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Why Tokyo 2020 is changing the way we watch TV | ticker VIEWS



When it comes to how much interest we all had in the Olympics there were two arguments

Some said all the controversy would turn people away, while others believed we needed to the entertainment now more than ever.

Viewership and consumption of the olympics is down from Rio 2016, but in Australia, channel 7 hit a new streaming record.

Olympics TikTok is one of the best parts of the games, and it’s where younger viewers are consuming their olympic content.

Mat Cole from ACT Capital Partners Joined Brittany Coles to discuss why people are watching the olympics differently

Why have our viewing habits changed since Rio 2016?

Rio de Janeiro – Cerimônia de encerramento dos Jogos Olímpicos Rio 2016, no Maracanã (Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil)

Cole says event based television was one of the last happenings to be supported by ad based television.

“So if you look at the last sort of five years between the last Olympics and this one, consumer behaviour has changed dramatically,” he says.

Cole says that people who are late teens and early 20’s age group, well, they were 13, 14, 15, when the last Olympics were on, so their behaviours are just inherently different.

“They used to have more of an on demand style consumption of media push button and stream a series. So event based television is just a different behaviour to that and that’s played out.”

We’ve seen the change across all major live events

In other words, Superbowl viewership is down, the Grammys viewers were really down.

“So event based television right across the globe is struggling,”

Cole said.

“I think one of the things that we sort of underestimated coming into the Olympics was there was so much news around around the actual happening of the games, how would they happen? What would they look like fans, no fans, all these sorts of things.”

What we miss was the usual path into Olympic Games, we highlight the individuals, and we get to know the athletes and we get to know the backstory of the athletes.

“Well, I think what’s happening now is we’re finding that out as the events happening. So you know, everyone tuned in to watch Jess Fox Win win a gold medal,” Cole says.

“And we knew her backstory, and not just, you know, the athlete she is but the amount of work she’s done for gender equality in her sport, and really been a pioneer of that. Now we know that backstory, and we can really sort of get behind her and the work that she’s doing.”

Olympics tiktok dominating viewership and helping to humanise the athletes

In the virtual world of youtube vlogs, instagram reels and tiktok, showing daily routines online is pretty normal… but this concept is a first for the 125 year old olympic games.

There may be no spectators, but we have a front row view – in fact, it’s better than that – somewhere not even the major broadcasters or IOC officials have access.

That would be the athletes bedrooms…

Athletes are showing posting behind-the-scenes vignettes that showcase the Olympic Village on tik-tok.

This is an entirely new and fascinating experience for the home viewer.

When the athletes are at the Olympics, they’ve got social media guidelines, and challenges from broadcasters.

“As the challenge of the broadcasters, they’ve got to see so many sports, and you’ve got to deliver it seamlessly, and educate people on sports, we only see every four years. So that’s a real challenge in itself.”

Front row view into athletes village broadcasters can’t reach

Social media is allowing us to see into the incredible lives of athletes, which we’ve never had before.

“Tiktok is a perfect vehicle for the athletes themselves to show their personalities.”

“Tiktok is an access point to fans, we now get a really small view into the life of an athlete of an Olympic athlete, which 99 per cent of us will never ever get to be, so we can experience this very authentic view of what the what the Olympic Village is and the the Olympic athletes experiences,” Cole says.

“Without the shiny lights and all the choreograph theatrics that Olympic Games has, this is the real stuff.”

Cole says there was some really great content produced by the US women’s sevens rugby side, where they tested out the cardboard beds, and they would pretend to be WWE athletes, they would pretend to wrestle on all these sorts of things, great content.

“So platforms like TikTok, you walk around and you see what the opening ceremony is like for an athlete from an athlete’s point of view. All of this sort of stuff is fantastic,” Cole says.

Are athletes getting themselves into hot water posting tiktoks?

There are some do’s and don’t’s when it comes to posts on social media to avoid getting slapped with a lawsuit from the IOC or USOP.

“For starters, individuals referring to the Olympics for non-commercial purposes is okay. But as more athletes have become influencers or brand ambassadors on social media, there are nuances to promotion of the Olympics and branding that should be carefully observed,” Tiffany Shimada, partner at the international law firm Dorsey & Whitney said.

For example, under the General Guidelines for the Tokyo Olympic games, use of URL, social media, or hashtags on any items worn during the Olympic games is strictly forbidden

“There are still many creative ways to promote brands during the Olympics, but they must align with the IOC and USOPC’s rules and guidelines,” Shimada says.

How will the athletes maintain popularity and become media properties?

How that translates post Olympics for those who do well and win a medal at the Olympics, will be the next question.

