Channel Nine won last night, but only just, and at this point in the week, Seven is averaging 28.9 per cent of the prime time audience, with Nine on 26.4, Ten on 22.9, ABC on 16.3 and SBS on 5.4.
1 SEVEN NEWS Seven 1,618,000
2 TODAY TONIGHT Seven 1,580,000
3 NINE NEWS Nine 1,411,000
4 SPICKS AND SPECKS ABC 1,391,000
5 CHASER’S WAR ON EVERYTHING ABC 1,382,000
6 MCLEOD’S DAUGHTERS Nine 1,355,000
7 TEN NEWS AT FIVE Ten 1,331,000
8 HOUSE Ten 1,325,000
14 ANZAC DAY AFL Ten 1,192,000
15 BIG BROTHER Ten 1,184,000
Source: Sydney Morning Herald
It Takes Two: Media Release
Hot on the heels of DANCING WITH THE STARS comes the return of Channel 7’s live weekly celebrity singing show on Tuesday nights – IT TAKES TWO, which pairs celebrities with some of Australia’s best-loved and renowned singers. Grant Denyer returns as host of It Takes Two which sees the couples competing in a duet-singing showdown backed by a live show band.
The couples are judged by a combination of viewer votes and a panel of industry experts to see who will be crowned series champions. Each week the competing couples will have to belt out tunes from a variety of musical genres including pop, rock, musicals and ballads.
Confirmed celebrities who will step out of their comfort zone are:
Bobby Morley, Home and Away actor Daniel Kowalski, Former Olympic swimmer Ernie Dingo, The Great Outdoors television presenter and actor Jo Stanley, Breakfast radio host and television personality
Jolene Anderson, All Saints actress Julia Zemiro, Comedy Star of Radio, TV and theatre Krystal Forscutt, Reality star and pin up girl Lochie Daddo, Television presenter Mimi Macpherson, Environmentalist and businesswoman Russell Gilbert, Comedian
The well-known and respected professional singers who will mentor the celebrities are:
Anthony Callea, Australia’s record breaking popstar, Dave Gleeson, Screaming Jets frontman David Campbell, Swing sensation David Hobson, Opera singer Jade MacRae, Soul singer Kate Ceberano, Multi award winning singer Paulini Curuenavuli, Young Diva Rachael Beck, Theatrical singer and dancer Troy Cassar-Daley, Country singer Wendy Matthews, Australian singing legend.
It Takes Two is a BBC format, and is a co-production between BBC Worldwide and Seven.
IT TAKES TWO Returns Tuesday May 8 at 7.30pm on Seven / Prime
Nick Tabakoff of The Australian reports:
BILLIONAIRE TV owner Bruce Gordon has endorsed Macquarie Bank as a likely business partner in expanding his WIN regional television empire as he fights takeover battles on two fronts for television stations.
Mr Gordon told The Australian: "With Macquarie, we like them, we’ve had talks with them over many years and they’ve done a great job."
The WIN owner said Macquarie could become more involved with WIN as it examines a float: "They’re the kind of people we’d work with, particularly if we’re doing an IPO initial public offering of shares."
Asked about working with an organisation such as Macquarie to examine purchasing larger media assets, Mr Gordon replied: "In a hypothetical situation, we’d have to look at something like that with Macquarie."
Macquarie Bank controls the Macquarie Media Group, owner of a mass of regional radio stations that would fit well with WIN’s TV assets.
Mr Gordon has expressed his wish to expand the company’s media empire through what he sees as a "one-in-20-year" chance: "We want to fill in the blanks."
His opportunity has been created by the recent proclamation of new media laws relaxing cross and foreign ownership requirements that have seen other media groups such as PBL and Seven take capital injections from private equity.
In his latest interview, Mr Gordon has made it clear he is interested in expansion through a similar injection of investment capital but expresses a clear preference for working with a local investor such as Macquarie rather than foreign private equity firms.
"I don’t look at Macquarie the same way I look at a Blackstone or a KKR or a CVC. Those people are tough private equity people." Last month, Mr Gordon said private equity firms only wanted to "roll the investment over".
