1 August 2017 – The Racing Post
The vast majority of betting shop customers will be able to watch action from all of Britain’s racecourses after Betfred and The Racing Partnership (TRP) agreed a new media rights deal on Friday. Betfred’s 1,668 betting shops in the UK can now show racing from all 15 Arena Racing Company-owned racecourses and seven independent tracks, as well as South African racing, thanks to the agreement, which begins with immediate effect.
The news brings to an end a commercial standoff between the new betting shop channel and two of Britain’s main high street bookmakers. Ladbrokes Coral signed their own agreement with TRP last week.
ARC chief executive Martin Cruddace said: “We’re really pleased to have agreed this deal with Betfred. “Under Fred Done’s leadership Betfred and the Tote have been a significant supporter of British racing and it is important to us that Betfred shops can show TRP’s extensive content. We can now look forward to working with Fred and his team in a collaborative manner that allows us all to help promote and grow betting on British racing.”
From the start of this year six ARC courses – Doncaster, Lingfield, Southwell, Windsor, Worcester and Wolverhampton – switched from SIS to TRP, followed from May 1 by Fakenham, Hexham and Towcester. A further 13 courses are set to join the service from the start of 2018, including Chepstow, Newcastle and Uttoxeter. William Hill and Paddy Power and a number of independents signed up to the new channel, but Betfred and Ladbrokes Coral did not, meaning their customers were faced with blank screens when the racecourses involved were in action.
Betfred retail and Totepool UK managing director Mark Stebbings said: “We’re delighted to have completed a deal with The Racing Partnership and once again we are now able to show horseracing from all British racecourses to our customers.”
Ladbrokes Coral chief executive Jim Mullen hailed their deal with TRP as “sensible and sustainable” when they unveiled their latest trading update this week. That deal is based on a profit-share model, but there was no indication if that applied to the agreement with Betfred.
The media rights battle developing between TRP and SIS is likely to continue, however, as both sides seek to secure greyhounds content.