Foxtel takes 15% of Ten Network
DetailsEditor | 15 June 2015
Struggling Ten Network, Australia's third largest free-to-air broadcaster, has received a much-needed cash injection from the country's leading pay-TV provider Foxtel.
The move, subject to regulatory approval, is part of an overall capital raising of up to AUS$154 million, part of which will see Foxtel pay AUS$77 million for a 15% stake in Ten which has been the subject of a number of failed takeover bids over the last few months, notably from Time Warner and Disney.
The broadcaster — whose principal shareholders include sons of Australian media scions James Packer and Lachlan Murdoch, as well as Australian mining billionaire Gina Rinehart — has had a miserable last year or so, plagued by poor performance of its programmes, despite owning the rights to the MasterChef franchise.
If approved, the deal will also see Ten owning a quarter share in Multi Channel Network (MCN), Foxtel's advertising business that already sells on behalf of the likes of Foxtel Networks, Fox Sports, Telstra Media, Sky News , Discovery Networks, BBC Worldwide, Turner Broadcasting, NBCU, Viacom International Media Networks and Sky Racing. It will also have the option of purchasing a 10% stake in Presto TV, a Foxtel and Seven West joint venture subscription video on-demand (SVOD) service that is under pressure thanks to the recent arrival of Netflix to the country.
In a company statement offering comment on the proposed deal, Ten's CEO Hamish McLennan, said: "The board believes the agreements with Foxtel and MCN will materially enhance Ten's business and better equip it to respond to the challenge of the ever-changing media and advertising landscape. The combined sales operation will give advertisers a new way to reach consumers across all video content distribution platforms."