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RealTime IT News

Telstra Content Deal Not As Easy as ABC

The Australian Broadcasting Corp. has come under fire from consumer groups and media watchers for involving itself in negotiations with Telstra to provide content for the telco major's commercial portal site.

According to reports in most major newspapers on Saturday morning, the ABC is in the late stages of talks to cement a deal which would see Telstra pay the public broadcaster $67 million (US$42.8 million) over five years in exchange for the ABC providing content from its own properties across print, television, radio and Web to the telstra.com portal.

The main complaint against the alleged deal has been that it would open up the ABC to commercial considerations, not just in that its content would be placed near advertisements, but that it would prejudice the ABC's coverage of issues pertaining to Telstra itself.

The newspaper reports quotes "ABC sources" as saying there would be no banners or other advertising on pages on which ABC-sourced content appears. The ABC's own site carries no commercial advertising, but Telstra.com does.

ABC News Online has an existing deal with Yahoo! Australia & NZ to provide news content. The pages on which the ABC stories appear, like the World News section, run house ads for ABC properties.