to engage audiences further across all six creative rotations on our high-definition digital screen is extremely appealing to our clients.”

The format will initially be launched at three high profile sites located on Auckland’s Queen Street and Ponsonby Road, and on Wellington’s Oriental Parade.

Gibb said: “These sites have been selected based on a combination of high pedestrian and vehicle traffic, proximity to key retail, entertainment and recreation districts, transport hubs, restaurants, bars and cafes.”

All Adshel Live Panorama sites feature state of the art 75-inch, ultra-high definition screens capable of 4K content, which adapt to the ambient light conditions. The format will be available from October 1.

With the expansion of the Adshel Live network to 283 screens by October 2018, the Adshel Live network will deliver over 4 million contacts (DTVs) per day.

In addition to Adshel Live Panoramas and the standard Panorama format, Adshel Immerse also encompasses special builds and unique printing techniques that allow advertisers to create a bespoke brand experience, by taking over a bus shelter and bringing creative concepts to life.

This development is part of Adshel’s continued commitment to drive creativity and innovation within the sector and deliver impact at street level.

Box Office: The Meg opens #1, M:I hits $15m, Mamma Mia passes $20m

Four new releases and another in previews flooded the top 10 over the weekend with two of those new releases finding a home in the top five.

By James Manning

The box office again hovered above $10m, but was actually up 7% on the previous weekend.

#1 The Meg $3.40m

 

The fantasy thriller opened on 413 screens with a screen average of $8,243. The movie is another hit that can go on the CV of busy Ruby Rose, who plays Jaxx Herd in the film.

#2 Mission: Impossible – Fallout $1.85m

A third weekend on the chart sees the movie shed 316 screens to 300. Screen average was just over $6,000 with total box office passing $15m.

#3 BlacKkKlansman $1.04m

Spike Lee’s biographical drama just made it over $1m with a screen average of $4,087 from its 255 screens.

#4 Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again $1.0m

A fifth weekend in the top five for the hit musical, which holds on close to 350 screens, returning it a screen average of $2,908 over the weekend as total box office passed $20m.

#5 The Spy Who Dumped Me $724,000

The comedy hovers in the top five for a second weekend with takings down 52% from its opening with 289 screens returning an average of $2,506 per screen.

TV Ratings Analysis: August 21

• News, ACA, The Block and Doctor Doctor steer Nine to big victory
• Day 2 TEN’s Pilot Week: Drunk History pulls best audience so far

By James Manning

The channel had trouble competing after 7.30pm with Dance Boss on 447,000 followed by Gordon Ramsay on 279,000 and then the final Single Wives on 131,000.

Earlier in the night the channel led the 6pm hour with News while Home And Away started its week on 730,000 after an average of 669,000 last week.

Nine

A memorable edition of A Current Affair featured reporter Chris Allen confronting the man accused of murdering Lyn Dawson on a Gold Coast street. The episode did 886,000 after a week 33 average of 754,000.

The Block then kept its number above 1m followed by Doctor Doctor on 684,000 after 665,000 a week ago.

TEN

The Project featured actors Kat Stewart and then Gyton Grantley with 533,000 watching after 7pm.

Survivor then featured a double elimination with Anita the first to go followed by Zach at tribal council at the end of the show. After 651,000 watching on Monday last week the audience last night was 666,000.

Have You Been Paying Attention? hovered close to 750,000 again, which is where it was last week. Tony Martin made his first appearance on the show since his gig doing voiceovers at The Logies.

Drunk History

Pilot Week then continued with Eureka’s Drunk History. It is perhaps a big ask expecting viewers to warm to the unusual format in one go. However, despite the late timeslot, a good lead-in helped the show pull the best audience yet after two nights. There was much to like about the program and watching the hosts was as entertaining as the historical recreations. The numbers for far:

Pilot Week:

• Skit Happens 350,000
• Drunk History 367,000
• Disgrace 229,000

ABC

Australian Story did 591,000 followed by Four Corners on 463,000.

