Monday February 4, 2019

SMI 2018: Agency market reports sixth year of record ad spend

• New heights reached in CY2018 despite tough Q4

Australia’s media agency market has maintained its unblemished record of market growth, delivering its sixth consecutive year of higher advertising expenditure in CY2018 with the total lifting 1.9% to a new record of $7.02 billion, reports SMI.

Most of the growth was concentrated in the first half of the year (+5.5% to $3.5bn) with bookings for the six months to December more subdued (-0.4%) as the large categories of Domestic Banks, Insurance and Food/Produce/Dairy significantly reduced their media investment.

The CY2018 year featured many notable milestones, including:

• Outdoor overtaking Digital media to emerge as the fastest growing media for the first time, which in turn grew its share of Agency spending to 13.7%
• Digital media breaking through $2bn in agency ad spend for the first time
• Radio media reporting its sixth consecutive year of record ad spend
• Record levels of annual ad spend for the categories of Retail, Automotive Brand, Gambling, Domestic Banks, Other Financial Services, Travel and Pharmaceuticals

The year ended with a softer month in December (demand -4.8%), although there was continued improvement in Metropolitan Press with total spend back just 1.1%.

While total TV bookings for December were back 8.6%, each of the Seven, Prime and Foxtel businesses reported hugely positive results off the back of the new cricket broadcasts.

Total bookings for the fourth quarter are back 3.3% mostly due to large declines in ad spend from the Domestic Banks (-23.4%), Food/Produce/Dairy (-15.6%) and Restaurants (-13.4%) categories.

SMI AU/NZ managing director Jane Ractliffe said the fact the agency market had hit yet another record level of ad spend again proved the ongoing strength of the industry and its ability to evolve to meet advertiser and market needs.

“We’ve seen agencies spending more on Metropolitan TV for the third year in a row while also branching into new media services such as Podcasting and Digital Outdoor as clients continue to test new services to gain the best value from their advertising investment,” she said.

Ractliffe added the year was also notable for a significant change in growth drivers within the Digital media, with Search and Social Media bookings delivering the highest growth.

“The Search media returned to very strong growth in 2018 after a more subdued 2017 while Social Media maintained strong double-digit growth across both years,” she said.

“But the biggest change was the large slowdown in growth in Programmatic bookings, as in 2017 that market had grown by $174.3 million but in 2018 the increase is a far reduced $19.4 million and as a result Programmatic’s share of total Digital bookings fell across all time periods.”

More detail on the CY2018 and December 2018 ad spend trends across Major Media is shown below:

Dancing With The Stars judges revealed two weeks ahead of launch

International dance heavyweights Craig Revel Horwood, Sharna Burgess and Tristan MacManus have been revealed as the judges on Network 10’s Dancing With The Stars which in two weeks on February 18.

The 11 celebrities will be performing for judges Craig, hailed as the tough judge on Strictly Come Dancing UK, and two Dancing With The Stars US alumni – Sharna and Tristan.

Craig Revel Horwood

Born in Victoria, Craig is a British based choreographer and theatre director. A member of the original Strictly Come Dancing judging panel in the UK every season since its inception in 2004, he knows when a star has or doesn’t have the goods and isn’t afraid to tell them.

Craig said: “I can’t wait to come back home down under and give the Aussie stars the real, unfiltered Craig treatment. I will be watching every move, there is no hiding bad technique or poor posture on my watch. I expect nothing less than perfection. And while these celebrities might be famous in their own right, the dance floor is my domain so they better be ready to rumba.”

Sharna Burgess

Sharna’s resume is something worth high kicking about. A Wagga Wagga girl done good, she has competed as a professional dancer in no less than 12 seasons of the American version of Dancing With The Stars. That’s a whole lotta routines! She most recently took home the disco ball trophy in the 2018 season with radio host Bobby Bones.

Sharna said: “Having been a pro on America’s Dancing With The Stars for the last 12 seasons, I am so excited to be coming home to bring my knowledge and passion from the US to this stellar line up of Aussie talent. I can’t wait to see what these amazing dancers have in store for us all.”

Tristan MacManus

Rounding out the judging panel is Tristan MacManus. This handsome Irishman has partnered with Pamela Anderson and Gladys Knight on the American version of Dancing With The Stars. Tristan just so happens to be married to an Aussie so that basically makes him one of us.

Tristan, on whether he will be awarding perfect scores to any of the celebrities, said: “I can see myself giving a 10 but I’m not going to trot them out willy nilly. I like to think I’ll give one when it’s due and necessary if I gave someone a 10 one week, I’d easily give them a five the following week just to pull them back down if that’s what they needed! “

Dancing With The Stars premieres live on Monday, February 18 at 7.30pm on 10 and WIN Network.

Dancing With The Stars is produced by Warner Bros. International Television Production Australia and BBC Studios, from a format created by the BBC and distributed by BBC Studios.

MTV Australia reveals hosts of TRL Australia launching in March

MTV Australia has announced radio hosts Ash London and Angus O’Loughlin as the hosts of the brand-new Australian version of MTV TRL, which will premiere Friday, March 8 at 6:00pm AEDT on MTV on Foxtel, Foxtel Now and Fetch with new one-hour episodes premiering every Friday at 6pm.

The best friends and HIT Network veterans will be joined by MTV presenter and resident DJ Flex Mami and presenter and MTV.com.au editor Lisa Hamilton, who will bring their combined music and entertainment experience to the completely re-imagined MTV franchise for Australian and New Zealand audiences.

Each episode of MTV TRL will be where music, celebrity, pop culture and superstar content creators collide live in front of a live studio audience at MTV HQ in Sydney each week. With Ash and Angus at the helm, TRL will feature performances from some of the biggest local and international musicians in the world, interviews with celebrities, the latest entertainment news, music video premieres and more.

Ash London said: “I grew up on a solid diet of MTV, memorising Britney moves and dreaming that one day I’d be part of that world. Music is my number one passion and as soon as I heard that TRL was coming to Australia I knew I wanted to be part of it. Hosting it with Angus is a bonus…we once got married in Vegas so I feel like hosting a show together on MTV is the natural next step”.

“I can now tell all my mates the hours I’ve spent watching Ex On The Beach on a Sunday afternoon were for “research”. So stoked to be joining the MTV family alongside my bestie Ash London! We’ve already started talking about how these live music shows will be like nothing ever done in Australia before. I just can’t wait to begin,” said Angus O’Loughlin.

Simon Bates, vice president and head of MTV Asia Pacific said, “We are thrilled to welcome Ash and Angus to the MTV family alongside Flex and Lisa. Their combined wealth of talent, knowledge, experience and energy will bring a distinctly local flavour to this brand new Australian version of an iconic MTV franchise.”

The brand-new Australian MTV TRL is the first international version of the iconic franchise to launch since its return to MTV US in 2017. MTV Australia first introduced audiences to TRL when a local version aired from 2004 to 2006 and hosts included Kyle Sandilands, Maz Compton, Jason Dundas, Nathan Sapsford and Lyndsey Rodriguez.

