Home > Brands > ABC Tries To Nobble Foxtel With $4M Fee Cut, As News Corp Highlights ABC Bias

ABC Tries To Nobble Foxtel With $4M Fee Cut, As News Corp Highlights ABC Bias

The ABC want to stop paying Foxtel for the re transmission of the ABC on the national broadcaster they claim claims it’s a cost cutting measure others claims it’s the ABC getting back at News Corporation who have been ardent critics of the national broadcaster accusing them of left wing bias.

ABC management claim that they have been negotiating with News Corp’s Foxtel to end a $4 million-a-year deal allowing Australians to watch ABC content via their Foxtel box.

ChannelNews understands that over 52% of Foxtel customers watch ABC TV programs every day.

ABC managing director David Anderson told staff that we wants to stop the payment to Foxtel as one of several savings measures after the Coalition government who ABC editorial staff campaigned against prior to the election froze its $1 billion annual budget.

The ABC want to pay nothing to News Corporation a move which management and senior staff have been pushing for ever since the issue was raised in 2014 following an efficiency review of both the ABC and SBS.

“Currently the ABC pays Facebook and Google $2M a year to try and attract an audience while Foxtel delivers over 3M subscribers every month sand all they have to do is press a button to access ABC content” said one observer.

A portion of the $4 million payment to host the ABC’s services on Foxtel is paid to third parties, such as satellite providers who deliver the ABC via Foxtel nationally and to rural areas.

Nine Entertainment Media claim that the ABC hopes to slash the Foxtel payment in a bid to minimise savings that affect content creation or staff. However, such a decision would still impact how Australians access the public broadcaster’s programming.

As it stands, premium Foxtel subscribers are able to watch programs such as The World and The Drum from their set-top-box.

An ABC spokesman said the broadcaster was considering “various savings measures to meet funding cuts with minimal impact to our content, services and staff, in accordance with our ongoing obligation to find efficiencies”.

“We are currently in discussions with Foxtel regarding the costs associated with the retransmission of ABC services,” he said.

ChannelNews understands that the issue has already been raised with new Federal Communications Minister Paul Fletcher.

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