Twitter live-streams the Melbourne Cup

This is a post from PRISM’s Social Army – regular short briefings on topics aligned to our business or close to our hearts. Today’s entry is from PRISM Melbourne’s Cameron Kelleher. 


Revolution is afoot in media circles in Australia with confirmation that the prestigious Melbourne Cup, “the race that stops a nation”, will be streamed live on Twitter for the first time this year. The richest two-mile handicap in the world, with a prize purse of more than A$6.2m, the Melbourne Cup takes place tomorrow, November 1.

The hour-long stream will include the race, the build-up and post-race analysis. It marks the platform’s first live streaming deal outside the US.

“Live streaming the race to our audience on Twitter and connected devices, combined with the live commentary and conversation on Twitter, will create a one-screen experience at the centre of the action unlike any other,” a company statement said.

According to statistics released by, there are currently 2.8 million Active Australian Users (AAU) on Twitter per month.

It will be interesting to see what impact the live feed has on the race’s broadcast figures. More than 90 per cent of Australians over the age of 14 are predicted by host broadcaster Channel 7 to watch the race on television.


History was also made last year when Michelle Payne, aboard Prince of Penzance, became the first female jockey to win the race.

The event is a triumph for long-time title partner Emirates Airlines in terms of ROO. Compared with the principal sponsors of other iconic Australian sports events or codes, Emirates’ link with the Melbourne Cup has achieved exceptional cut-through.

According to Roy Morgan Research, 4.7 million people or 24.5% of the population associate Emirates with the Melbourne Cup. That compares with 15.7% (3.1 million people) for Kia and the Australian Open, 10.8% for Toyota and AFL and 10.2% for Commonwealth Bank and Test cricket.

Fast facts:

  • Australians consume the equivalent of 25 million swimming pools of champagne on Cup day.
  • In 2015, the Cup brought 26,000 international and interstate visitors to Melbourne and injected A$155m into the Victorian economy.
  • At peak times, Tabcorp, the betting agency’s system, will process more than 3,000 bets a second on the Cup.
  • The race is the centrepiece of Australian horse racing’s Spring Carnival. By the conclusion of the carnival, Australians will have wagered nearly A$1.5 billion since August.
  • The Cup draws an attendance of more than 105,000.
  • The race is televised live to a global audience of 650 million.



Cameron Kelleher

October 16, 2017