Racecourse Media Group, the UK-based rights organisation which produces horse racing, has agreed a long-term strategic partnership with Flutter Entertainment, the Ireland-based betting giant.
The “wide-ranging” agreement, which will run until 2028, involves streaming rights and other key areas of the RMG business.
Under the tie-up, RMG and its racecourses will work with Flutter to leverage the betting company’s marketing and promotional assets to “grow turnover, engagement and interest in RMG’s racing.”
RMG said this will benefit the racecourses and deliver revenues to the sport while providing Flutter customers in UK and Ireland with horse racing content.
Martin Stevenson, chief executive of RMG said: “This agreement will have far-reaching benefits for RMG’s racecourses and the industry itself. We are delighted to collaborate with Flutter Entertainment, which gives both companies the opportunity to work together to promote RMG’s racecourses and the sport.
“We will be able to call on the considerable marketing reach of both companies in terms of working together via sponsorships and advertising, to expand the appeal of our horse racing both domestically and overseas.”
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Conor Grant, chief executive of Flutter UK and Ireland, added: “We have an important and long-standing relationship with the racing industry, investing a total of £100 million ($134.4 million) through media rights, sponsorship, hospitality, marketing and the levy in the last year.
“We are continually looking for ways to collaborate directly with partners like RMG and the rest of the racing industry to enable British horseracing to achieve its great potential and secure the long-term sustainability of the sport.”
In the summer, RMG announced renewals with many leading British racecourses until the end of 2028, ensuring the likes of the Grand National, Cheltenham Festival, Derby Festival and Qatar Goodwood Festival will continue to form part of its content offering.
Meanwhile, ITV, the UK commercial broadcaster, is reportedly keen to extend its rights as the home of British horse racing despite still having another two years to run on its existing deal.
Just last year, ITV concluded a new three-year deal with RMG to maintain its exclusive free-to-air coverage of the sport until 2023.
But it is believed that the broadcaster is pushing for an early renewal in an effort to secure a profitable source of revenue to attract advertising from bookmakers.
The present deal between ITV and venue owners RMG, Arena Racing Company, the Jockey Club and Ascot Racecourse, was agreed in 2020 following a marathon period of negotiations, with the rights fee increasing from £7.5 million per year to £9 million per year.
Under that agreement, ITV will broadcast nearly 100 days of British racing annually, with all major events, including those from Ascot, Cheltenham and Aintree, shown on the network’s main channel ITV1, with others on ITV4.
The commercial broadcaster has been the home of horse racing in the UK since replacing Channel 4 in 2017.