The combined might of the NSW and Victorian thoroughbred racing industries has secured a broadcast rights deal to take the sport into a new era.
The thoroughbred industry-owned television company TVN will now control who broadcasts vision of all NSW and Victorian racing until 2028.
Under the previous arrangement the TAB-owned Sky Channel held the rights to provincial and country racing in NSW.
TVN is owned by the Victorian race clubs and the Australian Turf Club which runs racing in Sydney.
The two states generate between 70 and 80 per cent of Australia’s wagering revenue and authorities say Thursday’s announcement gives them the power to explore new international and digital markets.
The respective chairmen of Racing NSW and Racing Victoria, John Messara and Michael Duffy, said the aggregation of the media rights would enable TVN to identify a wider racing audience and represented a new era of co-operation between the two states.
“It is a whole new world,” Messara said.
“It means the industry has more leverage with its most important asset, its media rights.
“When we deal with a third party we will be able to offer a full suite of racing.”
Duffy said racing needed to control its own product to maximise benefits the same way as sports such as the AFL and NRL.
“We have been dragging behind other major sporting bodies,” Duffy said.
“Aggregation is something we have been trying for a long while to get.
“Now we can bring racing to a lot more people.
“The existing operator, Sky, will continue to play an important role.”
Sky has three racing channels which provide wall-to-wall coverage of the thoroughbred events, along with harness and greyhound racing, to pubs and clubs as well as private subscribers.
Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys, who will take a position on the new board of TVN when the due diligence procedure is completed, says a major benefit will be control of the “clock” or race times which are currently determined by Sky.
“The clock is very, very important,” he said.
“Organising the race times is crucial and we believe NSW and Victoria should have some say in when our races are run to maximise wagering on our product.
“At the moment Sky controls that and it presents problems for us with things like twilight trots and dogs.
“Sky may well still be the wall-to-wall provider but we’re here to do deals, to sell to different platforms.
“We want to get the picture out to as many people as possible.
“Aggregation is about multi-channels and new media and enables us to look at different providers.”