Mr Gordon also said he favoured a partial stockmarket float of WIN’s TV assets as a basis for expansion.
The 78-year-old billionaire has turned the single NSW south coast station he purchased from Rupert Murdoch in 1979 into one of Australia’s most diversified media companies. WIN Corporation directly owns 24 Nine Network affiliate stations across the country. It also has stakes in Sunraysia Television (which owns Channel Nine Perth) and SP Telemedia (which owns central and northern NSW Nine Network affiliate NBN Television).
It is the last two investments that have provoked most discussion in recent weeks.
Earlier this month, WIN launched a $163.2million takeover bid for Channel Nine in Perth, topping a PBL Media bid for the station by $27 million.
PBL Media has moved quickly to counter the WIN bid on the west coast, this week making a "non-binding proposal" for NBN in a deal believed to be worth in excess of $170 million.
The Australian understands WIN, aided by advisers Goldman Sachs JBWere, completed its due diligence on NBN early last week. So far, there has been no indication WIN has made any offer on NBN but Mr Gordon has made it clear he wants to buy the regional operator.
The addition of NBN and Channel Nine in Perth would give WIN the basis of a lucrative stockmarket float. One media executive at another network said this week that NBN – the highest rating station in any network in Australia – was a "must-buy" in the context of WIN’s grander plans.
A senior media analyst at a broking firm agreed, suggesting with WIN now in the box seat for Channel Nine Perth, PBL Media may offer some form of "swap" with Mr Gordon.
"Either Bruce Gordon aggressively outbids PBL Media for NBN or he can engineer a swap, assuming NBN is more important than Channel Nine Perth."
But one senior media executive believes NBN is also a good purchase for the Nine Network, given it has rugby league rights and the Newcastle/northern NSW region is passionate rugby league territory.
"PBL Media would be smart buying NBN, it’s in an adjoining zone and they can run it from Sydney," he said.
Amanda Meade at The Australian reports:
TEN’S 2007 Big Brother website, the first significant plank in the television network’s fledgling internet strategy, remained crippled by technical problems last night, angering fans and making sponsors nervous.
Integrated website sponsorships with 3mobile, KFC and Starburst promised to be a key factor in the show’s profitability this year, and sponsors have paid millions to leverage the mass audience across TV, mobile phones and the internet.
But four days into the series, fans remained unable to sign up for all the promised features, existing subscribers were not getting what they paid for and Ten was giving away the live stream free to quell frustration.
In a substantial privacy breach, some subscribers’ details were shown to members who tried to log on. But Ten said last night that credit card details were secure and that no credit card data was stored on any Ten or BB07 server.
The debacle is an embarrassing start to the network’s program block for 2007 and is yet another crisis to emanate from the Big Brother website.
Last year’s streaming of the so-called "turkey slapping" incident was seen live by a only handful of people but it led to a federal government review of reality-TV rules, which remain a threat to Ten’s freedom.
Communications Minister Helen Coonan has failed to release a response to the inquiry, leaving producers in limbo.
The opening-night ratings were the lowest recorded debut in seven years, but the new rules and the twists of series seven appear to have been fairly well received. Last year, the 2006 Big Brother website was the most popular TV portal, with up to 1.5 million unique users a month and 640,000 premium subscribers.
But this year it promised to be even more popular as the axing of the late-night Big Brother Uncut program meant the web was the only place to see adult content.
The website is a joint venture between Ten and Endemol Southern Star, which owns the site as part of the format. But, for the first time, Ten is providing the infrastructure and technology.
Ten’s general manager of digital media Damian Smith told Media the internet forums, on which fans could post comments, remained closed and it was still not possible to subscribe to the $39.95 premium content, which included video, nude shower photographs and stories not suitable for under-15s.
The BB Instant Messenger product had also been delayed.
However, Mr Smith said he expected all the features to be available by the end of today.
"All technical problems that were experienced on Sunday night have been resolved, and all necessary changes to hardware and software implemented," Mr Smith said. "We are progressively rolling out all features of the site in a very deliberate fashion and, as of Wednesday morning, premium content and forums are the only features from launch that have not yet been re-enabled."
