Betting Giant Tabcorp Emerges as Key Player in Melbourne Cup Broadcast Rights Negotiations

May 21, 2023 | Financial

AUSTRALIA (May 19, 2023) — Tabcorp is vying to secure the broadcast rights to the renowned Melbourne Cup Carnival, in a deal that could be valued at around $100 million over a span of five years.

The extensive rights package includes free-to-air television, digital, and pay television rights. The move comes as Network 10’s existing rights to broadcast “The Race That Stops The Nation” are due to conclude post the race in November this year.

The Australian reports although Tabcorp would own all the broadcasting rights, it would be compelled to sublicense the free-to-air rights to a network, in compliance with the federal government’s anti-siphoning laws.

In this scenario, Tabcorp could retain vital digital and sponsorship rights while also broadcasting on its proprietary Sky Channel service. Additionally, the betting giant also owns three radio stations.

Included in the Melbourne Cup Carnival deal are the rights to the week-long festival of races, which encompass Derby Day, Oaks Day, and Stakes Day.

Channel 10 outbid Seven West Media with a $100 million cash/contra deal for these rights in 2018, however a mixture of Covid setbacks and lack of audience exposure has seen audience ratings for the festival significantly decline over the last five years

CEO of the Victoria Racing Club (VRC), Steve Rosich, maintained confidentiality regarding the negotiations, telling The Australian,

“The VRC is looking forward to showcasing another exceptional Melbourne Cup Carnival in 2023 in conjunction with our broadcast partner Network 10. The VRC’s media rights process for the 2024 Melbourne Cup Carnival and beyond is confidential.”

Tabcorp’s bid for the Melbourne Cup rights follows a successful deal between the company and the Victorian Racing Club. The agreement stipulates that Sky will deliver the international rights for the Melbourne Cup to its international wagering partners in 68 countries for two years.

At the time of this deal, Tabcorp CEO Adam Rytenskild stated,

“More than ever, we value our loyal partnerships, and we are really excited to be expanding our partnership with the VRC. We’re proudly Australian, and we are proud to be the exclusive wagering partner of Australia’s most famous week of racing.”

By: Kevin Perry

SOURCE: The Australian

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