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Sky Sports Racing adds Melbourne Cup to rights portfolio

Sky Sports Racing, which is set to become the new identity for pay-television channel At The Races, has sealed its second major deal this week by securing exclusive rights in the UK and Ireland to the Melbourne Cup.

The multi-year deal with the Victoria Racing Club is set to take effect with the 2018 Melbourne Cup Carnival, which will run in the Australian city from November 3-10.

Sky Sports Racing has secured exclusive pay-television broadcast rights to the entire Melbourne Cup Carnival including Victoria Derby Day, Kennedy Oaks Day and Stakes Day, as well as Melbourne Cup Day.

Neil Wilson, VRC chief executive, said: “Positioning the Lexus Melbourne Cup and our other world-class races during Cup Week alongside Sky’s other premium global sporting events will support the increasing global awareness of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.”

Earlier this week, Sky Sports Racing struck a three-year extension to its rights deal in the UK and Ireland for US horseracing showpiece the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.

At The Races will broadcast the 2018 World Championships exclusively live in the UK and Ireland. Sky Sports Racing will then broadcast the 2019 and 2020 events exclusively live following the launch of the new HD, dedicated racing channel, as the successor to ATR, in January.