Network Ten and MCN conclude advertising sales agreement

Network Ten joined MCN in 2015 but has now cut ties with the sales organisations

Network Ten and Multi Channel Network (MCN) have confirmed they will cease their advertising sales representation arrangement, effective 1 January 2019, as the broadcast network takes its sales in-house.

MCN brought its audience-based programmatic trading capabilities to Network Ten just last year. The decision to launch the Dynamic Trading model across the commercial TV network came after a trial in 2016, as well as the rollout of the Landmark system at Network Ten in May last year. Under the model, select advertisers could trade audiences rather than just airtime. The CBS owned-broadcaster owns 24.99 per cent of MCN, while Foxtel and Fox Sports make up the remaining ownership.

In a joint statement, Network Ten and MCN said they will work together in the coming months to implement an orderly disengagement process. In the meantime, business will continue as usual and MCN will continue to receive all Network Ten sales bookings until the end of 2018.

Network Ten also announced the establishment of a new advertising sales department, headed by Rod Prosser as chief sales officer. Prosser is currently Network Ten’s executive general manager, revenue and client partnerships.

Network Ten CEO, Paul Anderson, said MCN has been a valuable partner .

“Together we have achieved some great results and introduced many industry-leading initiatives. In an industry undergoing rapid change, Network Ten is making a strategic shift in sales to more closely align with CBS across all platforms. I would like to send my sincere thanks to Anthony Fitzgerald, Mark Frain, and everyone at MCN for their enormous contribution over the last three years. We will continue to work closely together to ensure a smooth and stable transition period,” Anderson said.

"Our priority is to monetise our premium video content to accommodate changing viewing habits and provide measurable and transparent value for our clients. Controlling the selling function in-house is the best way to achieve that.

“CBS has solutions, experience and systems in many key sales areas, including data, addressable advertising and dynamic trading. Ten’s new sales platform will fully leverage the expertise of CBS."

The Network Ten sales department will include a new digital unit, Ten Interactive, which will be underpinned by CBS Interactive’s global technology platform, as well as a new commercial, strategy and integration team focused on delivering premium ideas, sponsorships and integration opportunities across the company’s suite of brands. Network Ten will also launch a new automated trading platform, Ten Exchange.

“As we’ve said since the announcement of the acquisition, we see many ways for CBS and Ten to work together to help grow their business,” said CBS Studios International president and CEO, Armando Nuñez. 

“We look forward to integrating infrastructure, technology and other CBS resources to enhance Ten’s new sales operation and bring value to Australian advertisers and brands.”

The news follows MCN chief sales and marketing officer, Mark Frain, being appointed as the company’s new chief executive officer last month. Frain replaced outgoing CEO, Anthony Fitzgerald, who left the organisation after 15 years at the helm.

Frain said MCN is extremely proud of the many achievements accomplished in partnership with Network Ten.

“Throughout our relationship we have delivered outstanding results for Network Ten as evidenced by a significantly improved revenue to audience power ratio, whilst in parallel driving a new chapter in their data and automation proposition,” he said.

“We wish Network Ten all the success for their next chapter. MCN remains a dynamic, market leading company that will continue to innovate the media market and our next chapter will see a number of new and exciting changes that will strengthen the business and ensure its ongoing success.” 

In 15 years, MCN has grown to a $1.2 billion operation representing a 45 per cent commercial audience share of television and the largest broadcast-quality digital video network in Australia.

Last year, MCN struck a deal with analytics vendor, SAS, to develop what the pair claimed was Australia’s first data platform providing advertisers with a single consumer view across linear TV and digital platforms.

Named SIA, the data management solution aimed to unite all of MCN’s different media data sources, including TV, online, mobile, location and out-of-home, with data from agencies and advertisers.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu

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