Press release from Ten

Ten Network Holdings Limited today announced that Network Ten will launch a new digital multichannel, ELEVEN. ELEVEN will be the new and unrivalled destination for fun and bold programming with particular appeal to the ‘distinctly youthful’ market.

In addition, Network Ten Pty Limited (Network Ten) and CBS Studios International (CBS) today announced the proposed formation of a joint venture, ElevenCo Pty Limited (ElevenCo), which will provide content to ELEVEN. Network Ten will hold 66 2/3 per cent equity in ElevenCo, with CBS Studios Inc. holding a 33 1/3 per cent share.

ELEVEN will be unequalled in the Australian free-to-air market in presenting an exciting line-up of demographically-targeted international content with all-new episodes of Futurama, The Cleveland Show, Supernatural, Stargate, Dexter, Smallville, The Office, Nurse Jackie, 90210 and more.

ELEVEN will also become the exclusive free-to-air home of the iconic The Simpsons. In addition, as part of the proposed arrangements, ELEVEN will be able to draw upon more than 70,000 hours of content from CBS’s vast program library, including Everybody Loves Raymond, Sex and the City, JAG, Frasier, Judging Amy, Happy Days and MacGyver, to name a few.

ELEVEN will be broadcast 24 hours a day in standard definition (SD) digital transmission on channel 11, and is planned to commence broadcasting in early 2011. As part of the arrangement to form the proposed joint venture, CBS has agreed to extend its existing long-term output deal with Network Ten.

Network Ten CEO Grant Blackley said: “CBS Studios is a leading producer of quality programming for the global marketplace. In addition to its successful pipeline of content to the CBS network, which has been the lead network in the US for the last 8 out of 10 years, CBS produces content for the youth-targeted network, the CW. Our established output deal with CBS has been long and fruitful, delivering hits such as NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, Rules of Engagement, Medium, The Good Wife and the much-anticipated Hawaii Five-0 to Australian audiences.”

“Importantly, the joint venture will ensure long term continuity of this prolific US content pipeline, underpinning the sustainability of ELEVEN and also delivering continued supply of high quality international programming for TEN,” Mr Blackley said.

“We are delighted to be deepening and extending this relationship with such a well respected and like-minded partner in CBS, as we bring ELEVEN to market,” he said.

“ELEVEN will deliver a distinct destination for Australian consumers and advertisers. The channel’s ‘distinctly youthful’ focus will be well suited to fostering a strong level of online community and social media engagement, and the format will provide opportunities for a high level of sponsor integration – such as segment and program hostings – delivered in ways that will resonate with ELEVEN’s audience,” Mr Blackley said.

CBS Studios International President, Armando Nuñez, said: "This new venture is an extension of our international strategy to match CBS's globally popular content with best-in-class partners – for both establishing new ventures, as well as licensing our shows."

Added Nuñez: "It is a partnership that expands an already terrific relationship with Network Ten, a leading player in this important television market, while establishing more opportunities for CBS's world-class content to serve audiences and advertisers across Australia."

The proposed joint venture is subject to approval by FIRB in accordance with the usual obligations associated with investment by overseas investors in Australian media-related activities.

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