Network 10 has withdrawn its bid to broadcast the Melbourne Cup, meaning the landmark five-year $100 million dollar deal it signed back in 2018 will not be renewed.
Nine and Seven will now be battling it out for rights to the Cup which is covered under Australia’s anti-siphoning law – meaning it has to be streamed on free-to-air television.
In a statement 10 said: “Network 10 has declined Tabcorp’s and the Victoria Racing Club’s (VRC) invitation to progress further in the process to secure broadcast rights for the Melbourne Cup Carnival after the current agreement finishes with this year’s Carnival”.
“Network 10 would like to acknowledge the VRC for a successful partnership in broadcasting the Melbourne Cup Carnival to millions of Australians since 2019″.
The broadcaster said it had chosen to broadcast the Cup to reach a younger demographic of viewers.
“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 per cent and 91.4 per cent”.
“Network 10 is proud to have brought the Melbourne Cup Carnival to Australians during two years of COVID-19 restrictions in 2020 and 2021.
Despite the successes, 10 said the shift towards a more wagering-focused product meant tit had to walk away.
“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”.
“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.”
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