Since the deal involves Ten Network piling on more debt, it will be subject to scrutiny by its existing creditors and by Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board.
On Monday, in a significant development, the owner of the most watched television network in the United States has agreed to acquire Australian broadcaster Ten Network Holdings Ltd for an undisclosed sum.
Australian broadcasters, including Ten, have suffered huge losses and are scrambling to cut costs. The issue is compounded by the fact that viewers have turned to streaming services, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.
In June, youth-focused Ten was placed under court administration after creditors pulled a debt guarantee.
“The decision to enter an exclusive transaction deed with CBS followed a rigorous sales process,” said PPB Advisory and Korda Mentha in a joint statement, without disclosing the sale consideration.
Incidentally, ever since it licensed its shows such as CSI Crime Scene Investigation and NCIS, CBS has been its creditor.
“CBS recognizes the significance of Ten in the Australian broadcasting community,” said Armando Nunez, president and chief executive of CBS Studios International. “We are committed to the efficient, reliable and successful turnaround, operation and development of Ten.”
According to Ten’s administrators, with the CBS purchase taking on more debts, the deal will be put through to its creditors for approval, and will also require approval from Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board.
Last week, a consortium led by Murdoch had placed a bid for the network, although that offer was contingent on an overhaul of Australian media ownership laws that prevent a single party from owning print, radio and television assets in the same market.
No such conditions apply to the CBS deal.