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Ex-CEO testifies Fox Sports partnered with his firm to pay bribes for TV rights

Ex-CEO testifies Fox Sports partnered with his firm to pay bribes for TV rights
From ESPN - November 14, 2017

A former marketing CEO has testified that Fox Sports partnered with his firm to make millions of dollars in bribes to high-ranking officials in exchange for lucrative broadcasting rights to major football tournaments.

Alejandro Burzaco, former CEO of the firm based in Argentina, testified at a U.S. corruption trial on Tuesday that Fox and other broadcasters were involved in a scheme to pay bribes -- concealed using offshore side entities and sham contracts -- that secured rights for the Copa America and other events.

As evidence of the scheme, prosecutors at the trial at a federal court in New York City produced a 2008 agreement for the partnership to pay $3.7 million to a holding company in Turks and Caicos that was an alleged conduit for the bribes. They say it was signed by a former Fox executive.

Asked whom he kept informed about the bribe arrangements, Burzaco responded: "Fox Pan American Sports. Fox Sports."

Through the bribes, the network "gained leverage and rights to broadcast its signal to Argentina" and other parts of the world, he added.

Last year, a Florida-based network that repeatedly lost out on the television rights to tournaments that Fox Sports aired had made similar bribery allegations against Fox in a pending federal lawsuit.

Fox Sports did not immediately reply to a request for comment on Tuesday's testimony.

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