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SBD Global/January 3, 2013/Media

TVN Wins Aggregated Rights Of NSW, Victoria Racing Through '28

Broadcaster TVN will control the media rights for New South Wales and Victorian thoroughbred clubs "in a landmark deal for Australian racing," according to the AAP. An agreement to aggregate the media rights of all thoroughbred clubs "in Australia's two strongest racing states" was signed on Dec. 24. Under the agreement, TVN will hold the rights to broadcast thoroughbred racing in NSW and Victoria until '28 (AAP, 12/26). In Sydney, Ray Thomas reported Sky Racing now has three channels televising racing, while TVN "concentrates on the premier gallops meetings." It is "anticipated Sky World will cease operation when existing contracts expire" in June, but Sky Racing 1 will retain its wall-to-wall service that broadcasts live coverage of the nation's three racing codes. Race meetings that "cannot fit into the premier broadcast will continue to be shown on Sky Racing 2." The exclusivity arrangements that prevent Sky or TVN from having presenters on course when they don't have the broadcast rights for those meetings "are expected to be waived, so racing can be showcased to a wider audience." Racing NSW Chair John Messara said a restructured TVN would bring together the NSW and Victorian racing industries in the "most meaningful partnership in each of our long histories." Messara: "The new structure will ensure that TVN showcases our racing product in an optimal fashion under new advertising and editorial policies" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 12/26).

CLEANING HOUSE: In Sydney, Chris Roots wrote the aggregation deal "effectively saved TVN and should allow the sport to move on from the ugly brawling of the past decade." Part of the deal will be a sweep-out of management at TVN. Mark II of the channel "will be put in place in the next month with a board of eight members." Racing NSW and the Australian Turf Club will have two seats each, while the four shareholders from Victoria will each have one seat. There will be an independent chairman, "most likely former News Ltd. CEO John Hartigan," as well as a new CEO, "who has extensive media experience, and there is a possibility of an experienced offsider joining him" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 12/31).
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