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Foxtel Gets Fast-Tracked Govt. Funds

CANBERRA: Foxtel – jointly owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Group and Telstra – received a $10 million extension – plus early payment of $7.5 million of a previous funding from a Federal Government support package – according to an ABC report.

According to the ABC, access to freedom-of-information by Communications Department staff helped fast-track $17.5 million in taxpayer funds for the company, expediting normal Federal Cabinet processes for approval.

Foxtel received early payment of $7.5 million in government grants for sports coverage, plus an additional $10 million grant.

The decision was fast-tracked through Cabinet, breaking the normal “10 Day Rule” intended to give ministers time to assess proposals.

FOI documents from the Prime Minister, Communications Minister and Foxtel — including personal e-mails, letters and cabinet submissions reveal the speed with which the broadcaster was awarded its $10 million extension to an existing $30 million contract.

Fox Sports is only available by subscription, meaning taxpayers must pay to watch the sports they are already paying to broadcast.

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