Taxpayers fleeced twice by Foxtel

Recall that Foxtel in July received $10 million from taxpayers to televise “women’s, niche and other under-represented sports”.

This $10 million subsidy came on top of $30 million already provided by taxpayers to Foxtel in 2017.

It also came at the same time as the Morrison Government slashed funding to the ABC by $84 million.

To add further insult to injury, the $10 million Foxtel funding was fast-tracked through Cabinet and broke the normal “10 Day Rule” intended to give ministers time to assess proposals.

With this background in mind, it is disturbing the read that the ABC has been forced to pay Foxtel for rights to broadcast women’s soccer, specifically matches featuring Australia’s national team, the Matildas.

This means that Australian taxpayers have effectively paid for this coverage twice, given the federal government’s $10 million grant to Foxtel over three years to cover “women’s, niche and other under-represented sports”:

ABC managing director David Anderson confirmed in a Senate estimates hearing at Parliament on Wednesday that the public broadcaster had paid Foxtel for the rights to broadcast international women’s soccer matches featuring the Matildas, in effect charging taxpayers twice for access to that coverage.

Mr Anderson told Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young that unlike Foxtel in this recent instance, the public broadcaster does not receive specific funding allocations for showcasing women’s sport…

“Let me just get clear, the federal government has provided money to Foxtel to provide coverage of womens sport, which the ABC then has to go to Foxtel to pay for?” Ms Hanson-Young said.

“Certainly for the international matches yes,” Mr Anderson said.

“That’s ridiculous,” Ms Hanson-Young said.

I have no issue in principle with subsidising the coverage of “underrepresented” sports. But why provide subsidies to a private company that locks coverage behind a subscription paywall?

Public access to these sports would clearly be improved by providing such subsidies to free-to-air networks that have no barriers to watch.

This is clearly another case of ‘money for mates’ by the Coalition. Always follow the money.

Unconventional Economist
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Comments

  1. Labor should simply run on one platform and one only. Ban political donations and go after corruption with an iron fist. Major wealth confiscation and jail-time for any unscrupulous behaviour. Would be very hard to create a scare campaign out of that.

    Trouble is I’m sure many ministers would be caught up from Labor too I’m guessing. They could even go so far as to make it only catch people going forward and give amnesty for the past.. as painful as it would be.

    But I will die dissapointed…

    • You will because pollies (of all stripes) have their fingers in the till. Even the ones who arrive in the job with sound morals and good intentions eventually succumb.

      • If ever got that high up I’d record the shit out of all the shady conversations, especially the sit-downs with Murdoch and donors looking for favors. Then release them all at once. I bet it would crash the Coalition vote at least 2% lol…*cry*

        • No, like his journalists, Rup never says anything, people on his payroll just know what has to be said/done,

          At News Ltd if you play this game you will be on the teat until you die (eg. Frank Devine, etc.)

          Bolt, Panahi, Gleeson, Devine Jnr, Gotti, McCrann, etc. are paid $300-500,000 per year to divine and spread their master’s thoughts.

  2. “the $10 million Foxtel funding was fast-tracked” ..I am happy to pay my tax to build a better society! ..but I am not happy about waiting more than 10 days for my tax-return, it just doesnt seem right!.

    And I guess if foxtel desperatly needed that cash injection in less than 10 days.. yea sounds to me like the cash register over there is empty… maybe its one of those zombie-companies I keep reading about..