‘My network rules’ as Ten bounces back

Struggling broadcaster gains market share from rivals

a woman

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Ten Network Holdings (ASX: TEN) has posted its biggest share of the metropolitan television advertising market in almost a year, suggesting the company is on the comeback trail.

Ten recorded a 25.1% market share in March, up from 23.5% in February and 20.2% in January. That’s still a long way off Seven Network’s – owned by Seven West Media (ASX: SWM) – share of 41.1%, according to Standard Media Index (SMI).

Ten’s new chief executive Hamish McLennan has implemented a new strategy for the free-to-air broadcaster, eschewing the youth segment it previously focused on. Cost cutting, programming execution and a slightly older audience mix are the right ingredients to turn around the fortunes according to Mr McLennan.

Ten recently reported a $243 million loss for the six months to the end of February, which included $304 million of writedowns on its TV licences. Revenues slumped due to several significant ratings flops last year such as The Shire and Being Lara Bingle.

Mr McLennan suggested those types of shows were aimed at younger viewers and alienated a lot of the network’s regular viewers, hence the ‘back to basics’ approach.

As an example of that approach, The Australian Financial Review (AFR) is reporting that Ten has entered exclusive negotiations with Cricket Australia. The struggling broadcaster has reportedly bid $350 million to take cricket rights away from incumbent Nine Network and Fox Sports. Nine still has its last rights clause which gives it the option of trumping Ten’s bid, although the AFR believes the two networks could collaborate and divide up the coverage.

Ten is also in negotiations with its regional affiliate Southern Cross Media (ASX: SXL), which is considering defecting to Nine, likely due to Ten’s recent programming and performance. That is expected to be resolved in the near to medium future.

Foolish takeaway

Unfortunately for Ten, as well as the other free-to-air networks, the TV ad market continues to fall, as other entertainment avenues such as pay TV and internet TV increase their market share. That makes it even tougher for Ten to stage a comeback, although it appears to be doing a lot of things right so far.

The Australian Financial Review says “good quality Australian shares that have a long history of paying dividends are a real alternative to a term deposit.” Get “3 Stocks for the Great Dividend Boom” in our special FREE report. Click here now to find out the names, stock symbols, and full research for our three favourite income ideas, all completely free!

More reading

The Motley Fool’s purpose is to help the world invest, better. Click here now for your free subscription to Take Stock, The Motley Fool’s free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead.  This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson. Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.

More on ⏸️ Investing

Close up of baby looking puzzled
Retail Shares

What has happened to the Baby Bunting (ASX:BBN) share price this year?

It's been a volatile year so far for the Aussie nursery retailer. We take a closer look

Read more »

woman holds sign saying 'we need change' at climate change protest
ETFs

3 ASX ETFs that invest in companies fighting climate change

If you want to shift some of your investments into more ethical companies, exchange-traded funds can offer a good option

Read more »

a jewellery store attendant stands at a cabinet displaying opulent necklaces and earrings featuring diamonds and precious stones.
⏸️ Investing

The Michael Hill (ASX: MHJ) share price poised for growth

Investors will be keeping an eye on the Michael Hill International Limited (ASX: MHJ) share price today. The keen interest…

Read more »

ASX shares buy unstoppable asx share price represented by man in superman cape pointing skyward
⏸️ Investing

The Atomos (ASX:AMS) share price is up 15% in a week

The Atomos (ASX: AMS) share price has surged 15% this week. Let's look at what's ahead as the company build…

Read more »

asx share price competitions represented by businessmen arm wrestling
Retail Shares

How does the Temple & Webster (ASX:TPW) share price stack up against Nick Scali (ASX:NCK)?

How does the Temple & Webster (ASX: TPW) share price stack up against rival furniture retailer Nick Scali Limited (ASX:…

Read more »

A medical researcher works on a bichip, indicating share price movement in ASX tech companies
Healthcare Shares

The Aroa (ASX:ARX) share price has surged 60% since its IPO

The Aroa (ASX:ARX) share price has surged 60% since the Polynovo (ASX: PNV) competitor listed on the ASX in July.…

Read more »

asx investor daydreaming about US shares
⏸️ How to Invest

How to buy US shares from Australia right now

If you have been wondering how to buy US shares from Australia to gain exposure from the highly topical market,…

Read more »

person reading news on mobile phone
⏸️ Investing

Why Fox (NASDAQ:FOX) might hurt News Corp (ASX:NWS) shareholders

News Corporation (ASX: NWS) might be facing some existential threats from its American cousins over the riots on 6 January

Read more »