It was the only incident to make global headlines after Novak Djokovic’s controversial entry into Australia, for better or for worse.
Leaked images of newscasters Rebecca Maddern and Mike Amor’s on-the-fly rant about the tennis pro had left Seven network bosses outraged, apologetic and scrambling to find the culprit.
But now a senior executive of Seven has expressed the opinion that the publicity of the leak was an advantage to the station rather than a disadvantage, according to Private Sydney of The Sydney Morning Herald.
Outlook: Seven executive says publicity of leaked footage of Rebecca Maddern and Mike Amor ranting about Novak Djokovic has been ‘amazing’
The executive reportedly believes the publicity has in fact been “great” for the network, especially for Maddern after she recently moved from Nine to 7Melbourne.
The positive stance of some Seven executives on the publicity of the leak has correlated with the station’s recent surge in TV ratings.
Seven enjoyed a rise in ratings on Wednesday — the night after the off-air expletive in which Maddern referred to Djokovic as a “lying, sneaky, bastard.”
Ratings hit: Seven enjoyed a rating boost on Wednesday – the night after the off-air expletive-laden tirade in which Maddern said Djokovic was a ‘lying, sneaky, bastard’
Wednesday night’s bulletin saw an increase of 40,000 viewers compared to Tuesday night.
More viewers tuned in to 7News to see if Maddern or Amor would address the leak during Wednesday’s 6 p.m. news bulletin — which they didn’t.
The 6pm Wednesday bulletin had 301,000 viewers from across Melbourne tuning in. By comparison, Tuesday’s bulletin at 6 p.m. had 261,000.
Follow-up: More viewers tuned in to 7News to see if Maddern or Amor would address the leak during Wednesday’s 6pm news bulletin — which they didn’t
Seven’s 6:30 p.m. news that same night held 291,000 more viewers.
The ratings still lagged behind Nine news, which usually dominates the ratings for news in the major metro cities.
It was still an unexpected viewership boost for Seven and comes as the network traced the culprit of the leak to an employee of captioning company Ai Media.
The employee who leaked the video was subsequently fired from the company after an internal investigation was conducted.
Caught: The network traced the culprit of the leak to an employee of subtitling company Ai Media. The employee who leaked the video was subsequently fired from the company after an internal investigation took place
A statement from Ai Media read: “As a result of the investigation, Ai-Media determined that an employee who was working remotely due to the COVID-19 outbreak was responsible for the unauthorized distribution of the content.”
‘Appropriate measures have been taken with regard to the responsible employee.’
The company’s CEO, Tony Abrahams, said Ai-Media has also reassured the Seven network that the company has taken action to prevent future leaks.
“We are the leading provider of captioning services in Australia and we understand the importance of our work to make media accessible and inclusive to a wider audience, while protecting our clients’ confidential information,” he said.
Security: Tony Abrahams, CEO of the company, said Ai-Media has also reassured the Seven network that the company has taken action to prevent future leaks
“We have longstanding and strong relationships within the media industry in Australia and value our relationship with the Seven Network with whom we have worked for over five years.
“This is the first such incident in Ai-Media’s 19-year history and enhanced controls have been implemented since then to ensure it cannot be repeated.”
In the video, Ms. Maddern called Djokovic a “lying, sneaky bastard” as she prepared to present the station’s 6 p.m. news program.
Amor added, “That’s it, I mean, he’s an asshole. He got a damn excuse and then fell over his own damn lies. It’s just what happens, right, that’s what happened.
Ms Maddern has since apologized to her bosses for mis-expressing the world’s number one.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Channel 7 for comment on this article.
Rant: In the video, Ms. Maddern called Djokovic a “lying, sneaky bastard” as she prepared to present the station’s 6 p.m. news program