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CBS Corporation to buy Network Ten

US media giant CBS is to buy Network Ten, the company has announced.

As part of the deal, CBS will acquire Ten, digital channel Eleven, One, and digital platform, Tenplay.

CBS will also launch CBS All Access, the company’s digital subscription video on-demand service, in the Australian market.

The company is already a key supplier of US content to Ten, and a co-owner of Eleven.

Today’s announcement comes despite growing speculation of a joint bid by shareholders Lachlan Murdoch and Bruce Gordon, which was looking to go ahead, after the ACCC said it would not stand in the way. 

Ten has been in administration since June this year

Ten went into administration in June this year, after the network posted a $232.2m loss in its half-year results in April.

It was revealed at the time, CBS was among Ten’s largest creditors, putting in a debt claim for more than $800m, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

Today, chairman and CEO of CBS, Leslie Moonves, described Ten as “prime broadcasting asset.”

“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,” Moonves said.

A “prime broadcasting asset” says CBS’ Leslie Moonves

Armando Nuñez, president and CEO of CBS Studios International, said CBS will continue to provide Network Ten with “the very best” US content as part of the acquisition.

“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,” Nuñez said.

“This acquisition not only presents CBS with considerable broadcasting opportunities in Australia, but also allows for further multi-platform distribution and growth.”

According to a release from PPB Advisory and KordaMentha, the transaction will be effected by way of a refinance of existing secured debt arrangements.

Christopher Hill, PPB advisory partner, said the sales of the business to CBS would allow the broadcaster to move into a “new chapter on a strong and stable footing.”

Jarrod Villanni, administrator at KordaMentha Restructuring, said CBS would provide “immediate financial support” to ensure continuity of operations.

“The Receivers and Administrators will work closely together to ensure that operations continue uninterrupted while the transaction is finalised,” Villanni explained.

Ten CEO, Paul Anderson, added: “CBS and Ten have had a strong relationship for a number of years; we are very excited about further developing that relationship with CBS as an owner and strength that they will provide to the Company at this critical time”.

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