BBC plans magazine hook-up with ACP. Expect the announcement of an interesting new magazine deal in the next couple of days with reports that the BBC is linking with ACP Magazines to publish a range of titles in Australia. The top title in the group will be the magazine spin-off from Top Gear. The magazine launch will coincide with the local version of the BBC car program which is due to finalise its cast within the next week when senior executives from the British program arrive for final talks with SBS and the producers. The program will air on SBS later this year. News of a link-up with ACP will worry SBS who had been looking for some involvement in the magazine itself: it doesn’t have a magazine offshoot or relationship with any of the existing players. — Glenn Dyer

Ten’s Canadian parent cops a market belting. The Ten Network’s Canadian parent is copping a belting from debt-obsessed investors in Canada. So much so that Ten is now the most valuable part of the Canwest empire after the Canadian company’s share price fell to a low of $C5.02 last week. Canwest Global Communications, which owns 56% of Ten, has seen its share price halve in the past couple of months amid concerns about the health of North American media companies and Canwest’s huge $C3.3 billion debt bill. Ten’s shares are currently trading around $A2.36, which values the Canwest stake at around $1.2 billion. On some measures (depending how you value Canwest’s convoluted share structure), the Ten stake is worth more than the valuation on Canwest’s 99 million non-voting shares which are the main listed security. Canwest is ladened with debt: it spent $US2.3 billion with a private equity associate of Goldman Sachs buying Alliance Atlantis Communications in early 2007. The weakness has seen Canadian insurer and investor Fairfax Financial Holdings increase its stake in CanWest for the third time in less than four months. Fairfax said Friday it recently purchased another 876,000 subordinate voting shares in CanWest, bringing its total holdings to 16.29%. Fairfax Financial has been actively building stakes in Canadian media companies as their share prices have fallen. It says it is not a bidder, but a value investor and will hold onto stocks like Canwest until there’s a recovery. From comments in Canadian media, it seems Fairfax is intent on building a 20% stake. — Glenn Dyer

Now that’s what you call financial reporting . Crikey reader Jason Franklin noticed that News.com.au is 6 months ahead of the game…

Last night’s TV ratings

The Winners: Border Security was tops for Seven at 7.30pm with 1.606 million, CSI was next with 1.540 million and Seven’s The Force was 3rd with 1.534 million. Seven News averaged 1.509 million, followed by Today Tonight (1.475 million), Home And Away (1.415 million), Nine News (1.345 million), So You Think You Can Dance (1.335 million), A Current Affair (1.264 million), Desperate Housewives (1.246 million), CSI New York (1.235 million), the 7am ABC News (1.163 million viewers), The Biggest Loser (1.086 million) and Nine’s final ep of A Year With The Royal Family (1.069 million). Mythbusers, 511,000 at 7.30pm.

The Losers: Dirty Sexy Money, 874,000 at 9.30pm and well beaten by CSI New York. Its fade from glory is another example to TV programmers how quickly people go off fairy floss.

News & CA: Seven News and Today Tonight won nationally and in every market but Melbourne. Ten News averaged 997,000; the Late News/ Sports Tonight, 383,000. The 7.30 Report, 781,000; Lateline, 394,000; Lateline Business, 137,000. Four Corners, 707,000; Media Watch, 603,000. SBS News, 203,000 at 6.30pm; 153,000 at 9.30pm. 7am Sunrise, 394,000, 7am Today, 272,000.

The Stats: Seven won the 6pm to 12 midnight battle because of a big win in Perth. Seven won with 29.4% (30.5% a week ago) from Nine with 28.0% (25.5%), Ten with 22.5% (23.2%), the ABC with 14.2% (14.8%) and SBS with 5.9% (6.1%). Seven won Sydney, drew Adelaide with Nine and won Perth by nine points. Nine won Melbourne and Brisbane. In regional areas a win to Prime/7Qld with 29.7%, from WIN/NBN with 28.5%, Southern Cross (Ten) on 19.8%, the ABC with 14.3% and SBS on 7.7%. In the 6pm to 10.30pm battle Seven won with 25.95% (26.09% a year ago) from Nine with 24.42% (23.38%, Ten on 19.33% (18.18%), Pay TV on 13.12% (14.21%), the ABC with 12.32% (12.11%) and SBS with 5.06% (6.03%). Pay TV shed audience but will pick it up when the Monday night NRL games start on Fox Sports next week.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Seven has a hole at 9.30pm in its previously strong Monday night schedule. Nine got closer last night because CSI New York had around 350,000 more viewers than the floss on Seven. Nine still has a hole from 6pm to 7pm, and of course the flop at 7pm (Two And A Half Men). If it had Temptation there with a million or more people, it might have snuck home. Four Corners and Media Watch were fair last night. Media Watch needs to inject some zip into the production and delivery of host Jonathan Holmes. He’s slow and viewers have noticed. Tonight, Nine takes a risk with Moment of Truth: lie detectors and foolish people wanting their moment of TV glory. It’s from Fox, need we say any more?Where is Nine’s Power of 10 by the way?

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks, Fusion Strategy reports

Peter Fray

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