Free TV miffed by government’s iceberg of policy in a sea of nothing

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 9 : 15-Apr-19

Free TV Australia CEO Bridget Fair has criticised the federal government’s failure to relax the content requirements of traditional broadcasters after nearly six years in office. She was responding to its decision to allow streaming video companies to access tax offsets for content that is filmed in Australia. Traditional broadcasters remain subject to quotas for content such as children’s programs and adult dramas. Fair contends that such quotas do not reflect changes in viewing habits.

CORPORATES
FREE TV AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS, NETFLIX INCORPORATED, STAN ENTERTAINMENT PTY LTD, AMAZON PRIME VIDEO, TEN ALL-ACCESS

Furious PM’s office threatens Ten over Waleed Aly’s emotional Christchurch plea

Original article by Samantha Maiden
The New Daily – Page: Online : 19-Mar-19

Sources at the Ten Network have confirmed that the office of Prime Minister Scott Morrison has complained about comments made by Waleed Aly on ‘The Project’ in the wake of the Christchurch mosque attacks. Aly did not mention Morrison by name in his editorial, in which he said a member of the Coalition’s shadow cabinet in 2010 suggested that the party should capitalise on anti-Muslim sentiment in the community. Aly then said the unnamed person is now Australia’s "most senior politician", a comment which prompted Morrison’s office to warn of the potential for defamation action.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, TEN NETWORK HOLDINGS LIMITED

Video-on-demand surges

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 26 : 4-Mar-19

New data shows that Australians viewed 2.9 billion minutes of TV programs and movies via broadcast video-on-demand platforms in February 2019, compared with two billion minutes during the same month in 2018. The figures also show that there was a 41 per cent increase in the number of viewers who watched a program live, while the number who watched content when it suited them rose by 44 per cent year-on-year. ThinkTV CEO Kim Portrate says BVOD is more effective for advertisers than other social video platforms, and she notes that 500 advertisers opted to use BVOD for the first time in 2018.

CORPORATES
THINK TV, SEVEN NETWORK LIMITED, NINE NETWORK AUSTRALIA LIMITED, TEN NETWORK HOLDINGS LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, SPECIAL BROADCASTING SERVICE (SBS), FOXTEL MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, 9NOW, 7PLUS, 10 PLAY, UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, FOX SPORTS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, MULTI CHANNEL NETWORK PTY LTD, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, CBS CORPORATION

Nine chief upbeat as digital lifts earnings

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 21 : 22-Feb-19

Nine Entertainment Company has posted a pro-forma net profit of $126m for the first half of 2018-19, which is five per cent higher than previously. EBITDA rose by six per cent to $252m, although revenue fell three per cent to $1.2bn. CEO Hugh Marks notes that broadcasting now accounts for 54 per cent of the group’s revenue, compared with 86 per cent prior to the merger with Fairfax Media. Nine’s shares closed 7.2 per cent higher at $1.57 on 21 February.

CORPORATES
NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED, STAN ENTERTAINMENT PTY LTD, MACQUARIE MEDIA LIMITED – ASX MRN, DOMAIN HOLDINGS AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX DHA, 9NOW, METRO MEDIA PUBLISHING PTY LTD, NINE.COM.AU, PEDESTRIAN

Fairfax regional papers to be sold by mid-year

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 21 : 22-Feb-19

Nine Entertainment Company has advised that prospective buyers are undertaking due diligence on its Australian Community Media business, and a deal should be finalised by mid-2019. Formerly owned by Fairfax Media, ACM comprises more than 170 community and regional newspapers. Nine has also commenced the sale process for its New Zealand division, Stuff, as well as its events business.

