US Network CBS to purchase Network Ten

Posted August 29, 2017

It also provides programming and is part-owner of Ten Network's digital channel, Eleven.

Broadcaster CBS has struck a deal to acquire Australia's Ten Network, bankruptcy receivers PPB Advisory and insolvency specialists KordaMentha said.

"The Transaction contemplates an acquisition of Network Ten by CBS, which will be effected by way of a refinance of existing secured debt arrangements (including shareholder guarantor fees) in full and a Deed of Company Arrangement ('DOCA') that will be put to creditors at the second creditors meeting".

"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", said Ten CEO Paul Anderson.

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The deal, for an unspecified amount, includes Ten's main channel, its two digital terrestrial television channel Eleven and One and the catch up TV streaming service Tenplay. It will also bring to Australia its subscription video-on-demand service called CBS All Access.

As part of the deal CBS, will not participate in the disbursements to creditors and the studio has guaranteed there will be no staff redundancies.

Ten posted a six-month loss of A$232 million this past April, while rivals Nine Entertainment Co. and Seven West Media swung to losses for the year after writing down assets related to television. Other assets owned by Gordon and Murdoch would have meant a deal for Network Ten breached regulations.

Leslie Moonves, chairman of CBS, said that he was pleased at the move and saw the local network as a "prime broadcasting asset".

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"Well CBS has saved Channel Ten so we don't need to tamper with media diversity laws".

CBS Corporation is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and has a current market capitalisation of $US28 billion. The Australian government is pursuing reforms which could have allowed the deal, but the bill is now stalled in parliament and it looks like Network Ten could not afford to wait it out.

CBS's winning bid was made following an announcement by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) would not block media magnates Bruce Gordon and Lachlan Murdoch from buying the troubled network.

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