RMG launches tender for UK horseracing rights

Racecourse Media Group (RMG), the holding company responsible for various media and data rights covering 34 of the UK’s premier racecourses, has launched a tender process for picture rights across a six-year period.

The rights will cover races in a period from 2018 through to 2023.

The tender will focus on licensed betting offices that produce or intend to produce their own channels or channels for their shops.

Rights are currently distributed to bookmakers via Turf TV, the broadcast channel of Amalgamated Racing, a company that is owned jointly, and equally, between media firm Timeweave and Racecourse Media Services.

The current rights deal is due to end in 2018, prior to the six-year period that will be covered by the new tender.

Although RMG did not disclose a timeline for the tender, it did invite expressions of interest in how the rights might be structured and distributed.

One option is for bookmakers to acquire rights directly, while another is for distributors to bid for the right and sub-licence directly to bookmakers that either produce or intend to produce their own channels.

The successful bidder, or bidders, will be obliged to broadcast live, and pay for, all races taking place on RMG courses during the six-year period.

Richard FitzGerald, chief executive of RMG, said: “Our LBO rights are among the racecourses’ most important assets and they provide for them, and the broader racing community, vital revenue that supports our fantastic sport.

“Our job is to maximise the income of these rights both through their sale value and the way we deliver them.

“RMG has taken this transparent and innovative step, early in the rights cycle, primarily because of how the presentation and production of LBO content has changed dramatically.

“We are keen to hear from potential buyers who already produce – or wish to produce – their own television channels on how they want these rights procured and presented.

“The fair and open tender will hopefully invigorate betting turnover via first-rate production and presentation of horseracing for the LBO audience.”

The RMG also noted it recognises that independent bookmakers remain a “crucial” part of the betting sector and it will engage with these operators to understand their requirements for the period after 2018.

source : www.igamingbusiness.com

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