SBC News VRC, Tabcorp & Nine to grow Melbourne Cup in new broadcast deal

VRC, Tabcorp & Nine to grow Melbourne Cup in new broadcast deal

The Victoria Racing Club (VRC), Tabcorp and Nine Entertainment (Nine) have formed a broadcast, media and sponsorship deal for the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

The partnership, running from 2024 to 2029, will see the four-day Australian horse racing meeting broadcast on all Tabcorp-operated Sky platforms and the TAB app, with the betting firm having the right to on-sell coverage to other wagering providers.

Meanwhile, Nine will be the free-to-air partner of the carnival, including audio-visual rights for broadcast, streaming, mobile, digital and social platforms. Tabcorp will be the exclusive wagering integration partner for Nine’s broadcast of the event.

Tabcorp CEO, Adam Rytenskild, commented: “Tabcorp’s partnership with the VRC and Nine is the most innovative in Australian sport and we can’t wait to bring our entire digital, broadcast and retail ecosystem together to grow and promote the Melbourne Cup Carnival together.

“This partnership builds on Tabcorp winning the 20-year Victorian exclusive wagering licence and will be a key pillar of our growth strategy. 

“Together with our Brand and Customer transformation, this partnership gives us a terrific platform to grow in Victoria, throughout Australia and around the world as we beam the Cup to more than 60 different countries through Sky Racing.”

In further detail, Nine will be the broadcast home of the Penfolds Derby Day, Lexus Melbourne Cup Day, VRC Oaks Day, as well as the TAB Champions Stakes Day.

The partnership also allows the VRC to ‘invest strategically’ long-term in key areas of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, including member engagement, the year-round racing programme, Flemington Racecourse tracks and facilities, and the broader community. 

It has also promised to bring significant new investment to the racing industry, which will support and fund innovations on and off the track, create new jobs, and further enhance equine welfare initiatives.

“The VRC is delighted to extend and enhance its long-term partnership with Tabcorp,” added VRC Chairman, Neil Wilson. “As Australia’s first major event, the Melbourne Cup Carnival will sit very appropriately in the calendar of Nine’s Wide World of Sport major event coverage.”

Wilson described the Melbourne Cup Carnival as Australia’s pre-eminent racing event, stating that the partnership continues the VRC’s ‘unwavering commitment to showcasing the very best the sport of racing has to offer’ and attracting new fans to the sport.  

“The iconic nature of the event was highlighted by a successful 2023 Melbourne Cup Carnival, with more than 262,000 racing fans at Flemington and millions more engaging with the Lexus Melbourne Cup at home and abroad,” the Chairman continued.

“The Melbourne Cup Carnival is one of Australia’s most culturally and economically important major events, and it is right here in Melbourne – considered by many as the sporting capital of the world.

“As its custodians, the VRC places significant emphasis on protecting the history and tradition of Cup Week, which is loved by so many Australians, while innovating for the future and investing in our club and the major event that is the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

“This landmark partnership is not only good for Melbourne and Victorian racing, but it also guarantees our sport has primacy across multiple platforms and channels.”

The partnership will also enhance the community engagement and economic contribution that followed the 2023 Melbourne Cup Carnival, which saw more than $500,000 raised for different charity groups, an estimated 16,000 jobs generated and the delivery of thousands of visitors to Victoria from interstate and international locations.

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