The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) and Network Ten have announced a new media rights deal for the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
The $100 million, five-year agreement effective from 2019 to 2023 is the biggest in the history of the VRC, and one of the biggest in racing globally.
It entitles Ten to broadcast live the four days of the Melbourne Cup Carnival – AAMI Victoria Derby Day, Lexus Melbourne Cup Day, Kennedy Oaks Day, and Seppelt Wines Stakes Day.
The agreement comprises a suite of Melbourne Cup Carnival media rights, including free-to-air TV, internet, social media, mobile, OTT and HbbTV within Australia.
Ten has also agreed terms with Racing.com to provide live coverage of all races across the Melbourne Cup Carnival on its channels and the Racing.com app. The live vision streaming rights for wagering service providers are excluded from the deal.
Ten previously held the TV rights to the Melbourne Cup Carnival for 24 years from 1978 until 2001, before they moved over to Seven.
VRC put the broadcast rights out to tender for first time in 16 years back in May.
Neil Wilson (pictured above, left), chief executive of VRC, said: “During the comprehensive tender process, Network Ten proved themselves to be the best partner to take us into the future.
“This partnership will extend the Melbourne Cup Carnival to be visible across the network, across platforms and across the full year. In addition, it gives us the opportunity to engage new and growing audiences to our carnival and to the sport of racing.”
Ten CEO Paul Anderson (pictured above, right) said: “We are extremely excited that the Melbourne Cup Carnival is coming home to Network Ten.
“Our network has a rich history with this world-class event having been the broadcaster of the race that stops a nation for over two decades.
“The Melbourne Cup Carnival is one of the most prestigious horseracing events in the world, and Cup day is iconic, not just in the sporting calendar, but for all Australians.
“As part of this landmark media rights partnership, all the thrill and excitement of the Melbourne Cup Carnival story will live on Network Ten across the entire year and be showcased in new ways across our various platforms, including those of our parent company CBS.
“We have a clear alignment between our audiences and everything the Melbourne Cup Carnival has to offer. We are looking forward to working with the Victoria Racing Club and establishing one of the best sporting partnerships in the world.”
The Seven Network will remain the VRC’s broadcast partner for the 2018 Melbourne Cup Carnival.
A Seven spokesperson told B&T: “We are proud of our award-winning racing coverage, but as we have consistently said about the economics of sports rights, the deal must make commercial sense or we will step away.
“While another party has placed a far higher valuation on these four afternoons of television, we will do what is financially responsible and right for our shareholders.”
Seven will still broadcast over 40 Group 1 races, including the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, the Caulfield Cup and Caulfield Guineas, the Cox Plate, the Everest, and Magic Millions Raceday.
Please note: this story has been updated since publishing.