Corey Brown riding Rekindling celebrates as he returns to scale after winning race 7, the Emirates Melbourne Cup

Victoria Racing Club and SKY Sports Racing enter exclusive UK & Ireland Rights Partnership

The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) has signed a long-term deal with Sky Sports Racing which will see it broadcast exclusively in the UK and Ireland the Melbourne Cup Carnival, including the Lexus Melbourne Cup – Australia’s richest handicap race and one of the world’s most historic races.

The Melbourne Cup Carnival attracts huge crowds of more than 310,000 over the four days each year and is recognised as the highlight of the Australian racing calendar.

The deal with Sky Sports Racing covers all four days of the Carnival including AAMI Victoria Derby Day, Kennedy Oaks Day and Stakes Day as well as Lexus Melbourne Cup Day. Sky Sports Racing will also have on track exclusivity among UK and Ireland broadcasters.

The British Isles have held a long association with the Lexus Melbourne Cup. Ireland’s Vintage Crop became the first northern-hemisphere trained horse to win the great race back in 1993, sparking a phenomenon of incredible internationalisation of the world’s richest two mile race.

Last year, seven Irish-trained horses and four UK-trained horses competed in the Cup, with Ireland's Joseph O'Brien becoming, at 24, the youngest winning trainer in the history of the Melbourne Cup thanks to the success of his horse, Rekindling.

VRC Chief Executive Officer Neil Wilson said:

“Sky Sports Racing will be a great new home for the Melbourne Cup Carnival in the UK and Ireland. We are very pleased that Sky will be supporting one of the largest racing events in the world and we look forward to working with them to showcase the racing and theatre of the Carnival across the four days. Positioning the Lexus Melbourne Cup and our other world-class races during Cup Week alongside Sky’s other premium global sporting events will support the increasing global awareness of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.”

At The Races Chief Executive Matthew Imi said:

“The Lexus Melbourne Cup is one of the most prestigious and famous races anywhere in the world and we are delighted to start this important new partnership with VRC. This agreement covers not just the Cup race but the whole Carnival across four spectacular days and we will aim to maximise its exposure and convey the excitement of the week across our broadcast, digital and social channels.”


About VRC and the Melbourne Cup Carnival

  • Host of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, the Victoria Racing Club at Flemington was founded in 1864 and is the world’s largest member-based racing club, with more than 30,000 members.

  • Regarded as the world’s most vibrant racing event, the Melbourne Cup Carnival is a uniquely Australian celebration of sport, fashion, food and wine and culture, attracting more than 310,000 racegoers to Flemington Racecourse over four magical racedays each year and injecting more than $444 million into the Victorian economy.

  • The jewel in the Melbourne Cup Carnival crown is the Lexus Melbourne Cup, a 3200m Group 1 staying race, one of the world’s richest, offering $6.25 million in prize money and held on the first Tuesday in November.

  • The Lexus Melbourne Cup is in its 158th year and is older than many other prominent races around the world. The race brings the nation to a standstill, with the day a public holiday in Melbourne.

About Sky Sports Racing

  •  Sky Sports Racing is the successor channel to At The Races and will be produced at Sky’s studios in Osterley alongside all other Sky Sports channels. It will launch in full HD on or before January 1st, 2019 and become the eleventh Sky Sports channel.

  • Sky Sports Racing will be available in over 14 million homes in the UK and Ireland, as is At The Races currently.

  • Sky Sports Racing will raise the bar in terms of production and presentation standards associated with the daily coverage of horse racing in the UK.

  • Sky Sports Racing and its content will benefit from the power and resource of Sky and Sky Sports across a full range of channels, products and digital platforms reaching millions of sports fans.

About At The Races

  • At The Races is a joint venture between Sky, Arena Racing Company and other racecourses.

  • Broadcasting 24 hours a day, ATR is available to over 14 million multi-channel homes across the UK and Ireland through Sky and Virgin Media.

  • attheraces.com is the UK and Ireland’s leading racing website and attracts up to 2 million monthly unique users (Google Analytics) and operates its own odds comparison and integrated betting services.

  • The ATR app commands an average iTunes rating of 4.7 stars and was the first in the UK to offer detailed form and archive video replays.

  • Sport Mediastream is ATR’s wholly owned video streaming division. It serves around 10 million live event streams each month for ATR’s domestic and international rights holder partners.