Ten posts $226m loss for 2019, flags more touble to come

Ten has posted a $226m loss for 2019 during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a $10.7m write off in programming costs and almost $50m in contracts.

The network has also flagged more danger on the horizon, with an income fall of as much as 30% since March and the likelihood of more costs related to sports broadcast and production halts.

Ten, which is owned by US media giant ViacomCBS, posted its financials to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) last week, noting revenue of $601m in 2019.

2019 saw Ten fully move under the wing of ViacomCBS, with the two businesses merging sales teams earlier this year after ViacomCBS ended its relationship with Foxtel Media. A Ten spokesperson said the losses were related to a year of investment, setting the business up for a stronger future.

“It was a year of investment at Ten as we bedded down our prime time schedule and set up our sales team for success,” said the spokesperson.

“The results of that investment are evident this year: audience and audience share growth, and TV ad market share growth.“

Ten reported strong results in viewership for the first half of 2020, and promised ongoing growth across its schedule for the next six months. The network is also set to launch a new multi-channel in the coming weeks, likely reflecting the content it has access to through its parent company.

In total, Ten experienced $138m worth of impairments on intangible and non-current assets in 2019. It’s $47m write-down on onerous contracts were ‘related to certain sporting and program rights’. Ten aired its first Melbourne Cup in 2019 after paying $100m for the rights in 2018.

Excluding significant items, Ten recorded earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of $24.2m for 2019, and an underlying after-tax loss of $45.3m.

ViacomCBS said it was committed to providing sufficient funding to support Ten. The business said ‘the directors believe the company has adequate liquidity and business plans’ to overcome the pandemic.

According to the Standard Media Index (SMI), ad spend plummeted by 40% in May, a bigger loss than the industry has ever seen before. Television dropped 35.6% in that time.

Ten recently closed its digital platform 10 Daily after just two years in operation. The network denied the decision was related to COVID-19.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.