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Nine Entertainment Co. has secured the broadcasting rights to the Melbourne Cup, signing a “groundbreaking” six-year deal with Tabcorp and the Victorian Racing Club (VRC).

The agreement will see VRC and Tabcorp entering into a partnership, combining year-round sponsorship from 2024-2029, and domestic and international media rights.

CEO of Nine, Mike Sneesby said, “The Melbourne Cup is an iconic Australian sporting event and has been part of our nation’s cultural fabric for more than 160 years.”

“It has a rich heritage, synonymous with legendary sporting names such as Phar Lap and Makybe Diva, and Nine is honoured to be able to broadcast this world-renowned event across our platforms from 2024.”

Nine were heavily tipped to take over the broadcasting, after Ten and Seven pulled out of negotiations late last year.

The Melbourne Cup brought in 1.11 million viewers across the five capital cities last year, as well as 1.68 million nationally, which included streaming.

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This was higher then the estimated 1.35 million viewers nationally, but under the 1.695 million from 2021. It’s also much lower than the 2.12 million that watched in 2014.

VRC Chairman, Neil Wilson noted the deal was an important strategic announcement for the three companies and the industry.

“As Australia’s first major event, the Melbourne Cup Carnival will sit very appropriately in the calendar of Nine’s Wide World of Sport major event coverage.”

“The Melbourne Cup Carnival is Australia’s pre-eminent racing event, and the partnership continues the VRC’s unwavering commitment to showcasing the very best the sport of racing has to offer and attracting new fans to the sport… [It] is one of Australia’s most culturally and economically important major events, and it is right here in Melbourne – considered by many as the sporting capital of the world.”

VRC Chief Executive, Steve Rosich revealed the partnership underlined the commitment to being a world leader in racing, sponsorship, media, and event experience.

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“The partnership with Tabcorp and the arrangements with Nine have been developed by our close strategic alignment and a desire to grow and innovate in our industry.”

“We are thrilled that in 2024 the Melbourne Cup Carnival will join the Nine big event stable alongside the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Australian Open and State of Origin.”

He also thanked Network 10, which had a five year partnership broadcasting the event.

“The VRC acknowledges and thanks Network 10 for bringing together exceptional coverage of the Melbourne Cup Carnival since 2019. In partnership with Network 10 the VRC has expanded the range and reach of Cup Week across domestic and international audiences, and we were delighted to finish the partnership on a high, with increased viewership on Network 10 and 10 Play.”

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