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After a long countdown campaign at Gold, which was only eclipsed by the long goodbye at Absolute Radio, Christian O’Connell is finally and officially on-air at his new home Gold 104.3.
By James Manning
His first show went to air just two weeks after his final broadcast at Absolute Radio. He has gone from hosting seven different music streams at Bauer Media UK to handling just one at ARN.
And what a wild ride day one turned out to be, especially in the first hour.
Despite 20 years behind a breakfast radio microphone, his show lurched from one calamity to the next in what turned out to be possibly the best hour of the day.
The other revelation: O’Connell is on until 10am every day, replicating what Kyle and Jackie and Wendy and Robbie do at their respective Sydney radio stations.
O’Connell was almost apologetic when he said early in the morning: “I’m sorry about the long countdown. It’s been called a radio revolution. It’s not really – it’s just some blokes talking between the songs.”
ARN and O’Connell have replicated much of what worked for O’Connell in London. The formula is pretty simple. “There’s not a lot to this show,” said sidekick Jack Post toward the end of the show before O’Connell shut him down!
The first three hours were loaded with tunes and chat and a fair amount of advertising. The final hour, as it was in London at Absolute, is less chat and more tunes.
The first three hours averaged five songs an hour while they got away a few extra in the final hour.
O’Connell’s last song on air at Absolute was “Nothing Lasts Forever” from Echo and The Bunnymen.
His first tune at Gold, after putting a call out for ideas late last week, was AC/DC’s “Long Way To The Top”.
Kudos to the Gold music team – they delivered a great mix of songs for the first show. They have set the bar high. Artists included Foo Fighters, George Michael (after four attempts to get him on air), Michael Jackson, INXS, The Rolling Stones, LRB, Tom Petty, Queen, Counting Crows, Lionel Richie, Poison, and even The Clash with the very appropriate “London Calling”.
The ageing army of former Smash Hits readers would have been thrilled too with the likes of Mel & Kim and Boom Crash Opera.
O’Connell has already started a feud with sister station KIIS 101.1. After playing Mel & Kim, he said: “Take that, KIIS”.
Just before signing off, O’Connell got a message from Triple M Melbourne’s Wil Anderson asking if he could give Eddie McGuire Christian’s phone number. Even though he was a newcomer, O’Connell indicated he knew about McGuire, likening him to Tony Soprano. “Should I watch out for a horse’s head in our bed if I am not out of town by 5pm today?” he wondered.
ARN unveiled its new marketing campaign to introduce Gold 104.3’s The Christian O’Connell Breakfast Show to Melbourne.
Through various executions it embraces the concept that international radio legend, Christian O’Connell, is “Ready for Melbourne”.
The creative agency for the campaign was JOY with production by HunkyDory Films.
The Gold 104.3 marketing campaign showcases new talent Christian O’Connell and will roll out in a number of phases including targeted TV, outdoor, transit, digital and social.
It represents one of the largest investments in market by ARN.
The TV campaign for launch shows Melbourne’s distinctive Australian culture through a different lens, pointing out how bizarre, unique and funny it can be when taken out of context through the eyes of an outsider.
Through a series of Melbourne entrance exams, Christian O’Connell is tutored by his new sidekick, Melbourne-native Jack Post, in themes that shine a light on the idiosyncrasies of Australian culture, which include quizzing the radio host on footy team names, colloquial nicknames and where to buy the best barbecue sausage.
ARN chief marketing officer Anthony Xydis said: “This campaign is a significant media investment to launch Melbourne’s newest breakfast show and aims to build familiarity with Melbourne for The Christian O’Connell Breakfast Show.
“Leveraging Gold 104.3’s established strength and popularity in the market, it was incredibly important that the creative elements of this campaign reinforce a simple key message that emphasises Christian’s unique breakfast show is ‘Ready for Melbourne’.
“We wanted to share the honesty of Christian’s personality in his move to Melbourne, and his chemistry with Jack is a great glimpse into the show’s entertainment factor for audiences.
“The campaign is a key part of ARN’s strategy for Gold 104.3 in 2018 and reflects an ongoing investment in marketing nationally and in the competitive Melbourne Breakfast market.”
The TVCs were unveiled on free-to-air TV on Sunday ahead of The Christian O’Connell Breakfast Show’s first show today, with the second stage of the campaign to see the release of the outdoor campaign on Sunday June 10.
