31 October 2017 – Racing Post
Arena Racing Company’s entrance into the world of greyhound media rights continues to make waves.
Last week it appeared the future of Bags had been secured following news of an agreement with Arc, which represents the media interest of the Greyhound Media Group of tracks.
Arc’s broadcasting platform, The Racing Partnership, is offering a rival greyhound service to the bookmaking industry against an SIS offering from January 1.
Bags, which has co-ordinated betting shop greyhound racing for 50 years, had been caught in the middle of the two after seeing off a hostile takeover bid from SIS last year.
Under the agreement, a minimum of 1,619 fixtures per year from 12 established greyhound tracks – the 11 GMG venues of Belle Vue, Kinsley, Newcastle, Nottingham, Perry Barr, Peterborough, Poole, Sheffield, Sunderland, Swindon and Yarmouth, plus Towcester – will be made available.
The new deal, which is understood to be for longer than end-2019 when existing Bags contracts expire, means Bags will be in a position to continue to grant the rights for fixtures which have until now provided a big part of its service to major bookmakers in the UK and Ireland.
In turn, TRP will be licensed to supply these fixtures to independent bookmakers on its existing channel.
Arc will also oversee the sale of the rights in the international market and the streaming rights for online betting operators and swiftly announced deals with Australian giant Tabcorp and Athens-based Vermantia.
Meanwhile, SIS is to pay out a £15 million dividend to shareholders but has warned that profits for the year are likely to be lower than budgeted.