Closed-caption company Ai-Media has launched an investigation into Seven’s leaked off-air footage of newsreader Rebecca Maddern’s expletive-laden rant with Mike Amor about tennis star Novak Djokovic.
It comes after the company was accused by Seven Network sources of being primarily responsible for the leak.
Chief executive Tony Abrahams is now leading an internal investigation into whether Ai-Media was involved in recording or sharing the footage, reports The Australian.
Investigating: The closed-caption company believed to be responsible for the leaked footage of two Seven hosts’ expletive-laden rant about Novak Djokovic has launched an investigation
Seven employees have been cleared of any wrongdoing in relation to the leak due to the timestamp visible in the footage, which does not appear on internal Seven video outputs.
On Wednesday, both Seven and Ai-Media sat down for ‘high-level discussions’ about the incident.
Network sources say Seven will ‘likely’ report the leak to the police.
In hot water: 7News Melbourne presenters Rebecca Maddern and Mike Amor were caught criticising the world No.1 amid his visa debacle in a hot mic rant that was later leaked online
Seven News Director Craig McPherson released a statement this week stressing that the leak was ‘illegal’ and was an ‘underhanded, cowardly act’ that was ‘in breach of the Victorian Listening Devices legislation’.
The accused company, Ai-Media, is a caption company that provides closed captions for many Australian TV and streaming networks including Seven and Nine.
They have worked with Seven since 2016.
Seven’s investigation into the leaked footage is expected to wrap up on Thursday.
The footage, which went viral on Tuesday night, sees newsreader Rebecca Maddern and veteran broadcaster Mike Amor criticising Djokovic after a court ruled he would be allowed to stay in Australia.
Serious: On Wednesday, both Seven and Ai-Media sat down for ‘high-level discussions’
The newsreaders’ expletive-laden rant, which appears to have taken place while preparing to present the station’s 6pm news program, included Maddern saying: ‘Whatever way you look at it, Novak Djokovic is a lying, sneaky, a***hole.’
Amor added: ‘That’s it, I mean he’s an a***hole. He got a bulls*** f*****g excuse and then fell over his own f*****g lies. It’s just what happens, right, that’s what happened.
Maddern has since apologised to her bosses for badmouthing the world No. 1.
Context: The leaked footage, which went viral on Tuesday night, sees newsreader Rebecca Maddern and veteran broadcaster Mike Amor criticising Djokovic after a court ruled he would be allowed to stay in Australia
Djokovic had landed in Australia with a medical exemption from vaccination on the basis he had tested positive to Covid-19 on December 16, but was detained for five days when border force officials denied the exemption.
He’s since been released from detention but it is still unclear if he will be able to play in the Australian Open beginning on January 17.
Djokovic could be deported from the country as early as Thursday after inconsistencies emerged between his sworn evidence and social media posts.
The world No.1’s hopes of taking part in the Melbourne tournament are hanging by a thread as more questions are raised about his visa application and Covid-19 vaccine exemption.
Rant: The world number one (pictured) was called a ‘lying, sneaky, a***hole’ in the leaked footage