Fox Sports Implicated in Corruption Scandal, Alleged to Have Paid Bribes for Media Rights

Fox Sports (FOXA) is among the media outlets that have been implicated in a widespread corruption scandal. The company allegedly paid bribes to FIFA executives to guarantee future media rights and expand its reach from Argentina to the U.S. Alejandro Burzaco, a government witness and the former CEO of sports marketing company Torneos y Competencias SA, testified that Fox Sports executives were aware of the bribery. The accusations stem from a 2015 corruption case, brought by the FBI and IRS, accusing three former FIFA executives of wire fraud, racketeering and money laundering. Those accusations forced the resignation of FIFA president Sepp Blatter and have resulted in guilty pleas from 12 officials to date. Fox Sports and Televisa have yet to comment, while Globo has denied any wrongdoing.

Howie Long-Short: The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority is currently taking a deep dive in to FOXA’s culture, before it decides if it will allow the proposed $15.4 billion acquisition of the remaining interest in Sky Plc (SKYAY); so, these allegations could be costly. The three accused FIFA executives are facing jail time. FOXA “won” (there was no bidding process) the right to pay $200 million to broadcast the 2018 World Cup in English — a tournament that won’t include the United States. There are no winners in this story.

Fan Marino: Speaking of the World Cup, Italy, Chile and Holland also failed to qualify and their unexpected absence means that Adidas (ADDYY), not Nike (NKE), will outfit the most teams in Russia. Germany, Argentina and Spain will be among a dozen squads wearing the three stripes. Nike will still have a large presence at the quadrennial event, with 10 teams including; England, Brazil and Portugal sporting the swoosh. Puma would have had the 3rd largest representation (now they’ll share that spot) had Italy and Ghana qualified as anticipated; Uruguay and Switzerland are also aligned with Puma and will participate.

Fox, Globo Among Broadcasters Linked to FIFA Corruption

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Author: John Wall Street

At the intersection of sports & finance.

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