A federal government minister insists there's no great conspiracy underpinning a plan to give Fox Sports $30 million of taxpayer cash to broadcast more women's sport.
Labor believes the grant is merely a corporate handout, questioning what conditions if any are tied to the deal, after a request for correspondence between the minister and Foxtel before the budget yielded no results.
"There is nothing unusual in the budget context that there are not correspondence between the department and stakeholders," Communications Minister Mitch Fifield told parliament on Thursday.
Senator Fifield said Labor would have cried "conspiracy" regardless of whether there was a paper trail or not.
"There is a funding deed being negotiated, as you would expect, as is common practice when there is a grant," he said.
There would be requirements and milestones attached to the public funding, the minister said.
The opposition is also peeved taxpayers' money is being thrown at a TV service they must pay to access.
Senator Fifield noted about 70 per cent of all women's sports coverage in Australia was shown on Foxtel's sports channels.
"Fox Sports has a good track record of providing coverage for sports with a lower profile that are neglected by the free-to-airs," he said.