Nine targets $266m in cost cuts as virus hits

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 15 : 31-Mar-20

Nine Entertainment Company aims to reduce its costs by $266m in calendar 2020, including $102m in the first half. Amongst other things, the media giant expects its broadcasting division to achieve cost savings $130m if the entire NRL season is cancelled; this would be split across the 2019-20 and 2020-21 financial years. Nine has also advised that the coronavirus lockdown has prompted strong growth in subscriptions and usage of its Stan and 9Now streaming services.

CORPORATES
NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, STAN ENTERTAINMENT PTY LTD, 9NOW

Seven pulls guidance amid advertising uncertainties

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 25 : 25-Mar-20

Seven West Media has withdrawn the earnings guidance it issued in February, citing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Seven had already downgraded its underlying EBIT guidance for 2019-20 at its half-year results presentation. Seven’s advertising revenue will be hit by the AFL’s decision to suspend its 2020 season until at least the end of May. It is also the official broadcaster of the Tokyo Olympic Games, which were to have been a key source of advertising revenue for the media group in 2020.

CORPORATES
SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM

Anderson bows out of Ten amid ViacomCBS revamp

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 19 : 12-Mar-20

US media giant ViacomCBS has advised that it will not replace Ten Network CEO Paul Anderson following his sudden resignation. It will instead appoint co-leads for the free-to-air network. A management restructuring will also result in Ten’s chief content officer Beverley McGarvey being promoted to the same role across ViacomCBS’s operations in Australia and New Zealand. Meanwhile, KordaMentha partner Henriette Rothschild has been appointed as ViacomCBS’s interim chief transformation officer.

CORPORATES
TEN NETWORK HOLDINGS LIMITED, VIACOMCBS INCORPORATED

Nine to give sport, movies the chop

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 19 : 27-Feb-20

Nine Entertainment Company has reported a 2019-20 interim net profit of $101.9m, which is 41 per cent lower than previously. The result was marred by write-downs totalling $75.2m. The Nine Network’s underlying earnings fell by 36 per cent to $103.5m and revenue was six per cent lower at $531.2m, while earnings from its digital and publishing assets rose by seven per cent to $46.7m. Nine CEO Hugh Marks has flagged cost cuts of $100m at the Nine Network over the next three years.

CORPORATES
NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, NINE NETWORK AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Free-to-air TV takes a $2bn tumble

Original article by Max Maddison
The Australian – Page: 25 : 24-Feb-20

Australia’s three commercial free-to-air networks have written down the value of their broadcasting licences by $2.276bn since 2015. Amongst other things, the networks are facing growing competition from subscription video-on-demand services, which are not subject to the same regulation as traditional broadcasters and do not pay tax in Australia. Research by Roy Morgan in 2019 showed that nearly 14 million Australians had a paid subscription to a streaming service.

CORPORATES
SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, SEVEN NETWORK LIMITED, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, NINE NETWORK AUSTRALIA LIMITED, TEN NETWORK HOLDINGS LIMITED, ROY MORGAN LIMITED

Seven slumps on downgrade

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 17 & 23 : 19-Feb-20

Seven West Media has posted a 2018-19 interim net loss of $66.3m, with underlying EBIT down 21 per cent at $119.7 and revenue falling 3.2 per cent to $771.7m. The media group advised that its full-year earnings will be 13 per cent lower than previously forecast amid challenging condition in the advertising market, while CEO James Warburton has flagged the potential for "transformative" mergers and acquisitions. Seven will seek to reduce costs by 20 per cent in the second half, and it will consider asset sales.

CORPORATES
SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM

Ten bounces back from Big Bash League loss

Original article by Zoe Samios
The Age – Page: Online : 17-Feb-20

New figures show that the Ten Network increased its share of the free-to-air TV advertising market by four percentage points in January, to 20.5 per cent. Ten’s share of advertising revenue fell to 16.4 per cent in January 2019, due to factors such as the loss of the Big Bash League broadcasting rights. This compares with 27.9 per cent in 2018, which was its last year as the BBL’s free-to-air broadcaster. The Nine and Seven networks’ share of ad revenue was 42.7 per cent and 36.9 per cent respectively in January.

CORPORATES
TEN NETWORK HOLDINGS LIMITED, NINE NETWORK AUSTRALIA LIMITED, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, SEVEN NETWORK LIMITED, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, BIG BASH LEAGUE

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

Primed: Harto poised to sign off

Original article by Caroline Overington
The Australian – Page: 13 & 18 : 18-Dec-19

Prime Media Group’s chairman John Hartigan expects shareholders to reject Seven West Media’s takeover offer for its regional affiliate on 18 December. He says the deal is likely to be blocked by major shareholders Bruce Gordon and Anthony Catalano, noting that they have a different agenda to other Prime investors. Hartigan supports the merger with Seven, arguing that cross-media ownership rules governing regional broadcasters are outdated and do not reflect the rise of streaming services. Hartigan has downplayed speculation that he will step down after the vote.

CORPORATES
PRIME MEDIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX PRT, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM