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RMG seals five-year deal for Ascot rights

Racecourse Media Group has acquired the media rights for horse racing events at Ascot Racecourse in a five-year agreement.

Under the deal, which takes effect from today, RMG will be responsible for the distribution of all the racecourse’s media rights in the UK and overseas, while its pay-television channel Racing UK will show every race live from Ascot.

RMG takes on the Ascot rights from rival specialist horse racing platform At The Races, which is part owned by pay-television broadcaster BSkyB.

The first meeting to fall under the RMG deal is the prestigious Royal Ascot festival on June 17-21, from which Racing UK will show 50 hours of coverage. The first hour of Racing UK’s daily coverage from 10am will be free-to-view for all viewers watching on Sky television in the UK.

Ascot joins RMG’s existing portfolio of 33 racecourses, which hold collective ownership of the group to ensure profits are reinvested into the sport.

Charles Barnett, chief executive of Ascot Racecourse, said: “RMG’s business model of 100 per cent racecourse ownership enables us to increase revenues and reinvest in important areas such as prize money and facilities. The new contract with Racing UK also brings all our rights into line, given our existing TV distribution and betting shop contracts with RMG.”