Media Wrap: Ratings on the skids; Gordon builds Nine stake; ISPs wary on piracy bill; DVDs still king

James McGrath
By James McGrath | 13 April 2015

Ratings on the slide

The number of people watching commercial free-to-air TV in metro areas has dropped by 6% year on year, according to OzTAM analysis conducted by the Australian Financial Review.

The figures for the first seven ratings weeks of the year, excluding easter, paint a picture of a fragmented audience becoming choosier as the number of platforms they can consume content on conitnues to expand.

However, it should be noted the networks' OzTAM numbers do not include their digital audiences, which have been growing.

Gordon builds Nine stake

Bruce Gordon has taken a small, strategic stake in Nine Entertainment Company (NEC) ahead of expected media reforms which could kick off a raft of dealmaking in the sector.

According to The Australian, the major shareholder in Network Ten has slowly started to acumulate a stake in NEC, below a 5% disclosure threshold.

The building of the stake adds to the belief that Nine could be a takeover target should government reforms to free up the reach rule go forward.

ISPs wary on piracy bill

Internet service providers (ISPs) such as iiNet and Optus have flagged opposition to a bill being put forward which would crack down on online piracy, fearing the cost of the scheme could be too much to bear.

According to the Australian Financial Review, media owners such as Foxtel are broadly in favour of a bill being drafted which would force ISPs to block certain websites.

The ISPs fear both the cost of such a scheme, and the vagueness of exactly which sites should be blocked.

DVDs still king

While it may seem an anachronism given all the talk about streaming, DVD sales continue to outweigh digital downloads by some margin.

According to a report written about by The Australian, DVD sales hit $980 million in 2014 against digital download value of $160 million.

However, this does not account for the launch of high-profile subscription video on demand platforms such as Netflix, or the amount of digital content pirated in 2014.

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