ARN welcomed its new international radio star Christian O’Connell and his family to Melbourne late last week ahead of the launch of The Christian O’Connell Breakfast Show today, throwing him a welcome party at Fargo & Co in Richmond.
Behind a backdrop of native Australian fauna, O’Connell and his sidekick Jack Post posed for photos for the first time at a Gold 104.3 function with key ARN executives and staff in attendance including ARN CEO Rob Atkinson, ARN national content director Duncan Campbell, ARN marketing chief Anthony Xydis, HR leader Marissa Daras and Gold 104.3 content director Sue Carter.
The celebrations included a presentation by Rob Atkinson, Duncan Campbell and Anthony Xydis and the most awarded radio host in the world, Christian O’Connell.
After the formalities, O’Connell and his family received a welcome pack of iconic Australian gifts including an AFL football and a Gold 104.3 branded surfboard.
O’Connell took his dog to the beach on the weekend, but we don’t believe he entered the water with his new board.
Top photo: ARN surround O’Connell [L-R] Rob Atkinson, Marissa Daras, Anthony Xydis and Duncan Campbell (credit: SDP Media)
On Friday night Nova Entertainment held its annual Nova Entertainment Awards in the Grand Ballroom at Sydney’s Royal Randwick Racecourse.
The awards might have been held in Sydney but Melbourne won many of the key awards.
Over 200 Nova Entertainment employees from Sydney and around the country attended the national staff event that rewards and recognises employees. Nova Entertainment staff can nominate and recognise their colleagues, or put forward their own individual or team campaigns and initiatives. It is also a chance for the Nova Entertainment group executives and CEO Cathy O’Connor to recognise high achievers across the company.
Guests were entertained by a live performance from Conrad Sewell and Thandi.
Guests attending included Kate Ritchie and Tim Blackwell (Nova’s Kate, Tim & Marty), Ryan Fitzgerald and Michael Wipfli (Nova 96.9 Sydney’s Fitzy & Wippa), Sam Pang and Jonathan Brown (Nova 100’s Chrissie, Sam & Browny), Melissa Doyle (smoothfm), Richard Wilkins (smoothfm), Cameron Daddo (smoothfm’s Mellow Music Evening Show), Bogart Torelli and Glenn Daniel (smooth 95.3’s More Music Breakfast Show), Dylan Lewis, Hayley Pearson and Shane Lowe (Nova 919’s Lewis & Lowe and Hayley), Nathan Morris, Natalie Locke and Shaun McManus (Nova 93.7’s Nathan, Nat & Shaun), Cathy O’Connor (CEO), Paul Jackson (group program director), Peter Charlton (group commercial officer), Luke Minto (Nova 969’s commercial director and market lead) and Michelle Stephenson (newsroom manager).
Elio Tedesco Most Outstanding Operational Support – Technology Manager Luke McKew (Brisbane)
Best Project Execution/Team Collaboration – Nathan, Nat & Shaun’s Kalgoorlie Sausage Roll by Jesters (Perth)
Cultural Ambassador – Client Executive Anthony Zibara (GOS)
Best Client Campaign – Teacher of the Year for Bendigo Bank (ADE)
Future Leader – Promotions Project Manager Jessica Westgate (SYD)
Best Innovation or Idea – Best of SA (ADE)
Best Client Campaign over $100,000 – Sanitarium So Good (SYD)
Best Content – Genea’s Modern Babies Podcast (SYD)
Sales High Achiever – Agency Sales Executive Emily Mead (Melb)
Most Outstanding Leader – Head of Agency Sales Ben Dixon (Melb)
CEO – Melbourne Commercial Director Andrew Will (Melb)
Market of the Year – Melbourne (Melb)
Top Photo: Nova Entertainment CEO Cathy O’Connor with the company’s team from Melbourne
• Why management wanted the radio legends together
• Wendy and Robbie on the campaign against the ABC
By James Manning
ABC Radio management made some bold decisions toward the end of 2017 to refresh its major metro breakfast shows in state capitals and introduce breakfast teams to several markets.
Although it is still early days, the move has found instant success in Sydney where incumbent breakfast host Robbie Buck was teamed with morning host Wendy Harmer.
Buck is a veteran triple j announcer who moved to ABC Local radio nearly a decade ago, first hosting evenings and then moving into breakfast, taking over from Adam Spencer.
Harmer is of course a breakfast radio veteran and spent many years at 2Day FM where she enjoyed ratings success with her colleagues on The Morning Crew for over a decade.
