XB Net pens multi-year global distribution deal with Hawthorne Race Course in Chicago

By | August 19, 2021


XB Net, the leading provider of premium content for North American horse racing, has agreed to a new distribution deal and a multi-year contract renewal option with Hawthorne Race Course in Chicago, Illinois.

The agreement heralds another milestone partnership in XB Net’s progressive portfolio of content rights, data, odds and signals around one of the United States’ most historic racetracks, particularly as it embarks on a $400 million redevelopment to add sports betting, casino-style gaming and other entertainment amenities to the new Hawthorne Casino & Race Course.

Accordingly, Hawthorne Race Course forms part of a wider network of over 60 North American tracks whose steady stream of rapid-cycling content is proven to increase digital dwell-time for XB Net’s clients and their customers. Moreover, the deal helps to immediately leverage the 50 thoroughbred race-days that comprise Hawthorne’s traditional fall/winter meetings and will build momentum for further fan engagement in 2022 when Hawthorne is the only race track in the Chicago area, which is the third-largest media market in the US.

Elsewhere, Hawthorne’s CDT time zone naturally clocks on for core UK and European racing audiences, generating increased fan engagement at peak leisure times. Its daily schedule of compelling coverage, which neatly complements Europe’s domestic racing action, provides operators with a trustworthy source of rapid-settling betting content from 18:00 CET. This engaging action, which also features regular Harness racing meetings, is proven to retain eyeballs and promote betting activity during competitive digital-entertainment cycles, driving new revenue streams for a wide range of international clients.

XB Net’s definitive end-to-end solution, corralling wide-ranging content that covers approximately 75% of all U.S. racing, opens the door to many of the world’s best-quality courses and most prestigious horse races. Other notable highlights include the Pegasus World Cup, two legs of this summer’s recent Triple Crown (comprising the Preakness and Belmont Stakes) and the season’s flagship finale at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Del Mar (5-6 November).

John Walsh, Assistant General Manager at Hawthorne Race Course, said: “This close collaboration with XB Net will expand the international reach and appeal of Illinois thoroughbred racing. The distribution of our content to both mature and emerging markets requires strong partnerships that will showcase the very exciting future of Hawthorne and racing at Chicago’s hometown track.”

Simon Fraser, Senior Vice President of International at XB Net, added: “Securing this long-term partnership with Hawthorne emphasizes XB Net’s dedication to racing and our broader status as the leading international provider of North American racing. This deal is another strong endorsement of our business model and the collective power of our multi-faceted betting services.

“As ever, betting increases the entertainment value from the consumer perspective. However, with XB Net’s fair allocation of capital to where the entertainment value is, we’re seeing the whole Illinois ecosystem improve, returning the value to racing stakeholders, the owners and the racetracks themselves. It’s great to see during a very challenging economic period.

“Our underlying resolve is to support Hawthorne Race Course’s efforts to distribute its horse racing content and wagering on a global scale, now encompassing both fixed-odds (in approved markets) and pari-mutuel betting opportunities. We’re confident these milestone developments can further benefit horse racing’s consumer economy, both at home and abroad.”

XB Net remains the pacesetter for live North American horse racing content, providing rights, betting data, live broadcast and video streaming on behalf of its growing global portfolio of partners. Harnessing low-latency feeds from more than 2,500 meetings, showcasing over 25,000 races per year, North American racing is helping global operators seamlessly adapt to a demanding schedule for live sports.


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