Until the 1990s, Channel Ten has been the least-watched commercial network in Australia. Of course, it still is, but it has just changed tactics. Before the 1990s, it tried to play the commercial networks at their own game by producing general entertainment shows...although in many cases they were a bit raunchy, such as the soap opera Number 96 when "Australian TV lost its innocence". After a few rebrands during the 1980s, it finally settled on the ideal they still hold — appealing to the 16-29 demographic.
Since then, the network has been pulling a vast amount of its programming from The CW (and its predecessor, The WB) and producing a wide range of shows, especially reality TV, to appeal to young viewers. They have been successful, becoming the most popular network for the 16-29 demographic, but since 2012 they have also dropped from the third to the fourth most popular network (out of five) in Australia. The network shares news content with CBS in The United States and vice-versa, along with airing plenty of CBS entertainment programming. Thanks to poor ratings and revenue, Ten was bought out by CBS in 2017. With the re-merger of CBS and Viacom in 2019, it also makes them sister to the UK's Channel Five.
Network Ten currently broadcasts three channels altogether:
- Ten, the original channel.
- 10 Bold, launched March 2009 as One: originally a 24-hour sports channel, but was re-branded in April 2011 to be a general male-oriented channel like 7mate. It has since dropped sports altogether. The channel was rebranded as 10 Boss in October 2018 to reflect its new focus on character-driven dramas, but was forced to change its name to 10 Bold in December due to trademark issues.
- 10 Peach, launched January 2011 as Eleven, a joint venture with CBS: strongly aimed towards the 16-29 demographic, so that parent channel Ten can compete for a broader audience. The channel also rebranded in October 2018, with a focus on "feel-good"/"guilty pleasure" programmes ("peach" being in reference to something being good or enjoyable)
Australian shows on the network have been largely successful, with comedies such as Skithouse and the occasional drama such as The Secret Life of Us. Most of their output are reality TV shows, ranging from the controversial Australian Big Brother (involving "turkey slapping") to the surprisingly-popular MasterChef Australia. It has also been the home of the successful soap Neighbours, as well as an international tween fave, H2O: Just Add Water: In 2011 Neighbours was bumped over to their new digital channel Eleven to give that network a quick jumpstart.
After it had a falling out with the Nine Network over streaming rights, the major regional chain WIN re-affiliated most of its stations with Ten in July 2016. Time will tell if this deal gives Ten an advantage.
It is also, arguably, the prettiest commercial network thanks to its nice branding.