Sports week: Women’s sport rates well + Kayo, Macquarie Sports

Just one week after both Seven and Fox Sports enjoyed big ratings for the final of the WBBL, the two broadcasters have again scored strong audiences for the launch of the AFL Women’s competition.

By James Manning

Women’s sport a TV highlight for second successive weekend

Seven’s numbers for the first AFLW game early on Saturday evening were 375,000 watching across metro and regional markets. The metro audience for the game between Collingwood and the new Geelong team was 271,000.

A second game in the evening between the Adelaide Crows and the Bulldogs did 256,000 national with 183,000 metro.

The Fox Footy audience for its first live clashes of 2019 were just over 50,000 for each match.

Gridiron played Sydney Harbour ahead of Super Bowl LIII

To celebrate Super Bowl LIII streaming on ESPN via Kayo Sports, Foxtel and its PR team went to extraordinary lengths just one day before the Super Bowl to promote its coverage of the match.

Gridiron was played on a giant barge on Sydney Harbour for the first time, featuring Aussie sports stars including All-Pro Australian punter, Michael Dickson, after a breakout debut NFL season with the Seattle Seahawks.

Surrounded by Sydney’s most iconic landmarks, the NFL’s rising star was joined by Adelaide Crows’ key forward, Josh Jenkins, BBL|08 leading run scorer, D’Arcy Short, Waratahs’ fly half Bernard Foley, Rabbitohs’ centre Dane Gagai, Broncos’ playmaker Kodi Nikorima, plus former NFL defensive tackle, Colin Scotts.

Local players from the Northern Sydney Rebels played a game of gridiron on the massive 55-metre-long barge before the Aussie stars joined them to celebrate Monday’s big game.

Kayo subscribers will have front row seats to the biggest day in American sport – streaming all the action anywhere in Australia via iOS and Android devices, laptop, PC and on TV with Telstra TV, Apple TV and Chromecast Ultra. If fans sign up by Monday February 4 they’ll be able to take advantage of the last day of Kayo’s five dollar sign up.

Kayo’s game-changing features SplitView and picture in picture will be the go-to functions for many users. SplitView allows Kayo subscribers the ability to watch up to four different videos, games or shows on web, tablet devices and selected casting to TVs – and two videos simultaneously on mobile, all on the one screen. This means fans can watch Super Bowl LIII along with the fourth day of the Australia v Sri Lanka Domain Second Test.

Macquarie Sports Radio taking listeners to Cricket World Cup

Macquarie Sports Radio wants to continue to be the number one dedicated commercial radio station for cricket fans after reaching an agreement to broadcast the ICC Cricket World Cup starting on May 30 this year.

In conjunction with Channel 2 and Sports Flashes, Macquarie Sports Radio will deliver all of Australia’s nine matches and the finals to listeners across Australia plus provide access for all 48 matches online at sportsradio.com.au

England and Wales will stage the tournament, which is the third most watched global event and will this year consist of 10 nations all vying for the cup, currently held by Australia.

Former Australian coach and now Macquarie Sports Radio commentator Darren Lehmann said: “There’s no bigger stage than the ICC Cricket World Cup and for us at Macquarie Sports Radio to be able to bring it to the listeners is going to be a real buzz.

“The way Australia finished this summer and given the return of some quality players ahead of the tournament, I give the Aussies a really good chance of defending the title,” Lehmann added.

Australia’s campaign begins on Saturday, June 1 against Afghanistan with other matches scheduled against West Indies, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, England, New Zealand and South Africa.

Macquarie Media CEO Adam Lang said: “The ICC Cricket World Cup will see the world’s best competing against each other and we are delighted to have secured the rights. Following on from an outstanding summer, we are determined to keep fulfilling the credo of covering all sports all the time”.

Macquarie Sports Radio, via Sports Flashes, will also broadcast Australia’s Tour of India, which will include two T20s and five One Day Internationals starting on February 24.

Victory CEO “shocked” and “concerned” by A-League TV audiences

Melbourne Victory CEO Trent Jacobs admits he was “shocked” by the poor TV ratings from their Australia Day clash against Sydney FC, 1116 SEN reported last week.

The Big Blue encounter on Saturday night attracted just 31,000 Fox Sports viewers and Jacobs believes the poor numbers can be put down to a couple of reasons.

“I was a bit shocked if I’m honest and it hasn’t been consistent with our games throughout the year,” Jacobs told SEN’s Gerard Whateley.

“A lot of the sporting broadcast and attendance numbers are down, so we’re very pleased that we’re holding strong.”

Jacobs says FFA and A-League chiefs are working together to try and arrest the league-wide ratings slide.

“Year-on-year they’re down now,” he added.

“It is an issue and as I mentioned it’s an issue for a number of codes. It’s certainly something that is being discussed in CEO meetings and no doubt trying to be addressed in a number of different ways.”

[Read the original]

The Weekly goes to the movies: Bauer invests in Helen Reddy biopic

• Could this be the next Bohemian Rhapsody? Bauer invests in Goalpost Pictures project

As part of Bauer Media’s commitment to drive a more equal Female Future, The Australian Women’s Weekly has invested in its first feature film I Am Woman that tells the remarkable story of Australian singer Helen Reddy who became an icon of the 1970’s feminist movement.

Named after Reddy’s US number one hit, this major new Australian film, which is currently in production, is being produced by Goalpost Pictures founding partner Rosemary Blight whose film credits include box office smash The Sapphires, the internationally acclaimed television series Cleverman and the upcoming film Top End Wedding, which just had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in the US.

The Weekly’s financial investment in the film represents a further commitment to telling stories about inspirational Australian women across media channels and is backed by research from readers who want to learn more about the extraordinary life of Helen Reddy.

Nicole Byers, editor-in-chief of The Australian Women’s Weekly said: “From being broke just weeks after landing in New York in 1968 to becoming the first Australian to win a Grammy Award, Helen’s story of adversity and triumph is nothing short of inspirational. The Weekly has been telling stories of iconic Australian women for more than 80 years and we’re delighted to be supporting the film production of I Am Woman for people here and around the world to learn more about the achievements of this remarkable and hugely influential woman.”

The Weekly will be supporting the film and its launch, due in 2019/2020, with specially produced content across all its platforms, including a full feature on Reddy and behind the scenes interviews with I Am Woman’s cast and crew.

Australian Tilda Cobham Hervey who won acclaim for her role in indie hit 52 Tuesdays and is soon to star alongside Dev Patel in thriller Hotel Mumbai will play Helen. Fellow Aussie Danielle Macdonald who starred in Sundance hit Pati Cake$ and Netflix’s Bird Box and Dumplin alongside Jennifer Aniston will play Lillian Roxon, the Australian journalist and author who Reddy credited with her first awareness of the women’s movement and provided much of the impetus for I Am Woman.   Evan Peters, star of American Animals and American Horror Story also stars as Helen’s husband and manager Jeff Wald. South Korean born and Australian raised Unjoo Moon (Zen of Bennett) is directing the film and Academy-Award winning Australian cinematographer Dion Beebe is the director of photography.

