Australia's Ten Network says talking with Murdoch's Foxtel about investment

Australia's Ten Network says talking with Murdoch's Foxtel about investment
Rupert Murdoch, Executive Chairman News Corp and Chairman and CEO 21st Century Fox

SYDNEY - Australian television broadcaster Ten Network Holdings Ltd on Monday said it is in talks with Rupert Murdoch's local cable TV operator Foxtel about a potential investment in the struggling free-to-air network.

The lowest-ranked network said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange an ongoing review about its ownership options "involves discussions with Foxtel about the terms on which it may potentially invest in Ten".

Ten is the only one of Australia's three commercial free-to-air broadcasters not to have an online streaming service, and a deal with Foxtel could give it instant exposure to Internet platforms that are competing with traditional TV.

Ten gave no further details about its talks with Foxtel, which is half-owned by the Australian arm of News Corp and half-owned by Australian telecoms giant Telstra Corp Ltd .

In December, Ten, which ranks behind Seven West Media Ltd and Nine Entertainment Co Holdings Ltd in terms of ratings, said it hired investment bank Citigroup to help decide its ownership options after it received approaches from several unspecified parties.

Australian media reported that America's Discovery Communications and Foxtel were jointly preparing a bid. Ten's statement on Monday made no mention of Discovery Co.

Ten, which reports half-yearly earnings on Thursday, repeated a previous warning that its review of its ownership options may not lead to a sale.

Ten shares, which have fallen 44.5 per cent since January 2014, were up 1.2 per cent in a higher overall market.

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