By Adrian Dunn From: The Daily Telegraph August 17, 2009 12:00AM Increase Text SizeDecrease Text SizePrintEmail Share
Add to DiggAdd to del.icio.usAdd to FacebookAdd to KwoffAdd to MyspaceAdd to NewsvineWhat are these?RACING'S television wars - simmering for the past nine months - are about to boil over with Sky Channel set to announce its own premium thoroughbred channel.
Sky's thoroughbred station, which will operate 24/7, will cover the best three meetings in Australia as well as New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore during a time slot from either 9am or 10am to 9pm or 10pm.
The coverage would then swing to At The Races for the next 12 hours, including events from UK, Ireland, Europe, United Arab Emirates and the US.
Sky remained coy on a launch date, but The Daily Telegraph understands the premium racing channel, Sky 1, as it will be known, will operate from February or March next year.
The introduction of Sky 1 will ease the logjam of races, dogs and trots on the current schedule.
Sky will cover the minnow racing codes on a channel to be known as Sky 2, which will also increase coverage and the ability to showcase their major meetings. Sky 1 and Sky 2 would be covered on Foxtel and AUSTAR.
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TVN last month rejected Sky's offer for a 50/50 partnership that embraced Australian and international racing.
While Tabcorp, which owns Sky Channel, says the merger deal is still on the table, its move to launch its own premium channel will pro- gress regardless.
Tabcorp will also make further entry into the media world with a major newspaper poised to become its official form guide from October 1.
Last Thursday's Victorian Supreme Court decision in favour of Tabcorp against Racing Victoria over its racefields legislation is now likely to have ramifications for interstate racing and codes who followed the RVL model.