Media partnerships on merit, says ABC.

The ABC has responded to an opinion piece in The Australian in which Chris Mitchell questioned the ublic broadcaster undermining commercial rivals.

“Should the ABC be using its quasi-commercial status to fund overseas entrants like the NYT and Netflix?” he asked. “How and who decides who gets to partner with the ABC and get the benefit of its funding? Should the ABC decide?”

In a statement, ABC said:

Striking editorial collaborations with newspapers or digital media outlets, whether they’re local organisations or international organisations, is a perfectly valid and very worthwhile thing to do.

In a News context, the ABC is doing nothing more than collaborating on worthwhile editorial projects with respected media companies in the broad public interest. We’ve collaborated for example with The Australian, Fairfax, Buzzfeed, the NYT, The Guardian and the ICIJ.

We have close working relationships with BBC, CBC, DW, TVNZ, Shanghai Media and others, and client relationships with Reuters, AP, Storyful and others.

We only enter into these relationships on editorial merit and, other than client services we pay for from agencies, funding is never exchanged.


  1. And Chris Mitchell is an authority on the ABC I suppose, the point that should be better considered is that FTA TV is gradually losing audiences to streaming services which are offering more diverse entertainment for our viewing pleasure. Netflix’s budget of some 8 billion dollars next year certainly represents a huge challenge to the commercial TV industry worldwide especially it’s advertising revenue which in Australia appears to rely on mass produced reality and games show concepts, the ABC should not be criticised for following other overseas national broadcasters using Netflix to broadcast their productions.

  2. Nice bit of “begging the question” there, Chris.

    (For those who don’t read The Oz, don’t bother – it’s just more News Ltd self-contradictory whining painting the ABC as simultaneously too big and powerful to be allowed to exist, and too small and irrrelevant to justify the money allocated to them…)

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