Rising costs and tough TV ad market eat into Nine’s profit

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 19 : 23-Aug-19

Nine Entertainment Company has posted a 2018-19 statutory net profit from continuing operations of $216.6m, which is three per cent higher than previously. Challenging conditions in the advertising market saw the Nine Network’s revenue fall by six per cent to $1.09bn; its costs rose four per cent to $876.6m, and Nine expects a similar increase in costs during 2019-20. The group’s publishing division posted full-year earnings of $82.7m, compared with $50.2m previously. Shareholders will receive a final dividend of $0.05 per share, and a full-year payout of $0.10.

CORPORATES
NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, NINE NETWORK AUSTRALIA LIMITED, FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED, MACQUARIE MEDIA LIMITED – ASX MRN, STAN ENTERTAINMENT PTY LTD, DOMAIN HOLDINGS AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX DHA, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM

Stan’s high-stakes battle in new Disney landscape

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 19 : 23-Aug-19

Video streaming service Stan has posted earnings of $500,000 for the second half of 2018-19, although it has made a full-year loss of $21.3m. Revenue increased by 62 per cent to $157.1m, while the number of active subscribers rose by 200,000 to 1.7 million. Stan’s costs increased by 23 per cent to $178.4m, largely due to expenditure on marketing its Disney content, which it is likely to lose when the rival Disney+ streaming service is launched in Australia in late 2019.

CORPORATES
STAN ENTERTAINMENT PTY LTD, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, WALT DISNEY COMPANY, NETFLIX INCORPORATED, FOXTEL NOW, KAYO SPORTS, AMAZON PRIME VIDEO, HAYU, PARAMOUNT PICTURES CORPORATION, VIACOM INCORPORATED, SHOWTIME, CBS CORPORATION

ABC loses bid to see federal police reasons for search warrant

Original article by Hannah Wootton
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 11 : 21-Aug-19

The Federal Court has ruled that the ABC had no "proper basis" for its claim that the Australian Federal Police failed to consider public policy factors when it applied for a warrant to search the public broadcaster’s Sydney offices in June. These factors included the protection of journalists’ sources and the implied freedom of political communication in the Constitution. The ABC is seeking to have the AFP’s warrant declared invalid and return of documents that were seized in the raid.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Seven set for tough result as ratings flop

Original article by Zoe Samios, Leo Shanahan
The Australian – Page: 23 : 19-Aug-19

Tribeca Investment Partners’ Jun Bei Liu expects Seven West Media to announce weak earnings and writedowns when its 2018-19 financial results are released on 20 August. The media group had issued a profit warning in May, and the Seven Network’s audience share is currently 2.4 per cent lower year-on-year. In contrast, the Nine Network’s audience share has risen by 3.4 per cent. New Seven West CEO James Warburton has noted that the Seven Network has some "ageing formats"; data from OzTAM shows that ‘My Kitchen Rules’ and ‘House Rules’ in particular have lost significant audience share in recent years.

CORPORATES
SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, SEVEN NETWORK LIMITED, NINE NETWORK AUSTRALIA LIMITED, TEN NETWORK HOLDINGS LIMITED, TRIBECA INVESTMENT PARTNERS PTY LTD, OZTAM PTY LTD

Program interruption: Nine caught on back foot as CFO Barnes exits

Original article by Zoe Samios
The Australian – Page: 19 : 15-Aug-19

Nine Entertainment has confirmed speculation that CFO Greg Barnes is to leave the company, with Nine stating Barnes will finish with it after the release of its full year results on 22 August. Nine’s integration with Fairfax following their $4 billion merger is currently in progress, and it is considered unusual for a CFO to be leaving at such a time. Barnes had been CFO at CSR before joining Nine, while recruiting firm Spencer Stuart has been hired to find his replacement.

CORPORATES
NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED, CSR LIMITED – ASX CSR, SPENCER STUART AND ASSOCIATES

Nine jumps on remaining Macquarie stake for $113.9m

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 : 13-Aug-19

Nine has announced a $1.46 per share offer for the remaining 45.5 per cent of Macquarie Media that it does not already own, with Nine to pay around $114 million for the stake. Macquarie Media is the owner of radio stations 2GB in Sydney and 3AW in Melbourne. Businessman John Singleton, who owns 32.3 per cent of Macquarie Media, stands to receive $81 million if the deal goes through. Nine acquired its majority stake in Macquarie Media as a result of its $4 billion merger with Fairfax Media in 2018.

CORPORATES
NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED, 2GB, 3AW SOUTHERN CROSS RADIO PTY LTD

Optus banks on EPL to boost subscribers

Original article by Supratim Adhikari
The Australian – Page: 26 : 9-Aug-19

Optus’s sports streaming service currently boasts more than 700,000 subscribers, and the telco is optimistic that the new English Premier League season will attract more customers. Optus CEO Allen Lew notes that no EPL matches will broadcast on free-to-air networks during the new season; he adds that in addition to live streaming of all matches, Optus Sport will seek to deliver additional value to customers via its coverage of the EPL. Optus initially secured exclusive EPL rights in 2015, and its deal was renewed in 2018.

CORPORATES
SINGTEL OPTUS PTY LTD, ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE

Secretive government agency linked to AFP raid on ABC, documents show

Original article by John Lyons
abc.net au – Page: Online : 7-Aug-19

The Australian Federal Police has released documents relating to the recent raid on the Sydney offices of the ABC, in response to a Freedom of Information request from Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick. However, the AFP has withheld some documents on the grounds that they contain material relating to a government agency that is exempt from FOI laws. Patrick says the AFP’s actions show that a second agency was involved in the investigation that led to the raid, and he believes that it is either ASIO or the Australian Signals Directorate. He has urged the federal government to reveal which agency was involved.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, CENTRE ALLIANCE, AUSTRALIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE ORGANISATION, AUSTRALIAN SIGNALS DIRECTORATE, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIAN SECRET INTELLIGENCE SERVICE

Home Affairs fights to restrict media

Original article by Mark Schliebs
The Australian – Page: 6 : 7-Aug-19

The Department of Home Affairs has used its submission to a parliamentary inquiry into press freedom to argue that the existing rules governing police search warrants are adequate. The Right to Know Coalition recently told the inquiry that the media industry should have the right to challenge warrants that are used to gather evidence against journalists. Home Affairs has contended that there is the potential for material evidence to be destroyed if there is advance notice that a warrant is to be issued. The ABC has rejected this suggestion, arguing that the destruction of ­evidence is a criminal offence under existing laws.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS, AUSTRALIA. PARLIAMENTARY JOINT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY, AUSTRALIA’S RIGHT TO KNOW COALITION OF MEDIA COMPANIES, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC

Media coalition seeks right to fight warrants

Original article by Leo Shanahan
The Weekend Australian – Page: 8 : 3-Aug-19

The Right to Know Coalition has used its submission to a parliamentary inquiry into freedom of the press to call for changes to the rules governing the issuance of police warrants. The coalition, which comprises 14 media companies and organisations, argued amongst other things that the media industry should have the right to challenge warrants that are used to gather evidence against journalists, and that all such applications should be put to an independent judge in open court. The inquiry was commissioned in response to the recent media raids.

CORPORATES
RIGHT TO KNOW COALITION, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS