Finally some good news for horse racing fans with Foxtel today, with the announcement that Victorian Thoroughbred Racing is returning to Sky Racing One and Sky Racing Two from today.
Foxtel viewers and PubTab customers have been prevented from seeing Victorian Racing since the TAB owned Sky Racing blocked vision in June. Sky Racing has been protesting the decision by the Victorian Racing Industry to do a deal with Seven West Media. Seven has been broadcasting an interim service in metro areas on channel 78.
The new deal gives Tabcorp’s subsidiary, Sky Channel Pty Ltd, with non-exclusive domestic TV and digital rights. The arrangements also enable Sky Racing to distribute Victorian thoroughbred racing to overseas markets. The Tabcorp broadcast arrangements expire in 2020.
Its impossible to know just how much this rights dispute has cost Tabcorp while vision has been blocked, Tab Betting Pools have certainly been reduced during the last few months and alternative bookmakers such as Sportsbet reported customer growth.
The new 7Racing channel will broadcast 520 Victorian race meetings per year as part of a 5-year deal that includes night meetings from Moonee Valley, Cranbourne and Pakenham. This website has previously reported that Racing Victoria has agreed to fund the establishment of the new free to air racing service via a 10 million dollar commitment.
This website understands Foxtel is continuing its negotiations with Seven, a Foxtel spokesperson recently telling this website. “We are in negotiation to carry the channel (7Racing) and hope to have a favourable resolution shortly.”
Racing Victoria’s Chief Executive, Bernard Saundry adding, “Seven’s discussions with Foxtel around extending the Channel 78 broadcast to their pay-tv platform are progressing.” ‘Our goal remains to have our racing available to the widest possible audience across a distribution model that incorporates free-to-air TV, pay-tv and digital platforms."