Media Watch then did 459,000.

After 9.30pm Q&A was on 356,000.

SBS

The biggest audience was 304,000 for Inside Windsor Castle.

Week 34 TV: Monday
MONDAY METRO
ABC Seven Nine Ten SBS
ABC 13.0% 7 14.7% 9 22.0% TEN 14.2% SBS One 5.4%
ABC 2 2.4% 7TWO 4.0% GO! 3.5% ONE 4.5% VICELAND 1.0%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 4.8% GEM 2.4% ELEVEN 1.8% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 1.2% 7flix 1.8% 9Life 1.7% NITV 0.2%
TOTAL 17.2% 25.2% 29.5% 20.4% 7.6%

 

MONDAY REGIONAL
ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates Ten Affiliates SBS
ABC 12.6% 7 14.8% 9 19.3% WIN 11.1% SBS One 4.9%
ABC 2 2.8% 7TWO 5.6% GO! 5.1% ONE 4.5% VICELAND 1.2%
ABC ME 0.5% 7mate 5.2% GEM 4.4% ELEVEN 2.0% Food Net 0.9%
ABC NEWS 1.4% 7flix 1.7% 9Life 1.6% NITV 0.4%
TOTAL 17.3% 27.3% 30.4% 17.6% 7.4%

 

MONDAY METRO ALL TV
FTA STV
83.5% 14.5%

 

MONDAY FTA
  1. Seven News Seven 1,073,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 1,036,000
  3. The Block Nine 1,013,000
  4. Nine News Nine 985,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 959,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 886,000
  7. Have You Been Paying Attention? Ten 747,000
  8. ABC News ABC 743,000
  9. Home And Away Seven 730,000
  10. Doctor Doctor Nine 684,000
  11. Australian Survivor Ten 666,000
  12. The Chase Australia Seven 648,000
  13. 7.30 ABC 597,000
  14. Australian Story ABC 591,000
  15. Hot Seat Nine 539,000
  16. The Project 7pm Ten 533,000
  17. Four Corners ABC 463,000
  18. Media Watch ABC 459,000
  19. Dance Boss Seven 447,000
  20. Ten Eyewitness News First At Five Ten 400,000
Demo Top Fives

16-39 Top 5

  1. The Block Nine 282,000
  2. Have You Been Paying Attention? Ten 277,000
  3. Australian Survivor Ten 236,000
  4. The Project 7pm Ten 154,000
  5. Home And Away Seven 151,000

 

18-49 Top 5

  1. The Block Nine 474,000
  2. Have You Been Paying Attention? Ten 430,000
  3. Australian Survivor Ten 352,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 260,000
  5. Nine News Nine 255,000

 

25-54 Top 5

  1. The Block Nine 536,000
  2. Have You Been Paying Attention? Ten 458,000
  3. Australian Survivor Ten 364,000
  4. Nine News Nine 316,000
  5. Nine News 6:30 Nine 311,000
MONDAY Multichannel
  1. NCIS E2 (R) ONE 186,000
  2. The Big Bang Theory TX2 9GO! 186,000
  3. M- Predator-PM 7mate 177,000
  4. Pj Masks-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 177,000
  5. The Big Bang Theory TX1 9GO! 175,000
  6. Peppa Pig-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 172,000
  7. NCIS E3 (R) ONE 170,000
  8. Hey Duggee-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 169,000
  9. Noddy Toyland Detective-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 169,000
  10. Go Jetters-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 165,000
  11. Octonauts ABCKIDS/COMEDY 163,000
  12. NCIS (R) ONE 160,000
  13. Fireman Sam-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 159,000
  14. Death In Paradise 9Gem 159,000
  15. Peppa Pig-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 158,000
  16. The Big Bang Theory TX3 9GO! 157,000
  17. Wanda And The Alien-AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 156,000
  18. Foyle’s War-PM 7TWO 152,000
  19. Little Roy-PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 151,000
  20. Doc Martin-PM 7TWO 147,000
MONDAY Subscription TV
  1. Live: AFL 360 FOX FOOTY 97,000
  2. Paul Murray Live SKY NEWS LIVE 83,000
  3. Live: On The Couch FOX FOOTY 81,000
  4. The Bolt Report SKY NEWS LIVE 66,000
  5. Outsiders SKY NEWS LIVE 62,000
  6. Live: NRL 360 FOX LEAGUE 60,000
  7. Credlin SKY NEWS LIVE 59,000
  8. Live: Big League Wrap FOX LEAGUE 49,000
  9. Criminal Minds TVH!TS 48,000
  10. The Simpsons FOX8 47,000
  11. Family Guy FOX8 47,000
  12. Bones TVH!TS 45,000
  13. Criminal Minds TVH!TS 43,000
  14. Blaze And The Monster Machines Nick Jr. 43,000
  15. Bones TVH!TS 42,000
  16. NCIS TVH!TS 42,000
  17. NCIS TVH!TS 41,000
  18. PML Overtime SKY NEWS LIVE 40,000
  19. Nella The Princess Knight Nick Jr. 39,000
  20. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 39,000

