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Channel Ten Posts $226 Million Loss

A
ustralian free-to-air broadcaster, Channel Ten, has recorded a $226 million loss, attributing the loss to investments in sports rights, expensive entertainment content, and moving its sales team in-house.

 

Ten reported revenues of $602 million for the year ending December 31, 2019 but warned the COVID-19 pandemic could have an ultimately “material” impact on its financial position.

 

Ten released a statement to the Brisbane Times explaining the large costs it incurred were due to a large increase in local investment, hinting at the commencement of a five-year deal with the Victorian Racing Club for the Melbourne Cup Carnival, which Ten is paying $20 million per year for broadcast rights.

 

“It was a year of investment at Ten as we bedded down our prime-time schedule and set up our sales team for success,” Ten said in a statement.

 

“The results of that investment are evident this year: audience and audience share growth, and TV ad market share growth,” Ten said.

 

Outgoing chief executive, Paul Anderson, said Ten had experienced revenue decline up to 38% in 2020 so far due to COVID-19, and the postponement and cancellation of events the network holds broadcast rights to, such as the Formula One Australian Grand Prix and Supercars, MotoGP motor cycling, could disrupt its financial position.

 

“The impact of COVID-19 on the company’s businesses, including postponement, cancellation, or rescheduling of televised events for which the company has broadcast rights, and production delays in television and entertainment programming, could be material to the company’s operating results, cash flows and financial position,” Anderson said.

 

“Due to the evolving and uncertain nature of this situation, we are not able to estimate the full extent of the adverse impact on the company’s operating results, cash flows, and financial position, including advertising, affiliate and content licensing revenues, particularly over the near-to-medium term,” he said.