So here’s a curious thing.
A press release from Network Ten Publicity about the 7PM Project arrived in my inbox on Friday. It urged journos to follow a YouTube link to view a clip from the show.
The clip from The 7pm Project was innocuous enough, featuring James Mathison backstage at Miss World Australia.
The YouTube channel has the user name “notabadlogin”. It contains only clips from Ten, which isn’t unexpected when Ten Publicity is pointing journalists towards it. Indeed, as the clip was only posted shortly before the press release to journalists was emailed out, it certainly leads one to the assumption that the same person was responsible for both things. It usually takes YouTube about 24 hours to fully index new uploads to make them easily located.
But there’s something intriguing about the first of the three other clips previously uploaded to the channel, about two weeks ago. Titled “7pm Leak”, it features an ad for the 7pm Project – which as you’re probably aware launched on Monday (with declining viewing figures as the week progressed).
The tag for the content of 7pm Leak says “LEAKED!”, describing it as “With Carrie Bickmore, Dave Hughes and Charlie Pickering making fun of the Sydney Rooster’s Nate Myles pooing in the corridor of a hotel. Ah ha ha ha ha!”.
The video looks dramatic alright – it’s even got “INTERNAL ONLY” stamped on it red letters. Which is funny, because internal content doesn’t usually have that on it. It has timecodes.
So here’s my theory…
I reckon Ten created the fake profile, and stuck the ad up in the hope that it would go viral on YouTube as unauthorised content . (It didn’t by the way – it’s only had 123 views at the time of posting.)
With a bit of luck it might even have made the papers. You know – a bit like when the so-called Underbelly leak for Nine got coverage earlier this year. Or come to that, another suspicious “leak” involving Ten for the pilot of a show not unlike The 7PM project with the working title of This Week In Shorts. which Mumbrella reported on late last year.
Perhaps what happened on Friday is that either they forgot, as they uploaded the Mathison clip – complete with the super-authentic message “James was hilarious last night talking to Miss World Australia! I lvoe (sic) this guys…” – that the so-called leaked video was on the same profile. Or perhaps the user in the Ten Publicity team has more than one YouTube profile and uploaded it to the wrong one.
Of course, there is the third possibility that they’re emailing journalists and encouraging them to watch stolen Ten copyrighted material, but it doesn’t seem very likely, does it?