Shares all people, 6pm-midnight, Overnight (Live and AsLive), Audience numbers FTA metro, Sub TV national
Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2018. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM

Media News Roundup

Business of Media

Seven West Media & Prime Media Group agree to increased affiliate fee

Seven West Media and Prime Media Group have announced they have extended their long-standing program supply arrangements.

Prime Media is making an unspecified upfront payment and then paying unspecified increased fees for the five-year period.

The agreement, which is effective from July 1, 2018 and runs for five years, recognises current market terms and reflects Seven’s ongoing investment in content and sporting rights.

Seven West Media’s CEO Tim Worner said: “Our partnership with Prime, which now runs over 30 years, is one that we value tremendously. It delivers great results for both organisations, and ensures millions of viewers in regional and rural Australia can enjoy Seven’s market-leading news, entertainment and sport programming.”

Ian Audsley, CEO of Prime, said: “Seven has made substantial up-front investments in key sports rights and uniquely Australian content to drive audience performance in an increasingly competitive environment. We recognise that these investments form the cornerstone to Prime’s leading position in regional television. Accordingly, we have increased our contribution to these investments and we are delighted to further extend our relationship with Seven.”

REA chief executive Tracey Fellows sells almost all her REA shares

REA CEO Tracey Fellows has sold almost every single one of her REA shares, netting $911,490.06, according to an startling 3Y notice lodged after the ASX closed on Monday, report The AFR’s Myriam Robin and Joe Aston.

The sales took place on Friday, and included all but 12 of her REA shares, worth $1,120.20 at Monday’s close. The company is trading at a hefty price-earnings multiple of 37.

On June 14, REA filed a notice that Fellows had been granted 12 shares as part of that year’s employee share purchase plans, which presumably remain under escrow.

[Read the original]

Entertainment

Overington on Dylan in Sydney: How was he? It’s an impossible question

Bob Dylan tragic, and associate editor of The Australian, Caroline Overington, was at her best reviewing Dylan’s Australian tour:

Bob Dylan played a tiny venue – the Enmore Theatre, in Sydney’s inner west – on Sunday night. When you say that you went, people want to know: how was he?

It’s an impossible question: so much depends on who you are, and why you’re there, and when you last saw him, and who you were then, and how much has changed, and what you’ve come to hear.

Tell friends who are not fellow tragics that you’re going to see Dylan and some will say “But he can’t sing” and it’s all you can do not to look at them like they’re another species. He can sing.

He took the stage at 8pm and sang for two hours, no intermission, one encore.

[Read the original]

Television

Nine’s Farm Aid telethon for drought relief raises over $7.5m

Australians have opened their hearts and their wallets to dig deep for Nine’s Farm Aid Telethon with $7,670,857 raised across the course of the appeal so far, reports the network.

