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Ten wins Melbourne Cup broadcast rights from Seven

Channel Ten has won the rights to the Melbourne Cup in a deal worth more than $10m, which will see the iconic race move from Seven after this year, Mumbrella understands.

The race is the first big sporting rights win for the network since it lost the Big Bash League cricket rights in April this year. Ten previously broadcast the Melbourne Cup between 1978 and 2001.

Seven has shown the Melbourne Cup since 2002, however last year saw the race’s lowest ever broadcast audience.

The Victoria Racing Club said in a statement: “The Seven Network has been the Victoria Racing Club’s free to air broadcast partner for the Melbourne Cup Carnival since 2002 and this contract remains in place until the end of March 2019. The VRC is in the process of reviewing media rights arrangements for the 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival and beyond. Details regarding this process remain commercial in confidence.”

A Seven spokesperson said: “We are proud of our award-winning racing coverage, but as we have consistently said about the economics of sports rights, the deal must make commercial sense or we will step away.

“While another party has placed a far higher valuation on these four afternoons of television, we will do what is financially responsible and right for our shareholders.”

Seven will continue with its other horse racing coverage which includes the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, The Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate.

Mumbrella has contacted Ten for comment.

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