Have Nine’s Business Sunday and the ABC’s Inside Business been spying on each other? Both had startlingly similar programs yesterday – Steve Vizard, media law changes and increased competition in consumer financial markets. Between Business Sunday at 8am and Inside Business at 9.45 it was deja vu all over again.

The coverage of Steve Vizard, after he arrived home in Melbourne last night, was a given: both covered it and both had commentaries related to it.

The still unsighted changes to the media laws from the federal government were looked at: Inside Business more broadly with some concentration on the dangers to the media companies, consumers and employees. Business Sunday’s report was a more lightweight effort that looked at regional markets in particular, and for a program that claims to be a business current affairs leader to talk about media changes and not canvass what might happen to the ownership of its own network was pretty weak.

Both programs then looked at increased competition in consumer financial markets: Business Sunday with a report by Karen Tso (who tore herself away from the Sydney media’s social pages to report) and Inside Business with a not too bad interview with Tom Gentile of GE Money. Both reports approached the idea from different angles.

Spooky the way the programs’ content echoed each other. But Inside Business did have the standout report: a very nice business profile on the two Melbourne men behind the Maxwell and Williams homewares brand.

But offsetting that was the mistake and glitch-riddled earlier parts of the program. Why was Inside Business allowed to go to air with so many audio problems and dodgy edits of both audio and vision. In contrast Business Sunday was a smooth, good looking effort, despite being live.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey