Friday, February 16, 2007
More horseracing on free-to-air broadcasting in Australia

Australian’s channel NINE has agreed with the pay television racing channel ThoroughVisioN for free-to-air coverage on 13 feature race days in Melbourne and Sydney. The agreement does not include the main Victoria Racing Club meetings, like the Melbourne Cup, which continue to be broadcast by rival channel SEVEN.

The race clubs whose meetings are covered in the new arrangement used to pay substantial fees to channel SEVEN to get their meetings broadcasted. It is said that the clubs will still have to pay for the broadcasting by NINE, but much less, around US$1,5M. The saved expenses, according to the clubs, will be used to increase price money. The clubs also welcome the deal, as it will provide more TV coverage, which will expand sponsorship possibilities.

Although the race clubs pay free-to-air channels for broadcasting the races, an exception is made by The Victoria Race Club. This club is said to receive almost US$3,5M for broadcasting rights for the Melbourne Cup Festival.