Melbourne Cup: Ex-employee slams Channel 10’s ‘befuddling’ host choice

Melbourne Cup broadcaster Channel 10 has been criticised by an ex-employee for snubbing its Princess of the Punt for a host from The Project.

Longtime former Perth-based sport presenter Tim Gossage said Ten made a “befuddling” decision to hand co-hosting duties to Gorgi Coghlan when it had Caty Price in its stable.

Coghlan, who is a panellist and occasional fill-in host of The Project, will lead today’s free-to-air coverage from Flemington alongside Stephen Quartermain.

Price will fill a reporting role but Gossage said it was a wasted opportunity after watching Price host the network’s coverage on Melbourne Cup eve.

“How good is Caty Price,” Gossage tweeted. “Knows her stuff and lets the expert talk … why she isn’t hosting the race day coverage is befuddling. (She’s) refreshing and knowledgeable.”

Ten is under pressure to deliver a polished broadcast after facing criticism during last year’s event.

In a summer where the cricket shifted from Nine to Seven, the tennis moved from Seven to Nine and the Cup moved from Seven to Ten, viewers missed the familiar face of Bruce McAvaney leading the coverage from Flemington.

After shelling out $100 million for the rights to the biggest day in Australian racing from 2019 to 2023, Ten’s first year fell flat as it lost a whopping 500,000 viewers from Seven’s effort in 2018 across the five city metro market.

Caty Price and Gorgi Coghlan.Source:Instagram

In 2019, 1.44 million metro viewers tuned in to watch the race itself, won by Vow and Declare, while 1.13 million watched the presentation.

By comparison, the 2002 broadcast reached 2.5 million Australians at its peak. It fell below two million viewers in 2017 and hasn’t managed to climb back up since.

Ten’s team this year includes international racing expert Francesca Cumani, trainer Peter Moody, form expert David Gately, group one winning jockey James Winks, horseback interviewer Brittany Taylor and a team of reporters.

It will also roll out a line-up of Australian music stars that will be sprinkled across the day, including Delta Goodrem who will sing her latest track Solid Gold.

The big day also sees alt-rock band The Rubens perform their new single Time of My Life from Sydney Harbour, Pete Murray singing Found My Place from Byron Bay and The Masked Singer Australia winner and Neighbours star Bonnie Anderson on national anthem duties.

If you’re still looking for a winner, here's our comprehensive runner-by-runner guide, or if you’re up for a laugh, check out these revealing photos from previous years.

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