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US owners to sell NZ's Three TV network

New Zealand media company MediaWorks has put television network Three up for sale as the country's television industry grapples with the same profitability issues facing Australian broadcasters.

MediaWorks, which is wholly owned by US private equity firm Oaktree Capital Management, wants to offload the free-to-air network and the Auckland property that includes its TV head offices and studios.

It said Friday it will retain ownership of its radio and outdoor advertising businesses.

Read Next "We are in a commercial environment and have to face commercial realities," MediaWorks chairman Jack Matthews said in a statement.

"The market that free-to-air television operates in is tough and has been exacerbated this year."

The first private television channel in New Zealand, the 30-year-old Three airs a number of popular dramas and comedies plus the only TV news other than that from state-owned broadcaster Television New Zealand.

MediaWorks said it had engaged UBS as an advisor, which would work with it to identify a list of potential purchasers and commence initial discussions.

In 2017, US media company CBS bought Australia's ailing Ten Network.

NZ media reported that the unprofitable free-to-air channel could be closed by Christmas if a buyer isn't found.