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News

Nine, Fox top 'must-win' NRL rights fight - 21st August 2012

The Nine Network has secured its future by nailing down the NRL broadcast rights in a joint $1 billion deal announced with Fox Sports.

The Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) announced on Tuesday that Nine and Fox Sports had secured the NRL free-to-air and pay TV broadcast rights respectively, in a five-year deal worth $1.025 billion.

Nine chief executive David Gyngell says the deal, in which incumbents Nine and Fox Sports trumped bids from the Seven and Ten networks, had been a must-win for Nine but that the price is "fair and reasonable".

"We have certainly stepped up and paid as much money as we could," Mr Gyngell said.

Mr Gyngell also said the deal - the most valuable in the history of rugby league broadcast rights - would be revenue positive.

"This is an exclusive sports rights' deal," he said.

"In this deal, we are the only free-to-air network to have exclusive sport at prime-time."

The agreement comprises $925 million in cash, of which $90 million is paid at the start of the 2013 season, and $100 million in advertising.

Nine will show three free-to-air matches weekly, while Fox Sports will have five a week on pay channels.

Nine will also have State of Origin games and an evening Grand Final.

NRL rights were last secured by Nine and Fox Sports in 2005 in a $500 million, six-year deal.

Nine Entertainment, owned by private equity firm CVC, has about $3.6 billion of debt due for refinancing in 2013 and 2014.

Media buyer Harold Mitchell, executive chairman of Aegis Media, said Nine had not overpaid and would meet its share of the $1.025 billion price tag through advertising revenue.

"Advertising volume hasn't been growing but it hasn't been collapsing," Mr Mitchell said.

"Key to any network's success will be sports programming and (Nine) are a stronger network with it than without it.

"This secures their future."

Mr Mitchell said the $1 billion deal was a positive sign for Australia's advertising market, which was in "unbelievably good shape compared to the rest of the world".

Morningstar head of equities research Peter Warnes said Nine had paid a fair price but also had to secure the rugby league as a key driver of audience numbers.

"Where would Nine be if they lost it? They had to win it," Mr Warnes said.

"I think they've probably paid a fair price.

"Had it been $1.2 billion, it would have been over the top."

Ten Network had been rumoured to have secured a package of NRL games ahead of Tuesday's announcement but is now without either rugby league or AFL, the rights to which are held by Seven.

Mr Mitchell said the NRL deal "places Ten in a difficult position". (AAP)


News

The Voice news media report; Hordern Pavilion, Moore Park, Sydney, Australia - 12th June 2012


The Voice enjoyed a media conference at Hordern Pavilion, Moore Park, this morning, with Voice coaches and finalists there to help promote the smash hit TV show, as the finals approach via Channel Nine.

Update...

The culling of eight singers from The Voice last night has set the stage for a controversial finale Channel Nine's talent comp.

Rachael Leahcar, Sarah De Bono, Darren Percival, and Karise Eden will battle it out in next week's grand final.

Only one singer per team was permitted to go through and critics and viewers took to Twitter to complain about the final line-up.

The ruling meant fan favourites on the same team were culled.

Both Leahcar and Percival battled a virus as well as the high-pressure nerves, which told in their limited vocal performances last night.

Good Charlotte rock god Joel Madden, who had culled Prinnie Stevens and Layken Heperi, chose Sarah DeBono over popular lad Ben Hazlewood.

During the show's preamble, Madden likened the semi-final line-up to The X Men: "We all have super powers. No one is better than anyone else."

The final performances will be on Sunday, with each contender performing one cover and one original song. The winner revealed on Monday night, no doubt to massive TV ratings, the likes of which have not been seen by Nine for years, is the inside word.

Each contender will perform one cover and one original song.

May the best man or woman win, and hopefully its also a win for the Australian entertainment industry.


News...

Australian TV Report With Ratings - The Voice leads...

The Voice leaped to 2.13 million viewers as the talent show heads towards to its finale.

That figure (based on actual broadcast time - not the preliminary figure of 2.15 million) is up on last Monday's 1.90 million audience in the capital cities and it appears the two finales on Sunday and Monday should hit around three million viewers for Nine.

The program gave Nine a 29.6 per cent channel share against Seven's 21.0 per cent and ABC1's 13.3 per cent, with its current affairs line-up led by 736,000 viewers for PM Julia Gillard's appearance on Q&A.

