RMG secures ‘clarity and confidence’ with racing media rights renewals

By | July 8, 2021

The Racecourse Media Group (RMG) has extended its licencing rights agreements for the distribution of audio visual and data content with race tracks across the UK.

Under the terms of the five-year contract renewals, 35 racecourses have extended their LBO content distribution deals, whilst 33 have signed agreements covering all other aspects of media rights.

The latter extensions include streaming (Watch & Bet), direct-to-home (DTH), terrestrial television and international betting and non-betting verticals until 31 December.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors of RMG, I thank our shareholders for the trust and confidence they have once more placed in RMG,” said Roger Lewis, Chairman of RMG. 

“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.”

Additionally, RMG has retained the rights to numerous high profile racing fixtures as a result of the agreements until at least 2029, including Randox Grand National Festival, Cheltenham Festival, Cazoo Derby Festival, Qatar Sussex Stakes and the Juddmonte International Stakes – which was awarded the Longines World’s Best Race accolade in 2020.

Lewis continued: “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.

“RMG now looks forward to serving its shareholder racecourses, which, in turn, benefits the sport of racing for the foreseeable future.”  

Five of the top 11 races run in the world were broadcast live on RMG’s Racing TV channel last year – which is fronted by the two most recent HWPA broadcasters of the year, Nick Luck and Lydia Hislop – after the addition of all 26 Irish racecourses to its portfolio of fixtures in 2019.

The agreement follows the five-year contract extension between Sports Information Services (SIS) and RMG last month, which will see the former collect audio-visual and data from British racecourses to be distributed to British and Irish operators.

“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,” added Nevin Truesdale, Chief Executive of The Jockey Club, which runs 15 UK racecourses including Aintree, Cheltenham, Epsom Downs and both Newmarket tracks.

“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.”

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