CBS creates Aust market hook with Ten buy

US media giant CBS Corporation will use its surprise purchase of troubled broadcaster Ten Network in order to pave its way into the Australian market.

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CBS on Monday announced it had agreed to buy Australia’s third largest free-to-air commercial network, which had recently been placed into receivership.

Under the terms of the agreement, CBS gains Ten’s ELEVEN channel – of which CBS already has a 33 per cent stake – channel ONE and growing digital platform TENPLAY.

The US broadcasting giant also announced it will launch its digital subscription video on-demand and live-streaming service in the local market.

Chief executive of CBS Studio International Armando Nunez said the acquisition presented CBS with “considerable broadcasting opportunities” in Australia, and allowed for further multi-platform distribution and growth.

The broadcaster, which has a current market capitalisation of $US28 billion ($A35 billion), already this month unveiled plans to expand its CBS All Access service internationally.

It announced an initial launch in Canada in the first half of 2018 and forecast other markets to follow.

The service gives subscribers on-demand access to more than 9,000 episodes of current and past shows including NCIS, 2 Broke Girls and Madam Secretary, and access to CBSN and CBS News’ 24/7 streaming news service.

CBS expects the service, which launched in the US in October 2014, to have eight million subscribers by 2020.

Fusion media analyst Steven Allen said the move was just “another play on another platform of the market” with the company seizing the opportunity of a low cost entry on the back of its Ten acquisition.

“They have now got the infrastructure of Ten and they don’t have to set things up,” Mr Allen told AAP on Monday.

“So it is a low cost entry and it is worth a gamble.”

Mr Allen said despite the takeover Ten will remain largely intact, especially over the next 18 months, and could incorporate some new programs that emerge from the US next month.