CBS buys Network Ten

CBS buys Network Ten
US broadcasting giant CBS has snapped up Network Ten in a deal that beats Lachlan Murdoch and Bruce Gordon to the punch and stops them from acquiring it.

Ten Network’s receivers, managers and voluntary administrators confirmed that CBS has entered into a binding agreement to buy the broadcaster’s business and assets which also includes digital terrestrial television (DTT) channel ELEVEN, of which CBS already owns a 33 per cent stake, the DTT channel ONE and Network Ten’s digital platform, TENPLAY.

Ten has had a longstanding relationship with CBS. As one of Ten’s largest creditors, it made a $795.5 million claim after the company collapsed. CBS had reportedly been willing to reduce the large repayments Network Ten owed it in exchange for equity in the embattled channel.

“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,” Ten chief executive Paul Anderson said.

CBS has the potential to transform third rated TV channel Ten and for that matter Australian television.

The network has high rating shows like The Good Wife, The Good Fight, Twin Peaks, CSI and Star Trek. It is also a major player in reality TV.

CBS is planning to launch its video on-demand service CBS All Access in Australia which is expected to compete with Netflix and Stan. CBS has a content agreement with Stan.

CBS Studios International chief executive Armando Nunez said CBS would continue to provide Network Ten with access to top 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,” Mr Nunez said.

“This acquisition not only presents CBS with considerable broadcasting opportunities in Australia, but also allows for further multi-platform distribution and growth.”

The deal still needs approval from a majority of the 14-person creditor’s committee, the Foreign Investment Review Board and the court in transferring all the shares from shareholders to CBS.

The price of the acquisition has not been disclosed.


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