Ten hasn’t overpaid for the Melbourne Cup, says boss Paul Anderson

Ten boss Paul Anderson doesn’t believe the network has overpaid for the Melbourne Cup rights, saying the network sees the horse race and associated carnival as an opportunity to promote its future summer lineup as an alternative to Seven and Nine’s sports focus.

Anderson’s comments come after Ten revealed earlier this week it had won the rights to the Victoria Racing Club’s Melbourne Cup carnival from the Seven Network with a $100m bid.

Paul Anderson: CBS will be a ‘game changer’

“Normally that’s the claim of the incumbent that’s lost them,” Anderson told Mumbrella.

“The way we look at this is this is the jewel in the crown of the racing calendar. It’s the most prestigious racing carnival in Australia and one of the most prestigious in the world and that presents both us and the Victorian Racing Club with a lot of opportunities.

“Our plan is that is this is not just about the racing carnival that only lasts one week, this is a sport, or racing carnival that will live on across the whole year and it gives us the opportunity to play in a space with a group of advertisers that we don’t ordinarily play with in any meaningful way, so it’s a wonderful opportunity for us.

“We see the race is not just about a few minutes on the Tuesday afternoon, it’s not just about those four days that week, it’s about telling the story across the year.

“The event, the horses, the personalities and also the extension that comes with horse racing as they do with a bunch of other sports around fashion, food and entertainment. There’s a global trend amongst sporting events that’s broadening their footprint out of just the sport they are broadcasting.

“Tennis is a good example, they are doing exactly the same thing.

Anderson said he sees the event as a promotion opportunity for the network’s other offerings: “I think it’s a springboard for our programming full stop, what it does is it gives us a platform to promote our programming across summer which is part of our new strategy to have a 52 week entertainment schedule rather than sticking to this arbitrary ratings period from February through to November which free to air has traditionally done.”

The summer ratings break now damages the free to air sector, Anderson believes: “Traditionally free to air has given up over summer and in the past has lost ground to Foxtel, so I think FTA must realise that we need to program right across the year and we also need to program through the evening.

“And what we know with Gogglebox and Have You Been Paying Attention, shows at 8.30 with Australian content resonate very very well with the audience. There’s a lot of opportunity there, and that goes for summer as well.”

The Ten boss also flagged he sees non-sports coverage as an opportunity over the summer break: “We will be the alternative, whether its Seven or to Nine with tennis and we we know that strong content, and I think Masterchef is a great example across this winter when State of Origin was on the Masterchef audience only declined by a very small amount.

“That shows you here’s a big chunk of the population out there are up for watching something other than sport.”


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.