The 2016 Emirates Melbourne Cup, one of Australia’s most followed Thoroughbred horse races, will be streamed to a global audience thanks to a deal between the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) and Twitter.
The partnership for the Nov. 1 race, the richest two-mile handicap in the world, is the first live-streaming deal Twitter’s made for a major event outside the U.S., although it did stream this year’s Wimbledon matches after they were completed.
As it has with NFL Thursday Night Football, Twitter will make the hour-long broadcast -- being produced by the Seven Network along with a pre- and post-race shows – available for free to logged-in and logged-out audience on Twitter and connected devices.
"Twitter is where the world of sport is happening every single day, and Australian sporting events don't come more iconic than the Emirates Melbourne Cup," said Jonathan Harley, Twitter Australia's director of media partnerships. "Live streaming the race that stops a nation with the VRC and the Seven Network, combined with the live commentary and conversation on Twitter, will create a one-screen experience at the center of the action unlike any other."
The @FlemingtonVRC Twitter account will also be Tweeting video clips over the course of the Melbourne Cup Carnival including the concluding stages of every race, fashion, celebrity and venue highlights, and a range of exclusive behind the scenes action.
Twitter, as well as other social media sites like Facebook and Snap (nee Snapchat), are being leveraged by the sports industries to reach younger viewers who are watching substantially more video on their mobile devices and online in general. While the NFL had leaned on Twitter to help it reach Millennial men, the NBA – which has actually seen increasing viewership recently – is partnering with Facebook Live to continue to build its audience.
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