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Netflix finally reveals how much it makes from Australians - 1st June 2023

Netflix made more than $1 billion from Australians last year, a figure the company reported for the first time after deciding no longer to funnel revenues through a Netherlands-based subsidiary.

Accounts lodged by the streaming giant show Netflix Australia made $1.06 billion in 2022, up from $30.7 million the year before.

The increase in reported revenue came after the company’s local subsidiary changed how it bills. It now describes itself as a “distributor of access” to Netflix Service as opposed to a provider of services for its parent company.

It was previously estimated that Netflix made between $790 million and $1.4 billion from Australians, but customers were billed by Netflix International BV. But from January 1 last year, customers were billed by Netflix Australia, meaning subscription revenue was recognised and taxed locally.

The accounts, filed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, show Netflix Australia paid $966 million to the Netflix Group in distribution fees and other costs, meaning it made just $22.7 million from total revenues of $1.06 billion.

After paying $6.9 million in income tax, it reported $15.8 million profit for the year.

“As Netflix continues to grow and invest in Australia, we want our corporate structure to reflect our business activities here,” a spokesman for Netflix said last year when The Australian Financial Review reported the structural change.

In 2021, Netflix Australia reported $30.7 million in revenue, $2.4 million in profit pre-tax, and $1.5 million in profit after its $868,000 income tax bill.

Netflix does not disclose subscriber numbers for Australia, but the revenue figures included in its latest accounts implies the service has around five million customers locally, if its standard plan, $16.99 per month, is used as a guide. It has four monthly price tiers including a new, cheaper one that now adds some advertising.

According to the Australian Communications and Media Authority, streaming services made a combined $2.49 billion in Australia in 2021.

The disclosure of Netflix’s true Australian revenue comes as the federal government considers introducing quotas that would force streaming companies to spend a certain amount making shows locally.

Some suggestions have been forcing them to spend between 10 and 20 per cent of local revenue on Australian shows, meaning Netflix would be required to spend, depending on the rate, between $100 million to $200 million.

ACMA estimates streaming providers spend $335.1 million on Australian content in the 12 months to the end of June last year, up from $178.9 million the year before.

Netflix has been contacted for comment.


Mistakes and miscalculations: How the Murdochs and Fox got it so wrong - 30th May 2023

In August 2021, the Fox Corp. board of directors gathered in Los Angeles. Among the topics on the agenda: Dominion Voting Systems’ $US1.6 billion ($2.5 billion) defamation lawsuit against its cable news network, Fox News.

The suit posed a threat to the company’s finances and reputation. But Fox’s chief legal officer, Viet Dinh, reassured the board: Even if the company lost at trial, it would ultimately prevail. The First Amendment was on Fox’s side, he explained, even if proving so could require going to the Supreme Court.

That determination informed a series of missteps and miscalculations over the next 20 months, according to a New York Times review of court and business records, and interviews with roughly a dozen people directly involved in or briefed on the company’s decision-making.

The case resulted in one of the biggest legal and business debacles in the history of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire: an avalanche of embarrassing disclosures from internal messages released in court filings; the largest known settlement in a defamation suit, $US787.5 million; two shareholder lawsuits; and the benching of Fox’s top prime-time star, Tucker Carlson.

And for all of that, Fox still faces a lawsuit seeking even more in damages, $US2.7 billion, filed by another subject of the stolen election theory, voting software company Smartmatic.

Caught flat-footed

Repeatedly, Fox executives overlooked warning signs about the damage they and their network would sustain, the Times found. They also failed to recognise how far their cable news networks, Fox News and Fox Business, had strayed into defamatory territory by promoting President Donald Trump’s election conspiracy theories — the central issue in the case. (Fox maintains it did not defame Dominion.)

When pretrial rulings went against the company, Fox did not pursue a settlement in any real way. Executives were then caught flat-footed as Dominion’s court filings included internal Fox messages that made clear how the company chased a Trump-loving audience that preferred his election lies to the truth.

It was only in February that Murdoch and his son with whom he runs the company, Lachlan Murdoch, began seriously considering settling. Yet they made no major attempt to do so until the eve of the trial in April, after still more damaging public disclosures.

At the centre of the action was Dinh and his overly rosy scenario.

Dinh, a high-level Justice Department official under President George W. Bush, declined several requests for comment, and the company declined to respond to questions about his performance or his legal decisions. “Discussions of specific legal strategy are privileged and confidential,” a company representative said in a statement.

The second half of 2020 brought Fox News to a crisis point. The Fox audience had come to expect favourable news about Trump. But Fox could not provide that on election night, when its decision desk team was first to declare that Trump had lost the critical state of Arizona.

In the days after, Trump’s fans switched off in droves.

The Fox host who was the first to find a way to draw the audience back was Maria Bartiromo. Five days after the election, she invited a guest, Trump-aligned lawyer Sidney Powell, to share details about the false accusations that Dominion, an elections technology company, had switched votes from Trump to Joe Biden.

Soon, wild claims about Dominion appeared elsewhere on Fox, including references to the election company’s supposed (but imagined) ties to the Smartmatic election software company; Hugo Chávez, the Venezuelan dictator who died in 2013; George Soros, the billionaire investor and Democratic donor; and China.

‘Fox News did its job, and this is what the First Amendment protects. I’m not at all concerned about such lawsuits, real or imagined.’

Fox’s chief legal officer Viet Dinh

On November 12, a Dominion spokesperson complained to Fox News Media chief executive Suzanne Scott and Fox News Media executive editor Jay Wallace, begging them to make it stop. “We really weren’t thinking about building a litigation record as much as we were trying to stop the bleeding,” said Thomas A. Clare, one of Dominion’s lawyers.

As Fox noted in its court papers, its hosts did begin including company denials. But as they continued to give oxygen to the false allegations, Dominion sent a letter to Fox News general counsel Lily Fu Claffee, demanding that Fox cease and correct the record. “Dominion is prepared to do what is necessary to protect its reputation and the safety of its employees,” the letter warned.

Fox, however, did not respond to the Dominion letter or comply with its requests — now a key issue in a shareholder suit filed in April, which maintains that doing so would have “materially mitigated” Fox’s legal exposure.

Three months after the election, another voting technology company tied to the Dominion conspiracy, Smartmatic, filed its own defamation suit against Fox, seeking $US2.7 billion in damages. Dominion told reporters that it was preparing to file one, too.

Dinh was publicly dismissive.

“The newsworthy nature of the contested presidential election deserved full and fair coverage from all journalists. Fox News did its job, and this is what the First Amendment protects,” Dinh said at the time. “I’m not at all concerned about such lawsuits, real or imagined.”

The Fox legal team based much of the defence on a doctrine known as the neutral reportage privilege. It holds that news organisations cannot be held financially liable for damages when reporting on false allegations made by major public figures as long as they don’t embrace or endorse them.

An early warning came in late 2021. The judge in the case, Eric M. Davis, rejected Fox’s attempt to use the neutral reportage defence to get the suit thrown out, determining that it was not recognised under New York law, which he was applying to the case. Even if it was recognised, Fox would have to show it reported on the allegations “accurately and dispassionately”, and Dominion had made a strong argument that Fox’s reporting was neither, the judge wrote in a ruling.

That ruling meant that Dominion could have access to Fox’s internal communications in discovery.

That was a natural time to settle. But Fox stuck with its defence and its plan.

