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Racing TV to create ‘Netflix of racing’

Pay-television channel Racing UK has revealed it will rebrand to Racing TV as it prepares to welcome horse racing from all 26 Irish racecourses on January 1.

The rebrand will seek to create one definitive HD racing channel for the UK and Ireland after Racing UK parent Racecourse Media Group, the holding company responsible for media and data rights involving a host of horse-racing destinations, in February extended a partnership with SIS to include direct-to-home and streaming rights to all Irish racecourses and Chelmsford City horse-racing events.

The deal will run for five years, from 2019 to 2023. From next year, Racing TV will broadcast live racing from 61 racecourses, equating to over 70 per cent of all racing from Britain and Ireland, including nearly 90 per cent of all group and graded races.

Each of the 61 racecourses will have its own dedicated live stream available on Racing TV Extra, a feature of Racing TV’s digital platform. This means live coverage of every British and Irish race in its entirety, as well as uninterrupted paddock, going down and unsaddling coverage, will be available to Racing TV members. Racing TV Extra will be available via a website, mobile and TV Apps for all members, whose membership fee will remain the same.

To mark the launch of Racing TV in Ireland, the channel will be free-to-view during live racing for Irish residents on a regular basis in January. In addition, Irish residents will be able to take up a free one-month trial at any time during that month.

Richard FitzGerald, chief executive of RMG, told the Racing Post newspaper that Racing TV will be launched at a “headline price” of €31 ($35) per month in Ireland. He added that a carriage deal has been signed with Vodafone, with talks still being held with fellow telco Eir.

FitzGerald said: “We are building racing to be much more than just about Sky. When we set off at the start in 2004, Sky was effectively the only way to watch racing. That is not the case now. We have taken a much more multi-platform approach. It is more of a Netflix-style approach.”

He added: “We will have 170 presentation days on Irish tracks, more than the incumbent. We have been working very closely with HRI (Horse Racing Ireland) and that number is double what was originally planned.”

Racing TV International, the new name for the international pool betting channel, which represents the 61 racecourses’ international betting rights, will also start operating on January 1.