US media and entertainment company CBS has announced it will acquire the embattled Network Ten in a move designed to save the station and rebuild its position in the Australian market.
In addition to the main linear channel, the deal also includes digital multi-channels Eleven – in which CBS already owned a 33 per cent stake – and One, as well as Ten’s digital catch-up platform, Tenplay. CBS has been a key supplier of US content to the network for some years.
CBS is also using the Ten purchase to launch its SVOD service, CBS All Access, into the Australian market. The streaming platform recently commissioned a US version of the local comedy No Activity, to be produced by Jungle, Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s production company Gary Sanchez and CBS Television Studios.
CBS Corporation’s chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves said of the Ten acquisition: “Network Ten is a prime broadcasting asset with over half a century of experience and brand equity in Australia.
“We have been able to acquire it at a valuation that gives us confidence we will grow this asset by applying our programming expertise in a market with which we are already familiar.”
CBS Studios International president and CEO Armando Nuñez noted the close working relationship between Ten and CBS over the last 20 years, and stated that the deal will see CBS continue to provide Ten with “access to the very best in US content.”
“We also look forward to working with the outstanding team at Network Ten to enhance and expand on its great legacy of Australian news, drama, reality and sports programming.
“This acquisition not only presents CBS with considerable broadcasting opportunities in Australia, but also allows for further multi-platform distribution and growth.”
Ten entered into voluntary administration into June, following a half year loss of of $232.2 million.
Ten CEO Paul Anderson said: “CBS and Ten have had a strong relationship for a number of years; we are very excited about further developing that relationship with CBS as an owner and strength that they will provide to the company at this critical time.”
Recievers PPB Advisory and administrators KordaMentha are said to be working together to make sure that Ten’s operation continue uninterrupted while the transaction is finalised. CBS is also providing immediate financial support.
All this means a major section of local production is being safeguarded.