Channel 10 calls in the receivers, hopes for a buyer

Owen Stevens
June 14, 2017

The business, which screens Masterchef, The Bachelor, The Project, Big Bash cricket and other popular shows, will carry on as many of its normal operations as possible while the administrators look at whether they can sell the company or find new funding to keep it running.

"The administrators have advised the company that they will work closely with management, employees, suppliers and content partners while they undertake a financial and operational assessment of the business", the Network Ten statement said.

Ten has been slugged in recent years by falling advertising revenues, with its share price collapsing from $20 10 years ago to 16c when trading in its shares was suspended from the ASX on Tuesday.

Together they control nearly a quarter of the company.

"The directors of Ten regret very much that these circumstances have come to pass", the statement read.

Adding to Ten's woes, the station has expensive deals with U.S. studios Fox and DBS in which it pays for content that has become less valuable as on-demand services deliver consumers shows often at the same time as they're screened in the US.

"In relation to the renegotiation of programming contracts, the company has agreed in principle the vast majority of the commercial terms of replacement volume content supply agreements with its United States studio partners, Fox and CBS, although final terms have not yet been formally agreed".

"[The board] wish to take this opportunity to thank all Ten employees and contractors for their commitment and enthusiasm for Ten's programs and business".

"In relation to the transformation process, the Company has identified initiatives that are expected to have a positive impact on earnings in the order of at least $50 million in FY18 and potentially more than $80 million per annum by FY19".

CEO Paul Anderson has ruled out any immediate redundancies and quashed speculation that Foxtel's Sky News would replace its news bulletins.

Mr Gordon, Mr Murdoch and gambling mogul James Packer all backed a $200m finance package in 2014 and the support of Mr Gordon and Mr Murdoch had been critical to securing an essential replacement package ahead of the existing deal's expiry in December.

Communications minister Mitch Fifield described Ten's move as a wake-up call to opponents of media reform, referring to the Labor party and the Greens which are blocking the legislation in the senate. "That a major Australian media organisation is in such difficulty should be a matter of concern", Fifield said.

Other reports by VgToday

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