Treasure trove

At nearly every step, the court overruled Fox’s attempts to limit Dominion’s access to private communications exchanged among hosts, producers and executives. The biggest blow came mid-last year, after a ruling stating that Dominion could review messages from the personal phones of Fox employees, including both Murdochs.

The result was a treasure trove of evidence for Dominion: text messages and emails that revealed the doubts that Rupert Murdoch had about the coverage airing on his network, and assertions by many inside Fox, including Carlson, that fraud could not have made a material difference in the election.

The messages led to even more damaging revelations during depositions. After Dominion’s lawyers confronted Rupert Murdoch with his own messages showing he knew Trump’s stolen election claims were false, he admitted that some Fox hosts appeared to have endorsed stolen election claims.

During Carlson’s deposition last year, Dominion’s lawyers asked about his use of a crude word to describe women — including a ranking Fox executive. They also mentioned a text in which he discussed watching a group of men, who he said were Trump supporters, attack “an Antifa kid”. He lamented in the text, “It’s not how white men fight,” and shared a momentary wish that the group would kill the person. He then said he regretted that instinct.

There is no indication that Carlson’s texts tripped alarms at the top of Fox at that point.

The alarms rang in February, when reams of other internal Fox communications became public. The public’s reaction was so negative that some people at the company believed that a jury could award Dominion more than $US1 billion. Yet the company made no serious bid to settle.

All along, the Fox board had been taking a wait-and-see approach.

But the judge’s pretrial decisions began to change the board’s thinking. Also, in those final days before the trial, Fox was hit with new lawsuits. One, from former Fox producer Abby Grossberg, accused Carlson of promoting a hostile work environment. Another, filed by a shareholder, accused the Murdochs and several directors of failing to stop the practices that made Fox vulnerable to legal claims.

The weekend before the trial was to begin, the board asked Fox to see the internal Fox communications that were not yet public but that could still come out in the courtroom.

The board learned for the first time of the Carlson text that referred to “how white men fight”. Dinh did not know about the message until that weekend, according to two people familiar with the matter.

By the time the board learned of the message, the Murdochs had already determined that a trial loss could be far more damaging than they were initially told to expect. A substantial jury award could weigh on the company’s stock for years as the appeals process played out.

“The distraction to our company, the distraction to our growth plans — our management — would have been extraordinarily costly, which is why we decided to settle,” Lachlan Murdoch said at an investment conference this month.

The text also helped lead to the Murdochs’ decision to abruptly pull Carlson off the air. Their view had hardened that their top-rated star wasn’t worth all the downsides he brought with him.

Still pending is the Smartmatic suit. In April, Fox agreed to hand over additional internal documents relating to several executives, including the Murdochs and Dinh. In a statement reminiscent of Dinh’s early view of the Dominion case, the network said that Fox was protected by the First Amendment.

“We will be ready to defend this case surrounding extremely newsworthy events when it goes to trial, likely in 2025,” the statement said.


Lachlan Murdoch explains $1.2b settlement, says Fox News won’t change ‘successful strategy’ - 10th May 2023

Fox News paid $US787 million ($1.16 billion) to settle a recent lawsuit on its reporting after the 2020 election to avoid a divisive trial and lengthy appeals process, its parent company’s chief executive said.

Lachlan Murdoch, executive chairman and CEO of Fox Corp., also noted that a Delaware judge “severely limited” Fox’s defences against Dominion Voting Systems, which said the network defamed it by airing bogus charges of election fraud that it knew was untrue.

Fox Corp announced that it had lost $US50 million the previous three months, which it attributed to the lawsuit settlement. Murdoch, who answered questions from financial analysts, was speaking in public for the first time since the case ended and Fox fired its most popular anchor, Tucker Carlson. Carlson has just announced he is launching a new show on Twitter.

Murdoch said viewers, and investors, should expect no change in direction from Fox News.

“We made the business decision to resolve this dispute and avoid the acrimony of a divisive trial and multi-year appeal process, a decision clearly in the best interests of the company and its shareholders,” he said.

Fox still believes it was properly exercising its First Amendment rights to report on newsworthy fraud allegations made by former President Donald Trump, even though that defence was shot down in a pre-trial court ruling in the Dominion case, Murdoch said.

That’s important, since Murdoch said Fox intends to use the same defence against a similar lawsuit by another elections technology company, Smartmatic. That case is not expected to go to trial until at least 2025, he said.

Despite being asked directly about Carlson’s exit, Murdoch didn’t mention the former prime-time host’s name and referred to his reign obliquely. Fox has not explained why it cut ties with Carlson.

“There’s no change in programming strategy at Fox News,” he said. “It’s obviously a successful strategy. As always, we are adjusting our programming and our lineup and that’s what we continue to do.”

Although hurt by the Carlson exit, Fox News remains the leading cable news network.

Fox has lost viewers following Carlson’s firing. Last week’s substitute host, Lawrence Jones, reached between 1.28 million and 1.7 million last week in a time slot where Carlson usually drew around 3 million, the Nielsen company said.

Yet Fox has gained more than 40 new advertisers in that hour, the network said, confirming a report in Variety. Advertisers like Gillette, Scott’s Miracle Gro and Secret deodorant that had considered Carlson’s show a toxic environment have signed on.



Jesse Armstrong on the roots of Succession: ‘Would it have landed the same way without the mad bum-rush of Trump’s presidency?’ - 27th May 2023

It has been the TV drama of our time – a brutal, hilarious unpicking of how power works. As the series comes to an end, its creator looks back at its origin and the unholy trinity of men who helped inspire Logan Roy

My first vivid memory of the project that would develop into Succession was trying to get out of it. It was about 2008 and I was on location for the filming of Peep Show, the UK sitcom my longtime writing partner Sam Bain and I wrote together. Between that show and my work on The Thick of It and In the Loop, and a bunch of other things, I was feeling overcommitted. That particular day we were pretending a very normal field in Hertfordshire was a safari park. I sloped off from set and, hiding from imaginary lions, tried to elegantly step away from the project.

I failed. And in the following months as I wrote, slowly, I became certain the script was a dud. It was stodgy and odd. The original idea, a faux-documentary laying out Rupert Murdoch’s business secrets, with them delivered straight to camera, evolved as I worked into a sort of TV play, set at the media owner’s 80th birthday party. Channel 4 were supportive, but it was an odd form, this docudrama/TV-play, and difficult to make happen. Around 2011, after a read-through in London where John Hurt played Rupert, the project essentially died.

My US agent was the first person I recall suggesting a totally different approach. A fictional family, a multi-series US show. For five years or so, I dismissed the idea, certain that a portrayal of a fictional family would never have the power of a real one. Four works changed my mind: HBO’s excellent Robert Durst documentary, The Jinx; Sumner Redstone’s grimly business-focused autobiography, A Passion to Win; James B Stewart’s propulsive DisneyWar; and Tom Bower’s fascinating Robert Maxwell biography Maxwell: The Final Verdict. These turned the idea of doing a media-family drama without a singular real-life model from a terrible betrayal of reality into a tantalising chance to harvest all the best stories. Here was an opportunity to explore all the most fascinating family dynamics within a propitiously balanced fictional hybrid media conglomerate. I took a long, deep dive into rich-family and media-business research.

