Seven promises increased V8 Supercar coverage. By the
end of this week the Seven Network will have formally regained the rights to
broadcast the V8 Supercars after its AFL partner; Ten Network, declined to use
its last right to top the Seven
offer. That
will end Ten’s decade long involvement with the gas guzzlers, which has been
part of its strategy to tap into the 16 to 39 age group. Ten
CEO, Grant Blackley, said in a statement that “having reviewed the offer
extensively and taken into account the market value of V8 Supercars in the
Australian and international sporting landscape, this deal makes no commercial
sense.” Tough words: they could also apply to the $780 million that
Seven and Ten are going to pay the AFL for the TV
rights from next year. The
next meeting of the erstwhile AFL partners might be a little edgy: especially
with speculation that Seven and Ten might swap days on the weekend to suit each
other’s aims. Seven
is said to be wondering if the rights to Saturdays might be more valuable as it
would give it a strong finish to each week of ratings in autumn, winter and
early Spring. Offsetting that is the nice
boost to Sunday evening news viewing that comes from the 4pm game that Nine now broadcasts. It is
undecided what Ten will do with its motor sports coverage: there won’t be any retrenchments and the Sunday
afternoon motor program, RPM, will stay and continue to be built around the F1 cars and
the Moto GP bike series. All
Seven has said is that it has submitted a competitive offer which would
expand television coverage of V8s in Australia. Ten were believed to be paying
$7.5 million a year and knocked back an offer of $9 million to take it off the
table. Seven has reportedly offered
around $10 million a year over the six year
contract. There have been worries that
the Seven coverage will clash with its AFL coverage but its offer rules that
out and claims there will be more coverage. It’s now up to V8 Supercars
Australia to accept the Seven offer. They intend holding Seven to the expectation of increased
TV coverage. Glenn Dyer

Three artists for Venice a cop-out. There has been a tradition
of just one artist being chosen to represent Australia at the
prestigious Venice Biennale. It mightn’t be fair – art rarely is – but
it takes curatorial courage to select just one name from a bunch of
worthies, and a single artist also focuses the interest of the media
and the audience both here and in Venice. So the Australia Council has
squibbed it this year in naming three artists to represent Australia in
Venice next year. They are established Melbourne installation artist
Callum Morton; New Zealand-born Daniel Von Sturmer, a relative newcomer
whose work is also installation-based; and the painter turned
multimedia artist, Susan Norrie, who is by far and away the best known
of the trio and deserving of representing Australia all by herself. The
Australia Council’s commissioner for Venice, John Kalder was quoted in The Australian
saying that “the artists exemplified the richness and diversity of this
country’s contemporary visual arts.” With respect, that’s nonsense. They represent the quite specific tastes of
the cool curatorial crowd. That’s not a criticism of their work, it’s just a
fact. And if the curatorial gatekeepers had any nerve, they would have given the
gig to Norrie alone. She’s been at it for decades and is still producing good
work. She deserves it. – Stephen Feneley

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners:

Seven by a goodish margin but Nine ran dead again with repeats because
it doesn’t have to try and win the week. The Miners and tonight, the
Rugby League State of Origin in Sydney and Brisbane, will win it for
them. But Seven will be happy. Its Border Security (1.888 million) and
Medical Emergency (1.788 million) ran first and second between 7.30pm
and 8.30pm. The duo blitzed everything else and are proving a handy
filler. Seven News (1.593 million) and Today Tonight (1.562 million)
were third and fourth, but that flowed from big wins in Perth against
the poorly-run Nine affiliate, STW 9. Nine News was Nine’s best with
1.542 million: All Saints was 6th with 1.427 million from 8.30pm to
9.30pm. So with Deal or No Deal winning the 5.30pm battle, Seven was
number one nationally from 5.30pm to 9.30pm. but not in Sydney or
Melbourne where Nine was competitive. A repeat of CSI in Sydney beat a
new ep of All Saints for example. That repeat of CSI was 7th with 1.399
million, A Current Affair was next with 1.388 million, Temptation
pipped Home and Away, 1.347 million to 1.334 million and Survivor
was 11th with 1.228 million. Big Brother was Ten’s best at 12th
with 1.164 million. OK, but not as good as The Biggest Loser. A repeat
of CSI New York was 13th with 1.164 million and Deal or No Deal was
14th with 1.005 million.

The Losers:Bert’s Family Feud
still over 700,000 (705,000) but Deal or No Deal was over the million
mark for the second day in a row (1.005 million). That was as much the
cold day and evening in Sydney in particular yesterday. The coldest day
of the year so far in fact. No real losers except those viewers who
watched Nine’s repeats. They only have themselves to blame. The ABC’s
Agony Aunts at 8pm with Clive Robertson shed around 150,000 viewers
last night compared to its opening a week ago. It finished with 672,000
people. Nine’s Survivor finally got traction with an audience of more
than 1.2 million, which is about time, says Nine.

News & CA: Seven
moved back into a narrow national lead, despite losing Sydney and
Brisbane . Seven won Melbourne narrowly, won Adelaide comfortably and
had the usual big win in Perth which got it home. Today Tonight beat
ACA by 170,000 viewers. Nine’s ACA won Sydney, lost Melbourne,
Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth where the margin was a huge 117,000
people. Will Seven News reassert itself in Sydney or has the miners
coverage given Nine News the impetus to take back the lead in the
country’s most vital, and most expensive market? The 7pm ABC News
averaged 978,000, The 7.30 Report fell to 765,000 and Ten News at Five
averaged 974,000 viewers. Seven’s Sunrise continues to give Today a

The Stats: Seven won with 31.2% (28.6% a week ago)
from Nine with 28.9% (26.7%), Ten was third with 22.1% (26.4%), the ABC
with 13.3% (13.3% a week earlier)and SBS with 4.5% (5.0%). Nine won
Sydney and Brisbane, Seven won Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. Nine
continues to make up ground in Sydney on Seven, but is still weaker in
Melbourne. Should Seven have done a little better seeing Nine was
running repeats again last night? The joys of having the miners and The
State of Origin: it means you can husband your thinnish inventory one
more week. There was minimal mention of the miners last night and they
are dying as a story: until they can be interviewed separately and
asked the same questions.

Glenn Dyer’s comments:
And for
all those viewers in the deep south and west whom I forgot yesterday,
Yes, Thank God You’re Here is on at 7.30pm tonight in Melbourne,
Adelaide and Perth, anywhere where AFL is played. It was on last night
in Sydney and Brisbane and very funny it was too – watch for Hamish
Blake’s rock star character. Very Spicks and Specks, which is on tonight
and will be getting my attention, as well as the State of Origin. A
busy night is in store.Viewers in those AFL-afflicted regions can watch
the greatest game of all from 9.30pm local on Nine in most
markets. Apart from that nothing else matters tonight. Seven is running
dead with an interview with a couple of princes from Britain. Royals, I
think they are. House is still around. It is of course a repeat, but
people will still watch. Australians love turning on the tellies each
night and watching: it’s comforting.