CBS to buy Ten Network Holding Ltd

CBS Corp, the US' most-watched television network today said it plans to buy its biggest customer in Australia, Ten Network Holdings Ltd, and launch its streaming service in the country.

The deal will see Ten's biggest creditor thwart a widely expected takeover by a consortium led by Lachlan Murdoch - co-chair of CBS rival and fellow Ten creditor News Corp. Ten entered administration in June.

"We have been able to acquire it at a valuation that gives us confidence we will grow this asset by applying our programming expertise in a market with which we are already familiar," CBS Chairman and chief executive Leslie Moonves said in a statement.

According to commentators, CBS is entering the Australian market where broadcasters, and Ten in particular, are cutting costs amid deepening losses, with advertisers following viewers to streaming services such as Netflix Inc and Amazon.com Inc's Amazon Prime.

Ten posted a half-year loss of A$232 million half-year loss in April.

"I certainly would welcome the Ten Network coming into a period of stable ownership and financially stable circumstances," said prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, Reuters reported. "That would be in the interests of the network, its employees, and, of course, its viewers."

Meanwhile CBS said in a press release, ''Network Ten is a prime broadcasting asset with over half a century of experience and brand equity in Australia,'' said Leslie Moonves, chairman and CEO, CBS Corporation. ''We have been able to acquire it at a valuation that gives us confidence we will grow this asset by applying our programming expertise in a market with which we are already familiar.''

''Network Ten and CBS have enjoyed a close working relationship for nearly two decades, and now CBS will continue to provide Network Ten with access to the very best in U.S. content. We also look forward to working with the outstanding team at Network Ten to enhance and expand on its great legacy of Australian news, drama, reality and sports programming,'' said Armando Nuņez, president and CEO, CBS Studios International.

''This acquisition not only presents CBS with considerable broadcasting opportunities in Australia, but also allows for further multi-platform distribution and growth.''