I talked about this, as-yet-unwritten, idea in half-ironised terms as ‘Festen-meets-Dallas’

When Sam and I decided to bring things to a close on Peep Show, I flew out to pitch this media show around LA. I had a clear idea of where I wanted to develop it, but my agent persuaded me appetites would be whetted if we had a number of potential homes. So I spent three days doing a round of pitch meetings where I talked about this as-yet-unwritten idea in half-ironised terms as “Festen-meets-Dallas”. No stars, Dogme 95 camerawork. Scared of driving on the five-lane highways, I bumped around town in the back of a Honda Civic while a nice young man from my US agent’s mailroom ferried me between rooms stocked with identical tiny bottles of water and executives of vastly varying degrees of interest.

Eventually, I got to HBO, the place I most wanted the show to land, home to The Sopranos and Six Feet Under. I knew they might be receptive. Frank Rich – once known as the “Butcher of Broadway” for his theatre criticism, but now an in-house consigliere – had championed my work there to the boss, Richard Plepler, and I’d previously developed a show with them. So, out the back of a French-style bistro on a three-cappuccino high, I pitched it to their head of drama and comedy, Casey Bloys.

Sometimes a pitch stretches thin and threadbare, the fabric renting as you go, the other party peeping grimly through the holes. Other times, the air thickens, and you can feel the atmosphere in the room turn oxygen-rich as the enthusiasm you are trying to project transforms into an enthusiasm you are actually feeling.

By the time I left LA, HBO had made an offer and Adam McKay, fresh from The Big Short, had said he would be interested in directing. I’d written another Succession forerunner, a script about the US political strategist Lee Atwater, for Adam and his producing partner Kevin Messick. It had been one of the few LA experiences I’d had where the excitement expressed at the start of the project sustained through the writing and attempts to get it made.

This was 2016 and, once back in the UK, I wrote the pilot through the spring and summer in a one-room flat I rented on Brixton Hill, south London, walking across Brockwell Park each morning, listening to podcasts and reading news about the Brexit referendum. Scotland had recently voted by a narrow majority to stay inside the UK and the abiding sense right before the Brexit vote was, yeah, change looms, it glistens, menacingly, promisingly, but it doesn’t happen. Not really. Really, everything stays the same.

But then it did happen. And across the Atlantic, the Trump campaign was igniting – even if initially his candidacy felt like a slightly amusing, slightly too-vivid flash in the pan. Into early autumn, in fact, all serious people were still explaining to one another that Trump couldn’t happen. Although I suppose, looking back, there was a notable lack of detail in terms of the mechanism by which he would be stopped.

I think a lot of the better films and TV shows I’ve been involved with have at their heart a quite simple impulse around which the more subtle layers are spun. In the Loop’s spark was anger at the Iraq war. Chris Morris’s Four Lions I think was driven by his gut feeling that something was very wrong with the way we understood jihadi terrorism in the UK. Peep Show was about oddball male friendship, perhaps even “masculinity”.

I guess the simple things at the heart of Succession ended up being Brexit and Trump. The way the UK press had primed the EU debate for decades. The way the US media’s conservative outriders prepared the way for Trump, hovered at the brink of support and then dived in. The British press of Rothermere, Maxwell, Murdoch and the Barclay brothers, and the US news environment of Fox and Breitbart.

The Sun doesn’t run the UK, nor does Fox entirely set the media agenda in the US, but it was hard not to feel, at the time the show was coming together, the particular impact of one man, of one family, on the lives of so many. Rightwing populism was on the march across the globe. But in the fine margins of the Brexit vote and Trump’s eventual electoral college victory, one couldn’t help but think about the influence of the years of anti-EU stories and comment in the UK press, the years of Fox dancing with its audience, sometimes leading, sometimes following, as the wine got stronger, the music madder. It was politically alarming and creatively appealing: to imagine the mixture of business imperatives and political instinct that exist within a media operation; to consider what happens when something as important as the flow of information in a democracy hits the reductive brutality of the profit calculation inside such a company. How those elements might rebound emotionally and psychologically inside a family as it considered the question of corporate succession.

For Logan Roy, Murdoch, Redstone and Maxwell were my holy trinity of models. But Conrad Black, Brian L Roberts of Comcast, Robert Mercer of Breitbart, Julian Sinclair Smith of Sinclair, Tiny Rowland, Rothermere, Beaverbrook and Hearst all fed in. The three central models were wildly different, of course: the self-made refugee Maxwell and the already-rich Murdoch, a scion of Australian journalistic royalty, both so different from the tough Boston lawyer Redstone who started with a couple of his father’s drive-in cinemas.

But they were connected by a strong interest in a few things: a refusal to think about mortality (Redstone and Murdoch both used to make the same joke about their succession plan: not dying); desire for control; manic deal-making energy; love of gossip and power-connection; a certain ruthlessness about hirings and firings. And most of all, an instinct for forward motion, with a notable lack of introspection.

Perhaps the best part of Redstone’s autobiography for a casual reader is the opening, where he recounts clinging by one hand to a hotel balcony through a fire. Despite suffering third-degree burns over half his body, years of rehabilitation, excruciatingly painful skin grafts, he says this event, after which he made all his biggest business plays, had no impact whatsoever on the trajectory of his life.

Whether due to all this grist, or the aligning of the political planets (in)auspiciously, the pilot came unnervingly easily. Getting names in a script to feel real can be hard for me – they’re a tell-tale sign of whether I’m living inside it. Kendall, Shiv, Roman, Connor. They all felt right straight off the bat. Their inspirations, I suppose, were the children of these magnates: three of the Maxwell kids, the ones closest to the business (the boys, Ian and Kevin) and to their father (Ghislaine). Brent and Shari Redstone, with whom Sumner played a tough and complicated game of bait-and-switch over CBS-Paramount succession. And the Murdoch children, Prudence, Lachlan, James, Elisabeth, Chloe and Grace.

But getting those names for the Roy children made them feel like their own individuals to me. It allowed me to pour in just what I wanted from the real world, fill each with all the faults they might have inherited, while giving me room to add some extra, just for them.

Greg and Tom came fast, too. Tom from two roots. One was thinking about the sort of lunks I’ve occasionally seen powerful women choose as partners. Plausible, manly men with big watches and a soothing affable manner. That mixed with the deadly courtier, a more 18th-century figure, minutely attuned to shifts in power and influence, an invisible deadly gas that occurs in certain confined places and rises to kill anyone unwise enough not to take precautions. A hanger-on sustained by some Fitzgeraldian illusions about the world, a sense that perhaps the rich really are different from us and a romantic ambition to make it in New York City.

Greg, I guess, was a distant relative of the sort of political adviser I had myself briefly been. Gormless, clueless, out of place and gauche. But not without an eye for a deal. And, I hope, a little more wheedling and insinuating than I ever was.

The scenes flowed. I put all research aside and followed my nose and wrote pretty much exactly what I wanted

The charge between these two semi-outsiders struck me from the start as toxic and comic. Tom, the interloper, is like an organism that has found a precarious but rewarding perch above some deep oceanic vent and adapted itself to conditions perfectly. He is not pleased at all to see a similar creature scuttling along hoping to share the same cramped evolutionary niche. That first half-bullying, half-provocative exchange they share in the outfield at a softball game in the pilot landed them right in the middle of a stew they’ve been cooking in ever since.

The scenes flowed. I had eaten a very large amount of research, but once I was writing I put it all aside and followed my nose and wrote pretty much exactly what I wanted. It felt funny but odd and broken-ended, fragmentary, abrupt, oblique and slightly brutal. When I emailed it off, I had the familiar feeling that Adam, Frank and HBO might email back to say not only was it not good, it wasn’t even actually, technically, a script. But their response was frighteningly positive. Almost as though the script was finished, after what was, I thought, a quick first draft. I think every other episode of Succession has gone to at least 30 drafts – usually 50. The pilot barely hit 15.

