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Foxtel: CBS Buying Ten “Can Only Be Good” For Aus Industry

Foxtel Chief Executive, Peter Tonagh, states the purchase of collapsed network Ten by American TV behemoth CBS, “can only be good” for the Australian industry.

CBS shocked markets this week by giving its consent to acquire Network Ten, resulting in it taking over from administrators and reigning control over the business and its assets. The acquisition is in exchange for repaying Channel Ten’s $123 million debt.

Mr Tonagh states CBS was destined to be a major player in Australia, already having a notable reach via content deals with Foxtel and others.

Regarding CBS’s long term intentions for Channel Ten, Tonagh states:

“The one thing I know having spoken to the CBS team is they don’t see this as short-term investment to flip the business”.

“They see it as a long-term investment to build the business. That can only be good for the industry”.

As some background context, pay-TV provider Foxtel holds a 14% stake in Ten – acquired for $77 million in 2015 – and like other shareholders, is likely to see their investment virtually disappear.

Mr Tonagh notes of the situation, “We’re not happy about that, but there’s nothing we can do about that”.

Reports state that CBS has planned to launch its own streaming service, All Access, in Australia – naturally only intensifying competition among Foxtel, Stan and Netflix.

Multi Channel Network, an ad-selling company, is jointly owned by Foxtel and Ten, and Company Chair Mr Tonagh states CBS and Foxtel have not yet had discussions about its future.

Meanwhile, Foxtel is still pursuing a merger between it and [News Corp owned] Fox Sports. Despite still having some obstacles ahead, Tonagh believes the result will strengthen both organisations:

“Together the whole will be much greater than the sum of the parts, and in a disruptive environment having that strength is an important factor to consider”.

CBS still need to convince the vast majority of Ten’s creditors to vote for the deal, as well as obtain approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board.

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