10 parts with Melbourne Cup after 2023
"It became clear that the nature of the agreement between Tabcorp and the VRC would require a move towards a core racing and wagering-focused broadcast product," says 10.
Broadcast of the Melbourne Cup are now a race between Seven and Nine after 10 confirmed it will part company after 2023, citing concerns over an increasing focus on gambling by Tabcorp and the Victoria Racing Club.
It comes amid media reports that Tabcorp has taken control of all the broadcast rights for the Cup for which it is set to pay about $25m annually and sublicence free-to-air, pay-television, digital and international distribution rights.
“Network 10 would like to acknowledge the VRC for a successful partnership in broadcasting the Melbourne Cup Carnival to millions of Australians since 2019,” 10 said in a statement.
“When the landmark rights agreement was struck, we saw it as important to engage new, younger and growing audiences to the Carnival and the sport of racing. We achieved this even receiving a recent Logie nomination for the 2022 Melbourne Cup Carnival broadcast for Most Outstanding Sports Coverage.
“Throughout Network 10’s tenure, the Lexus Melbourne Cup has dominated its timeslot for people 16 to 39, with a 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 the next deal will see Tabcorp have involvement and approval across elements of the production and commentary team of the broadcast.
“Throughout the course of the current negotiations, it became clear that the nature of the agreement between Tabcorp and the VRC would require a move towards a core racing and wagering-focused broadcast product,” said 10.
“Given this likely change in focus combined with commercial constraints of the future agreement, Network 10 considered the preferences of its viewers and advertisers, and politely declined to move forward with the process.
“Network 10 remains the Melbourne Cup Carnival rightsholder for 2023 and looks forward to providing coverage of this year’s Carnival, bringing viewers all the exciting action on and off the track.
“Network 10 wishes Tabcorp and the VRC all the best with their current process over the coming weeks and their new partnership from 2024.”