Friday 5 July
Channel 7 has defended its decision to stick with Nick Kyrgio’s match against Jordan Thompson rather than show the start of world number one Ash Barty’s Wimbledon opener.
The match between the Australian men had been going for two hours when Barty’s match against Zheng Saisai began on another court when the broadcaster opted to show the final stage of Kyrgio’s win rather than switch over.
Fans and pundits reacted in anger on social media, that prompted an explanation from Channel 7 on the Sunrise program.
Channel 7 released a statement on Wednesday morning, calling the Barty match “one-sided”.
“Nick Kyrgios and Jordan Thompson were tied in the third set of a thrilling contest when Ash walked onto court,” the Channel 7 spokesperson said.
“We screened as much of Ash’s one-sided game as we could and enabled Foxtel to broadcast it in full.”
“The massive audience rating on 7TWO, which were comparable to a Wimbledon final, show how engaged Aussies were in the epic five-setter between Kyrgios and Thompson.”
Tim Worner, the network’s chief executive, said the decision to prioritise the Kyrgios-Thompson match was made on the run as the day’s play unfolded.
“That decision has nothing to do whether it was a women’s match, or a men’s match, a doubles match or a mixed doubles match,” he told ABC Radio Melbourne.
“You’ve got to consider those hundreds of thousands of Australians who voted with their remotes last night.”
“Those numbers tell the story. Social media often is not reflected in the ratings.”
If a scheduling clash of similar stature occurred later in the tournament, Worner said Seven would consider running Barty’s matches in full and shifting the other contest to Foxtel.
“I think Ash Barty has the potential to pull huge audiences over the next two weeks,” he said.
Both Kyrgios and Barty expressed bemusement at the decision, but said it had nothing to do with them.
“If people can watch my matches, great. If they can’t, they can’t. That’s up to the broadcasters, not me,” Barty said.
Kyrgios praised the French Open champion as ”special”.
“I don’t have much to do with that but obviously Ash, what she’s doing on the tennis court now is pretty special,” he said.
“I thought they would probably show both, but I don’t really have much to say about that.”
Australian Alek Sigley has been freed from detention in North Korea more than a week after he was reported missing, landing safely in China after Swedish officials helped to secure his release.
Mr Sigley arrived in Beijing on Thursday, telling reporters he was feeling “great”, but declining to answer any questions about his time in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
“I’m good. I’m very good,” he said.
He was accompanied by Swedish Government and was ushered out of the airport by an embassy vehicle shortly after.
Sigley then flew to Japan, where he declined to speak to the media as he walked through Tokyo’s Haneda airport just after 10:00pm.
Mr Sigley was escorted by the Australian embassy’s consul-general through immigration.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the release of Mr Sigley in Question Time on Thursday.
“Alek is safe and well,” Mr Morrison said.
“We were advised that the DPRK have released him from detention and he has safely left the country and I can confirm that he has arrived safely [in China].”
With Australia’s limited diplomatic presence in North Korea has meant officials had to go through the Swedish Government, which has an embassy in North Korea to provide consular assistance to Mr Sigley.
Mr Sigley was reported missing by friends last week.
The 29-year-old, who was believed to be the only Australian living in North Korea, began studying for a master’s degree in Korean literature at Kim II-sung University in Pyongyang last year.
In 2017, he told the ABC North Korea was “a fascinating country, there’s no other country in the world like North Korea” and said it was not dangerous to travel there.
A woman who was shown in a viral video licking a tub of ice cream in a supermarket has been identified and will be charged by police.
Police say they identified a woman seen licking a tub of ice cream before replacing it in a Walmart supermarket freezer in Texas.
A video of it was posted to Twitter which quickly went viral, after if showed a woman licking the top of a full Blue Bell ice cream tub, before resealing it and stuffing it back into the freezer.
A man, apparently filming the video, appeared to egg the woman on and can be heard saying, “lick it, lick it, lick it,”
The man then urges the women to “put it back!” as she laughs loudly as she reseals the “Tin Roff” flavoured ice cream and shoves it back into the supermarket freezer.
The video attracted a huge amount of outrage and disgust, with users online calling for the ice cream tub to be located, and the woman to be charged for food tampering.
Following the incident, Blue Bell responded saying they were working directly with local law enforcement to investigate the incident. The company referred to it as “food tampering”.
Blue Bell has removed every Tin Roof flavoured tub of ice cream from that store as a precaution.
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