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Business

US media giant CBS to buy Australia's Ten Network

Troubled Australian television broadcaster Ten Network will be sold to the United States' CBS group. The Sydney-based administrator said the deal was subject to regulatory approval of foreign ownership.

US media behemoth CBS confirmed Monday it would buy Australia's Ten Network. CBS is the biggest creditor of Australia's third most popular free-to-air commercial TV network, which went into voluntary administration in June.

The administrators of the 50-year-old Ten Network said in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange that CBS would secure a strong and stable future for the broadcaster.

The Americans will refinance Ten's debt including $158 million (132 million euros) owed to the Commonwealth Bank and $30 million owed to shareholders Lachlan Murdoch and Bruce Gordon.

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CBS said it was committed to the turnaround and development of Ten. Ten Chief Executive Paul Andersen spoke of a strong relationship for many years, adding his network was excited that CBS was coming in as owner to provide strength.

CBS has supplied much of Ten's content in recent years and already owns half of the network's digital channel. It will also bring to Australia its subscription video-on-demand service called CBS All Access.

"We have been able to acquire [Ten Network] 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.

hg/tr (AFP, AP, dpa)

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