A key result for Nine was Tricky Business's performance into its fifth week. Preliminary figures from OzTAM demonstrate the Aussie drama rose to 1.091 million viewers, higher than its launch episode in May. But the actual figures based on broadcast times show the drama starring Gigi Edgley averaged 682,000 viewers with its number rocketed by The Voice's over-run as "Team Seal" decided its contestant for Sunday and Monday's finale.

Seven News came in second for the night with 1.55 million viewers and rare wins over Nine in Sydney and Melbourne. The Block continued to build for Nine, up to 1.49 million in the 7pm slot, besting Masterchef Australia (1.08 million), ABC News (1.05 million) and Home and Away (1.01 million).

Revenge continued its awesome run for Seven with 1.218 million viewers.

ABC1 had a stronger Monday night than usual, led by Q&A. Four Corners was up to 734,000 viewers, Australian Story 719,000 and Media Watch 712,000, all well up on their 2012 averages in the 600,000 region.

Fox Sports Monday Night Football match between the Panthers and Warriors bested the platform, with 278,000 viewers while 210,000 watched the afternoon AFL match between Melbourne and Collingwood. Seven's AFL figures were not yet available for publication.

OZTAM OVERNIGHT RANKINGS FOR MONDAY JUNE 11, 2012

1 THE VOICE Nine 2,154,000

2 SEVEN NEWS 1,549,000

3 THE BLOCK Nine 1,485,000

4 TODAY TONIGHT Seven 1,296,000

5 NINE NEWS 1,279,000

6 REVENGE Seven 1,218,000

7 A CURRENT AFFAIR Nine 1,137,000

8 TRICKY BUSINESS Nine 1,091,000

9 MASTERCHEF AUSTRALIA Ten 1,082,000

10 ABC NEWS ABC1 1,053,000

11 HOME AND AWAY Seven 1,006,000

12 THE FORCE - BEHIND THE LINE Seven 998,000

13 BORDER SECURITY - AUSTRALIA'S FRONT LINE Seven

14 TEN NEWS AT FIVE Ten 837,000

15 BILLY CONNOLLY'S ROUTE 66 SNEAK PEEK Seven 799,000

 

Media Man does not represent The Voice, Shine Australia or Channel Nine

 

Profile

Nine Entertainment Co. is Australia’s most diversified media and entertainment group. It is a communication powerhouse delivering a world of media information and entertainment to millions of Australians.

Our assets include the Nine Network Australia, NBN Television, Australian News Channel, ACP Magazines, a 50% interest in ninemsn, and entertainment entities, Ticketek and the Allphones Arena.

Our free-to-air television broadcaster, the Nine Network Australia, reaches over 11.4 million Australians every week and 82% of the total viewing audience. When it comes to news, sport, entertainment and major events, viewers tune in to the Nine Network in Australia.

NBN Television is Australia's highest rating television network. It commenced broadcasting to the Newcastle and Hunter Valley region in 1962. NBN's market stretches from Central Coast in the south to the Gold Coast, Queensland in the north and west to Moree and Narrabri. This market has a population of 1.9 million people, and is the fourth largest television market in Australia, behind Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Australian News Channel owns and operates Sky News in Australia and New Zealand. It is a leading, multi-platform 24-hour news supplier. Sky News is available in more than 2.5 million homes and locations across Australia and New Zealand on Pay TV. Sky News produces a variety of programmes, including Agenda and Sky Business Report.

ACP Magazines is Australia’s largest magazine publisher, reaching over 15 million Australians each year. With leading magazine titles in almost every category, ACP Magazines sells over three magazines every second. Some of the major brands include The Australian Women’s Weekly, Woman’s Day, Harper’s BAZAAR, Cosmopolitan, Grazia, Men’s Style, Take 5, TV Week and Australian House & Garden.

ACP Media is a subsidiary of ACP Magazines Limited and is New Zealand's leading magazine publisher with some of the country's most popular magazines, including Woman's Day and The Australian Women's Weekly.

ACP Magazines’ Trader Group includes Auto Trader, Deals On Wheels, Motorcycle Trader & News, Trade-A-Boat and Buy Sell & Exchange.

Nine Ventures is Nine Entertainment Co’s new consumer investment group. The group combines the skills and experience of our management team and financial specialists with the reach of Australia’s most diversified media and entertainment group.

Ticketek is the leading ticketing company for the live entertainment industries in Australia and New Zealand. With a focus on superior service, innovative products and market-leading technology, Ticketek sells some 15 million tickets to more than 13,000 events each year.

