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.