From War of the Worlds to the Candy Crush gameshow: Ten’s new owner CBS

As CBS announces it's set to buy Ten, Mumbrella's Josie Tutty rounds up everything you need to know about the 90-year-old US media giant.

It’s the network that has been in the broadcasting business for nearly a century. And its global ambitions have finally brought CBS to Australia.


CBS was founded as Colombia Broadcasting Systems, with its roots in music and radio. CBS Corporation now has a market capitalisation of $35bn, making it one of the world’s biggest media players.

War of the Worlds 

CBS Radio was behind what was arguably the world’s first fake news, with a radio play of War of the Worlds narrated by Orson Welles creating mass panic in 1938.

Ten owes CBS $843 million

Just last week, CBS International emerged as the single largest creditor to Ten, after it was revealed the company was owed $843 million.

CBS All Access is set to launch in Australia

Streaming service All Access currently allows US users to stream the NFL along with programs such as NCIS, The Young and the Restless and Madam Secretary. It also produces original content such as The Good Fight and Big Brother: Over the Top. However, there is no guarantee that all CBS shows will be available locally, as other content deals may already cover certain shows.

Ten already features CBS content

Ten already offers CBS shows such as NCIS and the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Eleven – already part owned by CBS – also offers The Late Late Show with James Corden, Everybody Loves Raymond, Frasier, and King of Queens. One, which is also part of Ten’s network, offers CBS shows such as Undercover Boss USA, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Much of the CBS primetime schedule will already seem familiar to Ten viewers.

CBS primetime schedule

However, the network’s current Sunday night gameshow offering Candy Crush – a live action game show based on the mobile game franchise – is yet to see an Australian network take up the format.

No Australian network currently makes Big Brother, which has previously aired on both Ten and Nine.

CBS already owns a 33% stake in Eleven

In 2010, the two companies announced the creation of Eleven, a channel which CBS described as the “new and unrivaled destination for fun and bold programming” in Australia. The channel is a joint venture between Ten and CBS Studios International, and was officially launched on January 11 2011.

As part of the new acquisition, CBS will take a 100% stake in the channel, along with One and digital platform Tenplay.

Les Moonves

CBS boss Les Moonves is arguably the most powerful television executive in the world, and one of the best paid. Moonves is chairman and CEO of CBS Corporation. He came to the network more than 20 years ago, and is behind shows such as Everybody Loves Raymond, Survivor, and the CSI franchise.

Before CBS, he was president of Warner Bros Television, where he was part of the team that developed Friends and ER.

Moonves has confidence in Ten

As part of the announcement, Mooves said: “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.”


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