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Jockeys "Consider Revolt" Over Sponsor Logos

Wednesday, 5th October 2011

Several big-name jockeys “are considering a revolt against a Racing Victoria directive not to wear sponsored undershirts in Melbourne during the spring carnival” reported The Age. Stewards in Melbourne & Sydney last weekend banned jockeys from wearing undershirts with a logo, “but what has incensed many riders is that the RV order singled out promotions for the TAB-owned racing station Sky Channel”. RV (which is in partnership with the clubs-owned racing television channel ThoroughVision) last Friday sent this message to all jockeys in Melbourne & Sydney: “Stewards will be asking riders to follow LR64[2] & refrain from wearing promotional skivvies with advertising such as 4 SkyChannel. The rules clear re this.” One leading rider told the newspaper jockeys believed the edict from RV “to be unfair & many considered ignoring the directive”. He said riders resented being a “pawn” in the racing TV war between Sky Channel & TVN, explaining: “I don't know if it is a restraint of trade, but it is just childish. We aren't paid to give interviews (to TVN) after the races, we do that because we are professional. If I have a deal with another TV company & refuse to talk to the one on track (TVN) they would howl. Professionals do what is best for the sport, but we also have organised sponsorship deals. I can't see why it would be a problem because Sky (Channel) is owned by the TAB, who supply most of the prize-money (for thoroughbred racing).” Sky Channel has “recruited some of the biggest names in racing as Spring ambassadors, including the likes of Hugh Bowman & Melbourne Cup winners Michael Rodd & Corey Brown, who is the star of the popular weekly Off The Rails program on Sky Channel”. The TAB-owned Sky Channel “used such riders to promote the carnival, as it is not allowed access to Sydney & Melbourne racetracks under the deal TVN holds with RV”.

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