We had our read-through in New York on US election day 2016. Before we started, I made the sort of joke lots of people made that day, assuming the polls were right and Hillary Clinton was going to squeeze it. That night we gathered in Adam McKay’s apartment to watch the results roll in. Much later, I walked a long walk back from Soho to where I was staying near the United Nations looking at the electoral college numbers projected on to the Empire State Building.

We started filming the next day.

I still wonder whether Succession would have landed in the same way without the mad bum-rush of news and sensation Trump’s chaotic presidency provided. Trump wasn’t the firebombing of German civilians, and nor is Succession Slaughterhouse-Five, but I do sometimes think about Vonnegut saying no one in the world profited from the firebombing of Dresden, except himself.

This is an edited extract from Succession: The Complete Scripts – Seasons One, Two and Three (Faber & Faber), out now at £20 each. To support the Guardian and Observer, order your copies for £17.60 each from guardianbookshop.com.

The final episode of Succession airs in the UK on Sky Atlantic/Now on Monday. Jesse Armstrong donated the fee for this article to the Writers Guild of America strike assistance fund.


LIV Golf announces new pay-per-view option - 26th May 2023

"The hope for LIV is to grow off the success first seen on YouTube in 2022, where the league attracted tournament audiences of several hundred-thousand views in the U.S. and abroad."

Going forward, LIV Golf Series events will be available via a pay-per-view option on YouTube.

The new deal was detailed by James Colgan of Golf.com.

“Less than six months after signing a media rights agreement with the CW, LIV announced Friday that it has created a new, pay-per-view broadcast option to run on YouTube,” Colgan reported. “The PPV broadcast will cost $3 per tournament day, LIV said in a release announcing the decision, and will run in addition to the league’s agreement with the CW.”

Colgan also detailed that “A LIV source indicated that the CW is aware of the decision to introduce a pay-per-view model, and that the decision does not violate any of the league’s preexisting broadcast agreements.”

“The hope for LIV is to grow off the success first seen on YouTube in 2022, where the league attracted tournament audiences of several hundred-thousand views in the U.S. and abroad. The league already has its own direct-to-consumer subscription platform, LIV Golf Plus, which the PPV channel will run counter to. LIV broadcasts will continue to be streamed for free on the CW app.”

This announcement comes less than two weeks after a rather embarrassing moment for the tour. One week before LIV’s Brooks Koepka triumphed at the PGA Championship, the Saudi-backed golf series was in Tulsa.

On one hand, it was a perfect showcase event for LIV. Two of its most high-profile players, Dustin Johnson and Cam Smith, went to a three-way playoff (along with Branden Grace). But most of the people watching did not get to see Johnson’s eventual triumph.

The CW, the league’s primary broadcast partner, went away from coverage in the vast majority of its markets, showing “regularly scheduled programming.” Jim Nantz was quick to make a joke at LIV’s expense on the matter at the PGA Championship. The CW also announced a change, saying that all events will be shown to their conclusions going forward.



WWE Night Of Champions Reportedly Earned Highest Viewership Of Any Saudi Arabia Show - 31st May 2023

According to a report from Fightful Select, Saturday's Night of Champions PLE scored WWE the highest viewership out of any of the company's Saudi Arabia events since the partnership between the two began in 2013. The report states that Night of Champions brought in an 18% increase in viewership compared to last year's Crown Jewel event, and the company is reportedly quite happy with its holiday weekend results.

Night of Champions was headlined by Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn successfully defending the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship against Roman Reigns and Solo Sikoa of The Bloodline, with a major angle taking place on the show that saw The Usos turn on Reigns after more than a year of build-up and tension.This marks the second time a tag team match has served as the main event of a major WWE show in recent months. Additional matches on the show included Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles to decide the first WWE World Heavyweight Champion, a singles match between Becky Lynch and Trish Stratus, and a Backlash rematch pitting Brock Lesnar against Cody Rhodes, among others.

To date, WWE has held nine PPVs and PLEs in Saudi Arabia, along with three house shows. Back in 2019, WWE announced that they had "expanded their partnership" with Saudi Arabia, and that they would be hosting two major events per year in the Middle Eastern nation through at least 2027. Though it hasn't been announced yet, WWE will likely return to Saudi Arabia for another Crown Jewel event later this year.


Pat McAfee Comments On Empty Seats At AEW Double Or Nothing - 31st May 2023

All Elite Wrestling's Double or Nothing pay-per-view took place this past weekend at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. During the event, Wrestlenomics' Brandon Thurston tweeted images of empty seats inside the venue. Wrestling Observer's Bryan Alvarez also posted a photo from his ringside position, which showed many unoccupied places behind Orange Cassidy after he retained the AEW International Championship in a Blackjack Battle Royal. Former "WWE SmackDown" commentator Pat McAfee has weighed in with his thoughts.

"Anytime you get a shot away from hard cam, you know what I mean, you can really see a lot of things," McAfee said on "The Pat McAfee Show." "AEW found out this weekend or whatever at one of their events, it's like three quarters of an arena completely empty. They don't want that photo out anywhere."

Ahead of the pay-per-view going live on Sunday night, WrestleTix revealed 10,229 tickets had been distributed for an 11,641 setup inside the T-Mobile Arena, leaving 1,412 tickets available. An Anarchy in the Arena match headlined the show, with Blackpool Combat Club's Bryan Danielson, Jon Moxley, reigning ROH World Champion Claudio Castagnoli, and Wheeler Yuta picking up the win in that bout against The Elite's Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson, and "Hangman" Adam Page.

AEW's next major standalone show, All In, which will take place on August 27 at Wembley Stadium in London, England, has currently sold over 65,000 tickets and has a gate of over $8 million. No matches have been announced for AEW's first event across the pond as of this writing. Ticket sales for All In have slowed following an initial surge.


WWE-UFC merged company to be called ‘TKO Group Holdings’ - 16th May 2023

A name has emerged for the group.

Coming out of WrestleMania, it was announced by Endeavor that an agreement had been reached with WWE and the company would be merging with UFC to form a new sports and entertainment company.

The deal has not been formally finalized but a name for the merged group has been revealed. CNBC’s Alex Sherman and Mike Calia published a story and an Endeavor spokesperson confirmed to the outlet that the new group is going to be called ‘TKO Group Holdings’.

It will trade under the New York Stock Exchange as ‘TKO’.

The merger between WWE and UFC is being valued at $20 billion. Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel will be the CEO of TKO Group and Vince McMahon is going to serve as Executive Chairman.


Nick Khan Says WWE In Talks With International Cities For 2024 PLEs

It sounds as though WWE will continue expanding its PLEs into international markets next year. Speaking at the JP Morgan Global Technology, Media & Communications Conference, WWE CEO Nick Khan stated that the company was discussing the potential for additional overseas shows in 2024.

"We're in conversations now with a lot of international cities about doing 2024 shows there," Khan said. "Also, part of the intent is to match those up with our media rights, even if they're not up to over-deliver for incumbent partners who can then invite their partners in the international city to the event, and host them. It's good for our overall business." Khan's comments came as part of a conversation about countries offering subsidies to WWE for bringing shows there, as the company brings a great deal of revenue to the city for major events. Khan cited recent events in Puerto Rico as well as the Dallas, Texas area as examples.

