Racecourse Media Group (RMG) is delighted to announce it has agreed British racecourse licence extensions for audio-visual and data rights for a new five-year term.
The renewals cover 35 racecourses for their LBO rights and 33 racecourses for all other aspects of their media rights including streaming (Watch & Bet), direct to home (DTH), terrestrial TV and international betting and non-betting until December 31, 2028 (see Notes to Editors for list of racecourses).
RMG is 100% owned by its racecourse shareholders and pays 100% of operating profit back to racecourses, which, in turn, benefits the sport. This collective and collaborative ethos has seen RMG’s businesses become the biggest single funder of British horseracing.
It means the likes of the 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 – will remain in RMG’s portfolio until at least 2029.
With RMG adding all 26 Irish racecourses to its coverage in 2019, it means that five of the top 11 races run in the world last year were broadcast live on RMG’s channel, Racing TV, which is fronted by the two most recent HWPA broadcasters of the year, Nick Luck and Lydia Hislop.
Roger Lewis, Chairman of RMG, said:
“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.
“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.
“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.”
Martin Stevenson, CEO of RMG, said:
“It is a matter of great pride that racecourses have placed their rights in RMG’s hands again. RMG has a superb team, who, from the production to the commercial offices, are committed to ensuring first-class output and long-term sustainable growth for our racecourses.
“This will be achieved by continuing to create innovative and different ways of bringing the sport to life and showcasing it to our broad range of audiences. This is also made possible by our much-valued media, technical, broadcast, commercial and bookmaking partners, and, of course, the owners, trainers, breeders, jockeys and stable staff.
“We look forward to continuing to work with Newbury on the remaining period of their term until 2024 and we wish them well thereafter.”
Nevin Truesdale, Chief Executive of The Jockey Club, which runs 15 UK racecourses including Aintree, Cheltenham, Epsom Downs and both tracks in Newmarket, said:
“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. 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.”
Adam Waterworth, Sport Managing Director at Goodwood Estate, said:
“As one of the founding members of Racing UK in 2004, we are delighted to continue our relationship with Racecourse Media Group until 2029. RMG’s model of racecourse ownership gives racecourses complete control over the commercialisation of their media and data rights. Racing TV’s innovative production and award-winning presentation has taken racing broadcasts to the next level – and we are delighted our events will receive the world-class coverage they merit until at least 2029.”
Jeremy Martin, Executive Director of Salisbury Racecourse, said:
“Licence fees are a significant element of the executive contribution to prize-money and mean that we can continue investing in the facilities to improve our customers’ experience, where and when necessary. RMG has a long, proven record of delivering the best performance and we are delighted to renew for another five-year term.”