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Has Foxtel misused public money?

Parliamentary action by The Greens has raised the eyebrows of the Auditor General, who may start an investigation into the government funding of women’s sports on Foxtel. 

It follows complaints about a $40m government gift to the Murdoch media to broadcast women’s sports, which are only available behind a paywall, rather than letting the ABC broadcast the games for free.

The resulting broadcasts have been well below par, with terrible production values, raising questions about whether the money is being spent appropriately.

THIS REPORT FROM THE GUARDIAN OUTLINES THE ON-AIR PROBLEMS

Greens South Australian Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has been pushing for an investigation.

The Senator told The Guardian:

Fox Sports should never have been given $40m of taxpayer money to broadcast womens sport. If theyre going to do a half-arsed job, they should give the money back and it can go to the public broadcasters who should have gotten it in the first place.

In response to the revelations, the senator wrote to the Auditor General requesting an investigation (see the letter below).

The Auditor General responded (see the second letter below) by saying:

I will consider including an audit of the $40 million given to Fox Sports in the context of developing the Australian National Audit Offices (ANAO) 2021-22 Annual Audit Work Program (work program).

Letter to auditor general Fox Sports Apr 2021
Response to Senator Hanson-Young - Request for audit - Fox Sports