Allphones Arena is ranked in the world’s top 10 arenas. Situated at Sydney Olympic Park the multipurpose indoor facility hosts the elite of touring concerts, family shows, sport and conferences. In excess of 1 million visitors per year.

ninemsn is the number one online media company reaching over 10.3 million Australian’s every month and capturing over 69% of Australia’s online audience.

Nine Ventures is Nine Entertainment Co.’s new consumer investment group. The group combines the skills and experience of our management team and financial specialists with the reach of Australia’s most diversified media and entertainment group.

Nine Entertainment Co. is majority owned by CVC Asia Pacific Limi
ted.

News

PBL Media gets Nine makeover - 2nd December 2010

PBL Media has been rebranded as Nine Entertainment Co in a move that continues the transformation of the media giant under new chief executive David Gyngell.

The renaming comes ahead of a public float of the company, which owns the Nine Network, ACP Magazines and several digital businesses including half of ninemsn.

The timing of the float has not been publically revealed.

Mr Gyngell said the renaming was driven by public and retail recognition of the Nine brand.

"The logical choice, given that we also have ninemsn, is 'Nine Entertainment'," he said.

"'Entertainment' is quite an obvious word I decided to go with because I want to entertain as many people as I possibly can, and it's also to stimulate the most creative people to work in our organisation," he said.

The renaming was also a transition from the Packer family legacy. Frank Packer founded print publisher Consolidated Press in the 1930s, which went on to merge with the Nine Network as PBL under his son Kerry Packer 60 years later.

Mr Gyngell described the Packer family as "one of the most successful families" in Australian history, but said it was time to move on.

"James and Kerry Packer made this company what it is, and they were really the brand — they are no longer the shareholders," he said. "I think we need to define our own brand with our own shareholders and Nine is the most logical choice."

Mr Gyngell took the top job at PBL Media in early November and in the weeks since then has made several key appointments, including Jeff Browne as managing director of the Nine Network and Phil Scott as managing director of ACP Magazines.

Mr Gyngell, whose father Bruce was an on-air television pioneer and chief executive, said the naming did not favour one part of the business above another.

"Clearly I'm a television beast, I love television and get great enjoyment out of it ... but I'm also a media executive who loves content and respects the creative process," he said. (Credit: NineMSN)

 

About Us

PBL Media, which is managed by PBL Media Holdings Pty Limited - is Australia’s largest, most diversified media and entertainment group.

It is a communication powerhouse delivering a world of media information and entertainment to millions of Australians.

Its assets include the Nine Network Australia, NBN Television, Australian News Channel, ACP Magazines, majority interests in carsales.com, a 50% interest in ninemsn, an interest in Mathletics and entertainment entities, Ticketek and the Acer Arena.

Our free-to-air television broadcaster, the Nine Network Australia, reaches over 11.4 million Australians every week and 82% of the total viewing audience. When it comes to news, sport, entertainment and major events, viewers tune in to the Nine Network in Australia.

NBN Television is Australia's highest rating television network. It commenced broadcasting to the Newcastle and Hunter Valley region in 1962. NBN's market stretches from Central Coast in the south to the Gold Coast, Queensland in the north and west to Moree and Narrabri. This market has a population of 1.9 million people, and is the fourth largest television market in Australia, behind Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Australian News Channel owns and operates Sky News in Australia and New Zealand. It is a leading, multi-platform 24-hour news supplier. Sky News is available in more than 2.5 million homes and locations across Australia and New Zealand on Pay TV. Sky News produces a variety of programmes, including Agenda, EcoReport, Sportsline and Sky Business Report.

ACP Magazines is Australia’s largest magazine publisher, reaching over 15 million Australians each year. With leading magazine titles in almost every category, ACP Magazines sells over three magazines every second. Some of the major brands include The Australian Women’s Weekly, Woman’s Day, Harper’s BAZAAR, Cosmopolitan, Belle, Men’s Style, Ralph, Take 5, TV Week and Australian House & Garden.

ACP Media is a subsidiary of ACP Magazines Limited and is New Zealand's leading magazine publisher with some of the country's most popular magazines, including Woman's Day, The Australian Women's Weekly, Next, Taste and iconic titles such as Metro and North & South.

ACP Magazines’ Trader Group includes Auto Trader, Deals On Wheels, Motorcycle Trader & News, Trade-A-Boat and Buy Sell & Exchange.

