Nine to become new home of the Melbourne Cup

Nine Network has secured the broadcast rights for the Melbourne Cup, striking a deal with the Victorian Racing Club (VRC) and Tabcorp to air the spring racing carnival.

The deal, which will start this year, brings to an end a complicated and drawn-out process with wagering firm Tabcorp striking a broadcast, media and sponsorship deal with the VRC. Nine is the free-to-air partner, fulfilling the legal requirement to broadcast the Cup live and free to Australians. The deal also includes the rights for Oaks Day, Stakes Day and Derby Day.

Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Mark Zahra rides Without A Fight to victory in the 2023 Melbourne Cup.
Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Mark Zahra rides Without A Fight to victory in the 2023 Melbourne Cup.Credit: Eddie Jim

Negotiations have been ongoing between Nine, the VRC and Tabcorp for more than six months after Seven and incumbent rights’ holder Network Ten dropped out early in the tender process.

Exact details of the agreement have been kept confidential. However, a number of people with knowledge of the process but not authorised to speak publicly said Nine’s broadcast deal was not as much as Ten’s previous $100 million outlay across five years. However, the total package, which includes broadcast, media and sponsorship, is a more lucrative deal for the VRC, with Tabcorp picking up most of the bill.

The racing carnival will also be broadcast across Tabcorp’s SKY racing channel and on the TAB app.

The previous broadcast deal ended in November. The Melbourne Cup aired to a national audience of 1.3 million in 2023, according to figures from ratings agency OzTAM, a slight rise from a record low in 2022. Interest in the live broadcast has steadily declined recently, with competition from different race meets airing on network Seven.

Seven broadcasts several major races in NSW including the Everest, Golden Eagle, and the Big Dance, some clashing with Melbourne’s spring racing carnival.

The Melbourne Cup is protected under federal anti-siphoning legislation and must be available for Australians to view on free-to-air television. Under the deal, Nine will be the exclusive broadcast partner for the entire Melbourne spring carnival across its app 9Now.


Nine chief executive Mike Sneesby said the Melbourne Cup was an iconic Australian sporting event, part of the country’s cultural fabric for more than 160 years.

“Nine is honoured to be able to broadcast this world-renowned event across our platforms from 2024,” Sneesby said.

VRC chair Neil Wilson said it was an important strategic announcement for the racing industry, with the Cup also an appropriate fit for Nine’s Wide World of Sport calendar.

“The Melbourne Cup 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,” Wilson said.

Tabcorp already holds the international rights to the carnival, part of a separate deal with the VRC.

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Source: Thanks