09 October 2012

TVN Board brouhaha unearths consultants' bonanza

Cracking yarn from Chris Roots in the Sydney Morning Herald on the brouhaha consuming contenders for the new TVN board, still in caretaker mode and with its CEO about to leave. Roots reports:
"Victoria Racing Club chairman Michael Burn and Melbourne Racing Club chairman Michael Symons have been put forward by their respective clubs. But the Herald understands their (sic) is opposition to both men because they previously held consultancy contracts with the broadcaster.
"The consultancy contracts were identified while Racing NSW was carrying out due diligence on TVN.
"It is understood Burn and Symons charged TVN $15,000 a month each for work on a failed attempt to take over Sky Channel and to secure the continuation of the television rights for Sydney metropolitan racing with the Australian Turf Club last year."
And then this:
"Sources have told the Herald another contract delivered a monthly payment of $30,000 to a consultant involved in the network's foundation that has stood since TVN came into existence in 2006. That payment has been stopped."
All up nice little stipend somewhere north of $2 million. What was that consultant's name again? Who was it that signed off on that contract again? Chris doesn't say.

Wonder if we'll find out who gets the chocolates in the latest deal, which runs to 2028. Some essential background reading on the original 2006 deal which expires in December, via Thoroughbred News. And while you're at it Nick McKenzie's and Pat Bartley's 2008 piece in the The Age on TVN's purchase of Best Bets and Winning Post is long but thorough.

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