Network Ten pulls out of Melbourne Cup bidding

Network Ten won a contract in 2019.
Network Ten won a contract in 2019.

Network Ten has cited Tabcorp’s gambling focus as the reason for its withdrawal.

Australia.- Network Ten, the broadcaster of the Melbourne Cup Carnival horseracing event, has decided to withdraw from the bidding process to broadcast the horse racing event. It says it made the decision in response to Tabcorp’s agreement with the Victoria Racing Club (VRC), which grants the wagering company exclusive control over all broadcast rights.

Ten had been the official broadcaster since 2019 under a five-year deal. However, it has decided not to bid to continue to broadcast the event because the agreement between Tabcorp and the VRC indicated a shift towards a racing and wagering-focused broadcast product. It cited viewer concerns about Tabcorp’s involvement and the potential prominence of the company’s commercials during the event.

The company said: “Network 10 remains the Melbourne Cup Carnival rightsholder for 2023 and looks forward to providing coverage of this year’s Carnival, bringing viewers all the exciting action on and off the track.

“Network 10 wishes Tabcorp and the VRC all the best with their current process over the coming weeks and their new partnership from 2024.”

Seven West Media and Nine Entertainment remain in contention for the broadcast rights and are expected to present their proposals in the coming week. Under Australian anti-siphoning laws, Tabcorp is required to sub-licence the rights to a free-to-air broadcaster.

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