Transmission of Melbourne Cup AIt’s now a race between Seven and Nine after 10 has confirmed it will part ways with the company after 2023, citing concerns about a growing focus on gambling by Tabcorp and the Victoria Racing Club.
It comes amid media reports that Tabcorp has taken control of all broadcasting rights to the Cup for which it would have to pay approximately $25 million annually and sublicense the distribution rights to free-to-air, pay-TV, digital and international.
“Network 10 would like to recognize the VRC for a successful partnership in broadcasting the Melbourne Cup Carnival to millions of Australians by 2019,” 10 said in a statement.
“When the historic rights agreement was reached, we felt it was important to engage a new, younger and growing audience towards Carnival and the sport of racing. We also achieved this by receiving a recent logie nomination for the Melbourne cup carnival 2022 broadcast for the most outstanding sports coverage.
“During Network 10’s tenure, Lexus Melbourne Cup dominated its time slot for people aged 16 to 39, with its commercial share ranging between 81.7% and 91.4%.
“Network 10 is proud to have brought the Melbourne Cup Carnival to Australians during two years of COVID-19 restrictions in 2020 and 2021.”
TV tonight understands that the upcoming deal will see Tabcorp have the involvement and approval of all elements of the broadcast commentary and production team.
“During the current negotiations, it became clear that the nature of the deal between Tabcorp and VRC would require a move to a broadcast product focused on racing and betting,” 10 said.
“Given this likely shift in focus combined with the commercial constraints of the future deal, Network 10 has considered the preferences of its viewers and advertisers and has politely declined to move forward with the process.
“Network 10 remains the Melbourne Cup Carnival rights holder for 2023 and looks forward to providing coverage of this year’s Carnival, bringing spectators all the exciting action on and off the rink.
“Network 10 wishes Tabcorp and the VRC all the best with their current process in the coming weeks and their new partnership as of 2024.”