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Network Ten, or Channel Ten, is one of Australia's three major commercial television networks. Owned-and-operated stations can be found in Sydneymarker, Melbournemarker, Brisbanemarker, Adelaidemarker and Perthmarker, while affiliates extend the network to cover most of the country. Ten consistently rates third amongst all channels in Australia's five largest cities, behind the Seven Network and Nine Network.



From the introduction of TV in 1956 up until 1965 there were only two commercial television networks in Australia, the Nine Network and the Seven Network, and the public broadcaster the Australian Broadcasting Corporationmarker. However, in the early 1960s, the federal government began canvassing the idea of licensing a third commercial television station in each city. This decision was seen by some as a way for the government to defuse growing public dissatisfaction with the dominance of imported overseas programming and the paucity of local content.

Structurally, the Australian television industry was closely modelled on the two-tiered system that had been in place in Australian radio since the late 1930s. One tier consisted of a network of publicly-funded television stations run by the Australian Broadcasting Corporationmarker, which was funded by government budget allocation and (until 1972) by fees from television viewer licences. The second tier consisted of the commercial networks and independent stations owned by private operators, whose income came from selling advertising time.

Founded in 1965, the new television network was initially dubbed the "Independent Television System" or ITS, but in 1970 adopted the title The 0-10 Network which reflected the names of the first two stations in the group. In the early 1990s, Ten also referred to itself by the backronym "The Entertainment Network" in network promotions.

ATV-0marker in Melbournemarker opened on August 1, 1964, and was owned by the Ansett transport and media group, which at the time owned one of Australia's two domestic airlines. TEN-10marker in Sydneymarker, which opened on April 5, 1965, was originally owned by United Telecasters Sydney Ltd (UTSL).


Over the next few years more stations opened in other capitals and regional centres, and gradually these new stations affiliated with the 0-10 Network. But the Seven Network and the Nine Network were already well entrenched, and for its first five years the 0-10 Network led a hand-to-mouth existence. By the beginning of the 1970s the network was in a precarious financial position and there were predictions that it would fail.

The network's salvation came thanks to the adult soap opera serial Number 96, which premiered in March, 1972. The series broke new ground for Australian television and captured the imagination of viewers like few programs before or since. For the next three years it was consistently Australia's top-rating television program and, not surprisingly, its huge popularity attracted advertisers to Ten en masse, with the result that its revenue exploded from just $1 million in 1971 to more than $10 million in 1972.
Number 96 title screen
However, the pattern of ratings dominance was already set, and since the mid-1960s there has been little deviation from the prevalent rankings, with the Nine Network typically in first place, the Seven Network second, Network Ten third and ABC TV fourth.

The gradual evolution of Network Ten into its current form has its origins in the ongoing attempts by media mogul Rupert Murdoch to acquire a prized commercial television licence in Australia's largest capital city market, Sydneymarker. This began when Murdoch's News Ltd purchased the Wollongongmarker station WIN Television in the early 1960s, around the same time he bought Festival Records. In 1977, frustrated by regulatory blocks that prevented him from expanding into the Sydneymarker market, Murdoch sold WIN Television and purchased a 46% share in Ten Sydneymarker.

In 1979, Murdoch made an unsuccessful takeover bid for the Melbournemarker-based Herald and Weekly Times media group. Although the bid failed, he gained a 50% stake in Ansett, which thus gave him control of Channel 0marker in Melbournemarker. When Murdoch became an Americanmarker citizen in 1985 so that he could expand his media empire in the United Statesmarker, Australia's media ownership laws obliged him to dispose of the flagship television stations, which were sold to Northern Star, an offshoot of the Westfield Group conglomerate controlled by property tycoon Frank Lowy.


On January 20, 1980, the 0-10 Network became known as Network Ten to reflect ATV-0marker's transition to ATV-10marker - although the Brisbanemarker station continued to broadcast as TVQmarker-0 until September 10, 1988. On December 27, 1987, Adelaidemarker's SAS-10marker gave ADSmarker-7 the affiliation rights of Network Ten, and became known as ADSmarker-10.

Northern Star was badly hit by the stock market crash of 1987, having overcapitalised on the Network Ten acquisition, and in 1989 Westfield sold Network Ten to a consortium led by Charles Curran and former television journalist Steve Cosser.

1988 finally saw the launch of NEW-10marker in Perthmarker after the introduction of satellite facilities made it economical for the network to broadcast to Western Australia.

