Ten's shares are getting destroyed as analysts question the network's future

Screenshot: Masterchef Australia/ Network Ten.

Shares in Ten are being hammered as the free-to-air television network fights for survival in a “challenging” advertising market.

A short time ago, the shares were down another 19% to 29 cents, adding to yesterday’s 19% fall.

Analysts are questioning the future of the TV business.

Macquarie wealth management, in a note to clients, said: “Given the difficult operating backdrop and further operating losses it is difficult to make an investment case for TEN, even at these price levels.”

And Credit Suisse said: “We see Ten as un-investible for most investors due to operating losses and funding concerns.”

The company on Thursday posted a loss of $232.19 million for the half year, outlined plans for cuts and revealed it’s trying to get major shareholders to guarantee another $50 million in loans.

Billionaire shareholders gaming magnate James Packer, media executive Lachlan Murdoch and TV pioneer Bruce Gordon are asking for a more detail on cost and revenue initiatives before agreeing to increasing their debt guarantee to $250 million from $200 million.

The current debt facility, which is currently drawn down by about $66.2 million, expires in December this year.

Ten is also hoping for more licence fee cuts in this year’s federal budget, due in May, on top of last year’s 25%.

And the company is also renegotiating programming contracts.

In the director’s report filed to the ASX, the company talked about the uncertainty of its future.

“As a result of the matters disclosed, there is a material uncertainty that may cast significant doubt on the Group’s ability to continue as a going concern and, therefore, that it may be unable to realise its assets and discharge its liabilities in the normal course of business,” the report says.

Ten is forecasting a full year underlying EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) loss of between $25 million and $30 million.

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