Previous rumors pointed toward Australia as a potential location for a future international WWE PLE. However, it's unknown if negotiations with the country have progressed in the months since.

WWE has steadily ramped up its major international shows over the last five years, with the company holding several yearly events in Saudi Arabia, as well as last year's Clash at the Castle and the upcoming Money in the Bank both being held in the United Kingdom. It seems fans around the world should stay on the lookout for upcoming announcements regarding WWE's international schedule in 2024.


“We Let People Go”: Months After $21.4 Billion UFC-WWE Deal, Endeavor CEO Recalls “Horrible” Time for Organization - 2nd June 2023

The year 2020 brought unprecedented challenges for individuals and organizations alike, and the UFC was no exception. The promotional frontman Dana White has reflected on those uncertain times and shared the struggles the organization faced in keeping things going. Despite the pandemic, White was determined to keep the show running and provide entertainment for fight fans worldwide. While the rest of the world was shut down, the UFC managed to organize consistent events, albeit on a smaller scale. However, this arduous journey was not without its fair share of hardships.

Ari Emanuel, the CEO of Endeavor, the parent company of the UFC and William Morris Endeavor talent agency, revealed the significant challenges they encountered during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though Endeavor recently secured a massive $21.4 billion deal to acquire the WWE, during the COVID-19 days, the company found itself at rock bottom struggling to stay afloat.

When Covid-19 posed a threat to the UFC

In an interview on the “Freakonomics Radio” podcast, Emanuel shared how the pandemic affected the company financially. During the interview, podcast host Stephen Dubner asked Emanuel, “Did you think COVID might kill Endeavor?”. Reflecting on this, the 62-year-old CEO replied, “It was bad,” He continued, “I’d never had to fire that many people.”

Emanuel mentioned that the continuation of UFC fights during the pandemic played a crucial role in saving the company, accounting for approximately 70% of their revenue that year. Further talking about the struggles to keep the organization alive during the pandemic, the Endeavor CEO stated, “We had our ESPN deal. We then started making deals for writers. So we stored all the cash. We didn’t let anything out. We let people go, which was horrible, or furloughed them.”

Through the storm, Endeavor’s leadership team, led by Emanuel, proved to be the lighthouse that guided them to safer shores. The UFC’s resilience and the implementation of innovative strategies, such as the ‘Fight Island’ events, not only salvaged the company but also became a beacon of hope for other professional sports leagues.


“Very, Very Easy for Jon Jones”: Ex-UFC Star Ruthlessly Shuts Down Tyson Fury Days After Boxer’s Callout of UFC Champ in Ugly Public Feud - 1st June 2023

The claim made by Joe Rogan that Tyson Fury would stand no chance against Jon Jones has sparked an intense and never-ending debate. Recently, another prominent figure from the UFC, the world of mixed martial arts, has jumped into this heated discussion. However, ‘The Gypsy King’ himself strongly opposed the take of the UFC commentator and didn’t hold back in expressing his views. In fact, he went as far as bashing Rogan and proudly proclaimed himself to be ‘the baddest man on the planet’.

As the back and forth continued between Fury and Rogan, UFC president Dana White has stepped in, proposing a potential fight between Fury and Jones. However, the WBC heavyweight champion firmly refused to step into the octagon, dismissing the idea altogether. This decision faced an immediate backlash from fans who had eagerly anticipated the materialization of this debate inside the fighting arena.

Despite the disappointment felt by fans, it becomes evident that the 34-year-old boxer has no intention of venturing into the octagon. On the contrary, a former UFC welterweight challenger believes that Fury would fare well in the realm of mixed martial arts. However, he warns that there may be unforeseen challenges along the way.

Tyson Fury will have a Jon Jones threat in MMA

During a recent interview, the former UFC fighter Dan Hardy shared his reflections on the latest happenings in the combat sports world, ranging from boxing to MMA. However, it was the Tyson Fury-Jon Jones debate that took center stage.

The 41-year-old Hardy began by heaping praise on ‘The Gypsy King’ for his potential in MMA, stating, “Tyson Fury doesn’t come from a boxing background. He comes from a fighting man background. Tyson Fury sees himself as a fighter first that boxes, and I think he looks at mixed martial arts and sees lots of ways he can capitalize on the changing of the rules.”

Continuing his analysis, Hardy mentioned Fury’s collaboration with Tom Aspinall and how he has showcased proficient elbows and knees in the videos shared with him. ‘The Outlaw’ confidently stated, “I feel like Tyson Fury would be really good if he crossed over to mixed martial arts. Of course, there’d be a lot for him to learn. The main issue would be, he’d be very, very easy for Jon Jones to take down. And I think that’s something that Tyson has not experienced and has not and has not really quite comprehended.”

Meanwhile, Jon Jones recently made a strong statement in his heavyweight debut, securing a first-round victory against Ciryl Gane at UFC 285 after returning from a three-year-long hiatus.

This certainly explains Dan Hardy’s warning to Tyson Fury. How do you think ‘The Gypsy King’ would fare in MMA?


Dwayne Johnson to Return as Luke Hobbs in New ‘Fast and Furious’ Standalone Film - 7th June 2023

Dwayne Johnson is returning to the “Fast and Furious” universe with a new standalone film, reprising his franchise role as Luke Hobbs.

Universal Pictures announced the project on Thursday. Longtime “Fast and Furious” collaborator Chris Morgan wrote the untitled film’s script. Plot details were not available, though individuals familiar with the deal said the new movie will bridge between the events of the just-released “Fast X” and the upcoming “Fast X: Part II,” which is expected in 2025. Johnson just appeared as Hobbs, a diplomatic security service agent, in a credits scene for “Fast X.”

Johnson will produce the film with Dany Garcia and Hiram Garcia for their Seven Bucks Productions, along with Vin Diesel and Samantha Vincent via their One Race Films. Additional producers include Chris Morgan for his Chris Morgan Productions, Jeff Kirschenbaum for Roth/Kirschenbaum Films and Neal Moritz for Original Film.

Screenwriter Morgan wrote and produced “Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” and “The Fate of the Furious.” He’s also scripted and executive produced the fifth, sixth and seventh entries in the franchise. Directed by Louis Leterrier, “Fast X” opened at No. 1 around the world in May with $320 million and became the second-biggest global opening of 2023.

Johnson announced Hobbs’ return with a video posted to social media with the caption: “Your reactions around the world to Hobbs’ return in ‘Fast X’ have blown us away. The next ‘Fast & Furious’ film you’ll see the legendary lawman in will be the Hobbs movie that will serve as a fresh, new chapter & set up for ‘Fast X: Part II.'”

“Last summer Vin Diesel and I put all the past behind us,” Johnson added. “We’ll lead with brotherhood and resolve – and always take care of the franchise, characters & fans that we love. I’ve built my career on an ‘audience first’ mentality and that will always serve as my north star.”

Johnson is repped by WME, lawyers Gang, Tyre, Ramer, Brown & Passman, Inc. and The Lede Company.

Seven Bucks has co-produced films like Disney’s “Jungle Cruise” and the DC Studios entires “Black Adam” and “DC League of Super-Pets.” Original series include NBC’s “Young Rock” and “The Titan Games.” Johnson will next produce and star in “Red One” at Amazon Studios and Disney’s live-action “Moana.”