Born in Melbourne to a show business family, Reddy won a talent contest on TV programme Bandstand with a prize of a trip to New York to audition for a record contract. The audition did not eventuate but, undaunted, she continued to pursue her dream and within five years was one of the biggest stars of her time. She had three US number one hits including her signature hit I Am Woman which became an anthem for the new wave feminist movement which took hold around the world in the 1970s. She was the first Australian to host her own one-hour weekly primetime variety show on an American network, along with several specials seen in over forty countries. Reddy was recently award an Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s G’Day USA Gala in Los Angeles.

Top Photo: Director Unjoo Moon, Helen Reddy and Tilda Cobham Hervey

KIIS launches $5m frenzy: Big money being used to lure radio listeners

With the start of radio survey two weeks ago, commercial radio stations around Australia are offering listeners the chance to win big money.

To help get mileage out of the promotional activity, most of the $1m+ cash prizes on offer are competitions offered across two or more network stations.

In the Sydney market Triple M and Nova 96.9 were both touting prizes of $1m to their audiences. Triple M wanted to make theirs the biggest, so breakfast hosts Lawrence Mooney and Gus Worland upped their prize money to $1,000,010 this week.

However both Triple M and Nova, plus WSFM with its Million Dollar Bribe, have been blown out of the water by the Sydney and Melbourne KIIS FM stations to have dug deep to find a $5m cash prize. And all that amount goes to one lucky winner.

This is believed to be the biggest cash prize ever offered in Australia by anybody.

On-air opportunities to win in KIIS’ 5 Million Dollar Free Money Frenzy Giveaway are from at 8am each morning on Sydney’s The Kyle & Jackie O Show or Melbourne’s Jase & PJ Breakfast Show, from 9am – 3pm at both stations and during the Will & Woody drive show from 4pm.

Derek Bargwanna, head of content at KIIS Sydney and Melbourne said: “KIIS is always delivering the biggest and best radio content in Australia, but we’ve never done anything this big! Five million dollars cash would be absolutely life-changing, and we’re so excited to be able to offer our listeners the chance to win and make Aussie radio history in the process.”

Show me the money – radio cash on offer

• KIIS Sydney and Melbourne $5m
• Triple M Millionaire Listener $1m (+ extra $10 in Sydney)
• WSFM Jonesy & Amanda’s Million Dollar Bribe
• Nova Network’s Million Dollar Greatest Hit
• 3AW, 2GB, 4BC, 6PR $150,000 Bill Buster
• Gold 104.3 Melbourne $50,000 Pay Your Bills
• Hit Network $50,000 Secret Sound
• smoothfm Sydney and Melbourne Smooth Stars $50,000
• Nova Network Smallzy’s Cash Call $1,000

SLR Productions announce new animated coproduction Space Nova

• Production partners Super TRL, ABC ME, Nine, Giggle Garage, Screen Australia, Create NSW, ZDF Enterprises & ACTF

SLR Productions has announced production on the original CGI animated series, Space Nova for Super RTL, ABC ME and Nine Network. The series received major production funding from Screen Australia and is financed with support from Create NSW.

With development funding from Super RTL, ABC ME and the Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF), Space Nova will be co-produced with Giggle Garage in Malaysia.

The series will be distributed worldwide by ZDF Enterprises, excluding Australia and New Zealand, which is being handled by ACTF.

An original series created by SLR Productions, Space Nova comprises 26 x 24 minute episodes specifically geared to a global six to ten year old audience.

It’s 2162 and life is a blast for space adventurer siblings, Jet and Adelaide Nova. After all, what tween wouldn’t want to divide their days between living on an international space station and accompanying their parents on awesome interstellar missions!

Of course it’s not all asteroid chases and exploding star systems. Jet and Adelaide also have to attend school, do homework (though their chores aren’t always so typical, like recharging the family robot and scrubbing their starships hull!). Still, on weekends this Aussie astronaut family have their own unique way of unwinding, with Jet and Adelaide heading off with parents Hugo and Josie on mind blowing adventures to navigate unexplored planets, surf solar flares, hop between rogue stars and occasionally even discover previously unknown life forms.

Space Nova is an exciting and captivating space adventure which follows the Nova family’s search for alien life throughout the universe. This is a great collaboration between esteemed partners Super RTL, ABC ME, Nine Network, Giggle Garage, Screen Australia, Create NSW, ZDF Enterprises and Australian Children’s Television Foundation. I am thrilled to launch into space and bring this incredible show to life,” said SLR Productions’ CEO and executive producer Suzanne Ryan.

“The exploration of space is an ancient dream of mankind and offers material for exciting and imaginative stories. We are thrilled by the adventures of the Nova family and happy to be on board together with this fantastic team. We are delighted to continue our long-standing excellent and creative collaboration with SLR Productions,” said Super RTL head of editorial department fiction, Kerstin Viehbach.

“ABC ME is excited to be part of the new sci-fi animated adventure series, SPACE NOVA – a dynamic series full of action, comedy and all things space! We can’t wait to follow this amazing Australian astronaut family on their daring space missions, and discover all the incredible mysteries they unravel along the way. Our audience’s love of adventure and fascination with all things space-related is sure to make this series an unmissable and unique offering for them to enjoy,” said ABC Children’s executive producer, Amanda Isdale.

“Suzanne and the team at SLR Productions have a proven track record of delivering us entertaining and age appropriate content so we can’t wait for Space Nova. Packed with action and comedy, Space Nova promises a space adventure that our kids audience is sure to love,” said Nine Network co-head of drama, Jo Rooney.

Head of content at Screen Australia Sally Caplan said: “There is much to like about the sci-fi astro-world of Space Nova. The characters are inspiring and intelligent, the adventures are fun and educational and have scientific research and exploration at their core. Executive producer Suzanne Ryan and the SLR team, creative director Jo Boag, head of development Melanie Alexander are an experienced team at the top of their game and I look forward to seeing this series that is distinctly Australian and reflective of our multicultural society find an audience here and around the world.”

Juhaidah Joemin, managing director of Giggle Garage and executive producer of the series added that, “It is an exciting moment for Giggle Garage to launch our partnership with SLR Productions on this beautiful property. This is truly a global collaboration involving public and private partners from Australia, Malaysia and Europe; we are thrilled to be the co-producer and having our Kuala Lumpur studio as the main production studio for Space Nova.”

“To launch into space was a childhood dream for me and I am sure that children all over the world will be fascinated by our new series,” said ZDFE.junior VP, Arne Lohmann.

Production credits: Space Nova is a SLR production for Super RTL, ABC ME and the Nine Network. Major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Giggle Garage. Financed with support from Create NSW.