The false start to Big Brother is potentially a disaster for Ten’s sponsors, although none has threatened to pull out yet. "We have been keeping our sponsors up to date with what has happened on the site, and we are confident we will work with them to deliver a great experience for them online," Mr Smith said.
A 3mobile spokesman said: "As a sponsor of Big Brother, we have been fully updated and are satisfied that Ten is working to resolve any issue relating to registration on its Big Brother website."
The company said its support extended beyond the TV broadcast and the website, with some speculation that the inability to view some content online might even have prompted more 3 users to use its mobile phone feeds.
But thousands of fans who signed up for the premium content before Sunday were angered by the failure and have demanded a refund. Mr Smith said he was working on a way of compensating people who had paid and missed out on content.
Mr Smith joined Ten from LookSmart in July last year to head up its internet strategy. He told industry publication Media Week before the launch that the website was a profitable business in its own right this year.
He said the launch was significant because Big Brother was "the first big cab off the rank".
"Expect to see a fairly significant new website for Australian Idol later this year," he said.
The Big Brother site is a goldmine for advertisers, as subscribers can opt to receive emails from sponsors.
The technical failure on Sunday night meant a "small number of registered users would have seen the identity of another registered user when they logged into the site", Mr Smith said. "As soon as it became clear this was occurring, we disabled all features connected with registration. No credit card details were at risk and those details are absolutely secure. The website employs industry-standard SSL protection for credit card entry. We take our obligations under privacy legislation and guidelines very seriously, and will work to restore users’ trust."
Big Brother is broadcast on Southern Cross TEN
Many might ask why publish the national television ratings when we have our own Hunter Region ratings results to be guided by? The answer is that I believe it provides a clearer picture of overall viewing trends and some insight into how ratings and programming may evolve over the ratings year.
Without doubt the Hunter market throws up some significant variations to national trends: NBN rates much higher here than Nine is nationally, while Prime and SC TEN rate slightly lower than their national counterparts. Therefore it is clearly necessary to study local results. However, understanding how certain programs are rating nationally can be equally important, especially when you are trying to buy media several months in advance.
Sticky Advertising uses a combination of local and national ratings results to determine trends and anticipate which shows are going to have longevity or consistency. For example, a new show may rate well on NBN locally but be struggling in a key time slot for the Nine Network. If that is the case then there is a big chance that program will be moved to another timeslot or cancelled.
Full Hunter ratings results are also not released as regularly as the national figures, so it can take a while for the performance of programs to become apparent in this market. Following national figures, which can be obtained daily allows us to react more quickly and buy more accuratley for our clients.
What Australia watched, Tuesday
1 DANCING WITH THE STARS 6 Seven 1,899,000
2 ALL SAINTS Seven 1,496,000
3 SEVEN NEWS Seven 1,461,000
4 TODAY TONIGHT Seven 1,381,000
5 A CURRENT AFFAIR Nine 1,247,000
6 NINE NEWS Nine 1,230,000
7 HOME AND AWAY Seven 1,190,000
8 TEMPTATION Nine 1,075,000
9 ABC NEWS ABC 1,070,000
10 BIG BROTHER Ten 1,058,000
(OzTAM preliminary estimates, mainland capitals)
Seven won the night, and at this point in the week is averaging 29.8 per cent of the prime time audience, with Nine on 25.9, Ten on 23.3, ABC on 15.5 and SBS on 5.5.
