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$30m Government Handout To Fox Sports Goes Unexplained

A plan in this year’s federal budget to give Fox Sports $30 million to broadcast “underrepresented sports” remains unexplained by the Federal Government.

The News Corp-owned subscription sports broadcaster is set to receive the money over a four year period to help it cover “women’s sports, niche sports, and sports with a high level of community involvement and participation”.

However, additional details about the funding, including why the money was not given to a free-to-air broadcaster, have not been revealed.

Freedom of Information request was submitted by the ABC looking for correspondence between Foxtel and the Department of Communications and the Arts, but in response, the department’s Legal Director told the ABC that “documents falling within the scope of your request do not exist”.

Communications Minister Mitch Fifield and Foxtel have also refused to comment.

The handout was also the subject of discussion in a Senate estimates hearing in May, where Labor Senator Anthony Chisholm asked Senator Fifield if he will review what he described as a “disgraceful decision.

In response, Senator Fifield said “The Government has made its decision”.

A spokeswoman for Senator Fifield told The Sydney Morning Herald that the funding is part of the overall media reform package by the Turnbull government.

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