The future of Australia’s third commercial television broadcast is in severe jeopardy, with Network Ten entering voluntary administration in a “disappointing” move announced this morning.
The network announced the decision today after failing to secure a key loan of $250million, leading to company board members to order a halt on trading of its shares on the ASX.
Today’s decision comes on the heels of the Murdochs, the Packers, and regional TV billionaire Bruce Gordon all refusing to be the white knight the Network was seeking in order to maintain its operations in its current format.
Despite Ten Holdings Group‘s CEO describing today’s decision as “extremely disappointing for all of us,” a statement issued by the group today asserted that it will be “business as usual” as much as possible during the administration process.
Ten’s financial issues stem from a raft of contracts signed during a time when streaming services were in their infancy. The company has identified the renegotiation of “material programming contracts” (i.e. content distribution deals) with major US broadcasters as a key area of improvement in its recent Half Yearly Financial report, and that remains arguably the company’s biggest financial hurdle to overcome in its quest to return to profitability.
Material Programming Contracts with US distributors have hit all local broadcasters hard as the sharp rise of streaming services like Netflix has taken hold, but the traditionally cash-strapped Network Ten has taken the hardest hit.
Advisory and investment group KordaMentha has been appointed as Ten Holdings Group’s administrators for this period.
Today’s decision does not stipulate whether the network will suffer programming or job losses as a result of the administration. Worryingly, Ten’s board issued a statement that wished “TEN and its management all success in the future as Administrators look to the potential sale or recapitalisation of the business.”
So for the time being Ten will continue to air its programming as normal. But it would appear change is afoot at the broadcaster.
After years of teetering on the brink, something finally gave.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald.
Photo: Mark Kolbe/Getty.