The telethon, which began with a special edition of Today on Monday, featured Nine’s biggest names issuing a rallying call to the nation to offer financial support to those affected by the country’s worst drought in 100 years.

Broadcasting live from the Dubbo Showground in Central West NSW and Warwick in Southeast Queensland, viewers heard firsthand the heartbreaking stories of those doing it tough as a result of the devastating natural disaster that has ravaged much of rural Australia.

Karl Stefanovic and David Campbell

Co-host of Today Karl Stefanovic said: “What a privilege to spend the day with farmers and their families. To hear their stories and to see their struggle has been so humbling. This was an incredible event to be a part of and the response from people right across Australia was awesome. I want to thank every single person who gave their hard-earned dollars to help our farmers. And I want our farmers to know our coverage of this crisis will continue.”

Netflix content acquisition director Lauren Smith at Screen Forever

The acquisitions team behind the entertainment service Netflix will be exclusively presenting at Screen Australia’s Screen Forever 2018 conference.

Netflix is the supporting partner of the event that will be held at Crown Conference Centre in Melbourne, Victoria from November 20 to 22.

Netflix director of content acquisition Lauren Smith will feature in an exclusive fireside chat canvassing how the internet entertainment service works with Australian creators to bring their stories to the world.

With more than 130 million subscribers around the world, Netflix is in a unique position to share insights on global audience behaviour.

Since the service launched in 2015, Netflix invested in Australian acquisitions, co-productions, distribution deals and original productions such as The Letdown, Tidelands, Pine Gap, Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette, Cargo, The New Legends of Monkey, Glitch, Beat Bugs, Bottersnikes & Gumbles, Kazoops, Mako Mermaids: An H20 Adventure and White Rabbit Project.

“Netflix has transformed the playing field for producers, broadcasters and distributors and we welcome the opportunity to deeply engage with the Netflix content team in Australia,” said SPA CEO Matthew Deaner.

Read more at Mediaweek.com.au

Netflix backlash after it trials ads for other content between episodes

Meanwhile some Netflix customers were fuming over the weekend after Netflix unexpectedly made them watch ads for different shows on its service while they were binge watching a TV series, reports news.com.au’s Nick Whigham.

Customers in the UK and Australia also reported being served unwanted trailers.

“Just got it in Australia, too. Not happy. I don’t need ads for content between shows. Checked settings, no way to turn off or opt out, either,” one user said.

Some claimed the ads were unable to be skipped but that is not the case.

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The tech site Ars Technica reported:

Netflix has confirmed a major change to its video-streaming service, effective as of this week for at least some users: video ads for other Netflix series between episodes.

In a statement given to Ars Technica, Netflix described the change as follows: “We are testing whether surfacing recommendations between episodes helps members discover stories they will enjoy faster.” The reasoning, Netflix’s statement says, comes from its last controversial decision: to add auto-playing videos, complete with unmutable audio, while browsing through Netflix content.

Additionally, a Netflix spokesperson clarified to Ars that the term “test” is key. These ads (which the company emphasises will only be for Netflix content, not outside products or content) will, at least for now, appear for a “segment” of Netflix’s user base, as opposed to all users.

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Seven Studios’ Great Southern Television making Jonah Lomu series

The life of New Zealand rugby union player Jonah Lomu will be portrayed in a blue-chip television miniseries to be produced by Seven Studios’ Great Southern Television.

The NZ-based indie won the $6 million commission for local broadcaster Three via funding from the government agency NZ On Air. The series will consist of two 90-minute episodes set to air in 2019.

Lomu is widely credited with forcing rugby into the professional era. His dominating performance at the 1995 World Cup mesmerised global audiences and caught the attention of Rupert Murdoch who, seeing the code’s potential, quickly negotiated a game-changing deal with SANZAR for Super Rugby.

Diagnosed with a life-shortening and life-threatening disease at a young age, Lomu beat the odds and went on to dominate one of the toughest physical sports in the world.

