A Channel Ten spokesperson has said that they expect Southern Cross to resume the affiliation agreement negotiations in good faith, while Southern Cross has said talks never ended.
Nine Entertainment Co and Southern Cross Entertainment were left at the altar without permission to marry after making their intentions clear at the two parliamentary inquiries on Monday. Nine CEO David Gyngell offered to enter into binding agreements during the hearings guaranteeing regional news coverage and the maintenance of local newsrooms if the 75% reach rule were relaxed.
Channel Ten CEO Hamish McLennan released an angry statement seemingly severing ties with Southen Cross Media when he said that the existence of a deal between Nine and Southern Cross was plain for all to see.
“But Southern Cross Media remains silent. Its shareholders have a right to know if the company’s directors are meeting their continuous disclosure obligations. Its shareholders have a right to know how detailed and advanced the discussions between Nine and Southern Cross Media are, and what has been discussed with the Government,” he said.
Clearly the network has had a re-think now that it is faced with the prospect of retaining the 10% of revenue it receives from its affiliation deal with Southern Cross.
Southern Cross pointed to comments made earlier in the week by its chairman Max Moore Wilton who denied that talks had ceased with Channel Ten despite Nine’s obvious overtures and Southern Cross’s apparent swooning.\
Nine declined to comment to B&T queries today.