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Volume 7 No. 149
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Channel Seven Set To Invest In Horse Racing, With Wagering Licenses The End Goal

Channel Seven "is poised to become a major force in horse racing -- to the point where the free-to-air network could angle for a wagering licence in the future," according to Andrew Webster of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. There are "plans for racing television channel TVN to run all of its content on one of Seven's digital channels." As it stands, TVN already pays Seven about A$2M ($1.87M) "to show 28 meetings a year on 7TWO." But the association "is about to get a whole lot stronger, with the racing network keen to expand into free-to-air TV," rather than have a viewing audience of 30% on subscription TV. The end game for Seven "is the long-term view of acquiring a wagering licence: first in Western Australia and then in Victoria." One figure close to the negotiations said, "Something like Seven-bet." The "deal maker behind the scenes is Gold Coast businessman Scott Perrin, who made his fortune alongside brother Matthew when they sold their stake in surfwear giant Billabong" for A$490M. Perrin, who "did not return calls," has been dealing with Racing New South Wales Chair John Messara and ATC Vice-Chair Laurie Macri (SMH, 9/4).