Despite the blow up of athlete life and behind the scene content on social media, people still rely on the games itself via broadcast networks

“New viewing records are being set on a daily basis which is great news for our partners, sponsors and dynamic packages. Marketers have well and truly embraced Tokyo 2020 and now that the Games have started, we’re seeing record results with brands capitalising with short-term broadcast and digital investment,” Seven West Media chief revenue officer and director of Olympics, Kurt Burnette, said.

Channel 7 Olympics audience numbers have exceeded its forecasts on every level, including 2.3 million reach on streaming platform, 7plus alone

“I think one of the things that we have to be mindful of is Sydney being in lockdown Melbourne being in lockdown for the first part of the Olympics,” Cole says.

“It’s really helped. You know a lot of people got the Olympics on in the background where they’re trying to work from home, teach from home and do all the other bits and pieces while in lockdown,

“So I think Channel Seven has done a really good job of producing a product that’s suitable for the viewership and the experience that you’re looking to create. I think there’s some tailwind to the lockdown that are helping those numbers as well.”

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Trump’s campaign debut was panned – but don’t underestimate his chances



Last weekend, Donald Trump held two events in New Hampshire and South Carolina, his first official forays onto the 2024 presidential battlefield. 

The experts panned it.  

“Former President Trump’s first campaign swing of the 2024 campaign generated little of the excitement that has long defined his glitzy political rallies…The widespread sentiment among Republicans there is that Trump served the country well, but he’s unelectable in 2024.”  

Axios, the super-sophisticated DC political newsletter

“As he hit the trail for the first time since launching a third bid for the White House in November, signs of Trump’s newfound vulnerabilities came into focus. The trip effectively ushered in the start of the 2024 Republican presidential primary campaign season, with Trump fighting to keep his place at the top of a potentially crowded field.” 

The Washington Post

“He remains the clear front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, yet the solidity of his support seems increasingly in doubt.  Longtime donors have been reluctant to recommit. Leaders in the Republican National Committee are openly encouraging other candidates to run. Voters rejected the handpicked candidates he vowed would win Republicans control of the Senate, but whose losses instead left the chamber in Democratic hands.”

The New York Times

A lot of the political class is talking about Trump in the past tense, and not the future, briefing out to the media that his rambling, Fidel Castro-like  monologues bore his audiences silly, that his obsessions and battles with his political enemies do not have the reach they did in 2016 and during  his term in office, that he is immersing himself more deeply in extremist QAnon cult waters, that he faces indictments and trials that will derail his campaign and might even put him in jail.

Trump 2020

And more: that Trump wallows in the “stolen” 2020 election, knowing that there was no way he could have lost since he got 12 million more votes than in 2016.  Trump never concedes.  Six years later, he does not acknowledge that Hillary Clinton got almost 3 million more votes than Trump in 2016 – and that he won only because she lost in the Electoral College.

The telling critique – the one driving Republicans in private to say that Trump is done (or should be done, or will be done) is that Trump is a loser. 

That Trump lost Republican control of the House of Representatives in 2018, bringing back Nancy Pelosi who secured not one, but two impeachments of the president; that he lost the White House in 2020; that he lost control of the Senate in January 2021 when Democrats swept both Georgia Senate seats, giving them control of that chamber; and that Trump-backed candidates in Pennsylvania, Georgia, New Hampshire, and Arizona again cost Republicans control of the Senate in the 2022 midterms.   As Vince Lombardi, legendary gridiron coach of Green Bay and Washington, said, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” Lombardi would say Trump was a loser.

Trump is having none of it, and his iron resolve was on full display for those listening more closely when he gave his orations last weekend.

“Maybe he’s lost his step,” Trump said in evoking the musings of some Republicans. But, “I’m more angry now, and I’m more committed than I ever was.”

Former U.S. President Donald Trump points as he announces that he will once again run for U.S. president in the 2024 U.S. presidential election during an event at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S. November 15, 2022. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

The anger is palpable.  The Trump 2023 brand joins his anger with the hottest culture war buttons he can press. Immigration, the open wound that is the southern border, the wall he will finish, the rapists and criminals who are flooding in and that he will keep out tomorrow.  Immigration is his lead-off weapon.

Then promises of energy independence and oil forever.  Utter hostility to electric vehicles and wind energy – especially if the windmills are offshore.  No transgender women in sports.  No way they are tolerated.  A purge of woke content from school curricula, schoolbooks, school libraries, and school boards.  Parents empowered to fire the principal of the schools their children attend; Trump says the parents can vote them out of their jobs.

Trump never goes far into the culture wars without conjuring up Hunter Biden, the president’s son. 

