Nine announces Melbourne Cup deal to 2029

Nine becomes home to iconic racing event from 2024- 2029, with production managed by VRC Media.

Nine Entertainment has confirmed a broadcast, media and sponsorship deal for the Melbourne Cup Carnival from 2024 to 2029.

The agreement with The Victoria Racing Club & Tabcorp will span year-round sponsorship, and domestic and international media rights for the Carnival.

Nine will be the free to air partner of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, including audio-visual rights for broadcast, streaming, mobile, digital and social platforms.

The Melbourne Cup Carnival will also broadcast on all SKY platforms and the TAB app, with Tabcorp having the right to on-sell the coverage to wagering providers. Tabcorp will be the exclusive wagering integration partner for Nine’s broadcast.

Nine will broadcast all four days of the Carnival –Derby Day, Melbourne Cup, Oaks Day and Stakes Day – live and in high-definition on Channel 9 and streamed on 9Now.

Nine CEO, Mike Sneesby said: “The Melbourne Cup is an iconic Australian sporting event and has been part of our nation’s cultural fabric for more than 160 years. It has a rich heritage, synonymous with legendary sporting names such as Phar Lap and Makybe Diva, and Nine is honoured to be able to broadcast this world-renowned event across our platforms from 2024.”

VRC Chairman Neil Wilson said ,“The VRC is delighted to extend and enhance its long-term partnership with Tabcorp. 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.

“The Melbourne Cup Carnival is Australia’s pre-eminent racing event, and 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 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.”

Nine’s securing of the event follows Network 10  citing concerns over an increasing focus on gambling by Tabcorp and the Victoria Racing Club. Last year reports emerged that Tabcorp had taken control of all the broadcast rights for the Cup for worth around $25m annually and sublicenced to free-to-air, pay-television, digital and international distribution rights.

From 2024 the VRC indeed take the reins on managing the production for racing coverage through VRC Media, working closely with Tabcorp and Nine.

VRC Chief Executive Officer Steve Rosich said, “The partnership with Tabcorp and the arrangements with Nine have been developed by our close strategic alignment and a desire to grow and innovate in our industry.

“We are thrilled that in 2024 the Melbourne Cup Carnival will join the Nine big event stable alongside the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Australian Open and State of Origin.

“Nine’s capability to showcase coverage of Melbourne Cup Carnival racing and events across the depth of their leading broadcast and streaming assets make for a compelling partnership outcome.”

Mr Rosich also thanked Network 10 for their previous broadcasts.

“The VRC acknowledges and thanks Network 10 for bringing together exceptional coverage of the Melbourne Cup Carnival since 2019. In partnership with Network 10 the VRC has expanded the range and reach of Cup Week across domestic and international audiences, and we were delighted to finish the partnership on a high, with increased viewership on Network 10 and 10 Play.”

10 Responses

  1. One wonders how much Nine actually wanted this vs pressure to purchase it (which sounds ridiculous commercially speaking), but with the antisiphoning legislation and 10 & Seven pulling out… Of note there was no official announcement to the ASX today (unlike their recent TA, NRL renewals and Olympics).

    1. 7 didn’t have to do anything – they already have the rights to show the race thru their racing.com contract on 68 / 78, which is the coverage racing people watch. They pulled out of having to produce 26 hours of live tv which is saturated with so called stars and celebrity’s constantly telling us who they are dressed by…

    1. Deejays get on the GeeGees!!! Love the sport – incredible amount of revenue in Victoria, bit of an iceberg effect when you look past the Spring Carnival and factor in the 355 Days of Racing!!!

  2. Funniest part for me during the interview on Today was Tony Jones making jokes about Eddie McGuire being up in the helicopter and not being forgotten. Very funny!

  3. As much as I don’t watch horse racing, good for Nine to broadcast Melb Cup. They deserve a chance. GTV9 is strengthening its commitment to local programming — tennis, Footy Clasified, Sun Footy Show, My Room Telethon, Carols, Moomba, Tipping Point, Melb Storm matches and the State of Origin this year. This is going to turn Nine Melbourne’s ratings around into a powerhouse market.

    1. It does seem like Nine’s Melbourne news has seen better ratings since Alicia and Tom took over the bulletin. Picking up the Melbourne Cup should help Nine counter Seven’s performance with news and the AFL, which has been stronger in recent years.

  4. Yay, and now we will get MAFS – The Melbourne Cup edition, as the telecast will be all about them and not about the racing. The telecast on Commercial FTA, for as long as I can remember, has only ever been for the once a year punters that are only interested in the glitz and glamour of the people in the free tents. Rusted on Racing people will always watch on 68 / 78 where the coverage is all about the horse and not about the fascinator…

    1. Good question. I would expect that Nine will pull out all the stops for the Melbourne Cup, and having A Current Affair broadcast on location could be a key part of that.

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