MEDIA RELEASE - WORLD CUP WOES ARE A TURNBULL ‘OWN GOAL’ - 18 JUNE 2018

Labor stands with Aussie football fans furious over the botched coverage of the FIFA World Cup.

This is the Government’s fault and the blame lies squarely at the feet of Malcolm Turnbull.

As Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull ignored warnings that funding cuts would threaten the ability of SBS to fully cover future World Cups.

Instead of listening and ensuring Australians could watch the 2018 World Cup on SBS, Malcolm Turnbull cut millions of dollars of funding from SBS in 2014 and again in 2015.

His trademark ‘telling off’ for Optus today would be laughable if it wasn’t for the millions of Australian football fans left crying over a mess he has created.

In an interview with the SEN radio network today, Michael Ebeid said budget cuts had played a part in the sub-licensing deal with Optus.

“At the end of the day, it does come down to finances. Our revenues have been going down. We’ve had about $40 million in reductions in our government funding.”

Labor welcomes the offer from SBS to help Optus get games into Australian homes, football clubs and other venues if the telco’s problems continue.

Football fans have every right to be aggrieved over games missed due to technical issues.

Malcolm Turnbull needs to guarantee his elitist, out-of-touch Government will make no further funding cuts to SBS or ABC.

Cuts to public broadcasters hurt the public. Labor puts people and the services they rely on first.