The ABC’s Angelique Donnellan was named Journalist of the Year at the presentation of the 2018 South Australian Media Awards at the Adelaide Festival Centre on Saturday night.
The awards were announced at the South Australian Media Ball.
Donnellan also won the award for Best TV Broadcaster and shared the awards for Best TV/Video News Report and the All Media – Public Service Journalism award with colleague Nicola Gage for their work on the Oakden scandal and abuse in state care.
Donnellan won again, this time the award for TV/Video Current Affairs or Feature with colleague Sophie Wainwright for “Who is Sally Zou?”.
The legendary footballer and highly respected journalist Merv Agars, who was the Advertiser’s sports editor for more than 20 years, was inducted into the Hall of Fame for his outstanding contribution to journalism. Merv died on August 8, 2017 aged 92.
All Media – Graphic, Artwork or Cartoon
Ray Hirst: Body of work: News Corp
All Media – Public Service Journalism
Nicola Gage and Angelique Donnellan: Abuse in State Care: Australian Broadcasting Corporation
All Media – Coverage of Sport
Nick Butler: Nick Butler China: Network Ten
All Media –Freelance Contribution
Royce Kurmelovs: Body of work: Various
All Media -Rural/Regional Journalist
Les Pearson Body of work: Plains Producer
All Media – Commentary, Analysis, Opinion & Critique
Daniel Wills: The State: News Limited
All Media – Investigative Journalism
Brad Crouch: RAH stroke deaths scandal: News Corp
All Media – Community Journalist
Rhiannon Elston: Body of work: SBS
Best Three Headlines
Greg Barila: “Mr Xenopom”, “Now you sashimi, now you don’t!” and “All quiet on the question front”: News Corp
Public Relations Campaign (Government or Private)
Victoria Moore: Zipper Kids Score Open Heart Goals: The Press Gallery
Print/Text News or Lifestyle Feature
Penelope Debelle: Michael Abbott: Devil’s Advocate: The Advertiser
Print/Text News Report
Brad Crouch: RAH stroke deaths scandal: News Corp
TV/Video Current Affairs or Feature
Angelique Donnellan and Sophie Wainwright: Who is Sally Zou?: Australian Broadcasting Corporation
TV/Video News or Current Affairs Camera
Tony Salvatore: Body of work: Seven Network
TV /Video News Report
Angelique Donnellan and Nicola Gage: Oakden Scandal: Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Radio/Audio News & Current Affairs or Feature
Caroline Winter: Summer Special: Australia’s Space Race: Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Sport Photograph or Photographic Series
Sarah Reed: Tex Soars: News Corp
Feature Photograph or Photographic Series
Tom Huntley: Body of Work: The Advertiser
News Photograph or Photographic Series
Sarah Reed: Despair: News Corp
Julie Duncan Memorial Award for Student Journalism
Jesse Neill: Body of work: University of South Australia
Max Fatchen Award For Best Young Journalist
Max Burford: Ten Eyewitness News
Sarah Reed: The Advertiser/Sunday Mail
Best Radio/Audio Broadcaster
Caroline Winter: Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Best TV Broadcaster (Presenter, Reporter, Camera)
Angelique Donnellan: Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Best Print/Text Journalist
Daniel Wills: The Advertiser/Sunday Mail
Hall Of Fame for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism
2018 SA Journalist of the Year
Angelique Donnellan: Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Top photo: Angelique Donnellan accepts her Journalist Of The Year Award (credit: Samela Harris)
• Singles: 5SOS spend second week on top, Selena Gomez top 10
• Albums: Shawn Mendes #1 debut, Xavier Rudd new at #6
By James Manning
A second week on top for 5 Seconds Of Summer. “Youngblood” becomes their biggest hit in Australia as their previous #1 “She Looks So Perfect” spent one week at #1.
New to the top 10 this week is Selena Gomez with “Back To You” jumping three spots to #9 on its third week on the chart.
Sneaking back into the top 10 is Shawn Mendes with “In My Blood” in the week his album debuts #1. “In My Blood” has been charting for 10 weeks and has been as high as #9.
Three new tunes managed to crack the top 50 on debut this week:
#34: A$AP Rocky with “Praise The Lord” featuring Skepta
#37: Juice WRLD with “Lucid Dreams”
#41: Rüfüs Du Sol with “No Place”
After a couple of weeks at #1 over the past month, Post Malone’s “Beerbongs and Bentleys” has slipped to #2 in its fifth week on the chart.
