A new agreement has been entered into between Arena Racing Company (“ARC”), who represent the media interests of the Greyhound Media Group (“GMG”) tracks, and the Bookmakers Afternoon Greyhound Service (“BAGS”).
Under this agreement, a minimum of 1,619 fixtures per year from 12 established greyhound tracks (Belle Vue, Kinsley, Newcastle, Nottingham, Perry Barr, Peterborough, Poole, Sheffield, Sunderland, Swindon, Towcester and Yarmouth) will be made available to the betting industry from 1 January 2018.
The new deal means that BAGS will be in a position to grant the rights to these tried and tested fixtures to major bookmakers for use in their Licensed Betting Offices (“LBOs”) in the UK and Ireland. The Racing Partnership (“TRP”) will be licensed to supply these fixtures to Independent bookmakers on their existing channel. In addition, ARC will oversee the sale of the rights in the international market and the streaming rights for online betting operators.
This new agreement ensures that BAGS, the organisation that has overseen greyhound racing in LBOs for the last three decades, retains a key role in greyhound racing. It also ensures that BAGS can continue to maintain and support the Formnet database which is used by the tracks to provide the race card information that is critical to supporting betting on greyhound racing.
ARC’s Director of Media Technology and Production and Director of The Racing Partnership, Mark Kingston said: “This new agreement will ensure that greyhound racing from these long established tracks with a proven record of integrity and welfare remain available to LBOs in the UK and Ireland. In addition, advanced discussions with a number of international parties means that these fixtures will also be available in a number of overseas territories, as well as online.”
Dominic Ford, Chairman of BAGS, said: “BAGS has been responsible for televising greyhound racing to the UK LBO sector for more than 30 years. This delivers more than £220 million of GGY into UK shops. BAGS is delighted to have secured this agreement with the GMG tracks which currently deliver the bulk of the BAGS service. After a period of uncertainty BAGS has secured a schedule that gives the LBOs what they want at a price which is available to all and crucially, delivers a saving of more than 15% per fixture per shop which represents an annual saving of over £1,000 plus VAT, based on the current BAGS fixture list.”