ARIA Charts: First time since Oct 22 a soundtrack hasn’t been #1

• Singles: Hottest 100 helps Travis Scott & Drake to #6 after 26 weeks
• Albums: First time since Oct 22 a soundtrack hasn’t topped the chart

By James Manning

Singles

Ariana Grande and her single 7 Rings are sitting at #1 for a second week.

Triple j is the disruptor in the top 10 this week.

The tune that topped the Hottest 100 last weekend – Confidence from Ocean Alley – has jumped all the way from #93 a week ago to #9 this week after just two weeks on the chart. The Sydney band had four songs voted into the 100 with Knees (#10), their cover of Player’s Baby Come Back (#16) and Happy Sad (#100).

The only other notable movement near the top of the chart can also be traced back to the ABC music station. After hovering on the chart for 26 weeks, the tune triple j listeners voted #3 – Sicko Mode from Travis Scott and Drake, has shot into the top 10 at #6 after sitting at #12 a week ago. The song has now been charting for six months.

The highest new entry this week is Middle Child from J. Cole. It is the first new entry on the chart since the US rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer shook up the charts last April with a #1 album (KOD) and five tracks from the album in the singles chart in that same month.

There were two other chart debuts inside the top 50:

#35 Fisher with Losing It. The surfer-turned-DJ was #2 on Hottest 100.
#47 Lauv & Troye Sivan with I’m So Tired. Dubbed a “coffee break anthem”, this is Lauv’s first release since There’s No Way in 2018 with his now ex-girlfriend Julia Michaels.

Albums

With Bohemian Rhapsody giving up top spot this week it means it is the first time since October 22, 2018 that a soundtrack has not been #1. The last artist to occupy top spot before A Star Is Born and then the Queen biopic started their chart domination was Paul Kelly with his album Nature.

We certainly haven’t seen the soundtracks heading for the exit though – A Star Is Born remains at #2 this week after 17 weeks on the chart while Bohemian Rhapsody sits at #3 after 15 weeks on the chart. (Queen can still boast three albums in the top 10 too.)

The Greatest Showman soundtrack is still fixed inside the top 10 at #6 after a lazy 60 weeks on the chart.

The new chart topper is Bring Me The Horizon with AMO, which is the British rock band’s fourth consecutive #1 album.

A second new entry in the top 10 this week is Backstreet Boys with their new album DNA, which returns them to near the top of the chart for the first since 2005 when Never Gone peaked at #6. The album is set to give the band their first US #1 in 18 years.

Ocean Alley has also got a boost on the album chart from the Hottest 100 with their second album Chiaroscuro re-entering at a new peak of #11 for its 20th week on the chart after a previous best of #15.

Keith Urban’s Australian tour has helped his Graffiti U album return to the top 10 at #8 after it peaked at #2 upon release.

Five other albums made debuts inside the top 50:

#23 Bethel Music with Victory
#27 Mirusia with A Salute To The Seekers. Album from the Australian-Dutch soprano who has worked with André Rieu.
#41 Rudimental with Toast To Our Differences
#43 Julia Michaels with Inner Monologue Part 1
#49 Weezer with Weezer (Teal album). The band’s 12th album and fifth self-titled release.

Top 10 Game Charts: Resident Evil 2 remake debuts at #1

Ever since video games went “high definition” there’s been a trend to bring back older games with a fresh coat of paint, either to try and find a whole new audience or to allow veteran players to relive classic games on modern technology.

As you might imagine, these re-releases range from quick and dirty ports that simply bump up a game’s resolution, through to carefully considered remakes built from the ground up.

The game at the top of this week’s charts – Resident Evil 2: Remake – very much falls into the latter category. It’s a wonderful new interpretation of the seminal 1998 survival horror title for the original PlayStation. It takes a game that’s a bona fide classic and fondly remembered – but mechanically antiquated by today’s standards – and makes a number of important improvements while remaining true to the setting, story and vision of the original.

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, meanwhile, which is less a remake and more a straight re-release – part of Nintendo’s policy to capitalise on its Wii U catalogue on its far more successful Switch system – continues to sell. It’s a good game (although not in the same league as Super Mario Odyssey) and so it’s cool to see it get some love, seven years on from initial release.

Nintendo has a number of other titles in the top 10, which isn’t at all surprising, and indeed, aside from South Park, the rest of the top 10 is very much comprised of the usual suspects. It’s shame that Ace Combat 7 is nowhere to be seen this week, however, after its strong #2 debut in the last charts.

 

TV Ratings Week 5: Nine wins third consecutive week

The Nine Network is on a roll with one more week of summer survey left to run.

The Network has now won the last three weeks after Seven started the year winning the first fortnight.

The Australian Open tennis first pushed Nine to the top and now Married At First Sight has helped it win the fifth ratings week of the year.

Nine’s primary share finished 3.5 ahead of Seven and Nine managed to double 10’s all people primary share.

Nine was also a clear leader in combined channel share, 2.6 ahead of Seven.

Week five was Nine’s lowest winning primary share, but it was higher than Seven’s winning primary shares in weeks 1 and 2.

Week 5 channel shares (combined share in brackets)

ABC 11.5%
• Kids/Comedy 2.7% ABCME 0.7% ABCNews 1.5% (Total 16.4%)

Seven 19.3%
• 7TWO 3.4% 7mate 3.2% 7flix 1.8% 7food 0.8% (Total 28.5%)

Nine 22.8%
• GO! 3.8% Gem 2.4% 9Life 2.1% (Total 31.1%)

10 11.3%
• 10Bold 3.2% 10Peach 2.4% (Total 17.0%)

SBS 4.7%
• Viceland 1.2% Food 1.0% NITV 0.2% (Total 7.0%)

#1 show of Week 5

The biggest audience of the week, and the year so far, was Nine’s Australian Open Men’s Final with 1.589m. The regional audience of 512,000 took the national crowd to 2.101m.

Biggest News audience Week 5

Seven News M-F
• 6pm 1.478m (Metro 964,000 Regional 514,000)
• 6.30pm 1.416m (Metro 916,000 Regional 514,000)

Biggest Entertainment audience Week 5

Married At First Sight (Nine) Wednesday
• 1.361m (Metro 1.029m Regional 332,000) episodes did over 1m metro, with the other two not far behind on 999,000 and 954.

Seven’s best in Week 5

My Kitchen Rules (Monday) with 819,000 metro.

TV Ratings Analysis: February 3

• Nine Network heading for fourth consecutive weekly win?
• Married again over 1m, 60 Minutes returns close to 900,000
• Best of the rest: MKR, I’m A Celebrity, ABC’s drama The Cry

Week 6 2019 – Summer schedule – Sunday

By James Manning

FTA early evening TV news

• Seven News 1,054,000
• Nine News 881,000
• ABC News 689,000
• 10 News First 282,000
• SBS World News 147,000

Sunday Breakfast/Morning TV

• Insiders 354,000 (On ABC and ABC News)
• Sunrise 254,000
• Today 199,000
• Offsiders 128,000

Week 6 Reality Battle

Married At First Sight
• Sunday 1,088,000

My Kitchen Rules
• Sunday 808,000

I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here
• Sunday 591,000/662,000

Seven

After a Sunday news bulletin of 1.05m, the first episode of My Kitchen Rules for the week did 808,000, close to where the series was trading in its launch week.

