ACMA introduces “The Register”. There is an upside to Senator Helen Coonan’s gift to our media proprietors. For the first time we will have a list of who owns what in the Australian media. But it will be an old fashioned list of old fashioned media; two of which, radio and TV, are operating in a Government-regulated environment. The Australian Communications and Media Authority took the first step yesterday with the publication of 150 pages of the new Register of Controlled Media Groups. ACMA said in a statement that the register is a core component of the government’s media reform package. The register names companies already controlling two or more media licences in individual regions. But in the five major capitals, none of the four major media groups or related entities — Seven Network, PBL, Fairfax Media and News Ltd — is deemed to control two media entities. That of course doesn’t include magazines. PBL controls ACP, which holds 48% of the national magazine market. Seven has Pacific Magazines with around 22% while News is in the process of buying FPC magazines (and local papers) which will give it 7% of the magazine market. All four media groups also have rapidly growing online businesses, with Fairfax the market leader — that are not covered by the new register. Nor is Pay TV (essentially Foxtel). To do so would restrict the ability of PBL, News Ltd and Telstra, to acquire existing assets. ACMA said it would make further information related to the register available in the near future through the publication of a supplementary report late next month. Sounds like public service heaven. — Glenn Dyer
The Observer takes out top Fleet Street gong. The UK Press Gazette reports The Observer has been named national newspaper of the year at the British Press Awards. Editor Roger Alton said he was “unbelievably flattered and thrilled” to have received the honour, which was voted on in an academy-style system. The Guardian and the Daily Mirror were the main newspaper winners on the night – with four apiece. This year, the big News International red tops, The Sun and the News of the World, left empty-handed. The Mirror‘s prizes included both front page of the year and scoop of the year for “My Affair: By Prezza” – the revelation that John Prescott was having an affair with his diary secretary Tracey Temple. It is the second year on the trot that Mirror reporter Stephen Moyes has picked up the scoop of the year prize. Financial Times reporter Sheila McNulty won both reporter of the year and specialist writer of the year for her investigative reporting on BP’s safety record. — Terry Maher
Monday night NRL still solid. The second Monday night NRL game of the season between Cronulla and the new Gold Coast Titans produced another solid audience for Foxtel. In the five major capital city markets the game averaged 198,600 while Foxtel says the game averaged 322,000 across all platforms (Foxtel, Austar and Optus). Last week’s first game averaged 326,000. — Glenn Dyer
Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners: Tuesday night is dance night for Seven and last night was no different. The world swimming titles on Nine were once again all but ignored by TV viewers, despite the tremendous competition. Nine finished a close third behind Ten and Seven last night. 12 programs had a million or more viewers but the swimming was not one of them – it averaged 976,000, shedding 99,000 viewers from Monday night. That was understandable given the hold Dancing has on the audience on Tuesday nights. Dancing with the Stars averaged 1.856 million viewers, with All Saints second with 1.576 million at 9.15pm. Seven News was next with 1.448 million, followed by Today Tonight (1.307 million), Nine News (1.276 million) and NCIS (1.255 million). A Current Affair was next with 1.204 million while Home and Away won the 7pm battle with 1.167 million, just ahead of Ten’s The Biggest Loser with 1.162 million. The new Simpsons ep on Ten averaged 1.142 million and the repeat at 8pm, 1.100 million.
The Losers: The CSI Miami repeat of Nine at 9.15 pm after the swimming: just 662,000. Pitiful.
News & CA: Seven News again won nationally with a margin of 177,000 and 92,000 in Perth. Seven won Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. Nine won Sydney and Brisbane. Today Tonight beat ACA by 103,000 people nationally and 74,000 in Perth. TT also won Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, ACA won Sydney and Brisbane. ACA‘s exclusive with Pauline Hanson was a bit “so what?” The 7pm ABC News was solid (1.007 million) but The 7.30 Report (707,000) was hurt by Dancing on Seven. Lateline averaged 161,000. Ten News averaged 878,000 and the Late News/Sports Tonight 462,000 at 10.30pm. SBS News at 6.30pm averaged 185,000 and the 9.50pm edition, 147,000. Insight at 8.30pm, 250,000. In the morning 7am Sunrise jumped to 463,000; 7am Today also rose, to 283,000.
The Stats: Seven won with 36.3% (34.2% a week earlier) from Ten with 23.5% (23.6%), Nine with 23.3% (25.1%), the ABC with 12.0% (13.2%) and SBS with 4.98. Seven won all five metro markets and Nine finished second in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane but third in Adelaide and Perth. Seven leads the week 33.7% to 23.5% for Nine. In regional areas another win for Prime/7Qld with 34.3% to Southern Cross (Ten) with 24.1%, WIN/NBN with 24.1%, the ABC with 11.5% and SBS with 5.8%. Again that’s not the figures to have when Nine is trying to extract more money from NBN and WIN in new affiliation agreements.
Glenn Dyer’s comments: Nights like last night must really infuriate Nine. They were not really third; they were second until a very poor result in Perth, where it ran a distant third (with 18.8%) to Seven’s 36.7% and Ten’s 26.6%, pushed it back to the last place among the commercial networks.The ignominy of it all, and yet Nine only has itself to blame. For too long it refused to crack the whip over STW 9 in Perth and there’s no good blaming Sam Chisholm for signing up for the swimming titles. The titles are in Melbourne and do you reckon that Melbourne booster, Eddie McGuire, wouldn’t have done any different? Nine could actually be facing one of its biggest non-Olympic losses for a ratings week this week. Ten is getting some nice pickup as well. Tonight Nine has the swimming (groan), Seven has Heroes, Air Crash Investigations (with a storyline Seven says is like the recent Garuda crash in Indonesia) and Prison Break. Ten has House, Medium and The Con Test. the ABC has Spicks and Specks and the move by The Chaser to the 9pm timeslot tonight.