SBS world cup Optus

SBS swiftly capitalises on Optus’ World Cup woes, Daily Mail breaches Press Council standards, alleged pressure from the Chinese Embassy on a 60 Minutes story, plus other media tidbits from the day.

SBS wins from Optus debacle. SBS has stepped in to air World Cup matches over the next couple of days while Optus scrambles to fix its streaming problems. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called Optus CEO Allen Lew to ask him to sort out the repeated playback issues yesterday, and SBS last night announced it would be broadcasting all games live for 48 hours — “giving all Australians the chance to enjoy the tournament”.

Whoever was working the social media accounts for Optus Sport wasn’t quite as amiable, picking on a Twitter typo from SBS’s official World Cup account. Their tweet has since been deleted, but was captured by the Australian Financial Reviews Myriam Robin.

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Daily Mail breaches suicide reporting guidelines. Daily Mail Australia breached three separate suicide reporting standards, the Australian Press Council has ruled. The article, about an attempted suicide at a Sydney train station, described in detail the efforts undertaken to save the man, descriptions of blood, and seven photographs taken at the scene. The council found that while it was in the public interest to report on the significant public transport disruption, it wasn’t sufficiently in the public interest to describe the method of an attempted suicide, or to give the story the prominence they did.

Chinese embassy pressures 60 Minutes. The Chinese Embassy tried to get Channel Nine to pull a 60 Minutes story about Chinese influence in the Pacific. In a piece published on website 9Now, 60 Minutes reporter Charles Wooley recounts a call from embassy media boss Saxian Cao to executive producer Kirsty Thomson after a promo for Sunday night’s story ran last week. Cao reportedly said the story needed to be taken down from the website, saying: “Take this down and take it to your leaders!” and “there must be no more misconduct in the future.” Wooley’s full account, and the story, is here.

Front pages of the day. The Melbourne papers, and The Australian, today marked yesterday’s vigils for murdered woman Eurydice Dixon on their front pages.


Glenn Dyer’s TV Ratings. Seven’s night as Nine again resorted to promoting the performance of its appalling Love Island. In other words, Nine’s early winter ratings slump is still there — especially now that the weak 2018 series of The Voice has ended. But while Seven was the winner, Ten were grinners with the combination of Masterchef Australia (1.12 million nationally) and Have You Been Paying Attention (1.13 million) doing well. 

In the regions, Seven’s night again with an easy win — the 6pm News was on top with 625,000 viewers, followed by House Rules with 536,000 (a series high), then Seven News/Today Tonight with 530,000, followed by Home and Away with 435,000 and The 5.30pm part of The Chase Australia in with 406,000. Read the rest at the Crikey website.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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