Seven then had a late Big Bash League match from Perth between Perth Scorchers and Melbourne Stars. The first session was on 353,000 with the second on 262,000.

Earlier in the day Seven’s coverage of the third day of the second Test between Australia and Sri Lanka saw 327,000 watching the morning session. After lunch its cricket crowd lifted to 491,000 with 613,000 watching after the tea break.

Nine

Nine’s Sunday 6pm National Nine News was on 881,000 but then the audience lifted just over 200,000 for the first Sunday episode of Married At First Sight for season 6.

60 Minutes then returned to the schedule for the start of a new year with a strong 880,000 watching reporter Allison Langdon with Bernard Tomic plus reports from Liam Bartlett and Ross Greenwood.

10

Courtney Act was a welcome addition to the panel on the Sunday edition of The Project. The audience after 7pm was 358,000.

With just a fortnight left to run, I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! had 591,000 watching the episode. That later grew to 662,000 for the elimination of Jacqui Lambie.

Two episodes of NCIS followed with 388,000 watching a new episode and then 218,000 staying on for the repeat.

ABC

The Renegade Films documentary Aftermath: Beyond Black Saturday did 468,000. It was a great piece of TV and deserved a bigger audience, which hopefully it will get via iview.

The first episode of the new UK drama filmed partly in Australia, The Cry, launched with 574,000. All episodes are now available on iview.

SBS

The primary channel managed to find an audience of 150,000 for its two-hour doco Sinkholes: Deadly Drops.

Week 5 TV: Friday-Sunday
FRIDAY METRO
ABCSevenNine10SBS
ABC12.8%721.7%916.4%10 9.6%SBS One6.1%
ABC 23.6%7TWO3.3%GO!3.7%10 Bold3.8%VICELAND1.9%
ABC ME0.7%7mate3.4%GEM3.1%10 Peach2.5%Food Net1.0%
ABC NEWS1.8%7flix1.3%9Life2.6%  NITV0.3%
  7Food0.5%      
TOTAL18.9% 30.2% 25.7% 15.8% 9.3%
SATURDAY METRO
ABCSevenNine10SBS
ABC16.5%720.8%913.0%10 7.2%SBS One5.1%
ABC 23.6%7TWO4.1%GO!5.0%10 Bold2.3%VICELAND1.3%
ABC ME0.7%7mate4.2%GEM2.7%10 Peach3.0%Food Net1.2%
ABC NEWS1.8%7flix3.3%9Life3.0%  NITV0.2%
  7Food0.8%      
TOTAL22.7% 33.3% 23.7% 12.5% 7.8%
SUNDAY METRO
ABCSevenNine10SBS
ABC11.5%720.6%925.9%10 11.9%SBS One4.2%
ABC 23.0%7TWO2.0%GO!4.2%10 Bold1.6%VICELAND0.5%
ABC ME0.4%7mate3.3%GEM2.6%10 Peach1.7%Food Net1.1%
ABC NEWS1.2%7flix1.3%9Life2.4%  NITV0.1%
  7Food0.7%      
TOTAL16.1% 27.8% 35.1% 15.2% 5.8%
SUNDAY REGIONAL
ABCSeven AffiliatesNine Affiliates10 AffiliatesSBS
ABC11.1%720.9%920.3%WIN12.1%SBS One4.2%
ABC 24.0%7TWO3.0%GO!4.5%WIN Bold1.6%VICELAND0.5%
ABC ME1.1%7mate2.5%GEM5.9%WIN Peach1.6%Food Net1.1%
ABC NEWS1.9%7flix1.2%9Life2.1%Sky News  on WIN0.4%NITV0.1%
TOTAL18.1% 27.6% 32.8% 15.7% 5.9%

 

SUNDAY METRO ALL TV
FTASTV
84.6%15.4%
All People Rankings

Friday Top 10

  1. Seven News Seven 882,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 814,000
  3. Nine News Nine 783,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 772,000
  5. Better Homes And Gardens Seven 631,000
  6. ABC News ABC 604,000
  7. A Current Affair Nine 595,000
  8. Gardening Australia ABC 490,000
  9. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League – Bris V Perth S1 Seven 433,000
  10. Seven’s Cricket: Second Test – Australia V Sri Lanka D1 S Seven 431,000

 

Saturday Top 10

  1. Seven News – Sat Seven 930,000
  2. Death In Paradise ABC 664,000
  3. ABC News-Sa ABC 644,000
  4. Nine News Saturday Nine 671,000
  5. Seven’s Cricket: Second Test – Australia V Sri Lanka D2 S3 Seven 522,000
  6. Seven’s Cricket: Second Test – Australia V Sri Lanka D2 S2 Seven  484,000
  7. Agatha Raisin ABC 427,000
  8. Seven’s Cricket: Second Test – Australia V Sri Lanka D2 S1 Seven 330,000
  9. Seven’s Cricket: Second Test – Australia V Sri Lanka D2 Lunch Seven 331,000
  10. Weekend Sunrise – Sat  Seven 284,000
Sunday FTA
  1. Married At First Sight -Sun Nine 1,088,000
  2. Seven News – Sun Seven 1,054,000
  3. Nine News Sunday Nine 881,000
  4. 60 Minutes Nine 880,000
  5. My Kitchen Rules – Sun Seven 808,000
  6. ABC News Sunday ABC 689,000
  7. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Sun Elimination 10 662,000
  8. Seven’s Cricket: Second Test – Australia V Sri Lanka D3 S Seven 613,000
  9. I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! Sun 10 591,000
  10. The Cry ABC 574,000
  11. James Bulger-The New Revelations Nine 521,000
  12. Seven’s Cricket: Second Test – Australia V Sri Lanka D3 S Seven 491,000
  13. Aftermath: Beyond Black Saturday ABC 468,000
  14. NCIS Sun 10 388,000
  15. The Sunday Project 7pm 10 358,000
  16. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League – Perth V Melb Stars S1 Seven 353,000
  17. Seven’s Cricket: Second Test – Australia V Sri Lanka D3 L Seven 345,000
  18. Seven’s Cricket: Second Test – Australia V Sri Lanka D3 S Seven 327,000
  19. Seven’s Cricket: Big Bash League – Perth V Melb Stars In Seven 325,000
  20. 10 News First Sun 10 282,000
SUNDAY Multichannel
  1. The Magnificent Seven 9GO! 160,000
  2. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 153,000
  3. Peter Rabbit ABCKIDS/COMEDY 148,000
  4. Hey Duggee AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 147,000
  5. Octonauts ABCKIDS/COMEDY 142,000
  6. Luo Bao Bei AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 133,000
  7. Bluey PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 131,000
  8. Bathurst 12 Hour Event-Day 7mate 131,000
  9. Rusty Rivets ABCKIDS/COMEDY 130,000
  10. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 127,000
  11. The Big Bang Theory Tx2 9GO! 123,000
  12. Dot. AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 123,000
  13. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 122,000
  14. Fireman Sam AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 119,000
  15. Floogals AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 118,000
  16. Rita And Crocodile AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 113,000
  17. Insiders AM ABC NEWS 112,000
  18. Go Jetters PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 111,000
  19. Fixer Upper 9Life 111,000
  20. Spicks And Specks ABCKIDS/COMEDY 110,000
SUNDAY STV
  1. Live: BBL Post Game FOX CRICKET 285,000
  2. Live: Aus V Sri 2nd Test Day 3 FOX CRICKET 276,000
  3. Live: BBL: Strikers V Heat FOX CRICKET 270,000
  4. Live: Between The Innings FOX CRICKET 262,000
  5. Live: Test Post Game FOX CRICKET 214,000
  6. Live: Aus V Sri 2nd Test Day 3 FOX CRICKET 209,000
  7. Live: BBL: Scorchers V Stars FOX CRICKET 203,000
  8. Live: BBL: Strikers V Heat FOX CRICKET 202,000
  9. Live: Tea For Two FOX CRICKET 187,000
  10. Live: The Big Break FOX CRICKET 168,000
  11. Live: Aus V Sri 2nd Test Day 3 FOX CRICKET 165,000
  12. Live: B4 The Bash! FOX CRICKET 145,000
  13. Live: Between The Innings FOX CRICKET 144,000
  14. Live: BBL: Scorchers V Stars FOX CRICKET 88,000
  15. Live: BBL Post Game FOX CRICKET 54,000
  16. NCIS TVH!TS 44,000
  17. NCIS TVH!TS 42,000
  18. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Foxtel Movies Premier 37,000
  19. The Cricket Tragic FOX CRICKET 37,000
  20. The Simpsons FOX8 36,000