Ticketek is the leading ticketing company for the live entertainment industries in Australia and New Zealand. With a focus on superior service, innovative products and market-leading technology, Ticketek sells some 12 million tickets to more than 13,000 events each year.

Acer Arena is the largest indoor live entertainment and sporting arena in Australia. One of the major venues for the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the $200 million complex was designed and constructed to set new benchmarks in urban design, access for people with disabilities, spectator comfort, operation efficiency and Olympic serviceability.

carsales.com is Australia’s number one automotive website, delivering more than 500,000 vehicle searches a day. The carsales.com network is the clear market leader in automotive, construction and equipment, marine and motorcycle classifieds.

ninemsn is the number one online media company reaching over 7.9 million Australian’s every month and capturing over 73% of Australia’s online audience.

mathletics.com.au is an mathematical educational website that allows students to create their own online identity to compete against other children from Australia and around the world. Since launching in 2005, the subscriber-driven Mathletics site has been used by more than 400,000 students mostly in Australia and New Zealand with more than 30,000 people accessing the site every day.

PBL Media was formed in October 2006 as a 50:50 joint venture between the then Publishing and Broadcasting Limited and private equity fund managers CVC Asia Pacific Limited.

In September 2007, Publishing and Broadcasting Limited split its businesses into two publicly listed companies: a gaming company, Crown, and a media company, Consolidated Media Holdings.

Following the split, Publishing and Broadcasting Limited transferred its 50% ownership of PBL Media to Consolidated Media Holdings (CMH). Credit: PBL Media

Channel Nine chief David Gyngell and wife and reporter Leila McKinnon

 

News

Australia Casino Wars Examined, by Greg Tingle - November 2010

Punters, entertainment and media news junkies, casino and media millionaires and billionaires, and one and all. With all the talk of the Australian media wars, we thought we would explain a little more about what they are today.

The main "war" at the moment concerns the Australian television landscape, with James Packer buying up big in Network Ten shares. Some insiders say Packer's but into Ten has more to do with online gaming and gambling than one might otherwise think. Packer historically was much closer aligned with Network Nine Australia, of which his late father owned and run, and where his long time mate and associate, David Gyngell works. Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com and Gambling911 offer up the latest on Packer VS Gyngell, and much much more on the famed 'Australian Media Wars'...incoming!

In simply terms the Australian mainstream news media landscape consists of the following mains groups:

Television, print (newspapers and magazines), radio, new media, internet / new media, and the "what will they think of next"? / others sector.

In this feature we will mainly focus on television (commercial TV), to a lesser extent pay TV (Foxtel, Fox Sports - Premier Media Group etc), and the internet, which is part of the convergent media sector. Media Man is more a convergent media company, having a number of website portals (but not owning a TV station, radio station or print publication) to help give you an idea.

David Gyngell, Packer Mate And Rival Running Things At Network Nine and PBL Media

Gyngell's rise from the Network Nine Network to running its parent, PBL Media, tells us a few telling lessons. He's extremely well-regarded by its owners (private equity firm CVC especially, which is understood to be looking to float the company on the stock market, but that date is speculation. It confirms that he's not going to be poached to run Network Ten once the share raid on its share register has settled. It once again is a wake up call for everyone what a turbulent media world is in Australia.

Gyngell is a long time friend of Packer. Packer used to be his boss at Nine but now holds 18% of Network Ten, and a half share of Consolidated Media, alongside Kerry Stokes' Seven Media Group, which has a quarter. ConsMedia has a small stake in PBL Media, a quarter stake in Foxtel and half of Fox Sports, as does Packer's other business mate, Lachlan Murdoch, in his capacity as a director of News Corp, which also just happens to own one of this down unders' 2 major newspaper groups. Murdoch's private company holds 9% of Prime television, and he is now its deputy chairman, and half of Nova's holding company, DMG Radio. As well as his responsibilities in running Nine, as chief of PBL Media, Gyngell also runs NBN Television, ACP Magazines and has a say in NineMSN, Ticketek and Sky News...which is a joint venture between PBL, Seven and British Sky Broadcasting, which is controlled by ... News Corp, now making a bid for full ownership.

Are you following?

Should Murdoch buy half of Packer's stake in Ten, its register will be dominated by a trio of two billionaire media moguls...Packer and Win Television's Bruce Gordon...and the son of one. Gyngell's elevation also shows us how competitive commercial television might be next year. Cricket tests - 20 / 20s, football codes and Aussie drama are just some of what's on the Aussie TV menu. PBL chief executive Tim Parker, who's also a partner at its private equity owner CVC, thinks Gyngell is the man to take the moguls on! Last night's statement said: "We are thrilled to have the best media executive in the country to lead the business.

