Racing NSW moves to break away as racing vision rights war heats up

18 Dec, 2014 11:04 AM

Racing NSW is poised to break away from TVN and begin negotiating with Tabcorp as the bitter vision rights war enters its first day.

For the first time since the early 1980s, TABs in Victoria and NSW will only be able to supply audio of meetings in both states.

Fairfax Media understands that Racing NSW, frustrated by years of infighting at the network, will directly negotiate with Tabcorp for their rights, leaving TVN as a Victorian base.

On Wednesday, negotiations between Sky Channel and TVN broke down after two years of talks.

The blackout does not affect clubs and pubs that have Foxtel on the premises. Fairfax Media also believes that Racing NSW is hoping for a peaceful split with the major race clubs in Victoria that own vision rights in this state.

However Racing NSW may be forced to issue breach notices on TVN as it did when outraged by an agreement struck with the Seven Network.

However it will isolate Racing Victoria from NSW and it's understood Racing NSW would reconsider its position if major race clubs in Victoria pass over their rights to Racing Victoria.

Senior Tabcorp executive Brendan Parnell said that negotiations between themselves and TVN would continue on Thursday.

However country racing executives are deeply concerned by TVN chief executive Bruce Mann's belief that his network would remain on the premium package this Saturday despite the breakdown in talks.

Mann's aim to maintain the premium package would mean that the provincial meeting at Wangaratta would be covered only with radio broadcasts.

TVN has experienced a disastrous decade with poor business decisions, infighting and millions of dollars of wastage tainting its brand name.

Under former chairman Harold Mitchell and CEO Peter Sweeney, it purchased racing newspapers Winning Post and Best Bets for an estimated $14 million. Their value is now closer to $500,000.

It's understood Racing NSW has been infuriated by the exposure in years gone by for corporate bookmakers and relationships with employees and race club officials.

Speculation that the Seven Network was looking to obtain a wagering licence similar to Tabcorp's was ruled out on Thursday.

Tabcorp have an exclusive licence in Australia until 2026 and a second wagering licence has been rejected.



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Sorry did i get it wrong..? Rankins Springs is still open..?!
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No doubt a few frosted Freddies out there who will wish they had taken a closer look at the AGC
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Matthew, I was wondering if you had followed up this story with the farmer after the whole