Hunter Biden with Joe Biden

Trump cannot get enough of Hunter’s laptop and the criminality of the Bidens, their business dealings and their money.  We can barely follow all the Trump twists and turns in this tale, but there is no mistake that Trump wants Hunter nailed and his father to bear the consequences.

Reprising his role as Commander-in-Chief, Trump said, in case we have not been paying attention, that we are on the brink on World War III. That Ukraine would not have happened if he had been president. That we could have a peace deal “in 24 hours.” Trump wants to call Putin and knows Putin will be waiting for that call.

Trump’s great loyalist, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, was on the podium with Trump and put it this way after the event. “How many times have you heard we like Trump’s policies but we want somebody new? There are no Trump policies without Donald Trump.”

That’s the message Trump delivered to his base last weekend.  And that’s how Trump intends to win.

Buried in Trump’s massive monologue was the core of what could be a winning message.   “My mission is to secure a middle-class lifestyle for everyone.  I did it before and I will do it again.  And we will be respected in the world once again.”

Three powerful sentences which, coupled with the red meat of his anger and rage, mean that Trump is very much alive and kicking.

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Leading athletes and medical experts push for medicinal cannabis in sport



Leading lawmakers, medical experts and athletes are pushing for therapeutic use of medicinal cannabis for chronic pain and injury

Basketball star Brittney Griner is one of the leading players of her generation. She jumped into the spotlight for serving a sentence for possession of cannabis oil in Russia.

It begs the question whether medicinal cannabis and athletes are a good mix. Well, many lawmakers, health experts and athletes around the world want to break down the stigmas associated with its use.

Many want to use Griner’s ordeal as motivation to change cannabis laws and therapeutic use exemptions in sports.

Mark Brayshaw, Managing Director of Levin Health has spoken closely with Dr. Peter Brukner who is a world-renowned Australian sports medicine clinician and researcher.

Dr. Peter Brukner

Brukner believes athletes should be able to compete in their field with medicinal cannabis because it doesn’t enhance their performance.

“Medicinal cannabis is arguably performance diminishing rather than performance enhancing…

It’s likely to be taken off the ban list in the near future.”

Mark Brayshaw, Managing Director of Levin Health

“I don’t see there are any risks at all.”

Mark Brayshaw, Managing Director of Levin Health

Brayshaw believes there are higher risks for athletes becoming addicted to anti-inflammatory and opioids. As opposed to any risks associated with taking medicinal cannabis.

He explains it enables athletes to function in a healthy way, pain free.

Overall, there is hope Griner’s case will break down stigma surrounding natural medicines and athletes.

In Australia, there are tens of thousands of new applications for medicinal cannabis every month.

“We’re seeing a significant stigma reduction… There are 30,000 new applications every month [in Australia] for medicinal cannabis...

In the right hands, and through a GP it can be a very safe alternative to opioids and anti-inflammatories in the treatment of chronic pain.”

Mark Brayshaw, Managing Director of Levin Health

There are also growing calls for countries to adopt therapeutic use exemptions in sport, including in the Australian Football League.

“We’ve got Alistair Clarkson and Damien Hardwick on our board, they’ve taken a keen interest… Yes, it’s on the rise.”

Mark Brayshaw, Managing Director of Levin Health

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Why is China’s changing its strategy to handling the pandemic?



Changes to China’s COVID policies are coming thick and fast, much faster than many people anticipated given how strict the country has been in the last few years, the latest big announcement is around an app that people had to install on their phone

Then it tracked them when they travelled across the country, alerting them if they’ve been to a high risk COVID area, the government says that that app is now deactivated and people no longer have to have it installed on their phones.

It’s yet another indication of the change in China’s strategy to handling the pandemic.

We’ve seen changes related to quarantine, and also testing as well. And a real change in narrative from the authorities when talking about the virus and how dangerous it is. Now officially case numbers are dropping.

But that is largely due to the fact that much less testing is taking place, and we are seeing signs that in reality cases are surging.

There’s queues of people outside of pharmacies, queuing to get medication for colds and for fevers, and also self testing kits as well.

On social media, many people in China now saying that they have caught COVID For the first time, or that they know a number of people who have COVID When previously they didn’t know anyone at all.

So it’s clear that cases are rising, and this is coming just the month before the Chinese New Year holidays, which will take place at the end of January, traditionally a time when millions of people will travel across the country.

We would expect that to happen this year, as travel within China is now much easier.

So we would expect COVID cases to spread across the country talking to travel and is yet no sign of when the borders will open internationally.

Still very, very hard to get into China and very strict. When people do enter and the procedures they have to follow.

Maybe the government will wait and see how the first phase of reopening goes domestically, before thinking internationally?

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