RMG agrees five-year extension for UK racecourse content and data
The renewals cover 35 racecourses for their licensed betting office (LBO) rights and 33 racecourses for all other aspects of their media rights including streaming via Watch & Bet, direct to home, terrestrial TV and international betting and non-betting until the end of 2028.
The deal between RMG, which is owned by its racecourse shareholders, covers tracks such as Aintree, Cheltenham, Epsom Downs and York, with the Randox Grand National Festival and Cheltenham Festival among the big events to remain available via RMG’s channels.
With RMG adding all 26 Irish racecourses to its coverage in 2019, it means that five of the top 11 races run in the world last year were broadcast live on Racing TV.
Roger Lewis, chairman of RMG, said: “This is a pivotal moment for British racing. The RMG Racecourses, with a unity of purpose, have created business clarity and confidence for years to come. The certainty which this landmark, long-term agreement provides is very special for everyone involved in British racing.
“The RMG Board pays particular tribute to the outstanding leadership of the RMG CEO, Martin Stevenson, who together with his great team of RMG executives navigated this complex and detailed process with rigour, patience and clear focus.”
Nevin Truesdale, chief executive of The Jockey Club, which runs 15 UK racecourses including Aintree, Cheltenham, Epsom Downs and both tracks in Newmarket, said: “RMG has consistently delivered significant value from media and data rights over a 17-year period and unlocked revenue streams in the betting space far more than any other sport. This has supported JCR’s ability to make significant investments into prize money and enhance the experience we offer to participants and customers.
“More recently, the income RMG has delivered to all its shareholder racecourses has been vital through the very difficult pandemic period without spectators and other on-course revenues.
“I am excited by many of the technology developments that lie ahead, particularly in the in-play betting space and further development of Watch & Bet. RMG has a really important role to play in our sport’s growth in the years ahead.”
RMG is owned in full by its 34 racecourse shareholders and pays all of its operating profit back to racecourses. Its areas of business include Racing TV, the Racing TV International service and Racecourse Data Company, which has licensing and control of pre-race data. Racecourse Retail Business is the vehicle which represents 37 racecourses’ content in the LBO market.
Racing TV currently has a record 65,000 subscribers and RMG coverage is shown in around 8,000 LBOs in Britain and Ireland. RMG coverage was seen via nearly 40 broadcasters around the world in 2020.