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CBS goes down under and takes minority stake in Australian TV venture

August 25, 2010 |  6:13 pm

CBS Corp. is acquiring a minority stake in a new Australian television venture.

Australia's Ten Network Ltd. announced Wednesday that it was launching a free over-the-air digital channel called Eleven that will become the "new and unrivaled destination for fun and bold programming" in Australia.

The Ten Network formed a programming venture with CBS to feed content to the new channel. Ten will own 67% of the venture, which will be called ElevenCo Pty Limited. CBS will own the remaining 33%. The arrangement will allow the new channel to tap into CBS' wealth of older show titles that it has rights to, including "Everybody Loves Raymond," "Sex and the City," "JAG," "Frasier" and "MacGyver." That will also generate additional license fee revenue for CBS.

Other shows on the new channel will include "Dexter" and "Nurse Jackie," both of which appear on CBS' Showtime cable channel.

CBS separately extended its current programming arrangement with Network Ten. Under that agreement, CBS will continue to provide Ten Network in Australia with such current hit CBS shows as "NCIS," "The Good Wife" and the upcoming series "Hawaii Five-O."

The news comes a week after the broadcasting company announced that it was entering into a 50/50 partnership with a company controlled by one of India's richest men, Anil Dhirubhai Ambani, to launch three English-language channels in India that would showcase CBS programming.

-- Meg James

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