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Tabcorp acquires David Gallop to join its board

Mon, Oct 14, 3:05pm by Ethan Anderson

Outgoing Football Federation Australia (FFA) chief executive David Gallop will join the board of wagering giant Tabcorp in a major acquisition for Australia’s leading bookmaker.

Tabcorp reported on Friday that Gallop will join the organisation from Monday as an observer on the board before his formal appointment on the board as a non-executive director.

The objective of Gallop’s appointment will be to assist Tabcorp in forming stronger relationships with sporting codes to ultimately win broadcast rights in the future, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

Gallop announced his resignation at Football Federation Australia in July this year with his tenure to formally end on December 31. He was previously the head of the National Rugby League for 10 years prior to joining the FFA in 2012.

“He brings to our board a deep understanding of sports administration and the commercial drivers which underpin it.”

“David has successfully led two of Australia’s highest-profile sporting organisations in the NRL and FFA,” said Tabcorp chairman Paula Dwyer.

In describing his appointment, Ms Dwyer made particular mention of Gallop’s “extensive” experience in negotiating media rights and ability to deliver sports broadcasting digitally.

FFA Cup one of Gallop’s implementations

During his time at the FFA, Gallop oversaw the implementation of the FFA Cup, Australian club football’s version of Englands ‘FA Cup’. He has been involved in several television broadcasting rights for Australian football, including with Fox Sports and Network 10.

The appointment of Gallop is seen to be an important acquisition for the betting giant, who find in more recent times have found themselves competing in the arena of sports broadcasting rights.

Wagering companies have now made it a selling point for their respective organisations to provide live sports broadcasting to their consumers and Gallop’s acquisition in this field should work as a strength for Tabcorp.

Tabcorp have offered Sky Racing broadcasting online for numerous years and also offer punters access to live NBA games throughout the season.

However with global betting outlets such as Bet365 and Unibet offering a significant level of live sports streaming to client, Tabcorp appears to see this aspect of service, a key area in which in can acquire and retain business.

A major step in this department for Tabcorp is its announcement last month of its deal to become the National Football League’s (NFL) official wagering partner in Australia, where it secured the right to simulcast the league’s popular RedZone program in the Sky Racing channel across thousands of venues across the country.

RedZone was developed a decade ago by the NFL’s own television network in the US. The program features simulcasts from each NFL game on a Sunday (US time where coverage switches to whichever game had a team closest to scoring a touchdown.

“We are proud to bring Australians NFL action to enhance our existing sports offering to customers and venues and complement Sky’s unrivalled coverage of Australian and international racing,” Adam Rytenskild, Tabcorp managing director wagering and media, said at the announcement of the deal.

The rise in streaming services by wagering organisations seems to stem from the legalisation of online sports gambling in parts of America over the past year.

Tabcorp is expected to make further board appointments next year ahead of Ms Dwyer and former head of Telstra, Ziggy Switkowski’s expected departures.

Tabcorp received a “first strike” at its annual general meeting last year, which was a result of more than 40% of shareholder votes being cast against its remuneration report. A second strike at October 24’s upcoming AGM, would open the possibility of the entire board being disbanded.

The high profile appointment of Gallop may assist the board in assisting with its voters confidence in their role.

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