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Perrin Bids on TV Rights for Racing

5 January 2004

AUSTRALIA – As reported by the Australian: "Former Billabong chief executive Matthew Perrin has emerged as the head of a syndicate vying for the television rights for horse racing in NSW and Victoria.

"A cashed-up Mr Perrin is making the transition from surf to turf after departing Billabong in July last year when he lost the faith of investors by famously dumping $66 million worth of shares.

"The bid for the TV rights comes in the middle of a battle for control of the Australian gambling market with NSW's TAB – owner of Sky Channel – under siege from Victoria's Tabcorp and Queensland's Unitab.

"Sky Channel holds the rights to broadcast Victorian and NSW race meetings and helps generate two thirds of TAB's annual wagering business. However, a landmark deal struck on Friday will see future TV rights negotiated by ThoroughVision – a joint venture of the NSW clubs and the Victorian racing industry.

"As a consequence, the odds are stacked against Sky Channel's bid to retain the TV rights when the existing agreements end in March.

"…Mr Perrin is connected to several influential members of the racing fraternity including the chairman of the Sydney Turf Club Bruce McHugh…"

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