11 / 1 / 11 ….and counting

TEN's new digital channel is proceeding full steam ahead despite talk James Packer may seek to scuttle major plans.

It’s official. Eleven will launch on Tuesday January 11th, 2011.

TEN’s new digital channel is proceeding full steam ahead with plans for The Simpsons and Neighbours, despite share acquisitions by James Packer and talk he may seek to scuttle major plans for TEN.

Yesterday at its annual result briefing executive chairman of TEN, Nick Falloon, welcomed Packer as its new major shareholder, then promptly declined to say anything substantial about him, the $280 million raid on the company and nothing at all about what it might mean for his future.

”We welcome their interest in our company and a return to the free-to-air industry,” he said.

”We do not propose to speculate on what has been in the newspapers.”

He acknowledged a “brief” phone conversation with Packer and indicated he plans to meet with him once he returns from Macau. But he declined to enter into the media speculation, including reports that Packer sees no need for both Falloon and CEO Grant Blackley to run the business.

TEN reported a $150 million net profit for the 12 months to August 31. Earning before interest, tax, amortisation was up 38 per cent to $208.1m mainly due to stronger advertising revenue for its television assets.

Meanwhile the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said it would examine the Packer investment to see if it raised competition concerns.

Closing down One HD would remove a competitor to the sports channels of Foxtel, the pay TV network Packer partly owns with Rupert Murdoch’s News Limited and Telstra.

So far there is still no indication if Eleven will be available via Pay TV platforms or to Regional viewers.

Source: smh.com.au, The Australian, The Age, Daily Telegraph

34 Responses

  1. @Richard W – if you think One doesn’t rate well compared to Fox, then you should actually look at Fox Sports figures. Basically a sport channel doesn’t rate well unless there’s live sport on, and when there is One performs better than Fox (hundreds of thousands vs. tens of thousands). Also the daily share figures are based on primetime, so you don’t see good figures for One unless there’s live sport on in primetime, which is rare (F1, Moto GP). One still holds the record for the 2nd-biggest audience on a secondary channel (F1).

    @ryan – no, the delay was because launching 11 means One goes HD-only, and that was what the delay was about. The other networks have only just launched HD-only channels themselves in the last couple of months, so they’re not that far behind the market trend.

  2. ckent,

    ONE in SC10 areas are also downgraded i.e they down work as well as old Ten HD days if that was the thinking. Regional viewers won’t see a significant change for ONE in PQ etc.

    I’m sure Graeme Samuals would love to give JP some return interest

  3. @ryan – I’d rather Ten get it right than rush into it just so you don’t have to wait any longer. Look at what happened with Nine trying to get GEM out a soon as they found out about 7mate. They’re still moving programs in and out of GEM because they weren’t sufficiently prepared when they launched it. It’s takes a bit more work than setting up a channel on YouTube.

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