The new chart champ is Shawn Mendes with his third, self-titled album. This is his best performance on the album chart after his second album became his first in the top 10 with a peak of #3 in 2016. Collaborators on his new album include Ed Sheeran, Julia Michaels, John Mayer and Khalid.
Six other albums debuted in the top 50 this week, three of them landing in the top 10.
#5: A$AP Rocky with “Testing”: Third album from US rapper. His previous album “At. Long. Last. A$AP” peaked at #5
#6: Xavier Rudd with “Storm Boy”: Ninth album from the Aussie singer-songwriter
#7: Chvrches with “Love Is Dead”: Third album from the Scottish pop trio
#11: Pusha T with “Daytona”: Third album from the US rapper but the first to go top 50 here
#12: Snow Patrol with “Wildness”: Seventh album for the British rockers – only two made the top 10 and one peaked at #1 (“Eyes Open” in 2006)
#34: Dream On Dreamer with “It Comes And Goes”: Fourth album from the Melbourne hard rockers with all managing to crack the top 40 album chart
Top photo: Shawn Mendes at the 2017 VMAs (credit: Tinseltown : Shutterstock)
• House Rules back – #1 at 7.30pm, MasterChef drops – no Nigella or Gordon
• Barnaby and Vikki show: Sunday Night disappoints with 631,000
• Mystery Road biggest ABC drama hit for some time, wins timeslot
By James Manning
The judges weren’t overly impressed with some of the work on the Tweed Heads property on House Rules. Mel and Dave topped the leader board while Josh and Brandon performed poorly with just 16 out of 30. Despite all the hype about Sunday Night, it was House Rules that got the audience last night as it recorded its best numbers this season.
Sunday Night bought up big for its Barnaby Joyce and Vikki Campion feature and the audience wasn’t terribly interested. While an audience of 631,000 was up on last week, that was a truly terrible figure to compare it to.
The Monster of Belgium was the name of the Crimes That Shook The World episode that then did 247,000.
Two artists were voted off The Voice last night leaving just eight contestants still in the game. The episode was down to 816,000 after 893,000 a week ago.
On 60 Minutes Allison Langdon was reporting on sexual assaults at university residential colleagues. The audience was down to just over 400,000, which is where Sunday Night was a week ago.
The Sunday Project featured 1D member Niall Horan talking to Lisa Wilkinson and the team. The episode did 428,000, down from 479,000 a week ago.
MasterChef Australia featured two challenges – it started with a $20 mystery box challenge and then followed that up with a team relay challenge. After big Sundays featuring Nigella Lawson and then Gordon Ramsay, the audience dipped to 781,000 after hitting 900,000 for Ramsay’s first episode a week ago. Last night’s episode did however continue to rank as the #1 show 25-54.
A repeat episode of NCIS followed with 311,000.
David Attenborough’s Tasmania followed the ABC News with 750,000 watching the nature doco.
The brilliant Mystery Road followed with 786,000 watching what Andrew Mercado calls a strong contender for the Australian drama of the year. It is hard to disagree with the great man and Mediaweek contributor. The setting is fabulous as is the camera work. And that cast! The first episode introduces so many stars that it’s bound to intrigue viewers about what they will all get up to. For those who can’t wait another week, all episodes are now available on iview.
|ABC ME||0.6%||7mate||4.7%||GEM||2.4%||ELEVEN||1.7%||Food Net||0.6%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||Ten Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC ME||0.8%||7mate||4.6%||GEM||4.0%||ELEVEN||1.4%||Food Net||0.7%|
|SUNDAY METRO ALL TV|
Friday Top 10
Saturday Top 10
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
The new-look board of IAB Australia announced on Friday that Vijay Solanki has resigned from his role as chief executive officer.
Gai Le Roy has been appointed interim CEO with immediate effect.
It seems that Solanki might have been as surprised as anybody about his sudden exit. Mediaweek spoke with Solanki just moments after an IAB board meeting on Thursday afternoon. It was a meeting that featured the new look IAB board chaired by Cameron King, managing director of digital revenue at News Corp Australia. King has been appointed to replace the former chair, the recently departed News Corp head of digital Nicole Sheffield. The IAB deputy chair was also new to the role – Libby Minogue, executive GM media and content at REA.
On announcing Solanki’s departure, King said: “Vijay has worked tirelessly to engage the digital media industry during his tenure, building out a stronger digital ecosystem and driving a number of valuable projects including the launch of our global best practice audience measurement Digital Content Ratings. He’s led closer working relationships with IABs in other markets to deliver initiatives that increase trust and transparency including ads.txt from IAB Techlabs.