13 States Comment On Possibility Of Allowing Gambling On WWE Matches

In March 2023, CNBC reported that WWE was working toward legalizing gambling on wrestling matches, enlisting the services of accounting firm Ernst & Young, with Michigan, Colorado, and Indiana mentioned as the initial targets. As of now, betting on WWE matches is only available at offshore sportsbooks like BetOnline.ag, based out of Antigua, and Bovada, based out of Latvia. Betting on matches in America would open up new streams of revenue for WWE and add some mainstream legitimacy to the sports entertainment powerhouse.

Since that report broke, however, it's been nothing bad news for WWE in the gambling department. Dave Meltzer has reported that WWE's efforts aren't going well — Colorado denied talking to WWE and said that "By statute, wagers on events with fixed or predicted outcomes ... are strictly prohibited in Colorado." Indiana told Casino.org that it had "no interest in approving wagering on scripted events," and Michigan also denied any recent talks with WWE, while New Hampshire Lottery Commission executive director Charlie McIntyre deemed it "very unlikely" betting on WWE gets approved in New Hampshire.

In light of this, Wrestling Inc. reached out to multiple states about the possibility of legalized betting on WWE matches. Each gambling commission was asked 1) how likely WWE would be to succeed if they pitched gambling on matches to them, and 2) if there were any regulations, laws, or statutes that barred betting on something with predetermined outcomes. 13 states -– Arizona, Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, and Washington -– responded. While their responses varied slightly, overall, they paint a picture of increasingly fewer opportunities, and increasingly more obstacles, for legal gambling on WWE matches to get approved.

At least three states say they wouldn't allow gambling on WWE as a matter of policy, even if there are no explicit laws against it.

Kerry Hemphill, Manager of Sports Betting Product at the Oregon Lottery, made it clear that gambling on WWE wouldn't be allowed as a matter of policy in the Beaver State: "Although there is no law or statute that forbids it, Oregon Lottery sports betting policy is to not accept wagers on scripted events with predicted outcomes."

Seth Elkin, Assistant Director of Communications for Public Affairs for Maryland Lottery and Gaming, also told us his state had made a determination on the matter. "Maryland's sports wagering law and regulations prohibit forms of wagering that are contrary to public policy or unfair to bettors," he said. "We've determined that it is unfair to bettors, and therefore not in the public's interest, to accept wagers on sports entertainment events that have predetermined outcomes, like professional wrestling."

Meanwhile, a representative from the South Dakota Department of Revenue simply said, "WWE wrestling matches would not be eligible for sports wagering in South Dakota."

Iowa and Ohio say no to betting on predetermined events

Two more states said that predetermined events weren't permitted, but made a point to highlight policy and procedure. Brian J. Ohorilko, Administrator of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, also shot down gambling on wrestling for the time being.

"Predetermined events are not permitted in the State of Iowa," he told Wrestling Inc. "Iowa law defines and permits professional sporting events and sports-related events; however, fixed or predetermined outcomes are not explicitly permitted. As such, and for other integrity concerns, the commission has not permitted predetermined events in any of the approved wagering markets."

Ohorilko also brought up the process that would be required for any kind of legalization: "From a practical standpoint, any request would need to come with a legal opinion as to how this would be permitted under Iowa law," he said. "It would need to go through legal review with consultation from the AG office. If legal review passes, the commission would still need to review policy and integrity concerns with respect to the activity having predetermined outcomes. Approval would be needed before this type of wagering activity could take place."

Ohio tells a similar story. Jessica Franks, Director of Communications for the Ohio Casino Control Commission, pointed us towards Rule 3775-11-01 of the Ohio Administrative Code — the process for adding to Ohio's catalog of wagers and events. She said the Commission's review of such requests includes, but is not limited to, the following criteria:

The quality of the governing body's documented integrity program.

The general availability of information related to the governing body.

The professional or skill level status of athletes.

The history of integrity related to events sanctioned by the governing body.

This already puts the WWE in shaky territory, but it's seemingly locked out for good with the following consideration: "Please note that the Commission will not approve requests for wagers/events involving 'Events which are pre-recorded or in which the outcome has been otherwise previously determined.'"

Arizona and Connecticut have laws against betting on fixed outcomes

At least two states have laws in place that would ban gambling on WWE matches.

Max Hartgraves, Public Information Officer at the Arizona Department of Gaming, provided a straightforward statement: "Arizona statute prohibits gambling on fixed events."

Meanwhile, when asked how likely WWE would be to garner approval for gambling on matches, Kaitlyn Krasselt, Communications Director at Connecticut Department of Consumer Protections, said "I cannot speculate on that." That said, she did inform Wrestling Inc. about state regulations on gambling: "Connecticut law only allows wagering on sporting or athletic events. WWE is sports entertainment. The 'matches' are predetermined by the company and are scripted. There is no regulation body for professional wrestling, and WWE is one of several companies that offers this type of entertainment. With a predetermined outcome, this would not be considered a sport. It is considered entertainment. Wagering on the Oscars, for example, is also not permitted in Connecticut."

That last part is significant, since CNBC's report mentioned that WWE executives were using Oscar betting as an example for regulators.

Maine and Montana agree with most of their colleagues

Two states specifically cited the statements from Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, and New Hampshire in their responses. After hearing that four other states had expressed skepticism over betting on WWE, Maine Gambling Control Unit Executive Director Milton Champion said, "On the surface, without looking into the matter, I would concur with my colleagues. Operators will submit with their application events that they want to take wagers on, and I shall approve them."

Daniel Iverson, Content Manager for the Montana Lottery, said something similar. "Montana does not intend to add WWE markets, for the same reasons our counterparts cited," he advised, before directing any questions on state law to the Montana Department of Justice Gambling Control Division.

New Jersey and Massachusetts punted, for now

Two states we contacted declined to comment on the matter, not wanting to address issues that haven't come before them yet. Thomas Mills, Communications Division Chief of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, said, "I appreciate your question, but am unable to speculate on a hypothetical action the Commission may or may not take."

Dan Prochilo, Public Information Officer at the New Jersey Attorney General's Office, responded that "The Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) cannot comment on any hypothetical discussion with an operator or league about future sports betting opportunities." He added that "In New Jersey, an entity seeking permission for a contest to be authorized for wagering on a sports event is required to submit its proposal to DGE for evaluation and approval pursuant to state law and regulations."

Prochilo also provided the state's legal definition of a "sports event" for the purposes of gambling. Notably, it includes the phrase "A 'sports event' shall include any live competition or talent contest, including awards competitions[.]"

New Jersey and Massachusetts are two of the only states that allow betting on the Oscars, with New Jersey okaying it in 2019 (the first state to do so) and Massachusetts greenlighting it in 2023. It's unknown if WWE will approach either state or how each state would respond, but at bare minimum, WWE's argument to treat wrestling like the Oscars for betting purposes might carry some weight.

Washington and New Mexico illustrate the challenges of Tribal gaming

Washington is unique among the states who responded to us, in that sports wagering is only available on Tribal lands yet still regulated by the state. Sports wagering was legalized, subject to terms of Tribal/State Compacts, on Tribal lands in 2020. All wagering, even online betting, must take place on Tribal lands, and each casino decides bets within certain limitations. The Angel of the Winds Casino and Resort and the ilani Casino Resort, for example, don't 100% overlap on sports offered for betting.

But WWE, or any wrestling, won't be joining those offering under current rules and regulations. Dan Wegenast, Agent In Charge for the Tribal Gaming Unit of the Washington State Gambling Commission, pointed Wrestling Inc. towards the Tribal/State Compacts for sports wagering. He also stated that "Washington State law and the Tribal/State Compacts for sports wagering ... prohibit wagers on events with known outcomes."