The Nine Network, including Channel Nine and the Go and GEM multi-channels, are in the ascendancy in an enormously competitive environment. The performance of Nine is a credit to David and his team." Television is about to get even more competitive if Ten's news strategy weathers the storm of the Packer-Murdoch attack and it wins at least some of the audience who have traditionally switched off Ten at 5.59pm once its news is over, to watch some more on Channels Seven and Nine. With the departure of current PBL chief executive Ian Law, Gyngell's elevation is also a reminder of how critical television is to PBL's performance.

Australian TV Industry On Fire Thanks To Packer, Murdoch Jr And Gyngell...

In the fast paced tech changes affecting how news and entertainment is delivered to your television, computer and wireless watsy, there is clearly a threat to the old way of doing business. But generational change is also happening now. David Gyngell, 44, now takes the lead of one of Australia's biggest media concerns, PBL Media, owner of the Nine Network.

No longer in the hands of the powerful Packer family, PBL Media was acquired from 2006 to 2008 by private equity company CVC Asia Pacific. Its board has elevated Gyngell to chief exec because it sees him as the best man to help sell the company to investors in an expected $5 billion stockmarket float next year. Gyngell's best mate, James Packer, 43, last month spent $280 million buying an 18% cent stake in Ten and wants to revamp the network's internet strategy to make better use of the opportunities emerging. He has been keen to install Paul Bassat, 42, who co-founded the successful job search firm Seek. Bassat and his brother, Andrew, have built a $2.4bn online employment and education empire in the past decade.

Lachlan Murdoch, 39, is also eyeing a co-investment in Ten. The investments are a sure sign of confidence in traditional media that was not thought of a year back. The changes are rapid. Packer has said privately to friends he has been surprised by the success of the new multichannels Australians can access on their TVs and that have attracted new advertising. Newspapers, such as The Australian, are launching across new platforms such as the iPad and new revenue streams are opening up. The last great boom of technology in media and communication companies was in swing a decade ago. How was that for a bit of a history lesson.

Network Ten Loves Internet; Visa Versa...

Packer is thinking about Ten's news and online strategy, but Ten exec are also considering a strategy when it comes to the web. The network, which recently inked a deal to use MCM Entertainment's video platform movideo to play video on its website, typically divides full-length programs into 6 parts, which enables it to show an advertisement, dubbed a pre-roll, before each part. Yahoo7 and Ninemsn show fewer ads on their full-length catch-up TV content on their Plus7 and FixPlay services respectively.

Ten's chief digital media officer Nick Spooner said movideo technology would enable the network to experiment with new ad formats and recommend similar programs to visitors who have watched a video on the site. MCM group CEO Tony McGinn said movideo technology would allow Ten to serve videos across all digital platforms, including internet-delivered TV, or IPTV.

Ten's video views were up 31% year on year to 60 million views of premium content within 12 months, Mr Spooner said. "It provides a better experience for the audience in a range of ways," he said. "These include supporting much closer links to social networking engagement around our programs.

"From a client perspective, we currently run pre-roll advertising, and movideo allows us to trial new advertising formats."

Online video advertising is a small but burgeoning market in Australia, estimated at $25 million for the 2010 financial year, although that figure does not include video-sharing website YouTube. According to eMarketer, US online advertising revenues will grow at more than 30% a year until at least 2013, when they will be worth $US4 billion. MCM group CEO Tony McGinn said the online video platform market was worth about $480 million worldwide. MCM group, which also operates a music and media syndication business and a digital design agency, began marketing its video player to third parties in March, and is now expanding into Asia. Media Man is part of the wave of new media, will you be?

Lachlan Murdoch Prime Media Group Sells Assets...

Prime Media Group Ltd has sold its non-core outside broadcast assets amid reports its deputy chairman Lachlan Murdoch is in talks to buy half of James Packer's new stake in Ten Network Holdings Ltd. Prime said it had sold OSB Australia to UK-based Gearhouse Broadcast Pty Ltd for $8.5 million in cash and $3 million in instalments between December 2012 and December 2014. OSB Australia provides outside broadcast facilities and services for professional sporting events.

