Tabcorp have released a media statement explaining how Sky Racing has been placed in to a no-win situation by Racing Victoria. Read it below.
View Tabcorp’s media release below:
Yesterday afternoon, Racing Victoria advised that it would schedule Saturday’s Caulfield and Yarra Valley race meetings with 30-minute race gaps as part of an extension of its shorter raceday trial.
Tabcorp and its racing broadcaster, Sky Racing, fully respect racing’s push to innovate and experiment with the raceday experience. However, this must be done with the agreement of the industry nationally where the changes impact on the other states. Australian racing leads the world in presenting its customers with a well co-ordinated racing program that optimises customer experience and industry funding. The importance of a co-ordinated national racing schedule should not be taken for granted.
This decision by Racing Victoria, with minimal notice to the rest of the Australian racing industry, will lead to a situation this Saturday where:
- The country’s two feature races – the Apollo Stakes featuring Winx and the Orr Stakes – will be run within five minutes of each other.
- Five Caulfield races will be run within five minutes of Randwick races, which will not only create problems for Sky Racing and punters, but impact free-to-air coverage of Randwick and Caulfield.
- There is significant additional disruption to the racing schedule, which is traditionally synchronised in the interests of the customer and a national approach to racing.
Sky Racing has been placed in a no-win situation this Saturday where it has to balance obligations to race clubs who expect their meetings to be covered on Sky Racing 1, notwithstanding the Caulfield and Yarra Valley race times.
Sky Racing will be doing its very best to minimise the significant disruption that punters will experience, which is often challenging in a live racing environment where races can run late due to circumstances beyond the control of the respective clubs. Measures to be taken on Saturday include:
- As a one-off, Sky Racing 2 (Channel 520) will be opened up this weekend and be on the base tier for FOXTEL home viewers.
- Caulfield will be given audio priority over non-metropolitan races in TAB venues in the event that a Caulfield race is broadcast on Sky Racing 2.
Turnover on last Saturday’s trial of 30-minute race gaps
Victorian TAB turnover on last Saturday’s meeting at Caulfield was down 2.8% on last year, despite stronger field sizes and the meeting being held at Caulfield as opposed to Sandown in 2015. Turnover on other meetings on the day was down 10.3%. Around 50 per cent of RV wagering revenue is on non-Victorian thoroughbred racing product. This underlines the importance of interstate racing to the funding of the Victorian industry. RV does not get any payment from corporate bookmakers on interstate races. A co-ordinated national racing schedule is essential to optimise industry funding and customer experience, particularly in the retail partner venues.