Subsidiary of Fox investigated in FIFA corruption case
T&T Sports Marketing Ltd, a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox based in the Cayman Islands, was named in a Dec. 3 indictment as a company “retaining contracts because of the ‘support’ of corrupt soccer officials,” according to Reuters.
The indictment accuses three executives affiliated with T&T of bribing at least 15 high-ranking FIFA officials to gain support of the company’s exclusive broadcasting rights of soccer events.
Only one of the three executives was named in the indictment — Alejandro Burzaco, the former chairman of Torneos, an Argentinian sports communications firm. Torneos owns 25% of T&T, while a Fox affiliate owns the other 75%.
Fox, T&T and Torneos were not charged in the indictment, however a media company could be found criminally liable if there is evidence it knew about or ignored corruption.
Fox has already begun an internal review of its operations in regards to the larger FIFA corruption scandal that has resulted in arrests and bans of many top FIFA officials, including a one-year ban for former president Sepp Blatter.
A Fox spokesperson said that the company had no operational control of T&T.
Fox became connected with T&T in 2002 when it formed a venture called Fox Pan American Sports alongside Liberty Media Corp and private equity firm Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst. As part of the deal, the equity firm transferred its 50 percent stake in T&T to Fox Pan American Sports, which Fox completely took over in 2011.
Fox Pan American Sports has exclusive rights to broadcast the Copa Libertadores, a major South American club tournament.