MediaWorks chief content officer Andrew Szusterman said, “What Ali was to boxing, Lomu is to rugby. There has never been, and most likely never will be, a bigger name in our national game.”

Read more at Mediaweek.com.au

Sports Media

Damien Fleming and Simon Katich first members of SEN’s cricket team

Damien Fleming and Simon Katich have been announced as the first two members of 1116 SEN’s commentary team for the upcoming 2018-19 season of the cricket.

The station has labelled its commentary team as SEN XI. More members of the team will be announced throughout the week.

Acclaimed broadcaster and 1116 SEN’s chief caller Gerard Whateley will spearhead the ball-by-ball action from the commentary box alongside Anthony Hudson, who has just recommitted to 1116 SEN on a new multiyear deal.

Fleming and Katich will provide their expert insights beginning on December 6 when the Aussies take on India in the First Test at the Adelaide Oval.

1116 SEN chief commercial officer and general manager Sam Bingley said: “Over the course of this week, we’re excited to name our SEN XI – the talented commentary team that will lead our summer of cricket coverage across both Test and Big Bash.”

Read more at Mediaweek.com.au

Analysing the decline of The AFL Footy Show: The day Garry Lyon left?

Ask Channel 9 insiders the date that changed the course of The AFL Footy Show and they will nominate Saturday February 13, 2016, reports News Corp’s Colin Vickery.

That is when the network released a statement saying that Garry Lyon was stepping away from the program.

The former Demons champion had been co-hosting The Footy Show with James Brayshaw along with Sam Newman since 2006 and it was still rating strongly – but that disintegrated in a blink.

Any television program that has lasted more than 700 episodes and 24 years deserves to be celebrated.

Last week Lyon said on radio that The Footy Show is “probably coming towards its swansong”.

“Let’s not rewrite history, this was the biggest show in town for 20-odd years,” Lyon said. “There’s a new boy on the block (The Front Bar) and good on them.”

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Waleed Aly joins other media people looking at new rules for AFL

The AFL has consulted TV presenter Waleed Aly as part of its investigation of the state of the game, reports News Corp’s Jay Clark.

A host of Channel 10’s The Project, Aly joins the company of former football greats and commentators on the game who have been sounded out about potential new rules.

Those to have met league footy boss Steve Hocking and his team about the proposed changes include broadcaster Gerard Whateley, Brownlow medallist Gerard Healy, former Herald Sun football writer Mike Sheahan and AFL legend Malcolm Blight.

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Seven puts Swans v Hawks AFL clash on primary channel in Sydney

Seven has announced it will broadcast the Sydney Swans v Hawthorn match this Saturday live on its primary channel into Sydney from 7pm AEST. The pre-show will start on 7mate at 6.30pm.

If the Swans beat the Hawks, they are guaranteed a top four finish and the double chance in the finals.

The Swans could finish as high as second and score a home final, although that would require a big win for the Swans, the Eagles to lose by a huge margin, as well as a Collingwood loss.

The Hawks will also finish in the top four should they win, and could snare a top two spot should they win and the Eagles result falls their way.

Birdsville Races secure Sky Racing slot as UBET sponsors 2-day meet

The Birdsville Races and UBET have announced a partnership that sees UBET become the exclusive naming rights sponsor for the 2018 Birdsville Cup.

The 1,600m UBET Birdsville Cup, billed by many as the Melbourne Cup of the Outback, is the pinnacle event of Birdsville’s two-day 13-race program, attracting a stellar field of trainers, jockeys and thoroughbreds from across the nation.

UBET’s new sponsorship sees prize money for the 136th Birdsville Cup increase to $40,000, making it the largest prize-purse in the event’s history.

In another first, punters across Australia will be able to watch all of the action from the Birdsville Races live thanks to a national telecast deal with Sky Racing 2.

The new deal will see the Birdsville Races’ entire 13-race lineup telecast into homes across Australia, with half of the wagering proceeds set to be donated to the Drought Appeal to help Queensland farmers doing it tough.

The Birdsville Races are held on August 31 and September 1.

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