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SECTIONS / WIRELESS & NETWORKING

Telstra Suck Up To News Corp For Favourable PR Spin

By David Richards | Thursday | 26/09/2013

Telstra who are desperate for favourable PR after moving to sack 1,100 staff are now cuddling up to News Corp their 50% partner in Foxtel in an effort to get a favourable spin on stories.

Yesterday the carrier announced exclusively to News Corp journalist's that AFL Grand Final fans will be able to view football next season when Telstra launches Australia's first dedicated sport app for use on Google Glass.

13 hours later the Telstra press release was syndicated to technology journalists. This is not the first time that Telstra has given
"exclusive" stories to their business partner.

Telstra are not saying whether they have an arrangement with News publications to obtain favourable PR in an effort to counter negative stories about their mass sackings, or problems with asbestos in Telstra pits being used for the roll out of the National Broadband Network.

Known for supporting their business partners News recently attracted criticism for their support of the Tony Abbott led coalition during the recent election.

Yesterday the chief executive of the "new" News Corp, Robert Thomson, hinted that they are currently looking to cut a deal with Telstra to deliver a "triple-play" option of cable TV, broadband and telephone to consumers.

What has not been outlined is whether part of the deal is that New Corp will deliver ongoing favourable PR for Telstra.

Mr Thomson told a Goldman Sachs conference in New York yesterday that local Australian executives of News Corp have been in discussions with Foxtel and Telstra in an effort to reach a mutually agreeable deal. 

Mr Thomson said relations were good between the Foxtel partners: "Generally speaking, the partnership between us and Telstra at Foxtel is a very successful one."

A Telstra spokesperson said that the decision to favour News Corporation publications was "an oversight".

Telstra is set to come under pressure as smartphone sales start to platter, also set to impact the network is a move by Optus to deliver a faster 4G network than the Telstra Next G network.

Recently Optus out a second 4G network across four capital that can deliver faster video streams and more consistent data download speeds than the current Telstra network

The new "4G Plus" network is the only mobile broadband network in Australia to use "time division" technology - known as TD-LTE. The 4G networks currently operated by Telstra, use "frequency division" (FD-LTE) technology that is slower than what Optus is now offering.

"For data in particular, when you are in peak areas at peak usage times [having two networks] ensures your data speeds and connections are more consistent ... this is really about focusing our network on where the growth is, and that [growth] is in data," vice president of regulatory and corporate affairs at Optus, David Epstein, said recently. 

In recent months both Telstra and Foxtel have moved to give News Corporation stories ahead of other publications. 

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