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Racecourse Media Group opens LBO-focused rights tender

Racecourse Media Group, the holding company responsible for a range of media and data rights involving 34 of the UK’s premier racecourses, has launched a tender process for media rights across a six-year period running from 2018 to 2023.

The tender focuses on licensed betting offices (LBOs) who produce – or intend to produce – their own channel or channels for their shops.

These rights are currently distributed to bookmakers via Turf TV, the broadcast channel of Amalgamated Racing, a company owned jointly, and equally, between media firm Timeweave and Racecourse Media Services. The current rights agreement ends in 2018.

RMG said the tender has been launched as there has been significant change in the betting sector. A number of bookmakers now produce their own in-house channels, enabling them greater flexibility in how they acquire media rights and present them to their customers.

The timeline for the tender was undisclosed, but it invites expressions of interest in how LBO rights might be structured and distributed in the period after 2018. One of the available options is for the bookmakers to acquire rights directly. Another is for distributors to bid for the rights and sub-license directly to bookmakers who produce – or intend to produce – their own channels.

Richard FitzGerald, chief executive of Racecourse Media Group, said: “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… tender will hopefully invigorate betting turnover via first-rate production and presentation of horseracing for the LBO audience.

“There is a big opportunity for the betting and racing communities to thrive together and drive change by improving the efficiency, structure and creativity of the market for the long-term.”

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