In 1989, Ten's ratings were in decline, so on July 23, 1989, recently recruited network boss Bob Shanks relaunched Network Ten as 10 TV Australia and introduced several new programs, including four new prime time game shows. However, by the end of 1989 the ratings had failed to improve and most of the new programs were cancelled.


In 1990, both Network Ten and the Seven Network filed for receivership. In 1992, the network's flagship stations were sold to the Canadian-based CanWest media group, which held a controlling stake in the network until 2009. Ten also has an affiliate broadcasting agreement with Southern Cross Broadcasting, which owns numerous regional stations in New South Walesmarker, Victoriamarker, Queenslandmarker and Tasmaniamarker.

Network Ten was nearly folded into the Seven Network in the early 1990s, but due to the lobbying power of billionaire Kerry Packer, former owner of the Nine Network, this was successfully resisted.


Network Ten enjoyed its best year since the 1970s in 2004, at one stage threatening to overtake Channel Seven as the second-runner to the long-leading Channel Nine. However ratings for Network Ten have been average, always finishing 3rd in every ratings year since 2000.

In 2005, it was revealed that Canwest was in discussions with newspaper publisher John Fairfax Holdings about a possible sale of the network, after the federal government had indicated it may consider relaxing Australia's media cross-ownership laws. Previously, newspaper owners could not own television stations in the same city. Fairfax owned the Seven Network until the mid 1980s, and has been looking for a way back into television for a long time.

On August 21, 2005, the network celebrated its 40th birthday with a two-hour highlights package called Ten: Seriously 40 hosted by Bert Newton and Rove McManus.

As of 2006, Ten is the official broadcaster of the Sydney New Year's Eve Fireworks.

Along with the Seven Network, Network Ten paid AUD$780 million for the rights to the Australian Football League. Some media commentators, however, believe the figure may have been overpriced given the fact that both Seven and Ten struggled to onsell games to Pay TV provider Foxtel. Ten eventually brokered a deal that saw Foxtel gain the rights to 4 live games each round, as well as replay rights for all games, shown on their Fox Sports One channel. Foxtel will pay an estimated $50 million a year for these rights.

On August 7, 2007, Network Ten and Foxtel officially signed a new agreement allowing Ten's digital signal to be transmitted via Foxtel’s cable and satellite services. Prior to this, Network Ten was only transmitted via cable on Foxtel in an analogue format and Austar in Std Digital via Mystar. Similarly in October 2007, Network Ten and Optus announced that Ten's digital signal would be available on its cable network from December 1, 2007.

On September 14, 2007, Network Ten officially announced Ten HD, the first new commercial television channel in metropolitan areas of Australia since 1988. On December 16, 2007, Ten HD was officially launched with the HD movie, Black Hawk Down. Ten HD ceased broadcasting on March 25, 2009 to be replaced by a sports-only High Defenition channel, One HD.

On October 8, 2008, Network Ten was infracted for using subliminal advertising (its use by broadcasters being illegal in Australia) during the 2007 Aria Awards, but the media authority did not penalise the broadcaster.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) found Network Ten guilty of breaching the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice during the broadcast of the 2007 ARIA Music Awards on October 28.

On September 24, 2009, Canwest announced that it was selling its 50.1% stake in Ten Network Holdings for A$680 million dollars, in order to pay down its significant debt. As a result, Canwest most recently filed for bankruptcy.


On November 17, 2006, Network Ten revealed its 2007 program line-up.It was announced that all of Ten's Australian and overseas franchises would return. Network Ten has commenced a new program supply agreement with 20th Century Fox, which was previously held by the Seven Network. Ten has also commenced a new program supply agreement with the CBS Corporation, which includes its news division, which had been aligned with the Nine Network for many decades. Ten's chief executive officer, Grant Blackley, and chief programming officer, David Mott, launched Ten's 2007 lineup at Sydneymarker's State Theatre.

Ten's current Australia programming lineup consists of television shows including: 9am with David and Kim, Australian Idol, Ready Steady Cook, The Biggest Loser, Neighbours, Rove, Before the Game, Out of the Blue, Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation, Recruits, MasterChef Australia, So You Think You Can Dance Australia, The 7PM Project and Good News Week.