“On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Vijay for his passion and commitment to helping us build a healthy, diverse and sustainable digital advertising industry,” said King.
Solanki said: “I’ve genuinely loved leading the growth of the IAB. Our councils, membership and, most importantly, our output have all grown. We’ve driven important initiatives together that have made a difference to the industry. I’m grateful to the IAB team, our members and to the board but it’s time for a change and I’m looking forward to the next challenge.”
Le Roy, who has been IAB Australia’s director of research since 2016, has over 20 years’ experience in the media and advertising industry. She has previously held senior roles at Fairfax Media, Nielsen and Nine.
The board has commenced the process of selecting a new CEO to lead IAB Australia.
Nine Entertainment is in talks to become a joint shareholder in Sky News Business in a deal that would create Australia’s first commercial free-to-air, 24-hour business channel, reports The Australian’s Darren Davidson.
It is understood a rebrand of Sky News Business under a new name has been on the table in recent negotiations between Nine and Sky’s parent company, News Corp Australia, publisher of The Australian.
Executives are also exploring giving Sky News Business a bigger programming focus on personal finance news and consumer issues as they seek a broader audience.
Sources said Nine executives believe the structure of a 50/50 joint venture would work along similar lines to the Stan streaming service, which is jointly owned and operated by Nine and publisher Fairfax Media.
The Australian publishes an edited version of a speech delivered by News Corp CEO Robert Thomson to a conference in Italy last week:
These are the best of times and the worst of times for media. There is certainly no lack of material for news and yet there is a lack of money for many of those who report and edit news.
Perversely, there is surely a surfeit of cash for those who distribute news but who insist that they are not publishers – or simply cannot pronounce the word publisher… for to be a publisher brings with it profound and enduring responsibilities, as the editors in this auditorium appreciate each day of their working lives.
So when we contemplate a robust commercial future for journalism and for professional media, we must first ponder an ecosystem that has punished the creators and profited disproportionately the distributors. That same ecosystem is fertile territory for the fabricators of the fabulous, and the furnishers of the fake and the faux.
Big Tech hits news media – is TV next? asks MCN chief executive Anthony Fitzgerald in a column in The AFR:
In the same way journalists and news publishers were enamoured by the potential of expanded audience reach from Google, YouTube and Facebook, broadcasters are facing similar seduction. If we fall for the same line, it is going to end badly and soon. The economics for any local, professional content do not work whatever big tech spins on “audience reach”.
In the case of TV, it is incumbent, without question, on the industry collectively to shake up its measurement, trading and analytics systems to meet these new market demands.
Despite being cast as a long-term disruptive threat to the viability of commercial television networks, new figures show tech giants Google, Amazon, Uber and Apple have significantly increased the amount they spent on traditional television advertising in Australia, reports The AFR’s Paul Smith.
Figures sourced from Nielsen Adex by TV industry group ThinkTV showed Google had the biggest percentage increase in TV spend in the e-commerce category, raising its outlay by 600% to $11.3 million as it launched new products such as Google Home and Google Pixel.
Apple meanwhile increased its TV spend in Australia by 17.4% to $20.2 million in 2017, as the world’s most valuable company sought to promote launches including the iPhone X and a new mobile-enabled Apple Watch.
Communications Minister Mitch Fifield has doubled down on his criticism of the ABC’s editorial standards, reminding the public broadcaster to provide an independent service as the Turnbull government escalates its war of words with the organisation, reports The Australian’s Darren Davidson.
Responding to the comments, the ABC’s chief financial and strategy officer Louise Higgins said the organisation “accepts that it should be held to the highest standard by the government”, adding that the broadcaster had a “strong track record” in terms of editorial quality.
The woman at the centre of one of Australia’s most notorious political sex scandals claimed “people within the parliament” tried to pressure her to have an abortion to save her career and that of the former deputy prime minister, reports The Australian’s Caroline Overington.
The astonishing claim came during the Seven Network’s paid interview with former National Party media adviser Vikki Campion, and her lover, Barnaby Joyce, who backed her claims.
Having previously asked the media to respect their privacy, the couple granted the “explosive interview” to the Seven Network’s Sunday Night program, for which they were paid $150,000.
Campion said they took money because “everyone else is making money out of Sebastian, except for Sebastian, everyone else is making money except for him”. She said “not a cent” would go directly to the couple, but would be kept in trust “for a young bloke called Sebastian Joyce”.
