LIVE television coverage of next year’s Cycling Australia Road National Championship men’s road race is up in the air.
Cycling Australia and SBS are yet to reach an agreement on the live telecast and other coverage of the five-day titles.
Outstanding payments owed by Cycling Australia to SBS have threatened coverage of Australia’s main domestic races next year and are understood to be among a number of claims for unpaid money against the national body.
Cycling Australia head of marketing and communications Ben Godkin said negotiations with SBS were continuing.
“We are working to have it resolved, and the plan is to have the championships broadcast by SBS,” Godkin said. “We expect it to be finalised and we will meet all our obligations as planned.”
Ballarat Regional Tourism is confident its contract with CA will be upheld and a live televised broadcast will go ahead on the Sunday in January.
“We have been assured that there will be a broadcast,” Ballarat Regional Tourism chief executive officer George Sossi said.
“There will be a monetary penalty if it doesn’t go ahead, but we are not going there because we have been assured the broadcast will happen.”
Sossi said that since SBS’ live coverage of the nationals began, the event’s economic impact on Ballarat had increased substantially – posting $3.5 million from this year’s event.
“In the past two years in particular the increase has been much greater than in previous years,” Sossi said.
“The exposure that Ballarat gets through the broadcast, and in the lead up contributes to the economic impact.”
Sossi confirmed the event launch will go ahead in Melbourne on Wednesday, November 20.
“The event has grown in stature since we joined with CA six years ago.
“We’ve enjoyed the growth over that period and we are contracted for at least another two years,” Sossi said.
Fairfax Media reported this week that SBS is still owed $150,000 by CA in contractual fees dating back to May in their 2012-2013 deal that expires at the end of the year, and that the free-to-air broadcaster will not commit to a new two-year contract until the amount is paid in full and in compliance with its own auditing process.
An SBS spokesperson said that no contracts had been signed for the broadcast of the championships.