CBS Corp. said it agreed to acquire Network Ten, one of three major commercial broadcast networks in Australia. In addition to the linear network, the deal includes digital terrestrial TV channel Eleven, in which CBS already owns a 33% stake, the DTT channel One and Network Ten’s digital platform Tenplay.
Using Network Ten’s linear and digital assets, CBS said it will launch its OTT service CBS All Access in Australia. CBS recently announced plans for the international expansion of All Access, beginning in Canada next year.
Financial terms were not disclosed. The Wall Street Journal reported that Network Ten was in a bankruptcy-like process and that CBS was the company's largest unsecured creditor as a key content supplier. 21st Century Fox chairman Rupert Murdoch was also a bidder for Network Ten, the paper said.
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“Network Ten is a prime broadcasting asset with over half a century of experience and brand equity in Australia,” said CBS CEO Les Moonves. “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.”
The transaction will be completed in accordance with the Australian voluntary administration process and is subject to certain regulatory approvals.
“Network Ten and CBS have enjoyed a close working relationship for nearly two decades, and now CBS will continue to provide Network Ten with access to the very best in U.S. content,” said Armando Nuñez, president and CEO, CBS Studios International. “This acquisition not only presents CBS with considerable broadcasting opportunities in Australia, but also allows for further multi-platform distribution and growth.”
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