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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. Hopefully the Australian culture will still be maintained. I often feel we are becoming the 53rd state with US politics dominating our news and US shows dominating our popular culture.

    1. Much less dominance of drama or comedy than there used to be, and have you seen the Great Pumpkin and his gang who sit in the White House these days?-would be dominating the news at any time!

  2. Absolutely brilliant , just what I wanted , no we can look forward to have live streaming on all platforms , David , do you thinks channel names will change , and what will ten be called ?? Maybe to soon to ask ??

    1. I would highly doubt any channel re-branding, given Les Moonves’ comments on TEN’s brand equity, ‘Network TEN is a prime broadcasting asset with over half a century of experience and brand equity in Australia..’.

    2. Can’t see Ten being rebranded, or Eleven and One really, but if a 4th channel was launched I wouldn’t be surprised if it was CBS branded. CBS now has several branded channels in the UK such as CBS Action, CBS Drama, CBS Reality. Somehow they all seem to end up showing Judge Judy.

  3. The 2018 Upfronts revealed later this year will be very interesting indeed.
    What shows stay? Which shows go? Which shows premiere on Channel 10/on free to air TV? And which shows make a comeback? (Hoping for Big Brother but not the US format)

    1. I actually want to see BB in the American format. I dabble in the BBUS here and there (as some of my Survivor podcasts switch to BB coverage during the American Summer, when BB airs) and I quite like it.

      For those who don’t know, BBUS has a different format which is somewhat like Survivor, in that the Housemate themselves vote each other out. If you like Survivor, give it a go as you might like it.

      1. Voting from the Australian public for evictions in Australian BB is what makes it better than the US version. If US incorporated the Australian method, their show would be much better.

  4. Some years ago someone predicted in this blog that “CBS will end up owning TEN, WB will own 9 and either NBC Universal or ABC Disney would take over 7”.
    Prediction 1 has come true.
    (And I’m so glad Gordon and Murdoch missed out.)

  5. 1. Happy that Murdoch and Gordon weren’t rewarded for bad behaviour.
    2. Wondering whether CBS will enforce more stability and accuracy with the program schedule, and whether Ten will use this as a point of difference from Seven and Nine.
    3. Hopefully more US shows will be fast-tracked or at least not delayed for months and months.

  6. There is a connection with the Murdochs but it goes back a long way. Before Murdoch bought it and established their own network, 20th Century Fox had an arrangement with CBS in the US to broadcast Fox produced series. Lost In Space, Land of the Giants and MASH were all originally shown on CBS. Early home videos were released as CBS/FOX. Rupert reportedly bought 20th Century Fox in the 1980s because he was a MASH fan and wanted to buy the show and screen it on his own TV network.

    1. I’m sure Rupert bought Fox as:
      1 – the price was right as the company was losing money.
      2 – he realised he needed to own a lot on content if he was going to succeed with his global domination plans.
      3 – he also wanted the give the boys a job…

  7. Best news ever. Anything to stop the Murdoch’s getting their hands on yet another media outlet. Means we won’t be inflicted with Sky’s late night offerings.

    Hopefully it is a success and offers some diversity.

        1. Yes!!! If it were up to me, Jeff Probst would do the main hosting duties, including tribal council and Jonathan could be the host of the reward challenges. Or something like that.

  8. I’m just glad that Murdoch and Gordon didn’t benefit from their earlier shenanigans. It seemed like they were setting up Ten for failure so that they could swoop in and pay below market value once Ten was under administration.

    1. I’m not too sure about “setting up Ten for failure”. The alleged stories of Rupe overcharging for 20C content, so Lach could swoop once 10 overspent and went ‘down the gurgler’ is pure speculation. At least we do have freedom of speech here in Aus.

  9. Nice, really thought as I said in other posts about this that it would end up being a joint venture between CBS and 21st Century FOX that bought TEN, however this is not so bad. Going to make things interesting with TEN running all the Star Trek movies and old series from CBS if they’ll get second run rights to Star Trek: Discovery now and if The Good Fight will stay on SBS for season 2.

    1. I would expect Star Trek Discovery to stay with Netflix and Good Fight with SBS as honouring contracts. For example Stan has Transparent and Amazon arrived later. After the exclusivity period titles can then be on other platforms, which we have seen with Transparent.

      1. Yeah more than likely, so many things going through my mind about this like how Neighbours was said to be on Eleven because CBS owned 33% and wanted a marquee show there, wonder if it will move back to TEN now to be in HD.

    1. I was imaging Gordon ending up owning TEN and how TEN viewers would react to the ‘WIN’ of having gigantic solid coloured blots in the lower right corner of their screens instead of TEN’s transparent ones.

      As it stands the millions of viewers in ‘WIN’ areas will still be subjected to it, and WIN wonders why its fortunes have gone down the toilet.

      “Screen burn? We ain’t never ‘eard of it.” – says Bruce

        1. Bermuda head office will be fuming! NRN viewers about to see solid WIN blue blobs very shortly, sadly. No doubt Sky News no happy today either, as their plans to go FTA are no more. Hopefully their plan with Turnbull and Hanson to kill off ABC News 24 does not happen now either.

          1. Sky News will probably end up occupying the bandwidth that the various Communtity Channels have been forced to give up now.

      1. Expect CBS to start laying down the rules to WIN, once the Ten deal passes all the checks/balances. The potential development of a “Ten Mandate” (similar to how various CBS O&O’s present their on-air image, through the “CBS Mandate”) will likely force WIN to match with it (news presentation included) with their affiliation agreement renewal in 2021 on the line.

    1. I also wonder if they’ll rip up current contracts with 7 and 9 for Survivor US, TAR, TBBT etc. It could be a win for 10 and hopefully there could be a late show format there somewhere…

      1. Maybe swap around ‘The Late Show’ & the repeat of ‘The Project’, delay ‘The Late Late Show’ by half an hour, so you can watch ‘The Late Show’ at 11 on Ten, change channels & watch ‘The Late Late Show’ at 12 on Eleven. Also, take the episode that normally airs on Monday & move it to Saturday.

      2. Don’t know that I’d want Survivor going to 10 unless they fast track it like Go have been doing. Amazing Race would be good, couldn’t be much worse than how 7 treat it. Wonder if any CBS show are on Foxtel & if 10 will air them now.

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