CBS Corp. to Acquire Australia’s Network Ten

Leslie Moonves - Getty - H 2017
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The deal, which thwarts Lachlan Murdoch's attempt to gain control of the broadcaster, will also see the launch of streaming service CBS All Access down under.

CBS Corp. has entered into a binding agreement to buy the business and assets of troubled Australian free-to-air broadcaster Network Ten.

The deal, for an unspecified amount, includes Ten’s main channel, its two digital terrestrial television channels Eleven and One and the catch-up TV streaming service Tenplay. CBS will also launch CBS All Access as an SVOD service in Australia and will provide immediate financial support to ensure Ten’s continuing operations.

As Ten’s largest creditor, CBS is a key supplier of programming to Ten and a 33 percent shareholder in Ten’s digital channel, Eleven. CBS will also prevent a proposed acquisition of Ten by current shareholders Lachlan Murdoch and Bruce Gordon, the proposal for which was cleared by local antitrust regulator the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission last week.

“Network Ten is a prime broadcasting asset with over half a century of experience and brand equity in Australia,” CBS Corp. chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves said Sunday in a statement. “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.”

A statement from Ten managers and receivers said the acquisition by CBS “represents an important milestone for securing a strong and stable future for the company and its stakeholders with the introduction of one of the world’s leading media and entertainment organizations."

Said Paul Anderson, CEO of Ten: “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.”

The transaction will be completed in accordance with the Australian voluntary administration process and is subject to certain regulatory approvals including foreign Investment approvals.