13th June 2014 – Daily Mail
Dedicated racing channel At The Races (ATR) has signed a new exclusive deal to broadcast action from the 14 tracks owned by racecourse group ARC.
The agreement with a racecourse group which controls 40 per cent of the racing programme runs until June 2019.
It has been finalised as ATR celebrates its 10th anniversary.
ATR has also announced a significant increase in 2014 media rights payments to tracks with which it has a direct media rights relationship.
Payments are forecast to increase by 62 per cent year-on-year.
The positive new comes as next week’s Royal Ascot meeting, previously shown on ATR, moves for the first time to subscription channel Racing UK.
That move, and the implication it has for reaching fewer armchair viewers, has come under increased scrutiny within the wider debate about Channel 4 racing’s falling viewing numbers.
Following plummeting C4 numbers for the Derby, how the channel fares at the prestigious royal meeting is now seen as a potentially pivotal as concern and discontent about the decline spreads across the industry.
In that light, the timing of ATR’s announcement hardly seems coincidental, with a barely concealed ‘see what you are missing’ message.
ATR chief executive, Matthew Imi, said: ‘We’re bringing racing coverage and services to a wide audience of racing fans, two million TV viewers and now more than two and a half million website users each month in the UK and Ireland.
‘In so doing we will deliver increasing value and returns to our racecourse partners and our commercial partners.’