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Queensland will join a national free-to-air coverage of racing on Network Seven during its winter racing

Queensland will join a national free-to-air coverage of racing on Network Seven during its winter racing.

But negotiations for Sky Channel’s premier station to show Brisbane full-time on free-to-air television have stalled.

It means there will be two coverages of the four winter meetings – Sky and Network Seven which announced on Thursday it would show Melbourne and Adelaide racing in coming weeks with Brisbane joining later for four days of its carnival.

The Brisbane meetings to be shown will be on May 23, May 30, June 6 and June 13.

The highlight will be the June 6 meeting which will feature the only two Group One races of the winter – the Stradbroke Handicap and J J Atkins.

The carnival has been cut back because of the effects of coronavirus with the public locked out of meetings.

“With racegoers unable to attend some of the traditional highlights on the Queensland racing calendar such as the Stradbroke, we wanted to showcase our product across the nation to as many people as possible,” Racing Queensland chief executive Brendan Parnell said.

General manager of Seven Brisbane, Ben Roberts-Smith, said Seven had shown the winter carnival live on free-to-air for many years and he welcomed Queensland’s return to their coverage in 2020.

“The Group Two Victory Stakes and Champagne Classic will commence the Seven Network’s coverage at Eagle Farm on May 23 before moving to Doomben for the Group 3 Chairman’s Handicap and Fred Best Classic on May 30,” he said.

“The Stradbroke and the J J Atkins headline the coverage on June 6 before the fourth and final meeting is held at Eagle Farm on June 13 featuring six black-type races including the Group Two The Roses.”

There have been behind the scenes negotiations for Sky Channel to show its premium station on free-to-air but Sky has been unable to come to a commercial agreement with Seven.

It is understood Channel 10 is keen to deal with Sky but it has been stymied by the complicated media agreements in Queensland.

RQ and the Brisbane Racing Club have separate media deals with pay and free-to-air companies.

It is also causing problems with the overall media rights negotiations which have been going on for almost a year.

The Queensland media rights contract needs to be in place by July 1.

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