Prime will hold a 15 per cent interest in the merged OSB/Gearhouse business, which has extended its agreement with Fox Sports for rugby union coverage through to 2015. "The sale of OSB Australia continues our program of divesting non-core assets to re-focus on maximising earnings from television and radio," Prime chief executive Ian Audsley said in a statement. Prime in July sold its New Zealand outside broadcast operator, OSB New Zealand, to Sky Television Ltd and also announced the sale of Moonlight Cinema to Amalgamated Holdings Ltd. Prime will incur a $1 million impairment on the sale of OSB, but will avoid $13 million of capital expenditure that is required for OSB Australia.

The proceeds of the sale will be used by Prime to pay down debt, which stood at $96 million at the end of June when the company recorded a $54.5 million full-year net loss, a widening of its $45.5 million net loss for the previous financial year. Separately on Thursday, Fairfax reported Mr Murdoch's company Illyria Pty Ltd was likely to buy 50 per cent of Mr Packer's 17.88 per cent stake in Ten acquired last week. Mr Packer's surprise $280 million purchase marked his return to free-to-air television after years of focusing on the gambling sector.

The Fairfax reports, citing "a well-placed Murdoch source familiar with the discussions", said Mr Murdoch saw the possible deal as a "turnaround" story. A price had not been agreed upon, the report said. Ten declined to comment, while Prime was being sought for comment.

Comment was also being sought from Consolidated Media Holdings Ltd, where Mr Packer is deputy chair. Shares in Prime closed steady at 65 cents, Ten shares dipped almost two per cent to $1.50 - the same price Mr Packer paid for his shares in the broadcaster - and Consolidated Media shares were two cents softer at $3.35.

James Packer Media News...

Ten Network chairman Nick Falloon may be getting ready to leave as media moguls James Packer and Lachlan Murdoch join forces on the network and we ponder could Falloon’s loss end up as Murdoch’s gain? Meanwhile, BHP Billiton moves to squash talk that its PotashCorp bid is set to crash and burn in Ottawa.

Elsewhere, as the political offensive against the ASX-SGX merger intensifies investors may be losing faith with the exchange operators and AXA SA seals a heavyweight China deal with the world’s most valuable lender ICBC. With Ten Network Holdings reportedly set to welcome two heavyweight media moguls as its major shareholders the rumour-mill has gone into overdrive with reports that James Packer’s planned overhaul of the network may have claimed its first victim. Unsurprisingly, the unfortunate victim is reportedly the network’s executive chairman Nick Falloon.

According to The Australian, Falloon has agreed to relinquish his position after a meeting with Packer. Rumblings that Falloon’s head was on the block took hold pretty much as soon as Packer pulled of his share raid last week and The Australian reports that his departure is yet to be formalised. The news comes as media scion Lachlan Murdoch looks set to take a board seat at the network with confirmation that his Illyria Private Limited was in talks with Packer’s Prime Capital to buy 50 per cent of its 17.88% stake in Ten for around $155 million. The deal between the two moguls is expected to be finalised in a month or so and interestingly there is talk that Murdoch will not only push for a board seat but could possibly be a candidate to become Ten’s chairman.

Packer has reportedly set his sights on culling Ten’s planned foray into news and current affairs and return the focus on the low-cost 16 to 39 demographic. While the plans seem to have been broadly welcomed by Ten’s major shareholders there are detractors out there especially analysts who point out that a return to youth-friendly programming could actually end up costing the network more money and with the inception of multi-channel offerings from Seven and Nine cutting into the market the new approach may not be as successful as first thought.

Either way its great reading for the the Gambling911 and Media Man loyal following. All we can say is don't bet against Packer.

Wrap Up...

Readers... er, punters, how did you like our special Australian Media Wars Explained feature? Tell us in the forum.

If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They cover a dozen industry sectors including gaming and offer political commentary and analysis.

 

Australian Casino Wars: The Art Of War, by Greg Tingle -
5th November 2010

Network Ten Nick Falloon No Fool; Likely To Dodge Board Of Directors Execution...

Network Ten executive chairman Nick 'No Fool' Falloon will avoid standing up for re-election at December's AGM.

That move is tipped to be a talking point for his new major shareholder James Packer, and friend and associate, Lachlan Murdoch.

Falloon should ordinarily be required to resign his possy and offer up his head for re-election following the expiry this year of his 3-year term as executive chairman, but his appointment late last year as MD means he will not need to stand. Are you still with us?

