Stephen Ferguson, National CEO of the Australian Hotels Association (AHA), has today backed calls by its members for Sky Racing to be given permission by TVN to broadcast NSW and Victorian thoroughbred racing into pubs and clubs across the country this weekend.
Mr Ferguson said he had been in close contact with Sky Racing and TVN in the few days since they had announced that they had been unable to reach an agreement over broadcasting rights.
“We thank FOXTEL and TVN for their efforts to minimise any disruption by providing a broadcast into pubs and clubs that have FOX SPORTS; this is unfortunately not a complete solution,” Mr Ferguson said.
“Many of our smaller pubs and country pubs do not have access to FOX SPORTS, or they have insufficient screens to make this an easily implemented solution that doesn’t adversely impact on the punter.
“Sky Racing has offered to minimise any disruption to punters and our hotels by making its infrastructure available, free of charge, to provide an advertising clean TVN channel.
“This initiative by Sky is a winner for punters in smaller and country pubs and also maximises racing industry revenues from wagering.
“If punters can’t watch the races, they will find something else to do and will be lost to the hotels and racing. We saw that during EI and can’t afford to see it happen now.
“I am calling on TVN to come to the party and provide its permission so that the necessary arrangements can be put in place immediately.
“Times are tough enough in the bush without country punters being able to watch the races and have a bet”, Mr Ferguson concluded.
Contact: Stephen Ferguson 0412 654 000