Exclusive: U.S. investigates broadcasters in widening FIFA case

Sun Dec 13, 2015 6:18pm EST
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By Mica Rosenberg and David Ingram

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A sports marketing company that was described in a sweeping indictment this month as retaining contracts because of the "support" of corrupt soccer officials has longstanding ties to the U.S. entertainment company 21st Century Fox, according to securities filings and other government documents.

The description of T&T Sports Marketing Ltd in the indictment signals that U.S. prosecutors have intensified their focus on media companies and what they might have known about any bribes, people familiar with the matter said.

When prosecutors announced their corruption investigation of world soccer's governing body FIFA in May, they spoke in court papers about "an array of broadcasters and advertisers" but otherwise did not specifically address their role.

21st Century Fox listed T&T as a subsidiary last year in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Its investment in the company stretches back to 2002, government documents from the United States and Argentina showed.

Fox had no operational control of T&T, a Fox spokeswoman said. She declined to comment further.

Fox was not named in the indictment and was not accused of any wrongdoing. T&T was also not accused of any wrongdoing.

T&T, which is registered in the Cayman Islands, does not have a listed telephone number and it was unclear if it has employees of its own.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, where the cases against top soccer officials and entities were brought, declined to comment. A spokeswoman for the FBI also declined to comment.   Continued...

A journalist walks in front of FIFA's headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland December 2, 2015.    REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann