Racing Victoria, the governing body for horse racing in the Australian state, has signed a five-year extension to its rights deal with free-to-air commercial broadcaster Seven.
Seven will broadcast 21 feature days of thoroughbred racing each year, while coverage on Racing.com, the 24-7 free-to-air channel owned by Seven and Racing Victoria, will continue on Channel 78 up to and including 2025.
Coverage will include Melbourne’s Spring Racing Carnival and the new contract has been signed ahead of the opening day of the 2020 event on August 29. The deal includes Victoria’s marquee races, with the exception of the Melbourne Cup.
Seven’s previous two-year agreement with Racing Victoria expired on June 30.
Rival commercial broadcaster Ten had sought to replace Seven as Racing Victoria’s rights partner and had tabled a bid worth up to A$25m (€15.2m/$18m) over five years, according to The Age. It is reported that Seven’s commitment to the Racing.com platform ultimately proved key during negotiations.
Ten already covers the Melbourne Cup Carnival through a five-year deal worth A$20m a year until 2023.
Racing.com chief executive Andrew Catterall said: “This is a vote of confidence in the team at Racing.com and the role we play supporting the growth of the Victorian racing industry. With the ongoing support of Racing Victoria and Seven, we have now locked down year-round free-to-air distribution to 2025, providing a solid foundation for Racing.com to pursue new opportunities ahead.”