The Australian Hotels Association says it is no longer willing to pay for vision of Victorian racing in pubs.
After a 10-day blackout, the TAB-owned Sky Channel and Racing Victoria have failed to reach an agreement to show Victorian racing in pubs, clubs and homes via its Foxtel channels.
The Victorian clubs signed their media rights over to Seven West Media which began re-transmitting the racing.com digital service on Friday via free-to-air channel 78 which will come into full use from August 29.
Peter Burnett, the national president of the AHA, says pubs, which have TAB outlets, have been paying a premium for a product which is now available free.
“The AHA believes that the fair value to be paid for Victorian thoroughbred vision is now zero,” Burnett said in a letter to AHA members.
“There are two key issues for pubs. First, whilst Racing Victoria has provided the vision to Seven West Media free of charge, Racing Victoria is still expecting pubs to pay via an agreement with Tabcorp.
“Second, Racing Victoria sells corporate bookmakers the rights to watch and bet on their races at a far cheaper rate than hotels.
“I note that Channel 78 will be propped up by advertising from corporate bookmakers, who aim to take our customers.
“State governments and the racing industry are the recipient of hundreds of millions of dollars from our pub tabs.
“We have been clear with the racing industry and with Tabcorp that, given the arrangements with Seven West Media to show racing on free to air television, our members are no longer prepared to pay for Victorian thoroughbred vision as part of their Sky racing package.”
Burnett said the AHA supported Tabcorp’s proposal to restore vision to Sky 1 and 2 at no cost.