To further illustrate the complications of garnering approval for gaming on Tribal lands, a representative from the New Mexican Gaming Control Board told Wrestling Inc. that sports betting is illegal in their state, but legal with some Tribes. That said, New Mexico does not regulate Tribal gaming, meaning that approval would likely have to be worked out with each Tribe individually.

There are other obstacles, too

It's worth noting that gambling laws are constantly changing. Many states without gambling –- such as North Carolina -– have spent years hammering out legislation that would approve gambling off Tribal lands. Additionally, for states with legalized gambling, internal policies are not inherently laws, and can be subject to change under the right circumstances.

That said, even if WWE manages to get gambling on matches approved anywhere, that's only one part of the battle: They still need casinos and/or sportsbooks to be willing to accept wagers at all, and there's resistance in this field, as well, as demonstrated in subsequent coverage from CNBC. FanDuel deems it unlikely that they'd ever accept bets on WWE, noting that the Academy Awards –- which held once per year -– are vastly different than dealing with WWE's weekly programming. Additionally, when BetCEO Adam Greenblatt was asked if he had any interesting in accepting bets on WWE, he responded "NFW."

Between the overwhelming majority opinions of the 13 states who responded to Wrestling Inc., the states that have already responded, and the reluctance of sportsbooks to include anything that looks less than credible, WWE faces an increasingly uphill battle if they want to make betting on wrestling matches legal anywhere in the United States.



Pop Culture in Las Vegas; Why is Las Vegas Such as Icon of Pop Culture?

Music themed Facebook launched by Media Man Group; Inspired by Rolling Stone, MTV and Chris Jericho's 'Web Is Jericho'

Pop Culture websites that we love: Media Man Int and Media Man Australia list

Pop art popular with corporate, private and agency sector in Australia advises Human Statue Bodyart

Undertaker NFTs to drop this Saturday ahead of WrestleMania - 8th April 2021

Andy Warhol wins Media Man 'Artist Of The Month'; Rob Schamberger runner up, followed by David Walsh

Wrestling fans call for Cyndi Lauper and Andy Warhol to be inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame

Coca-Cola; King of free publicity: Media Man Int, Media Man Australia and Cafe News Media

Red Bull Racing, Formula 1 enjoying significant news media coverage via News Corp's Fox Sports, News.com.au

Professional wrestling expanding globally; International push on for WWE, New Japan Pro Wrestling, Progress Wrestling, U.S. and U.K. Promotions doing well to solid says Media Man agency

Pro wrestling aka "sports entertainment' 3 Way Dance: WWE VS Impact Wrestling aka TNA vs New Japan Pro Wrestling

Nitro Circus, X-Games, Energy Monster Trucks, UFC, Bellator MMA, PBR, Red Bull extreme sports competing for the same audience; Ticket sales, media rights, sponsorships and getting the price right for punters

Channel Nine: Still The One; In pictures and multimedia via Media Man Int and Media Man Australia

FOX Sports taking the fight to TMZ Sports, ESPN, others; Rupert Murdoch's FOX playing to win in Australian and international sports media and sports rights matters says Media Man agency

MMA vs Pro Wrestling vs Boxing vs Martial Arts vs other combat sports; Battle for audiences, hearts, minds, eyeballs, advertisers, bums on seats and media rights; eSports teaming up with wrestling

Rolling Stone ramps up its coverage of WWE, sports entertainment, pro wrestling, UFC, and MMA, extreme sports et al

American sports, entertainment and pop culture we love; Media Man Int and Media Man Australia top picks


Cafes, Coffee brands, media, publicity and advertising opportunities via Media Man Int, Media Man Australia, Australian Sports Entertainment and Cafe News Media


Art of Rob Schamberger: Review of Ronda Rousey and 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper

The vision for XFL in 2020

Surf Culture and Beach Culture promotions, photography and photo art via Media Man Int, Media Man Australia and Australian Sports Entertainment

Beach culture, surf culture and nature photography by Greg Tingle

Australian beach culture and surf culture: Media Man Int and Media Man Australia online

Models and Sports Models Top Picks From Media Man Group

Rob Schamberger: WWE themed artwork

Andre The Giant vs Hulk Hogan

Wrestling fans call for Cyndi Lauper and Andy Warhol to be inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame


Andy Warhol, Hulk Hogan and 'Mean' Gene Okerlund. WrestleMania


MTV Marvel Entertainment Wrestling

News (via Media Man network)

Media Man Entertainment Blog Media Man Movies Blog Cartoonists and Comics Blog

Media Man Games Blog Wrestling News Media Blog Art and Creatives News Media Blog


Pop art bodypainting by Human Statue Bodyart; Sydney, Australia

Pop art takes over the Gallery this summer - 2014

Statue Of Liberty (Andy Warhol inspired) human statue by Human Statue Bodyart

Tiger Mask Movie Trailer (Video)

Marvel female superheroes

Hulk Hogan and Lou Ferrigno catch up and take photo at Salt Lake Comic-Con -
6th September 2014

John Cena to attend Wizard World San Antonio on Sunday, Aug. 3

Marvel and comic book legend Stan Lee arrives in Australia for Supanova Pop Culture Expo - 13th June 2014


Stan Lee: Comic book and pop culture living legend in photos and multimedia

Stan Lee, Marvel Comics Co-creator lands at Sydney International Airport; Ming-Na Wen (Melinda May - Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)

Marvel Comic's Stan Lee set for Supanova Expo - 3rd June 2014

WWE® Diva Emma brings the “EMMAlution” to Sydney Supanova! - June 2014


Saturday Night's Main Event comes to WWE Network - 8th July 2014

Andy Warhol digital images found on old floppy disks - 26th April 2014



Supanova Pop Culture Expo Hits Sydney, Australia - 16th June 2012

The Supanova pop culture expo has returned to Sydney, Australia, and has warmly embraced the pop culture phenom which is taking place at Olympic Park, Homebush, in Sydney's west.

It's a 3 day pop culture mania bringing together fans, actors, game players, information and tons of merchandise and collectibles. Make no mistake - this is big business, but also lots of fun. It brings out the kid lurking inside all of us, no matter what our age.

Witnessing the general public dress up as their favourite hero, heroine or monster was just as much fun as the official exhibitions.

Coming to the expo to join in the fun (and big business) are over 40 international stars from various shows, films, franchises and worlds including Christopher Lloyd (Back To The Future’s Doc Brown), Yvonne Craig (the original Batgirl), Natalia Tena (Nymphadora Tonks in the Harry Potter series, Osha in Game Of Thrones) and Verne Troyer (Mini-Me from the Austin Powers films).

Even our favorite real life superheroes of Australian pro wrestling - AWF Wrestling turned up and put on some very solid chain wrestling and brawling to the delight of the crowd. The wrestlers were also a big favorite with the media and the brawlers got somewhat crowd mobbed with famed actor Verne Troyer (Mini-Me) from 'Austin Powers' fame joining in the fun and games.

The Christopher Lloyd question and answer session was very entertaining and educational, and was a much sought after attraction for both news media and fans. Lloyd shared stories from his illustrious acting and show business career, much of which has been pop culture included such as 'Back To The Future' franchise, where he portrayed Dr. Emmett Brown. Lloyd even talked about the cult film fav 'Suburban Commando', which also featured pro wrestling living legend, Hulk Hogan (not known for great acting), but a very entertaining showman, none the less. Lloyd told the crowd of 500 plus that he enjoyed working with Hulk and that he was a really nice guy and didn't pretend to be a great actor. One lucky fan asked Lloyd if he could have a "high five", and the actor obliged, which got a nice reaction from the jam packed crowd.