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

News publishers report despite ad revenue decline sector remains stable

The news media sector has continued to report improvements in advertising expenditure, with the latest News Media Index (NMI) for the December 2018 quarter showing Metropolitan Press reporting a slight decline and the total sector remaining stable.

The NMI, with data collated by Standard Media Index (SMI), showed that total news media advertising expenditure declined by just -6.2% to $487.2 million in the final quarter of 2018. Metro press, which accounts for almost one third (31.9%) of ad spend, reported -3.2% in the December quarter to $155.36 million.

For the 2018 calendar year, the NMI shows ad spend to be back by -6% to $1.89 billion, while for the December quarter the total was back -6.2%, largely as a result of the difficult ad market conditions experienced by the overall media sector in October and November from the year prior when the Same Sex Marriage plebiscite drove ad spend.

Australia’s news media sector remains the third largest media sector by ad revenue.

According to SMI’s media agency-only data for the month of December, total news media ad spend was back -4.7%, a larger decline than the NMI figures, which also include spend from direct advertisers. The NMI showed that Metro Press, however, grew ad spend +1.2% in December.

NewsMediaWorks CEO, Peter Miller, said: “The News Media Index figures are good news for our industry. The continued strengthening of the sector shows that an improvement in the fortunes of authentic news media has become a trend. A total of 17.5 million Australians read news media, the latest emma data shows.

Peter Miller

“Once again we have seen low single digit negative growth in news media advertising expenditure of -6.2%, built on the strong performance of the big metropolitan titles, the core of the sector’s business, which were back only -3.2%.

“Digital news media grew by +6% as advertisers seek to support their brands by advertising in trusted, authentic, reliable news environments rather than throwing hard won budgets at the ropey long tail of the web and the even ropier social channels. I think what are seeing here is the result of a reappraisal by advertisers and their agencies, and a return flight to quality.”

SMI AU/NZ managing director Jane Ractliffe said: “Australia’s news media industry is arguably the new growth engine within digital media, with ad spend to news media’s digital assets outpacing that of the broader agency market.

“When comparing the agency-only SMI data to the NMI data we can see that advertisers are growing their digital investment to news media websites at a far faster pace than that of the broader digital market.

“For example, digital ad spend in the NMI grew 21.4% in December but SMI’s agency data for the same period shows digital spending back 4.6%. In Q4 NMI digital ad spend was up 6% while in the SMI agency data total digital spend was back 0.8%. For the full calendar year, NMI digital ad spend has grown 8.7% while in the SMI data it’s up a lesser 5.8%.’’

Direct ad spend now accounts for 56% of all news media advertising, again highlighting the difference between agency and direct ad revenue, although the media agency sector continues to improve.

Unlike the monthly SMI data which reports agency only revenue, the quarterly News Media Index reports all print and digital ad revenue to Australia’s largest news media publishers from both agencies and direct advertisers and is independently verified by SMI.

New report calls for Netflix to support more Australian productions

A new report on the struggles of Australian documentary makers has called for the introduction of local production quotas on Netflix and other streaming services, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Garry Maddox.

Acclaimed director-producer Tom Zubrycki believes the flourishing streaming sector should be compelled to invest in more Australian drama and documentaries.

“Netflix, Amazon Prime and Stan are making millions of dollars from streaming mainly North American and British-made content onto our various devices,” Zubrycki writes in the Currency House Platform Paper The Changing Landscape of Australian Documentary, which was published on Saturday.

“These companies must be forced to get involved in Australian-originated documentary projects right from the start.”

The report says a possible model for this country is a Canada government deal that requires Netflix to commit CAD $500 million (AUD $525 million) for local drama and documentary productions over five years.

A Netflix spokesperson said the streaming service had invested in “more than 20 Australian originals and this investment will continue to grow alongside the demand for Australian content,” adding: “the key to this growth is Australian creators making really high-quality content that movie and TV lovers around the world want to see.”

[Read the original]

Read The Changing Landscape of Australian Documentary report here.

Equity funds tipped to be keen on Nine’s regional title portfolio

Three private equity funds are expected to lead the race in Nine Entertainment’s rapid sale of the regional media publications previously owned by Fairfax Media, report The Australian’s Bridget Carter and Lilly Vitorovich.

Investment bank Macquarie Capital has the mandate to divest the Australian Community Media (ACM) division of Fairfax, which is now owned by Nine Entertainment, and it is understood to be planning to send out information memorandums this month to kick off the sales process.

The division includes more than 170 publications and related websites, mostly in regional NSW and Victoria.

It is understood that the players most likely to express an interest in the business once the sales process starts as early as this month will be the Australian private equity funds Allegro Funds, Anchorage Capital and Platinum Equity.

ACM generates earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of just under $57.2 million a year, so a transaction with a multiple of two would place a $120m price tag on the operation.

[Read the original]

Advertising market on edge during these uncertain times

Australia’s major media companies are set to confirm a testing advertising market as they deliver their latest round of financial results in coming weeks, reports The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich.

