Packer not keen on free TV

The Packer family's Consolidated Press Holdings (CPH) won't be getting back into free-to-air television in a big way, despite its investment in the Ten Network, CPH executive chairman James Packer says.

When Packer bought a 17.88 per cent interest in Ten last year, then split the stake with fellow media heir Lachlan Murdoch, he made bullish comments about the future of free-to-air television, as well as Ten's multi-channel strategy.

However, Packer told a business function in Perth on Wednesday that CPH is now more focused on pay TV than free-to-air television.

"I can't see us as a company going back aggressively into the free-to-air industry at the moment," Packer said.

"Seven's position is too strong."

Packer's investment in Ten has fallen in value, given he bought his stake at $1.50 per share, and the broadcaster's share price at 2.00pm AEDST on Wednesday was 91 cents.

Three months after joining the Ten board last year, Packer quit suddenly, reportedly because Murdoch poached a Seven Network executive, upsetting Packer's truce with Seven boss Kerry Stokes.

Stokes is a board member of Consolidated Media Holdings, a listed company that is majority owned by CPH, a private firm.

Consolidated Media, also chaired by Packer, has a 25 per cent stake in subscription-television business Foxtel, and a 50 per cent interest in Fox Sports channel producer Premier Media Group.

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