Inside the mind of Leak. Well, it had to happen eventually. Bill Leak, Chris Mitchell’s latest wind-up toy, now has a Twitter account devoted to eksplayning his drawn-to-order cartoons. Not necessary, you might think, since Leak’s work increasingly resembles “Kelly”, The Onion’s deliberately shit right-wing cartoonist. But it seems there are some who don’t get some of Leak’s more strained analogies, even when David Pope supplies the panel that unaccountably dropped off in the editing process. Surprisingly, the first tweet of “Bill Leak Explayned” didn’t read: “Pissed cartoonist falls off balcony, breaks brain; thus moves to News, draws the party line, fed with zombie cucumber” — which would have made all the rest unnecessary — Guy Rundle
Australian Property Review update. There were 13.5 pages of property reports and advertising in this morning’s 52-page edition of The Australian Financial Review, or just over 25% — around the same as last Thursday, when the 16 pages made up 25% of the 56-page paper. But, going through the rest of the paper, there were a grand total of 11 other ads, including one from Commonwealth Bank and one from Bankwest (which is owned by CBA), and four house ads. In other words, apart from the property ads, there would have been seven paying ads in the paper this morning. A dying tree killer. — Glenn Dyer
Keep calm and carry on. The government wants us alert but not alarmed about the terrorist threat, or so it says. Here’s how The Daily Telegraph was sharing that message on its Twitter page, as captured by BuzzFeed’s Mark Di Stefano.
Australia lags behind, US forges ahead. As Australia struggles with free-to-air TV policy, pay TV offerings and piracy, plans in the US for fully fledged online pay TV systems are taking shape. In fact, plans for the first serious online pay TV service in America moved a lot closer overnight with Sony’s plan to offer pay TV channels via the internet by the end of this year. Its plans have been given a boost by a groundbreaking deal with Viacom.
Viacom said overnight its decision to offer its 22 channels outside of cable and satellite arrangements is its “first-ever agreement to provide its networks for an Internet-based live TV and video on demand service”. In addition to popular channels including BET, Comedy Central, MTV, and Nickelodeon — all in HD — Sony will be able to offer customers access to Viacom’s TV Everywhere websites and apps as well as its full video–on–demand streaming package. Sony plans to offer its internet–based pay TV service to owners of its more than 75 million PlayStation game consoles and smart TVs in the US. US satellite TV company, Dish Network is planning a similar, but slimmer, lower-cost operation and has already struck deals to carry channels owned by Disney and the cable programming firm A+E Networks, of which Disney owns 50%. The Wall Street Journal points out though that “Disney’s deal also requires Dish to launch with other major networks. Dish is in talks with other programmers, say people familiar with the situation.”
Sony and Dish are taking different approaches to their offers. Sony is seeking to recreate the traditional cable bundle over the internet, with a package of around 100 channels similarly priced to traditional cable TV in a multi-stream offering. But Dish plans to offer a much smaller line up of channels at a much lower price than that of regular cable service. Dish has said it is aiming its “pay light” offer at young consumers or people who have cut the “cord” and abandoned cable (usually because of cost reasons). One thing is clear: compared with the US, Australia is years behind. — Glenn Dyer
Front page of the day. The Financial Times has thrown its support behind the no vote on Scotland. Though we do wonder how many people outside London read it.