Sky and Seven take racing rights battle into final furlong   Leave a comment

Sky and Seven take racing rights battle into final furlong

Seven West Media and Tabcorp’s Sky Racing will make their final presentations later this week as the race for Victorian racing’s broadcast rights enters the final furlong.

It is anticipated that the presentations will be made on Thursday to representatives of the Racing Victoria board, representing Country Racing Victoria and the three metropolitan clubs.

The representatives will then report to their respective boards and committees. A decision on the network that will carry racing’s pictures under the new rights deal is expected as early as next week.

Under the joint venture agreement between the racing industry and Tabcorp, Sky Racing 1 (Channel 519 on Foxtel) will screen all Victorian thoroughbred races into homes of pay TV subscribers, TAB and pub TAB outlets. Sky is bidding for international, digital and domestic rights that would permit Victorian racing to be shown on Thoroughbred Racing Central, which showcases NSW racing on Channel 521.

They are willing to pay in the order of $30 million a year for the rights package, the big windfall for the TAB subsidiary in on-selling the vision for simulcasting in other wagering markets around the globe.

Seven West Media, which already televises 26 feature race meetings into homes on free-to-air channels, will have a dedicated channel on the network’s digital platform if its bid is successful.

Costing the Victorian stakeholders an estimated $10m in establishment, plus another $2m in costs associated with staffing the Olympic standard coverage in front and behind the cameras, the earning opportunities for the partners can vastly exceed previous income during the life of the contract.

In the coming season, there will be more night racing than previously gazetted. As well as meetings at Moonee Valley and Cranbourne, lights will come online at the new Pakenham racecourse next January. Night meetings will swell the number of days that two race meetings (one day, one night) occur.

If whispers can be believed, it is possible two gallops cards could become the daily fare, some days featuring day meetings that run parallel to each other.

Racing has been slow, if not plain reluctant, to embrace change over recent decades, though it seems the groundswell indicates there will be broad acceptance from participants if the powers that be go with Seven West Media.

Meanwhile, an injury setback will almost certainly quell speculation of a start in next month’s Stradbroke Handicap for brilliant Doomben winner Najoom. Saturday’s Fred Best Classic winner, Najoom earned a ballot-exemption for the winter carnival feature, but she is not an entry. Trevor Lobb, representing the owner His Excellency Nasser Lootah’s Emirates Park, said the filly would bypass the Stradbroke on Saturday.

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Posted May 25, 2015 by belesprit09 in Uncategorized

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