Under the ASX listing rules, the MD of a listed company such as Ten Network Holdings is exempt from rules requiring directors to be up for re-election at the annual meeting every 3 years.

The appointment will essentially stop Packer and his soon-to-be fellow Ten investor, Lachlan 'Lucky Money' Murdoch, from seeking to have 'No Fool' Falloon voted off the Ten board at the AGM next month.

Fellow shareholders, namely Perpetual and WIN TV owner Bruce 'Grinning' Gordon were expected to strongly support the push. If need be, push will become shove, but the extra force shouldn't be required.

In a series of meetings last week 'Our James' is understood to have requested for Falloon's immediate resignation! Falloon agreed to step aside, bust asked for a further 14 months in the role. Perhaps he's just after a few more fat pay days... aren't we all.

Ten confirmed last Monday that Falloon had agreed to transfer to a non-executive role before Packer's cunning chess move last month to spend $280 million to buy an 18% stake in the hot youth orientated network.

Packer and Murdoch are now expected to question why Falloon can retain the title of managing director after shifting more than 2 years back to a part-time role, a move that cut his base salary from $2.2m to only $1.1m. You've go to feel sorry for him (Not, as comedy creation Borat would say).

Group general counsel... legal eagle Stephen Partington confirmed that, in recent correspondence with shareholder activist Stephen 'Crikey' Mayne, Network Ten had made (good) use of the existing listing rule exemption.

Readers, we hope you're still with us in our describing of the complex 'Art Of War' tactics here.

"Following the exit of Canwest from the Ten register late last year, Nick Falloon was appointed to the role of managing director of Ten," Partington documented.

"Mr Falloon was originally appointed to Ten in the roles of executive chairman and chief executive and continues to hold these positions. On this basis and in accordance with the company's constitution and the ASX listing rules, Mr Falloon is now no longer required to retire by rotation."

A Network Ten spokeswoman declined to comment further.

Numerous insiders agree that the change could benefit the Ten board in the battle with Murdoch and Packer if the board wanted to retain Falloon.

A Media Man spokesperson said "While these maters of the Australian media wars are complex, especially pertaining to the changes afoot at Network Ten, Fallon is no fool, nor are Murdoch, Packer or Nine's Gyngell. All smart and cashed up smart cookies indeed. The media's love affair with covering media continues, and we're guilty of that also, and the global readership is just loving it and lapping up every move of the chess board. Art of war media style at its best".

The media movements have generated extra interest to potential investors and Media Man and other convergent media companies are tipped to buy into the the situation in more ways than one ala share portfolio expansions, adding yet more fuel to the fire that is the Australian media wars.


Ten Network Chairman Nick Falloon To Resign!...

Ten chairman Nick Falloon has surrendered to considerable pressure to leave the firm, advising he will go in order to make way for billionaires James Packer and Lachlan Murdoch.

The company yesterday said Falloon had agreed to resign from Ten after the AGM next month if his departure "would assist in the resolution of the outstanding issues" between the company, Packer and Murdoch.

A deep throat leaked Packer and Murdoch were still trying to obtain a 3rd board position, but did indicate they were "prepared to negotiate."

The Packer - Murdoch 'dream team' have been offered 2 seats on the board but are seeking a 3rd, understood to be for Seek chief exec Paul 'Ballsy' (MM) Bassat.

The leak also shrugged off rife speculation that Murdoch wanted to snatch Falloon's chairmanship.

Packer and Murdoch have been in negotiations with the network since the beginning of the working week.

Falloon's offer to leave Ten came days after he said he was prepared to shift into a non-exec role...reports stating he would fight for his life to remain at the company he had helped successfully run since 2002.

Ten confirmed on Monday that it had offered the dynamic duo 2 board positions following speculation Packer was preparing to offer his friend, and sometime business partner, Murdoch half his 18% stake in the company.

Crown Casino 'King Of The Castle' Packer made a cunning grab on Network Ten last month when he bought 18% of Ten's stock to become the largest shareholder at an investment of a cool $280 million, pocket change to Packer.

He has yet to speak publicly to reveal his strategy for buying into the company, but various media commentators including Media Man say it's part of his master plan to make a huge splash into online gaming and gambling, adding to his Betfair business. A convergent media aspect is understood to be on the whiteboard for gaming linking Packer media businesses to Packer and affiliate - partners online gambling products, and Packer and co are understood to have been watching the tactics of PartyGaming, bwin, Virgin Games, Aspers, William Hill, Paddy Power, Centrebet and others.

