CBS is buying the Ten Network

Matt Sayer 28 August 2017 NEWS

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Channel Ten has been saved from losing its place in the Australian TV landscape.

CBS, the American network behind programming like The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and The Big Bang Theory, will be taking over operation of the troubled Ten Network after its recent descent into voluntary administration.

Announced this morning, CBS will pay out Ten's $200 million debt to Commonwealth Bank as well as the guarantor fees owed to shareholders James Packer, Lachlan Murdoch and Bruce Gordon. Both Gordon and Murdoch had placed bids down to buy Ten for themselves, but these were not successful.

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In addition to acquiring channels TEN, ELEVEN and ONE, CBS will take ownership of Ten's catch-up streaming service tenplay. What's more interesting, though, is that CBS will also leverage Ten's digital presence to launch its CBS All Access program Down Under. CBS All Access is CBS's streaming counterpart, currently offering on-demand access to CBS shows like NCIS, Star Trek and The Young and the Restless as well as exclusive sports coverage from the NFL.

"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 CBS Studios International CEO Armando Nuñez. "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."

CBS All Access could provide stiff competition for other streaming services like Foxtel Now, which trades on its line-up of exclusive US TV. If CBS starts offering more American content through tenplay and All Access, especially if it's available on-demand, Foxtel is going to be in an even more precarious position than it currently is.


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