CORPORATES
NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY MEDIA, STUFF LIMITED, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, ALLEGRO FUNDS PTY LTD, ANCHORAGE CAPITAL PARTNERS PTY LTD, PLATINUM EQUITY HOLDINGS, DOMAIN HOLDINGS AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX DHA

Seven slashes debt, looks to banks’ ad spend

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 23 : 20-Feb-19

Seven West Media has posted a 2018-19 interim underlying net profit of $91.8m, which is 7.8 per cent lower than previously. Revenue was 1.5 per cent lower at $797.4m. Seven has scaled back its full-year EBIT growth forecast to no more than five per cent at best. CEO Tim Worner says Seven was affected by the weaker advertising market, but he expects banks and insurers to increase their advertising expenditure in the wake of the Hayne royal commission. He adds that free-to-air TV is a compelling proposition for banks as they seek to rebuild trust in their brands.

CORPORATES
SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, CCZ EQUITIES PTY LTD, AIRTASKER PTY LTD, HEALTHENGINE PTY LTD, SOCIETYONE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Streaming eases pull-back in bank ads

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 18 : 8-Feb-19

Data from KPMG shows that advertising revenue for broadcast video on-demand services such as Foxtel Now and 7Plus rose 43 per cent to $61 million in the six months to December, compared to the previous corresponding period. Advertising revenue for traditional capital city free-to-air television and subscription TV fell by four per cent to $1.7 billion, with a fall in advertising by banks blamed for much of the decline.

CORPORATES
FOXTEL NOW, FOXTEL MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, TEN NETWORK HOLDINGS LIMITED, KPMG AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Private equity funds size up regional titles

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 24 : 4-Feb-19

Allegro Funds, Anchorage Capital and Platinum Equity are said to be the leading contenders to acquire Nine Entertainment Company’s portfolio of regional newspapers, which it inherited via the merger with Fairfax Media. Independent expert Grant Samuel had valued Fairfax’s Australian Community Media division at $100m to $120m in 2018, and the business generates EBITDA of around $52m a year. Nine is also believed to be looking to sell Fairfax’s New Zealand business, Stuff.

CORPORATES
NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNITY MEDIA, ALLEGRO FUNDS PTY LTD, ANCHORAGE CAPITAL PARTNERS PTY LTD, PLATINUM EQUITY HOLDINGS, STUFF LIMITED, RURAL PRESS LIMITED, APOLLO GLOBAL MANAGEMENT LLC, MACQUARIE CAPITAL PTY LTD, TPG CAPITAL LP, GRANT SAMUEL AND ASSOCIATES PTY LTD, JEFFERIES AND COMPANY, HT&E LIMITED – ASX HT1, NZME LIMITED – ASX NZM, MACQUARIE MEDIA LIMITED – ASX MRN

Mogul Gordon grabs shares to increase stake in Nine

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 16 : 10-Jan-19

Australian businessman Bruce Gordon has lifted his direct stake in Nine Entertainment Company from 7.6 per cent to 8.9 per cent. Gordon has a total economic interest in Nine of about 13.4 per cent when a 4.5 per cent stake held via a cash-settled share swap is taken into account. Gordon’s stake in Nine had been diluted by its merger with Fairfax Media.

CORPORATES
NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED, BIRKETU PTY LTD, DEUTSCHE BANK AG, APOLLO GLOBAL MANAGEMENT LLC

Sign of the times as Fairfax goes

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 13 & 14 : 9-Jan-19

Nine Entertainment Company has confirmed that it is seeking a buyer for Fairfax Media’s events business, which has been valued at between $24m and $32m by Macquarie Group. Meanwhile, Nine has begun the process of phasing out the Fairfax Media brand; workers have used black plastic sheeting to cover the Fairfax signage on the newspaper publisher’s headquarters in the Sydney suburb of Pyrmont. Some Fairfax staff were recently relocated to Nine’s offices in the Sydney CBD in the wake of the $4.2bn merger.

CORPORATES
NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED, LOTUS DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, EURO PROPERTIES, SYDNEY CITY COUNCIL, SPORTS MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT 360, NINE LIVE PTY LTD, AFFINITY EQUITY PARTNERS (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD, GOOGLE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD