The yearly media rights revenues received by the 37 British racecourses affiliated to Racecourse Media Group (RMG), have increased by 9% from the previous year to £93.1million.
These payments, which are paid via licence fees and dividends, were derived from: Turf TV – betting shop service provider to licensed betting offices (LBOs), Racing UK (multi-platform subscription channel), digital (bet-to-view streams), GBI Racing (international TV betting and pictures service), International (non-betting TV sales overseas) and terrestrial TV (ITV agreement).
Simon Ellen, Chairman of RMG, commented: “RMG produced another very strong performance across all its businesses in 2017, resulting in £93.1m being paid to our 37 racecourses, a £7.6m increase on 2016’s payments.
“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 (DTH) 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 revenues generated from 2017 enabled our racecourses to increase executive and sponsorship contribution to prize-money by £4.2m to £53.8m, an 8% increase on 2016.”
He added: “These revenues could not be generated without the successful businesses of our racecourses, and the tremendous support they offer RMG. We are delighted to have completed agreements with 34 racecourses, so far, for their media and data rights with RMG through to the end of 2023. The racecourses’ collective ethos underpins the RMG business and we aspire to deliver further improvement to those courses in the years ahead.
“There is much to look forward to, especially for our members, when racing from all 26 Irish racecourses, plus Chelmsford City, joins the Racing UK output in 2019. The content set is of the highest quality and, for the first time, the full narratives of the British and Irish seasons can be told on one definitive horseracing channel.”
The end of the Turf TV business on April 1 heralded the start of RMG’s new LBO agreement with SIS, 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 ATR that underpins the GBI Racing relationship will end on the expiry of the current term in December 2018 and from that point RMG’s content will be broadcast internationally in conjunction with SIS.