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Night Cox Plate "Key To TV Rights Package"
The Gr1 Cox Plate under lights in 2012 "is set to underpin a free-to-air television spring carnival package that could reap more than $2 million for the racing industry," reported The Herald-Sun. Channels 7 & 9 "have indicated to Racing Victoria they are prepared to bid for the rights to show a Friday or Saturday night prime-time Cox Plate, the Caulfield Cup carnival, the 4 days of Melbourne Cup week & selected country cups". Cox Plate sponsor Tatts "is against a night race, but staging the weight-for-age classic under lights will be a condition of sponsorship from 2012". Although the industry has its own pay-TV channel TVN (& races can also be seen on Sky Channel), Racing Victoria chief executive Rob Hines confirmed "free-to-air television was essential for the sport & wagering to grow". The extra appeal "would be prime-time coverage in Asia & into Europe over breakfast".