Local News

Channel Seven ‘pays $3m’ for Corby exclusive

The exclusive interview will be conducted by senior reporter Mike Willesee and will air on the network’s Sunday Night.

Willesee is understood to have flown into Bali in secret on Thursday and stayed away from Kerobokan Prison and other media hotspots to avoid attracting suspicion Seven had bought the rights to the story.

He and a film crew were spotted travelling in a van behind Schapelle’s as she left prison, and followed her to the prosecutions office and the corrections office.

Willesee and the crew then accompanied Schapelle and her family to the high security Bali villa where they will reportedly record the interview.

The deal was conducted in the utmost secrecy, with even other senior network reporters knowing nothing about it.

As rumours of the arrangement broke in Bali the feeling on the ground was that Seven were too hasty in their negotiations – the dire ratings for Channel Nine’s Schapelle telemovie suggests public interest is not at the level anticipated by broadcasters. Had Seven waited another few days, they might have been able to secure the story at a much lower cost.

The value of the exclusive is also likely to decline after the public backlash to Schapelle’s appalling treatment by the media scrum. Schapelle was reportedly in tears after her brutal treatment by photographers and cameramen outside the prison, who nearly knocked her over as they jostled to get that valuable first photo of her walking free.

The madness on the ground horrified even veteran reporters, many of whom – including Channel Nine’s Karl Stefanovic – refused to join the crush, stepping back to try to allow Schapelle to get through unharmed.

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