Published: Tue, August 29, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

American broadcaster CBS to buy troubled network Channel 10

American broadcaster CBS to buy troubled network Channel 10

CBS, which is the home of America's version of 60 Minutes and The Big Bang Theory, as well as the gripping real-life crime show 48 Hours, was already a key content provider to Ten and indicated early on that it would step in to save the ailing station.

CBS Corp, the most watched TV network in the United States, said on Monday it would acquire Ten Network Holdings, its largest customer in Australia, and would launch a streaming service in Australia as well.

The deal includes Channel Ten, digital channel One, digital platform Tenplay, and digital channel Eleven - of which CBS already owns a 33 percent stake.

"CBS and Ten have had a strong relationship for a number of years; we are very excited about further developing that this critical time", said Ten CEO Paul Anderson.

"CBS will continue to provide Network Ten with access to the very best in USA content".

It comes after Channel 10 was placed in voluntary administration in mid-June.

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The shock announcement comes after months of speculation about the fate of the network after billionaire media moguls Lachlan Murdoch and Bruce Gordon, sought to take control of the company despite media laws in Australia that now prohibit the ownership "two out of three" media forms in the same jurisdiction.

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 nearly went under in the first place.

CBS plans to use the deal to leverage the company's launch of its digital subscription video on-demand service, CBS All Access, in the country.

Media analyst Peter Cox said CBS' challenge would be to try to keep a third commercial network in Australia viable, adding that a third broadcaster in Britain and New Zealand had not worked.

"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".

The CBS Corporation is listed on the New York Stock Exchange with a current market capitalisation of about USA $28 billion.

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