Mercury gives up on Bauer buyout

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich, Leo Shanahan
The Australian – Page: 17 : 23-Jan-20

Bauer Media Australia CEO Brendon Hill has confirmed that private equity firm Mercury Capital has withdrawn its offer to acquire the magazine publisher. Hill added that Bauer is open to another approach from the private equity sector if the company’s proposed merger with Pacific Magazines goes ahead. The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission recently expressed concern about the potential impact of the merger on competition in the magazine sector.

CORPORATES
BAUER MEDIA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, PACIFIC MAGAZINES PTY LTD, MERCURY CAPITAL PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM

Streaming services deliver surge in internet data downloads

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 7 : 22-Jan-20

Data from the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission shows that internet users’ data downloads increased by 47 per cent in 2018-19. The ACCC has indicated that growing use of subscription video-on-demand services was a major contributor to the sharp increase in data usage. The ACCC also notes that 88 per cent of the data downloaded during the financial year was via fixed broadband services, while the proportion of broadband plans with unlimited data has risen from six per cent in 2014-15 to 57 per cent.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, NETFLIX INCORPORATED, STAN ENTERTAINMENT PTY LTD, KAYO SPORTS, FOXTEL MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, OPTUS SPORT

Music to replace sport talk at Nine

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 17 : 22-Jan-20

Nine Entertainment Company intends to phase out its Macquarie Sports Radio network, which has not resonated with consumers. Nine will instead relaunch former radio station brands such as 2UE in Sydney and Magic in Melbourne. The Macquarie Sports Radio stations in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane will adopt a music format, featuring songs from the 1970, 80s and 90s. Nine has advised that the stations will honour their existing sports broadcasting rights contracts.

CORPORATES
NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, MACQUARIE SPORTS RADIO, RADIO 2UE SYDNEY PTY LTD, MAGIC FM

Kenny rejects Murdoch climate coverage attack

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 16-Jan-20

News Corporation’s climate coverage continues to attract scrutiny following criticism by James Murdoch, a director of the global company and the son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch. However, News Corp Australia commentator Chris Kenny contends that News Corp is one of the few media organisations that provide "fact-based, varied and realistic debate" on the issue. He adds that global coverage of climate change tends to be dominated by "alarmist and hysterical views". Former News Corp Australia employee Emily Townsend recently alleged that the company has engaged in a misinformation campaign to divert attention from climate change during the bushfires crisis.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, SKY NEWS, 21ST CENTURY FOX INCORPORATED

James Murdoch criticises father’s news outlets for climate crisis denial

Original article by Jim Waterson
The Guardian Australia – Page: Online : 15-Jan-20

The climate coverage of News Corp Australia’s newspapers has come under scrutiny in the wake of the bushfires crisis. James Murdoch and his wife Kathryn have issued a joint statement in which they criticise the media group’s continued climate change denial stance. Murdoch is a director of parent company News Corporation, and he stepped down as CEO of 21st Century Fox when it was sold to Walt Disney Company. Media mogul Rupert Murdoch told shareholders at New Corp’s 2019 AGM that there are no climate change deniers at the company.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, FOX NEWS, 21ST CENTURY FOX INCORPORATED, WALT DISNEY COMPANY

News, Murdochs give millions to aid victims

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich, Lachlan Moffet Gray
The Australian – Page: 5 : 15-Jan-20

News Corporation has announced a number of initiatives to assist communities that have been affected by the bushfires. It will donate $5m to bushfire relief programs, while executive chairman Rupert Murdoch will personally donate another $2m. Co-chairman Lachlan Murdoch recently donated $2m to the bushfire relief fund. News Corp Australia will also donate all revenue from metropolitan newspaper sales and advertising on 21 January to the bushfire relief appeal, while Foxtel will donate the proceeds from special advertising packages for its broadcasts of charity sports events and the Fire Fight concert.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, FOXTEL MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, CRICKET AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE, NATIONAL RUGBY LEAGUE

2020 should deliver some good news for traditional media

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 : 8-Jan-20

GroupM expects Australia’s advertising market to record growth of about five per cent in 2020, compared with four per cent in 2019. Nicola Lewis of Group expects major digital platforms such as Facebook and Google to drive growth in the sector. She also expects traditional media companies to record "modest" growth in advertising revenue. Lewis adds that there could be further growth in the broadcast video-on-demand market as consumers upgrade to new TVs.

CORPORATES
GROUPM COMMUNICATIONS PTY LTD, IPG MEDIABRANDS, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, OZTAM PTY LTD

Warning on coverage as Rugby Australia toys with Optus deal

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich, Zoe Samios
The Australian – Page: 15 : 23-Dec-19

Rugby Australia commenced talks with Optus regarding a broadcasting rights deal in November, after rejecting a ‘rollover’ agreement with incumbent broadcaster Foxtel. However, WPP AUNZ director John Steedman warns that a deal with Optus would be ‘disastrous’ for rugby due to the telco’s smaller audience. He also notes that advertisers would prefer a deal with a free-to-air or pay-TV network. Atomic 212 chairman Barry O’Brien agrees that rugby should be on free-to-air or pay-TV.

CORPORATES
RUGBY AUSTRALIA, SINGTEL OPTUS PTY LTD, FOXTEL MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, WPP AUNZ LIMITED – WPP, ATOMIC 212, ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS

Seven grabs Prime stake as takeover tanks

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 15 & 21 : 20-Dec-19

Seven West Media has become the biggest shareholder in Prime Media Group, after the latter’s shareholders rejected a merger proposal. Some 53.53 per cent of votes cast at Prime’s scheme meeting opposed the deal; chairman John Hartigan has described it as a "disappointing outcome" for both the majority of Prime’s shareholders and the regional TV sector. Meanwhile Seven has issued 30 million of its shares to Spheria Asset Management in return for 54.6 million shares in Prime, giving Seven a 14.9 per cent stake in its regional affiliate.

CORPORATES
SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, PRIME MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX PRT, SPHERIA ASSET MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, WIN CORPORATION PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY MEDIA, BAUER MEDIA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, PACIFIC MAGAZINES PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION

Seven takeover bid has failed, Prime admits

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 15 : 19-Dec-19

Seven West Media’s proposed acquisition of regional affiliate Prime Media Group has been cleared by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission. The ACCC would require Seven to divest the Spirit and RedFM radio networks in regional Western Australia to comply with broadcasting laws. However, Prime has indicated that the proxy votes which have been cast to date suggest that the deal will not proceed. Prime shareholders will vote on the deal on 19 December. Prime has confirmed that chairman John Hartigan will retire following the shareholders’ meeting.

CORPORATES
SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, PRIME MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX PRT, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, WIN CORPORATION PTY LTD, SPIRIT RADIO, REDFM