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Racecourse Media Group details rise in rights payments

Racecourse Media Group, the holding company responsible for media and data rights involving a host of British horse-racing destinations, has said that its 37 affiliated racecourses will receive a nine per cent increase in revenues generated from their media rights in 2017.

RMG will pay out £93.1m (€106m/$130m) via licence fees and dividends, with revenue generated from six main sources. These are Turf TV; the betting shop service provider to Licensed Betting Offices (LBOs); pay-television broadcaster Racing UK; bet-to-view streams; international television betting and pictures service, GBI Racing; non-betting rights sales overseas and the agreement with UK commercial broadcaster ITV.

Simon Ellen, chairman of RMG, said: “In 2017, we welcomed Leicester, Stratford and Taunton racecourses to RMG. The fixtures they bring across both codes have further improved the scope and number of meetings broadcast by our direct-to-home channel, Racing UK.

“2017 also marked the last full year’s trading of our LBO business Turf TV. The creation of Turf TV just over 10 years ago underlines what can be achieved through collective enterprise and ownership of content and was a game-changer for betting shop broadcasting. I would like to add my thanks to the team, past and present, who have made a major contribution at Turf TV.”

The end of the Turf TV business on April 1 heralded the start of RMG’s new LBO agreement with SIS, a provider of end-to-end products and services to the betting and broadcast industries which distributes audio-visual and data content from RMG’s racecourses into nearly 10,000 betting shops in the UK and Ireland.

The new arrangement provides additional economic benefits to both parties over the five years of the contract and is an important element of a wider collaboration with SIS. In February, RMG extended its relationship to encompass DTH and streaming rights to all 26 Irish racecourses, plus Chelmsford City in the UK, from 2018.

That news was announced on the back of the two organisations partnering to encompass international pool betting and fixed odds rights, including retail and online. The partnership with pay-television channel At The Races, which is set to rebrand as Sky Sports Racing, which underpins the GBI Racing relationship will end on the expiry of the current term in December and from that point RMG’s content will be broadcast internationally in conjunction with SIS.