Foxtel fleeces Australian taxpayers

Last week it was revealed that Foxtel – jointly owned by NewsCorp and Telstra – would receive $10 million of Australian taxpayers’ money to broadcast “women’s, niche and other under-represented sports” .

This represented an extension of a $30 million grant given to Foxtel in 2017.

Predictably, the handout was widely condemned as being a hand-out to the Coalition’s mate, Rupert Murdoch, and comes at the same time as the Morrison Government has cut the ABC’s budget by $84 million.

According to Communications Minister Paul Fletcher:

…the funding will allow Fox Sports to extend its broadcasting for under-represented sports over the next two years.

“With six dedicated sports channels and a wide range of sports news, Fox Sports has a strong commitment to broadcasting sports and events that may not otherwise receive television coverage,” said Minister Fletcher.

Over the past year, despite the significant impact of COVID-19 on sports competitions, Fox Sports broadcast more than 4,888 hours of content covered by the grant, including 1,167 hours of live broadcast.

Coverage included more than 3,050 hours of women’s sport, which is an increase of more than 100 per cent since 2016.

I don’t have a problem with the federal government subsidising coverage of “underrepresented” sports. However, why provide these subsidies to a private company that locks its coverage behind a subscription paywall, thus limiting the ability for said sports to be viewed?

Surely these subsidies would have been better spent on free-to-air networks where there are no barriers to watch?

Clearly, this is another case of ‘money for mates’.

Leith van Onselen


  1. Well fu#ck, I am happy to pay them $100 to bury the Melbourne FC’s woeful games on Foxtel
    Dear me, that f$cking basket case club [and yes I am a member of MFC]

  2. Shades of Messina

    Why should any underrepresented sports be given funding for TV coverage ?.

    If people are so desperate to watch it, the sports can host it on YouTube at no cost to the taxpayer and generate some revenue.

    What are these underrepresented sports anyway ?.

    • I do have a problem “with the federal government subsidising coverage of “underrepresented” sports.”
      Who determines this largess?
      Its just an opportunity for virtue signalling.

    • DominicMEMBER

      The funniest bit is that you have representatives from several women’s sports demanding equal pay to men — clearly too few of these did any kind of economics at school.

      The above story should explain why.

      If ya need subsidies it isn’t economically viable.

      If it isn’t economically viable it means very few people GAF.

  3. BoomToBustMEMBER

    100% agree, when channel surfing FTA Digital in Melbourne multiple different channels have the same content, how much would it take to play this content on one of those giving access to everyone. Sounds like money for mates again.

  4. elasticMEMBER

    Government hands over taxpayers money, under dubious pretenses, to corrupt media empire that acts as its personal cheerleader. The corruption in this country has become so blatant that deals like this barely raise a murmur.

  5. Quite clearly if you have a problem with this you have an underlying hate for women. If you are a woman then you are jealous. A bit like immigration/ visas, if you don’t agree with it then you are racist.

    What a world we live in where propaganda is the only game in town. A global pandemic and we talk more about BLM.

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