At the same time, much of the focus will be on the pace of integration at Nine Entertainment following its $4 billion mega-merger with Fairfax Media.

Ad veteran John Steedman described the ad market as soft, noting there was “an enormous amount of uncertainty at the moment, particularly the big business end of town”.

“Obviously, with the elections coming up, businesses tend to pull back because the airwaves are dominated by the political parties,” said Steedman, referring to the NSW election on March 23 and the federal election, which must be held before the end of May.

Other headwinds include a potential change of government at the federal level as well as economic uncertainty, including Brexit and the impact of US President Donald Trump.

“There’s a lot going on globally that will have an effect obviously on where this country goes,” said Steedman, who is executive chairman of media investment management at ad firm WPP AUNZ, as well as a board director.

[Read the original]

News Brands

SMH, The Age, AFR journalists dominate business reporting awards

Journalists from The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review have dominated the 2018 Westpac Excellence in Financial Journalism Awards, taking out three of the five categories, reports The SMH’s Sumeyya Ilanbey.

Adele Ferguson, a multi-award-winning senior business writer and columnist for The Age, SMH and AFR, and former SMH and Age deputy business editor Nassim Khadem, along with the ABC’s Lesley Robinson and Lucy Carter, won the global and economic reporting category for their expose, Mongrel Bunch of Bastards – Taking on the Extraordinary Powers of the Tax Office.

Amanda Hooton, journalist and columnist with the Herald and The Age, was a winner in the personal and consumer finance category for Other People’s Money, which ran in the Good Weekend magazine in July.

James Chessell, executive editor of the Herald and The Age, congratulated the winners.

“The awards once again demonstrate the strength and depth of our business reporting,” Chessell said. “It is great to see public interest journalism that holds powerful institutions to account being recognised.”

The ABC’s Peter Ryan won the business and company category for his sustained coverage and analysis of the banking royal commission, and Emily Stewart was named as the second winner, alongside Hooton, in the personal and consumer finance category.

Chris Pash, formerly of Business Insider, won the global and Australian financial markets category for his feature on an Australian start-up’s experience going global.

[Read the original]

Kerri-Anne Kennerley explains: let me make myself perfectly clear

It has been a week of “outrage” and “racist” allegations made against me, writes Kerri-Anne Kennerley in a column for News Corp.

Thousands of words in TV and radio commentary and enormous space devoted to the story in print and online.

In case you missed it, a panel discussion on morning show Studio 10 last Monday got ugly.

The chat started about protesters wanting to change the date of Australia Day. I asked if any of the protesters had been to the outback to see where babies, children and women are being raped and abused.

So let me make myself perfectly clear. I am talking about abuse here and now. That issue only. I can let others debate the merits of Australia Day. To me, the much more pressing issue for not only the indigenous community but the nation as a whole is the horrific rape of children, babies and women in indigenous communities as reported by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. The reports are online for all to see. I encourage you to read them. It’s simply mind-boggling.

At no stage did I suggest that all indigenous communities or men were guilty. I simply asked what is being done to sort these horrendous crimes, which are much more pressing and important than protesting Australia Day.

[Read the original]

Publishing

Pacific’s marie claire targeting social media audience via WeChat app

The Australian edition of marie claire, part of Seven West Media’s Pacific Magazines stable, has launched a mini app on the messaging and social media platform WeChat, featuring fashion and beauty content written by the magazine’s editorial teams in Australia and China, reports The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich.

Marie claire editor Nicky Briger told The Australian it has been looking for the right way to reach the Chinese consumer, noting that 75.6% of Chinese millennials receive fashion news digitally, making online and social media an “integral part of consumer discovery and pre-purchase research”.

Briger’s team recently attended an international marie claire digital conference in Korea, where they discovered that 25% of marie claire China’s WeChat followers live in Australia, and a further 65% planned to visit Australia soon.

Marie claire’s WeChat mini app was a collaboration between the editorial, digital and commercial teams at Pacific, led by Briger, Alex Noonan, digital content director of fashion and beauty and Christine Petrovski, digital brand manager of fashion and beauty.

[Read the original]

Television

The Celebrity culling begins: Just two weeks until series wraps

All of a sudden I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! is starting the wind up. Network 10 has confirmed the “Grand Finale extravaganza: will air on Sunday, February 17 from 7.30pm.

Polarising ex-pollie Jacqui Lambie had Australia in an emotional tug of war on last night’s episode of I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!

The outspoken Tasmanian had us up in arms about her contentious political views, and then sobbing like a toddler when the jungle postman arrived with her letter from home. Nevertheless, the nation voted, evicting Lambie out of the camp onto a South African flight back to the Apple Isle.

From tonight, and every episode leading up to the show’s conclusion, the program will be saying sayonara to a celebrity and tossing them onto a South African airways flight headed straight back home.

Which celebrity will be crowned King or Queen Of The Jungle on Sunday February 17, and leave with a $100,000 cheque for their chosen charity?

Foxtel and Network 10 reveal new team for Gogglebox Australia

Foxtel and Network 10 have announced that one new household will be joining the hit local-production, Gogglebox Australia, when season 9 premieres on Foxtel’s Lifestyle Channel on Wednesday, February 6 at 7.30pm and then on Network 10 one day later.

Brother and sister Tim and Leanne are like two peas in a pod. They blog together, eat together and drink together. Of Malaysian heritage, Tim was born in Penang but moved to Melbourne with his family when he was nine years old, and two years later Leanne was born. Family is incredibly important to both of them and since Tim came out, Leanne has been a huge support mechanism for him and a big advocate for LGBTQI rights.

Their 11 year age gap doesn’t stop the pair from being both equally loud and assertive in their individual opinions. However, when it comes to TV they’re both passionate about cooking shows – if people are cooking or eating it, chances are they are watching it.

Tim works as a retail technology consultant and lives in the suburbs with his fiancé and their new Boston Terrier, River. When he’s not day dreaming of traipsing across the globe, Tim’s days are busy eating food, photographing food, filming himself talking about food, or thinking about what to eat next.

Leanne lives with her partner in a compact apartment with two adorably neurotic Chihuahuas. Working as an operations manager in a factory environment with a lot of blokey blokes, Leanne is an avid gamer, occasional artist and musician, fulltime dog lover, and wannabe knitter who is partial to a weekend-long book or TV show binge.

Tim and Leanne will join returning cast including bubbly Greek best friends Anastasia and Faye; happily married couple Lee and Keith; the adorable and sports-crazy Jackson family; the fun-loving and cricket-mad Delpechitra family; best mates Adam and Symon; dealers in Indigenous art Mick and Di; the close-knit Dalton family; married couple Matty and Sarah Marie and their friend Jad; and the three generations of women in the Silbery family.

Gogglebox Australia is an Endemol Shine Australia production for Foxtel and Network 10.

Plead your case to new TV judge: Trial By Kyle taking cases now

Have you got a tough case to crack? Or maybe a disagreement that just won’t disappear? Then it’s time to bring your problem to TV’s newest judge.