Network Ten relies heavily on its CBS and Fox output deals. The Simpsons has been a staple of the network for almost two decades, with repeat episodes screening everyday at 6:00 pm. Other overseas programming on Ten includes; Futurama, House, Late Show with David Letterman, Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: UK, Medium, NCIS, NUMB3RS, Supernatural, The Biggest Loser, So You Think You Can Dance, The Office, Rules of Engagement, Californication, Dexter, One Tree Hill, 90210, Harper's Island, Cops, Life On Mars. Lie to Me, Worst Week, The Bold and the Beautiful, Life, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dr. Phil, Judge Judy, Glee, Total Drama Island, Total Drama Action, The Penguins of Madagascar, and Merlin.

Network Ten currently broadcasts feature films from 20th Century Fox and Paramount Pictures as a result of their studio output deals.

The network also broadcasts catalogue titles from Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures produced prior to 2007 and Universal Pictures produced prior to 2008. The broadcast rights to more recent titles from Columbia/Sony and Universal now belong to the Nine Network and the Seven Network respectively.

News & Current Affairs

Network Ten's news service is called Ten News. It produces the following bulletins/programs; Ten's Early News, Ten's Morning News, Ten News, Ten's Late News, Sports Tonight, and Meet The Press.In November 2006, Network Ten struck a deal with CBS, reportably worth AUS $6 Million a year. This allows Network Ten the rights to air all CBS News footage, as well as access to its 60 Minutes, Dr. Phil, Late Show with David Letterman and 48 Hours programs. This deal occurred after CBS's talks with the Nine Network broke down, with Nine refusing to pay AUS $8 Million a year to continue its 40-year deal with CBS. Ten in turn struck a cheaper deal, and has onsold CBS's 60 Minutes stories to Nine.


In 2002, Ten acquired partial broadcast rights for Saturday afternoon and Saturday night games in the Australian Football League, the elite Australian rules football competition, displacing the Seven Network which had held the rights for more than 40 years. The deal also assigned the exclusive rights for finals broadcasting to Network Ten. Ten subsequently placed a successful bid to jointly broadcast the game from 2007 to 2011, jointly with Seven. Ten has continued to broadcast the Saturday component of the competition. However, unlike the previous deal Ten will not hold the exclusive rights to the finals series. Instead, the networks will share the broadcasting of the finals series and will alternate the broadcast (year on year) of the grand final. In years when Ten does not televise the Grand Final (2008 and 2010), it will show the Brownlow Medal presentation. Network Ten broadcast the AFL and the Rugby World Cup 2007 in the 1080i High Definition format. As of 2008, AFL matches have been shown in prime time in all capital cities except Sydney, which receives the telecast usually after 10:30pm unless the Sydney Swans are playing. Previously, all AFL matches were replayed into the Brisbanemarker and Sydneymarker markets, usually after 10:30pm unless the Brisbane Lions or Sydney Swans were playing. In 2007, all of the finals Network Ten were assigned to were shown live into both markets although neither the Lions or Swans were participating, thus putting it head to head with the NRL finals which were aired on the Nine Network. Before 2005, all finals were delayed into both markets unless their teams were playing.

Ten used to air the National Rugby League (NRL) (then New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) in the 1980s and early 1990s, but the Nine Network took over the rights.

Network Ten also used to air the National Basketball League during the mid-90s, but after delegating games to extremely late night time slots the network eventually ended its broadcasting. Fox Sports is currently the major broadcaster for the NBL and the Nine Network runs a weekly highlight package (the only free-to-air broadcast of the league). Despite no longer broadcasting the NBL, Network Ten remains a sponsor and "Official Television Partner" of the Perth Wildcats.

Network Ten used to air WWF RAW and WWF Superstars on Monday and Saturday nights between 1995 and 2000, but this ended when Foxtel bought the rights to air the shows.

In 2003, Network Ten started broadcasting the Formula One World Championship. In 2007 they also started showing coverage of the qualification on tape delay early on Sunday mornings in most states. In 2008, Ten introduced live coverage of race day on its HD channel, Ten HD (Now ONE HD). All races from the French Grand Prix onwards have been shown live on Ten HD (Now ONE HD). As a result, standard definition coverage has enjoyed less focus and now airs at a later time. Network Ten holds the rights to Formula One until the end of 2010.

Network Ten broadcasts major sporting events including; the Formula 1, AFL Premiership Season and Finals (In conjunction with the Seven Network and Foxtel), Moto GP World Championship, NASCAR (TEN HD from 2008), and the Red Bull Air Race World Series. Ten also holds the rights to the 2007 Rugby World Cup and the US Mastersmarker golf tournament.

