It’s official. Eleven will launch on Tuesday January 11th, 2011.
TEN’s new digital channel is proceeding full steam ahead with plans for The Simpsons and Neighbours, despite share acquisitions by James Packer and talk he may seek to scuttle major plans for TEN.
Yesterday at its annual result briefing executive chairman of TEN, Nick Falloon, welcomed Packer as its new major shareholder, then promptly declined to say anything substantial about him, the $280 million raid on the company and nothing at all about what it might mean for his future.
”We welcome their interest in our company and a return to the free-to-air industry,” he said.
”We do not propose to speculate on what has been in the newspapers.”
He acknowledged a “brief” phone conversation with Packer and indicated he plans to meet with him once he returns from Macau. But he declined to enter into the media speculation, including reports that Packer sees no need for both Falloon and CEO Grant Blackley to run the business.
TEN reported a $150 million net profit for the 12 months to August 31. Earning before interest, tax, amortisation was up 38 per cent to $208.1m mainly due to stronger advertising revenue for its television assets.
Meanwhile the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said it would examine the Packer investment to see if it raised competition concerns.
Closing down One HD would remove a competitor to the sports channels of Foxtel, the pay TV network Packer partly owns with Rupert Murdoch’s News Limited and Telstra.
So far there is still no indication if Eleven will be available via Pay TV platforms or to Regional viewers.