ABC cops $84 million cut, Foxtel receives $30 million grant
THE recent budget released by the Turnbull government that promises a tax cut to 10 million workers, has removed $84 million from ABC’s budget over the next three years.
This comes after a funding agreement was confirmed with News Corp-owned Foxtel, to receive a $30 million government handout.
Communications Minister Mitch Fifield’s department has released the funding agreement with Fox Sports Australia, with the document explaining the contract with the broadcaster.
“The purpose of this grant is to support television and online coverage of under-represented sports, including women’s sports, niche sports, and emerging sports that exhibit high levels of community involvement and participation,” the document says.
Another permitted use of 10 percent of the money, according to the document, is the cost to Fox Sports of using “commercial airtime to promote under-represented sports”.
ABC boss Michelle Guthrie told staff last week “we won’t be able to meet the forecast budget freeze through back-office savings”.
Labor’s communications spokeswoman Michelle Rowland has slammed the $30 million agreement and called it a “backroom deal”.
“It is clear that this handout is not and has never been about boosting the profile of women’s sport,” she said.
“The vast majority of Australians don’t have a Fox Sports subscription, meaning a large amount of young aspiring athletes will miss out regardless of whether Foxtel meets their KPIs.”
“More women than ever are playing sports like cricket, football and AFL and the Turnbull government should be looking at meaningful ways to support them.”