‘Curveball’ cyber attack leaves Australian TV networks in the dark

An example of the knock-on effects of a cyber attack. The ratings agency in Australia has been the victim of a ransomware attack which means shows won’t know their ratings until the system is back up…:

“I’m unaware of the details surrounding the Nielsen attack but it follows several other high-profile ransomware attacks in Australia this year, which is a concerning trend. What it really illustrates is that even when the world is in the grip of a pandemic cyber criminals can operate effectively – they don’t even need to leave home.”

TV Tonight website editor David Knox described the attack as “a curveball nobody needed” given Australia’s broadcasting industry has already suffered a pandemic-driven slump in advertising revenue.

On Sunday, Nine (the owner of this masthead) will launch the 2020 season of Australian Ninja Warrior against the debut episode of Farmer Wants A Wife on Seven. Both programs will compete with 10’s Bachelor in Paradise, which began airing last week.

“Television is a numbers game and millions of dollars are spent every day by advertisers reliant on performance measures,” Mr Knox said.“These three big-budget shows [are] now at risk of no immediate figures. If this drags on or compounds it could be catastrophic to the industry.”

But he speculated the delay could result in a “curious upside”.

“It harks back to the old ‘[paper] diary system’, where shows would have to wait six weeks before any numbers were delivered,” he said. “That allowed some shows to build an audience, and a little network faith, rather than see the axe fall within days of launching.”

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Original article here