As well as this, Network Ten, in joint partnership with subscription television provider Foxtel, has broadcast rights for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

First time realising the need to broadcast cricket in Australia to increase viewership, Network Ten bought the broadcast rights to the Indian Premier League (IPL) Cricket, which started on April 18, 2008. The network will broadcast the event annually for the next 5 years although there is some doubt that the Australian contracted national players will be available for the tournament.

Broadcast Centre in Sydney


Network Ten is simulcast in analogue, standard definition and formerly in 1080i high definition. Ten is broadcast in metropolitan areas via Network Ten owned-and-operated stations, these include TENmarker Sydneymarker, ATVmarker Melbournemarker, TVQmarker Brisbanemarker, ADSmarker Adelaidemarker, and NEWmarker Perthmarker. Channel Ten programming is also carried into other areas of regional Australia by various affiliate networks and stations including Southern Cross Ten, Southern Cross Television, Tasmanian Digital Television, Mildura Digital Televisionmarker, Darwin Digital Televisionmarker and WIN Television. In addition to this, Network Ten is retransmitted via Foxtel, Optus and Austar Digital cable and satellite pay television services.


Network Ten was criticised by conservative groups and Liberal backbenchers in 2005 for its reality television series Big Brothermarker. Ten was criticised for selecting particularly promiscuous housemates for the 2005 season of the show in an attempt to boost ratings. There were three main objections, all broadcast on its Big Brother Uncut show. One was footage of a housemate with his fly open whilst giving a massage to a female housemate. Another was where a housemate wrote a fetish song about "skidmarks". There was also a "cumulative" rating where various elements of a particular episode together pushed it above the 'MA15+' rating (the highest rating allowed on TV in Australia). There were calls for TV to be rated by an independent body rather than in-house, but the proposal was scrapped after the controversy died down.

For the 2006 series Ten appointed two censors to review the show instead of one. Federal Minister for Communications Senator Helen Coonan is reported to say she would be keeping a "close watch on the show's 2006 series". This controversy resulted in Big Brother Uncut being renamed Big Brother: Adults Only for the 2006 season of Big Brother Australia. In two separate findings, the Australian Communications and Media Authority determined Network Ten breached clause 2.4 of the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice. These two breaches were in relation to the broadcast of Big Brother Uncut on May 30, June 13 and July 4, 2005. The Broadcasting material was not classified according to the Television Classification Guidelines.

Despite toning down Big Brother: Adults Only significantly in comparison to 2005, the series continued to attract controversy. After Big Brother: Adults Only was abruptly cancelled several weeks early, a subsequent incident of alleged sexual assault in the house saw the removal of two housemates and a huge public outcry calling for the series to be cancelled entirely. This incident generated significant publicity for the show, even prompted the Prime Minister of Australia to call Network Ten to "do a bit of self-regulation and get this stupid program off the air.".

Just prior to the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Network Ten broadcast 911: In Plane Site, a documentary that examined conspiracy theories about the terrorist attacks. Federal Labor politician Michael Danby demanded that the programming director of the station be sacked.

Network Ten were highly criticised for their broadcast of the 2006 New Year's Eve celebrations, mostly for the sexual innuendo witnessed between high-profile musician John Foreman and Matthew Newton, who is TV legend Bert's son. Many other complaints were received, particularly in regards to the use of explicit language and crude humour (including a "pashing contest"). This was the first year Ten broadcast the celebrations and fireworks, with Nine Network previously broadcasting the event since 1995.

Talkback radio programs were inundated with callers venting their anger, and Seven Network's Today Tonight broadcast a story lampooning Ten's coverage on the January 2, 2007 episode.

Network Ten has been exposed by the ABCmarker's Media Watch programme as having used subliminal advertising during the 2007 Aria Music Awards broadcast. This practice is outlawed in Australia.

Network 10 again attracted controversy after displaying an anti-cyclist tirade from Magda Szubanski on Good News Week. In the video published, Szubanski ridicules and mocks cyclists, with one of her cohosts ending the segment by encouraging drivers to aims for cyclists, in an attempt to maim or kill them. Szubanski then agrees with this comment, a violation of Australia's broadcasting laws.


Image:NetworkTen.svg|January 20, 1991-present


  1. Wall Street Journal, CanWest Sells Ten Network Stake For A$680M, SEPTEMBER 24, 2009,

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