WIN Corporation has purchased Northern Rivers Television (NRN), the Northern NSW-Gold Coast affiliate of the Ten Network currently owned by Southern Cross Austereo.
The deal, worth $45 million plus another $10 million to be paid in a year, will see WIN finally get a foot into the lucrative market of an estimated 2.163 million viewers. The company was unsuccessful in its bid to purchase the region’s top-rating Nine affiliate NBN in 2007 which sold for around $250 million.
In programming terms the change of ownership will see little change — as NRN has been a Network Ten affiliate in the region since aggregation in 1991, and WIN has been aligned to Ten in its other major regional markets since last year.
What viewers in the local area might not be as thrilled about is the prospect of the large blue WIN logo that appears on screen over the top of the Ten watermark on its programming.
And it is too early to tell yet if WIN plans to expand its local news format to the NRN coverage area. WIN currently produces half-hour local news bulletins for broadcast across much of its coverage areas in regional Queensland, Southern NSW/ACT, regional Victoria and Tasmania.
Ten (NRN) currently has an overall prime time market share of 17.8%, well behind Prime7 (27.6%) and NBN (32.8%) and not far above ABC (17.0%).