What Australia watched, Monday April 23
1 SEVEN NEWS Seven 1,487,000
2 A CURRENT AFFAIR Nine 1,428,000
3 TODAY TONIGHT Seven 1,347,000
4 BIG BROTHER – GAME ON Ten 1,324,000
5 1 VS 100 Nine 1,322,000
6 DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES Seven 1,308,000
7 NINE NEWS Nine 1,290,000
8 HOME AND AWAY Seven 1,219,000
9 THE RICH LIST Seven 1,162,000
10 CSI: NY Nine 1,144,000
11 TEMPTATION Nine 1,131,000
12 WHAT’S GOOD FOR YOU Nine 1,025,000
What Australia watched, Sunday
1 60 MINUTES Nine 1,603,000
2 BIG BROTHER – OPENING Ten 1,549,000
3 NINE NEWS SUNDAY Nine 1,515,000
4 SEVEN NEWS – SUN Seven 1,484,000
5 AUSTRALIA’S GOT TALENT Seven 1,398,000
6 GREY’S ANATOMY Seven 1,300,000
7 COUNTDOWN TO THE BIGGEST LOSER Ten 1,273,000
8 20 TO 1 Nine 1,234,000
9 UGLY BETTY Seven 1,216,000
10 CURTIN ABC 1,186,000
11 ROBIN HOOD ABC 1,106,000
12 ROVE Ten 1,073,000
(OzTAM preliminary estimates, mainland capitals)
-Source: Sydney Morning Herald
NBN Battle Continues26Apr07
The Sydney Morning Herald 26.4.07 reports:
BRUCE GORDON’S WIN Corporation is expected to make a counter-bid for the high-rating regional broadcaster NBN Television once James Packer’s PBL Media has finished inspecting its books within the next week.
WIN is also understood to be interested in acquiring Channel Nine in Adelaide, which could be put on the block should Macquarie Media Group take over the TV station’s parent company, Southern Cross Broadcasting.
Mr Gordon’s race to secure regional Nine affiliates on the west and east coasts intensified this week when PBL Media made an undisclosed offer for NBN, which serves Newcastle, the Gold Coast, Moree and Narrabri. Analysts say the media assets could fetch more than $200 million.
PBL Media’s offer for NBN follows a $160 million bid from WIN, and media executives expect WIN to will lodge a counter bid.
"Gordon showed his intentions with Western Australia, and Newcastle finished off the jigsaw puzzle for him – he will not let it go," an executive said.
WIN faces its own battle for Channel Nine in Perth after last week trumping PBL Media’s bid of $130 million.
The station’s owner, Sunraysia, has recommended shareholders accept WIN’s bid of $163 million, but PBL Media has been left ample time to consider making an improved offer.
Shareholders will not vote on the WIN bid until at least late May.
The latest stoush comes as PBL and WIN are expected to meet tomorrow to discuss an agreement for Nine affiliation.
Mr Gordon stands to gain greater leverage in negotiations over broadcasting feeds from PBL if he succeeds in expanding his TV empire.
The meeting comes just days after the owner of NBN, Newcastle-based SP Telemedia, confirmed it had given PBL Media exclusive rights to conduct due diligence on its media assets. This will take less than two weeks.
Macquarie Equities estimates the assets could fetch between $187 million and $204 million, although the broker emphasised that this could rise "if a competitive bidding environment is created".
BBY analyst Mark McDonnell said NBN was a "very logical fit" with WIN’s television operations in southern NSW.
"WIN clearly appears to be very interested in acquiring NBN … it’s a more logical option than the Perth [station] for them," Mr McDonnell said.
"If it gets Adelaide as well, suddenly it gets to a point where its population reach is larger than any other affiliate – it’s an interesting exercise in positioning."
WIN, whose head office is in Wollongong, gained a stake of almost 13 per cent in SP Telemedia last year, making it the company’s second-largest shareholder.
But just four weeks ago, Bruce Gordon’s son Andrew – who runs WIN with chief executive George Papadopoulos – resigned from SP Telemedia’s board.
The Sydney Morning Herald’s Paul McIntyre reports:
AUSTRALIA’s biggest buyer of TV airtime, GroupM, has told the commercial TV networks it will hire its own TV programming producers and wants more advertiser content in network shows as part of its $800 million annual TV rate negotiations, which are about to start.
GroupM controls nearly a third of all metropolitan TV advertising in Australia and confirmed this week it planned to restructure its global business whereby it will become a major stand-alone investor in original TV programming and digital content.
Although much of GroupM’s new content investments will not rely on advertiser funding, the global media buying giant plans to use its local and worldwide advertising buying power to negotiate programming distribution rights with broadcasters for its own shows as well as push for broader integration of client brands into local and international TV formats.
