CBS to Buy Australian Network as Test Ground for Streaming

CBS Corp. has snapped up ailing Australian TV broadcaster Ten Network Holdings, securing an offshore testing ground for its on-demand streaming service.

The most-watched U.S. network agreed to buy Sydney-based Ten, which has lost money for five straight years, and provide immediate funds to save it from collapse, the Australian company’s receivers and administrators said Monday in a statement. The planned transaction also sidelines a potential bid from News Corp. Co-Chairman Lachlan Murdoch. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

The New York-based media giant, which airs “The Big Bang Theory” and “NCIS,” plans to introduce CBS All Access in Australia, more than two years after Netflix started streaming Down Under. Competition from upstarts including Netflix, available in almost 200 countries, is compelling legacy TV companies like CBS to offer their own programming to subscribers on-demand via the internet.

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