When Murdoch became an American citizen in 1985 so that he could expand his media empire in the United States, Australia's media ownership laws obliged him to dispose of the flagship television stations, which were sold to The Northern Star, an offshoot of the Westfield Group conglomerate controlled by property tycoon Frank Lowy.However, Westfield was badly hit by the stock market crash of 1987, and in 1989 sold Network Ten to a consortium led by Charles Curran and former television journalist Steve Cosser.In 1979, 0/10 first aired the soap opera Prisoner, which was a huge ratings success.
One tier consisted of a network of publicly funded television stations run by the ABC, which was funded by government budget allocation and (until 1972) by fees from television viewer licences.
The second tier consisted of the commercial networks and independent stations owned by private operators, whose income came from selling advertising time.
For its first five years, the 0/10 Network led a hand-to-mouth existence.
By the beginning of the 1970s the network was in a precarious financial position and there were predictions that it would fail.
However, the pattern of ratings dominance was already set, and for most of the next five decades from the mid-1960s there was little deviation from the prevalent rankings, with the Nine Network typically in first place, the Seven Network second, 0/10 third and ABC fourth.