The initial focus in Australia will be on the $80 million that GroupM negotiates each year in TV program sponsorships. GroupM’s national trading director, James Parkinson, said the company was taking TV producers in-house to improve the flow of information between advertisers, TV networks and production companies to ensure better integration of "brands and brand messages" in and around local and international programming.
Mr Parkinson cited Hyundai’s editorial and sponsorship involvement in Seven’s new primetime show, Last Chance Learners, and Huggies’ production funding of the new daytime format, Mums and Bubs, also on Seven, as examples of what GroupM would be doing more of through its agency brands such as Mediacom, Mindshare and Mediaedge:cia.
But non-advertiser-backed content was also high on GroupM’s agenda, Mr Parkinson said. He pointed to the success of GroupM’s $US20 million ($24 million) investment in a top rating show for the US TV season this year on ABC, October Road. The six-part series debuted on March 13 with 13.9 million viewers and ranked as the ninth most watched show in the US, although its audience nearly halved in subsequent episodes before recovering in the final two shows.
Group M’s parent company, WPP, also paid $US25 million for a founding stake in a film studio started by the founders of Miramax, Bob and Harvey Weinstein. And the media buyer has 20 TV productions under way now around the globe; half are pure Group M content investments rather than advertiser-funded initiatives.
The company also has three global "reality show formats" it is pitching to broadcasters.
"If you think about all the technology changes that are happening around us, a piece of content is going to have a longer life span than ever before," Mr Parkinson said.
"It might move from the theatre to pay TV to broadcast and ultimately it could end up as user-generated content. In the digital space it could be there for a long time. We want to be part of a group that takes revenues from that content for as long as that content lasts. If we only buy advertising in the middle of that content, we’re probably missing an opportunity on a global scale."
He said that, as original content producers, GroupM wanted to use its access and relationships with media owners to ensure distribution rights.
"If you think about content distribution, we are a huge consumer of any major media outlet," he told the Herald. "If one of the initiatives we want to bring to the table makes sense for a broadcaster, it might advantage them in future [advertising rate and volume] negotiations.
"If we had 200 hours of programming in the future and one media supplier found a way of using that, it’s an opportunity for them. We as a business are trying to create a different model."
Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin will be inducted into the Australian Television Hall of Fame at this year’s Logie Awards. The late wildlife conservationalist and entertainer will be honoured for his work in the wildlife documentary field and for his contribution to the nation’s entertainment industry. His wife Terri Irwin will accept the award at the ceremony on May 6.
“Our documentaries started airing in Australia and we were only ever going to do one episode about crocodiles and, in a very short period of time, we’d done 10 episodes to tremendous ratings,” Mrs Irwin told TV Week. She said people had become detached from wildlife in recent history and it was a “point of pride” for Steve that he was considered a pioneer of his genre.
The induction will provide a sombre reflection despite this year’s more youthful and comedic presenters.
I was recently invited to submit a chapter to an exciting new E-book titled The Conversation Age. The project was created by Gavin Heaton and Drew McLellan and has assembled n impressive list of contributers from around the world. Proceeds from the E-book will be donated to Variety, making it a worthwhile read for a worthwhile cause.
When instigating the project Gavin theorised:
"If ideas are the currency of our times then this is, undoubtedly, the age of conversation, for without the art of dialogue, the cut and thrust of debate and discussion, then the economy of ideas would implode under its own heavy weight. Instead, the reverse is true. Far from seeing an implosion, we are living in a time of proliferation — ideas build upon ideas, discussion grows from seeds of thought and single headlines give rise to a thousand medusa-like simulations echoing words whispered somewhere on the other side of the planet. All this — in an instant.
Technology in the guise of social media is giving rise to not virtual connections, but real conversation. The human desire to reach out, meet, share and converse is tapping into digital networks in an effort to transcend and obliterate the tyrranies of time, geography and, in some instances, culture. And the resulting explosion in content, commentary, activism and community is causing academics, marketers, advertisers, politicians and social commentators (amongst others) to call into question many of the demographic standards that have been relied upon for years."
….and thus an innovative new E-book is born via the contributions of a community of worldwide marketers.
Stay tuned for the imminent release of The Conversation Age.