Bookmakers Face Racing Streaming Cost Hike
Bookmakers face “horrendous” increase in racing streaming costs and leaves racecourse bosses favouring fees based on turnover rather than a fixed fee model.
The cost to bookmakers who stream live racing events could see a “horrendous” spike if proposals by racecourse media groups. Currently, bookmakers pay a fixed amount to broadcast race meetings, but this could change to fees based on the turnover of the bookmaker for that race.
The Racing Partnership (TRP) who act as media rights manager for Arena Racing Company, who own and operate 16 racecourses in Great Britain, are responsible for the collective licensing deals for ARC courses and are believed to favour a revenue-sharing arrangement.
Industry insiders are worried about this move; one bookmaker claimed that the increase in charges that the bookmakers will face would be “horrendous.” There are also fears that if the proposals made by TRP are implemented, bookmakers will be forced to remove horse racing promotions such as the Best Odds Guarantee promotions that are available at the majority of sportsbooks.
There are also fears that TRP’s stance on broadcasting could lead to a coverage black-out, as was the case in 2017. In that dispute, bookmakers refused to pay extra fees to show ARC racing events; this dispute lasted for seven months, and the consequences were that no ARC races were shown at high street bookmakers.
One bookmaker has urged that the industry face this threat together, fearing that one operator could “break ranks” and agree to pay the increased fees which would undermine the industry’s efforts to fight these proposals.
As well as the 16 horseracing courses that ARC run, which represents 39% of British racing fixtures, Arena Racing Company also has a foothold in greyhound racing after purchasing and taking on the operational running of Newcastle and Sunderland greyhound tracks. As these tracks media rights are managed by the Greyhound Media Group (GMG), who represent the image rights of ten other greyhound tracks, it is not known if GMG will follow The Racing Partnership lead and seek a revenue-sharing deal themselves.
The tracks that ARC run are; Bath Racecourse, Brighton Racecourse, Chepstow Racecourse, Doncaster Racecourse, Ffos Las Racecourse, Fontwell Park Racecourse, Great Yarmouth Racecourse, Lingfield Park Racecourse, Newcastle Racecourse, Sedgefield Racecourse, Southwell Racecourse, Uttoxeter Racecourse, Windsor Racecourse, Wolverhampton Racecourse, Worcester Racecourse. They also own and run Newcastle and Sunderland greyhound tracks.
The Arena Racing Company are responsible for media rights management at the following courses, Aintree, Ayr, Beverley, Carlisle, Cartmel, Catterick Bridge, Cheltenham, Epsom Downs, Exeter, Goodwood, Hamilton Park, Haydock Park, Huntingdon, Kelso, Kempton Park, Leicester, Ludlow, Market Rasen, Musselburgh, Newbury, Newmarket, Nottingham, Perth, Pontefract, Redcar, Salisbury, Sandown Park, Stratford-on-Avon, Taunton, Thirsk, Warwick, Wetherby, Wincanton and York. There has been no official statement released by either ARC or RMG.