Tabcorp is planning a +AUS $100m (€61.m) bid to become the Melbourne Cup broadcast rights holder, the marquee fixture of Australia’s Spring Carnival.
The ASX betting group is reported to be in negotiations with Victoria Racing Club, in which it seeks to become the ‘local and global’ distributor for the “race that stops the nation”.
Held every November, the Melbourne Cup is Australia’s biggest racing event featuring a prize pool of +$6m and is watched by a global audience of 700m viewers across 120 nations.
Victoria Racing Club will open bidding on Melbourne Cup broadcast rights, as its existing contract with Network Ten will expire in 2024. Network Ten came under criticism last year as domestic viewership of the race fell under 1.5 million viewers.
Tabcorp has previously served as international rights holder to the Melbourne Cup between 2020-to-2022 via its broadcasting business Sky Racing.
The partnership allowed Sky to present the Melbourne Cup in 68 countries via international wagering partnerships and its US business, Sky Racing World.
If successful in acquiring the Cup’s domestic rights, Tabcorp will likely sublicense the free-to-air coverage to the broadcasters of Nine Entertainment, Seven West Media and Network Ten.
Tabcorp, which also owns two broadcasting businesses and three radio stations, is the naming rights partner of the Champion Stakes Day, an event that takes place after the Melbourne Cup.
Tabcorp’s CEO, Adam Rytenskild, expressed excitement about expanding the partnership with the Victoria Racing Club, emphasizing the company’s Australian roots and exclusive wagering partnership with the club.