The Ten Network Expects Only Marginal Television Advertising Growth

Hamish McLennan . Getty/ Quinn Rooney

The Ten Network, which is currently assessing a number of confidential takeover bids, doesn’t expect a great improvement in business conditions.

CEO and chairman Hamish McLennan told the free-to-air network’s AGM that business and consumer confidence has been subdued.

“That has been reflected in most media advertising markets, which have been soft and characterised by short-term booking cycles,” he said.

“While the television advertising market remains “short”, we are expecting it to record marginal growth during 2014-15.”

A number of bids are reported to have been made for Ten since the network appointed Citi as a strategic adviser to assess offers.

Among them is cable TV operator Foxtel which is looking at a 14.9% stake in Ten in partnership with the US giant Discovery Communications.

Ten’s shares were weaker by almost 6% to $0.207.

McLennan told the AGM today that the KFC T20 Big Bash League will dominate the summer television season.

The network will also launch “I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here!”, “Shark Tank” and “Gogglebox”.

Other new shows on TEN in 2015 include The Bachelorette Australia, The First ANZACs, Mary: The Making Of A Princess, The Peter Brock Story, Baby Circle, CSI: Cyber, The Odd Couple and the return of V8 Supercars.

Ten Network lost $168.3 million in the year to the end of August. The result is a more than 40% improvement on the $284.99 million loss of the previous year. The company has net debt of $80.5 million.

Ten’s shareholders include some of Australia’s wealthiest, including mining billionaire Gina Rinehart who has stepped down from the board of directors at Ten but maintains her 10% holding in the company. Others include casino operator James Packer, media player Lachlan Murdoch and television industry pioneer Bruce Gordon.

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