America's CBS Just Bought Channel Ten

Image: FremantleMedia Australia

CBS Corporation is buying Australia’s Ten Network. The giant US broadcaster will acquire the business and assets of Network Ten following the latter's fall into administration. Does this mean we can expect even more US programming on the network? Let's take a look at the details.

Back in June, Ten went into voluntary administration after shareholders Lachlan Murdoch and Bruce Gordon refused to increase or extend a $200 million credit facility past December. Now, US corporation CBS has emerged as the new owner.

The broadcaster entered into a binding agreement to acquire the business and assets of Network Ten. The final sale price has not been disclosed. If you're a fan of the network's local content, the good news is that operations are expected to continue uninterrupted during the final transaction phase with CBS providing immediate financial support to the beleaguered network.

“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," Network Ten Receiver and Manager, Christopher Hill said in a statement.

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In June, Channel Ten informed the ASX that two key shareholders - Illyria Pty Limited and Birketu Pty Limited - would not be extending or increasing their support to the network. This followed the company posting a loss of $232.19 million in April. The loss of these guarantees essentially left Ten with no choice but to appoint KordaMentha as administrators.

Channel Ten already broadcasts a large number of CBS programmes - indeed, it has been speculated that these costly broadcasting contracts for under-performing shows is one of the reasons Ten almost went under in the first place. It seems likely that even more CBS content will be showing up on the channel in the years ahead, given that it now owns the network. (Hopefully you all like Crime Scene Investigation dramas.)

Here's the full statement from Ten's receivers and managers:

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.

[Via Business Insider]


Comments

    CBS may be sufficiently sized so as to attempt to break the Foxtel monopoly on PPV and Australian cable in general.

    Investing in a dying media form doesn't necessarily make sense, but, well, they bought Channel 10, so...

    Well Lachlan's strategy certainly went arse up.

    And to really rub his old man's nose in it....

    "The deal would also allow CBS to launch its streaming service CBS All Access in the Australian market."

    Ouch!

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