A “shattered” Stephen Quartermain has broken his silence about his shock axing as Channel 10’s Melbourne news anchor, reports News Corp’s Fiona Byrne.
“All I can say is I am shattered, but what is done is done,” Quartermain said.
“I feel I still have a lot to offer, I have heaps of experience, I am full of energy, so I am looking forward to the next challenge, whatever that may be.
“But I have to say I have been absolutely overwhelmed and staggered at the amount of support I have got. It has been very humbling.”
The respected newsreader, popular sports commentator and radio presenter said he could not comment on his plans and had been caught completely off guard by Ten’s decision to move him on.
“Everything is up in the air,” he said.
Quartermain was positive and focused on Saturday as he went from hosting the 3AW show, A Moveable Feast, with host and friend Ross Stevenson, to calling the Essendon v Richmond match at the MCG for Crocmedia’s AFL Nation.
Quartermain’s replacement Jennifer Keyte had been out of contract with Seven since the start of the year with negotiations progressing and a new “flat” contract tabled for the same salary.
Keyte’s Ten deal is thought to be worth slightly more, between $300,000 and $350,000, and will see her fronting Melbourne’s weekday First At Five bulletin.
Network Ten has announced Gold Logie nominee Grant Denyer will host TEN’s new family entertainment series Game Of Games set to premiere on TEN and WIN Network later this year.
Network Ten chief content officer Beverley McGarvey said: “We are delighted that Grant Denyer has agreed to host Game Of Games. He is the perfect person to lead a show that is packed full of big fun, big physical entertainment, big laughs and big cash prizes.”
TEN says Game Of Games was an out-of-the-box success when it launched in the US in January this year, attracting a weekly audience of more than eight million and ranking #1 in its timeslot with people 18 to 49.
Each hour-long episode of Game Of Games includes supersized versions of popular games from the award-winning daytime talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Games Of Games is a Warner Bros International TV Production Australia production for Network Ten.
Nova Entertainment has announced the smooth Festival of Chocolate will return to Sydney in 2018 for the fifth consecutive year. However, it will be held in a new location when it takes place on September 1 and 2: Sydney Showground in Sydney Olympic Park.
Last year, the festival saw over 100 stallholders and more than 140,000 visitors to The Rocks. This year the festival’s new home in the heart of the geographic centre of Sydney will offer attendees, partners and exhibitors all-weather access, new attractions for families and accessibility by all transport modes.
smooth Festival of Chocolate 2018 will be a ticketed event, which will include a charity donation to OzHarvest, access to all exhibitors, grandstand seating at the Callebaut Test Kitchen, free rides on The Charlie & The Chocolate Factory Ferris Wheel, access to the smooth Relaxation Station, the smooth stage, the Callebaut Royal Agricultural Chocolate judging and the smooth Kids zone with special entertainment for the whole family.
Fox League and The Daily Telegraph are teaming up to stage a star-studded lunch in June in the lead-up to the State of Origin Game Two in Sydney.
Dubbed “The Ultimate Footy Lunch”, the event will be held on Thursday June 21 at the Sydney Cricket Ground and will be open to the public. Tickets go on sale from today.
Guests will have the chance to get up close and personal with a raft of NRL legends, commentators and columnists from Fox League and The Daily Telegraph, including MC Yvonne Sampson, panel host Matty Johns, panellists Steve “Blocker” Roach, Ben Ikin, Gorden Tallis, Michael Ennis and The Telegraph’s Paul Kent. The Professor and Brett Finch will also make cameo appearances.
The Daily Telegraph’s head of sport Tim Morrissey said “all the big names and all the big issues” would be covered at the event.
“With over 200 people expected to attend and extensive interviews with our hosts and the NRL player panel, this is one of the biggest and most star-studded lunches on the footy calendar for the year.”
Wagering giant Tabcorp could reap betting turnover of more than $100 million from the upcoming football World Cup, boosted by broadcasting all matches on its Sky Racing channels, reports The AFR’s John Stensholt.
The World Cup, to be hosted by Russia, is traditionally one of the biggest events for all bookmakers every four years but Tabcorp believes it has an edge on its rivals from a unique broadcasting deal.
Tabcorp will show all 64 matches of the event, which begins in the early hours of June 15 Australian time with the clash between the hosts and Saudi Arabia, in pubs and clubs and its TAB and UBET venues after striking an agreement with rights holders Optus and SBS.