MCN and Ten confirm sales house split

Josh McDonnell
By Josh McDonnell | 1 August 2018

Network Ten and MCN have ended their $600 million ad sales contract.

The split between the two had been rumoured for months, following the CBS acquisition of Ten earlier this year, but was officially confirmed this morning at Adweek.

Last week it was reported that executives from CBS were meeting with senior media agency executives, as the company looks to find a solution to its ad sales conundrum.

Speaking at Advertising Week APAC, new MCN boss Mark Frain and Ten's Rod Prosser confirmed that the split would occur by January 1.

Prosser told the audience that the decision was not "performance based" but was simply a decision made based upon CBS's operating model.

"CBS does not operate like this in any other market, the reality is this isn't about MCN, it's about Ten and CBS," he said.

"There is no drama here, it's about CBS controlling the monetisation of its content."

Frain added that MCN understood the reasoning behind the decision, stating that the decision was not reflective of the objectives the broadcaster and the sales house had achieved during their partnership.

Ten also announced the establishment of a new Advertising Sales department, headed by Rod Prosser in the new role of chief sales officer.

Prosser, currently Network Ten’s Executive GM, revenue and client Partnerships, will report to Network Ten CEO Paul Anderson.

Network Ten and MCN 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 in the ordinary course until the end of 2018.

"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," Anderson says.

"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.”

CBS owns 24.99% of MCN, while News Corp owns the majority stake.

Earlier this month, it was revealed long-time boss Anthony Fitzgerald will leave the business with Mark Frain to take the helm. 

News of redundancies followed with AdNews revealing 30 redundancies were made within MCN as it reshaped its operating model. MCN said at the time the redundancies had no correlation to Fitzgerald's departure.

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