Free-to-air television viewers are guaranteed coverage of the four day Melbourne Cup Carnival until 2018 after the Victoria Racing Club struck a new deal with the Seven Network.
The Melbourne Cup Carnival continues to get bigger each year with its exposure to a growing number of viewers and the renewed agreement with Channel Seven is of great importance to the ongoing success of one of the world’s greatest sporting events.
“Melbourne Cup Carnival is regarded as Australia’s largest sporting, fashion, social and cultural celebration and it is important that as many Australians as possible will continue to be able to tune into the coverage on free to air television,” VRC Chairman Michael Burn.
“The VRC is delighted that the outstanding relationship we enjoy with the Seven Network will continue for a further five years at least.”
To complement the Melbourne Cup Carnival, the Seven Network was has teamed up with TVN and signed a deal to broadcast the major race days annually until 2019.
The upcoming Melbourne Autumn Carnival will be among the race days to get coverage and will feature the running of the Group 1 $500,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington on Black Caviar Lightning Day.
Australian Guineas Day and Super Saturday with the running of the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) and the Group 1 $1m Darley Australian Cup (2000m) on March 9 will be covered.
Flemington’s Sofitel Girls’ Day Out race day in September with the running of the $505,000 Group 2 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) and Melbourne Cup Carnival Preview Day featuring the Group 1 $500,000 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 5 are also in the schedule.
“Racing’s fans and participants will all benefit from the landmark new broadcasting arrangements, which will provide vastly improved free-to-air exposure for the thoroughbred racing industry,” Mr Burn said.
“No fewer than nine Flemington race days will now enjoy free to air coverage on the Seven Network, which has enhanced its position as Australia’s premier free to air racing broadcaster.
“The VRC is fortunate to have the support of a loyal portfolio of sponsors, and it is therefore important that comprehensive broadcasting arrangements are in place.”
The Seven Network will become the sole free-to-air network to broadcast horse racing and the agreement will also include major race days from the Sydney and Caulfield Carnivals and their coverage will be split up between Channel Seven and 7two.
“The Golden Slipper, The AJC Derby, The Caulfield Cup, The Cox Plate and so many more Group One events will be brought to life in the one dedicated destination,” said Seven chief executive Tim Worner said in a press release.
“Live sport is a key part of Seven’s strategy and we look forward with great excitement to 2013 when at times there will be live sport on all three of our channels simultaneously. It is a great business outcome for Seven and a great breakthrough for viewers.”