More news...

Buffy Star also at Supanova Sydney...

Star of Buffy, Mercedes McNab, has come Down Under for Supernova and is loving it.

The blonde is in Sydney for the Supanova Pop Culture Expo at Sydney Showground, Olympic Park.

Best known for playing mean girl Harmony Kendall on 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer', McNab has enjoyed a successful career as a modern day scream queen.

From the popular Hatchet horror movie franchise to spooky shows such as Buffy and Angel, the 32-year-old says she has come to feel comfortable within the genre and loves "a good death scene".

"It’s hilarious. I never thought I’d be considered a scream queen, but I guess I’ll take it.

"I think I gravitate more towards comedy and comedy can sometimes be in a darker vein, like sarcasm."

The edgy stuff started early for McNab, with her big screen debut opposite Christina Ricci's Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family movie and its sequel.

At the age of 16 she auditioned for a supporting role on Joss Whedon's Buffy The Vampire Slayer, a move that would change her life.

"We were on a brand new network and the show was based off a B-movie," she says.

"No one expected a spin-off to come of it or such a great fan reaction. No one could anticipate how welcomed and received the show was.

"In the beginning we never knew whether if we were going to get killed off.

"You’d get the script and skip to the end to make sure you weren’t going to die."

McNab experienced quite a character turn on Buffy when her superficial character was transformed into a vampire and eventually went on to join the spin-off series Angel.

"I was flattered".

"To have Joss call you and have him ask you to be a part of anything he does is pretty awesome."

Now that Whedon has found mainstream and box-office success with the hit of the year - 'The Avengers' - McNab says his loyal friends couldn't be happier.

"He’s such a genius. He's just proved to the industry what he can do."

Supanova Pop Culture Expo is on today and Sunday at Sydney Showground, Olympic Park.


Our Hero is no longer Expendable. Eric Roberts is “The Master” of Supanova!

In a career spanning five decades, Eric Roberts has become recognisable to millions of film and TV fans. He has appeared in almost 200 movies and in countless TV shows including Heroes, The Drew Carey Show, Frasier, Oz, Touched By An Angel, Law & Order: SVU and even in a Doctor Who telemovie as the Doctor’s nemesis, The Master.

He has filmed in over 17 countries, including Australia (in The Coca-Cola Kid), and received critical acclaim for his performances in Star 80, It’s My Party and Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. In 2008, Eric joined the cast of Batman: The Dark Knight as Gotham gangster Sal Marone; in 2010 he appeared alongside Stallone, Lundgren, Statham and Li in The Expendables.

Fans of comics and animation know him as the voice of Mongul in the Justice League cartoons. He’s such a familiar face that he has appeared as himself in 63 productions, often making light of his notoriously chequered movie-star lifestyle. Brother to Julia Roberts and father of teen actress Emma Roberts, Eric is a true Hollywood veteran.

He’s therefore also the perfect guest to kick off festivities for Supanova’s TENTH ANNIVERSARY at the Sydney expo, in addition to the Perth expo the following weekend, with an exclusive Q&A and special appearance at each of our Friday evening Preview Nights which are exclusively for full weekend ticket holders (SUPA FAN PASS), in helping us celebrate a decade of successful Supanova Expos; something we couldn’t have done without your wonderful support.

Eric will then spend the weekends meeting fans, signing autographs and posing for studio portraits. (Supernova)

Nintendo Flies High at Supanova with Kid Icarus: Uprising!...

If you’re heading to Supanova this weekend, Nintendo are hosting a Kid Icarus: Uprising Multiplayer Battle Challenge! Bring along your Nintendo 3DS and copy of Kid Icarus as it’s the perfect opportunity to StreetPass with other Nintendo 3DS owners and enjoy some friendly multiplayer fun with the Nintendo community.

Nintendo 3DS consoles and Kid Icarus: Uprising games will also be available to use on the day so everyone is welcome to join in the fun!

Exclusive Kid Icarus: Uprising AR Cards only available at this event will be a special bonus for those who play. These AR cards are very exclusive and availability is strictly limited so please ensure you are there early to ensure you get your hands on one.

Some 25 years after the original Kid Icarus game for NES captured the hearts and imaginations of gamers worldwide, Kid Icarus: Uprising brings the action and adventure of this beloved series to new heights – and new visual dimensions – on the Nintendo 3DS system. The dark goddess Medusa and her Underworld Army have returned, and they’ve got their sights set on the heroic angel Pit. With the aid of Palutena, goddess of light and guardian of the human race, Pit must fend off this malevolent threat. The richly immersive graphics of the Nintendo 3DS system offer incredible depth as Pit battles enemies by air and by land. (Supernova)

Special guests appearing at Supernova Sydney and Perth include:

Jeffrey ‘Chamba’ Cruz
Street Fighter II: Turbo, Udon Comics,

Stanislav Ianevski
Viktor Krum in Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire

Bevan McGuinness
Slave of Sondelle

Jim Cheung
Scion, New Avengers, Avengers: The Childrens Crusade

Suzie Plakson
Lt. Selar, K'Ehleyr, the Female Q, Tarah, in TNG, Voyager and Enterprise

David Mack
Artist on Kabuki, Daredevil, Avengers

Andrew Constant
Author of Torn.

Wolfgang Bylsma
Gestalt Comics

Juliet Marillier
Author of the 'Seven waters' trilogy.

Yvonne Craig
Batgirl in the 60's Batman Series, Orion Slave girl 'Marta' in Star trek

John Viener
Family Guy, The Cleveland Show.

Garth Nix
Author of Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen.

Artists Alley promo...

Supanova is all about supporting the local industry and providing a spotlight for the local comic creators. That spotlight is Artists Alley; the place where the fans can meet the creators and explore worlds they may never have known existed before. Whether its a 25 page self-printed black and white comic, or a full color, fully bound graphic novel, or even stunning computer art prints, you’ll find something to astonish in Artists Alley.

The artists are approachable and always willing to give constructive feedback on artwork. As such, Artists Alley can be a fantastic tool for the emerging artist to improve their skills or make new connections and possibly take their first leap into the professional industry! (Supernova)

Special thanks...

Thank you to all involved in the promotion and success of Supernova. We look forward to seeing you all out there again tomorrow. As Marvel Comics living legend Stan Lee says, Excelsior!


Supernova Pop Culture Expo

AWE Wrestling

Media Man Int



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Anime At Abbotsford


Anime At Abbotsford

Anime At Abbotsford Facebook

Welcome to Sydney's best Anime and Pop Culture store.

We carry Action Figures, Statues, Busts, Replicas, Collectible's, Trading Cards, Toys, Gift and Novelty items, T-Shirts, Keychains and much, much more.


One of the most unusual and interesting shops in Sydney. If you into TV shows or pop culture you owe it to yourself to pick up some great stuff at Amime - Greg Tingle, director, Media Man


Anime at Abbotsford


318 Great North Road, Abbotsford NSW 2046,

Our Store Trading Hours are:
Mon-Fri: 9.30am to 7.30pm (we open until 8pm every Thursday)
Saturday: 9am to 7pm and Sunday: 9am to 5pm

Bradley or Hansen

Tel (02) 9712 1418
Fax (02) 9712 2830
(if you are ringing from overseas +61 then 2 is the code to Sydney-Australia)