They're racing... for control of 2KY | radioinfo

They're racing... for control of 2KY

Friday 09 January, 2004

The Queensland and Victoria TABs are locked in a struggle for control of the New South Wales TAB, which may have repercussions for Sydney racing station 2KY and its regional network.

Race broadcast rights are currently held by Sky Channel TV, which now owns 2KY after recently purchasing it from the New South Wales Labor Council.

Sky Channel (and now 2KY) are ultimately owned by the NSW TAB, which is the subject of the takeover bid.

The takeover negotiations have brought into question the renewal of the TV broadcast rights agreement, which expires in March this year.

To complicate the situation a new player has emerged as a competitive bidder for the television rights to horse racing in New South Wales and Victoria. Former Billabong chief executive Matthew Perrin is heading a syndicate trying to put together a better deal for the TAB race broadcasts. If he succeeds, the radio rights may also be called into question. There is speculation that racing enthusiast and Macquarie Radio owner John Singleton may also be involved in Perrin’s rival bidding group.

Earlier in the negotiations, the Queensland and Victoria TABs said they wanted the New South Wales TAB to divest its ownership of Sky Channel and 2KY before any deal was completed.

To attempt to sort out the tangled web at this stage of the negotiations, radioinfo put a series of questions to a Tab Limted spokeswoman, who explained:

“SKY is currently renegotiating its rights agreement with the AJC and the STC.
The current agreement has an end date of March 2004.

“We have every expectation that we will reach a commercial agreement with the
AJC and the STC and the rest of the racing industry as and when their
agreements come up for re-negotiation.

“There will have to be clarity in the negotiations with the AJC and the STC by
early March.”

The spokeswoman would not comment on the direct impact of the negotiations on 2KY or speculate on the final outcome.

In a footnote to this story, it is interesting to note that there are some changes being made at Victorian racing station Sport 927 as a result of the emergence of the new sports station SEN (see earlier story), while all this is happening in NSW. If there were changes at 2KY, Sport 927 may feel the fallout in some of its Sydney thoroughbred race coverage.

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