Racing UK Partners With Vodafone For Pioneering Mobile Broadcast Of The Derby
Under the terms of the pioneering agreement, Vodafone, the world’s largest mobile community, will make available live coverage of all races at this year's Vodafone Derby Festival to Vodafone live! with 3G customers in the UK and Northern Ireland. All 14 races at the two-day meeting at Epsom Downs, which begins tomorrow, will be available to view for the first time for Vodafone live! with 3G customers. Coverage will concentrate on a 'live' window beginning 1 minute prior to the start of each race and ending 1 minute after the horses have passed the winning post, at a charge of £0.50p (fifty pence) per day.
Racing UK, which celebrated its first anniversary last weekend by announcing it had already secured over 30,000 subscribers and expects turnover for 2005 to top £10 million, is a ground-breaking venture by a sports rights holder to own and market its media rights. The channel is wholly owned by 31 of the UK’s top race courses and was formed in March 2004 following the collapse of attheraces. As well as Epsom, other leading racetracks involved in the venture include Aintree, Cheltenham, Goodwood, Newmarket, and York.
The partnership with Vodafone is an important step in Racing UK’s plans to exploit new media opportunities. The channel is currently working in partnership with Sportev, the leading wireless sports agency who also has contracts with the FA Premier League and England Rugby, to develop a mobile solution that will enable punters to watch video of all races and bet from their mobile phones.
David Wheldon, Global Director Brand and Customer Experience at Vodafone, said: "We are delighted to be able to bring the Vodafone Derby Festival to Vodafone live! with 3G customers, with a mobile broadcasting first."
Simon Bazalgette, Executive Chairman of Racing UK, commented: “This is the first time one of Britain’s major sports events will be offered to sports fans live on their mobile phones. It is a truly ground-breaking partnership and is proof of the benefits for racecourses of forming Racing UK and taking control of their own media destiny. Horseracing provides ideal content for mobile-phone operators because of the relatively short duration of races and we believe the roll-out of 3G will create a major revenue opportunity going forwards for Racing UK’s shareholders.”
Stephen Wallis, Managing Director of Epsom Downs, said: "This is an exciting landmark in sports broadcasting and we are thrilled that the support Vodafone has given to the Derby has been reciprocated with a technological first."
Racing UK has recently been nominated for two awards at the 2005 Broadcast Digital Channel Awards in the New Channel of the Year and Best Channel Marketing categories.
For further information on Racing UK please contact:
Henry Chappell at Pitch PR
Tel: 020 7494 1616
Mob: 07775 585 437
For further information on Vodafone please contact:
Maria Bellanca, Head of Group Sponsorship PR
Tel: 07919 228228