The Racing Partnership (“TRP”) – a joint venture between Arena Racing (“ARC”) and seven independent racecourses comprising Fakenham, Ffos Las, Hexham, Newton Abbot, Plumpton, Ripon and Towcester - is launching a new TV Channel to provide its content to high street betting shops (known formally as Licensed Betting Offices, LBOs).
This new channel will ensure that all independent LBOs are able to continue providing their betting shop customers with horseracing pictures and commentary – and the associated betting data – from ARC and the seven independent racecourses, which makes up more than 40% of UK horseracing fixtures. As well as covering around 650 fixtures from the UK racecourses each year, the TV channel will cover all South African racing. This equates to around 1,100 fixtures per annum covering a wide range of turf and all-weather flat and jump racing, commencing from mid-morning throughout the afternoon and into the evening all year round.
The TRP channel will be live from Thursday 1 September 2016 with racing from South Africa. Racing from the six Arena courses including Doncaster, Southwell, Lingfield Park and Wolverhampton will be available on TRP from 1 January 2017 with all other ARC and independent racecourses being added to the schedule over the following year.
While it is The Racing Partnership’s intention to supply pictures directly to operators with their own channels, the establishment of the new TV channel will allow bookmakers, including independent LBOs, to purchase racing content in the most efficient manner possible. This is to the benefit of all parties including betting shop customers who continue to find horseracing an attractive and exciting betting product.
Beyond the LBO environment all racing will continue to be aired via TRPs media partner At The Races on Sky Channel 415 and Virgin Media Channel 535.
In order to deliver the new TV channel The Racing Partnership has made significant investment in equipment and personnel. The launch of TRP will be overseen by ARC’s Director of Media Technology and Production, Mark Kingston, with support from Jason Barker as Head of Production.
ARC Chief Executive, Martin Cruddace, said: “We have worked incredibly hard to produce a compelling and valuable product for the retail betting sector. This is an exciting development and offers the LBO market a new and much more efficient way to purchase racing pictures for their customers. Under the new structure all betting operators will be able to work directly with TRP which will help create a more effective market structure which will benefit all parties. We look forward to working with the retail sector to maximise the value of the product for their businesses.
“We believe the establishment of The Racing Partnership with allow us all to maximise economies of scale and provide us all with the ability to share resources and best practice across all the partners.”
Newton Abbot Racecourse Managing Director, Pat Masterson, also on the Board of The Racing Partnership, said: “We are delighted to be working with ARC to form The Racing Partnership. This provides the independent racecourses with new opportunities to collaborate and support each other in order to ensure we can safeguard and grow and develop our racecourses.”