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."