US media giant CBS will buy troubled Australian commercial television network Channel Ten and launch its new online video streaming service to customers down under, it has been revealed.
CBS Corporation Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves made the announcement on Monday, three months after Network Ten posted a $232.2m loss in its half-year results in April and was placed into administration.
The deal will also see CBS acquire Ten’s digital channels ELEVEN, which CBS already owns a 33 per cent stake, ONE and Network Ten’s rapidly growing digital platform, TENPLAY.
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The New York-listed company will also launch CBS All Access, its digital subscription video on-demand service, in the Australian market.
“Network Ten is a prime broadcasting asset with over half a century of experience and brand equity in Australia,” Ms Moonves said in a statement.
“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.”
It’s understood CBS will re-finance Ten’s existing debt and provide immediate financial support to ensure operations continue at the network.
President and CEO of CBS Studios International Armando Nuñez said Ten and CBS “have enjoyed a close working relationship for nearly two decades”.
“CBS will continue to provide Ten with access to the very best in U.S. content,” he said.
“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.
“This acquisition not only presents CBS with considerable broadcasting opportunities in Australia but also allows for further multi-platform distribution and growth.”