Foxtel not happy about TEN shares, but says CBS good for industry

Foxtel CEO Peter Tonagh appears to be taking a pragmatic approach to the CBS takeover of TEN, saying it will be good for the industry, despite their own shares in the network to be effectively written off.

“The one thing I know having spoken to the CBS team is they don’t see this as short-term investment to flip the business,” he said yesterday.

“They see it as a long-term investment to build the business. That can only be good for the industry.”

On the question of Foxtel’s 14% stake -for which it paid $77 million for in 2015- he added: “We’re not happy about that, but there’s nothing we can do about that.” Ouch.

The arrival of CBS All Access will also elbow into the streaming space, but with most its its titles already sewn up here with various partners (Netflix, SBS, Stan etc.) it appears to be limited competition for now.

Talk of SKY News usurping TEN News now seems unlikely.

The question of MCN is a significant one, given it currently represents TEN and Foxtel in sales. With News Corp likely to view CBS as a competitor will it mean a new sales division back at TEN and if so, how quickly can that be mounted? MCN will begin its negotiations with advertisers next month, and the CBS deal is not expected to be finalised until October.

Meanwhile other questions hang over the merger of Foxtel, headed by Tonagh, with FOX Sports headed by Patrick Delany.

“The two current CEOs work side-by-side on everything and we’ll continue to work side-by-side on everything until a decision is made by shareholders,” Tonagh has told Fairfax.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald, Australian Financial Review


    • Foxtel is negotiating with CBS over the joint Ten/Foxtel advertising system, and 21C Fox is negotiating with CBS over the output deal. They are hardly likely to say anything else and if someone is going to own Ten’s broadcast licence, then it doesn’t matter much who.

      Foxtel did make a takeover attempt for Ten with Discovery taking 85% and Foxtel 15%, but that ran into opposition under competition law and anti-Murdoch sentiment, and Discovery backed out.

      CBS don’t have a plan, as evidenced that they have sold a lot their premium content to their now competitors. They reacted when the opportunity arose to protect their 33% of Eleven and the revenue from their output deal Ten.

  1. Foxtel needs to get Now streaming working properly. Annoying system which breaks regularly and cannot maintain resolution. Apple TV app that works please.

  2. My curiosity is whether CBS will bring some American business culture into its new investment, considering the number of Australians working in the entertainment industry in America the prospect of more Australian production finding its way to American audiences could have improved.

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