CBS buys Network TEN

CBS to own TEN, ELEVEN, ONE, tenplay and plans to launch CBS All Access.

Lachlan Murdoch and Bruce Gordon will not be getting their hands on TEN with shock news that administrators have agreed to a deal with CBS.

The deal includes TEN, ELEVEN, ONE and tenplay and also signals plans for CBS All Access to launch as a streaming platform in Australia.

The transaction is subject to approval of the creditors at the second meeting of creditors, likely on Friday 8th September.

It is estimated that the transaction will take between six and eight weeks to complete with CBS Studios refinancing the current financing facilities of TEN – including immediate financial support to ensure continuity of operations.

The transaction will be subject to regulatory approvals with statutory processes to take place.

“Network TEN is a prime broadcasting asset with over half a century of experience and brand equity in Australia,” said Leslie Moonves, Chairman and CEO, CBS Corporation. “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.”

“Network TEN and CBS have enjoyed a close working relationship for nearly two decades, and now CBS will continue to provide Network TEN with access to the very best in U.S. 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,” said Armando Nuñez, President and CEO, CBS Studios International. “This acquisition not only presents CBS with considerable broadcasting opportunities in Australia, but also allows for further multi-platform distribution and growth.”

Paul Anderson, CEO of TEN, said, “CBS and TEN have had a strong relationship for a number of years; we are very excited about further developing that relationship.”

Press release:

The Receivers and Managers (Christopher Hill, Phil Carter and David McEvoy of PPB Advisory) and the Voluntary Administrators (Mark Korda, Jarrod Villani and Jenny Nettleton of KordaMentha Restructuring) of Ten Network Holdings Limited (Network Ten) today announced that wholly owned entities of the New York Stock Exchange listed, CBS Corporation have entered into a binding Transaction document to acquire the business and assets of Network Ten.

CBS Corporation is currently a key content provider to Ten and operates businesses which span the media and entertainment industries, including the CBS Television Network, cable networks, content production and distribution, television stations, internet-based businesses, and consumer publishing. CBS Corporation is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and has a current market capitalisation of ~US$28 billion.

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. Further details on the expected return to creditors and timing of the second creditors meeting will be provided by the Voluntary Administrators in their Report to Creditors to be released in the coming days.

The decision to enter an exclusive transaction deed with CBS followed a rigorous sales process run in conjunction with independent adviser, Moelis Australia Advisory Pty Ltd (Moelis).

Network Ten Receiver and Manager, and PPB Advisory Partner, Christopher Hill, said: “Network Ten has played a significant role in Australia’s media landscape over many decades, and the sale of the business to CBS will allow the iconic broadcaster to move into a new chapter on a strong and stable footing.

Administrator Jarrod Villani of KordaMentha Restructuring stated: “the Receivers and Administrators will work closely together to ensure that operations continue uninterrupted while the transaction is finalised. As part of the agreement to purchase the Network Ten business, CBS will provide immediate financial support to ensure continuity of operations ahead of the upcoming meeting of creditors.

87 Responses

  1. Wow, great news. So glad Murdoch isn’t going to get his grubby hands on it. Wonder if there’s any CBS show that 10 don’t currently get that they will show now. CBS tweeted that one of the things they were going to do was an Aussie Survivor then realised we were doing it. Maybe, hopefully now 10 will fast track all CBS shows.

    1. Isn’t it a Warner Bros production, aired on CBS in the USA? Doesn’t mean TEN will have every program broadcast by CBS. (Big Band Theory?)
      WB distributes this, and others. Seven picked up some seasons when the WB-Nine deal fell apart.

    2. I think you’ll find very few shows that currently air in Australia will start jumping networks. Also, I wouldn’t assume that just because CBS air a programme in the US, it will start airing on TEN. If anything, more likely for CBS Television Studios productions to get a TEN airing (which is pretty much what was already happening with the CBS/TEN output deal).

  2. Will this mean that Season 15 of NCIS will premiere in Australia on Tuesday 4th October at 8.30pm?
    Will this mean that Season 2 of Bull will premiere in Australia on Sunday 1st October at 8pm?
    Will this mean that Season 4 of Madam Secretary will premiere in Australia on Wednesday 11th October at 9.30pm?
    Will this mean that Season 2 of This is Us will premiere in Australia on Wednesday 25th September at 8.30pm?

      1. Isn’t a tv blog a place for viewers to put their thoughts out or speculate on particular situations without necessarily expecting a response?

        Sure I could’ve gone with the standard response does ten now having a US parent may mean that US drama on ten will be treated better? I chose another tact by being practical and offering timeslot suggestions. In other words saying the same thing just a different way.

      1. Yes I’m aware that This is Us is an NBC show and I debated putting it in my original comment but then I realised that criminal minds and big bang are also cbs shows that air on 7 and 9 respectively so I figured I shouldn’t limit my original comment to just cbs shows.

  3. This is excellent news. I think FIRB will grant it, especially if the deal is structured in the same way CanWest structured their ownership of TEN. i was hoping that this deal would happen, better than Apollo and Oaktree capital deal with Nine, years ago and certainly better than the proposed JV deal between Murdoch and Gordon. To be honest this was the only viable long term option. CBS has vast amounts of capital and experience. TEN needs capital and a lot of it. The last 6 years have been hell for the Network. A lot of Capital had been stripped from it. At least CBS understands the value of brands, that’s something Lachlan and Bruce as well as others didn’t get. maybe we will see Sports Tonight return and maybe VH as well the Loop is poor. Once again there is optimism around TEN and its channels. But lets see how it all goes from now. Will be interesting to see political reaction.

  4. I’m sure nobody saw this coming… Bruce is all like “I’m gonna own TEN and make the huge solid WIN logo known nation wide!” Then CBS come in and say “Heeeeeeell no!”

  5. This is fantastic news for TEN. Bruce and Lachlan would’ve already had the champagne on ice following last week’s ACCC announcement. It was always a gamble play by them to trigger events that would force TEN into administration in order to swoop back in and gain control. Thankfully for TEN, it backfired tremendously.

    1. Backfired?

      They’ll walk away with their shareholding repayed (they’re the only ones with a shareholder guarantee; haven’t seen the price mentioned anywhere, but you can bet it’ll be much closer to what they paid than the last traded price of 16c/share). They also walk away with a reported $33 million extra in guarantor fees – not for lending any money (they didn’t), but for simply guaranteeing that they’d repay $200 million in loans if needed.

      The banks get their money back + interest. Together, Lachie, Bruce, & Jamie get most of their money back, plus ~16% return on nothing more than a promise, as well as pulling the lever on the “media reform” agenda they all wanted. Everyone else with a stake loses out…

  6. The more this sits in my mind the more excited I get about it as it could very well shake-up the TV landscape in Australia, to wich I think is much needed.

    For instance: CBS All Access has the rights to stream NFL games, College Football, College Basketball and major Golf Tournaments, so they may use those here to get a foot hold in on their streaming service, after all Stan and Netflix don’t offer sport, so it’d be a point of difference. I can actually imagine during the next AFL and NRL broadcast rights bidding CBS putting their hand up to take those streaming rights off Telstra to join the other sports on CBS Access. They could actually be in the box seat for it as it could include streaming those games into the US and both codes would surely love to have that happen. If the price point was similar to Stan and Netflix then CBS Access could be a very good companion streaming…

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