Trial By Kyle is coming to 10 in 2019 where radio shock jock Kyle Sandilands will pass judgement over a whole range of real life cases.

Joined by former The Bachelor Australia star and criminal lawyer, Anna Heinrich, Kyle will be tackling genuine disputes and solving them with his no-nonsense style.

In 2018, the Trial By Kyle courtroom was abuzz with scandals, celebrities and real life disputes that all got cracked with Kyle’s swift hand of justice.

If you’re not keen on getting tied up in the real courts and are after a straightforward solution, then Network 10 and Screentime are waiting to hear from litigants.

Further details here.

Colin Fassnidge to star in My Kitchen Rules restaurant battle spin-off

Seven has secretly hatched long-term plans to make celebrity chef Colin Fassnidge the Gordon Ramsay of Australian television, reports The Australian’s Nick Tabakoff.

Fassnidge’s big promotion comes as the network fast-tracks a bold bid to breathe fresh life into My Kitchen Rules, once the country’s top-rating TV show.

Seven surprised media watchers late last year by announcing two seasons of MKR would screen in 2019 for its 10th anniversary year.

Network bosses now plan to make MKR 2.0 (as the second season has been dubbed internally) a tour de force for Fassnidge as Australia’s answer to Ramsay, the hot-headed, foul-mouthed international uber-chef. Ramsay has built a food empire worth hundreds of millions by becoming a TV mentor to numerous emerging and struggling chefs.

The Fassnidge-hosted MKR 2.0 (to run later in 2019) will be a restaurant competition. It looks like being a cross between the now-defunct 2004 show My Restaurant Rules (which featured Curtis Stone as host) and Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares.

[Read the original]

Married At First Sight virgin Matthew on claims he’s an actor

The water cooler moment so far on this season’s Married at First Sight has been provided by Matthew Bennett, otherwise referred to as “The Virgin”, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Amy Croffey.

The 29-year-old videographer from the Sunshine Coast is the jewel in the Nine reality TV show crown with the network teasing him from the get-go, holding his must-see “wedding” to Lauren Huntriss, 31, a Sydney makeup artist, until the fifth episode on Sunday night.

So unusual is his type on Australian reality TV, some have accused him of being an actor planted by Nine.

“I can understand people thinking that, but then why would someone go on national TV and declare themselves the 29-year-old virgin, not a 29-year-old virgin? I am now the 29-year-old virgin,” Matthew laughed.

He claimed the last time he acted was during drama class in high school.

“I am not an actor,” he said. “I chose a career on the other side of the camera.”

[Read the original]

Entertainment

‘It drove me crazy’: Missy Higgins on media’s attempts to ‘out’ her

A few weeks after her debut album topped the charts in 2005 – its second stint at No. 1 – Missy Higgins appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone, reports The Age’s Michael Lallo.

While the article focused on her music, a throwaway remark drew the most attention. “I think everyone is a bit bisexual,” she told the magazine, “but not everyone admits it – or not everyone has realised it yet.”

It was a red rag to the Australian press. Missy, just 21 at the time, was besieged by questions. Was she bisexual? Or was she poking her toe out of the closet, offering a half-truth until she worked up the courage to call herself a lesbian?

“For so many years, the media was trying to get me to say I was gay,” she says. “Except I didn’t feel that I was. It drove me crazy.”

[Read the original]

Remembering actress Carmen Duncan who has died aged 76

Actress Carmen Duncan, best known for Skyways, Another World and A Country Practice, has died aged 76, reports TV Tonight.

She died on the weekend following a battle with cancer.

The sister of Paula Duncan, she was raised in Cooma, New South Wales, and enjoyed a long list of TV credits before spending time in the US.

Her earliest roles were in 1960s & 70s Australian TV shows Hunter, You Can’t See ‘Round Corners, Riptide, Division 4, Homicide, Ryan and Matlock Police.

In Number 96 she played Helen Sheridan before a role on Certain Women and an ongoing role as Elaine MacFarlane in Skyways. Other credits included A Country Practice, Hotel, Water Rats, Head Start, The Flying Doctors, Chopper Squad, The Young Doctors, Something in the Air, Farscape, Always Greener, All Saints, Crashburn and Winners & Losers as Prof Kerry Green.

In the US she played she portrayed rich bitch Iris Carrington Wheeler on Another World. Her other US credits included As the World Turns and Ash vs Evil Dead.

[Read the original]

Sports Media

Big Bash League failures could scarcely have been more predictable

It was obvious to most cricket followers that two or three years ago the Big Bash League hit a sweet spot of novelty, timing, number of games, innovative broadcast and quality of talent, comments The Sydney Morning Herald’s Malcolm Knox.

It was a good idea at the right moment, and Cricket Australia duly seized on the concept as if it were its own (as opposed to one it had originally rejected).

Having seized it, CA milked it, fed it growth hormones, fattened it, took it to market and sold it for a juicy price to television broadcasters who were blinded to the trajectory of the BBL by their desperation for content in the reality category. (At this stage of the year, the BBL is not competing with other sports, but with Married At First Sight and I’m A Celebrity…).

[Read the original]

Cricket probably won’t deliver the KO ( or ‘Kayo’) Foxtel needs

Even the most ardent fans of the willow on leather game will admit that this summer’s season of cricket has been deeply underwhelming, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s John McDuling.

The question that is being asked in media industry circles is what that means for Foxtel – which has a lot riding on the sport.

It’s now nearly a year since the News Corp controlled pay TV provider and Seven West Media together paid $1.2 billion for the rights to air summer Test matches, one dayers, T20 internationals, and the Big Bash League for six summers until 2024.

For Foxtel cricket was never really about advertising. It was about reviving flagging subscriber growth. Industry sources say Foxtel had hoped to gain 40,000 new subscribers for its traditional pay TV product over the summer from cricket – but there are doubts whether it has grown at all.

While it’s still early days, sources have suggested Kayo has also fallen short of projections in take-up this summer, though others close to News Corp insist that isn’t the case.

[Read the original]

Sam McClure parting ways with Seven for 2019 footy season

Channel 7 has confirmed that it severed ties with Sam McClure and that he won’t be part of Talking Footy or Footy Central in 2019, reports News Corp’s Colin Vickery.

Sources at Seven say that McClure was offered a full-time role reporting sport for Seven News, but declined the job.

McClure, nicknamed “Scoop”, reportedly told Seven management he wanted to keep his current mix of radio, print and television roles.

Those restrictions were an impossible hurdle for Seven because the news job required complete commitment.

“We have parted ways for the time being,” a Seven spokeswoman says. “Sam is a good operator. It has been a mutual decision. We wish him all the best.”

McClure said: “I’m still under contract with Croc Media and SEN and I’ve got this show called Time On that I’m really excited about doing for them.”

Ending his time with Seven could put McClure in a box seat to be part of the team on the new-look version of The Footy Show.

[Read the original]

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