The negotiation betweek the AFL and broadcasters vying for broadcast rights faced a mountain of expense this time around. It seems like anytime over the past 20 years when major sports rights are available, there is always the whispered threat of an international tech giant like Google or Amazon swooping in to out-bid broadcasters. That has always seemed more like a negotiation tactic to drive up prices.

But this time the threat was real, thanks to the Paramount Global ownership of local network Ten. In an effort to juice subscriber numbers for the Paramount+ streaming service, Paramount was part of the bidding for the AFL rights, which cover 2024-2031. If successful, the main games of the week would be available on Ten, with Paramount+ streaming all the others.

Ultimately, Paramount never walked away with the rights. Sports media in recent months reported that Paramount weren't prepared to spend as much. But looking at the money spent on the rights, it is clear that the serious involvement of Paramount in the bidding has helped drive up the value of the deal considerably.

Current rights holders Seven and Foxtel will retain the broadcast rights, jointly paying $4.5 billion. While the price has been upped, a significant win for Seven is that it will also be able to stream matches via its 7Plus platform.

Seven and Foxtel Lock in AFL Broadcast Rights Until 2031
The record-breaking deal between the AFL and broadcasters Foxtel and Seven West Media is worth $4.5 billion.

YouTube delivers viewers at scale

I think it is easy for people to overlook just how many people are watching on YouTube. Want a reminder of what a YouTube audience can actually look like?

Popular YouTube star MrBeast recently opened a burger store in a New Jersey shopping centre. He announced that he'll be in the store on the opening day and a crowd turned out to catch a glimpse of him IRL.

MrBeast has over 100 million subscribers to his channel. Below are 10,000 or so of them who turned up. I doubt most of them bought a burger that day.

MrBeast Brings Chaos and Confusion to New Jersey’s Most Ridiculous Mall
A burger-store opening at the American Dream attracted thousands of onlookers eager for a shot at meeting the YouTube star — and maybe grabbing some of his money

Reading the tweets

Creator of Sandman (and producer of the new Sandman show on Netflix) Neil Gaiman weighed in to discuss some comments Elon Musk made about the new Lord of The Rings show. Gaiman's Twitter feed was then overrun by Musk fanboys telling Gaiman he has done a poor job on the LoTR show.

  • Filming continues for Disney+ show Nautilus on the Gold Coast in Australia. On Monday night production moved up the highway to Brisbane where the show filmed at the fancy exterior to Parliament House (as opposed to the back of the building where people actually enter - it is less than fancy). Watch: The Chronicle
  • Tim Allen sitcom Home Improvement debuts on streaming by way of Hulu on Sept 9. No word on whether the show will also be made available on Disney+ Star internationally.
  • John Dickerson will host a nightly half-hour news bulletin for the CBS streaming news channel, with the show starting today. It's a big name for their streaming service and a sign CBS are investing proper resources into it. Read: Variety
  • Netflix and Georgian chess grandmaster Nona Gaprindashvili have settled for $5 million. Read: Primetimer
  • Kiernan Shipka will join Dwayne Johnson and Chris Evans in the new Amazon Prime Video film Red One. The director of the film is Jake Kasdan (Freaks & Geeks, The TV Set, Bad Teacher) which means the film has my attention. Read: The Wrap
  • A Street Hawk remembreance. Read: Den of Geek
  • Dan Lin is out of contention for the big DC Films/TV role at Warner Bros Discovery. I remain available for the gig. Read: Indiewire
  • The Chris Wallace CNN/HBO Max show will debut Sept 23, exciting millions of Chris Wallace fans. There's no word on whether it'll be available on CNN International. Read: THR
  • The new Meta high end VR headset will be released Oct 11. Read: The Verge
  • The Great British Baking Show returns Sept 16 to Netflix.

Relationship/hiking trip gone wrong film Significant Other debuts on Paramount+ Oct 7.

Mila Kunis film Luckiest Girl Alive debuts on Netflix Sept 30.

The Brave Ones debuts Sept 16 on Netflix.

WWI film All Quiet On the Western Front debuts on Netflix

Narco-Saints debuts Sept 9 on Netflix.

Alright. That's enough newsletter for today. It was nice to actually have something to talk about today.