Finance Finance News Ten sale to CBS could mean better programming for you

Ten sale to CBS could mean better programming for you

Ten programming.
Ten's program offering could be in for an upgrade. Photo: Getty
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When Network Ten passes into the hands of US giant CBS, the result could be a good one for viewers with the new owner expected to spend money to improve the viewing offer and add a long list of hit shows to the schedule.

That extra money could go into new programming or improving the offer with current locally produced shows like The Project or Offspring.

Or CBS could import the scores of hit shows currently on its roster, which include crime dramas like the CSI and NCIS franchises, comedy in the form of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, or classic hits like Cheers, Frasier, Family Ties and The Big Bang Theory.

Ten viewers currently get access to programming from CBS and the Murdoch-controlled Fox studios, which until now have cost it around $100 million a year each. Those deals were up for renegotiation and CBS used its contract as leverage to grab control of Ten.

The Fox deal is up for renegotiation at present. Despite the fact that Fox is a Rupert Murdoch-controlled company and the Murdochs will be very put out that their joint bid for Ten with WIN’s Bruce Gordon lost out to CBS, they’ve got nowhere else to go.

“Fox would be unlikely to have anywhere else to go to provide that content in Australia,” said Steven Allen, an analyst with Fusion Strategy.

But with Fox content costing less there could be more money to spend on more programs from Fox.

Ten doesn’t talk too much about what it actually gets from its relationship with Fox. For example, while one of its star performers, MasterChef Australia, has a sister program produced by Fox in the US, Ten will not let on under what arrangements it appears on your TV other than to disclose who actually produces it here.

Another perennial favourite, The Simpsons, is also a child of the Fox stable as is Empire and The Last Man on Earth. More could be in the   offing if Ten has money to spend.

With CBS in control Ten would be in the box seat for new content as they would “at least have first right of refusal”, Mr Allen said.

There could be extra programming sourced from the US network and CBS has said it would launch its video-on-demand service CBS All Access onto the Australian market.

That will put it into a growth segment with Australians increasingly moving to VOD services like Netflix and Stan to get the content they want when they want it.

“That adds a new service to a complex market place,” Mr Allen said. “But CBS don’t have a huge hit to drive subscriptions.”

CBS could add its NFL American football rights to the offering which would boost the minimal coverage offered by 7 Mate to the sport.

In the US the company has said that it’s planning to introduce a 24/7 live streaming service for sport based on its CBSN news channel. If that finds its way to Australia there could be even more sport in the offing for viewers.

Ten consistently runs third in the ratings behind Seven and Nine with around 24 per cent of the market and its ratings have been reasonably steady.

“I wouldn’t describe Ten as having ratings problems but it hasn’t had a big hit like Ninja Warriors or Little Big Shots to push it,” Mr Allen said.

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