Ten advised discussions were continuing but no final agreement had been reached.

"In discussions to date, Ten Holdings has offered Messrs Packer and Murdoch the opportunity to take up two directorships on the basis that the company's board would be expanded to 10 directors," Ten said.

"The offer of two directorships to Messrs Packer and Murdoch is contingent upon their agreement that the company put in place appropriate board protocols."

Network Ten shares closed at $1.46.

They traded as high as $1.59 last month followings Packer's share-buying raid which generated massive world wide headlines and sent the industry into a spin.

Insiders agree that thus far the latest venture between Packer and Murdoch looks to be a 'dream team' pairing, unlike their previous business deal with a telco start-up that proved to be disastrous for the duo. Both have appeared to have learnt their lessons well, and are on top of the media world at the moment.

Wrap Up...

Readers... er, punters, how did you like our latest on the Australian Media Wars? Is it all part of Packer's online gambling master plan? Tell us in the forum.

If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.

Profile


David Gyngell (b. 1966) is the C.E.O of Australian commercial broadcasting network Channel Nine.

He is currently serving his second stint as C.E.O after resigning from the job in May 2005. After a period of declining ratings compared to Channel Seven, He returned to the job in October 2007.

Gyngell is the son of Australian television pioneer Bruce Gyngell, the Godson of Kerry Packer, the best man of James Packer and the husband of Leila McKinnon. (Credit: Wikipedia).

 

Article

Strong local content, by John elder and Tom Reilly - 5th October 2008
(The Sunday Age)


Article

Gyngell gets another Nine life, by Amanda Meade - 26th September 2007
(Credit: The Australian)

James Packer's best friend and best man, David Gyngell, will rejoin the Nine Network as chief executive next month - two years after quitting what he described as an "untenable" position.

Mr Gyngell has been lured back to Nine from his job in the US by PBL Media chief executive Ian Law, after months of negotiations that began when the two caught up with each other at Mr Packer's wedding in the south of France in June.

Nine executive director Jeff Browne will remain at the network, but will report to Mr Gyngell and will relocate to Melbourne, where he will take on the role of managing director of GTV 9 as well.

The Australian understands the PBL Media board has promised MrGyngell a free hand to run the network without the interference he faced under the previous management structure at Nine.

"I am under no illusion as to the magnitude of the task, because our opposition at Seven are very good at what they do," Mr Gyngell told The Australian yesterday. "But I'm coming back to win. You can't be in this game if you aren't in it to win. It will take time, but my aim is to take Nine back to its former pre-eminence."

It will be Mr Gyngell's second term as chief executive, having been appointed by the late Kerry Packer in 2004. But less than a year into the job he quit in April 2005, citing constant meddling from PBL management. Former Nine chief Sam Chisholm and then Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd chief executive John Alexander were the main problem.

"I reached the determination that I was simply not prepared to allow my position to be rendered untenable by what I regard as increasingly unhelpful and multi-layered management systems developing between Nine and PBL," he said at the time. "Without the absolutely and unmistakably clear mandate required by all CEOs to properly run any major business, I believed it was in my best interests to move on."

At the time, Nine was wholly owned by the publicly listed PBL, which was controlled by the Packer family's private company, creating several layers of management.
PBL has since sold 75 per cent of its stake in PBL Media, the owner of Nine, to the private equity firm CVC Asia Pacific.

Nine has endured serious management turmoil, with Mr Gyngell the latest in a string of recent chief executives, including entertainer and businessman Eddie McGuire, who stepped down in May after just 15 months. Its internal ructions have helped Seven beat it in the ratings.

Mr Gyngell believes he can manage Nine properly now that it has been restructured. In January last year, Mr Gyngell flew to Los Angeles as head of British television giant Granada's US operations.

Mr Gyngell was a popular boss. When he quit Nine, personalities appeared on screen dressed in black, including Tracy Grimshaw, Mr Gyngell's wife and Today newsreader Leila McKinnon, weatherman Steve Jacobs, Sunday host Ray Martin and reporters Kellie Connolly and Christine Spiteri.

Mr Law said in a statement that the appointment was a critical step in the continuing process of accelerating Nine to a position of market leadership.

In a statement, Mr Gyngell said: "This network has been my passion. Everyone who knows me knows that. In the last few years, my time running Granada Television in North America has broadened my experience and made me a better television executive.

"It is a great time to return home to Nine."

 

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